Brain Food #465

A look at the sky

Shoshin is a concept in Zen Buddhism, and it means “beginner's mind.” It encapsulates the idea of letting go of one’s preconceptions (and misconceptions), and fostering a learning and growth mindset when approaching a subject. In other words, it is about reaching a state of acceptance regarding the limitations of one’s own knowledge.

Researchers have established that the emotion of awe puts one’s ego aside, and suddenly all the things we know so little about suddenly come to the surface in our consciousness. A series of studies published in 2019 revealed that people who were shown awe-inspiring visuals, like images of the night sky, were less open to the polarisation of ideas, instead accepting that in a debate, a controversial topic, or when facing some of life’s big questions, there is no absolute answer.

It is impossible to know everything, and one look at the sky on a clear night is all it takes to remind us of this simple, strangely comforting fact, every day.

Hadley Johnson - Highway Milky Way

Hadley Johnson – Highway to the Milky Way


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