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Updated by Paul Hugh O'Mahony on May 01, 2024
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Great Essays by maria popova

Joan Didion on Self-Respect

“Character — the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life — is the source from which self-respect springs.”

Hermann Hesse on Little Joys, Breaking the Trance of Busyness, and the Most Important Habit for Living with Presence

“The high value put upon every minute of time, the idea of hurry-hurry as the most important objective of living, is unquestionably the most dangerous enemy of joy.”

Declaration of the Independence of the Mind: An Extraordinary 1919 Manifesto Signed by Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russ...

“We commit ourselves never to serve anything but the free Truth that has no frontiers and no limits and is without prejudice against races or castes.”

The Will to Doubt: Bertrand Russell on Free Thought and Our Only Effective Self-Defense Against Propaganda

“The protection of minorities is vitally important; and even the most orthodox of us may find himself in a minority some day, so that we all have an interest in restraining the tyranny of maj…

Ascent Of Man, episode 11 - Knowledge Or Certainty

The ending sequence from episode 11 of Jacob Bronowski's excellent 1973 series, The Ascent Of Man. It was commissioned for the then new BBC Channel 2 by Davi...

The Dark Side of Certainty: Jacob Bronowski on the Spirit of Science and What Auschwitz Teaches Us About Our Compulsi...

“Science is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible… We have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge and power.”

Anne Lamott on Forgiveness, Self-Forgiveness, and the Relationship Between Brokenness and Joy

“We are hardwired with curiosity inside us, because life knew that this would keep us going even in bad sailing… Life feeds anyone who is open to taste its food, wonder, and glee — its immedi…

Nietzsche on the Journey of Becoming and What It Means to Be a Free Spirit

“…become master over yourself, master of your own good qualities… acquire power over your aye and no and learn to hold and withhold them in accordance with your higher aims……