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Sloww Sunday Newsletter 045 (Jan 17, 2021) — The Purpose of Purpose, A Psychological Revolution, & More
Sloww Sunday is a free newsletter delivering the latest from Sloww along with the most interesting things I came across this week.
🛒 I’m working on what I’m informally referring to as a “Wisdom Shop.” Instead of physical products, it will offer digital knowledge products. I’m envisioning a one-stop shop on the site to house all eBooks, memberships, future courses, and more.
🧘 I started reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. A book summary is coming soon. A couple years ago, I read A New Earth (book summary) and loved it. An upcoming post for Premium members will be a synthesis of both books—everything you need to know from Eckhart.
I read Seeking Wisdom because I noticed that many people had it on their recommended reading lists—some even say it’s their top book of all-time. This book is for you if you’re interested in: how our thinking is influenced, why we make misjudgments, and guidelines for better thinking.
“If we understand what influences us, we might avoid certain traps and understand why others act like they do. And if we learn and understand what works and doesn’t work and find some framework for reasoning, we will make better judgments.” — Peter Bevelin
🧬 The Purpose of Purpose — Richard Dawkins
(50 mins | YouTube)
“We are obsessed with the ‘Why?’ question as a species. We humans are obsessed with purpose.” — Richard Dawkins
This speech is fascinating on multiple levels (tip: it gets started at the 8:50 mark). Is the question of purpose even an appropriate question to ask when it comes to living things? Why is it that humans seek goals that have nothing to do with the survival and propagation of their genes?
- Natural Selection & Two Types of Purpose: “Everything about animals and plants that looks as if it’s been designed for a purpose has in fact been shaped by the slow sculpting of natural selection. I’m calling this kind of pseudo-purposiveness ‘Archeo-Purpose.’ It’s the ancient kind of purpose before the human kind of purpose (‘Neo-Purpose’).”
- Dawkins’ Thesis: “Neo-Purpose is itself an evolved adaptation with a survival value or Archeo-Purpose.”
- What does that actually mean? “Why aren’t all our goals related to the one central goal of propagating our genes? The answer is that it’s our capacity to set up goals and to reprogram our goal-seeking machinery rapidly and flexibly that’s been built into us by natural selection … Precisely because of its flexible reprogrammability, it’s highly prone to seek new goals.”
🧠 Pioneers in Perspective — The Humanistic Psychology Revolution
(30 mins | YouTube)
“Humanistic psychology seems to be a far more hopeful and encouraging way of conceding of any and every area of human knowledge.” — Maslow
This 1971 film includes short video introductions to: Abraham Maslow, Gardner Murphy, Carl Rogers, Rollo May, Paul Tillich, Fritz Perls, Viktor Frankl, and Alan Watts. It’s amazing that this kind of rare content has found its way to YouTube. If you’d like to dive deeper, check out:
- Watts: Top Quotes
💭 Deep Quote
“In a few hundred years, when the history of our time will be written from a long-term perspective, it is likely that the most important event historians will see is not technology, not the Internet, not e-commerce. It is an unprecedented change in the human condition. For the first time—literally—substantial and rapidly growing numbers of people have choices. For the first time, they will have to manage themselves. And society is totally unprepared for it.” — Peter Drucker (1909 – 2005)
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Have a deep week!