Are human beings hard-wired to be perpetually dissatisfied? Author Robert Wright, who teaches about the interface of evolutionary biology and religion, thinks so.

Wright points out that evolution rewards people for seeking out pleasure rather than pain, which helps ensure that human beings are frequently unsatisfied: "We are condemned to always want things to be a little different, always want a little more," he says. "We're not designed by natural selection to be happy."

A few months back, I wrote a post titled The Most Important Philosopher You've Never Heard Of. My point in that piece was to introduce readers to Eihei Dogen, a 13th-century Japanese Zen master who is considered, by many, to be one of the world's most subtle thinkers on issues of mind and being.

06/12/14 - On Thursday’s Topical Currents we’ll consider life’s obstacles, and how we can turn them into our successes.  We’ll speak with media strategist, Ryan Holiday.  His latest book is The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into TriumphsAnd more, Linda

02/25/14 - Today’s Topical Currents looks at what is usually considered a cop-out, or profound weakness.  Quitting.  But often it’s the pragmatic answer to many situations.

02/10/14 - Monday’s Topical Currents is with author and lecturer Tal Ben-Shahar.  He’s a worldwide consultant to executives in multi-national corporations, Fortune 500 companies and educational institutions.  He lays out the elements of a happier life in his book, CHOOSE THE LIFE YOU WANT:  101 Ways to Create Your Own Road to Happiness.

01/31/14 - This is a Topical Currents online bonus segment. After the broadcast, there were many unanswered questions.  Host Bonnie Berman continues the conversation with Texas attorney David Dow, who’s defended some 100 death row inmates and witnessed many executions.  He says he knows some were innocent.  He’s written a book which considers death philosophically, but not just by execution.

01/23/14 - Thursday's Topical Currents begins with British sociologist and writer Roman Krznaric, author of HOW SHOULD WE LIVE?  Great Ideas from the Past for Everyday Life.  He says people should embrace past wisdom and escape what he terms “status anxiety.”  He’ll join us from London.  Also, Linda Gassenheimer’s Food & Dining, with wine columnist Fred Tasker.  She’ll tell us about a new diet meal delivery service.  That’s Topical Currents Thursday at 1pm.

An Experiment in Ageless Living

Jan 16, 2014

01/16/14 Thursday’s Topical Currents begins with South Florida attorney Paul Lipton.  We all contemplate the passage of time, and have regrets about our usage of it. Lipton has written HOUR OF THE WOLF:  An Experiment in Ageless Living.   He describes the late-night “witching hour,” which is when our lives are examined.  How can we live more meaningfully?

The Trauma of Everyday Life

Sep 16, 2013

09/16/13 - Monday’s Topical Currents is with psychiatrist Dr. Mark Epstein.  He’s written THE TRAUMA OF EVERYDAY LIFE.  Most of us have a limited – and limiting – understanding of trauma.   Epstein says trauma is more than death, chronic illness or cataclysmic life events in the news . . . that it isn’t a rare event . . . but is central to our psychological makeup.