Archive | Science & Psychology RSS feed for this section
On suffering: Is it really worth the trouble?

On suffering: Is it really worth the trouble?

Oprah and Lady Gaga may be today’s spiritual role models for self-actualization but our devotion to suffering remains a national faith.

BY JOHN PTACEK – Why did a tsunami flood Japan? Why can’t politicians tell the truth? Why did it have to rain on my wedding day?

If humans really had power, CEOs would be immune to cancer, holy men wouldn’t sin and Michael Jackson would still be alive. But we don’t call the shots.

Reality baffles us.  We question it every day and keep waiting for people to be good, for governments to be just, for life to be fair.

Read more
We vote every day, psychologically-speaking

We vote every day, psychologically-speaking

The Eckhart Tolle of Europe asks us a question: Why don’t we really like change?

BY TONY SAMARA — We each have an ego. And that busy ego plugs into, let’s call it, control systems.

Yes, we do have what the enlightenment philosophers called free will but we seem to make this choice every day. It’s an unconscious choice.

Control systems compromise the free aspect of ourselves. They always want things to be the same way — in the words of the 1980′s band the Talking Heads sang — the same as it ever was.

Read more
Sonny

How your pet shares your emotions

Secrets of a real-life horse whisperer

BY JENNIFER SCALIA  — If we conduct a collective check-in on how we relate to animals, some of Hollywood is a barometer. Birds, as in Hitchcock’s 1963 film with Tippi Hedren, may be feared. Rats (Willard) and snakes (Samuel Jackson) are to be loathed.

But horses, from Gladiator to Westerns to the Horse Whisperer, deserve our love.

I had never learned to ride a horse before doing healing work with this species that bred movie stars but I saw the Robert Redford movie and loved the book by Nicholas Evans — one of the few I could actually get myself to read back then.

Read more
ssri and suicide

A mental health manifesto: How to occupy your own mind

. . . before Big Pharma, Madison Avenue, Hollywood Boulevard and Tin Pan Alley occupy it for you

By Michele Ritterman — Our homes and 401 (k)’s aren’t the only territory that we’re losing to a One Percent whose disproportionate control of wealth has provoked grassroots “Occupy” protests across America since September, 2011.

We also appear to be losing our minds. When I began studying psychotherapy in the 1970s the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) for mental disorders was 134 pages long. It listed 182 conditions. The current edition of the DSM now lists over 300 disorders that fill 886 pages.

Have we actually developed more than 100 new mental illnesses in a single generation?

What the heck happened?

Read more
To die for

To die for

Will Baby Boomers choose to expire in hospitals and nursing homes? Or will they take matters into their own hands?

BY DAVID RICKEY —  Would you prefer to die on purpose — or with purpose?

Late, great writers like Arthur Koestler (Darkness at Noon), Ernest Hemingway (For Whom the Bell Tolls) and counter-culture figure Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) were larger than life.

Yet they each took their own lives — rather than let the life coded into their respective DNA take its course.

The most timely example: Tony Scott (above, center), a Hollywood producer and director who jumped off an 18-storey L.A. bridge that he’d once scouted as a location for a movie.

The Baby Boomers are the biggest generation in American history, the most vain-glorious generation — and also the most afraid of pain, if Prozac and painkiller prescriptions are any indication.

Read more
The Origin of Species

Spiritual IQ Quiz: Is the ‘genius gene’ good for your health?

From Stephen Hawking to Steve Jobs, big minds have changed your life. The saying goes that theses geniuses are born with a good-luck gene . . . or are they?

SOUL’S CODE — Every parent in America wants their kid to be the next gal or guy who changes the world.

But some of the people who actually did change our lives led extremely painful lives themselves, beyond their controllable lifestyle choices.

So we ask: Would you wish the genius gene upon your kids, or just as well leave that DNA alone?

Click on the radio buttons below to see what the likes of Oprah, Arthur Schopenhauer and Obama share in common — or not:

Read more
dark-knight

Dealing with an angry person: 4 choices

When people lose it, one tactic is the Aikido of Communication

SOUL’S CODE —  Like a scene out of the Michael Douglas movie, Falling Down, a just-divorced aerospace worker in California’s “Inland Empire,” dressed up as a Santa on Christmas Eve 2008 and shot nine people at his in-laws’ holiday party.

The  day after Christmas, 2008 in Philadelphia, 29-year-old James Joseph Cialella Jr. shot a father in a movie theatre after arguing with the latter and his son while watching the Brad Pitt-Cate Blanchett vehicle, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

On July 20, 2012, America had another Columbine-style shooting in Colorado — this time in a multiplex called Cinemark (here is their retrograde stock symbol), and the title of the thriller happened to be “Dark Knight.”

Read more
Ashley Judd in Missing

Spiritual Surf: America’s pain index

Ashley Judd’s wounded ego; Which pills are recession-proof; and online porn way bigger than The New York Times

Addicted in America: Skyrocketing sales of Oxy and Percocet (Associated Press)

The new book, Dosed: Introducing America’s first psychotropic generation (Salon.com excerpt)

The demand curve for drunks: Vegas anesthesiologist launches mobile IV service (Hangover Heaven)

Up to $500 per detox treatment: “As if we do not know that the proprietary blend is salt water and a few vitamins (Science 2.0)

Read more
Martha Stewart Wired cover

What is your enneagram?

A more reliable personality scale than Myers-Briggs for mapping your emotions and relationships has its origins in Islamic mysticism

MARGARET  COCHRAN — The Enneagram grew out of the teachings of the great Sufi mystic, G. I. Gurdjieff, whose memoir of early 20th-Century pilgrimages, Meetings with Remarkable Men, became a landmark movie in spiritual cinema. But today we care more about the Enneagram than the movie because it is an amazing tool for developing self-awareness.

The Enneagram helps us to realize what motivates us, and how to better understand the sometimes confusing behavior of our friends, family and co-workers — and possibly the most confusing person of all, yourself!

Read more
HiRes

Decoding codependence

If we are all co-dependents now, what is America’s turn-around? *

BY DAVID RICKEY — Marriages, mortgages, and just-missed connections. In the annals of clinical psychology, the term “Co-Dependence” describes a relationship between 2 people where the well-being of one is perceived as dependent on the well-being of the other.

In other words: “I can’t be happy unless you are happy.” The subconscious subtext: “Your happiness ought to be secondary to my happiness.”

Read more