Sunday, September 29, 2013

“Find ecstasy within yourself. It is not out there. It is in your innermost flowering. The one you are looking for is you.” - Osho

The Science of Stress, Orgasm and Creativity: How the Brain and the Vagina Conspire in Consciousness

“To understand the vagina properly is to realize that it is not only coextensive with the female brain, but is also, essentially, part of the female soul.”

“The more closely we analyze what we consider ‘sexy,’” philosopher Alain de Botton argued in his meditation on sex, “the more clearly we will understand that eroticism is the feeling of excitement we experience at finding another human being who shares our values and our sense of the meaning of existence.” 

But in his attempt to counter the reductionism that frames human sexuality as a mere physiological phenomenon driven solely by our evolutionary biology, de Botton overcompensates by reducing in the opposite direction, negating the complex interplay of brain and biology, psychology and physiology, that propels the human sexual experience. That’s precisely what Naomi Wolf examines in Vagina: A New Biography — a fascinating exploration of the science behind the vastly misunderstood mind-body connection between brain and genitalia, consciousness and sexuality, the poetic and the scientific. 

Wolf writes,
"For women, sexual response involves entering an altered state of consciousness. … In women, the biology of arousal is more delicate than most of us understand, and it depends significantly on this sensitive, magical, slowly calmed, and easily inhibited system."

"In 2010, male Yale students gathered at a “Take Back the Night” event, where their female classmates were marching in a group, protesting against sexual assault. The young men chanted at the protesters, “No means yes and yes means anal.” Some of the young women brought a lawsuit against the university, arguing that tolerating such behavior created an unequal educational environment. Ethically they are in the right, and neurobiologically they are right as well. "
Check out the rest of this super fascinating article at Brain Pickings by Maria Popova.

Stephen Hawking's Big Ideas

Legendary theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking is among the greatest scientific minds in human history. This charming animation condenses Hawking’s expansive, mind-bending theories down to 150 seconds.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Kill Me With Kindness

Sublimate me. Elevate me. Meet me in meatspace. Meet me at the bar. Obfuscate me with alcohol. Burble in my ear. Whisper prelinguistic psychobabble in my lobe like a lullaby. Titillate me. Bewitch me. Tickle my funny bone. Run your thumb down the inside of my elbow. Squeeze my bicep. Hard, right? Yeah, I’ve been working out.

Kiss my lisp. Kiss my ellipsis. Take me home. Charm my pants off. Rock my socks off. Verb all my clothes off. Scratch my back. Suck my tongue. Torture me with tenderness. Murder me with sympathy. Tuck me in and watch me dream about you.

Wake me up. Order me around. Speak to me only in imperatives. Sell me yourself. Wow, that’s quite a sales pitch. Gurl, you are so cybersexy. I fit your target demographic, and I like your personal brand. You can market to me anytime.
Fold me up and put me in your pocket. Dissolve me in data. Entertain me with mild stimuli. Text me. Sext me. Touch my touchscreen. Watch me twist into focus. I’m an antisocial butterfly. Socially mediate me. Trap me in your silky web. You like the internet? I like the internet too, let’s be best friends.

Decimate my meatscape. Drown me in your honeyed voice. Drown me in a tub full of candy. Pour some high fructose corn syrup on me. Smother me with your heavenly body weight. Crush me under the unbearable lightness of your being. Unfurl me like your favorite archaic scroll. Crack me open like a fortune cookie and read my insides. Vivisect me. Eviscerate me. Cut me up into thin slices and eat me like a mango. Gnaw on me in a raw reverie. I’m just kidding. This is all just poetic hyperbole. Please don’t eat me. Walk across my cobblestone heart in your cruel stilettos. Trip me up so I fall and cut open my palms on the concrete. Make me swoon. Make me giddy. Make me vulnerable. Peel away my armadillo armor. Fill up my headspace with hope. Let me let my guard down. Send me mixed messages. Confuse me. Be my muse. Amuse me. Ask me questions. Tell me stories. Laugh at everything I say. Mention your fear of commitment. Start pulling away. Suggest let’s just be friends then never see each other again.Ignore this. This isn’t for you anyway. It’s for someone else, I swear.

Forget me. Wipe me from your memory. Uninstall me from your brain. I wish I could do the same. But I don’t want eternal sunshine. I washed my clothes and sheets and the skyline but I can’t get your scent out. Everything beautiful reminds me of you. You’re undeletable.”

Ethan Ryan, “Kill Me With Kindness”

"I want to explain how exhausted I am. Even in my dreams. How I wake up tired. How I’m being drowned by some kind of black wave." — Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

Shower Time

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Coming of Age on Zoloft

“Though antidepressants are effective at managing negative emotions, they don’t in themselves provide the sense of meaning and direction that a person equally needs in order to find her way in life.”

In Coming of Age on Zoloft: How Antidepressants Cheered Us Up, Let Us Down, and Changed Who We AreKatherine Sharpe explores the heart of this ambivalence through an intersection of her own experience, conversation with medical and psychiatric experts, and in-depth interviews with forty young adults who grew up on psychopharmaceuticals. 
Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Americans grew ever more likely to reach for a pill to address a wide variety of mental and emotional problems...Depression, social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and the like went from being strange clinical terms or scrupulously hidden secrets to constituting acceptable topics of cocktail party conversation — talk that was often followed up by chatter about the new miracle drugs for despair.  
Rightly or wrongly, antidepressants command powerful emotions; they can lead people to examine their deepest assumptions about themselves and the world. 
The notion that depression distorts the true self and that antidepressants merely restore what was there all along has often been invoked against the fear that by taking antidepressants, we might somehow be betraying our true natures. But that belief in particular is one that people who start medication young cannot fall back on. Worries about how antidepressants might affect the self are greatly magnified for people who begin using them in adolescence, before they’ve developed a stable, adult sense of self. Lacking a reliable conception of what it is to feel “like themselves,” young people have no way to gauge the effects of the drugs on their developing personalities. Searching for identity — asking “Who am I?” and combing the inner and outer worlds for an answer that seems to fit — is the main developmental task of the teenage years. And for some young adults, the idea of taking a medication that could frustrate that search can become a discouraging, painful preoccupation. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

This Head I Hold

Where Did You Learn This

“how far have you walked for men who’ve never held your feet in their laps?
how often have you bartered with bone, only to sell yourself short?
why do you find the unavailable so alluring?
where did it begin? what went wrong? and who made you feel so worthless?
if they wanted you, wouldn’t they have chosen you?
all this time, you were begging for love silently, thinking they couldn’t hear you, but they smelt it on you, you must have known that they could taste the desperate on your skin?
and what about the others that would do anything for you, why did you make them love you until you could not stand it?
how are you both of these women, both flighty and needful?
where did you learn this, to want what does not want you?
where did you learn this, to leave those that want to stay?”

Warsan Shire, “Questions for the Woman I was Last Night”

“Distorted realities have always been my cup of tea.” - Virginia Woolf

The Individual

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

Bottomless Pit

Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Cool Girl

Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn