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Sloww Sunday Newsletter 058 (Apr 25, 2021) — Your Life Path, Human Uniqueness, Humanity’s New Myth, & More
Sloww Sunday is a free newsletter delivering the latest from Sloww along with the most interesting modern knowledge and timeless wisdom I discovered last week.
I always aim to respect your time and attention, so every newsletter can be read in under 5 minutes. Enjoy!
New Public Post:
The reality of the lottery of birth is something we seem to forget over and over again. We like to think that we are in control of our lives. That we are responsible for our successes and failures. That we can and should take credit or blame. But, as you’ll quickly see here, life isn’t that simple. In fact, there may be far more out of our control than what is actually in our control. Buckle up! Your ego is about to take a humbling ride.
New Premium Post:
Most people would probably answer this question with, “Of course I control my life path. Who else would be responsible for it?” It seems so obvious. But, as we ultimately learn about many things in life, what is “so obvious” on the surface is anything but obvious when you start digging deeper. And, this one goes deeeep.
🧠 The Uniqueness of Humans
(30 mins | YouTube)
Robert Sapolsky is a researcher, author, and professor of biology, neurology & neurological sciences at Stanford. Somehow I just recently discovered him, but I already know I’ll be going deep down the rabbit hole. This fascinating talk covers the uniqueness of humans in relation to the rest of the animal world. Topics covered include: aggression, theory of mind, the Golden Rule, empathy, pleasure, and culture.
Sapolsky also has a human behavioral biology lecture series on YouTube that is highly recommended (the intro video alone has 7M+ views).
“I love science, and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awed by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and reinvigorate it.” — Robert Sapolsky
🌎 Joseph Campbell on Humanity’s New Myth
(2 mins | YouTube)
In this short clip from from the interview series “Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth,” Campbell shares his thoughts about the only myth worth thinking about in the immediate future. It involves the entire society of the planet, but it still deals with exactly what all myths throughout history have dealt with—the hero’s journey. When you look at the planet from a distance, you don’t see any divisions of nations or states of any kind. He says, “That (Earth) is the ‘country’ that we are going to be celebrating, and those are the people (humanity) that we are one with.”
“The only myth that’s going to be worth thinking about in the immediate future is one that’s talking about the planet—not the city, not these people, but the planet—and everybody on it.” — Joseph Campbell
🤯 Mind Expanding
Mind-blowing, jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring content has the power to shift your perspective in an instant.
The Great Tree of Life shows all the major and many of the minor living branches of life on one diagram. Can you spot the human branch?
💭 Deep Quote
“Putting things off is the biggest waste of life: it snatches away each day as it comes, and denies us the present by promising the future. The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today. You are arranging what lies in Fortune’s control, and abandoning what lies in yours. What are you looking at? To what goal are you straining? The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.” — Seneca
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Have a present week!