Friday, July 23, 2021
Thursday, July 22, 2021
“You would invite illness, indeed, if you should give up your conscious and rational orientation,” wrote the psychologist Carl Jung. “On the other hand, it is equally true that life is not only rational. To a certain extent, you have to keep your senses open to the nonrational aspects of existence…”
“The unconscious itself is neither tricky nor evil — it is nature, both beautiful and terrible… The best way of dealing with the unconscious is the creative way…”
“By keeping quiet, repressing nothing, remaining attentive, and by accepting reality — taking things as they are, and not as I wanted them to be — by doing all this, unusual knowledge has come to me, and unusual powers as well, such as I could never have imagined before. I always thought that when we accepted things they overpowered us in some way other. This turns out not to be true at all, and it is only by accepting them that one can assume an attitude toward them.”
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Monday, July 19, 2021
Friday, July 16, 2021
“In the pre-Hitler time, this section of Berlin, Kochstrasse, used to be the Fleet Street of Berlin,” Stefan Gänsicke told me in a 1990 interview. “During the Weimer Republic, something like 140 dailies poured forth from two blocks around here, and were sold all over Germany.”
Berlin in the 1920s as seen by painter Leo Lesser Ury
Gänsicke, an executive editor with Germany’s Springer publishing empire, continued, “And most of those papers were anti-Hitler, liberal, democrat. And yet these newspapers, in the pre-Hitler time, did not make cohesive or deliberate or conscientious efforts to build a dam against the brown tide, against the Nazis coming to power. They did not alert the Germans and the European neighbors to what all of us, Germans and Europeans, were in for once Hitler came to power.
“(Publisher Axel) Springer thought this was something like a negative entry in history for the media not to have obstructed, or tried to obstruct, Hitler’s way to power.”
I’ve thought of that interview often in the decades since. It haunted me as I watched with increasing alarm and disbelief while American journalism failed to fight the rise of fascism in just the way that the German editor described.
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Monday, June 28, 2021
Saturday, June 26, 2021
My account still has a "warning" on it because Facebook got a "community standards violation" wrong, as they themselves admit.
They were afraid I had threatened violence to a cartoon character.
Gosh, I guess I'd better watch my step and stop forcing Facebook to make such careless mistakes.
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Thursday, May 13, 2021
|The seagull by Norah McGuinness|
Tara Lemieux: “As the story is told, one day there was a seagull playing out in the yard at San Quentin. It had been raining, and the young bird was deriving much pleasure from paddling about in the puddle. The inmates watched as he stretched his wings gleefully, turning his face towards the sun – and, shaking off the remnants of the fallen rain.
“Just then, an inmate picked up a stone and took aim at the bird. Jarvis (Jay Masters) immediately blocked the man, which escalated the man’s aggression and caused an argument to ensue.
“I mean, who the heck did Jarvis think he was? And why did he care so much about some blankety-blank bird?
“The others circled around the two men, just waiting for a fight.”
“’Why’d you do that?’ the inmate challenged.
“To which Jarvis so eloquently replied, ‘I did that because that bird’s got my wings.’”
Thursday, April 29, 2021
Friday, April 23, 2021
“This concentration is not forced, like when an analyst concentrates on working out a difficult problem in a computer program,” wrote Nancy Wasserman.
“The concentration experienced in Dharana is more passive and occurs in a state of relaxed awareness… The meditator creates a deeper compartment that allows the mind to flow more rapidly in that one particular direction.”
Intense, effective focus through relaxed awareness is also, of course, the definition of flow.
Wasserman quoted a relevant remark by Ralph Waldo Emerson, who recommended, “…the stopping off decisively our miscellaneous activity, and concentrating our force on one or a few points; as the gardener, by severe pruning, forces the sap of the tree into one or two vigorous limbs, instead of suffering it to spindle into a sheaf of twigs.”
Rechanneling that sap could be akin as flow, which Csikszentmihalyi described as “…a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience is so enjoyable that people will continue to do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.”
Csikszentmihalyi said this comes easiest to those who possess what he called the “autotelic personality” — the internally driven people who have a tendency to engage in an activity for its own sake.
Those who have an autotelic personality are said to experience less stress during their complete absorption in flow.
For me, writing and art can slip easily and almost imperceptibly into a flow state. The feeling is unselfconscious and immensely gratifying.
But any number of activities can be translated into flow.
Vladimir Drkulec said, “I have experienced flow when playing chess, dancing, at a party, in karate class, in aikido class, in a fight when attacked by two people, in tense situations where a fight seemed imminent, while out in nature, when walking. The compression or expansion of time seemed to happen so that you perceived yourself to be moving slow as molasses while the other people around you were moving even slower.
“In one case, I played a chess game that lasted almost 13 hours and was barely conscious of the passage of time. Only when the game was over did I realize that I had skipped lunch and was well past the dinner hour.”
Mike Oppland observed, “It’s important to note that one can’t experience flow if distractions disrupt the experience. Thus, to experience this state, one has to stay away from the attention-robbers common in a modern fast-paced life. A first step would be to turn off your smartphone when seeking flow.
“Also, the balance of perceived challenges and skills are important factors in flow. On the one hand, when a challenge is bigger than one’s level of skills, one becomes anxious and stressed. On the other hand, when the level of skill exceeds the size of the challenge, one becomes bored and distracted.
“Since the experience of this state is just in the middle, the balance is essential.”
Friday, April 16, 2021
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
|“(I)n fact, you can find that the lack of basic resources, material resources, contributes to unhappiness, but the increase in material resources do not increase happiness,” Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi said.|
Saturday, March 13, 2021
Thursday, March 11, 2021
Monday, March 8, 2021
Sunday, March 7, 2021
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Saturday, February 20, 2021
Sunday, February 14, 2021
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
Tuesday, February 9, 2021
The Hungarian-born psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced Me-high Cheek-sent-me-high) regards this trait as a key element of the autotelic personality — those internally driven people who have a tendency to engage in an activity for its own sake.
Those who have an autotelic personality are said to experience less stress during their complete absorption in an activity, the state he called “flow.”
Sunday, January 24, 2021
Saturday, January 23, 2021
Friday, January 22, 2021
The corporate news media has already ignored the Republican use of torture, the Republican war of lies that murdered several hundred thousand innocent people in Iraq, and the Republican Wall Street deregulation that caused the 2008 global financial crash.
So why not this too?
“Breath connects the inside of the body with the outside world — taking the outside world in, and expelling the inside world out.”
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
The overwhelming of our inner reality by the demands of the outer world, in ways never before possible, is a central problem of the 21st century.
Outer communications technology must be counterbalanced by — and ultimately tamed by, and enhanced by — inner mental technique.
Monday, January 18, 2021
|Republicans always cry "Unity!" after the disasters they’ve designed rain down on our heads. They want some breathing space to plan the next fascist attack they intend to launch against us.|
“Sorry, but anyone who can look around at this point and continue to support this treasonous president is deplorable… As the fever in our politics finally breaks, Trumpism doesn’t need to be ‘understood’ any more than white supremacy or Nazism or any other toxic philosophy does. It just needs to be defeated."
Sunday, January 17, 2021
Saturday, January 16, 2021
Friday, January 15, 2021
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
“We’re reaping, in my view, the consequences of President Obama’s failure to do accountability in 2008, with the financial crisis and the Iraq war and the torture regime,” said the Yale philosophy professor Jason Stanley.
“The message then was, ‘It doesn’t matter what sort of violations you do. You can lie to the American people, you can cheat us out of money as the bankers did, and there are no consequences.
“And to have no consequences again? We’ll have a social and political movement that will make Trumpism seem mild by comparison.”
Monday, January 11, 2021
Sunday, January 10, 2021
|George Segal and Alec Guinness in "The Quiller Memorandum"|
Watching The Quiller Memorandum from 1966.
“We’ve been engaged in some rather tough work here,” says Alec Guinness, in low, ominous tones. “Nazis, from top to toe, in the classic tradition. Not just the remains of the old lot, oh no. There’s quite a bit of new blood. Youth. Firm believers, very dangerous. It wouldn’t do to underestimate them.”
Yeah, tell me about it, Alec.
Monday, January 4, 2021
“Only we humans worry about the future, regret the past and blame ourselves for the present,” wrote psychologist Rick Hanson in Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom.
“Neurons that fire together wire together. Mental states become neural traits. Day after day, your mind is building your brain. This is what scientists call experience-dependent neuroplasticity.”
“By taking just a few extra seconds to stay with a positive experience — even the comfort in a single breath — you’ll help turn a passing mental state into lasting neural structure.”