Life Examined

Life Examined

KCRW's Life Examined is a one-hour weekly show exploring science, philosophy, faith — and finding meaning in the modern world. The show is hosted by Jonathan Bastian. Please tune in Saturdays at 9 a.m., or find it as a podcast.

Sleeping — something we do for roughly a third of our lifetimes — is essential for our physical and mental well being.

“Sleeping should not be a chore”: The secret to a good night’s sleep

Sleeping — something we do for roughly a third of our lifetimes — is essential for our physical and mental well being.

Sleep was once thought of as a passive activity during which the body and brain were dormant, but it turns out that sleep is a period during which the brain is highly active and…

Interpreting sweet dreams and COVID nightmares

Sleep was once thought of as a passive activity during which the body and brain were dormant, but it turns out that sleep is a period during which the brain is highly active and…

Is modern technology filling a spiritual void? Questions about identity, religion, humanity and faith, once answered by theologians, are now answered by A.I. and tech.

Man and machine: How tech advances impact religion

Is modern technology filling a spiritual void? Questions about identity, religion, humanity and faith, once answered by theologians, are now answered by A.I. and tech.

Advances in machine learning A.I. have brought vast changes to our society. Smart tech can help scientists and engineers sift through vast amounts of data.

Can Alexa tackle the meaning of life?

Advances in machine learning A.I. have brought vast changes to our society. Smart tech can help scientists and engineers sift through vast amounts of data.

Many of us worry that the older we get, the more cognitive decline we’ll experience.

Brain health: Why you should train your mind like an athlete’s body

Many of us worry that the older we get, the more cognitive decline we’ll experience.

As any parent will tell you, babies and young children are constantly exploring and incredibly fast learners.

Why children and babies are the best learners on the planet

As any parent will tell you, babies and young children are constantly exploring and incredibly fast learners.

Most of us live busy lives. Between emails, texts, work, family, and friends, it’s easy to get bombarded by obligations and invitations.

How and why it’s time to start saying ‘no’

Most of us live busy lives. Between emails, texts, work, family, and friends, it’s easy to get bombarded by obligations and invitations.

When we buy a new phone, bike, or car, we instinctively want all the bells and whistles.

How to solve problems and create balance by subtraction

When we buy a new phone, bike, or car, we instinctively want all the bells and whistles.

Well before the counterculture years of the ‘60s and ‘70s , 17th and 18th century America offered fertile grounds for those with utopian impulses.

The past and present of American utopianism

Well before the counterculture years of the ‘60s and ‘70s , 17th and 18th century America offered fertile grounds for those with utopian impulses.

Last week, author Akash Kapur talked about his experience growing up in the utopian Indian community of Auroville.

How ‘60s and ‘70s America gave rise to cult leaders

Last week, author Akash Kapur talked about his experience growing up in the utopian Indian community of Auroville.

This is the first in a two-part series about utopian societies exploring the benefits of community cooperation and its dark sides — how the rejection of the status quo can morph into…

Searching for Utopia, Part 1: The freedoms and failures of of an intentional community in India

This is the first in a two-part series about utopian societies exploring the benefits of community cooperation and its dark sides — how the rejection of the status quo can morph into…

For Indigenous cultures around the globe, the sense of belonging to something vast and beyond comprehension is deeply woven into their heritage. Dr.

How awe cultivates community in Indigenous cultures

For Indigenous cultures around the globe, the sense of belonging to something vast and beyond comprehension is deeply woven into their heritage. Dr.

Awe or wonderment is the feeling of being in the presence of something vast that transcends your understanding of the world.

The science of wonder — and why it’s good for us

Awe or wonderment is the feeling of being in the presence of something vast that transcends your understanding of the world.

Outdoor programs like the Outdoor National Leadership Schools, the Boys and Girl Scouts of American, or even popular summer camps have been around for a century, successfully teaching…

The therapeutic benefits of outdoor youth programs

Outdoor programs like the Outdoor National Leadership Schools, the Boys and Girl Scouts of American, or even popular summer camps have been around for a century, successfully teaching…

Tens of thousands of “troubled” teens have, with their parents’ consent, been forcibly lifted from their beds and sent into the wilderness.

‘Almost everyone is left with trauma’: The impact of American’s unregulated wilderness teen therapy industry

Tens of thousands of “troubled” teens have, with their parents’ consent, been forcibly lifted from their beds and sent into the wilderness.

Could romance be medically prescribed?

MDMA might be able to improve your already loving relationship, suggests Yale ethicist

Could romance be medically prescribed?

In the 1980s, psychologist John Gottman became a leading research authority in couples therapy. Gottman’s approach was somewhat controversial at the time.

Friendship is key to a successful romantic relationship, says Gottman Institute counselor

In the 1980s, psychologist John Gottman became a leading research authority in couples therapy. Gottman’s approach was somewhat controversial at the time.

Despite increasing longevity, old age can present overwhelming challenges; the loss of mobility, cognitive decline, hearing and sight loss and increased dependence on others can result…

Is wisdom the key to successful old age?

Despite increasing longevity, old age can present overwhelming challenges; the loss of mobility, cognitive decline, hearing and sight loss and increased dependence on others can result…

Revolutionary new medicines may soon be able to slow and even reverse the aging process.

Living longer is no longer a ‘pie in the sky’ theory, says scientist Andrew Steele

Revolutionary new medicines may soon be able to slow and even reverse the aging process.

Taking a deep breath has long been known to calm down the body; athletes before a race do it or performers and speakers before going on stage. So how can we learn to breathe better?

Learning good breathing habits from a freediver

Taking a deep breath has long been known to calm down the body; athletes before a race do it or performers and speakers before going on stage. So how can we learn to breathe better?