The Examined Life seeks to elicit and explore questions from some of today’s most interesting thinkers.  The project draws on the wisdom of  academics, artists, activists and politicians from across the globe.

Each contributor has been asked to distill their concerns, passions or preoccupations into a single question that we should be asking ourselves.

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The Examined Life seeks to elicit and explore questions from some of today’s most interesting thinkers.  The project draws on the wisdom of  academics, artists, activists and politicians from across the globe.

Each contributor has been asked to distill their concerns, passions or preoccupations into a single question that we should be asking ourselves.

“So we continually think that and the world is about to come to an end, and I think a lot of this extinction anxiety stems from that that way of thinking.”
“I'm very attracted by the idea of education not as a way of instilling authorised knowledge into the empty minds of new people, but of education as a way of drawing people into the world in such a way that it can be made present to them and they can attend to it”
“A strong spiritual life is 80% protective against addiction, then it seems to me that the mass epidemic of addiction is because we haven't realized our spiritual nature.”
“Synchronicity is our greatest gift to open up a new door, because it feels not as we've planned, because it is a kerfuffling of what the ego had planned for the day.”
“Half of Gen Z is depressed or addicted - that's not an individual's stumbling block, that is a mass cultural indoctrination out of our birthright, our spiritual core.”
“I believe that we need to embrace a new kind of asceticism, and we need to actively invite the friction of pain and suffering into our lives as a way to just generally be physiologically healthier.”
“Why is it that living in the richest countries in the world with the access to everything we could ever desire and then some, we are more miserable than ever?”
“First abstain, then use self binding to maintain, then seek out pain.”
“Built into every truth is a hidden untruth, and it’s our job to uncover those. So, adopting that attitude to received wisdom - inverting it - and asking what is it that is hidden from me, is terribly important...”
“I think teachers should be subversive, they should be constantly subversive. Why are children bored? Because they are not being made to think. We are boring children, which is a sin.”
“It’s not until you consider other people’s truths that you begin to see how complex truth is, and you begin to doubt your immediate reactions - and that is the beginning of wisdom, when you start doubting the truths that you held.”
“I wonder if a core part of being human is to be broken, to fail, to falter; to have a sense of, yet fall short of, an ineffable ideal.”
“To be human is to imagine, to be human is to love, to be human is to dare to journey, to be curious, to be in community...to be in communion. It is an endless fascination, this exploration of being-ness and being with other.”
“I wonder if what we call ‘spirituality’ is the name we give for our awareness of the immensity of and mystery of existence?”
“All tolerance will ever do is create superficial peace where we put up with one another, but we only do that because we don’t really engage with each other.”
“Living generously in the world involves a degree of openness, a degree of crossing thresholds and engaging in communities of difference.”
“I think the real question is how people reason their own place within the world, and trying to reason with them on their own grounds.”
“The more you think in this way, the more you downgrade your present desires, and increase the long term perspective on your life. It is that long term perspective where your happiness and fulfilment reside.”
“I’m not saying that there are not other important questions. But if we can’t give an answer to this one, then we won’t be able to give an answer to all the others, about what is more important as such.”