Experiments in the Art of Living
Each week, I will post a new art of living experiment. The goal is to explore philosophy as something more than an academic discipline -- to explore it as a way of life.
Over the last year, I have used this site to explore philosophy as a moment-to-moment way of life. I’ve done experiments on fear, breathing, yoga, walking, and other tools for going deeper into what Henry David Thoreau calls “living deliberately.” I’ve interviewed influential art of living philosophers like Byron Katie, Gay Hendricks, Erich Schiffmann, Marty Weiner, [...]
Last week, I began the most powerful art of living experiment of my life: I became the father of a beautiful baby girl. So for the next few weeks, I’ll be changing diapers and learning from my new spiritual and philosophical teacher. I plan to start writing posts again on November 7th.
Photo Courtesy of William Arthur Fine Stationery
I like to think of the flow of creativity like water running through a pipe. The pipe of creativity can easily become clogged with the residue of thinking. When we get too serious or when we start trying to figure things out, we create blockages in the pipe.
All this serious mental activity is like throwing bacon grease down the sink – eventually it ends up blocking off the pipe completely.
For me, going to a work meeting is a lot like going to the DMV to renew my driver’s license. Sure, I might get lucky and sail through in less than twenty minutes. But more often than not, I end up sitting around for hours, stalled by bureaucratic inefficiency.
On my way home from work last week after a marathon meeting, I found myself asking: “is there a way to turn the mostly banal and boring experience of meetings into a divine experience?” “What would it mean to make going to meetings a philosophical act?”
In my class this week, we’re exploring a troubling question: can you engage in politics without losing your soul?
Machiavelli brought on the challenge. On his deathbed, he told friends and family about a dream in which he died and ended up between heaven and hell. He noticed two lines of people clustered together. The first line consisted of shabbily dressed and somber looking men. “Why are you here?” Machiavelli asked them. “We are the saintly and the blessed,” they said, “we are going to heaven.”