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Reading List, May 2023


Our monthly stories are productions looking to connect people to the magic of stories.

We create supplementary reading lists as a way to give you an insight into the inspirations and thinking behind our monthly stories. These reading lists share music, ideas, events and research that connect to our stories.



Rasa → Adbhutam (अद्भुतं): Wonder, amazement. Presiding deity: Brahma. Colour: yellow Śṛṅgāraḥ (शृङ्गारः): Romance, Love, attractiveness. Presiding deity: Vishnu. Colour: light green


Archetype → Ruler


In local lore, the talipot palm is the monarch of the plant world. It dwarfs everything in its vicinity with enormous leaves bringing birds, beasts and even humans looking to the talipot for shelter. The flowering of the talipot is something of a phenomenon—a point of transcendence from impressive to incredible. The talipot flower is the largest in the world, made up of over twenty million minuscule flowers. It shoots up at the sky from the tree’s pinnacle, drawing comparisons to thunderbolts and flaming crowns by artists and poets. The talipot bears only one flower, taking over sixty years to mature. Its multimillion seeds, each carrying the genetic code of the talipot's biological mission, are dispersed into the surroundings. Following this spectacular unfolding, the talipot dies, having completed its task. But, its seeds live on, carrying new possibilities for life to take shape.

This month, we bring you the Ruler archetype and the wonder rasa. Like the talipot, the Ruler archetype stands for the ability to influence, germinate the world with its will and offer stability and shelter under its ambit.

May 2023

  • 2019, The good ruler. Prof. Maxwell A. Cameron, Philosophy Now: The idea that rulers must be wiser and more virtuous than ordinary citizens is alien to our understanding of politics. We do not regard elected officials as exemplary citizens. Let’s question why politics and leadership has become so debased in our view.

  • 1924, The Gregarious Flowering of the Talipot Palm, Corypha umbraculifera, at Peradeniya, Ceylon. William Seifriz. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club, Vol. 51: The flowering of the talipot palm is one of the rare examples of gregarious flowering where plants of similar age tend to flower at the same time despite their geographical location. Botanists who recorded this phenomenon of synchronicity in the early twentieth century studied the talipot palms at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya.

  • 2015, High fidelity mixtape rules. Marjolinjn2. Youtube: Making great mixtapes is not about how legendary each song is, but about knowing who you are making it for and what you want to bring out for them.

  • 2007, The Devil Wears Prada (film adaptation). David Frankel, Wendy Finerman, and Aline Brosh McKenna based off Lauren Weisberger's 2003 novel. Miranda Priestly, a powerful fashion magazine editor, embodies the ruler archetype as a formidable woman at the top, who plays by her own rules and nothing else.

  • For people with the ability to observe life and its patterns, the temptation to set rules and systems is natural. This selection of systems, rules and guides for living are by some the world’s sharpest minds as authors, anthropologists, and psychologists.

    1. 2018, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. Jordan Peterson. Random House Canada, Penguin Allen Lane UK: A story-based, stern yet entertaining self-help manual laying out a set of simple rules to become more disciplined, behave better, act with integrity, and balance lives while enjoying them.

    2. 2018, Revisionist History; Malcolm Gladwell’s 12 Rules for Life. Season 3. Malcolm Gladwell.Pushkin: Crucial life lessons from the end of hockey games, Idris Elba, and some Wall Street guys with a lot of time on their hands. Revisionist History wades into the crowded self-help marketplace, with some help from a band of math whizzes and Hollywood screenwriters.

  • 2020, Toshio Shibata - capturing light. Eihwaz. Youtube: Toshio Shibata is a Japanese photographer known for his large-format photographs of large-scale works of civil engineering in unpopulated landscapes. His photographs achieve a unique harmony by focusing on the interweaving of natural forces with man-made structures, identifying the line between opposing sides. Shibata's work blends landscape painting with documentary realism, allowing it to move beyond mere description to something greater.

  • Retrieved 2023, May 31. The history of law. Wikipedia: The evolution of law as systems of rule keeping. Understanding legal institutions as complex systems of rules, players and symbols and how these elements interact with society to change, adapt, resist or promote certain aspects of humanity.


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