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Self Improvement

114 STASHED IDEAS

In the 12th century, Italian jurists rediscovered Justinian's compilation of Roman law. This started a new legal scholarship in Europe that flourished and evolved into the ius commune - a shared legal tradition that combined Roman and canon law into a common system of legal thought.


During the 17th and 18th century, the Dutch jurists created ways to incorporate the local customary law within a classical Roman framework. The Dutch system of law was exported to its colonies, where it was dominated by the Roman-Dutch tradition of the time.

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Self Improvement

In 1809, the early modern system in the Netherland was replaced by laws based on the French civil code.


However, the Roman-Dutch law remained part of the legal systems of many other countries as they moved from Dutch to British colonial rule and then to independence. Most notably are countries like South Africa and Sri Lanka, but also Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Swaziland, and Lesotho.

Time passes differently in our mind. When we get a fright, large amounts of adrenaline released in our brain would speed up our internal clock and cause us to experience life as moving slowly.

The biggest factor influencing your time perception is attention. The more attention you give to the passage of time, the slower time seems to go. If you are distracted by something interesting, you're more likely to lose track of time.

Absolute time does not exist

Time moves slower the closer you are to Earth. In his theory of general relativity, Einstein explained that the gravity of a large mass, like Earth, distorts the space and time around it.

In 2010, researchers placed two precise atomic clocks, one 33 centimetres higher than the other. Time moved slower for the clock closer to Earth. This confirmed that absolute time does not exist.

If one looks at reality on the smallest scale, using equations of quantum gravity, time vanishes. However, we still perceive time as moving forward sequentially.

Key aspects of time are described by the second law of thermodynamics, which states that heat always passes from hot to cold. Ice cubes melt in hot water, never in reverse. A similar phenomenon might explain why we can only perceive the past, not the future.

The ongoing pandemic, as any global crisis, is disrupting most elements of our lives, including our work. Many are forced to try something new and are seeking a new identification.

Many are evaluating their lives for true meaning and purpose, leading to a disidentification from their job titles. It is a realization that we are not just our work.

Enmeshment: No Boundaries Between Work And Personal Life

Jobs which lead to ‘enmeshment’, a state where work and personal life become one, are mostly self-determined.

The person is usually not working for someone else in a 9 to 5 role but is in professions that involve one’s identity, like a doctor, lawyer, entrepreneur, or lecturer.

The problem with a career-centric identity is that it makes the person dependent on an external factor: Their work.

When people who base their whole identity on their job are laid off, transferred or downsized, they face an existential crisis. Many have poor coping skills to handle change, and change is always happening.

Common signs of enmeshment, when the boundaries between personal life and work are fuzzy, are:

  1. When the job is eating up all their time, with none left for hobbies or family.
  2. When the job is the only thing in the mind, and the only thing to discuss in any conversation.
  3. When the job becomes a person’s only definition.

When our career starts to define our own value, we have enabled our success and failure to directly affect our self-worth, something which can have detrimental effects on our identity.

It is good to love what you do, and find something to do that you really love doing. Most people who rigidly follow their professional ‘calling’ dictated by their upbringing, society or who they are, set themselves up for dissatisfaction, as they believe they have failed if life isn’t perfect.

Even the pressure to find the ‘calling’ can make youngsters depressed and anxious. The solution is to diversify your life, and eventually diversify yourself.

The fixation on cosiness dates back to about 2015. The Danish concept of "hygge" - a sense of cosy togetherness an appreciation of simple pleasure, entered the cultural lexicon in the English-speaking world, and hygge became marketing gold to sell everything.

Related concepts were also offered as lifestyle ideals - Norway's koselig, Sweden's mysig, the Netherlands' gezellig, Germany's Gemütlichkeit, and Scotland's còsagach.

Biophilia is one possible reason humans are attracted to cosiness. Biophilia refers to the innate attraction that people have for the natural world. Viewing something natural can sharpen your concentration and relieve stress.

To a lesser degree, interacting with natural elements and materials such as a fire (candles), wood (rustic cabins), and wool (knitted blankets) can have a similar effect.

Other ideas that picked up steam were JOMO (the joy of missing out), "domestic cosy" that describes an attitude and aesthetic among those that rejects pretentious displays for real comfort. The "homebody economy" became very lucrative, with direct-to-consumer bedding start-ups and alcohol brands.

The young generation caused the rise of trends like "cottagecore" and "grand millennial" - related to a romanticised ideal of cosy living.

The "prospect and refuge" theory may also explain the human attraction to cosiness.

It asserts that people have a preference for smaller cave-like places that open onto brighter views. The small area provides safety and refuge, while the expansive outdoors allows you to see any threats or opportunities.

A global interest in all things cosy

Cosiness is a broad concept. It is a feeling of refuge, comfort and wellbeing. It is the idea of being in a space where you feel completely content and at ease.

During the pandemic, global interest in all things cosy has risen. Across interiors products, keywords related to cosy living rose 46% in the UK and 11% in the US. "Cacooning" was one of Pinterests' top trends for 2021, and "cosy aesthetic outfits" rose 100% from last year.

Short Zen Stories: Moving Mind

Two men saw a flag flapping in the wind and were on loggerheads over whether it was the flag which is moving, or the wind which is moving.

A Zen master overheard the debate over the trivial matter and said, ‘It is neither the flag or the wind which is moving, and it is the MIND that moves.’

Short Zen Stories: A Cup Of Tea

A university professor came to visit Nan-in, a japanese master, to enquire about Zen. As Nan-in served tea he deliberately overflowed the cup and kept spilling the tea, much to the surprise of the professor.

When the professor finally called out that the cup is already full, Nan-in said “just like this cup, you are also full of your own opinions and speculations, I cannot show you Zen unless you first empty your cup”.

Short Zen Stories: Time To Die

When Ikkiyu, a Zen master, was a teenager, he accidently broke a precious cup which was a favourite antique of his master. When he heard the footsteps of his master from behind, he quickly asked him, ‘Dear master, why do people have to die?’

The old master replied, ‘Death is natural, everything has to die and has just so long to live’. Clever Ikkiyu produced the shattered cup and said to the master, ‘It was time for your cup to die.’

Short Zen Stories: An Old Farmer

A farmer, who got really old,was useless in the fields where his son worked. A frustrated son built a wooden coffin and told his father to get inside, planning to drop him off a high cliff.

As the son approached the cliff, his father tapped the lid, and said “Throw me over the cliff if you like my son, but save this good wood coffin, as your children might need to use it”.

Short Zen Stories: The Other Side

While on a long journey, a young Buddhist comes across the banks of a deep, wide river. He doesn’t know how to cross the big obstacle and ponders for hours. He sees a Zen master on the other side of the river. He yells to the master “Oh wise one, can you tell me how to cross this river and get to the other side?”

The Zen master replies “My son, you are on the other side”.

Short Zen Stories: The Gates Of Paradise

A soldier comes to a Zen Master and inquires if there is really a paradise and a hell. The Zen master asks the soldier who he is, and the soldier replies ‘I’m a Samurai’.

The Zen master then provokes the soldier till he loses his temper and draws his sword, ready to cut the head of the master: The master calmly says “Here open the gates of Hell!” and the samurai soldier instantly perceives the master’s discipline and bows to him. ‘Here open the gates of Paradise’, says the master.

Short Zen Stories: The Moon Cannot Be Stolen

Ryokan, a Zen Master, was living a minimalist life in a hut on a mountain. A thief came and saw there is nothing to steal.

Ryokan caught the thief but gave him his clothes so that he did go away empty-handed. Once the bewildered thief was gone, Ryokan mused about how he wished he could have gifted him the beautiful moon in the sky.

Short Zen Stories: It Will Pass

A meditation teacher explained the similarity between happiness and sadness over this:

A student is feeling bad because the meditation experience was horrible. The teacher calmly replies ‘It will pass.’.

A week after, the student is delighted because the meditation experience was great. The teacher calmly replied again, ‘It will pass.’.

Short Zen Stories: Cliffhanger

A man, walking through the forest, finds a vicious tiger attacking him. As he runs, he is cornered and climbs a vine which is dangling above the tiger.

Two mice start gnawing the vine and it is clear that in a short while he will be food to the tiger. He notices a plump wild strawberry and eats it. It tastes divinely delicious to the dying man.

Short Zen Stories: Working Harder

A martial arts master was approached by a student, who asked him how long it would take him to master the martial arts system.

The master casually said “Ten years” to which the impatient student replied that he wants to master is faster and would work extremely hard for ten hours or more if required. He was expecting the teacher to provide a shorter time, but the teacher thought for a moment and said “Twenty years”.

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