“Philosophies like Buddhism, Stoicism, Taoism, and possibly Epicureanism (the ancient philosophy, not its modern association with pleasures of the flesh) offer different ways of achieving such a tranquil state, and so they are tempting. I believe, however, that for most of us they are a false if beguiling path.”
I eventually came to the same conclusion, though I’m not confident that I’m right.
“In the private report prepared for President Obama more than three years ago, Gary Hart’s working group laid out prescriptions on a range of operational practices, from the need for smaller, more agile combat units to a shift in the national command structure to a different approach toward preventing nuclear proliferation.”
“Or, as Bastian puts it, ‘Pain is a kind of shortcut to mindfulness: it makes us suddenly aware of everything in the environment. It brutally draws us into a virtual sensory awareness of the world, much like meditation.’ The real bonding power of pain, then, may be in the pleasure we feel so acutely in its wake.”
“Expressing values helps them to signal loyalty to like-minded folks, and a commitment to norms their community holds dear. Discussing compromise, in contrast, risks your seeming a traitor to your allies, and lacking firm value principles.”