Astonish Yourself

Astonish Yourself

101 Experiments in the Philosophy of Everyday Life

Format
Paperback
Price
$14.00
 
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780142003138
  • 224 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult

Overview

Say your name aloud to yourself in a quiet room. Imagine peeling an apple in your mind. Take the subway without trying to get anywhere. The simple meditations in this book have the potential to shake us awake from our preconceived certainties: our own identity, the stability of the outside world, the meanings of words. At once entertaining and startling, irreverent and wise, this book will provoke moments of awareness for readers in any situation and in all walks of life. Enter the space of your favorite painting. Watch someone sleeping. The world won’t look the same again.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Everyday adventures
1. Call yourself
2. Empty a word of its meaning
3. Look in vain for “I”
4. Make the world last twenty minutes
5. See the stars below you
6. See a landscape as a stretched canvas
7. Lose something and not know what
8. Recall where you were this morning
9. Hurt yourself briefly
10. Feel eternal
11. Telephone at random
12. Rediscover your room after a journey
13. Drink while urinating
14. Make a wall between your hands
15. Walk in the dark
16. Dream of all the places in the world
17. Peel an apple in your head
18. Visualize a pile of human organs
19. Imagine yourself high up
20. Imagine your imminent death
21. Try to measure existence
22. Count to a thousand
23. Dread the arrival of the bus
24. Run in a graveyard
25. Play the fool
26. Watch a woman at her window
27. Invent lives for yourself
28. Look at people from a moving car
29. Follow the movement of ants
30. Eat a nameless substance
31. Watch dust in the sun
32. Resist tiredness
33. Overeat
34. Play the animal
35. Contemplate a dead bird
36. Come across a childhood toy
37. Wait while doing nothing
38. Try not to think
39. Go to the hairdresser
40. Shower with your eyes closed
41. Sleep on your front in the sun
42. Go to the circus
43. Try on clothes
44. Calligraphize
45. Light a fire in the hearth
46. Be aware of yourself speaking
47. Weep at the cinema
48. Meet up with friends after several years
49. Browse at the bookseller’s
50. Become music
51. Pull out a hair
52. Walk in an imaginary forest
53. Demonstrate on your own
54. Stay in the hammock
55. Invent headlines
56. Listen to short-wave radio
57. Turn off the sound on the TV
58. Redisover a childhood scene that seemed larger
59. Get used to eating something you don’t like
60. Fast for a while
61. Rant for ten minutes
62. Drive through a forest
63. Give without thinking about it
64. Look for a blue food
65. Become a saint or sinner
66. Recover lost memories
67. Watch someone sleeping
68. Work on a holiday
69. Consider humanity to be an error
70. Inhabit the planet of small gestures
71. Disconnect the phone
72. Smile at a stranger
73. Enter the space of a painting
74. Leave the cinema in daytime
75. Plunge into cold water
76. Seek out immutable landscapes
77. Listen to a recording of your voice
78. Tell a stranger she is beautiful
79. Believe in the existence of a smell
80. Wake up without knowing where
81. Descend an interminable staircase
82. Swallow your emotion
83. Fix the ephemeral
84. Decorate a room
85. Laugh at an idea
86. Vanish at a pavement cafe
87. Row on a lake in your room
88. Prowl at night
89. Become attached to an object
90. Sing the praises of Santa Claus
91. Play with a child
92. Encounter pure chance
93. Recite the telephone directory on your knees
94. Think about what other people are doing
95. Practice make-believe everywhere
96. Kill people in your head
97. Take the subway without going anywhere
98. Remove your watch
99. Put up with a chatterbox
100. Clean up after the party
101. Find the infinitesimal caress
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