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New Existentialists

Opening to Heartfulness: Gratitude and the Sacred

11/26/2014
Opening to Heartfulness: Gratitude and the Sacred
Last year, I was teaching a section of Existential-Humanistic Psychotherapy and discussing with my students the topic of mysticism and personal experiences of the “sacred,” which I loosely define as that which is associated with authentic perception of beauty, feelings of awe, and the dawning of wordless profound wisdom that enriches our lives. Trusting that they had at least glanced at the assigned readings on Maslowian peak experiences, trance, William James, shamanism, and indigenous spiritual traditions, I asked them in class to identify the hallmarks of a mystical or sacred...

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New Existentialists

What's With All the Slapping?

11/25/2014
What's With All the Slapping?
I was trying to find a story for a friend, a Zen koan about a master slapping his student. They were walking through a field and a flock of geese rose up, and the student commented how beautiful they were. Then the master slapped him, and he experienced a moment of satori. In that moment, he said, "They were always here!" I don't remember where I read the story or when, but it has always stuck with me. And trying to find it, I came across a number of Internet threads wondering why there is so much slapping and hitting in these stories. A bunch of such stories came up related to...

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New Existentialists

Empathy Blindness and the Joyless Life

11/24/2014
Empathy Blindness and the Joyless Life
I did something unusual as a graduate student of psychology. While all my colleagues were studying ways that people can become miserable, I was interested in what makes people joyful and happy. When I would tell my professors or colleagues that I wanted to study joy for my dissertation, a typical response was a belittling chuckle. But within the past 10-15 years, joy has become a hot subject (Robbins, 2008), and people are not laughing anymore when I tell them I study joy. Well, they do smile though—but in a good way. In my research on joy (Robbins, 2006), participants describe the...

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New Existentialists

Existential Roundup

11/21/2014
Existential Roundup
Welcome to the Existential Roundup, where we bring you links to some articles currently trending that may be of interest to those in the existential-humanistic psychology community. In honor of Thanksgiving, I would like to present a list of existential (and related) websites to be grateful for (and to browse instead of shopping, either in the stores or online). Without further ado, and with the hope that readers will start contributing their own so that this list will grow: 5+ Existential (and related) Websites for Which I Am Grateful: Project Gutenberg—the original free eBook site,...

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Rethinking Complexity

Engaging Team Members: Managing by Building Relationships

11/20/2014
Engaging Team Members: Managing by Building Relationships
As discussed in Keeping Team Members Engaged in a Distributed Workplace: Initial Thoughts for Discussion, it is hard to stay current with everything, let alone be fully active in all of the networks in which we are members. It is a challenge to accomplish work demands while fulfilling personal responsibilities, not to mention trying to have some type of leisure moments that foster rejuvenation and enable “re-creation.” There is too much happening in our networked lifestyles, where boundaries are hard to maintain or have vanished altogether between the workplace and home life....

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New Existentialists

What Gives Your Job Meaning?

11/20/2014
What Gives Your Job Meaning?
Those lucky enough to have jobs are spending more and more time at them—so it matters more than ever to our mental health and psychological well-being what makes people happy on the job. A recent poll asked Americans what it is that makes them happy at work, and the answers aren’t really surprising to anyone with an existential bent. A significant number (88 percent) said it mattered to them that they could believe in the mission and purpose of their company. Meanwhile companies with fewer than 100 employees had a higher chance of those employees saying they were satisfied than...

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New Existentialists

Number 9

11/19/2014
Number 9
Jack Benny, one of the 20th century’s greatest comedians to come out of the radio and Vaudeville circuit, was forever telling people who asked that he was 39. Even when it was painfully clear he wasn’t. And everyone laughed at the joke every time. And having just experienced/endured/gone through for the first of many times a birthday of my own ending in the number “9,” I was fascinated by a New York Magazine article that has started making the rounds of social media since its appearance yesterday on the website. Entitled “We Make Our Big Life Decisions at 29, 39...

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Rethinking Complexity

What is the Humanistic Perspective?

11/18/2014
What is the Humanistic Perspective?
In a recent letter to the Saybrook University community, incoming president Nathan Long, EdD, affirms our “passionate dedication to mission” and states that “in a day and age in which higher education is faced with myriad challenges both internally and externally, Saybrook’s approach to progressive research and scholarly application is even more relevant that it was 42 years ago.”  This unique approach, expressed in Saybrook’s mission, core principles and values, has often been described as stemming from a “humanistic perspective,” in...

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New Existentialists

How 'Bout a Side of Meaning With Your Brush With Death?

11/18/2014
How 'Bout a Side of Meaning With Your Brush With Death?
As we head into the thick of the holiday season, we don’t have to look far or hard to pithy sayings invoking positivity and goodness, or stories with lots of happy endings. Tis shortly the season for the half full cup to runneth over. Don’t you dare rain on my parade! We Americans, especially, love a good, happy ending! Where the boy gets the girl, the parent is reunited with the child, the hero is saved and lives to fight another day, or the world is made safe for democracy. Cliché after cliché after cliché. And we just eat it up because anything else is too...

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New Existentialists

Psychoneurointracrinology

11/17/2014
Psychoneurointracrinology
Psychoneurointracrinology Defined Psychoneurointracrinology is the study of psychological, neurological, and intracrinological processes forming a mind-brain continuum within the person (Gordon, 2007, 2013, 2015, in press). Psycho (psychological) refers to constructs variously referred to as psyche, self, soul, mind, and consciousness. Neuro (neurological) refers to the composition and reactions within the nervous system. Intracrine (intracrinological) refers to the intracellular biosynthesis of steroids, the binding of receptors, and the formation of enzymes that catalyze the creation of...

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