Saturday 21 April 2018

Short Observations

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JMH International Essays — Announcement

Original Essays on the Psychology of Anger and/or Violence 

We thank all those who have submitted an essay to the JMH International Prize Essay Contest. As of now, February 1, 2017, we have decided not to continue with the contest.

For those who feel they have an important contribution to the subject of the Psychology of Anger and/or Violence, please feel free to submit your essay with the form provided here. If the judges agree that the essay is a significant contribution, we will publish it here (subject to agreement with the author).

We include here links related to past essays — For the 2014 contest, click here for the summary article and here for the list of winners; for the 2015 contest, click here for the summary article and the list of winners; and for the 2016 contest, click here.

Longer Observations

Longer observation (3): "Why do Good People Suffer?" or "Why do bad things happen to good people?"

If we eliminate all good acts that take place 1) as an act of apple polishing or goody-goodyness; or 2) because it is a well trained act — a robot like, puppet like knee jerk act of goodness; or 3) as an act of goodness done naively or stupidly, without contemplating the real and practical consequences that will befall oneself or others, or 4) as an act of goodness that stems from youthful idealism or exuberance, or 5) as a good act but motivated by loss of interest in oneself, lack of self concern for ones own good due to disaffection, suffering, alienation, isolation, lack of commitment, unhappiness, an act of uncaring self-sacrifice; or 6) as an act stemming from the lack of understanding of ambiguities, subtleties, the complexities of the situation; or 7) as an act that is a spontaneous act, stemming from a natural impulse, perhaps towards loyalty; or 8) as an act of compulsive goodness, from a compulsion; or 9) as a good act stemming from the fear of the consequences of acting badly or of breaking the law or social convention; or 10) as a good act done for a reward; or 11) as an act done to please others and impress them and make them like the doer of public goodness; or 12) as a good act that is motivated by masochistic tendencies; or 13) as a good act that stems from a martyr complex; or 13) as a good act that stems from unquestioning belief in someone else’s code of ethics, in what the person was told or read or heard. — Eliminating all the above acts, I estimate this leaves about 2% of the good acts left which are thoughtful, mature, based on a deep and sober awareness of consequences and ambiguities.  Perhaps some of these go unrewarded but others will probably be recognized and rewarded.  In any case, either way, the people performing these acts, when they are performing them, probably don’t expect to be rewarded, and will not be surprised too much either way.

Two Approaches to Understanding Psychology

via reflection on the world
via reflection on one's immediate experience

   the One   the Whole
the Sacred
the Ordinary
feeling stuck
feelings of failing,        of dying
 waking up — feeling reborn
   focusing   on the self
confronting the   unconscious
the whole person
living in multiple       worlds
learning about     the world
feelings of success,     of the good life