The Shames Of Anger

I’ve written before, here on this blog, about the pleasures of anger, of holding on to grudges–the two are, of course, inter-related, for very often it is the pleasure of experiencing anger that allows us to retain a long-held grudge. These ‘pleasures,’ such as they are, have a role to play in the economy ofContinue reading “The Shames Of Anger”

Anger, Melancholia, And Distraction

Anger is a funny business; it’s an unpleasant emotion for those on the receiving end, and very often, in its effects, on those who are possessed by it. And there is no denying that it affords a pleasure of sorts to those consumed by it; it would not have the fatal attraction it does ifContinue reading “Anger, Melancholia, And Distraction”

The Fragile Digital World Described By Zeynep Tufkeci Invites Smashing

In “The Looming Digital Meltdown” (New York Times, January 7th), Zeynep Tufekci writes, We have built the digital world too rapidly. It was constructed layer upon layer, and many of the early layers were never meant to guard so many valuable things: our personal correspondence, our finances, the very infrastructure of our lives. Design shortcutsContinue reading “The Fragile Digital World Described By Zeynep Tufkeci Invites Smashing”

Shlomo Breznitz On ‘The Mystery Of Courage’

In First Words: A Childhood in Fascist Italy Rosetta Loy cites Shlomo Breznitz‘s Memory Fields: The fascination of hiding doesn’t amount to much compared to the mystery of courage, especially courage on behalf of others. It is when fear tells you to run and your mind tells you to stay, when your body tells you to saveContinue reading “Shlomo Breznitz On ‘The Mystery Of Courage’”

On Bearing Grudges

I bear grudges. Some of them are of impressive vintage, their provenance almost hidden, tucked away in some distant corner of my memories and recollections. Yet others are more callow, stemming from events and incidents that have barely received their marching papers. Some burn with a fierce intensity, the glow of yet others is dull,Continue reading “On Bearing Grudges”

Broadchurch’s Grieving Mother And Our Reactions To ‘Victims’

Viewers of the BBC’s Broadchurch are subjected to a trial of sorts: we have to watch, in some excruciating detail, the reactions of parents, and in particular, a mother, to the violent death of a beloved child–at the hands of a malevolent, unknown actor. Paying close attention to our reactions to what we see andContinue reading “Broadchurch’s Grieving Mother And Our Reactions To ‘Victims’”

Justin Caouette On Rational And Emotional Forgiveness

Over at The Philosopher’s Take Justin Caouette wonders if there is a distinction between two kinds of forgiveness, ‘cognitive’ and ‘rational’: Cognitive forgiveness deals with understanding the act that was done to you. So, let’s say your good friend punched you in the face when you walked into his house. After the incident and afterContinue reading “Justin Caouette On Rational And Emotional Forgiveness”

Notes On Meditation Practice – II

Meditation induces two interesting forms of self-consciousness that do not arise during the actual sitting itself. They are, rather, ways of regarding the practice of meditation as it meshes with the rest of the meditator’s life. First, the meditator is self-consciously aware of the fact that he is one. The normal, ongoing processes of identityContinue reading “Notes On Meditation Practice – II”

On Avoiding An Embarrassing Meltdown In The Classroom

A week or so ago, I sensed trouble was afoot, that danger was brewing–pick your favored cliché–in my teaching work. I was growing steadily irritated, being driven to apoplexy by an insidious irritant: a student’s behavior had gotten under my skin. He could do nothing right; I found myself handing out imaginary dressing-downs in class,Continue reading “On Avoiding An Embarrassing Meltdown In The Classroom”

On Being Protected By My Father

Around the time my father retired from his military service, he decided to build a home on the then-still-developing outskirts of India’s capital, New Delhi. We bought a small plot of land, hired a contractor, and work began. We–my mother, my brother, and I–occasionally accompanied my father on his many trips to inspect the progressContinue reading “On Being Protected By My Father”