Danyl McLauchlan wanted to get closer to the hidden truth of things. But it was starting to look like the hidden truth of things was that nothing was real, everything was suffering, and he didn’t really exist. In these essays Danyl explores ideas and paths that he hopes will make him freer and happier – or, at least, less trapped, less medicated and less depressed. He stays at a monastery and meditates for eight hours a day. He spends time with members of a new global movement who try to figure out how to do the most possible good in the world. He reads forbiddingly complex papers on neuroscience and continental philosophy and shovels clay with a Buddhist monk until his hands bleed. He tries to catch a bus. Tranquillity and Ruin is a light-hearted contemplation of madness, uncertainty and doom. It’s about how, despite everything we think we know about who we are, we can still be surprised by ourselves.