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Rethinking Complexity

Cross-cultural Encounters: A Gateway to Transformative Learning

06/03/2014
Cross-cultural Encounters: A Gateway to Transformative Learning
This month I travelled to Finland for a conference on Culture, Values, and Justice.  An interesting group of scholars attended who were exploring the many aspects, interrelationships, and applications of ideas that comprise these three areas.  To me, these three subjects and their interrelationships suggest three questions that define the nature of being human.  Who are we?  What do we hold as important? How do we participate in our relationships in a way that upholds our humanness? These are not questions that are easy to discuss, whether in private or public forums....

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New Existentialists

No Way to Prevent This? Well, Maybe There Is...

06/03/2014
No Way to Prevent This? Well, Maybe There Is...
Much in the way that some families only see each other at funerals, America only seems to have a conversation about mental health when somebody dies. These are the worst times to have such a conversation, because the needs of the survivors are at odds with the needs of a “national discussion about” anything. The result is a kind of Kabuki Theater around guns, politics, and mental health that for all its noise accomplishes less than a moment of honest silence ever could. But here we are again, confronting the fact that—as The Onion so elegantly put it—the only nation on...

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New Existentialists

Dogs and Existential Psychology

06/02/2014
Dogs and Existential Psychology
Dog lovers know that picking a breed is often an important part of responsible pet ownership. It also says a lot about ourselves and can be a source of self-awareness. Choosing a pet that is a good fit is important for the family as well as for the dog. Too often, a wrong match can lead to the pet being mislabeled as a “bad dog” or not having the life that they deserve. Dogs and Spirituality People have often scoffed when I have said that dogs are an important part of my spirituality. I am a dog lover. I enjoy their companionship and have fun playing with dogs, but it is more than...

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Rethinking Complexity

Seeking a Global Future Beyond the Horizon of Conventional Rationality

05/31/2014
Seeking a Global Future Beyond the Horizon of Conventional Rationality
Summer is approaching, my backyard has come to life with the lush greenery of late Spring in northeast Ohio, our youngest daughter just graduated high school, and as I take a moment to reflect, interrupting my accustomed pattern of research, gardening, and violin practice, it suddenly occurs to me:  By this time next week I will be in Milan with my family beginning a long anticipated three-week journey through Bella Italia.  Having spent the past few months with my nose in the books, exploring various theoretical constructs and cultural understandings related to human values as seen...

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New Existentialists

Existential Roundup

05/30/2014
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. Unfortunately, the news of the week has returned to the psychology of mass shooters in the wake of the most recent incident last weekend in Santa Barbara, CA. Previously discussions on this site have discussed the futility of trying to actually get into the mind of these people—of trying to figure out what made them snap against us—since one of our more powerful coping strategies is to create the us-...

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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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