Posts tagged with the category Key Concepts
The Tragedy of Meaning
In the light of massive tragedies, such as last Friday morning’s terrible shooting spree in Aurora, CO, leaving 12 dead and another 58 wounded, we are always asking, “Why?”
Why did this happen?
Why did he do it?
Why in this way at this time?
The accused shooter, James Holmes, appeared in court today, with bright orange hair and said nothing. The...
Modesty creates pornography.
Follow me on this thought experiment. Imagine people tomorrow became completely immodest, giving up clothing and walls. Imagine sex became a no-big-deal public activity like having a meeting or eating lunch. Could you do sex tomorrow at 9am? Oh, that’s a little early for me. Could we try a little later in the day?
The Tragedy of Preconceived Notions
Among the top stories in the New York City area during the past two weeks has been the tragic death of a 12-year-old boy who was sent home from the emergency room with a fever and and rapid heart rate before his blood tests came back revealing a bacterial infection—sepsis—that killed him three days later.
This was all following a cut the boy,...
The Dark Night of the Soul
It is a sight forever etched in my memory … a hillside ablaze. Trees, houses, anything that could or would burn was burning. If there is a hell, the image of that burning hillside comes very close to my mental picture of hell. I live in Colorado Springs, and unless you have been hiding under a rock for the last several weeks, you know that part of...
Existential Lessons from My Mother
Existential therapists prefer to talk about the here-and-now and the future, and often avoid the past. This can be a mistake. In part, this is rooted in a corrective to approaches to psychology excessively focused on the past. A holistic psychology must equally value the past, the present, and the future as these are all part of who we are. I...
Considering Institutional Cover-ups Using an Existentialist Perspective
Living in Philadelphia in recent months, I have been listening to news about two scandals—one involving a Monsignor of the Catholic Church accused of covering up sexual abuse committed by a priest, and the scandal that broke last Fall involving a football coach at Penn State University accused of molesting young boys.
Both trials occurred during...
Clients often come to therapy looking for relief from symptoms, armed with talking points from pharmaceutical advertisements (depression is a serious medical condition, I’m taking anti-depressants but I still feel sad, depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain and I need to correct it).
Sometimes, however, they arrive with a...
None of Your Busy-ness!
Tim Kreider’s (2012) recent article in The New York Times’s Opinionator section entitled “The Busy Trap” really struck a chord with me. Not so much because I am juggling a lot of different projects at the moment, but rather because I heard the voices of so many people with whom I come into contact these days.
I have come to truly despise the...
Let Freedom Ring, Just Not Too Loud
As Americans, we pride ourselves on being fierce advocates for freedom, as well as national and individual independence. Historically, these have formed the foundation of our collective value system; generally speaking, they continue to function in this essential role, and our annual celebration of this fact is both necessary and inspiring. It...
Community for the 21st Century
The word “community,” and the phrases “building community” or “creating community” are constantly bandied about in our 21st century Western life, but this “community” often feels very different from our forebearers’ notion.
In the past, and even now, in some places, community existed within the clearly defined boundaries of physical or...
Truth and Beauty
An object seen from a distance reveals only its principle.
Beauty is truth and truth beauty.
I've been asking people to try to embody beauty. That is, when you experience something as beautiful how do you feel? What is that like?
This is part of my accelerating quest to encounter the world as a human. Too often I feel...
Exercising the Freedom to Choose—For Better or Worse
If you live in New York City, pay attention to New York City news, or even watch, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart you may have heard about Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to make the selling of large size (more than 16 ounce) sugary beverages illegal, and subject to a $200 fine. As Jon Stewart has pointed out on the air, this would be twice as...