Did you know…
… that today is Eyebrow Day? Celebrate Groucho Marx’s birthday (1890) by trimming your eyebrows. Or not! Julius Henry “Groucho” Marx was an American comedian and film and television star. He is known as a master of quick wit and widely considered one of the best comedians of the modern era.
Today’s Inspirational Quote:
“You should bring something into the world that wasn’t in the world before. It doesn’t matter what that is. It doesn’t matter if it’s a table or a film or gardening — everyone should create. You should do something, then sit back and say, ‘I did that.'”
— Ricky Gervais
DHANANJAYA PARKHE! This is the brainpickings.org weekly digest by Maria Popova. If you missed last week’s edition — John Steinbeck on kindness and the key to good writing, Emily Dickinson’s sublime ode to resilience animated, and more — you can catch up right here. And if you’re enjoying this newsletter, please consider supporting my labor of love with a donation – each month, I spend hundreds of hours and tremendous resources on it, and every little bit of support helps enormously. If you already donate: THANK YOU.
How to Break Up with Integrity: Rilke on Unwounding Separation and the Difficult Art of Recalibrating Broken Relationships
We speak of love as a gift, but although it may come at first unbidden, as what Percy Shelley called a “speechless swoon of joy,” true intimacy between two people is a difficult achievement — a hard-earned glory with stakes so high that the prospect of collapse is absolutely devastating. When collapse does happen — when intimacy is severed by some disorienting swirl of chance and choice — the measure of a love is whether and to what extent the kernel of connection can be salvaged as the shell cracks, how willing each partner is to remain openhearted while brokenhearted, how much mutual care and kindness the two who have loved each other can extend in the almost superhuman endeavor of redeeming closeness after separation.
How to do this with maximal integrity, in a way that embodies Adrienne Rich’s definition of honorable human relationships, is what the poet Rainer Maria Rilke(December 4, 1875–December 29, 1926) explores in one of his staggeringly insightful letters, included in the posthumous collection Letters on Life (public library), edited and translated from German by Ulrich Baer.
The day after Christmas 1921, nearly two decades after he asserted that “for one human being to love another… is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks… the work for which all other work is but preparation,” and four years after the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay modeled the art of the kind, clean breakup, Rilke writes in a letter to the German painter Reinhold Rudolf Junghanns — a close friend struggling through separation and aching with the loss of love:
As soon as two people have resolved to give up their togetherness, the resulting pain with its heaviness or particularity is already so completely part of the life of each individual that the other has to sternly deny himself to become sentimental and feel pity. The beginning of the agreed-upon separation is marked precisely by this pain, and its first challenge will be that this pain already belongs separately to each of the two individuals. This pain is an essential condition of what the now solitary and most lonely individual will have to create in the future out of his reclaimed life.
He considers the measure of a “good breakup” — a separation that, however painful in its immediate loss, is a long-term gain for both partners, individually and together:
If two people managed not to get stuck in hatred during their honest struggles with each other, that is, in the edges of their passion that became ragged and sharp when it cooled and set, if they could stay fluid, active, flexible, and changeable in all of their interactions and relations, and, in a word, if a mutually human and friendly consideration remained available to them, then their decision to separate cannot easily conjure disaster and terror.
Four weeks later, as Junghanns continues to struggle with letting go of his lover, Rilke admonishes against the painful elasticity of on-again/off-again relationships, in which the short-term alleviation of longing and loss comes at the price of ongoing mutual wounding:
When it is a matter of a separation, pain should already belong in its entirety to that other life from which you wish to separate. Otherwise the two individuals will continually become soft toward each other, causing helpless and unproductive suffering. In the process of a firmly agreed-upon separation, however, the pain itself constitutes an important investment in the renewal and fresh start that is to be achieved on both sides.
Rilke emphasizes the importance of an initial period of distance in order to properly recalibrate a romantic relationship into a real friendship — a period which requires a tremendous leap of faith toward an uncertain but possibly immensely rewarding new mode of connection:
People in your situation might have to communicate as friends. But then these two separated lives should remain without any knowledge of the other for a period and exist as far apart and as detached from the other as possible. This is necessary for each life to base itself firmly on its new requirements and circumstances. Any subsequent contact (which may then be truly new and perhaps very happy) has to remain a matter of unpredictable design and direction.
That autumn, Rilke counsels another brokenhearted friend — this time a woman — through a similar predicament. Noting that “our confusions have always been part of our riches,” he reiterates that whatever the pull toward reunion may be, it is crucial to take distance in order to gain a clearer perspective on saving what is worth saving of the relationship. In a mirror-image complement to his wisdom on challenging necessity of giving space in love, he insists on the difficult, necessary art of taking space after love:
I have written “distance”; should there be anything like advice that I would be able to suggest to you, it would be the hunch that you need to search for that now, for distance. Distance: from the current consternation and from those new conditions and proliferations of your soul that you enjoyed back at the time of their occurrence but of which you have until now not at all truly taken possession. A short isolation and separation of a few weeks, a period of reflection, and a new focusing of your crowded and unbridled nature would offer the greatest probability of rescuing all of that which seems in the process of destroying itself in and through itself.
Rilke cautions against the temptation to turn a willfully blind eye toward all the factors that have rendered the romantic relationship unfeasible and to reunite — a choice that, rather than healing, only retraumataizes and perpetuates the cycle of mutual disappointment:
Nothing locks people in error as much as the daily repetition of error — and how many individuals that ultimately became bound to each other in a frozen fate could have secured for themselves, by means of a few small, pure separations, that rhythm through which the mysterious mobility of their hearts would have inexhaustibly persisted in the deep proximity of their interior world-space, through every alteration and change.
There is a symmetry, both sad and beautiful, between Rilke’s faith in the redemptive power of distance in saving love after a breakup and his insistence that “the highest task of a bond between two people [is] that each should stand guard over the solitude of the other” — as within romance, so beyond romance.
Complement this particular portion of the immeasurably wise and consolatory Letters on Life with Epictetus on love and loss and Adam Phillips on why frustration is necessary for satisfaction in love, then revisit Rilke on what it really means to love, the combinatorial nature of inspiration, the lonely patience of creative work, what it takes to be an artist, and how hardship enlarges us.
“Before you marry a person, you should first make them use a computer with slow Internet service to see who they really are.”
Morning Briefing (9 Min Reading Time)
Top news & stories of the startup ecosystem from India & around the world
Today, Inc42 announces ‘The Lists’, which will be unveiled at The Ecosystem Summit and will be featured in the Ecosystem Report. The list of 42 Influentials Of The Indian Startup Ecosystem and The list of 42 Most Innovative Startups in India. These lists are our annual encyclopedia of creative disruption featuring hundreds of influencers, startups, and businesses.
Reports have quoted top officials to claim that the Ministry of Electronics and IT has asked Facebook to “quantify the impact on its users in India while the company has sought some time for the investigation and have committed to get back to the Ministry with a detailed report by Wednesday morning.”
National Payments Corporation of India’s instant interbank payment system, Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has recorded 405.87 Mn transactions in September for a value of $8.18 Bn (INR 59,835 Cr). The growth continues to be nearly 30%, after it recorded 32% growth in August with 312 Mn transactions for a value of $7.41 Bn (INR 54,212 Cr) against 235.6 Mn transactions in July 2018.
The Gujarat government, with its policies and schemes, accelerators and incubators, is doing all it can to support the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs and give them wings of reality. The state, which has recognized 184 startups to date, is looking to facilitate 2,000 startups by 2021.
In this edition of Startup 101, we bring to you the answer to this all-important question — where can I find angel investors? The decision is largely based on who suits the needs of your business better.
Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s head of commerce, is leaving the company after more than 15 years and will be joining Greylock Partners, sources inside the company told us and Google confirmed. Ramaswamy will become a venture partner at Greylock Partners.
Microsoft has accidentally confirmed it’s planning black Surface models. The software giant first launched its Surface RT in a black “VaporMG” variant nearly six years ago, and switched to silver options ever since. In an event listing (that has now been removed) for a Surface event in New Zealand on October 16th, Microsoft says Surface is going “back to black.”
The news, announced today, comes a week to the day after Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger unexpectedly revealed they were resigning from Facebook six years after selling their company to Mark Zuckerberg for $1 billion. Instagram has a new boss: Adam Mosseri, Instagram’s current VP of product and a former high-ranking product exec at Facebook, is taking over as “Head of Instagram” as expected.
10 Legendary Beer Facts To Get You Drunk Off Knowledge
Beer—the ice-cold, hoppy, golden mug of deliciousness that serves as a universal symbol of happiness. It is the one true artifact that binds all of humanity together, as it is the only thing prevalent in some form in all cultures that has truly survived the test of time.
Flavor, satisfaction, hops, molasses, and yeast are not the only thing the beautiful beverage is full of, however. It is also chock full of history. While a lot of beer history is fairly well-known, there are still a myriad of fun facts that remain hidden from the casual beer buff. From beer worshipers to healthy diets and George Washington’s legendary liver, here are ten fun facts every beer drinker needs to know.
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10There Is A Goddess Of Beer
Yes, you read that right. Way back in ancient Mesopotamia, beer was regularly brewed, according to researchers. Since worshiping of various deities was common during that time, it would make sense that there would be a god or goddess for almost everything. The goddess of beer was called Nin-kasi (also spelled Ninkasi).
Researchers have uncovered a great many ancient texts from Mesopotamia, many of which mention making, brewing, and drinking beer numerous times, so it stands to reason that she was an extremely popular goddess. Unfortunately, no visual representations (drawings, statues, etc.) have ever been recovered to give a face to the giver of sweet, hoppy nectar into this world. However, I’m sure if you put on your beer goggles and look at the closest girl to you, you’ll get an idea as to what she looks like.
9There Is An Actual Reason We Call It ‘Beer’
There was also a time when we didn’t refer to beer as “beer” at all. In fact, at the conclusion of the Norman conquest of England, “beer” fell completely out of the Old English vocabulary, mainly because the word “ale” was also used commonly during that time and essentially just replaced “beer” in the common language.
The word “beer” itself is thought to be derived from the Latin bibere, which means “to drink.” However, there is a competing theory that suggests “beer” comes from the proto-Germanic word beuwoz, which translates to “barley.” The Italians, the Dutch, the Germans, and the French all had words that sounded similar to “beer.” So while we can’t agree on where exactly the word comes from, we can at least agree that beer is a delicious and sacred beverage.
8The World’s Oldest Brewery Resides In Germany
Weihenstephan, Germany, is the home of the Weihenstephan Brewery, widely accepted as the world’s oldest brewery. It started brewing beer back in 1040. To put that in perspective, the oldest brewery in the US is the Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, which started brewing beer 789 years later in 1829. Weihenstephan is well-known for their hefeweizen, a delightfully fruity wheat beer.
Like any good origin story, however, there is noted controversy, as a nearby brewery in Waltenburg started brewing its beer just ten years later but claims that they were, in fact, the first brewers to produce beer in the area. Regardless, we know that the first brewery was in Germany as early as 1040, which means that beer has been bringing happiness to people in the area for nearly 1,000 years.
7The Longest Recorded Hangover Lasted Four Weeks
In 2015, a man from Glasgow, Scotland, walked into his local emergency room. He told the doctors that he was suffering from wavy vision and a crippling chronic headache. They ran a full battery of tests, and the results left doctors baffled. His blood pressure and body temperature were both normal. He reported that he had no memory loss, nor had he suffered any head trauma. Neural scans were ordered, but yet again, the tests came back fine.
The hospital finally called on an eye doctor, assuming that his eyes were where the problem lay. Upon examination, the eye doctor ruled the man’s condition a hangover on account of swollen optical discs and bleeding nerve fibers, which are telltale signs of a hangover. When the man was informed of his diagnosis, he confessed to the medical staff that he had consumed 60 pints of beer over four days. That’s 28.4 liters (7.5 gal) of beer! The man ended up being just fine but required six months of treatment to fully rid himself of the effects.
6Germany Has A ‘Beer Purity Law’
It’s called the Reinheitsgebot, and in 2016, it turned 500 years old. In 1516, the Bavarian council banned the making of beer with anything except for hops, water, and barley. Eventually, yeast was added to this list in the 17th century after its discovery. History tells us that the rule was originally enacted to keep breweries from squandering large quantities of wheat and rye, as they were scarce and precious commodities during that time. However, as time marched on, many German breweries continued to honor that tradition.
To this day, a large portion of German breweries abide by the Reinheitsgebot. What once started as a simple means of portion control has evolved over centuries to become a national symbol of pride. It’s hard to believe that such delicious beer comes from just a simple quartet of ingredients, brewed with a little German swagger.
5Beer Is Actually Good For You
The dream argument for every college kid in America. It’s always been a whisper of a rumor, kind of a joke among peers: “Beer is good for you.” What a shock to find out that statement is, in fact, actually true. According to researchers from the University of Western Ontario, beer contains polyphenols, which are compounds that contain hypotensive, anticoagulant, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and even anticarcinogenic properties. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as history is loaded with instances of fermented products being used in medicine, but there’s just something about a bunch of geniuses in lab coats openly declaring the health benefits of beer that gives it a new validity.
Now, before you go off and buy a 30-rack of PBR and celebrate, it should also be noted that these same scientists also say that excessive or binge drinkinghas negative effects on the body. This is on account of the excess ethanol that you’d be flooding your body with, which has well-documented negative medical effects. But at least when you’re 40 and sitting on the front porch sipping a couple beers and admiring their flavor, you can say it’s for your health rather than their “buzz factor.”
4The ‘Honeymoon’ Was Named After Beer
Yes, the most romantic part of getting married actually has ties to beer, one of the things that causes couples to fight the most. Oh, the irony. Contrary to what you are thinking, this has nothing to do with needing to drink to deal with the fact that you just contractually signed your life away to another person, as fitting as that may be. The truth, in fact, is quite literal.
In the fifth century, it was customary in a number of cultures for guests to bring mead, which is essentially honey beer, for the couple to drink together. It was believed to have properties that helped with conception, and the couple would drink it on their first night, or “moon,” together, hence the term “honeymoon.”
3George Washington Was A Beer Lover
If this doesn’t surprise you, it should. During Washington’s era, spirits were much more popular than beer. It is recorded in history that on the very day in 1783 that the British evacuated New York, George Washington went to a local pub called Old Bulls Head Tavern and casually sipped a beer.
Washington was particularly fond of dark English porter ale. (Unfortunately, this style of ale decreased in availability when the British fled.) Before the start of the Revolutionary War, Washington was a regular customer of Robert Hare, a recently immigrated English brewmaster. In 1774, Washington, Hare, and a third Partner (J. Warren) began making what is considered to be the first American-made porter.
Washington also dabbled in some brewing of his own and actually had his own personal beer recipe. Though it was not for a porter, the combination of bran hops, molasses, and yeast is an unmistakable beer brew combination. With his infamous slave-pulled teeth and iron liver, the legend of George Washington looms large in the landscape of American history.
2Watering Down Beer Was Once Punishable By Death
In ancient Babylon, there was an extremely harsh ruler named Hammurabi. He enforced a very strict set of rules which is now commonly known as the Code of Hammurabi. Back in this time period, it was very common to see beer brewers and tavern owners watering down their beer or making beer with improper grains in order to make extra money from unsuspecting patrons. Hammurabi, however, would have none of this defiling of such a precious commodity and passed a law forbidding watering down or tampering with beer. The penalty for violating this law would be death.
It wouldn’t just some be boring hanging for the execution, though; oh no. The law dictated that the offending party be drowned in their own subpar product. Some may see that as harsh, but being drowned to death in beer doesn’t seem like an awful way to go.
1Breakfast Of Champions?
Beer for breakfast was actually once a common thing. In England, before the 1800s, coffee and tea, the type of morning drinks that give you that “pick-me-up,” were hard to come by for most people. In lieu of this, they used beer, because, why not?
On top of that, beer was considered to be very healthy back then. It did deliver much-needed carbs, after all. It was essentially the medievalequivalent to a “balanced breakfast.”
Hate begets hate. Hatred is appeased by non hatred.
Forgiveness follows love. When you hate a person forgiving becomes difficult due to ego.
No sooner you begin to love those you hate, you begin to love Me as I should be loved.
——-AVATAR MEHER BABA
[From- LESSONS FOR SPIRITUAL ASPIRANTS, Complied by: BIRENDRA KUMAR]
[Copyright © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust Ahmednagar (M.S.) India]
Imagination is greater than intellect. For example, while you are sitting here, imagine something. When your mind imagines it, you are the creator of that particular subject or object. Now elaborate; further your imagination, letting it take you to any lengths. In so doing, you are the preserver — for anything created is preserved until destroyed. You sustain what you have created.
Now if I were to tell you to stop imagining and you stop, then there is nothing, no imagination. The subject is dissolved or destroyed. And so, even in your daily lives, you perform the three aspects of God as the creator, preserver and dissolver or destroyer. These are not attributes, such as power, knowledge and bliss, but aspects of God.
God’s infinite imagination creates and sustains the creation. But who then created God?