Posts tagged with the category Jason Dias
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...
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...
Private and Public Spaces
A few years ago, I tried my hand at a fancy decorating technique in my master bathroom. I was going for deep red with vertical white lines, but my deep red bled through my painters’ tape. Rather than crisp white lines, I got an unfinished look.
The house has needed a lot of other work, and my wife and I stay pretty busy. This room has been left in...
Wildfires and The Dignity of Risk
Recently, wildfires crept up to the edge of my town and started to nibble at the edges. Government services did a wonderful job of keeping people safe. Thousands of professional firefighters and support personnel came from all over the country, most visibly the C130 fleet operated by the Air National Guard. The fire was quickly contained with no...
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?
Robots, Slavery, and iPhones
My mother-in-law is a smart lady with whom I love to converse. The conversations are always a little bit manic, ranging over a lot of ground in a short time, and usually provoke some deep thought. She inspired this piece with some concerns about the iPhone, specifically its voice application, “Siri.” She cited a time a friend asked Siri if she...
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...
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...
Faded Chinese Ballroom
I am just returning from the tour that surrounds the International Conference on Existential Psychology in China. We began our visit this year in Shanghai. Most went home from there, with some moving on through other cities. I did some training in Wuhan for pastoral counselors and met up with the rest of the travelers in Shenzhen; we went through...
On Fragile Art and People
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...
The Value of Suicide Ideation
As a student, the clinics where I earned my hours had particular attitudes towards suicide ideation: it is bad and needs to be treated. Lately, I hear about an even more extreme posture from psychiatric institutions: namely, a person who reports suicide ideation cannot be discharged until they no longer report these thoughts.
I have never used a...
The Power to Give and the Power to Receive
I had this experience a couple years ago that has been haunting me off and on ever since.
When guys go “over there,” they know what they are signing up for. They don’t think they are coming back. Their delusion, if they have one, is that their death will have some kind of meaning: they will die honorably, in the line, pulling their brother out of...