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Showing posts from November, 2014

RELIGION AND PSYCHOTHERAPY

Christians all believe that Jesus Christ was the son of God who redeemed our sins, died on the cross and was resurrected on the 3rd day. But then you've got the Catholics, the Protestants, the Anglicans, the Episcopalians, the Baptists, the Presbytarians, the Methodists, the Non-Conformists, the Mormons, the Evangelists, the 7th Day Adventists, the Plymouth Brethren and many more.

They each believe that their's is the true faith.

In psychotherapy it started with Freud, then Jung, who both believed in the unconscious and the meaning of dreams, but they parted ways. Later came the Kleinians, the Adlerians, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, the Lacanians, Gestalt, Person Centred Therapy, Humanists, Existential Psychotherapy, CBT,  and many more.

 And guess what? They all think that their's is the true way.

Me? I'm an atheist, a Darwinian, a believer in science, rationalism and empiricism. The only god is Mr. Random Chaos. The meaning of life is sex and death. The best we can …

SEXISM

Sexism is innate and will never go away. It is part of our evolutionary drive, our basic instincts, present worldwide in 
every culture. Basically we are still apes with a gloss of civilisation going back only a few thousand years. As a society we must learn to curb our appetites and in the western world we just about manage it, with more progress on the way. Embrace the pain, this is how it is. The rest of the world has some massive catching up to do. Page 3 tits don't offend me. FGM, honour killings, forced marriages, rape, abortions and killings of female babies, sex trafficking, no education for girls do offend me and should be the real concerns for feminism.

EINSTEIN AND THE MEANING OF LIFE

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The meaning of human existence in five lines. Given my soft spot for big thinkers’ answers to young people’s questions about life, I was thrilled when reader Dave Anderson shared the story of his mother’s exchange with none other than Albert Einstein. When Marion Block Anderson, an altogether exceptional woman, was a freshman at Oberlin College in 1951, she reached out to “the quintessential modern genius” and asked him, “Why are we alive?” She later told Dave about the impetus for her letter: We were having one war after another — first we had the First World War, then we had the Second World War and I just couldn’t see any point to the whole thing. So I wrote him a letter and I said, “What’s the point of living with what we’re going through here — having one war after another?” Lo and behold, Einstein wrote back. While short, his letter extends with exquisite precision both the answer to the question about the meaning of lifeand his views on religion: Einstein, in fact, had the admir…

THE MEANING OF EXISTENCE

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In ordinary usage the word “meaning” implies intention, intention implies design, and design implies a designer. Any entity, any process, or definition of any word itself is put into play as a result of an intended consequence in the mind of the designer. This is the heart of the philosophical worldview of organized religions, and in particular their creation stories. Humanity, it assumes, exists for a purpose. Individuals have a purpose in being on Earth. Both humanity and individuals have meaning. There is a second, broader way the word “meaning” is used and a very different worldview implied. It is that the accidents of history, not the intentions of a designer, are the source of meaning. There is no advance design, but instead overlapping networks of physical cause and effect. The unfolding of history is obedient only to the general laws of the Universe. Each event is random yet alters the probability of later events. During organic evolution, for example, the origin of one adapt…

SOME THOUGHTS FROM NIETZSCHE

Nietzsche also believed that hardship and joy operated in a kind of osmotic relationship — diminishing one would diminish the other — or, as Anaïs Nin memorably put it, “great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.” In The Gay Science (public library), his treatise on poetry where his famous “God is dead” proclamation was coined, he wrote: What if pleasure and displeasure were so tied together that whoever wanted to have as much as possible of one mustalso have as much as possible of the other — that whoever wanted to learn to “jubilate up to the heavens” would also have to be prepared for “depression unto death”? [...] You have the choice: either as little displeasure as possible, painlessness in brief … or as much displeasure as possible as the price for the growth of an abundance of subtle pleasures and joys that have rarely been relished yet? If you decide for the former and desire to diminish and lower the…

PABLO NERUDA AND ART

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The Hand Through the Fence: Pablo Neruda on What a Childhood Encounter Taught Him About Writing and Why We Make ArtSince our cave-dwelling days, the question of why we make art and why we enjoy it has haunted us as a perennial specter of the human experience. For Leo Tolstoy, it was about the transference of "emotional infectiousness"; for Jeanette Winterson, about "active surrender"; for Oscar Wilde, aboutcultivating a "temperament of receptivity." That question is what beloved Chilean poet and Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda answers with unparalleled elegance in a short essay from the early 1950s titled "Childhood and Poetry," found in the altogether enchanting collection Neruda and Vallejo (public library). Neruda relays an anecdote from his childhood that profoundly influenced not only his poetry but also his understanding of art and of life itself: One time, investigating in the backyard of our house in Temuco the tiny objects and minuscule bein…