Damaged Jeans

Part of my family was gathered for Thanksgiving. We enjoyed a sumptuous meal. An organic turkey from Vermont. A luscious Vouvray that went perfectly with the meal. The proprietor of the wine shop had said to me that this was the one he was going to open. Four varieties of pies. Two kinds of potatoes. My greatly admired stuffing and gravy. Much all around to be thankful for. My son-in-law was in the middle of the second week of chemotherapy, but feeling well enough to eat heartily. While sitting around after the meal, I noticed that one of the children’s jeans had frayed severely at the knees. Then, Ruth said… Read More

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Human, Not Quantum, Relationships Matter

As is quite frequent, I begin with a comment based on a David Brooks column. [Today](http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/21/opinion/david-brooks-interstellar-love-and-gravity.html?src=me), he is talking about the movie, *Interstellar*. Based on the publicity, I had decided to skip it, but now I will have to see it. The nub of his thoughts show up in these few paragraphs: > More, it shows how modern science is influencing culture. People have always bent their worldviews around the latest scientific advances. After Newton, philosophers conceived a clockwork universe. Individuals were seen as cogs in a big machine and could be slotted into vast bureaucratic systems. > > But in the era of quantum entanglement and relativity, everything looks… Read More

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The Agency Moment

My favorite blog source, David Brooks, turns out to be an existentialist. Who would have thunk it? His column [today](http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/14/opinion/david-brooks-the-agency-moment.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=c-column-top-span-region&region=c-column-top-span-region&WT.nav=c-column-top-span-region) (11//14/2014) is about finding agency, a fancy word for discovering and taking on a self, and acting from that center. The central theme in virtually all existentialist writing is agency although few of the existentialists use this word, for good reasons. Agency carries too many meanings. The simplest refers to any intentional act without reference to the cognitive source. Brooks, I think, is being more explicit, using agency to refer to acts coming from free choice: from the self to use a common, but confusing, metaphor, or the soul to… Read More

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A Role for Psychotherapy

I continue to slowly, very slowly, work on the next book about flourishing. I have been and will continue using this blog to try out ideas about it. I would greatly appreciate comments from you. You will have to send them directly to me using the email link on the right hand side of this page below the archive of previous entries or to my regular address if you know it. I am deep into the existentialist world these days, delving for ideas and language to use in my work. As I read, I am more and more convinced that “solutions” to the cultural malaise (unsustainability) are buried there. Besides… Read More

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The Scourge of Individualism

If you asked any heroin addict what they would like to sustain, they would answer something like, “My high.” If you could imagine asking this question to a business, it might answer, “Growth and my competitive edge.” If you asked the US government, the answer would probably be, “Growth. Then if you ask them how the world is treating them right now, you would get a very different answer. The heroin addict might say, “His or her body is falling apart and needs ever more of the stuff.” The government might say, “The natural and social worlds are falling apart so fast I can’t keep up any more.” Business might… Read More

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