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Trying Not to Try - The Art and Science of Spontaneity-logo

Trying Not to Try - The Art and Science of Spontaneity

Edward Slingerland

A deeply original exploration of the power of spontaneity-an ancient Chinese ideal that cognitive scientists are only now beginning to understand-and why it is so essential to our well-being Why is it always hard to fall asleep the night before an important meeting? Or be charming and relaxed on a first date? What is it about a politician who seems wooden or a comedian whose jokes fall flat or an athlete who chokes? In all of these cases, striving seems to backfire. In Trying Not To Try, Edward Slingerland explains why we find spontaneity so elusive, and shows how early Chinese thought points the way to happier, more authentic lives. We've long been told that the way to achieve our goals is through careful reasoning and conscious effort. But recent research suggests that many aspects of a satisfying life, like happiness and spontaneity, are best pursued indirectly. The early Chinese philosophers knew this, and they wrote extensively about an effortless way of being in the world, which they called wu-wei (ooo-way). They believed it was the source of all success in life, and they developed various strategies for getting it and hanging on to it. With clarity and wit, Slingerland introduces us to these thinkers and the marvelous characters in their texts, from the butcher whose blade glides effortlessly through an ox to the wood carver who sees his sculpture simply emerge from a solid block. Slingerland uncovers a direct line from wu-wei to the Force in Star Wars, explains why wu-wei is more powerful than flow, and tells us what it all means for getting a date. He also shows how new research reveals what's happening in the brain when we're in a state of wu-wei-why it makes us happy and effective and trustworthy, and how it might have even made civilization possible. Through stories of mythical creatures and drunken cart riders, jazz musicians and Japanese motorcycle gangs, Slingerland effortlessly blends Eastern thought and cutting-edge science to show us how we can live more fulfilling lives. Trying Not

A deeply original exploration of the power of spontaneity-an ancient Chinese ideal that cognitive scientists are only now beginning to understand-and why it is so essential to our well-being Why is it always hard to fall asleep the night before an important meeting? Or be charming and relaxed on a first date? What is it about a politician who seems wooden or a comedian whose jokes fall flat or an athlete who chokes? In all of these cases, striving seems to backfire. In Trying Not To Try, Edward Slingerland explains why we find spontaneity so elusive, and shows how early Chinese thought points the way to happier, more authentic lives. We've long been told that the way to achieve our goals is through careful reasoning and conscious effort. But recent research suggests that many aspects of a satisfying life, like happiness and spontaneity, are best pursued indirectly. The early Chinese philosophers knew this, and they wrote extensively about an effortless way of being in the world, which they called wu-wei (ooo-way). They believed it was the source of all success in life, and they developed various strategies for getting it and hanging on to it. With clarity and wit, Slingerland introduces us to these thinkers and the marvelous characters in their texts, from the butcher whose blade glides effortlessly through an ox to the wood carver who sees his sculpture simply emerge from a solid block. Slingerland uncovers a direct line from wu-wei to the Force in Star Wars, explains why wu-wei is more powerful than flow, and tells us what it all means for getting a date. He also shows how new research reveals what's happening in the brain when we're in a state of wu-wei-why it makes us happy and effective and trustworthy, and how it might have even made civilization possible. Through stories of mythical creatures and drunken cart riders, jazz musicians and Japanese motorcycle gangs, Slingerland effortlessly blends Eastern thought and cutting-edge science to show us how we can live more fulfilling lives. Trying Not
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Description:

A deeply original exploration of the power of spontaneity-an ancient Chinese ideal that cognitive scientists are only now beginning to understand-and why it is so essential to our well-being Why is it always hard to fall asleep the night before an important meeting? Or be charming and relaxed on a first date? What is it about a politician who seems wooden or a comedian whose jokes fall flat or an athlete who chokes? In all of these cases, striving seems to backfire. In Trying Not To Try, Edward Slingerland explains why we find spontaneity so elusive, and shows how early Chinese thought points the way to happier, more authentic lives. We've long been told that the way to achieve our goals is through careful reasoning and conscious effort. But recent research suggests that many aspects of a satisfying life, like happiness and spontaneity, are best pursued indirectly. The early Chinese philosophers knew this, and they wrote extensively about an effortless way of being in the world, which they called wu-wei (ooo-way). They believed it was the source of all success in life, and they developed various strategies for getting it and hanging on to it. With clarity and wit, Slingerland introduces us to these thinkers and the marvelous characters in their texts, from the butcher whose blade glides effortlessly through an ox to the wood carver who sees his sculpture simply emerge from a solid block. Slingerland uncovers a direct line from wu-wei to the Force in Star Wars, explains why wu-wei is more powerful than flow, and tells us what it all means for getting a date. He also shows how new research reveals what's happening in the brain when we're in a state of wu-wei-why it makes us happy and effective and trustworthy, and how it might have even made civilization possible. Through stories of mythical creatures and drunken cart riders, jazz musicians and Japanese motorcycle gangs, Slingerland effortlessly blends Eastern thought and cutting-edge science to show us how we can live more fulfilling lives. Trying Not

Language:

English

Narrators:

Marc Cashman

Length:

8h 52m


Chapters

Chapter 1
Chapter 1

00:16


Chapter 2
Chapter 2

07:36


Chapter 3
Chapter 3

07:50


Chapter 4
Chapter 4

07:14


Chapter 5
Chapter 5

05:09


Chapter 6
Chapter 6

06:35


Chapter 7
Chapter 7

07:15


Chapter 8
Chapter 8

03:51


Chapter 9
Chapter 9

08:05


Chapter 10
Chapter 10

08:18


Chapter 11
Chapter 11

08:17


Chapter 12
Chapter 12

06:20


Chapter 13
Chapter 13

05:45


Chapter 14
Chapter 14

06:26


Chapter 15
Chapter 15

04:43


Chapter 16
Chapter 16

08:09


Chapter 17
Chapter 17

07:03


Chapter 18
Chapter 18

05:44


Chapter 19
Chapter 19

04:46


Chapter 20
Chapter 20

06:47


Chapter 21
Chapter 21

06:34


Chapter 22
Chapter 22

06:17


Chapter 23
Chapter 23

04:33


Chapter 24
Chapter 24

06:21


Chapter 25
Chapter 25

04:54


Chapter 26
Chapter 26

04:20


Chapter 27
Chapter 27

05:30


Chapter 28
Chapter 28

06:51


Chapter 29
Chapter 29

06:13


Chapter 30
Chapter 30

06:51


Chapter 31
Chapter 31

05:48


Chapter 32
Chapter 32

04:19


Chapter 33
Chapter 33

04:47


Chapter 34
Chapter 34

05:12


Chapter 35
Chapter 35

05:58


Chapter 36
Chapter 36

05:09


Chapter 37
Chapter 37

07:56


Chapter 38
Chapter 38

08:59


Chapter 39
Chapter 39

09:30


Chapter 40
Chapter 40

07:02


Chapter 41
Chapter 41

05:34


Chapter 42
Chapter 42

07:16


Chapter 43
Chapter 43

07:52


Chapter 44
Chapter 44

04:39


Chapter 45
Chapter 45

07:06


Chapter 46
Chapter 46

07:26


Chapter 47
Chapter 47

06:32


Chapter 48
Chapter 48

08:01


Chapter 49
Chapter 49

06:55


Chapter 50
Chapter 50

05:27


Chapter 51
Chapter 51

06:29


Chapter 52
Chapter 52

06:55


Chapter 53
Chapter 53

06:37


Chapter 54
Chapter 54

08:52


Chapter 55
Chapter 55

07:22


Chapter 56
Chapter 56

07:21


Chapter 57
Chapter 57

05:22


Chapter 58
Chapter 58

06:54


Chapter 59
Chapter 59

06:22


Chapter 60
Chapter 60

05:28


Chapter 61
Chapter 61

04:30


Chapter 62
Chapter 62

08:06


Chapter 63
Chapter 63

07:13


Chapter 64
Chapter 64

07:43


Chapter 65
Chapter 65

05:23


Chapter 66
Chapter 66

05:54


Chapter 67
Chapter 67

06:07


Chapter 68
Chapter 68

07:58


Chapter 69
Chapter 69

05:11


Chapter 70
Chapter 70

07:50


Chapter 71
Chapter 71

07:27


Chapter 72
Chapter 72

04:46


Chapter 73
Chapter 73

05:11


Chapter 74
Chapter 74

05:10


Chapter 75
Chapter 75

06:06


Chapter 76
Chapter 76

05:42


Chapter 77
Chapter 77

07:57


Chapter 78
Chapter 78

05:47


Chapter 79
Chapter 79

05:39


Chapter 80
Chapter 80

06:47


Chapter 81
Chapter 81

05:59


Chapter 82
Chapter 82

07:29


Chapter 83
Chapter 83

08:47


Chapter 84
Chapter 84

00:32