The High Art of Minimizing Choices

After the end of the Trojan War, Odysseus finally wanted to go home and see his family. Yet, it was not to be for another 10years. During his long journey home, he had to overcome several obstacles, among them Scylla and Charybdis. Scylla was a female sea monster, and Charybdis was a water torrent. The passage between the two was very narrow, and veering too much to either side would lead to imminent doom. Scylla and Charybdis became famous, and today we sometimes call these situations a Catch 22. We have become artful in designing our lives according to these situations, reducing our choices unnecessarily. What if
we could regain some of these lost choices and design our lives in a winning way?

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Decision making strategies

In life there are times when we have to make decisions. Some of these decisions are about every day things, such as what to eat, and sometimes we have to take decisions that will change the course of our lives, professional as well as personal. What to do in those cases? Usually what happens is that people make long lists, logically think it through and come to the best decision based on a rational point of view. Yet, is that enough? Can a logical decision really satisfy our emotional needs?

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Binaural Beat Music

There are many hypnosis and relaxation CD’s out there. Some of them are good, some of them are absolute rubbish, and a few are really excellent. What the excellent ones have in common is the use of something called binaural beat music in conjunction with hypnotic suggestions. I don’t know about you, but at some point I grew really curious about what exactly binaural beats are, how they work and what they can do for me.

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The Influence of Music on your Mind

Yesterday night I had the dubious pleasure of watching a horror movie called “The Descent”. Although the plot is mediocre at best, I couldn’t help sitting on the couch hanging on to whatever was within reach. Scene upon scene, the dark filming was underlined by dark music that would turn any holiday video into a rendition of “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. So, what really scared me in this movie was not what I saw, but what I heard. Deciding to experiment, I sat down on the couch and watched a couple of scenes without sound, and my fear had all but disappeared. So, what is the incredible power of music?

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How language influences a problem (fun with babelfish!)

Language is the way we represent the world to each-other, it is how we communicate our map of the world to other people. Hence, the way we formulate our problems is important for us too. So today, one of my friends suggested the following experiment: Go to babelfish and put in your problem. Make it a nice description of what is bugging you. Then, translate it into another language (I suggest Japanese), and once translated, translate that back into English. The result will be a new sentence that will make you laugh about your problem, simply because it sounds so strange – and once you laugh about your problem, it stops being one. Try it out yourself, and let me know what happens for you…

For more information about language, read this

Science vs Spirituality (a Battle of Metaphors)

In the minds of many people spirituality is seen as unscientific, and thus as a load of babble that does not actually mean anything. After all, it cannot be proven scientifically speaking, and thus can only be wrong. No amount of maths, or physics for that matter, can show the concepts proclaimed by spiritual people, so why even bother? I would not say that I am a highly spiritual person, neither particularly religious (organised religion as such is a horrible concept). However, I do believe in certain aspects of spiritual teachings, and at the same time, call myself a man of science. How can that be?

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The Way and the Mountain – A Zen Koan


A Master who lived as a hermit on a mountain was asked by a monk,
“What is the Way?”
“What a fine mountain this is,” the master said in reply.
“I am not asking you about the mountain, but about the Way.”
“So long as you cannot go beyond the mountain, my son, you cannot reach the Way,” replied the master.

Should you like this, here another Zen Koan about the mind