It matters that people have a way to use the latest findings in psychology beyond buying a pill for depression. It matters that people have a way of looking at their lives that lets them ask the big questions and determine how they want to live – and that this is supported by therapists and mental health professionals.

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Posts tagged with the category 21st century life

Ebenezer Scrooge in a 19th woodcut by John Leech.
The holiday season is my favorite time of the year. Every year I look forward to it with great excitement, eagerly anticipate it, and can’t wait for it to arrive. Most especially, I love Christmas. While I know it may sound corny and cliché to some, I do believe that it is truly magical and profoundly special, a phenomenon of...
I don’t go in for a lot of religion (none, if you want the truth). And yet, this morning I awoke with a phrase from the Old Testament in my head: “Take off your sandals. This is holy ground.” This is the first time Moses meets El at the burning bush in Exodus (3:5). Strange for this old piece of lore to be loitering in my head....
The New York Times’ special report on “The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder”  is one more reminder, in a long trail of breadcrumbs, that we become the stories we tell about ourselves. Things that once seemed inevitable—hardwired in, biologically determined—were, in many cases, inventions to suit our life...
Photo by South Africa The Good News.
Most of us don't lack compassion so much as we avoid it. We resist compassion in the United States with a peculiar hypocrisy, extolling the virtues of volunteerism, for instance, while making volunteerism more of a necessity by diminishing our budgetary commitments to the poor and powerless. ... Our primary response to human suffering...
H. L. Mencken.
Florence King once defined “misanthropes” as “people who can’t suffer fools, and like to see fools suffer.” It’s hard for me to think of a healthier motto, and I’d like to suggest by way of this essay that King’s 1993 history of misanthropy, “With Charity Toward None,” should be on...
Photo by Alex Proimos.
Jesus of Nazareth told the story of two men praying in the Temple. One man, a religious leader in the community, stood in a place where his presence and prayers were obvious to others. He was dressed in the finest robes, and he spoke loudly, “Oh, God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, crooks, adulterers, or, heaven...
Pathological diagnosis can be used by medical and psychological professionals as a neutralizing technique by transforming social discontent into personal doubt and imaginary demons. For the vulnerable subject involved it can function as a kind of mental pill that if swallowed can leave them impotent and unable to defend themselves or see reality...
The sentencing of Bradley Manning in August 2013 ended for the moment a type of social theater where many interesting and at times disturbing realities were brought to center stage. In relation to the theme of psychological diagnosis, what was fascinating was how the legal debate surrounding Manning's reasoning for leaking the documents...
Within Existential conversations, there is a lot of talk about Being. And why not? Existentialism has been called the “Science of Being” and, as such, how “Being” is defined and understood tends to be the basic premise against which all our movement’s themes and concerns are evaluated. “Being” has been...
I was raised in many ways to be British. When it comes to holidays, though, American holidays can be some of my favorite. Christmas I find nauseating and struggle every year with feelings of sadness and disgust, but Halloween is great fun, and Thanksgiving is increasingly a favorite. In many ways, it is too easy to point at the ways American...
Photo by Ian Capper.
I chose this quote by Nietzsche as the title of my blog because I was reminded of it during a recent trip I took through southern Xing Jiang in Northwest China earlier this month. My friends in Xing Jiang introduced me to the multi-leaved poplar tree (poplar diversifolia). My friends brought me to admire the transient beauty of the poplar when it...
Johann Peter Hasenclever's Die Sentimentale
This past week I was looking for a definition of perception for some academic work and sat down to read through my notes on Aldous Huxley’s Doors of Perception (1954). The vivid accounts of magnanimous shifts of consciousness were enticing. I thought about the fantastic accounts of folds in trousers and bamboo chairs: how items in a drug...