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 Art and Existentialism

I am in a Shanghai art museum, looking at paintings that are hundreds of years old. So old, in fact, that even light damages them. But what good is art kept in the dark, out of view? Why preserve it if it will never be seen? So these paintings hang behind leaded glass, under dim lights controlled by motion sensors. I see a darkened room that...
Nina Simone in 1982. Photo by Roland Godefroy.
It is one of those 4 A.M. nights and my “blog” time is up, so I might as well go with what is upon me. After all, isn’t a blog really just a diary gone public; everyone putting their two cents in for all the world to see? Just the word “blog,” can make me cringe, and I did resist this whole idea at first. Now, each time the month rolls around, I...
Joseph Merrick in the 1889 British Medical Journal.
The gift of cinema is a holistic experience like no other art form. It engages every sense but smell and taste (unless you count when John Waters' “Polyester” was being screened. Scratch and sniff cards were handed out at the theaters, like 3-D glasses, and not all of the scents were as pleasant as the classroom childhood relics flavored with...
He sat serious on Eagle Island, face blanched and wings clipped, fearless, furied, and focused. His stillness was so, the trees around him writhed and twisted in torment and mayhem, alive and more liberated than this icon of freedom: the whole world spectated and moved on by . . . - Candice Hershman Read more posts by Candice Hershman Keep...
Steve Almond, an author and MFA, says that writing workshops are taking the place of therapy sessions in modern culture.  Writing in the March 23 edition of The New York Times, the frequent workshop instructor says that over the years he’s seen people coming into MFA programs and writing workshops not to learn crafts, but to have a...
In the titular movie, Beatrix Kiddo awakens after several years in a coma brought on by the treacherous actions of Bill, her former boss and lover and father to her child.  Both she and her child are presumed comfortably dead by Bill and his employees, the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. But Kiddo is no longer dead.  She rises from her...
Fame is a dangerous drug. I should know. I wrote the book on it — or, rather, the book chapter. That chapter, “Ready for the Close-up: Celebrity experience and the phenomenology of fame,” describes the dead-end cycle of fame’s merry-go-round through first-hand reports of celebrity experience in the book Film and Television...
This is the story of two worlds, the one we know and another which exists only in the mind of a young airman whose life and imagination have been violently shaped by war. Any resemblance to any other world known or unknown is purely coincidental.  This introduction to Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 1946 film A Matter of Life...
There is no escaping the national and global significance of the Occupy movements in New York, Oakland, and elsewhere. This is especially true for those of us who encounter Occupy events daily as witnesses or participants. Politico recently reported that since the advent of Occupy Wall Street there has been a dramatic spike in the use of the...
The other day I was having a conversation with a friend about the recent film, “The Ides Of March”. We talked about the cutthroat business of politics and the all too realistic portrayal in the story line. Loss of innocence, ego jousting and primal survival tactics were all at play. Later on in the day however, I began to see something...
A new book is promoting a new, mechanistic, theory of why we laugh.  According to the authors of  Inside Jokes: Using Humor to Reverse-Engineer the Mind Human being have a sense of humor because the mind is a computer (“our brains are Chevy engines running Maserati software”) dedicated to constantly making sense of the...
To know hope, one must know hopelessness.  The deeper the experience of hopelessness, the greater the possibility of a stronger, more significant hope.  The fullness and power of joy and optimism are rooted in one’s willingness to embrace his or her shadow.  Until we confront the nature and reality of our existence, the less...