All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.

— Blaise Pascal

For awhile now, I’ve been saving perspectives on humanity’s underlying and ultimate challenges.

Some of these viewpoints are explicitly statedlike John Maynard Keynes referring to mankind’s “permanent problem.” Others are implicit, and I’ve taken the liberty to organize them into common themes where it seems to make sense.

I see this article as a work in progressforever in draft formbecause I will continue to add more perspectives as I come across them.

Quick Note: The intention…

Want to cut to the chase and just sign up for Sloww Sunday? You can do that right here.

Sloww Sunday is a free email newsletter sharing inspiration to awaken the art of living in all of us.

I come across all sorts of intriguing content in any given week. Sloww Sunday is where I share the best of what I find. It’s a weekly roundup in a consistent format, so you always know what to expect.

The newsletter includes links and short descriptions of:

  • The latest Sloww blog posts from the week
  • A fascinating article worth reading
  • A mind-expanding…

Last year, I published The Top 3 Life-Changing Books I Read in 2018 (& Worth Your Time in 2019).

The top 3 (in no particular order) included:

  • Voluntary Simplicity: Toward a Way of Life That Is Outwardly Simple, Inwardly Rich by Duane Elgin (Summary | Amazon)
  • A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle (Summary | Amazon)
  • Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown (Summary | Amazon)

This year, I became much more intentional about my reading and created a reading list.

I started asking myself:

  • What books should I really read?
  • What are the…

Sloww Stillness is the Key Ryan Holiday
Sloww Stillness is the Key Ryan Holiday

In Stillness is the Key, I feel like Ryan Holiday simply set out to write a guide to the good life — it just so happens that you can weave a theme of stillness through that guide.

If you’re new to philosophy or spirituality, this book is perfect for you. Holiday introduces the reader to countless concepts and ideas, but he doesn’t go too deep into them. It’s almost like this book is an introduction to the world’s timeless wisdom.

Overall, the book is an easy and quick read. Ryan weaves in numerous examples and quotes to keep things interesting…

Sloww Zen Ten Bulls
Sloww Zen Ten Bulls

Although I’m already familiar with most of the topics in Ryan Holiday’s new book, Stillness is the Key, I’m grateful that the book introduced me to this story. Holiday says:

One of the best stories in Zen literature is a series of ten poems about a farmer and his trouble with a bull. …

Sloww Durant The Lessons Of History Book Summary
Sloww Durant The Lessons Of History Book Summary

Looking for the full book summary? You can find it here: 35 Human Learnings from “The Lessons of History” by Will & Ariel Durant (Book Summary)

Civilization owes Will and Ariel Durant a debt of gratitude for dedicating their lives to the study and understanding of history. It could be said that The Lessons of History is the definitive summary of their 50+ years of expertise.

As mentioned in the previous post, I also found a transcript of two hours of interviews with the Durants that Farnam Street posted. I’ve incorporated highlights from the interview content into the book summary…

Sloww Durant The Lessons Of History Book Summary
Sloww Durant The Lessons Of History Book Summary

“There is something greater than history. Somewhere, sometime, in the name of humanity, we must challenge a thousand evil precedents, and dare to apply the Golden Rule to nations.” — Will Durant

Note: To make this post length more manageable, I created a separate post for top quotes and deep questions (e.g. Has human nature changed? Is progress real?). You can find it here: 50 Profound Quotes & 5 Deep Questions from “The Lessons of History”

I’m no history buff, but I thoroughly enjoyed Will and Ariel Durant’s short book The Lessons of History.

After hearing this book referenced on…

Sloww Gerotranscendence
Sloww Gerotranscendence

There’s definitely something universally intriguing about transcendence.

Maslow revised his own hierarchy of needs late in his life to propose transcendence — or self-actualizing transcenders — above self-actualization as the highest height of humanity and full humanness.

Similarly, apparently Erik Erikson’s eight stages of psychosocial development were supplemented by his wife, Joan Erikson, to add gerotranscendence as part of a ninth developmental stage.¹

There’s a growing body of research out there about “positive aging,” “successful aging,” “mindful sustainable aging,” and even “a contemplative dimension of aging.”

But, if humanity is currently a teenager, it seems like it would be beneficial…

Sloww Maslow Theory Z Transcender
Sloww Maslow Theory Z Transcender

Looking for the full book summary of Maslow’s “The Farther Reaches of Human Nature”? How about deep dive notes on self-actualization or transcendence?

This post includes Maslow’s highlights on self-actualizing transcenders from The Farther Reaches of Human Nature— primarily from his writing on Theory Z.

Post Contents:

  • Overview of Self-Actualizers vs Transcenders
  • 24 Differences Between Transcenders and Self-Actualizers

As always, all quotes are from the author unless otherwise stated, and I’ve added emphasis to quotes in bold.

Self-Actualizers vs Self-Actualizing Transcenders from Maslow’s The Farther Reaches of Human Nature

In the work near the end of his life, Maslow begins to realize there are differences between the humans at the top of…

Sloww Transcendence Maslow Hierarchy of Needs
Sloww Transcendence Maslow Hierarchy of Needs

“Man’s true fulfillment depends upon communion with that which transcends him.” — Heschel

This post includes Maslow’s writing on transcendence from The Farther Reaches of Human Nature.

Note: You can use these links to read my “Farther Reaches” book summary and deep dives into self-actualization and self-actualizing transcenders.

Post Contents:

  • What is Transcendence?
  • Maslow’s Various Meanings of Transcendence (35 Descriptions)

As always, all quotes are from the author unless otherwise stated, and I’ve added emphasis to quotes in bold.

What is Transcendence?

Here’s the ultimate definition of transcendence from Maslow:

  • “Transcendence refers the very highest and most inclusive or holistic levels of human…


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