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Mon, 23 Oct 2017
The World for People who Think

Science of the Spirit
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People 2

Adulting and the disappearance of the American grown-up

The term 'arrested development' comes to mind when pondering the all too often ludicrous behavior of modern adults. It is used to describe people who are stuck in a childlike level of psychological development, unable to grow beyond the behaviors, attitudes and dependencies that mark the pre-adulthood stage of life. Something is holding them back, or something is preventing them from moving forward.

The esteemed author and scholar of mythology, Joseph Campbell, reminds us that in cultures from around the world, the journey from adolescence to adulthood is a big deal, historically marked with ceremony and rites of passage. In this, a young person must confront their greatest fears, overcome them, then integrate themselves into the world as a newly established co-creator, abandoning the roles of dependent and victim.
"The boys are brought up to be in fear of the masks that the men wear in their rituals. These are the gods. These are re the personification of the power and the structure of society. The boy, when he gets to be more than his mother can handle, the men come in with their masks, and they grab the kid, and he thinks he's been taken by the Gods.

The mask represents the power that is shaping the society and that has shaped our world, and now you are a representative of that power." - Joseph Campbell

Comment: The most useful life skills every 20-something should master


Candle

Energetic wellness - Simple ways to boost your vitality

Have you ever woken up in the morning and you just feel off? Peculiar and out of balance; like someone is holding your normal self hostage and a stranger has hopped behind the wheel. You get out of bed and your coordination is whacky, perhaps you walk into the wall, or trip over. Then you spill your morning coffee or smoothie, lose the car keys and forget that important work document. While it may sound comical, every so often that kind of day is probably quite familiar to most of us. So what's going on when your body and mind are at odds, nothing seems to work properly, and you feel like everything is conspiring against you?

When we feel our energy is off, it often literally is off. Now this may sound ultra new age, but really it's quite scientific. Everything in the world is made up of energy and vibration. Sometimes things can seem so solid, and so definite, when really if you scratch beneath the surface, a parallel universe is playing out.

Comment: Access your inner shaman: Using the universal life force to heal your body


Black Cat 2

Animal companions: Why do humans talk to animals if they can't understand?

The tendency to converse with dogs, cats, and hamsters ultimately says more about people than it does about their pets.

"Do you think it's weird that I tell Nermal I love her multiple times a day?"

My sister's question was muffled, her face stuffed in the fur of her six-month-old kitten (named for the cat from Garfield). We were sitting in the living room of her apartment and, as always, Nermal was vying for our attention-pawing at our hair, walking along the couch behind us, spreading across our laps and looking up at us with her big, bright eyes. She's almost aggressively cute, and inspires the kind of love that demands to be vocalized. I'd find it weirder if my sister weren't doing so.

People 2

How 'trauma bonding' leads people to stay in abusive relationships

© ian dooley / Unsplash
Those who have never been in an abusive relationship struggle to understand how people remain in one for so long. If somebody was mistreating you, "why did you stick around?" they ask.

For survivors, this can be a really tough question to answer. The lucky ones escape, and stumble upon articles or books that give them the terms to be able to understand what happened to them, and thus describe their experience. Other times, though, this doesn't happen, and people might not even be aware they were in a relationship that could be classed as "abusive."

This is because we are conditioned to believe abuse is always physical. On TV and in films, we see characters who are obviously evil. They are violent to their partners, shout at them aggressively, or even murder them in a fit of rage. While this does happen, it's not a true representation of the abuse many others experience.

According to therapist Shannon Thomas, author of "Healing from Hidden Abuse," psychological abuse is insidious, and it occurs a over time like an IV drip of poison entering your veins.

Lemon

Accepting negative emotions can make you feel better in the long run

© UC Berkeley photo by Yasmin Anwar and Melani King
Putting on a happy face can take a psychological toll.
Pressure to feel upbeat can make you feel downbeat, while embracing your darker moods can actually make you feel better in the long run, according to new UC Berkeley research.

"We found that people who habitually accept their negative emotions experience fewer negative emotions, which adds up to better psychological health," said study senior author Iris Mauss, an associate professor of psychology at UC Berkeley.

At this point, researchers can only speculate on why accepting your joyless emotions can defuse them, like dark clouds passing swiftly in front of the sun and out of sight.

"Maybe if you have an accepting attitude toward negative emotions, you're not giving them as much attention," Mauss said. "And perhaps, if you're constantly judging your emotions, the negativity can pile up."

The study, conducted at UC Berkeley and published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, tested the link between emotional acceptance and psychological health in more than 1,300 adults in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Denver, Co., metropolitan area.

The results suggest that people who commonly resist acknowledging their darkest emotions, or judge them harshly, can end up feeling more psychologically stressed.

By contrast, those who generally allow such bleak feelings as sadness, disappointment and resentment to run their course reported fewer mood disorder symptoms than those who critique them or push them away, even after six months.

"It turns out that how we approach our own negative emotional reactions is really important for our overall well-being," said study lead author Brett Ford, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. "People who accept these emotions without judging or trying to change them are able to cope with their stress more successfully."

Comment:


Evil Rays

How smart phones make today's teens unhappy & cause dramatic shifts in behavior

It's concerning to see just how many young people have become consumed by their smartphones. We know the dangers associated with the use of various electromagnetic emitting devices, like cells phones and WiFi, and how cellphone companies suggest that users "use hands-free operation if it is available and keep the BlackBerry device at least 0.59 in (15mm) from your body (including the abdomen of pregnant women)" to avoid radiation exposure. But what about their psychological risks?

People 2

Which spouse's happiness is most important for marital satisfaction?

© Vladimir Pustovit
When the wife is happy with a long-term partnership, the husband is happier, no matter how he feels about the marriage.

For marital quality, it seems the wife's happiness matters more than the husband's.

The conclusion comes from a new study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, which looked at the marital satisfaction and happiness of older adults (Carr et al., 2014).

Comment: See also: Hugs that heal: The importance of touch


People 2

The importance of finding common ground and empathy in a hardening world

The world is hardening as people grip ever tighter to their opinions and beliefs, entrenching themselves ever more deeply into their biases and echo chambers. Battle lines are being drawn and the rhetoric is heating up. Talk of civil war is being tossed around, as though there is no possible way to unite and find common ground.

But we are humans. We have consciousness, we have the capacity for empathy and also the intelligence to avoid senseless self-destruction. But, what makes it possible for us to find common ground, or to at least to tolerate each other?

The answer: Connection.

USA

Making American parenting great again

The problem in American parenting is the 1960s. Among other things that defined that very interesting (ref. ancient Chinese curse) decade was the replacement of rationality by emotionality. It was during the 1960s that the media, various self-appointed spiritual gurus, and the mental health professional community urged people to "get in touch with their feelings." And it was during the 1960s that parents were told by mental health professionals that children had a right to express their feelings freely.

I was in graduate school at the time. My professors taught that (a) feelings - especially children's feelings - held deep meaning, (b) therapy was all about helping people recover the feelings their parents had made them repress, and (c) getting in touch with one's feelings was the key to happiness. To be polite about it, a crock if there ever was one.

Comment:
Psychologist: Stop catering to kids' emotional whims


Fire

Keeping your head when many Americans are rapidly descending into madness

I don't live in an echo chamber, partly because there aren't enough people out there who think like me, but also because I constantly and intentionally attempt to challenge my worldview by reading stuff from all over the political map. I ingest as much as I can from a wide variety of intelligent sources, picking and choosing what makes sense to me, and then synthesizing it the best I can.

Though I'm certainly grounded in certain key principles, my perspective on specific issues remains malleable as I take in additional information and perspectives. I try to accept and acknowledge my own ignorance and view life as a journey of constant mental, emotionally and spiritual growth. If I'm not growing my capacity in all of those realms until the day I die, I'm doing it wrong. Life should be seen as a battle against one's own ignorance, as opposed to an obsession with the ignorance of others. You can't legislate morality, nor can you legislate wisdom. The only way the world will improve on a long-term sustainable basis is if more of us get wise. That's a personal journey and it's our individual duty to accept it.