Five Books asked Oliver Burkeman, author of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking, to select his five favorite self-help books from 2020.From the interview with Burkeman:
There’s evidence for certain kinds of mystical experiences going back right to the beginning of the human species. But formal meditation, of the sort where you sit down and train your mind, is new, comparatively speaking. It’s a few thousand years old, as far as people can tell. And I’ve seen it argued that this is because meditation is a reaction to what people felt happening to their attention when cities started to develop, when some early form of information overload started—when people were no longer just living in bands of twelve in rural isolation.
This is fascinating to me, because it suggests that, actually, they were struggling with the equivalent of what we’re struggling with today when we’re ……
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