Hidden shinto shrine in Kyoto Copyright © Content Catnip 2018 www.contentcatnip.com

The Enlightenment of Everyday Objects

In ancient Japanese tradition, when a treasured household item reaches the end of usefulness, it is given the proper funerary send off that it deserves. This unusual ritual harks back to two ancient philosophies. The Shinto Animist philosophy that all things alive or otherwise have a soul. And the Nichiren Buddhist philosophy that when a…

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The Enlightenment of Everyday Objects

Japan’s 72 gossamer-light and poetic microseasons

The traditional seasons in Japan are marked out by impercetibly small changes in nature across 72 miniature seasons in a year, each lasting 5 days and reflecting the fleeting, impermanent and diaphanous beauty of nature and all of its wonders. There are 24 divisions or sekki in the calendar that are split into 72 kō…

Book Review: The Mind is Flat by Nick Chater

Book Review: The Mind is Flat by Nick Chater

Forget all about the Freudian id, superego and ego vying for your present attention. And forget about Jungian archetypes and stuff randomly bubbling up to the surface of your consciousness. According to Behavioural Psychologist Nick Chater – this doesn’t exist. Instead, what we all have is a flat mind. Or a mind that’s incredibly adept…

What do the longest living people in the world have in common?

Ancient Word of the Day: Rema

Rema (Shetland Scots) The mirror-calm surface of the sea on a calm day. A body of water with a surface as smooth as cream. Comes from the Scots word "reyme", meaning "cream"). Rjómalogn (Icelandic) Cream-calm, used to denote  profoundly tranquil weather or sea. Arafin (Welsh) Calm or slow weather in Welsh. blikkstille./ blekkstille (Norwegian) A…

The Sensual World of The Unseen By Photographer Duane Michaels

Diogenes on the human race

Not least for those who are called foreigners, for they are not foreigners. For while the various segments of the earth give different people a different country, the whole compass of this world gives people all people a single country, the entire Earth, and a single home, the world. Diogenes of Oenoanda Diogenes of Oenoanda,…

Ancient Word of the Day: Philoxenia

Ancient Word of the Day: Philoxenia

Philoxenia comes from Ancient Greek. This literally translates to be "friends with a stranger". Philo - Friend, Xenia - Stranger. In Ancient Greece, hospitality was ranked highly as a personal virtue. Great honour was bestowed upon a guest by a host. If a stranger was to appear on your doorstep in Ancient Greece, you were…

Boring Yet interesting: Drone Music

Drone music doesn't change much in tonality or tempo. The nature of this means that it can confuse some people and attract others. Unlike most other types of music, drone cultivates a unique emotional soundscape that allows people to sink deeply into it. Some drone music is less like a warm fuzzy hug and more…

Waiting in transit, Tokyo Copyright © Content Catnip 2018 www.contentcatnip.com

Every picture tells a story: In transit in the JR station

Waiting in transit, Tokyo Copyright © Content Catnip 2018 www.contentcatnip.com Everyone is always in transit and a great metaphor for life is that we can only ever trust in the constant flux of change. Forget about the serenity of temples, impermanence is ever-present in JR stations, subway stations and airports. There is something magnetic about…

Before Time Began: Latin Quotes on Ancient Sundials

Before Time Began: Latin Quotes on Ancient Sundials

Ancient sundials of Greece, Egypt and Babylon often featured provocative and emotional expressions in Latin. They were succinct and powerful calls to action which were designed to waken up the senses and peel back the blinkers on what really matters. These concise messages highlighted the passing of time, mortality, life, death and enjoying one’s brief…

Seven reasons why it's great to be an introvert and having introverted friends

Seven reasons why it’s great to be an introvert and having introverted friends

Many of us are introverts but are in denial about this and trying fervently to be extroverted, pushing ourselves to exhaustion trying to make small talk about bullshit that doesn't matter, often dealing with obnoxious people who have loud voices and often (but not always) boring and generic thoughts on the world. Here's a list…

Te Ao Maori and the aesthetics of cosiness

An indepth exploration of the aesthetics of cosiness

There’s a lovely subreddit I recently found called Cosy Places, which calls for people to submit their log cabins, hideaways and cosy loungerooms. This is a veritable treasure trove of different ideas for cosiness. Someone even parsed the photo content in the subreddit and came up with the recipe and criteria that make up a…

What Montaigne And Deep Sea Aliens Teach Us About Humanity

Philosopher Michel de Montaigne lived in a time (the 16th century) when nobody batted an eyelid at the ritual murder and wholesale destruction of people, natural environments and cultures – let alone animals. Yet he was shocked and disgusted at these horrors. He was undoubtedly a kind and gentle man. An anomaly for his time.…

Gather up the night: An eerie hotel causes confusion on Melbourne's Eastlink freeway

Gather up the night: An eerie hotel causes confusion on Melbourne’s Eastlink freeway

As an occasional driver along the Eastlink in Melbourne, I have had the odd experience of passing a hotel with no trace of human habitation around it. A hotel completely devoid of people and life and yet that lights up in a unique configuration of lights from fake windows each night. Located in Melbourne's south…

Wild Woman Quote: Procrastination

Wild Woman Quote: Don’t wait

Oh, my God. What if you wake up some day, and you're 65 or 75, and you never got your novel or memoir written; or you didn't go swimming in warm pools or oceans because your thighs were jiggly or you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on…

Evil Eye in Chefchaouen Copyright © Content Catnip 2009 www.contentcatnip.co

Wild woman quote: Give it all

One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. Something more will arise for…

Book Review: Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Hariri

Most people are either not aware or don't care that the most pressing and revolutionary change in our world is right on our doorstep. The advance and rise of the machines. This is a book that tells the story of what happens next with the human species based on what came before and the technological…

Film Review: Cornershop (Kjötborg)

Film Review: Cornershop (Kjötborg)

This feel-good documentary is set in Reykjavík, Iceland on corner of Ásvallagata and Blómvallagata streets. Where there is a little unassuming grocery store called simply Kjötborg or Corner Shop. Two brothers own and run the local shop, which they inherited from their parents. This is the last bastion of stores like this, as many others…

Book Review: The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene

Book Review: The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene

Robert Greene has written best-selling books on seduction, power, war, self-mastery and now knowledge. Although the sum and total of his output of books gives the wrong impression about the man. He’s not an evil and Machiavellian type jockeying for power – rather his books are about understanding the lesser-known shadowy parts of ourselves to…

Travel: Eileann Donan Castle, Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland. Copyright Content Catnip 2010

Travel: A visit to Eileann Donan Castle

Eileann Donan Castle is near the Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland. I went there once in winter and once at the end of autumn. This place is steeped in ancient mystery, wonder and a sense of the densely lived past. When peering over the loch and the pristine quiet wilderness, you are peering into the deep…