NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
THE WASHINGTON POST • THE NEW YORK TIMES • NPR
BOOKS FOR A BETTER LIFE AWARD FINALIST
At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.
What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir.
Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. “I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything,” he wrote. “Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: ‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on.’” When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing death and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a brilliant writer who became both.
Praise for When Breath Becomes Air
“I guarantee that finishing this book and then forgetting about it is simply not an option. . . . Part of this book’s tremendous impact comes from the obvious fact that its author was such a brilliant polymath. And part comes from the way he conveys what happened to him—passionately working and striving, deferring gratification, waiting to live, learning to die—so well.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“An emotional investment well worth making: a moving and thoughtful memoir of family, medicine and literature. It is, despite its grim undertone, accidentally inspiring.”—The Washington Post
“Possesses the gravity and wisdom of an ancient Greek tragedy . . . [Kalanithi] delivers his chronicle in austere, beautiful prose. The book brims with insightful reflections on mortality that are especially poignant coming from a trained physician familiar with what lies ahead.”—The Boston Globe
“Devastating and spectacular . . . [Kalanithi] is so likeable, so relatable, and so humble, that you become immersed in his world and forget where it’s all heading.”—USA Today
“It’s [Kalanithi’s] unsentimental approach that makes When Breath Becomes Air so original—and so devastating. . . . Its only fault is that the book, like his life, ends much too early.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Split my head open with its beauty.”—Cheryl Strayed
In Illusions, the unforgettable follow-up to his phenomenal bestseller Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach takes to the air to discover the ageless truths that give our souls wings: that people don't need airplanes to soar...that even the darkest clouds have meaning once we lift ourselves above them... and that messiahs can be found in the unlikeliest places--like hay fields, one-traffic-light midwestern towns, and most of all, deep within ourselves.
NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY SPIRITUALITY & HEALTH
The practice of hatha yoga, as we commonly know it, is but one of eight branches of the body of knowledge that is yoga. In fact, yoga is a sophisticated system of self-empowerment that is capable of harnessing and activating inner energies in such a way that your body and mind function at their optimal capacity. It is a means to create inner situations exactly the way you want them, turning you into the architect of your own joy.
A yogi lives life in this expansive state, and in this transformative book Sadhguru tells the story of his own awakening, from a boy with an unusual affinity for the natural world to a young daredevil who crossed the Indian continent on his motorcycle. He relates the moment of his enlightenment on a mountaintop in southern India, where time stood still and he emerged radically changed. Today, as the founder of Isha, an organization devoted to humanitarian causes, he lights the path for millions. The term guru, he notes, means “dispeller of darkness, someone who opens the door for you. . . . As a guru, I have no doctrine to teach, no philosophy to impart, no belief to propagate. And that is because the only solution for all the ills that plague humanity is self-transformation. Self-transformation means that nothing of the old remains. It is a dimensional shift in the way you perceive and experience life.” The wisdom distilled in this accessible, profound, and engaging book offers readers time-tested tools that are fresh, alive, and radiantly new. Inner Engineering presents a revolutionary way of thinking about our agency and our humanity and the opportunity to achieve nothing less than a life of joy.
Praise for Sadhguru and Inner Engineering
“Contrarian and consistent, ancient and contemporary, Inner Engineering is a loving invitation to live our best lives and a profound reassurance of why and how we can.”—Sir Ken Robinson, author of The Element, Finding Your Element, and Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative
“I am inspired by Sadhguru’s capacity for joy, his exuberance for life, and the depth and breadth of his curiosity and knowledge. His book is filled with moments of wonder, awe, and intellectual challenge. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in self-transformation.”—Mark Hyman, M.D., director, Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, and New York Times bestselling author
“Inner Engineering is a fascinating read of Sadhguru’s insights and his teachings. If you are ready, it is a tool to help awaken your own inner intelligence, the ultimate and supreme genius that mirrors the wisdom of the cosmos.”—Deepak Chopra
Under the guidance of such celebrated masters as Ed Parker and the immortal Bruce Lee, Joe Hyams vividly recounts his more than 25 years of experience in the martial arts. In his illuminating story, Hyams reveals to you how the daily application of Zen principles not only developed his physical expertise but gave him the mental discipline to control his personal problems-self-image, work pressure, competition. Indeed, mastering the spiritual goals in martial arts can dramatically alter the quality of your life-enriching your relationships with people, as well as helping you make use of all your abilities.
In his widely praised book, award-winning psychologist Jonathan Haidt examines the world's philosophical wisdom through the lens of psychological science, showing how a deeper understanding of enduring maxims--like "do unto others as you would have others do unto you," or "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger"--can enrich and even transform our lives.
Sophie Young was born into a dysfunctional family, with a violent mother and father. Sophie was routinely neglected and harmed, starved and left to fend for herself. Social workers were often involved but, despite numerous visits and extensive reports, nothing was ever done.
When Sophie was six, her life took another horrible turn: her adored grandfather began to sexually abuse her.
Please Will Someone Help Me? is Sophie Young's heartbreaking story about a young girl at the mercy of the adult world. With full access to her social work files, she shows how those who are meant to help children can be blind to the reality of their lives; but how, ultimately, love conquers all.
Sophie Young was the eldest of three, born into a dysfunctional family that she fought for years to escape. Now forty years old, she lives in England with her husband and children, and works as a volunteer for a national children's charity.
Writing with his one-of-a-kind blend of causal humor, exacting intellect, and practical philosophy, David Foster Wallace probes the challenges of daily living and offers advice that renews us with every reading.
This book will help you learn how to tap into those areas of your mind that you normally let run on autopilot. You will be able to take charge of your life and begin to use your mental powers to improve your life and yourself.
Your mind contains not only vast amounts of information, but untapped mental powers that you can unlock and begin to use. From the power of persuasion to the law of attraction, you too can tap into your own unused brainpower to unlock your full potential. Stop watching other people get ahead in life when you can do the same for yourself, starting now.
In this updated edition of Lakoff and Johnson's influential book, the authors supply an afterword surveying how their theory of metaphor has developed within the cognitive sciences to become central to the contemporary understanding of how we think and how we express our thoughts in language.
Daring Greatly, a book by researcher Brene Brown, deals with vulnerability. But its key tenet is one that will surprise many people. That tenet is the idea that being vulnerable is not a negative aspect of a person’s life, but a positive one. Only by being vulnerable, by risking hurt or failure, can people open themselves to all the possibilities in life. Those are the opportunities that can make people happier, enable them to connect better with others, and become more creative and productive.
Many people believe vulnerability is a sign of weakness and failure. Exposing this myth helps people understand that being vulnerable is a way to grab the best life has to offer.
Shame has often been seen as a direct result of vulnerability. However, vulnerability opens people to new possibilities. Shame closes off those possibilities by making people afraid to try new things and to develop new relationships…
PLEASE NOTE: This is key takeaways and analysis of the book and NOT the original book.
Inside this Instaread of Daring Greatly:
• Key Takeaways of the book
• Introduction to the important people in the book
• Analysis of the Key Takeaways
About the Author
With Instaread, you can get the key takeaways and analysis of a book in 15 minutes. We read every chapter, identify the key takeaways and analyze them for your convenience.
The radical and compelling message of Buddhism tells us that each of us has the wisdom, awareness, love, and power of the Buddha within; yet most of us are too often like sleeping Buddhas. In Awakening the Buddha Within, Surya Das shows how we can awaken to who we really are in order to lead a more compassionate, enlightened, and balanced life. It illuminates the guidelines and key principles embodied in the noble Eight-Fold Path and the traditional Three Enlightenment Trainings common to all schools of Buddhism:
Wisdom Training: Developing clear vision, insight, and inner understanding -- seeing reality and ourselves as we really are.
Ethics Training: Cultivating virtue, self-discipline, and compassion in what we say and do.
Meditation Training: Practicing mindfulness, concentration, and awareness of the present moment.
With lively stories, meditations, and spiritual practices, Awakening the Buddha Within is an invaluable text for the novice and experienced student of Buddhism alike.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Steiner provides practical exercises of inner and outer observation and moral development. By patiently and persistently following his guidelines, new "organs" of soul and spirit begin to form, which reveal the contours of the higher worlds thus far concealed from us.
Steiner in this important work becomes a teacher, a counselor, and a friend whose advice is practical, clear, and effective. The challenges we face in life require increasingly deeper levels of understanding, and Steiner's text helps readers to cultivate the capacities for such insights and places them at the service of humanity.
This is Steiner's most essential guide to the modern path of initiation he advocated throughout his life. It has been translated into many languages and has inspired hundreds of thousands of readers around the world. How to Know Higher Worlds has been admired by some of the most brilliant minds of our time.
Contents: Foreword by Arthur Zajonc Prefaces by Rudolf Steiner How to Know Higher Worlds The Stages of Initiation Initiation Practical Considerations Requirements for Esoteric Training Some Effects of Initiation Changes in the Dream Life of the Esoteric Student Achieving Continuity of Consciousness The Splitting of the Personality in Esoteric Training The Guardian of the Threshold Life and Death: The Great Guardian of the Threshold Epilogue (1918) Afterword by Arthur Zajonc Index
"A true classic of spiritual literature. It is one of the best ways I know for opening up one's life to the spiritual realms in a manner that is balanced, integrated, and loving. It is the product of a great soul who pointed out new routes into the interior." --David Spangler, author of Blessing: The Art and the Practice
"It is not only a personal guide to the spirit, but also a path through self-knowledge to compassionate action in the world."--Arthur Zajonc, author of Catching the Light: The Entwined History of Light and Mind
How did we come to have minds?
For centuries, this question has intrigued psychologists, physicists, poets, and philosophers, who have wondered how the human mind developed its unrivaled ability to create, imagine, and explain. Disciples of Darwin have long aspired to explain how consciousness, language, and culture could have appeared through natural selection, blazing promising trails that tend, however, to end in confusion and controversy. Even though our understanding of the inner workings of proteins, neurons, and DNA is deeper than ever before, the matter of how our minds came to be has largely remained a mystery.
That is now changing, says Daniel C. Dennett. In From Bacteria to Bach and Back, his most comprehensive exploration of evolutionary thinking yet, he builds on ideas from computer science and biology to show how a comprehending mind could in fact have arisen from a mindless process of natural selection. Part philosophical whodunit, part bold scientific conjecture, this landmark work enlarges themes that have sustained Dennett’s legendary career at the forefront of philosophical thought.
In his inimitable style—laced with wit and arresting thought experiments—Dennett explains that a crucial shift occurred when humans developed the ability to share memes, or ways of doing things not based in genetic instinct. Language, itself composed of memes, turbocharged this interplay. Competition among memes—a form of natural selection—produced thinking tools so well-designed that they gave us the power to design our own memes. The result, a mind that not only perceives and controls but can create and comprehend, was thus largely shaped by the process of cultural evolution.
An agenda-setting book for a new generation of philosophers, scientists, and thinkers, From Bacteria to Bach and Back will delight and entertain anyone eager to make sense of how the mind works and how it came about.
Offering lucid explanations of the neural workings that underlie identity, she reveals how the latest research into consciousness, memory, and free will can help us reexamine enduring philosophical, ethical, and spiritual questions: What shapes our personalities? How do we account for near-death experiences? How do we make decisions? And why do we feel empathy for others? Recent scientific discoveries also provide insights into a fascinating range of real-world dilemmas—for example, whether an adolescent can be held responsible for his actions and whether a patient in a coma can be considered a self.
Churchland appreciates that the brain-based understanding of the mind can unnerve even our greatest thinkers. At a conference she attended, a prominent philosopher cried out, “I hate the brain; I hate the brain!” But as Churchland shows, he need not feel this way. Accepting that our brains are the basis of who we are liberates us from the shackles of superstition. It allows us to take ourselves seriously as a product of evolved mechanisms, past experiences, and social influences. And it gives us hope that we can fix some grievous conditions, and when we cannot, we can at least understand them with compassion.
To survive the roller-coaster ride of life, with its ever-changing shifts from pleasure to pain, gain to loss, and praise to blame, requires a substantial depth of patience. In this life-changing book, Allan Lokos sheds new light on this much-sought-after state of mind, and provides a road map for cultivating greater patience in one's life.
According to Lokos, to develop a depth of patience we must first acknowledge the unhappiness caused by our impatience and anger in its many manifestations-from mild annoyance to rage. In this revelatory book, Lokos draws on his many years as a Buddhist practitioner and spiritual teacher, as well as interviews with a wide range of individuals who have had their patience tested-often dramatically so-and lays out a compelling path to the heart of patience."
He suddenly discovered that by lightly touching his clients while at the same time applying focused intent, he could restore them to a physically, mentally, and spiritually balanced state, instantly shifting misalignments that had plagued them for years. Most astonishing of all, he could teach anyone how to do this. Now, for millions of people looking for empowerment in an age of declining and impersonal healthcare, Dr. Bartlett shares this phenomenon in a book full of explosive potential.
In Matrix Energetics, Dr. Bartlett builds upon his popular seminars to teach us how to access the discovery he has made -- a process that merges the science of subtle energy with our innate imaginations to produce measurable results. By applying forces known to modern physics, each of us can tap into states of healthy awareness from different moments -- in essence, travel in time -- and bring them into the present for immediate, profound results. As Dr. Bartlett clearly shows, this practice requires no special training, produces transformation in the blink of an eye, and is available to everyone who has a willingness to learn.
Matrix Energetics, The Science and Art of Transformation, provides an easily-reproducible, results-oriented process of change that draws on the fundamental principles embraced by the field of quantum physics. This paradigm-busting book can teach anyone how to access their creative power to heal and transform their lives. Dr. Richard Bartlett discovered that what he once thought about the human body was just the tip of the iceberg -- after seeing change beneath his hands, and hearing about the invisible transformations that were often revealed later -- he knew that he had to pass along what he had discovered.
In the spirit of works by Deepak Chopra and Ram Dass, The Exquisite Risk unfolds in chapters like “The Struggle to Be Real,” “There Are Teachers Everywhere,” “The Rhythm of Kindness,” and “The Gift of Surprise,” offering fresh perspective on the art of being alive and providing essential insight into how we can minimize what stands between us and our experience of life.
From the Hardcover edition.
Among Ernest Holmes’s earliest works, Creative Mind and Success is the sage’s consummate guide to the power of positive thought in finance and the workplace, and as a motivating force in living out one’s dreams.
For Badiou, love is an existential project, a constantly unfolding quest for truth. This quest begins with the chance encounter, an event that forever changes two individuals, challenging them “to see the world from the point of view of two rather than one.” This, Badiou believes, is love’s most essential transforming power.
Invoking a vibrant cast of thinkers, from Kierkegaard, Plato, and de Beauvoir to Proust, Lacan, and Beckett, Badiou creates a new narrative of love in the face of twenty-first-century modernity. Moving, zealous, and wise, In Praise of Love urges us not to fear love but to see it as an adventure, a magnificent undertaking that compels us to explore others and to move away from an obsession with ourselves.
In this elegant and clearly written work, Margaret Graver gives a compelling new interpretation of the Stoic position. Drawing on a vast range of ancient sources, she argues that the chief demand of Stoic ethics is not that we should suppress or deny our feelings, but that we should perfect the rational mind at the core of every human being. Like all our judgments, the Stoics believed, our affective responses can be either true or false and right or wrong, and we must assume responsibility for them. Without glossing over the difficulties, Graver also shows how the Stoics dealt with those questions that seem to present problems for their theory: the physiological basis of affective responses, the phenomenon of being carried away by one’s emotions, the occurrence of involuntary feelings and the disordered behaviors of mental illness. Ultimately revealing the deeper motivations of Stoic philosophy, Stoicism and Emotion uncovers the sources of its broad appeal in the ancient world and illuminates its surprising relevance to our own.
Artificial Intelligence: The Basics is a concise and cutting-edge introduction to the fast moving world of AI. The author Kevin Warwick, a pioneer in the field, examines issues of what it means to be man or machine and looks at advances in robotics which have blurred the boundaries. Topics covered include:how intelligence can be defined whether machines can 'think' sensory input in machine systems the nature of consciousness the controversial culturing of human neurons.
Exploring issues at the heart of the subject, this book is suitable for anyone interested in AI, and provides an illuminating and accessible introduction to this fascinating subject.
The third edition has been thoroughly updated throughout to reflect developments of the past decade, and it is the only text of its kind that provides a serious and respectful treatment of substance dualism. This edition also includes two new chapters on the nature of consciousness and the status of consciousness. Throughout the text, author Jaegwon Kim allows readers to come to their own terms with the central problems of the mind. At the same time, Kim's emerging views are on display and serve to move the discussion forward. Comprehensive, clear, and fair, Philosophy of Mind is a model of philosophical exposition and a significant contribution to the field.
Man has always been fascinated by the world of dreams. For thousands of years, dreams have been important to many cultures. They are how we can get in touch with ourselves, to learn, to grow and to overcome. However, how can we fully explore our dreams when they fade as we wake up? The answer is lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is when we know that we are in a dream state and therefore, we can look at our dream elements and find the meaning behind them.
Everything that we see in our dreams is produced by our own minds; lucid dreaming allows us to be aware of what we see in our dreams, helping us to learn and to remember what we have seen.
Written in an informal and conversational style, this stimulating and provocative book challenges many widely held views about death, as it invites the reader to take a fresh look at one of the central features of the human condition—the fact that we will die.
Gesture and Thought expands on McNeill’s acclaimed classic Hand and Mind. While that earlier work demonstrated what gestures reveal about thought, here gestures are shown to be active participants in both speaking and thinking. Expanding on an approach introduced by Lev Vygotsky in the 1930s, McNeill posits that gestures are key ingredients in an “imagery-language dialectic” that fuels both speech and thought. Gestures are both the “imagery” and components of “language.” The smallest element of this dialectic is the “growth point,” a snapshot of an utterance at its beginning psychological stage. Utilizing several innovative experiments he created and administered with subjects spanning several different age, gender, and language groups, McNeill shows how growth points organize themselves into utterances and extend to discourse at the moment of speaking.
An ambitious project in the ongoing study of the relationship of human communication and thought, Gesture and Thought is a work of such consequence that it will influence all subsequent theory on the subject.
With scientific expertise and literary facility, bestselling author and world famous neuroscientist Antonio Damasio concludes his groundbreaking trilogy in Looking for Spinoza, exploring the cerebral processes that keep us alive and make life worth living.
This Third Edition builds on these strengths, and incorporates new material on theories of consciousness, computationalism, the language of thought, and animal minds as well as other emerging areas of research.? With an updated reading list at the end of each chapter and a revised bibliography, this new edition will again make it the indispensable primer for anyone seeking better understanding of the central metaphysical issues in philosophy of mind.?
Soul Machine takes us back to the origins of modernity, a time when a crisis in religious authority and the scientific revolution led to searching questions about the nature of human inner life. This is the story of how a new concept—the mind—emerged as a potential solution, one that was part soul and part machine, but fully neither.
In this groundbreaking work, award-winning historian George Makari shows how writers, philosophers, physicians, and anatomists worked to construct notions of the mind as not an ethereal thing, but a natural one. From the ascent of Oliver Cromwell to the fall of Napoleon, seminal thinkers like Hobbes, Locke, Diderot, and Kant worked alongside often-forgotten brain specialists, physiologists, and alienists in the hopes of mapping the inner world. Conducted in a cauldron of political turmoil, these frequently shocking, always embattled efforts would give rise to psychiatry, mind sciences such as phrenology, and radically new visions of the self. Further, they would be crucial to the establishment of secular ethics and political liberalism. Boldly original, wide-ranging, and brilliantly synthetic, Soul Machine gives us a masterful, new account of the making of the modern Western mind.
From dogs to gods, the science of understanding mysterious minds—including your own.
Nothing seems more real than the minds of other people. When you consider what your boss is thinking or whether your spouse is happy, you are admitting them into the "mind club." It’s easy to assume other humans can think and feel, but what about a cow, a computer, a corporation? What kinds of mind do they have? Daniel M. Wegner and Kurt Gray are award-winning psychologists who have discovered that minds—while incredibly important—are a matter of perception. Their research opens a trove of new findings, with insights into human behavior that are fascinating, frightening and funny.
The Mind Club explains why we love some animals and eat others, why people debate the existence of God so intensely, how good people can be so cruel, and why robots make such poor lovers. By investigating the mind perception of extraordinary targets—animals, machines, comatose people, god—Wegner and Gray explain what it means to have a mind, and why it matters so much.
Fusing cutting-edge research and personal anecdotes, The Mind Club explores the moral dimensions of mind perception with wit and compassion, revealing the surprisingly simple basis for what compels us to love and hate, to harm and to protect.
From the Hardcover edition.
Ethical naturalism is not just a revamped form of relativism. Indeed, Johnson attempts to overcome the absolutist-versus-relativist impasse that has been one of the most intractable problems in the history of philosophy. He does so through a careful and inclusive look at the many ways we reason about right and wrong. Much of our moral thought, he shows, is automatic and intuitive, gut feelings that we follow up and attempt to justify with rational analysis and argument. However, good moral deliberation is not limited merely to intuitive judgments supported after the fact by reasoning. Johnson points out a crucial third element: we imagine how our decisions will play out, how we or the world would change with each action we might take. Plumbing this imaginative dimension of moral reasoning, he provides a psychologically sophisticated view of moral problem solving, one perfectly suited for the embodied, culturally embedded, and ever-developing human creatures that we are.
In Running with the Pack, he reveals the most significant runs of his life—from the entire day he spent running as a boy in Wales, to the runs along French beaches and up Irish mountains with his beloved wolf, Brenin, and through Florida swamps with his dog, Nina. Intertwined with this honest, passionate, and witty memoir are the fascinating meditations that those runs triggered, including mortality, midlife, and the meaning of life.
A highly original and moving book that will make the philosophically inclined want to run, and make those who love running become intoxicated by the beauty of philosophy.