504: How To Stop Living An Artificial Life | Karen Armstrong

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Most of us come into the world with the suspicion that we are the center of the universe. This self-preoccupation is natural, but it can often lead to unhappiness in the form of rumination, wallowing, comparison, etc.

Our guest today, author Karen Armstrong, has a clear proposal for how we can stop living what she calls “artificial” lives and shave down our inborn self-centeredness. Not for nothing, she believes her proposal has the added benefit of perhaps helping to save the planet.

Armstrong is a former nun who has become one of the world’s leading thinkers on religion (particularly the monotheistic ones). She has written such bestsellers as: A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, The Battle for God, Islam: A Short History, and Buddha. Her latest book is called Sacred Nature: Restoring Our Ancient Bond with the Natural World.

In this episode we talk about:

  • Practices you can try for using nature as a way to make yourself happier
  • How Armstrong conceives of God at this point in her life
  • The benefits of the Confucian practice of “quiet sitting”
  • How her time as a nun paradoxically made her more self-preoccupied rather than less
  • And her definition of holiness

Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/karen-armstrong-504

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