And here I would like to add a word of warning to those I am trying to help, for a study of the letters in which the writers tell of experiencing difficulty in understanding, show signs of having been written after a quick reading rather than a close and careful study of the subject matter. I read recently an article suggesting that people should practise reading quickly, although the habit of too quick reading in which understanding becomes dominated by speed — that royal road to the physical and mental derangement of mankind — is an only too common failing today. This is only one example of the habit of too quick reaction to stimuli in general, and to its prevalence may be traced most of the misunderstandings, misconception and misdirecrion of effort manifested by the great majority of people today in conducting matters relating to the body politic.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer has now classified overnight shift work as a Group 2A carcinogen. This means that staying up late repeatedly, and working overnight, is a strong enough cancer-causing agent to be lumped in with lead exposure and UVA radiation. That might sound crazy, but there s now a ton of scientific data showing exactly how this happens.
A while back I wrote a piece on Sleep. It turned into three parts and after writing it, I felt I had only scratched the surface. Then I stumbled over this book.
I read the book and it’s really good! I blasted through it agreeing all the way. If you know everything about sleep, you’ll still enjoy seeing it all laid out in an approachable fashion. If you have NOT YET MASTERED SLEEP — wait, what is wrong with you?! Sleep is the single most important thing in your life. It is the activity you spend the most aggregated time doing. Remind me why you have not spent time studying sleep and improving yours?
In Allen Ginsberg’s poem “Howl” (1955), Moloch is used as a metaphor for capitalism and industrial civilization, and for America more specifically. The word is repeated many times throughout Part II of the poem, and begins (as an exclamation of “Moloch!”) in all but the first and last five stanzas of the section.
I just recently, (in the scale of my life,) stumbled over an explicit reference to Moloch. I was all like, “Moloch? Who the what is that? *bookmark*”
I finally got around to reading the WikiPedia article and realized that there’s a huge amount of Moloch wriggled into and behind a ton of the classic fiction which I love.
If there is such a thing as a great scientist … that greatness can certainly not be transferred by what is commonly called teaching. What the disciples learn are the mannerisms, tricks of the trade, ways to make a career, or perhaps, in the rarest cases, a critical view of the meaning of scientific evidence and its interpretation. A real teacher can teach through his example — this is what the ducklings get from their mothers — or, most infrequently, through the intensity and the originality of his view or vision of nature.
For this reader follows the poet not the way a horse obeys his driver but the way a hunter follows his prey, and a glimpse suddenly gained into what lies beyond the apparent freedom of the poet, into the poet’s compulsion and passivity, can enchant him more than all the elegance of good technique and cultivated style.
I’ve now read the entire book several times, and Chapter 6 never ceases to inspire!
I may not be the strongest. I may not be the fastest. But I’ll be damned if I’m not trying my hardest.
It ofttimes requires heroic courage to face fruitless effort, to take up the broken strands of a life-work, to look bravely toward the future, and proceed undaunted on our way. But what, to our eyes, may seem hopeless failure is often but the dawning of a greater success. It may contain in its debris the foundation material of a mighty purpose, or the revelation of new and higher possibilities.
Failure is often the turning-point, the pivot of circumstance that swings us to higher levels. It may not be financial success, it may not be fame; it may be new draughts of spiritual, moral or mental inspiration that will change us for all the later years of our life. Life is not really what comes to us, but what we get from it.
~ Chapter 14, “Failure as a Success”, from Self Control, Its Kingship and Majesty, by William George Jordan, 1907
The application in the Ways is to falls in life. To be able to take a disaster or a great failure, with the whole personality, without shrinking back from it, like the big smack with which the judo man hits the ground. Then to rise at once.
Not to be appalled at a moral fall. Yet it is not that it does not matter. The judo man tries by every means not to be thrown, but when he is thrown it does not hurt him and in a sense it does not matter. It matters immensely, and yet it does not matter.
‘Falling seven times, and getting up eight.’
~ “Falling”, from Zen and the Ways, by Trevor Leggett, 1978
On September 4th, Vincent Thibault’s latest book, Parkour & Art du Déplacement: Lessons in Practical Wisdom came out on Kindle. (A print version is eminent.)
I was in Québec at the time, and it felt like an early birthday present. I took most of the day off to sit in a beautiful park, on a spectacular day. I devoured the entire book in one sitting. With every page, I became more convinced that I was going to be spending a lot of quality time with this book.
This book brings a fresh approach to understanding and exploring Parkour/Art du Déplacement/Free Running. No pictures, no explanations of techniques. Instead, it provides 90 distinct thoughts and ideas giving you the option of exploring your Parkour/ADD in your own way. You can read the entire book, or dive into one particular idea at a time. If you read it overall as one piece it will give you a great introduction to the Spirit and Philosophy of Parkour/ADD; If you want to “dive deep”, you can pick each of the ideas apart separately and explore them through your own thinking, exploration and communications with others.
The book includes both English and French written by the author — this is an exceptional feature of the book. Rather than being translated, Thibault is able to convey the ideas naturally in both languages. Native speakers of English or French will benefit equally.
Finally, this is the first book (that I’m aware of) which literally bridges the two most important languages encountered in the context of Parkour/ADD. If you are working on one of them as a second language, you can flip between the two language versions of the material and be assured you are getting a nuanced, and accurate, translation of the concepts.