The Art of Perspective.

The CAESURA LETTERS is a daily devotional for life-long learners, critical thinkers, mindful questioners, and other hopelessly inquisitive people.

High level thinking. Go deep.

The CAESURA LETTERS is a haven of discovery for leaders, educators, academics, theorists, artists, speakers, writers, strategists, and visionaries. Interdisciplinary in scope, we scour the humanities and sciences in quest of the most compelling and provocative ideas, insights, perspectives, and theories.

“Caesura Letters is the smartest thing I read every day. Every single one nourishes my brain in ways I never thought possible.”

Patrick Rhone (author of Keeping it Straight and Enough)

“It’s the most insightful, digestible and thoughtful writing I consume on a daily basis. At the end of each week I feel like I’m better prepared, with a broader perspective on life, to take on the week to come. It seems a bit romantic, but this publication has changed my life. I highly recommend the Caesura Letters to anyone looking to grow as an individual.”

Kevin Van Lierop (founder of utility.bz, co-founder of @thiscityis)

“This is a daily read for me… The letters are very digestible, thought-provoking. I find them profound and inspiring.”

Jocelyn Aucoin (Owner at @LujoRecords)

“It is, it feels safe to say, the greatest gift you can give your inbox, so head on over and support one of the greatest publications on the web.”

Rob Boone (Sssimpli)

“I have read a number of Caesura letters now, and every single one of them after reading has made me pause to reflect on my place in society. I am inspired by this project to always ask myself whether my writing would be compelling enough to stop readers in their tracks…”

Jasmine Hon (Startup London)

“The Caesura Letters offer enough multi-faceted challenge to ignite even a jaded mind. At the same time, the author serves us a subtle and nourishing measure of humour that is his unique stamp on any kind of mind-exploration. Delve into his world, and be prepared to happily toss away complacency. These books are a constant pleasure. Don’t pass one by.”

A. H. Richards (author of Kronos Duet)

“Caesura Letters has become an essential part of my morning routine, and leaves me both inspired and enlightened to start the day.”

Dr. Abram Oudshoorn (Western University)

“James Shelley brings together treasures old and new to spark imaginations, inspire hearts, and focus energies.”

Dr. William Danaher (Episcopal priest, dean, author)

“James can always say in a few words what takes the rest of us a long time. His observations range from the sublime to the pertinent and help to form the building blocks for better communities.”

Glen Pearson (author of A Path Between Two Mothers, Identity, and A Place for Us)

“James Shelley is not just a story-teller, he’s a story-liver. I have never known a more well-read individual.”

Tim Bailey (author of And Another Thing and upsidedn)

“I read very little online material, but always make time to read James Shelley, a writer worthy of any reader’s time.”

Ando Perez (writer, poet, and meditation teacher)

These words define us.

Daily. The Caesura Letters is like clockwork, providing a dependable cornerstone upon which to build a private, personal discipline of journaling or quiet rumination. Pair with a morning coffee, daily commute, lunch break, or a park bench along an evening stroll.
Devotional. The Caesura Letters is wholly devoted to thoughtful, substantive self-reflection. It is not about trivia, factoids, or random tidbits of knowledge. Rather, it is an ongoing pursuit of wisdom: the kind of knowledge that transforms our approach and attitude to life.
Curious. We readily admit to an all encompassing bias: we want to consider the questions of life from every possible angle. Be warned: you won’t find many pat answers in the Caesura Letters, just compelling provocations to second guess the obvious and rediscover the mysterious.
Contemplative. Every day, the Caesura Letters hinges on a single word, “Today.” From science to ancient literature, we explore ideas that beg for attention and introspection. How will we live the next twenty-four hours differently than we did yesterday?

Quiet contemplation. Meaningful reflection.

Where and when do you make space for intentional thinking?

The CAESURA LETTERS is available on multiple reading platforms:

Choose a medium that best suits your rhythm and routine.


Email/Ebook Readers

Delivered to your email inbox Monday to Friday (or as a single weekly compilation if you prefer). Includes new quarterly volumes in ePub, Kindle, and PDF format.

$4.99 Monthly

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Delivered to your iOS device monthly. Our Newsstand subscription features a seamless and intuitive reading app. Free download from iTunes.

$4.99 Monthly


Print Magazine

Delivered quarterly (March, June, September, December) to your postal mailbox, in a beautifully typeset paperback edition. Pair with notepad and coffee.

$16.99 Quarterly

Volumes are published quarterly, every March, June, September, and December.

Upcoming volumes are included with a Digital Subscription (in ePub, Kindle, and PDF formats) or as hardcopy editions with a Paperback Subscription. All past volumes are available for individual purchase below.

Volume I

Beginning Today

Released 12/21/2012

Ebook $12.99

View Paperback

Volume II

All That We Are

Released 03/20/2013

Ebook $12.99

View Paperback

Volume III

Made By Thought

Released 06/21/2013

Ebook $12.99

View Paperback

Volume IV

Then And Again

Released 09/22/2013

Ebook $12.99

View Paperback

Volume V

Ways of Seeing

Released 12/21/2013

Ebook $12.99

View Paperback

Volume VI

Great Explorations

Released 03/20/2014

Ebook $12.99

View Paperback

Volume VII

Affecting Cause

Released 06/21/2014

Ebook $12.99

View Paperback

Volume VIII

Beyond Here

Released 09/22/2014

Ebook $12.99

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Volume IX

Thinking Path

Released 12/21/2014

Ebook $12.99

View Paperback

Volume X

Live to Learn

Released 03/20/2015

Ebook $12.99

View Paperback

Volume XI

There and Now

Released 06/21/2015

Ebook $12.99

View Paperback

Volume XII

Wisdom Cries

Coming 09/23/2015

Ebook $12.99

View Paperback

Volume XIII

Inventing a Planet

Coming 12/22/2015

Check Out

FAQs Sharing Terms of Use Privacy Policy Complimentary Subscriptions


  Do all subscription formats receive the same content?
Yes, the very same reading material is shared between all subscription platforms. The timing, however, does vary between formats. The material in the quarterly ebooks and paperbacks “trail” the email elivery schedule by about six months (this is because new pieces are published daily and then collected into quarterly volumes).
  What ebook readers are supported by the Caesura Letters?
The Caesura Letters volumes are delivered in ePub, Kindle, and PDF formats.
  Can I read the Caesura Letters in Instapaper?
Yes, reading the Caesura Letters in Instapaper is easy to setup if you subscribe to the Digital Subscription format. Configure your personal ‘readlater’ email address in Instapaper (login to your Instapaper account and see instapaper.com/extras to set this up). Next, use your email client to configure an email filter that forwards all new messages from today@caesuraletters.com to your Instapaper email address.
  I am a journalist or blogger. Can I acquire a review copy?
Please contact us to obtain review copies and complimentary subscriptions for journalistic purposes. Please identify the institution, company, or blog you represent.
  What are caesurae, anyway?
A caesura is a complete pause or stop in a line of poetry or in a musical composition. We chose the name Caesura Letters to reflect the periodical’s intrinsic invitation to stop, think, and reflect. Wondering how to pronounce caesura? Here’s an audio link:

Welcome Ryan Lukings to the team


We’re super excited to introduce you to a new member of the Caesura Letters entourage: Ryan Lukings brings a diverse background, a passion for learning, and a terrific sense of humour to the seismic and merciless task of weekly of …

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We’re super excited to introduce you to a new member of the Caesura Letters entourage: Ryan Lukings brings a diverse background, a passion for learning, and a terrific sense of humour to the seismic and merciless task of weekly of turning a pile of draft letters into something comprehensible by humans.

We asked him to write a up a little piece about himself, by way of introduction. As you’ll be able to tell, he fits right in.

Long and Winding Road
by Ryan Lukings

After graduating from high school with high marks in math and fairly average marks in English, I did what any ambitious young man would have done, went to work for two years at meaningless, mind-numbing jobs. There is nothing like refilling printer toner cartridges and washing rental equipment to really help someone sort out their life. What this period in my life lacked in practical life experience, it made up for in time to read good books.

I followed a girl to Wilfrid Laurier University and decided to study English literature and history. At the time, Laurier had about five-thousand students. To a guy that had gotten used to anonymity, knowing everyone in my program was a big problem. The following year I transferred to the University of Guelph where I could revel in the Birkenstock wearing, dreadlock sporting, unshorn body hair community. I graduated from there with Honours.

I married that girl from Laurier while I was at the University of Guelph. She became a teacher while I was finishing up my education. When I had my diploma in hand I suddenly had to decide what to do with it. We were looking for an adventure and started looking at the other side of the planet. Within 4 hours of submitting an application, we had signed up to go to Busan, South Korea to teach English. Within 3 weeks of that, we were standing in the airport.

We spent a year in Korea teaching, but mostly learning about ourselves and the world around us.

When we decided to come home, I applied to 3 teachers colleges, and was rejected by all of them. But, all 3 put me on the waiting lists just in case a spot opened up. Althouse College at Western University was the first to call me back. (The others called me too but they were too late.) So, we ended up moving to London.

It was supposed to be a year long stop over before we moved back to the Guelph area. But, as life happens, my wife got a permanent job, we bought a house, we had two kids and moving away became more difficult.

After graduating teachers college I spent around 7 years teaching high school English. I didn’t land a permanent position during that time (as most B.Ed. holders will sympathize with) and finally became disillusioned…or tired of sending out resumes…or tired of doing interviews…or tired of learning the newest educational jargon only to forget it the next year for the new batch…or…maybe a combination of all of them.

I decided to stay at home with my two boys, Eliott and Holden, and see what else life has to offer. I’ve been raising them full time for the past two years and loving (almost) every moment.

Somewhere along the way there I met James. He asked me if I would like to edit the Caesura Letters and here we are.

Art, history, literature, and the dissection, deconstruction, and destruction of all of them have always fascinated me. It is what drew me to teaching in the first place. Little did I know what a small part of teaching those things would be. (I take a daily dose of sour grapes.) Caesura Letters has allowed me to explore those avenues again.

  By Admin, August 22, 2015

Some of the oldest ideas…

V0006810 Philosophers: twenty portraits of classical thinkers. Engrav
Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images
Philosophers: twenty portraits of classical thinkers. Engraving by J.W. Cook, 1825.
1825 after: J. W. CookPublished: 1825

Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

This week in the Caesura Letters we are going back to the some of the earliest, bedrock ideas in Western philosophy. Before the days of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, no few thinkers had already gazed into the night sky and …

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This week in the Caesura Letters we are going back to the some of the earliest, bedrock ideas in Western philosophy. Before the days of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, no few thinkers had already gazed into the night sky and contemplated where it all came from… and what it all means. We don’t look to these thinkers to glean particularly ‘useful’ knowledge about science as we understand it today… but in the fragments of their ideas we discover the questions that inspired the journey that has led us here today.

  By James Shelley, August 9, 2015

This Is It?

This week in the Caesura Letters…

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What if this is as good as it gets?” asked Melvin Udall. This week, we wrestle with the implications of answering, “Yes.” What if we never “arrive”? What if there is no ultimate, utopian version of ourselves? What if right now is as good as it gets? Are we OK with this?

  By James Shelley, July 26, 2015

Will you wager everything?


This week in the Caesura Letters…

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Pascal’s wager is a thought proposition by the seventeenth century French thinker Blaise Pascal. It argues, basically, that it is most rational to believe in God because the consequences of not believing are eternally horrible. Obviously, this is a very old argument, but we decided to tackle it from a bunch of different perspectives. What do twentieth century folks like us have to learn from a seventeenth century argument? You might just be surprised…

  By Admin, July 19, 2015

Back to Work


This week in the Caesura Letters…

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This week, James Shelley returns with five letters revisiting the value, purpose, and meaning of work, and how our sense of these morphs and evolves. Time and technology make the idea of work ever fluid, and, like generations before us, we too are invited to pause and consider the ultimate value of our labour.

  By Admin, July 12, 2015

On Settling and Wandering


Coming up in the Caesura Letters this week…

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This coming week in the Caesura Letters, we will postulate a dichotomy, and then consider it from several angles. Here is the proposition: roughly speaking, we respond to the human condition in one of two ways — we either settle down and do what most other humans do (find a job, make a living, pay the rent, etc) or give ourselves to wandering and exploring, living to some degree less fettered by the restraints that occupy most settlers.

This week, we did something extra different, too: we pitched this proposal to our new and growing team of amazing thinkers and writers, asking them to weigh in with their perspective. This week, therefore, you are going to hear from a diversity of voices and perspectives, all more or less connected to this idea of “wandering and settling”. We hope you enjoy the fresh voices and contributions. We’d love to hear what you think about the additional writers we have brought on board.

If you are interested in receiving further calls for submissions when we run more themed series like this one, be sure to sign up for our call for submissions list. (A significant majority of our writers so far have come from our readership!) Here’s an example of some of the writing opportunities coming up, just to get your creative juices flowing.

  By Admin, July 5, 2015

Volume XI Released Today

Today we are excited to release our eleventh volume, There and Now — now en route to all Digital Subscribers. (If you are a paperback subscriber, your copy should arrive shortly, if you have not already received it.) This volume …

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Caesura Letters Volume IXToday we are excited to release our eleventh volume, There and Now — now en route to all Digital Subscribers. (If you are a paperback subscriber, your copy should arrive shortly, if you have not already received it.)

This volume is divided into six chapters, exploring the concept of contentment, the ideas of Epictetus, leadership, human emotions, justice theory, and the power of words and language.

New volumes are published quarterly, every March, June, September, and December. If you are not already a subscriber and would like to purchase this volume individually, here are the links:

Ebook (ePub, Kindle, PDF) Paperback

  By Admin, June 21, 2015

Let’s debate liberty

Freedom is a loaded word.

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All around the world, we hear a lot of talk about liberty. We defend liberty. Love liberty. Die for liberty. Accuse other people of undermining our liberty.

But what is liberty?

For the next couple weeks, the question of liberty will lead us on an exploration into several ancient and modern thinkers, from die-hard classical republicans to die-hard libertarians. Whether you lean to the so-called ‘right’ or ‘left’ of the political spectrum, strap in and get ready: no matter what you believe about your liberty, at least one of these thinkers is going to disagree with your definition and challenge your underlying assumptions.

The topic of liberty is compelling for many reasons, but for me personally, I am most fascinated by its magnitude for society and its simultaneous immediate, intimate implications for personal life. Am I free? Are we free? These are questions we must ask in tandem. Investigating liberty leads us to ponder the heights of political order at the same time as it prompts us to think about our own ability to make daily choices.

I’d love to hear what you think. Kick-start a discussion by clicking the ‘Respond’ link an upcoming email and leaving a message on the site.

If you’d like to dig deeper, here is some supplemental reading to check out over the next few weeks:

  By James Shelley, May 16, 2015

The Caesura Letters Recruits Contributing Authors

Thanks to your constructive input and affirmation, we are moving ahead with the proposal to add more contributing writers to the Caesura Letters. We are committed to maintaining our rigorously high standard of quality and consistency. Indeed, we have decided …

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Thanks to your constructive input and affirmation, we are moving ahead with the proposal to add more contributing writers to the Caesura Letters. We are committed to maintaining our rigorously high standard of quality and consistency. Indeed, we have decided to expand our author base in order create an even more compelling and provocative place to discover new ideas. (James Shelley will continue to be the principle researcher and writer, and maintains editorial oversight of the publication.) We will be following a very slow, careful, and gradual process of implementation, but you will occasionally hear some new voices chiming in over the course of the summer.

If you are personally interested in being a part of the team…

✉ Sign up to the contributors email list for updates, calls for submissions, etc.
☞ Read the Writing Guidelines & Author Agreement for our ethos, style, formatting rules, etc.
✎ Submit letters for consideration using this form.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

  By Admin, May 9, 2015

Influence and Authority – how we shape one another

The daily letters this week are gathered around a theme: how is it that we influence one another?

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How do we influence each other?

To start considering the angles we might take on this topic, consider this letter, published about a month ago. The idea we explored then was the proposition that leaders are influenced by their followers, just as followers are influenced by their leaders. As a leader changes and alters her environment, her environment changes and alters her in turn.

This week, we’ll extrapolate on this general idea further, and think about how influence, authority, and the affects we have on one another never seem to take place in a vacuum.

  By James Shelley, May 9, 2015

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