The Notebook: Issue 06

Hi there,
I hope this email finds you happy and healthy in 2018.
I’ve been pretty busy these last three months and I have missed my monthly newsletter ( Few of my friends actually called me up for this! And I really didn’t expect that! ).
I am really sorry about it.
I’ll try to be consistent from now on.
Now, on to this week’s newsletter…
I am calling my newsletter: “The Notebook”.
Because, I love taking notes and this is like a personal notebook of mine where I collect books, movies, blog posts, interviews, video clips and other stuff I find interesting and feel worth sharing.
I hope you’ll like some of the ‘notes’ I am sharing.
If you have any feedback, please drop me a line…
A Book Worth Sharing –
I have recently read this wonderful novel The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas.
It is a historical novel set during the late 18th century Japan.
It tells the story of a Dutch clerk Jacob de Zoet’s love for a Japanese midwife Orito, who is abducted by a sinister mountain temple cult.
And it is true!
When is the last time I have read such an extraordinary novel?
A Movie Worth Sharing –
It is a coming of age story of a 15 years old British girl Mia Williams who lives with her single mother, Joanne.
It won the jury prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. It also won the 2010 BAFTA for Best British Film.
One line from film critic Peter Bradshaw’s review:
“Having now watched Fish Tank a second time, I am more exhilarated than ever by Arnold’s idealism, and in a movie marketplace where so much is vapidly cynical, this is a breath of fresh air.”
An Idea Worth Sharing – 
Philosophers and mystics have long contemplated the disconcerting notion that the fixed self is an illusion.
Neuroscientists now think they can prove it or, at least, help us glimpse this truth with some help from psilocybin, the psychoactive property in magic mushrooms.
Our awareness of existence—the ability to distinguish between the self and others—is created by the brain, neuroscientist Anil Seth explains in his TED talk, “Your brain hallucinates consciousness.”
He says, “Right now, billions of neurons in your brain are working together to generate a conscious experience—and not just any conscious experience, your experience of the world around you and of yourself within it.”
Yet when you are unconscious, you continue to exist without perceiving your own presence.
You cease to participate in reality but continue to live. When roused back into consciousness, you lack a narrative to explain the time away.
The narrative of the story that seems to be your life is just a function of your brain’s mechanisms, not who you really are.
Still, the hallucination of consciousness is one we’re all having in tandem.
When we agree about our hallucinations, we call it “reality,” according to Seth.
In this agreed-upon reality, we are each separate individuals, whose stories begin with our births and end with our deaths.
But there are other ways to experience reality, which you may have already glimpsed, even if only fleetingly.
Sometimes our consciousness shifts.
The boundaries of the self, seem to become less rigid and we commune with another person or thing, as can happen during drug-induced epiphanies, sure—but can also happen when people fall in love, meditate, go out in nature, or experience a great meeting of minds.
In The Book (pdf), philosopher Alan Watts writes that we aren’t individuals existing in lonely bodies.
We’re a flowing segment in the continuous line of life.
He and others—mystics, monkspoets (pdf), and philosophers from numerous traditions—argue that people are sad and hostile because we live with a false sense of separation from one another and the rest of the world.
“This feeling of being lonely and very temporary visitors in the universe is in flat contradiction to everything known about man (and all other living organisms) in the sciences,” Watts wrote in The Book.
“We do not ‘come into’ this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree.”
Read this fascinating article here
A Quote Worth Sharing –
“A fit body, a calm mind, a house full of love. These things cannot be bought – they must be earned.” – @naval
Random Stuff –
In this brilliant interview, Quentin Tarantino clears all the doubts.
Quentin Tarantino talks about spitting in Uma Thurman’s face and choking her with a chain during the shooting of “Kill Bill” and Harvey Weinstein affair.
Don’t miss it…
Thanks for reading.
Krishnendu

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