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New Existentialists

Doors That Open on Beauty: Bodily Knowing and Existential Living

05/29/2014
Doors That Open on Beauty: Bodily Knowing and Existential Living
I have a quirky knack. For as long as I can remember, I have been able to pinpoint the exact center of a space or midpoint of a line. I can also space objects at equal distances from each other (when I care to do so) by simply “eyeballing” the entirety of what I am trying to accomplish. My accuracy is downright scary. My wife will be the first to tell you that this is no idle boast on my part. Our walls are filled with pictures and art objects hung the old fashioned way. Basically, she maneuvers frames, and I utter the expected steady stream of “a little more to the left,...

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New Existentialists

There's Poverty, and There's Poverty

05/28/2014
There's Poverty, and There's Poverty
My friends didn't believe in giving money to homeless people. But I couldn't escape the notion that I should be doing something. It was Shanghai in maybe 2009 or 10. Wealth was everywhere, crazy wealth. In Hong Kong, we had walked through an indoor mall for three hours. It seemed endless. Commerce was alive and well. People had money, no recession apparent in that place. The Chinese had money to spend. In Shanghai, we'd wandered around another mall near the Bund. Money everywhere. It wasn't that year that our conference was in Shanghai, but later we would go to the conference...

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New Existentialists

2551 Saturdays

05/27/2014
2551 Saturdays
There’s a website called 4000Saturdays and, among other things on the site, it contains a life calculator. You enter your birth date, and it calculates how many Saturdays you have lived and how many more you will live (if we take as given that 4000 Saturdays is the average number of Saturdays in a person’s life). The website tells me I have about 2551 more Saturdays left to enjoy. Oh my God! Today, the day I chose to do this little calculation, is indeed, a Saturday, and a very dull one. I can’t live any more Saturdays like this! Life’s too short, 2551 Saturdays are...

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Rethinking Complexity

Education at the Edge of Possibility (Part II)

05/24/2014
Education at the Edge of Possibility (Part II)
My most recent professional experiences have brought me back to think about evolving education. In my previous blog I shared a little bit of the journey that has taken me to this moment. By evolving education I mean both integrating learning into life as well as designing new learing systems.  Both are necessary. The first is about supporting a culture that embraces our growth and personal development as an ongoing lifelong process. Such a culture will recognize that as human beings we are always expanding and that in our life time we go through transitions or deeper transformations that...

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New Existentialists

Existential Roundup

05/23/2014
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. As this weekend is Memorial Day, it seemed appropriate to think about those who have experienced great traumas, and have often been labelled, for better or worse, with diagnoses of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. What particularly piqued my interest in revisiting this subject, besides the timeliness, was an article in Wednesday’s The New York Times entitled “The Civil War and P.T.S.D.” While it...

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New Existentialists

Numbers That Lie

05/22/2014
Numbers That Lie
If there is an “original sin” to intellectual culture of the last 500 years, it is the Big Data fallacy—the idea that if we can just gather up enough raw data, we can finally understand everything we need to know about the world. Is someone not happy? All you have to do is develop a better set of metrics for personality tests. Is consciousness not revealing its secrets? All you need to do is model the brain more perfectly. Are people behaving in unpredictable ways? You just need more information on their habits and shopping patterns. More data, the theory goes, always...

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New Existentialists

Embattled Metaphors

05/21/2014
Embattled Metaphors
For the last seven months or so, my high school friends and I have been engaged in a project we never anticipated—every Sunday night at 10 pm Eastern Time, wherever we are and whatever we are doing, we stop, and we send good vibes or a song of the week or prayers or positive energy to our dear classmate who has been dealing with lung cancer. At first, doctors told him the cancer was inoperable and they could only ease his pain. A second opinion got him a painful but successful operation eradicating the tumors, and sending him on the road to recovery with a prescription for prophylactic...

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New Existentialists

Leveling the Playing Field: A Place in the Herd

05/20/2014
Leveling the Playing Field: A Place in the Herd
I live in a Central Ohio suburb. It’s the kind of place where kids play on the street in front of their homes while dogs lie on front porches watching the world go by and the neighbors all know each other by name. On a summer evening, the smell of steaks cooking on outdoor grills and freshly cut grass waft through the air. The white picket fences, traditional mailboxes, and manicured lawns that surround me are a symbol of privilege and a testament to achieving the American Dream. It’s the Hollywood version of suburban America that I grew up watching in movies and TV shows in...

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New Existentialists

Where Autopoiesis Becomes Myth

05/19/2014
Where Autopoiesis Becomes Myth
What is the relationship between the mind (subjectivity), the brain (neurochemistry), and the transcognitive (myth)? In other words, when do unconscious, autopoietic biochemical functions enter the subjective world of intentional meaning and become interpreted at the symbolic or mythic level of conscious experience? Where autopoiesis approaches myth at the moment of conception, when the spark or light of germinal consciousness first appears, it becomes myth during the first few months of life with the development of the nervous system, when the organism in utero intersubjectively infuses what...

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New Existentialists

Existential Roundup

05/16/2014
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. As we note that it has been almost one year since the DSM 5 has hit the bookshelves in spite of its plethora of flaws, we can also note that the whole idea of diagnosis has begun to evolve. Of course, in existential-humanistic circles, diagnosis has always been a questionable concept, but even those outside the E-H circles are beginning to shift some of the rigidity in the thinking, as evidenced by the new...

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