Leonid Pasternak, 1928, Portrait of Rilke
Exploring Philosophy, Meaning

Rainer Maria Rilke on Letting in Sadness

In late 1902, a young officer cadet began corresponding with poet Rainer Maria Rilke. ‘Letters to a Young Poet’ is a collection of Rilke’s letters to the young aspiring writer. In Letter No. 8, Rilke addresses the transformative nature of sadness.

Friedrich Justin Bertuch, 1806, Bilderbuch für Kinder
Circumstance

A Note to the Wounded

And to the wounded- there will be further battles, but we shouldn’t live in fear of returning to the trenches. Quotes from Aristotle, Keats, Lewis & Chapin.

Gonzales Coques, ,17th century, Old man with an hourglass.
Virtue

What Does It Mean to Be Patient?

When overcome by a sense of urgency, we tend to bulldoze forward blindly. The mistakes we make in impatience are often grave. With quotes from Paulo Coelho, Saint Luke & Ovid.

Osmar Schindler, 1888, "David und Goliath". Colour lithograph
Meaning, Virtue

The Function of Fear

Fear offers us a very plain choice; be courageous or be a coward. A hero or a reprobate. With quotes from Michel de Montaigne, Seneca, George R.R. Martin & William Shakespeare.

William Merritt Chase, c.1887, Young Woman Before a Mirror
Circumstance, Meaning, Virtue

Listening to Low Self-Esteem

Jane Austen in 1814 said; “We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be”. Instead of believing that feelings of low self-esteem must be cast away immediately, first hear what they have to say.

Edvard Munch, 1896, Separation
Circumstance, Virtue

The Moment Before We React

When we are mistreated, most of us react, and reactions are emotional. We get angry, upset and we grasp the wrongful treatment with both hands, like a crab might his dinner.

Coloured lithograph, 1870, after J. Bakewell, 1771.
Circumstance, Meaning, Virtue

Turning Against the Ideal

We look up at the ideal we fall so short of, embittered. If only that target wasn’t so high, or better again, if it didn’t exist at all, we wouldn’t appear so dreadful! In doing so, we bring the heavens crashing down to join us in the slums. Now we are level.