My New TED Talk: In Praise of Idleness

To do nothing at all is the most difficult thing in the world, the most difficult and the most intellectual.

—Oscar Wilde


Author: Neel Burton

Neel Burton is a psychiatrist, philosopher, writer, and wine-lover who lives and teaches in Oxford, England. He is author of Hypersanity: Thinking Beyond Thinking, The Meaning of Madness, Heaven and Hell: The Psychology of the Emotions, and other books. You can find Neel on Twitter and Facebook, and at

3 thoughts on “My New TED Talk: In Praise of Idleness”

  1. I remember reading about someone who enjoyed spending long periods lying on his back and looking up at the sky because it was the best way he knew of ‘slowing time’. Was it in Heller’s Catch-22, anyone?

  2. But… “Le plus lourd fardeau c’est d’exister sans vivre” or, in my Australian accent, “The most heavy burden is to exist, without living”

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