“I think balance is for people who don’t know why they’re here.”

She considers that. In high school, in college, she was encouraged again and again to find her passion – a reason to get out of bed and breathe. In her experience, few people ever found that raison d’ etre.

What teachers and professors never told her was about the dark side of finding your purpose. The part where it consumes you. Where it becomes a destroyer of relationships and happiness. And still, she wouldn’t trade it. This is the only person she knows how to be.

There are so few things in our existence we can count on to give us the sense of permanence, of the ground beneath our feet. People fail us. Our bodies fail us. We fail ourselves. He’s experienced all of that. But what do you cling to, moment to moment, if memories can simply change? What, then, is real? And if the answer is nothing, where does that leave us?

That’s one of the great things about New YOrk – no one cares about your emotional state as long as there’s no blood involved. Crying on the sidewalk in the middle of the day is no less private than crying in your bedroom in the middle of the night. Maybe it’s because no one cares. Maybe it’s because it’s a brutal city, and they’ve all been there at one time or another.


In the same way that “we filter for people who are like us intellectually and politically,” he wrote, “we also filter for misery,” so that the suffering around us passes unheard and unseen.

To get sick and fail to get better is to realize the harsh truth of this insight. Human beings have a great capacity for kindness, empathy, and help, but we are more likely to rise to the occasion when it is clearly an occasion – a moment of crisis, a time-bound period of stress. In the aftermath of a hurricane, society doesn’t usually fragment; it comes together in solidarity and support. Likewise with families and individuals facing suffering at the moment that it descends, or when a terrible arc finally bottoms out: Not always, but very often, people behave well, with great generosity, in the face of a mortal diagnosis, a mental collapse, an addict’s nadir. Not least because in those circumstances there are things you can clearly do, from the prosaic – making frozen dinners for a suffering family – to the more dramatic and extreme, like flying across the country to help drag a friend into rehab.

But when the crisis simply continues without resolution, when the illness grinds on and on and on – well, then a curtain tends to fall, because there isn’t an obvious way to integrate that kind of struggle into the realm of everyday life. It’s not clear what the healthy person is supposed to give to a friend or family member who isn’t dying, who doesn’t have some need that you can fill with a discrete act of generosity, but who just has the same problems – terrible but also, let’s be a frank, a little boring – day after depressing day.

“Pain is always new to the sufferer, but loses its originality for those around him,” the 19th-century French writer Alphonse Daudet wrote of his experience of a different spirochetal infection, syphilis, whose pain could be managed ut in his case never cured. “Everyone will get used to it except me.”

Or alternatively, in an age of scattered friendships and virtual connections, everyone will forget about it except me.



You Can Do It Yourself

But why would you want to when help will make you better?

You don’t need others to survive or even to thrive; you need them to maximally thrive.

Why not take every edge you can? Especially considering that those edges were created by you: nobody would be there to help if you had not done something right such that they want to help.



How to Live in the Moment

I don’t remember most days, not even wedding days; I do remember your wedding day, and I imagine I will continue to remember it for the foreseeable future.

Since this is a wedding note, and since we live in a time of grand narratives where everything neatly ties together with whatever you happen to care deeply about, I’ll try to show how your wedding confirmed the narrative I already knew to be true about xxxxxxxxx. See, I have a special fondness for xxxxxxxxx. There’s something about being around him that’s energizing. Truly. I believe he’s excited to see me, to spend time with me, and to further learn the ridiculousness of my character. This may seem like a basic definition of friendship, but it’s not. Other “friends” will genuinely look forward to an encounter only to be silently longing for the plane back home shortly after commencement. I know this because I do it. It never feels like xxxxxxxxx does. Another way to say all of this is to say that xxxxxxxxx helps me live in the moment. And while I can’t, due to lack of experience, honestly say xxxxxxxxx has the same effect on me, I also have enough experience with her to know that I can’t dismiss the possibility. Or at the very least, I think xxxxxxxxx can augment and support xxxxxxxxx’s unique strengths, and he (better) augment and support her strengths (like drawing/painting; keep drawing/painting).

For now, though, our focus shall be on our overarching narrative that forms the backbone of this letter. So just as it’s no surprise that Trump obviously did the awful thing that perfectly fits the narrative you hold about him, it’s no surprise that your wedding was a beautiful exercise in presence.


Be honest AF.

Go hard AF.

Sex Nervousness

All the sexually aggressive content – from ads to songs – allow us to pretend that the whole enterprise isn’t rather quite daunting. In a similar way that celebrity depictions play on our wishes that life could be free from suffering (but just make us feel worse about our actual lives), sex ubiquitousness permits belief that there’s a state where sexual nervousness and fears and inadequacies don’t exist (but just make us dislike ourselves more for not being in said state).

The answer, as always, is to speak honestly. The result, as usually, is discovering that you’re less unique than you think.

Wanna be filled with love?

Give yourself permission to not compete.

He was bad enough to desire a woman who wasn’t his wife, but he was also bad at being bad.

He should have borne it stoically, but on his bad days he was unable not to do things he would later regret. It was almost as if he did them because he would later regret them. Writhing with retrospective shame, abusing himself in solitude, was how he found his way back to God’s mercy.

What would it be like to live with a person capable of joy?

public display of emotion purchased overwhelming approval.

Becky took it as a reminder that her mother was better than her at writing, she herself better at nothing her mother valued.

Simply by trying to speak honestly, surrendering to emotion, supporting other people in their honesty and emotion, she experienced her first glimmering of spirituality.

the risk in risk-taking was stabbing pain

It was a mistake to say that. I don’t even know if it’s true. It’s like there are these words, they’re out there in the world, and you start wondering what it would be like to say them. Words have their own power – they create the feeling, just by the fact of your saying them. I’m so sorry I tried to make you say them. I love that you were honest with me. I love – oh, shit.” She slumped, crying again. “I am in love with you.” (more…)

He was someone who did things, who got things done. Life belonged to people like that.

A physician can only cure diseases meant to be cured; the Buddha can only save those meant to be saved.

If the future wished to pass judgment on our struggles, then at least it was now possible to send someone to the future to explain the misunderstandings brought about by the passage of time.

Yuor intuition is unreliable in space. If you must act on intuition, count from one to one hundred first. At least count from one to ten.

The body, when given an opportunity to make up for an absence, may do so excessively, and recover to the point where it has more of that quality than those who had never suffered such inadequacy.

But at some point, humanity began to develop the illusion that they’re entitled to life, that life can be taken for granted. This is the fundamental reason for your defeat. The fall of evolution will be raised once again on this world, and you will now fight for your survival.

Tianminq’s stories had now acquired a status akin to the Bible. Without realizing it, people were no longer searching for real strategic intelligence, but reassurance that they were already on the right course.

Not long ago on Pluto, Cheng XIn had experienced one of the most relaxed moments of her life. Indeed, it was easy to face the end of the world: All responsibilities were gone, as were all worries and anxieties. Life was as simple and pure as the moment when on first emerged from the mother’s womb. Cheng Xin just had to wait in peace for her poetic, artistic end, for her moment to join the giant painting of the Solar System.

Humanity chose you, which meant they chose to treat life and everything else with love, even if they had to pay a great price. You fulfilled the wish of the world, carried out their values, and executed their choice. You really didn’t do anything wrong.

The Solar System human spilled their last drop of blood to stay with their land – well, save for two drops: you and AA. But what was the point? They didn’t last, and neither did their land. Hundreds of millions of years have passed in the great universe, and do you think anyone remembers them? This obsession with home and land, this permanent adolescence where you’re no longer children but are afraid to leave home – this is the fundamental reason your race was annihilated.


For the majority of people, what they love exists only in the imagination. The object of their love is not the ma or woman of reality, but what he or she is like in their imagination. The person in reality is just a template used for the creation of this dream lover. Eventually, they find out the differences between their dream lover and the template. If they can get used to those differences, they can be together. If not, they will split up. It’s as simple as that.

One of his key points was that the advantages of a large country were only truly advantageous in low-tech eras and would ultimately be weakened by the swift pace of tech progress.

No, you can’t say where it is! Once I know where I am, then the world becomes as narrow as a map. When I don’t know, the world feels unlimited.

It’s because someone who’s perfect in your mind isn’t necessarily perfect in the minds of others.

This is the biggest difference between you and me: I’m just someone who faithfully carries out orders. You, you’re someone who always has to ask why.

people who are sensitive to beauty are good by nature, and if they’re not good, then they can’t appreciate beauty.

Weapons? Money? No, no. What we need is far more precious. The organization doesn’t exist because of Seldon’s ambitious goals. You can’t get a sane, rational person to believe in and die for that. It exists because it possesses something, something that’s its air and blood, and without which the organization would wither away immediately.

What’s that?

Hatred. On one hand, thanks to our common enemy, our hatred of the West has faded. Ont he other, the human race that the Trisolarans want to wipe out includes the hated West, so to us, perishing together would be a joy. So we don’t hate the Trisolarans. You see, hatred is a treasure more precious than gold or diamonds, and a weapon keener than any in the world, but now it’s gone. It’s not yours to give back. SO the organization, like me, does not have long to live.

The layman always comes up with better names than the expert.

First, survival is the primary need of civilization. Second, civilization continuously grows and expands, but the total matter of the universe remains constant.