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Gravity, Grace and Love

  But already my desire and my will Were being turned like a wheel, all at one speed, By the love which moves the sun and the other stars. –Dante Nietzsche said, “There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.”  In his reasoning between love, life and madness he finds his resolution : to live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering. Simone Weil (1909-1943), the renowned French philosopher and activist with outstanding intellectual gifts describes the essence of love in Gravity and Grace:  “Creation is

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A Life Truly Lived

Love is really the only thing we can possess, keep with us and take with us when we depart. Dr. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross (1926-2004), in her pioneering work with patients nearing the end of their lives in palliative care, interviewed them on their feelings about life and death, and how they measure the life they lived.  The results of her work proclaim that the patients unanimously express their emotional state as  “yearning for love,”  a shield needed against the fear of death, and the measure of the degree of inner peace and contentment they savor at the end of their life

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Paying Homage to Leonardo da Vinci 500 Years After His Passing

  “Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.”  The great Renaissance polymath Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) –timeless artist, engineer, architect, mathematician, and scientist, with profound knowledge in everything from anatomy and optics to physics to light –is commemorated at the Louvre Museum for the fifth centenary of his death. In his quest to understand the relation between the physical and the metaphysical, he spent a lifetime studying the human being and its place in the universe. His brave creativity, endless genius, and artistic talents arching far beyond the perceptual and scientific realities of his

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The Dream of Humanity: Immortality

  Google, Amazon and Apple are pumping in millions of dollars to scientific research conducted by various institutions aimed at solutions to aging, to stay “forever young” and ultimately to resolve death and achieve immortality. The research is close to dechipering the answer: the trick is in the telomeres –the “caps” at the end of each strand of DNA. Besides protecting our genetic data, the telomeres are enabling the cell to divide and reproduce. However, each time a cell reproduces, the telomeres shorten and as they shorten so does our life span. As it has been already found that –telomere

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Atelier des Lumières: A Special Journey into Van Gogh’s Masterpieces

It is an extraordinary exhibition where there is no museum, there are no solid paintings and yet it is a feast for all the senses and for the soul.  Van Gogh’s (1853-1890) genius brushworks become alive in a mesmerizing movement of images, colors, light and sound. The irises, sunflowers, olive groves, haystacks, his self-portrait and more, are all projected for 30 minutes on a surface of 3300m², covering all over from the floor across the walls and up to the ceiling 10 meters high. It is an exhilarating experience. The “multisensory” digital art exhibition plunges one into a world that

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The Emotional Life of Our Brain

  “When we are about to choose a partner, or get married to a certain partner –that’s the kind of decision that we cannot make based on a cold cognitive calculus” says Richard Davidson, the seminal neuroscientist known for his research on what determines our emotional styles. In the interview with Krista Tippet, he adds  “we consult our emotions for making that decision, and if our emotions were disrupted, it will really impair our capacity to make those kinds of decisions.” In the assessment of the functioning of the emotional brain, he identifies six innate capacities which constitute our emotional

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Siri Hustvedt on the Creative Impulse and the Meaning of Life

    Siri Hustvedt, the prizewinning writer and scholar, describes the meaning of life in her vigor for work, the joy she finds in the creative impulse and the urgency to write driven by it. She recounts her life being a woman writer in men’s world, married to the well-known writer Paul Auster and describes her remedies to overcome the challenges of the “writing self”. Her deep knowledge of psychoanalysis, art and neuroscience is woven in her stories where the human condition is playing up real and tangible. She insightfully draws answers to the question “what are we ?” Here

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Why We Make Art

  Victor Hugo, the irreplaceable writer reflects on his life and works “ For half a century I have been writing thoughts in prose, verse, history, drama, romance, tradition, satire, ode and song…but I feel I have not said a thousandth part of that which is within me. “ And that renders the abundant creative power of the writer as reflected in the invaluable and timeless works of Victor Hugo. His insightful saying “ a writer is a world trapped in a person ”  is beautifully captured in Auguste Rodin’s sculpture. From writing, sculpture, and painting to the enchantment of

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