Every week on The Wisdom Daily, we bring you our favorite reads from sources around the web. Topics on this week’s list include Helena Bonham Carter’s capacity for having fun, the lessons learned from failure, a childhood spent in the Mojave desert, our ever-changing sense of “self,” new understandings of what makes a place holy… and more. Whatever’s transpiring in your life, may you find the words of wisdom you need.
1. Here Comes the Sun
“Once you’re through the suffering bit, you can see life with a sense of proportion and you shed a lot of worry. You grab fun quicker. If you’ve been through really hard times, there’s an easier ability for joy.”
“When I was growing up [in the Mojave Desert]…I didn’t know there was such a thing as wilderness. I thought that was the world. I remember thinking that leaves changing color in autumn was figurative. I did not think it actually happened…As I got older and moved away, the freshness and mystery of the desert, which had been naturalized for me, got defamiliarized and explained to me by culture. People said, The desert is scary or mystical or mysterious, and I thought, I guess it is!”
“Some of the most successful people agree that failure is fundamentally a source of practical information. Sir Edmund Hillary saw his first two failed attempts to scale Mount Everest as a process of elimination, helping him cross off the routes that wouldn’t work, bringing him to the one that would.”
“Buddhists argue that nothing is constant, everything changes through time, you have a constantly changing stream of consciousness. And from a neuroscience perspective, the brain and body is constantly in flux. There’s nothing that corresponds to the sense that there’s an unchanging self.”
“As our trip got going…human instinct quickly transcended the shallower group/tribe distinctions of politics or religion or age or background, the familiar labels… It was the social animal instinct to bond together [as] a basic survival instinct. We helped each other onto and off of the slippery rafts. We worked together to unload the boats, set up camp. We shared resources: sunscreen, medicine, camping gear…We listened to each other, learned from each other, and laughed.”
“I think if God exists it’s everywhere, not just in a church. But in an ugly spot. In a spot where atrocities happen. There’s all sorts of places that are holy, not just the ones that are defined that way by the culture.”