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HISTORY OF IDEAS: Modernity – School of Life

This is a film about how the world became modern – and in particular what is exciting and beautiful about this development, and at the same time, what is hugely depressing and possibly madness-inducing about it. “Since the middle of the eighteenth century, beginning in Northern Europe and then spreading to every corner of theContinue reading “HISTORY OF IDEAS: Modernity – School of Life”

School of Life: Albert Camus – The Plague

There is no more important book to understand our times than Albert Camus’s The Plague, a novel about a virus that spreads uncontrollably from animals to humans and ends up destroying half the population of a representative modern town. Camus speaks to us now not because he was a magical seer, but because he correctlyContinue reading “School of Life: Albert Camus – The Plague”

Why It Is So Hard to Live in the Present – School of Life

“Very many of us suffer from a peculiar-sounding problem: an inability to properly inhabit the stretch of time we call ‘the present’. Maybe we’re on a beautiful beach on a sunny day, the sky is azure and the palm trees slender and implausibly delicate, but most of ‘us’ isn’t actually here at all, it’s somewhereContinue reading “Why It Is So Hard to Live in the Present – School of Life”

How to Be Kinder to Ourselves – School of Life

Many of us have a tendency to be very unkind towards ourselves; made all the more pernicious by the fact that we are not even aware of doing so. To practice greater self-compassion, we need to recognise the forms our self-hatred takes – and where their roots might lie.

Why Voltaire Said: You Must Cultivate Your Own Garden – School of Life

Voltaire’s phrase – you must cultivate your own garden – is one of the most famous statements in the world. But what did Voltaire mean by this – and what can we learn from it to help us live our lives today? Here is a recipe for how to survive our troubled times.