Monday 23 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 (1): Raised in a Cave: I read about a South American Indian tribe. In their territory there was a cave, and, occasionally, a newborn child would be selected (I forgot how) to be raised 100% in the cave.

The child is brought up in the cave until he is an adolescent. He is raised in the dark, never seeing anything. He is raised in near silence, hearing almost nothing of the normal sounds of the day and night. But the child is taught by the religious leader of the tribe. He is taught the secret knowledge and mysteries and stories passed on from previous generations. And he is taught about the world outside — which he sees from a different point of view from those outside — and what his responsibilities in it will be. At a prescribed time, the now adolescent boy emerges and takes up his place in the culture of the tribe.  He is considered a prophet or seer or shaman or priest, and his job is, in part, to give a perspective on things that no one else has the time or inclination to adopt.

There may be many parallels in our society, but one possible one would be a child of a rich family who is raised in the cocoon of his family’s wealth.We may imagine him protected and pampered and tutored and taught by the masters brought in by his doting parents. We imagine that, over time, a whole cache of unique knowledge is passed on to this child. If he never leaves the sheltered environment and manages to avoid the difficulties facing everyone else, and/or he never is taught feelings of responsibility for anyone else, then his knowledge will die with him. However, if he emerges from his “cave” and takes a position the society of the every day, he may offer a unique perspective that can benefit others. The story of the life of Buddha can be analyzed as having this pattern: A pampered prince, protected by his father from everything painful, breaks away and finds a perspective that, when he eventually enters the everyday world, if found useful by many others.

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