Tuesday Letters

The Rational Foundations of Gratefulness

22 May 2017

“Life is given to us; every moment is given. The only appropriate response therefore is gratefulness.”– Brother David Steindl-Rast, from The Music of Silence “This world appears to us rather as a world of suffering than as a world of the delight of e …

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The Restless Tribe

4 May 2017

Enough with the settled life! There is no settled life – do not fool yourselves. Restlessness is the default state of Man. When I was younger, I used to divide people into two categories: the settled and the restless. I put myself in the second categ …

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Connections Are Forever

20 April 2017

Every human connection we make remains with us forever. We cannot annul it. We cannot go back in time and make it vanish. We cannot put it aside, pretend it is not there, or even delete it from our memory. We may attempt to do any of these, but we wi …

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The Biggest Attraction of China

6 April 2017

The biggest attraction of China is … me! At least while I’m here and moving around. Wherever I go (outside of the main tourist destinations), I instantly become the center of attention. Being a strange looking long-nosed, huge-eyed, hairy-cheeked ali …

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Memento Mori

29 March 2017

The most important thing in life is Death. Yet he seems to come from some other domain, another dimension. He is the strangest visitor in this “world of the living.” Although he seems to be a part of life, his mere appearance extinguishes it. He is b …

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The Eternal Ragpicker

26 February 2017

Truly, we do not think, will or act but thought occurs in us, will occurs in us, impulse and act occur in us; our ego-sense gathers around itself, refers to itself all this flow of natural activities. It is cosmic Force, it is Nature that forms the t …

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Parallel Universes

10 February 2017

We live in a world of parallel universes. The universes of politics, cooking, fashion, music, parrots! Many years ago, I decided to buy a macaw parrot. A few weeks later, I found myself immersed in the “world of birds.” I began to discover this alrea …

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USPANTAN

28 January 2017

A chicken-bus quartet in 5 movements On board a minibus in Guatemala, from the town of Coban to the village of Uspantan in 2005, I had a wide range of experiences that led to many inspirations. Later I would write a number of essays under the general …

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Infinite Microcosms

13 January 2017

Infinity is almost always associated with vast entities. We think of the universe as being situated in infinite Space; of Time as extending infinitely along a line backward (the past) and forward (the future); we imagine two parallel straight lines m …

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On Busyness

1 January 2017

The following essay is multi-layered – although it deals with one specific subject, it somehow radiates outward to encompass six months of writing. I bring to light the interconnectedness of my various ideas by providing the relevant colored links to …

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World Travel and World-Travelers

19 December 2016

Last month, I was honored to participate in the annual Airbnb Open festival in Los Angeles. This weekend-long festival was a true celebration of hospitality, openness, and wanderlust. The fascinating program included the announcement of Airbnb’s new …

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An Extra-Terrestrial Amidst the Dogon

4 December 2016

As a child of the 1970s, I was fascinated by the nascent exploration of space. I spent a good part of my teenage years in bookshops searching for books that explained the American and Soviet space-programs or had amazing colour photos of the Apollo m …

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Just For Me

17 November 2016

While I was traveling around the world, one of the things that never ceased to amaze me was just how many events seemed to converge at specific times and places so as to uniquely enrich my travel experiences. Sometimes the “coincidences” were so extr …

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“But Everybody Does It!”

8 November 2016

It is supposed to be the phrase that vanquishes all opposition: “But everybody does it!” Or its corollary: “But nobody does it!” Your elaborate argument, your opinion and carefully expressed points, amount to nothing. Whatever you have just said or a …

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The Era of Sound Bites

23 October 2016

We live in the era of sound bites. The overwhelming majority of our communication has been reduced to posts, tweets, text messages, and one-liners. Attention spans have dwindled, and argumentative reasoning has been reduced to “the final statement,” …

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The World Travels Around Me

7 October 2016

I may assume that there is a world out there in which, embedded, I move, act, and travel. But I may also take another stance, reverse my perspective, and consider myself as being stationary and immobile, around which the world itself “travels”: I do …

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The Little Things

9 September 2016

It is not histories I am writing, but lives; and in the most glorious deeds there is not always an indication of virtue or vice, indeed a small thing like a phrase or a jest often makes a greater revelation of a character than battles where thousands …

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The Others’ Gaze

29 August 2016

The gaze of others defines us. So long as we are alone, we do not possess an outside vision of ourselves to which our acts can be referred; we exist within our inner being, which has no identity and no characteristics. But when others enter the pictu …

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VIP

12 August 2016

When visiting remote areas of the planet I oftentimes felt like a celebrity. In places such as Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, rural Tibet or Iran, in remote parts of India, Ethiopia, Western Africa, even in less touristy places of Latin Ameri …

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The Conscious Suffering of Development

27 July 2016

When we learn to drive a car, we are anxious, struggle, sometimes even suffer. Most importantly, we are continuously conscious. Learning is a process in and through consciousness. When learning ends, its final reward is unconsciousness: We can drive …

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Aliveness

13 July 2016

Dedicated to Brother David Steindl-Rast who turns 90 years young this very day.  Sometimes people get the mistaken notion that spirituality is a separate department of life, the penthouse of our existence. But rightly understood, it is a vital awaren …

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There Is Nothing To Understand

1 July 2016

We are blinded by “name and form.” We are hooked to our understanding that is limited by our limiting definitions. We are appalled by the brutality, bestiality, inhumanness of humans; say a serial killer, with no ethical constraints whatsoever. “How …

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Monumental Encounters

16 June 2016

Every separation is a rehearsal for death. When you part with someone whom in all likelihood you will never see again, this is almost the same as him dying for you. You will never see him again and some day he will die – before or after you, it does …

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Wilma

2 June 2016

For what the Spirit sees, creates a Truth, and what the soul imagines is made a World – Sri Aurobindo   Cancun, Mexico My itinerary said: “20th of October – Travel to Cancun via Chichen Itza.” Cancun: the latest tourist capital of Mexico. Chiche …

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The Incompleteness of Man

18 May 2016

Look at an animal – a cat, a cockroach, a fish in the ocean. All have everything they need. All are already everything they need to be. Animals are born complete. There is nothing to be added to a fish or a cockroach from the moment it is born until …

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© 2017 Nicos Hadjicostis