Bertrand Russell’s intellectual and moral advice

Q: what would you think its worth telling to next generation about life you lived and lesson you leaned ?

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image source : internet

Bertrand Russell : I should like to say two things, one intellectual and one moral:

The intellectual thing I should want to say to them is this: When you are studying any matter or considering any philosophy, ask yourself only what are the facts and what is the truth that the facts bear out. Never let yourself be diverted either by what you wish to believe or by what you think would have beneficent social effects if it were believed, but look only and solely at what are the facts. That is the intellectual thing that I should wish to say.

The moral thing I should wish to say to them is very simple. I should say: Love is wise, hatred is foolish. In this world, which is getting more and more closely interconnected, we have to learn to tolerate each other. We have to learn to put up with the fact that some people say things that we don’t like. We can only live together in that way, and if we are to live together and not die together we must learn a kind of charity and a kind of tolerance which is absolutely vital to the continuation of human life on this planet.

source –http://www.openculture.com/2012/08/face_to_face_with_bertrand_russell_love_is_wise_hatred_is_foolish.html

“Find the voices that speak most to YOU” -Naomi Shihab Nye

Q: What is your advice to writers, especially young writers who are just starting out?

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image source : internet

Naomi Shihab Nye : Number one: Read, Read, and then Read some more. Always Read. Find the voices that speak most to YOU. This is your pleasure and blessing, as well as responsibility!

It is crucial to make one’s own writing circle – friends, either close or far, with whom you trade work and discuss it – as a kind of support system, place-of-conversation and energy. Find those people, even a few, with whom you can share and discuss your works – then do it. Keep the papers flowing among you. Work does not get into the world by itself. We must help it. Share the names of books that have nourished you. I love Writing Toward Home by Georgia Heard, for example. William Stafford’s three books of essays on the subject of writing – Crossing Unmarked Snow is the most recent – all from the Poets on Poetry series of the University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor – are invaluable. I love so many of these new anthologies that keep popping up. Let that circle be sustenance.

There is so much goodness happening in the world of writing today. And there is plenty of ROOM and appetite for new writers. I think there always was. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Attend all the readings you can, and get involved in giving some, if you like to do that. Be part of your own writing community. Often the first step in doing this is simply to let yourself become identified as One Who Cares About Writing!

My motto early on was “Rest and be kind, you don’t have to prove anything” – Jack Kerouac’s advice about writing – I still think it’s true. But working always felt like resting to me.

 

Source : http://www.pifmagazine.com/1999/08/interview-withnaomi-shihab-nye/

 

Wislawa szymborska : some tragedies can’t be talk with a sense of humour

Q: Some of your poems are pessimistic about the state of the world. You have no children: Is the future too gloomy for children?

2. Festiwal Czes³awa Mi³osza w Krakowie

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Wislawa : Actually I would like to know how many people there were in the world when I was born, and how many there are now. I suspect the number has doubled. This is something of great concern for me. A small example. I was born in a little town close to Poznan and there was a big lake there. People went fishing, you could take a boat and sail. Now this lake is tiny. Weeds grow in it. It is going to dry up. And if you think about how many such lakes dry up in the world–and there are always more and more people–then you start having thoughts that aren’t very pleasant.

There are people who say, “Let more people be born, because the earth can sustain them all.” I don’t agree with that. We all know how many people die of malnutrition and diseases that should be extinct. I cannot talk about these things with a sense of humor.

source : http://articles.latimes.com/1996-10-13/opinion/op-53412_1_writing-poems-people

Richard Feynman : be curious and keep wandering

Interviewer : The most enduring legacy from his father was not just learning to question the physical world, but an enthusiasm for the inquiry, which – at 54 – Feynman shares today.

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image source : internet

Feynman: It has to do with curiosity.  It has to do with people wondering what makes something do something.  And then to discover, if you try to get answers, that they are related to each other – that things that make the wind make the waves, that the motion of water is like the motion of air is like the motion of sand.  The fact that things have common features.  It turns out more and more universal.  What we are looking for is how everything works.  What makes everything work.

What happens first in history is that we discover the things that are on the face of it obvious.  And then gradually we ask small questions, and then we dig in a little deeper into things that we need to do a little more complicated experiment to find out about.  But it is curiosity as to where we are, what we are.  It is very much more exciting to discover that we are on a ball, half of us sticking upside down and spinning around in space.  It is a mysterious force which holds us on.  It’s going around a great big glob of gas that is fed by a fire that is completely different from any fire that we can make (but now we can make that fire – nuclear fire.)

That is a much more exciting story to many people than the tales that other people used to make up about the universe – that we were living on the back of a turtle or something like that.  They were wonderful stories, but the truth is so much more remarkable.  So what’s the pleasure in physics for me is that it is revealed that the truth is so remarkable, so amazing, and I have this disease – like many other people who have studied far enough to begin to understand a little of how things work.  They are fascinated by it, and this fascination drives them on to such an extent that they have been able to convince governments and so on to keep supporting them in this investigation.

Source : http://calteches.library.caltech.edu/35/2/PointofView.htm

Bukowski: even men also suffer on the bed

In the August 4, 1972 issue of Nola Express, Alta, poet and publisher of the feminist press Shamless Hussy Press, admitted to being “shocked and hurt” by Bukowski’s rape fantasies-published by Fife in Nola Express.
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[To Darlene Fife]
August 13, 1972
Your Alta is confused. There are men who rapes and men who think of rape. Writing of this does not mean the author condones the rape, even if it is written in the first person. The right of creation is the right to mention what does exit. I even know some women-personally-whose greatest desire is to be raped. Creation is creation. For instance, just because a man is black does not mean he can’t be a son of bitch and just because a woman is a woman does not mean she can’t be a bitch. Let’s not censor ourselves out of reality from a goody-goody stance. Also, from what Alta quotes from my column I can see that she is so fiercely righteous (almost akin to the religious maniac) that she misses the point of the whole thing-that I am poking fun at male attitude towards the female. I’m sorry that Alta has suffered on the marriage bed(as she mentioned). But let me remind the dear girl that men also suffer on marriage bad. Sometimes they are the ones who are doing service. Really. I might say that Alta is a female chauv. Pig. Men are also looking for women who are able to accept love. Prejudice works in all directions. But it’s almost useless to counter an attack like Alta’s. It will only goad her into more goody-goody wrong direction. But, still, sometimes these types must be answered. You know, they used to say, how can a person who loves pets, children and dogs be a bad person? Now it is, how can be a person who is against war, dirty water, dirty air, how can a person who is fighting for women’s right be a bad person? Or, it is used to be, he has long hair and a beard, he is all right. Well shit, you see, it can all be a stance…I reserve the right to create in any manner that reality or humor or even-whim-dictates. All right.

“Be like a tree, fresh and alive”- Thich Nhat Hanh

Q: It is very painful when someone we love has serious difficulties, such as mental illness, post-traumatic stress disorder, or addiction. Sometimes it feels like their problems are so big that we can’t really help them and so we may want to retreat from them and their problems. At other times, we try to help, and then get consumed by the other person’s struggles. What can we do to help in these difficult situations without getting overwhelmed?

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Thich Nhat Hanh : When you feel overwhelmed, you’re trying too hard. That kind of energy does not help the other person and it does not help you. You should not be too eager to help right away. There are two things: to be and to do. Don’t think too much about to do—to be is first. To be peace. To be joy. To be happiness. And then to do joy, to do happiness—on the basis of being. So first you have to focus on the practice of being. Being fresh. Being peaceful. Being attentive. Being generous. Being compassionate. This is the basic practice. It’s like if the other person is sitting at the foot of a tree. The tree does not do anything, but the tree is fresh and alive. When you are like that tree, sending out waves of freshness, you help to calm down the suffering in the other person.

Your presence should be pleasant, it should be calm, and you should be there for him or her. That is a lot already. When children like to come and sit close to you, it’s not because you have a lot of cookies to give, but because sitting close to you is nice, it’s refreshing. So sit next to the person who is suffering and try your best to be your best—pleasant, attentive, fresh.

source : http://www.lionsroar.com/be-beautiful-be-yourself-january-2012/

“Love fades almost all the time”-Woody Allen

Q: Since you are nearing 80, I’m curious: Do you still believe “love fades,” as Annie Hall claims?

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Woody :It fades almost all the time. Once in a while you get lucky and get into a relationship that lasts a very long time. Even a lifetime. But it does fade. Relationships are the most difficult thing people deal with. They deal with loneliness, meeting people, sustaining relationships. You always hear from people, “Well, if you want to have a good relationship you have to work at it.” But there’s nothing else in your life that you really love and enjoy that you have to work at. I love music, but I don’t have to work at it. A guy likes to go out boating on the weekends, he doesn’t think, “Oh, I have to work at it.” He can’t wait to leave work to get to it. That’s the way you have to feel about your relationship. If you feel that you have to work at it — a constant business of looking the other way, sweeping stuff under the rug, compromising — it’s not working.

source : http://www.npr.org/2015/07/29/426827865/at-79-woody-allen-says-theres-still-time-to-do-his-best-work