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Life Arts    H3'ed 12/8/18

Rewire Your Climate Despairing Brain, with help from climatologist Paul Beckwith

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Several months back, my wife Christine insisted I visit a shrink to deal with my depression and enlarging proclivity for wine and other forms of self medication. I dragged my feet, since the handful of shrinks I've seen (usually only once) over the decades proved to me what I long ago concluded, that the problem is not ME but THEM and society in general.

It was in that state of mind that I went to a rally at Senator Hatch's Office having something to do with Trump (I think it was Bear's Ears Monument). Got talking with one fellow there who mentioned that his wife was a psychologist. Figured she had to be halfway on the ball if this was her husband, so got her card and went. Nice lady, productive session, focusing on "being here now"--a lifelong goal that I get to fairly often, usually by accident.

That session wore off and Christine said I needed to go again, we couldn't afford all the wine, for one thing! And she thought it was depressing me and screwing up my sleep, which it was.

Got the name of another character with good references and went to see him. Pleasant and fairly bright chap, but not terribly aware of what's going on in the world. But he recommended a book that focused on rewiring the brain, much like I'd heard about via NLP, or "neuro-linguistic programming."

It made sense, though it seemed like, boiled down, to burying one's head in the sand. He highly recommended a book, that I got on Kindle and read about half of. It made sense, mainly by spending more time on the many good things around us that we generally skip by and forget about, to focus on more important issues, real problems that cause depression, self-medication, and often suicide. It was a more elaborate take on "being here now."

That is the book that one of my favorite climatologists, Paul Beckwith, talks about in the video above. The video is 15 minutes and well worth the watch.

Expanding a bit more, the idea is that if one can dwell enough on the truly ever present good things around us, we don't live in continual despair. Yet more, it gives us a stable mental platform, i.e. "undepressed," for thinking more clearly about the never ending supply of problems civilization is facing.

With that background, Paul's short video about this very book, Hardwiring Happiness, by Rick Hanson kicked me in the head. Here is a guy who is one of the world's leading climatologists, well ahead of the curve of most climatologists, who has been hollering "Climate emergency!" for years, presenting most educational videos and infinite references to other sites, resources, and folks actively working in this area. If anyone is aware of abrupt climate change and near term human extinction, Paul is surely near the top of the list. You may have seen a few videos of him that I've posted, or found them on your own, at Paul's website click here.

Well, if this book is good enough for him and highly recommended before he's finished reading it, it's good enough for me. So I'm back at it and finding the techniques in it extremely useful. My aim is to keep at it while at the same time maintaining awareness of things coming down and doing what I can from where I am (e.g., getting ready now with a friend in radio to do an interview with Guy McPherson in two weeks or so).

One thought that seems to fit in here is that as long as I'm going back to wherever I came from, I may as well be as upbeat and undepressed as I can along the way (at 71 I don't need to read about nuclear war, financial, planetary, and overall collapse of civilization to know that much). Yes, be here now, as Ram Dass said so long ago, but select more carefully what I pay attention to along the way. Given that death is the common denominator for anyone ever born, I find the question of how I wish to spend my remaining time coming down to, "Will it be in an utterly depressed state, or will I focus more on truly 'smelling the roses'." I don't see this as black and white, but I think the main parameters are clear and obvious enough.

Which promptly links my cerebral neurons to another article I did a short while back, that hammers these points home in what I'd call a most poignant and beautiful way. Be sure to click here and watch the short video. I can only imagine you'll be glad you did.

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In my run for U.S. Senate against Utah's Orrin Hatch, I posted many progressive ideas and principles that I internalized over the years. I'm leaving that site up indefinitely, since it describes what I believe most members of our species truly (more...)

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