The Weekly Circle #26
Welcome to the twenty-sixth episode of The Weekly Circle! A free Circles in Time newsletter released every Sunday.
I kicked off the fifth edition of the Circles in Time Essentials Programme this week.
We’ve got another geographically diverse cohort, with a variety of participants from Europe, North America, South America and Africa. In saying that, I’m still looking for that elusive representative from the continent of Antarctica, that would make the programme truly global. Any referrals for the next cohort would be appreciated :)
One interesting discussion I had with the latest cohort was around the concept of starter steps, and criteria for figuring out when a recurring practice actually begins.
When does your daily meditation practice start? What kicks off your morning run? Or that evening wind-down routine?
The answer to these questions may appear obvious at a surface level. As you move beyond the labels (e.g. meditating, running, winding down), and dial-up the resolution of your practice, the simple, easy answers to this question disappear very quickly—as this discussion on Twitter reveals.
Does going for a morning run start—at the moment you actually begin running, at the point at which you are outside (or on the treadmill), once you have put on your running shoes, once you have gotten out of bed, or having successfully put your exercise gear out the night before?
It’s an interesting and complex topic of discussion and one that I am still clarifying my views on. If you have any thoughts on the topic I would love to discuss them. You can reply directly to this email or in the comments section on the post’s webpage.
CIRCLES IN TIME COMMUNITY UPDATE
The Circles in Time community hit a nice milestone this week, in reaching 50 members!
At the current rate, the community will likely reach the 150 member target around August this year.
Why limit the community size to 150 active members?
There are several important reasons, which relate to recent research around online communities, the psychology of group cooperation and evolutionary theory. If you are curious, I go into more detail here.
If you would like to join the community, you can sign up and get one-month free access to the platform and see if the space is a good fit for you.
THE IDEAS I CIRCLED AROUND THIS WEEK
LONGEVITY ESCAPE VELOCITY WITHIN 10 YEARS?
This article talks about A Morte de Morte (The Death of Death), a Portuguese bestselling book that is making waves worldwide. The book’s growth in popularity has led to a French translation, with Russian and Chinese versions coming soon. All of which is further evidence that populations around the globe are catching on to the scientific breakthroughs and starting to take longevity seriously. I can’t imagine anything more likely to have a paradigmatic effect on our collective-cultural psyche than longevity reaching escape velocity.
IS CONSCIOUSNESS AN ILLUSION?
A thought-provoking five-part series on the science and evolution of consciousness, which ends with a fascinating discussion of Michael Graziano’s Attention Schema Theory of Consciousness, the mind’s biological and social rootings, and why consciousness isn’t exactly what it appears to be.
THE CURRENCY OF EDUCATION IS TRANSFORMATION
It has been incredible to have a front-row seat to the rapidly changing world of online education. The first generation of static, MOOC-style content-centred courses is being replaced by live, cohort-based courses that provide engagement, participation, social learning and accountability. Andrew Barry is leading this second-generation, and he writes persuasively about why CBC’s and TOC’s are the future of online courses and education in general.
OTHER NOTEWORTHY MENTIONS:
Anti-Network Effects by Venkatesh Rao on the Breaking Smart Podcast
A Conversation with Morgan Housel on his book about the Psychology of Money
Daniel Lieberman discussing his fascinating book, Exercised, on The Michael Shermer Show
THE QUOTES I CIRCLED AROUND THIS WEEK
“The idea that the future is unpredictable is undermined every day by the ease with which the past is explained.” ~ Daniel Kahneman
“Creativity is combinatorial, nothing is original, everything builds on what came before, and we create by taking existing pieces of inspiration, knowledge, skill, and insight that we gather over the course of our lives and recombining them into new creations.” ~ Maria Papova
“I want to unfold. I don’t want to stay folded anywhere, because where I am folded, there I am a lie.” ~ Rainer Rilke
“One of my favourite moments of the year involved a beetle doing yoga on a desert dune. In the Namib desert in Africa, the darkling beetle's day begins with an ascent of a massive sand dune. A tiny creature faced with a Himalaya-sized trek. Undeterred, it marches on, its legs as skinny as a runner's, up towards the summit above which a fog from the Atlantic hovers.
When it gets there, the beetle inverts its body into a headstand and stands very still. Then magic occurs. No, wait, it is something more fantastic than magic, it is nature. This is a planet about to do some of its very best work.
Droplets of water form on its shell as the fog condenses on its body. Then slowly, using grooves in the beetle's casing, the water rolls into its thirsty mouth. This is how life is sustained on earth.” ~ Rohit Brijnath
SOMETHING TO PART WITH
Art piece by the illustrator Marco Zagara called ‘Still Hope’.
Until next week,
Share the love: If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing or forwarding it to family members, friends and colleagues. Are you that family member, friend or colleague? You can sign up for free here.
Let’s start a conversation: If you have any questions on thoughts on the content discussed in this post, I would love to hear it. If you’re in your inbox, you can reply directly to this email. If you are on the Substack post, you can add a comment below.
Become a community member: Want to get more involved? Consider becoming a member of the Circles in Time community. You will get access to our community platform, live conversations with experts, monthly workshops, member-only substack posts and a growing library of behavioural tools and templates for building personal systems. You can join here.