How to Panic a Little Less


The philosopher Spinoza shows us that our minds possess an under-appreciated ability to adopt a broader perspective, from which our anxieties appear vanishingly small – and eminently manageable.

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“One of the most useful things about our minds is that they can in some moods allow us to step outside of ourselves – and consider our death from a wholly dispassionate perspective, as if it were someone else who would have to go through the event and as if we could understand it in the same way that a stranger four centuries from now might, in other words, as if it might not in the end be such a big deal at all, just an inevitable return to an atomic mulch from which our life was only ever a brief and unlikely spasm…”

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