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Medium 9781855759169

CHAPTER FIFTEEN: Theatre of dreams: social dreaming as ritual/yoga/literature machine

W Gordon Lawrence Karnac Books ePub

Stephen Fitzpatrick

Is not sleep perhaps the true home of the self, like the sea from which mankind first emerged at the dawn of time …? But if that is so, how can man re-enter that other life and yet remain awake enough to know it?

Gabriel Josipovici (1979, p. 4)

The truth of art lies in its power to break the monopoly of established reality … to define what is real.

Herbert Marcuse (1977, p. 9)

What is social dreaming?

I shall try to clear a space and occupy a ground in which this liminal object—social dreaming—can come more clearly into view. To do so I have deliberately “bracketed off” and put aside the putative meanings of any given set of themes made available in any given matrix. I have made this manoeuvre—foregrounding the structural, functional, and experiential/transformational aspects of social dreaming while recessing the epistemological—in order to attend not to the traces left by the process of social dreaming but to the object itself. Furthermore, the eventual process that is social dreaming in fact problematizes any attempt to fix and stabilize meaning(s) generated by matrix. According to this reading of social dreaming, the medium is the message.

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Medium 9781576755846

23 Lessons

The Arbiner Institute Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

“Lessons?” Lou asked.

“Yes,” Yusuf answered. “The pyramid illuminates three main lessons—axioms that guide its application in all situations. We’ve already mentioned the first.”

At this, he wrote the following.

Most time and effort should be spent at the lower levels of the pyramid.

“Remember: we want to spend most of our time in the levels of the pyramid below correction, which is exactly the opposite of what we normally do. We want to spend most of our time actively helping things go right rather than dealing with things that are going wrong. We want to get out of the box, build relationships, listen and learn, teach and communicate. Where circumstances are such that we choose to engage in correction of some kind—whether by putting a little child on time-out or by sending war planes into the skies above a country that has attacked us—the lower levels of the pyramid become even more important. Correction is by nature provocational. So where we choose to correct, we need to increase our efforts at the lower levels of the pyramid all the more. If we believe military force is necessary, for example, then we would be wise to increase our communicating, learning, and relationship-building efforts even more.

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Medium 9781626563018

Chapter 10 Present Value for Organizations and Communities

Neuwirth, Peter Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub


In chapter 8, we touched on not just how individuals use Present Value but also how organizations do so. In fact, managers at many companies—particularly if they have an MBA—would say that almost all important decisions a company makes utilize Present Value, only they call it the “discounted cash flow method.”39 It’s true that, superficially, the mechanics of the discounted cash flow method and Present Value thinking are quite similar, but in fact there are some subtle—but very important—differences. For one thing, the discounted cash flow method generally focuses on just the “high likelihood” scenarios, while in Present Value thinking we try to imagine all the possibilities, recognizing that low likelihood/high impact possibilities can be very important. Nassim Taleb calls these possibilities “Black Swan” events and suggests that such “impossible to predict” scenarios are the ones that ultimately change our lives in the most important ways.40 While I agree with Taleb that these scenarios are impossible to predict, I don’t think they are impossible to imagine. That is why step 2 is so critical to Present Value thinking, a step that is usually given little attention in discounted cash flow analysis.

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Medium 9781609945497

Chapter 7 The Freedom of the Road

Leider, Richard J. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The theme song of the 1970s cult movie, Alfie, asks “What’s It All About?” Think of the tune as an anthem for everyone who seeks a reason for being — a reason “to get up in the morning.” In the face of bewildering change and endless transition, more people than ever before are hungry for a feeling that they matter. We find ourselves looking for what Viktor Frankl wrote about in Man’s Search for Meaning: a clear sense of what we were put on this planet to do and to be.

As its title suggests, Man’s Search for Meaning is written for anyone interested in what it means to live a meaningful life. In this classic work, inspired by his suffering and survival in the Holocaust, Frankl explains how anyone can find meaning in life, no matter what their circumstances, and why even a life of unbearable pain can be meaningful. In our current era of crisis and uncertainty, as people increasingly begin to reimagine their lives, Frankl’s work seems newly relevant.

Frankl writes eloquently of what he calls “tragic optimism,” the human condition in which we all find ourselves as we realize that life inevitably brings pain, guilt, and death, and yet, for the most part, we still manage to carry on. It’s a poignant example of life reimagined, as Frankl encourages us to turn suffering into achievement, relying on guilt to improve ourselves, and using the knowledge that life is short as a spur to meaningful action.

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Medium 9781609945367

12 A Prophecy of Warriors

Wheatley, Margaret J. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub


“There comes a time when all life on Earth is in danger. Great barbarian powers have arisen.

Although these powers spend their wealth in preparations to annihilate one another, they have much in common: weapons of unfathomable destructive power, and technologies that lay waste our world. In this era, when the future of sentient life hangs by the frailest of threads, the Shambhala warriors appear.”

The warriors have no home. They move on the terrain of the barbarian powers. Great courage is required, both moral and physical, for they must go into the heart of the barbarian powers to dismantle their weapons, into the places where the weapons are created, into the corridors of power where decisions are made.

The Shambhala warriors are armed only with the weapons of compassion and insight. Both are necessary. Compassion gives them the energy to move forward, not to be afraid of the pain of the world. Fueled by compassion, warriors engage with the world, step forward and act. But by itself compassion burns with too much passion and exhausts us, so the second weapon is needed—insight into the interdependence of all phenomena.

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Medium 9781591202455

12. Elizabeth: A Careful Observer

Malcolm N. McLeod Basic Health Publications, Inc. ePub

In completing one discovery we never fail to get an imperfect
knowledge of others of which we could have no idea before, so that
we cannot solve one doubt without creating several new ones.

—JOSEPH PRIESTLEY (1733-1804), prolific English writer and experimentalist, best known for his discovery of oxygen

The day after Elizabeth’s father asked me to see her, she left a message on my answering machine. She introduced herself as the twenty-three-year-old daughter of George and asked me to call her to arrange an appointment. I returned her call.

She commented, “Dad told me it had taken him almost thirty years to find relief from depression and he wants to spare me that agony and wasted time. He wants to see—and so do I—if chromium will help me as much as it has helped him.”

I told Elizabeth I would be happy to see her, but first we had to set a frame. To do that I would have to ask her some questions, which was fine with her. I asked her if she was being treated for depression. She indicated she was seeing a psychologist. I suggested Elizabeth talk over the possibility of our meeting with her psychologist. The next day she called again and said her psychologist thought meeting with me was a good idea. I told Elizabeth I was willing to meet with her, but only for a brief period of time, because she already was in psychotherapy and I was seeing her father. Moreover, I would limit my questions to her depression and not to her personal life. Elizabeth agreed to this frame. We set an appointment for two days later.

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Medium 9781576757642

3. What do I believe about others?

Wheatley, Margaret J. Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

What do I believe about others?

We have a great need to rely on the fact of human goodness. Human goodness seems like an outrageous “fact.” In these dark times we are confronted daily with mounting evidence of the great harm we so easily do to one another. We are numbed by frequent genocide, ethnic hatred, and acts of violence committed daily in the world. In selfprotective groups, we terrorize each other with our hatred. Of the two hundred and forty plus nations in the world, nearly one-fourth of them are at war.

In our daily life, we encounter people who are angry, deceitful, intent only on satisfying their own needs. There is so much anger, distrust, greed, and pettiness that we are losing our capacity to work well together. Many of us are more withdrawn and distrustful than ever.

Yet this incessant display of the worst in us makes it essential that we rely on human goodness. Without that belief in each other, there really is no hope.

There is nothing equal to human creativity, human caring, human will.

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Medium 9788799541331

Chapter 8: Everything Beyond

Marie Elisabeth A. Franck Mortensen CreativeSpaces-fm.com ePub

Chapter 8: Everything Beyond
- Four methods for working with creativity
- Everything beyond
- ”The ten magical minutes”
- ”The formless world”
- Morning mist
- Children and creativity
- Innovative businesses
- Intimacy and presence
- Firm, free time and fun
- Highly sensitive persons

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Medium 9781855750173

CHAPTER SIX. The relationship with the “protector”

Elsa Jones Karnac Books ePub

For many abuse survivors, this is often the most difficult area of therapy. Who the “protector” is seen to be will depend on the circumstances of the abuse. For example, if a child was abused by someone outside the family, both parents may have been regarded by the abused child as the people who should have protected her. Most commonly, in the cases we see, the abuser was a father or stepfather, so that from the survivor’s point of view her mother is the person to whom she hoped to look for protection from abuse.

In this situation the relationship, in childhood and in adulthood, can be a very complicated one, and is usually characterized by considerable ambivalence. An abused child assumes a certain degree of omniscience and omnipotence in parents, and so assumes that her mother must know of the abuse and be able to protect her against it. When this fails to happen, the survivor may feel angry, but is unable to express or even acknowledge this, since the non-protecting parent may be the last or, indeed, the only “safe” parent she has left. It may therefore seem dangerous to confront this parent, while what feels like betrayal—because of this parent’s failure to prevent the abuse—may continue to be a source of grief, anger, and incomprehension.

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Medium 9781576757567

13. All My Relations

Barasch, Marc Ian Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.

—Martin Luther King Jr.

Truly, universally, relations stop nowhere.

—Henry James

I RECENTLY SAW A LOCAL NEWS STORY ABOUT A BOY WHO became lost in the Colorado woods in the dead of winter. As hypothermia set in, he saw emerging ghostlike out of the swirling snow two large elk. Feebly, he threw stones at them, shouting until his voice gave way, then lost consciousness. Early the next morning, he awoke to find himself sandwiched between the two great beasts, which had laid their warm bodies next to his through what would have been a fatal, freezing night.

Or so he told the search team when he staggered into a clearing and was rescued. They were skeptical—hallucinations are a side effect of extreme duress—until he led them back to his sleeping spot. There, in the snow, they saw the concavities made by two enormous animals, the imprint of a small boy in between.

Why would the animals bother? Why not just curl up with each other for some languorous elk-frolic through the wintry night? (Three’s a crowd, and besides, in these parts people shoot them.) There are a million stories of our fellow creatures being kind to us for no good reason—from dogs who, with no rescue training and at risk to their own lives, rush into the flames of burning buildings to drag strangers to safety; or dolphins who nose drowning swimmers to the surface, wait for human help to arrive, then take off with an errant tip of a flipper. There are inexplicable ways compassion radiates through the world, some spirit of sympathy drawn toward any distress like white cells to a pathogen. When William Wordsworth spoke of "a motion and a spirit that...rolls through all things,” he was talking about the systole and diastole of some universal heartbeat.

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Medium 9781591202455

19. An Undergraduate in Experience

Malcolm N. McLeod Basic Health Publications, Inc. ePub

Each one of us, however old, is still an undergraduate in the school of experience.

—JOHN CHALMERS DA COSTA (1863-1933) revered teacher and surgeon at Jefferson Medical College

Although I had over thirty years of experience as a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, I felt like a beginner as I was contemplating giving chromium to other patients who had unsatisfactory responses to antidepressant medications. I not only felt like a beginner, but truly was one in this new endeavor.

Five different persons came to me at five different times, each of whom had a mixed response at best to antidepressant medications, with some relief but limited by the seemingly inevitable and undesirable side effects. I told each of them about my experiences with chromium’s ability to help George, Elizabeth, and Sara. When I asked these patients if they would like to try chromium, they all said yes. Their experiences and stories are described below.

Elaine, a fifty-year-old physician/scientist, was referred to me by her psychiatrist, who had heard about my preliminary findings on the use of chromium to increase the effect of antidepressant medication in depressed patients who crave carbohydrates.

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Medium 9780991309405

Chapter 4 : Emotional Triggers

Ya-Ling J. Liou Return to Health Press™ PDF


Emotional Triggers

WHILE THE IMPACTS OF PHYSICAL OR chemical imbalance on pain are tangible concepts, how emotional strain can contribute to the experience of pain is a much less concrete idea and not as easy to grasp. Yet this is something we all have experienced on a physical level at some point in our lives. Who hasn’t felt a loss of appetite in times of grief or extreme elation? Or, how about moments of embarrassment as an awkward teenager—a sudden facial flush or a case of sweaty palms? Then there’s the very common phenomenon of feeling your heart race during an unexpected fright or a happy excitement.

The emotional brain and body should not be taken lightly when pain is concerned.

The phrase and attitude, “It’s all in your head,” meaning, “It doesn’t really exist,” is completely outdated. It turns out that it is all in our heads and thereby within all the tissues of our body! We now know that there is a direct relationship between some of the chemicals involved with emotional stress and the pain-causing chemicals

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Medium 9781576754757

chapter four the second secret: leave no regrets

Izzo, John Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.

—Bertrand Russell

The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.

—Harriet Beecher Stowe

What is the one thing we will NOT regret at the end of our lives? I am not sure how I would have answered this question before having these conversations, but I am certain that now I would answer differently.

Regret is possibly the one thing we all fear the most; that we might look back on our lives and wish we had done things differently. In my experience from the last 30 years, validated in these interviews, death is not what we fear the most. When we have lived life fully and done what we hoped to do, we can accept death with grace. What we fear most is not having lived to the fullest extent possible, to come to the end of our life with our final words being “I wish I had.”

So, if we want to find true happiness and purpose in life we must embrace the second secret: leave no regrets. To leave no regrets we must live with courage, moving toward what we want rather than away from what we fear. To leave no regrets we must overcome the inevitable disappointments that life hands us.

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Medium 9781605098869

29 Strive to Be Selfless

Muchnick, Mark Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

BEFORE MY WIFE and I decided to start trying to have children, we agreed that we should first get a dog. A few weeks after that discussion I surprised my wife with a seven-week-old Border collie mix puppy that had been rescued by the local shelter. While the shelter staff had named her Runtley because she was the runt of a litter of thirteen brothers and sisters, we decided to call her Scruffy instead based on her disheveled yet undeniably cute appearance.

Almost immediately we realized that while we were in love with the idea of having a dog, we were in way over our heads. Scruffy chewed through the linoleum floor in the kitchen, tore up the floorboards, mutilated the couch, and ate all of the doorstops. She regularly urinated on the carpet and howled all night long in her cage unless we let her come in and sleep in our bed. As much as we hated to admit it, we started to regret our decision to become dog parents.

One night after Scruffy had ripped up the new flowers we’d just planted in the backyard, my wife and I had a serious discussion regarding what to do about her. “Maybe we should return her to the shelter,” I said.

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Medium 9781576756300

The Second Breath

Crum, Thomas Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

“Could you tell me more about this breathing?” Angus asked Daisy. “What do you mean by breathing this strong loving ‘Mama’ in?”

Daisy turned her attention from the flowing stream to Angus.

“Well, I don’t know what to tell you. All I know is that every day I breathe in the ‘me I want to be’ and Daisy here still keeps growin’! My daughter graduated high school and is now enrolled in City College. I guess anything is possible!”

Angus took a deep Centering Breath. It was possible for Daisy to be the best ‘me’ she could be. She had turned that possibility into reality. It came from consciously breathing it in. Breathing! The second breath! The Possibility Breath! Breathe in the highest possible me!

It sounded wonderful, but he was unclear as to how to do it.

“What do you mean, breathing it into every cell?” asked Angus. “Do you mean just really believe and hope that you’re that person?”

“It’s not just a strong belief or hope. That’s just left up here.” Daisy lightly touched her head. “When you breathe it into your mind and body, you become it, you know it. Heck, you are it.”

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