Suffering

Emotions

The Ethics of Honesty and Openness

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, September 14 2022

“Honesty is the best policy.”  “Always tell the truth; that way, there’s less to remember.”  Everyone spouts the benefits and importance of honesty.  But is it really ethical to be open and honest all the time?  No, no it’s not.  Let me explain. There are two factors at play in this: ethics and emotions.  Ethics are rules you follow to minimize har...

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Emotions

No One Cares (and That’s a Good Thing)

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, May 25 2022

Humans are a social species.  As such, they are naturally drawn to human interaction.  Small talk, for example, is the ultimate example of picking inconsequential topics to discuss to begin conversations and develop relationships with others.  As people get to know each other, they can then move into more sensitive or in-depth topics with a greater...

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Emotions

You Can Raise Your Emotional State at Will

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, April 27 2022

Many people think that their emotional state is almost exclusively due to the reality that they are experiencing.  After all, basic biology and psychology teach the classic “stimulus-response” model in living organisms where a change in the environment will trigger a response in the affected creature.  This is mostly true, as life forms that did no...

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The Meaning of Life

Life Sucks, and Then You Die (Not)

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, February 23 2022

When you’re feeling cynical, miserable, or pessimistic, you are likely to say words to this effect: “Life sucks, and then you die.”  What causes this?  Well, all life situations are a result of nature and nurture: so some of your life outlook is built in your genetics, and some of it comes as a result of your life experiences.

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Suffering

The (Seeming) Paradox of Impermanence

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, August 25 2021

“The only constant is change.”  You’ve heard the saying before, usually when something great is coming to an end.  It’s often a harsh reminder that no matter what you do, there will always be more to do and always be entropy slowly eroding the progress you make in this world.  At the same time, many people today can’t even handle 5 minutes without...

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Suffering

What Is Causing Your Existential Crisis?

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, August 11 2021

Humans have advanced cognitive abilities that allow them to think about themselves and the world around them.  That gives them greater survival capabilities, but it also allows them to wallow in despair.  The question is, what causes the latter to occur?  In other words, why are you questioning your existence?

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Suffering

Use Cognitive Dissonance to Your Advantage

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, July 14 2021

Cognitive dissonance occurs when there is a conflict between a belief you hold and a behavior, new information, or a conflicting belief.  The "dissonance" in this case causes discomfort, necessitating a change in the person's behavior or beliefs to alleviate it.  The most famous example in history is the Aesop fable of Sour Grapes.  In the fable, a...

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Suffering

What to Do If You Don’t Want Anything in Life

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, July 7 2021

When you can’t feel anything other than depression, loneliness, isolation, dread, or emptiness, getting back to normal can require a monumental amount of willpower and effort to push through the resistance and lack of motivation.  Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet or perfect solution to the problem because there are several different causes...

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Suffering

The Stock Market of Life: It Has Its Ups and Downs but Trends Upwards

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, June 16 2021

Life is getting more grim, right?  Climate change, fascism, a global pandemic, social unrest, terrorism, potential wars of the cold, nuclear, and civil kind, flattening of lifespans and homeownership levels…it seems like every day there is a reason to be pessimistic.  But of course that’s absolutely absurd to think that’s an objective assessment....

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Suffering

Believing What’s True vs. What Benefits You

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, May 26 2021

This seems like it should be the shortest blog post ever: “Should you believe what’s true or what benefits you?  What’s true, of course!  What a stupid question!” Okay, well what if someone just had the greatest failure or disaster of their lives and the truth is that their life will never be the same again?  What if their dog, friend, or family me...

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