Creative Commons image, “Sleep,” by Masha Krasnova-Shabaeva
You decide you need some medical advice, so you take to the internet. Whoops! There’s your first mistake. Now you are bombarded with contradictory opinions from questionable sources and you begin to develop symptoms you never knew existed. It’s all downhill from there.
The title of the TED talk above, “Flow, the secret to happiness,” might make you roll your eyes. It does indeed sound like self-help snake oil. But as soon as you hear the speaker, psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, describe the rationale for his happiness study, you might pay more serious attention.[...]
In February, Oliver Sacks announced that he was suffering from terminal cancer. And, by August, he was gone — but not before showing us (if you read his op-eds in the Times) how to die with dignity and grace. All of this I was reminded of again today when I stumbled upon a recent animation inspired by Sacks’ work.[...]
Creative Commons photo by Metal Chris
In My Day, so much of the music we listened to seemed angrier, more raucous and unruly—more aggressive and plainly evil—than music today. Not that I have any hard evidence for these assertions; customarily none is required for an In My Day rant.
These days, you don’t really hear many people making the case for pessimism. Quite the contrary, positive psychology is now en vogue. And its founder, University of Pennsylvania psychology professor Martin Seligman, has written bestsellers with titles like Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life.[...]
From Andreas Hykade, the Director of the Animation and Visual Effects program at Germany’s Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, comes a short animated film called Nuggets. Things start off innocuously, with a kiwi taking a casual stroll down a road, eventually encountering and tasting some golden nuggets.[...]
In 1973, the book Sybil – about a young woman struggling with 16 distinct personalities – became a cultural sensation, spawning a hugely successful made-for-TV movie in 1976 and an utterly unnecessary remake in 2007.[...]
The problem of violence, perhaps the true root of all social ills, seems irresolvable. Yet, as most thoughtful people have realized after the wars of the twentieth century, the dangers human aggression pose have only increased exponentially along with globalization and technological development.[...]
Despite his onetime friend and mentor Sigmund Freud’s enormous impact on Western self-understanding, I would argue it is Carl Jung who is still most with us in our communal practices: from his focus on introversion and extroversion to his view of syncretic, intuitive forms of spirituality and his indirect influence on 12-Step programs[...]