Sometimes the bang of a gavel can be as loud as the roar of a cannon.
Late last month the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that offering “material assistance” of any kind – even advice or insight – to groups the government labels as terrorist is a crime prosecutable under federal law. It doesn’t matter if it’s part of an academic study, or even an effort to convince the group to abandon violence: even offering a terrorist group training in non-violent conflict resolution, the court declared, is aiding and abetting the enemy. And efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to child victims of conflict may be violating the law if aid passes through groups designated as terrorist
Academics around the world who study conflict resolution, including many who study terrorist organizations, have found the decision alarming. Saybrook Psychology and Human Science faculty member Marc Pilisuk has initiated a resolution, subsequently modified by members of the Peace and Justice Studies Association and now approved by the its Board, voicing an unwillingness to comply with the ruling. The Peace and Justice Studies Association – an international body of academics, K-12 teachers, and grassroots activists who explore alternatives to violence and share strategies for peace building, social justice, and social change has adopted the resolution.
The statement reads:
That's the question the Saybrook Forum asked psychology faculty member Eugene Taylor, an internationally renowned scholar on the life and work of William James, after the question was raised by the The New Humanist magazine. His response is below.
William James: Still One Hundred and Fifty Years Ahead of His Time
In a thoughtful article recently published in The New Humanist [125:4, July/August 2010], Jonathan Raée extols the attributes of his favorite philosopher-psychologist, William James. He was the only enduring figure, according to Raée, who did not get bogged down in details , and did not take a megalomaniacal stance toward his own ideas. We should resurrect his memory and seek to emulate the now forgotten direction he was always pointing us towards—world peace through a strengthening of our own inward character.
I should say that Mr. Raée as a writer is himself on the right track. Briefly, we may review here only a few of James’s prescient insights into our uniquely American and humanistically oriented legacy, and at the same time we might widen even more for the reader the scope of James’s thinking about our future.
Often problems at the global level are so big, with so many stakeholders, as to be intractable: but at the local level, says Organizational Systems chair Nancy Southern, individuals and organizations are proving that they provide exactly the kind of solutions our world needs. Read more in her recent Triple-Pundit article.
After a two year hiatus, Saybrook is thrilled to announce the return of its certificate in Expressive Arts for Healing and Social Change, taught by a group of renowned experts including Natalie Rogers, a member of Saybrook’s Distinguished Consulting Faculty, who created the program.
Developed by Rogers out of the person-centered approach pioneered by her father, legendary therapist Carl Rogers, this certificate program is open to anyone wishing to learn how to use the person-centered approach and expressive arts in counseling, education, mediation, social work, nursing, social action, group facilitation, and workplace psychology - or to awaken personal growth and creativity.
Saybrook’s program, according to Rogers, is the only expressive arts program in the country grounded in Carl Roger’s values and philosophy.
That’s a distinction that graduates of the program say makes a difference.
The Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington, D.C., Saybrook University’s partner institution in its groundbreaking Graduate College of Mind-Body Medicine, will hold it’s Mind-Body Medicine Professional Training Program this October.
Utilizing a small group approach, this five day program will focus on the scientific basis for mind-body medicine and explore a range of the most effective tools for self-care and stress management, including:
• guided imagery
• biofeedback & autogenic training
• breathing & movement
• self expression through words and drawings
"Nobody’s original," says composer David Cope.
Here’s what he means: there’s no such thing as "creativity," only endless copying, theme, and variation. "Everybody copies from everybody. The skill is in how large a fragment you choose to copy and how elegantly you can put them together."
Cope is making more than just an argument with the idea that "nobody’s original" – he’s making music. Cope is the world’s foremost creator of computer programs that compose classical music, and his latest program, called "Emily Howell," recently released its first album. In several cases, classical music scholars have been unable to tell an artificial intelligence created work in the style of Bach or Mozart from the original.
That music, Cope says, is proof that creativity, as we commonly understand it, does not exist – and that people are therefore little more than complex machines constantly crunching algorithms.
"The question," Cope says in a recent article in Miller-McCune,"isn’t whether computers have a soul, but whether humans have a soul." His answer is "no."
How many times have you heard someone talking about a major policy ask: "How is the market going to respond?"
Or heard someone say that a social problem will be taken care of "if we let the market work?" Or heard that our society is in trouble because "the market lost confidence."
These statements refer, of course, to the financial markets – but in a provocative article in the London Guardian, Aditya Chakrabortty asked: if you substitute "God" for "the market" in all of these statements, doesn’t it make about as much sense?
In fact, said Chakrabortty, isn’t this a pretty good indication that "The Market" has become the Western society’s religion?
After all, we have faith in it, and in its power to perform miracles and bestow prosperity, even if we don’t really understand how. We ask if "the market" will like something, or how "the market" will react, when we try to decide whether or not to do something.
And, when you think about it, the market has a priestly class, temples, and orthodox doctrines, too.
Is Chakrabortt right?
We asked Alan Vaughan, a Jungian analyst and psychology faculty member in Saybrook’s PsyD program who studies both the psychology of global capitalism and the transmission of religions across cultures, to weigh in.
His response is below.
We all know we should eat right and exercise, but most of us don’t – and it’s not because we don’t understand the science.
The same dynamic works with sustainability initiatives at even the most progressive companies, according to Dennis Jaffe: going green can be more challenging emotionally than it is intellectually. Companies that don’t take this into account are often headed for trouble.
Read more in his recent Triple Pundit article.
Saybrook Human Science faculty member Marc Pilisuk has been awarded the2010 Distinguished Service Award of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.
Founded in 1936, the SPSSI is an association of approximately 3000 psychologists, allied scientists, and others, who are interested in the application of research on the psychological aspects of important social issues and public policy solutions. It fosters and funds research on social issues, influences public policy, and encourages public education and social activism.
Pilisuk, the author of Who Benefits from Global Violence and War: Uncovering a Destructive System, is being offered the award on behalf of his "enthusiastic, dedicated, and enduring commitment" to SPSSI and its values. The award will be presented in New Orleans in late June.
Robert Schmitt, PhD and Vincent Pellegrino, EdD have been appointed to leadership positions for Saybrook University and will serve in the administration of the University’s new president, Mark Schulman, PhD, who will assume office on July 1.
Dr. Schmitt has been named the Dean of Saybrook University’s Graduate College of Psychology and Humanistic Studies. Currently serving as Saybrook’s interim president, Dr. Schmitt will take on this permanent position after Dr. Schulman assumes his post in July.