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New Existentialists

Worth Dying For

01/15/2015
Worth Dying For
The world is changing. If you want to survive in the modern world, you have to be leaner, sharper, colder. You have to cut back on love and empathy and focus more on the bottom line. Don't get me wrong: I love your idealism. I just think you need to be more realistic. Look, so you've got this great mission and all, but look at it this way: if you can't meet the financials, you won't be around in a year or two years or five years. Then who's going to do all this great work you're about? Nobody, that's who. The sharks are going to have the pool all to themselves. I...

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New Existentialists

Learning to Live With Ambiguity

01/14/2015
Learning to Live With Ambiguity
Writing in the Pacific Standard, Jerry Adler suggests that research psychology—like most branches of experimental science right now—is facing a crisis. Poorly proofed journals, unreproducible results, questionable statistical models … It leads him to ask the headlining question: “Can Social Scientists Save Themselves?” Or will reformation need to come from the outside? Ironically the article opens with a discussion of physicist Alan Sokal’s prank on the journal Social Text, which is often credited with dethroning post-modernism from humanities departments...

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New Existentialists

Mr. Bill’s Last Gift

01/13/2015
Mr. Bill’s Last Gift
This weekend, I attended the funeral for a wonderful man I knew as “Mr. Bill.” I work as a therapeutic riding instructor teaching kids with emotional, cognitive, and physical challenges the art of horseback riding. The program is supported by an army of volunteers who dedicate their time and energy into ensuring that the horses are well cared for, and the students have safe and enjoyable lessons. By walking alongside the horse and rider during the lesson, volunteers often develop strong attachments to the students they work with, and vice versa. Mr. Bill was one of our first...

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New Existentialists

The Power of Memory

01/12/2015
The Power of Memory
Nine years ago tonight, almost to the minute that I am writing this, I was rushed to the hospital in screaming amounts of pain. You see, I had had a migraine at that point for about two days, but I knew all day long that something was very different. I had a set regimen of medications and alternative remedies that I would always use to at least ameliorate if not relieve the pain. This time, not only was nothing making even the slightest dent, but the pain wasn’t moving as it always did. And it would hurt when I made certain movements, which were unusual for my migraines. And that...

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New Existentialists

Existential Roundup

01/09/2015
Existential Roundup
Welcome to the Existential Roundup, where we bring you links to some articles currently trending that may be of interest to those in the existential-humanistic psychology community. Less than two weeks into 2015, tragedy is already dominating the world landscape. But really, some of the tragedies we speak of began even earlier, as the pain of 2014 merely continued. I speak specifically of Jennifer Finney Boylan’s article from The New York Times entitled “How to Save Your Life: A Response to Leelah Alcorn's Suicide Note” in which she describes the tragic death of a 17-...

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New Existentialists

Existential Roundup

01/08/2015
Existential Roundup
Welcome to the Existential Roundup, where we bring you links to some articles currently trending that may be of interest to those in the existential-humanistic psychology community. Less than two weeks into 2015, tragedy is already dominating the world landscape. But really, some of the tragedies we speak of began even earlier, as the pain of 2014 merely continued. I speak specifically of Jennifer Finney Boylan’s article from The New York Times entitled “How to Save Your Life: A Response to Leelah Alcorn's Suicide Note” in which she describes the tragic death of a 17-...

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New Existentialists

Let Us Give Thanks for Living Through Another December

01/07/2015
Let Us Give Thanks for Living Through Another December
The changing of the calendar year does not inspire me to celebrate. My “new year” comes at the end of autumn, as the trees—at the height of their high def beauty—drop their leaves and turn inward, surrendering to the growing darkness with a faith and grace I rarely muster. I reflected on my year back in October; I liked what I had reaped and sown, and am proceeding ahead with a commitment to a compassionate optimism. In my inner spiritual calendar, it’s almost Imbolc (Candlemas), the “spring’s spring,” and Jan 1 is just an ordinary day. Yet, the...

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New Existentialists

Blaming the Victim

01/06/2015
Blaming the Victim
I am in an abusive relationship. It's hard to spot. Nobody in my house is hitting anybody or neglecting anyone, or shouting, insulting, degrading. In fact, the abusive relationship does not involve my family at all, except as codependents. What I'm addicted to is money, and my family can't live with me unless I have some. And the abusers are my employers. And maybe even the society that enables them. Lots of us are abused by our employers. They value money over labor, and please stockholders at the cost of, well, everything. Most people receiving “welfare,” the complex...

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New Existentialists

Part of the Solution

01/05/2015
Part of the Solution
“If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” The above phrase has become a rallying cry of activists of all sorts. Of late, I’ve seen it on the newsfeeds of many Facebook friends—real friends—who have been active in the protests in New York City. But I have a real problem with this rallying cry—it is polarizing. Once again, in these times of divisiveness, I turn to Schneider’s (2013) The Polarized Mind. In the introduction, Schneider describes polarization as “a murderous plague,” and as we bear witness right now to...

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New Existentialists

Existential Roundup

01/02/2015
Existential Roundup
Welcome to the Existential Roundup, where we bring you links to some articles currently trending that may be of interest to those in the existential-humanistic psychology community. Happy 2015! Only two days into the new year and some of us are still considering what resolutions to make for the coming year while others have already said goodbye to resolutions already broken (well, I said no coffee or sugar, but…). So of course, it is only appropriate to look at the some of the recent articles on changing our habits, because as we existentialists know, everything we do and think in this...

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