Posts tagged with the category Key Concepts
“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.”
-- William Shakespeare
As the pilot gently lifted the plane into the dirty white sky settling over the island’s western coast, I put my head back, closed my eyes, and reflected on the past six days. They were days of triumph and tragedy, of beauty and banality, of chaos and calm, of dreams and...
We Are a Christian Nation
We are a Christian nation.
We say it; we believe it; we don’t think that much more about it. And all our un-Christ-like thoughts and impulses are denied, becoming daimonic.
Stephen Diamond (1996) posited that thoughts and feelings left untended can grow to dominate the personality. The angry person who denies their anger stops noticing they are...
Key ideas in Phenomenology: The Reduction
My most recent post was a short discussion of what “the natural attitude” means in Husserl’s phenomenology. As I mentioned, the natural attitude is the perspective of everyday life. For Husserl, the process he calls the phenomenological reduction is the means by which the phenomenologist frees himself from the reifications of the natural attitude...
95 Percent Inspiration
Where does inspiration come from?
Sometimes I find myself trolling through books and articles, looking for a line or a thought that inspires me to action, whether that action is writing or performing a difficult task or simply getting up in the morning. But it is rare that in the act of actively “looking” for inspiration through words that I...
Lies, Truth, and the Call of Conscience
Unless you have been living under a rock during the last two weeks or live in a country that does not find U.S. news an addictively bad soap opera, you are well-aware of the political battle regarding “facts” and “truth.”
In a New York Times op-ed piece last week, Charles Blow said, “Honesty is a lost art. Facts are for losers. The truth is dead....
Lessons From a Horse
It was a Tuesday afternoon, the kind of perfect, rare Michigan weather that makes you happy to be alive and experiencing the world. An avid horsewoman, I could think of no better way to spend the day then with my family and my horses. I set out with three family members on a ride through the trails adjacent to our barn. I remember looking down at...
Travel, Politics, and Tending the Mote In Our Eye
I don’t vote.
I don’t vote, because I think the system is evolving, and the only way for it to evolve into something good and worthwhile is for people to keep making mistakes. We have to repeat painful errors enough times until we decide to change the system. Meanwhile, we have to continue to live with the consequences of not changing the system...
On the Movement and Interrelation of Youth and Diversity
Your old road is rapidly agin'
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
I’m interested in the thematic connection between two exciting and important movements in existential-humanistic psychology today: the youth movement (Bargdill, 2011) and the move toward diversity (Hoffman, Yang, Kaklauskas, & Chan, 2009).*...
Reflections of an Existential Grandmother
I have always defined myself as an existentialist. As a parent, this meant I was responsible for providing opportunities for my children so they could develop into unique individuals. I watched as they created their respective identities through the authentic (fortunately, more authentic than inauthentic) choices they made. It was easy to see my...
When Many Men Pass One Way
I took the road less traveled, and it made all the difference. - Robert Frost
At the 2nd International Conference on Existential Psychology held in Shanghai in May, Xuefu Wang presented a keynote address on Lu Xun and the Iron House, providing a quick glimpse into an indigenous Chinese model of existential psychology and psychotherapy...
Key Ideas in Phenomenology: The Natural Attitude
From a phenomenological perspective, in everyday life, we see the objects of our experience such as physical objects, other people, and even ideas, as simply real and straightforwardly existent. In other words, they are “just there.” We don’t question their existence: we view them as facts.
When we leave our house in the morning, we take the...
I have a confession to make. I am occasionally prone to outbursts of anger.
Now some of you may be shocked and appalled, while others of you share my pain, and still others might say that’s no big deal—depending on your personal experiences with anger and rage.
I would be much more accepting of my anger if I felt it was actually productive and...