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I work as a psychotherapist with an emphasis on transformational learning - a blend of psychoanalytic and transpersonal approaches, and am the author of Self Actualization and Unselfish Love and co-author of Families Helping Families: Living with Schizophrenia, as well as Mental Illness as an Opportunity for Transformation. My interests and life have taken parallel courses, which together have woven a complex tapestry: spirituality and meditation on the one hand, and political psychology on the other. I have studied and practiced with Ram Dass, Jack Kornfield, Mata Amritanandamayi and Gurumayi Chidvilasanda, and continue a daily practice of meditation. My early political education began with the writings of the founding fathers. Over time this led to involvement in the anti-Vietnam war and anti-nuclear movements. I was interested in the powerful molding of prevailing political and economic dynamics by what C. Wright Mills called the military-industrial complex. In time I have come to the conclusion that, despite various interest groups' attempts to minimize or trivialize the concept, the deep state is a reality - decisively and covertly shaping events on both the domestic and international fronts. I am interested in an exceptionally promising alternative source of energy that has yet to see the light of day. I see the current period as a precarious form of initiation rite into the beginning of adulthood for our species, and hope to do whatever I can to help us reach this goal. Meanwhile, I seek daily to recall the reality that the same awareness (the Ever-Present-Origin) looks out through all of our eyes, and actualize this in my relationship with other beings.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, August 9, 2018 Jean Gebser and the Recovery of Humanity
Human consciousness has developed and matured in stages. We have entered the threshold of a new level of consciousness. How this will impact the "world probematique" remains to be seen. Nevertheless, seeing where we're come from may offer glimpses on where we may go, especially when it comes to the cul de sac in which we currently find ourselves.
(13 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 25, 2018 Some Thoughts on our Collective Predicament -- The Recovery of Humanity
This piece is designed as an introduction to a series of occasional notes, based in the idea that we have become inured, and in a sense "addicted", to a worldview/paradigm that is ready to be outgrown. These ideas, of necessity, will be developed in a step by step format -- each step building on former entries.
(19 comments) SHARE Sunday, August 23, 2020 Mechanisms of Escape from Freedom
Powerlessness leads to the kind of escape that we find in the authoritarian character or else to a compulsive conforming. if we don't see the unconscious suffering of the average "robot," we fail to see the danger that threatens our culture: the readiness to accept any ideology or leader if only he promises excitement and offers a political structure and symbols which allegedly give meaning and order to a person's life.
(54 comments) SHARE Thursday, July 16, 2020 In a Relationship with an Abusive President: Will the Country be a Trauma Victim or Trauma Survivor?
We are in a relationship with an abusive president. The question is whether we will choose to be "trauma victims" or "trauma survivors." A country's president is often at some level envisioned much like a father. We find ourselves in an analogous condition to children living in a family with an unpredictably rageful, out-of-control father. Such circumstances can have damaging, often powerfully traumatic effects.
(7 comments) SHARE Thursday, August 13, 2020 Umberto Eco's 14 Common Features of Fascism
""fascism holds that moral conceptions, as applied to mankind, are absurd, and... impede the natural course of events: nationalism, ethnocentrism, militarism, and global conquest as an extension of realpolitik"implemented by the domination of the masses" guide the natural inheritors of... civilization to a series of battles in which the global state apparatus, in conjunction corporations subjugate mankind."
(44 comments) SHARE Sunday, September 13, 2020 A Caterpillar, A Butterfly and Donald Trump
We are living in a time of disintegration. For the moment Donald Trump is the maestro of this highly discordant symphony. However, it is possible to step back and view his actions as representative of a culture that is antiquated, worn-out and in fact obsolete. In the midst of the chaos Trump has brought to the fore, a new, life-affirming and sustainable culture beckons.
(53 comments) SHARE Thursday, December 24, 2020 Addiction, Humility, and the Fate of the Earth
This article is about our collective free will as a species. At this pivotal time our predicament calls us to bring to bear: great intelligence and knowledge, penetrating insight and far-reaching vision, and dedication to address the perils our human civilization faces. We need to discern how we might survive these adversity factors and even grow from them.
SHARE Sunday, August 12, 2018 Duane Elgin and the Maturing of Humanity
All of the humans alive today apparently descended from a very small community of several thousand persons living in South Africa around 65,000 years ago.Members of this community moved out of Africa and spread rapidly around the Earth. From a small band of hunter-gathers we have come to the edge of a planetary-scale civilization of more than seven billion humans.New challenges face us as we move from separation to community.
(5 comments) SHARE Friday, July 27, 2018 The Authoritarian Personality
Much of the trouble facing our species involves misuse of power. Although this power-over, rather than power-with paradigm - like empire - has seen its time come and go. Still there are many people and institutions who are deeply wedded to this way of life, will fight to hold on to power and have little interest in introspection. The alternative is learning to empower others and allow others to empower us. Courage is needed.
(6 comments) SHARE Sunday, July 26, 2020 The Childhood of Tyrants
Beaten children become humiliated and confused, although soon are taught that the beating is "for their own good" and does no lasting harm. Much later, this type of beating becomes a part of their own so-called good parenting--forming the basis for much violence in the world.
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, June 1, 2020 The Authoritarian Character in a Time of Turmoil
Today we are immersed in a disoriented and fragmented world - faced with dwindling resources, including supplies of nonrenewable energy, a destabilized global climate, mounting environmental pollution, expanding population growth and rampant corruption. This is a formula for ecological collapse and social anarchy.
Authoritarianism is a crucial obstacle to our survival and further evolution as a species.
(25 comments) SHARE Saturday, January 30, 2021 Cultivating a Resilient Self Amidst Social Chaos - Part 1
We need the kind of strength that is flexible to accommodate rapidly changing conditions. We will also need wisdom, compassion, and a capacity for loving ourselves, our fellow humans, and kindred Earth creatures. Here are some tools to accomplish these goals.
(11 comments) SHARE Monday, July 6, 2020 The Four Stages of Spiritual Growth
"In the last analysis, the current global crisis is a psychospiritual crisis; it reflects the level of consciousness evolution of the human species. It is, therefore, hard to imagine that it could be resolved without a radical inner transformation of humanity on a large scale and its rise to a higher level of emotional maturity and spiritual awareness...This is not only possible - it is already underway.
(13 comments) SHARE Saturday, February 27, 2021 Awakening to the Energy We Call God - Pt.2
Aldous Huxley discussed the essential common core of spiritual wisdom as profound insights that have endured across centuries and cultures - a treasure house of humankind's accumulated wisdom.
There is an essential idea to which the Perennial Philosophy points: that we have tragically underestimated ourselves and the deepest cause of suffering in life.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, August 15, 2018 Our Need for Positive Meta-Narratives for Cultural Transformation
We operate - often unknowingly - via stories or beliefs regarding where we came from, who we are and where we are going. Given the state of the world, our species has a clear need for fresh, life-enhancing narratives (or assumptions). Alternative, inspiring stories are presented in this piece.
(9 comments) SHARE Thursday, July 26, 2018 Our Collective Predicament; Authoritarianism, Patriarchy and The Recovery of Humanity
In a great many spheres of human life we are once again becoming accustomed to a dominator/dominated, even sadomasochistic, style of being governed. Ignorance, fear, aggression and a wish to cling to the familiar are on the rise and becoming the norm. Meanwhile, various forms of apathy and paralysis spread. Insight - the ability to see things just as they are is both a first, final, and dependable way out of this morass.
(12 comments) SHARE Monday, August 31, 2020 Overcoming Fear of Freedom
"...more at work here than the use of coarse language or a display of incivility by a sitting president; there is also a flirtation with violence, the rhetoric of white supremacy, and the language of expulsion and elimination. Trump's embrace of unthinkable terror takes on an even more onerous tone as the language of dehumanization and cruelty materializes into policies that work to expel people from any sense of community..."
(12 comments) SHARE Tuesday, February 16, 2021 Cultivating a Resilient Self Amidst Social Chaos - Part 3: The Spiritual Dimension
The word "soul" encompasses the beauty and strength of an experience of connection to the spiritual dimension-one that cannot be reduced to one word, but remains an ineffable experience, which is very central to the human condition and which we can recognize as common to all, in all in the midst of our differences.
(7 comments) SHARE Thursday, April 30, 2020 Our Shared Quandary
Human beings and the bio-community to which we belong are in trouble. We have already entered into a time in which we are beset by unrelenting forces of overpopulation, a destabilized global climate, dwindling supplies of nonrenewable energy, and mounting environmental pollution. It is likely that human civilization will either collapse into chaos or ascend in a process of profound transformation.
SHARE Thursday, May 14, 2020 Domination
To make the necessary great transition to equality and sustainability involves recognizing that, as a species and despite our many differences, we have been on a common journey. To survive we must turn our attention to discovering how the human family can live sustainably on Earth. Transforming our predicament involves appreciating our history of
being divided. This article reviews the "new authoritarianism".
(6 comments) SHARE Tuesday, August 4, 2020 Seeking Solutions to the "World Problematique." Breakdown or Breakthrough.
Our world is in crisis. Global challenges abound. The dark side is the imminent danger of the breakdown of interdependent societies with the perspective of extermination of civilized human life. The bright side marks a possible entrance to a new stage of evolution of humanity, to the self-organization of a humane world society. Systems research and the science of complexity can help us master the current transformation.
(20 comments) SHARE Sunday, February 21, 2021 Awakening to the Energy We Call God - Part 1
As Einstein put it:
"A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us."
(3 comments) SHARE Saturday, July 28, 2018 Totalitarian States of Mind in Organizations - Recovery of Humanity
Power-over scenarios are still rampant in organizations. This, naturally,provides rich food for authoritarians. Yet, it is an error to think that dominance resides in one person only.e.g. the "boss". Work groups are interdependent and emotionally based thought-forms (such as anxiety - as we know) are quite contagious. An alternative perspective is offered.
(5 comments) SHARE Thursday, June 4, 2020 Dumbin' Us Down
Many of us at home and abroad, are incredulously asking how the American people lifted Donald Trump into the position of President of the United States.
Will we be enduring four more years with Donald Trump at the helm? Why is our next election predicted to be even close, not to mention, "highly competitive?" Trump's approval rating has remained steady between 40% and 44%. Why aren't more of us utterly appalled?
(4 comments) SHARE Monday, June 8, 2020 Of Trump, Caterpillars, and Butterflies
Trump is a representative of Control Culture writ large. In Slater's analogy the caterpillar stands for the existing culture, with an emphasis on domination over people and environment, growth as the critical aspect of economy, and the belief in separation and conflict. The butterfly stands for an emerging, more mature culture that values cooperation, democracy, a sustainable economy, and a belief that everything is connected.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, July 30, 2018 Our Collective Predicament and the Power of Group-Think
One of the ways we jettison the responsibility for crucial decisions in group-contexts is by bowing to the will of the majority. As far back as 1835 Alexis de Tocqueville warned that a form of autocratic rule in the United States could easily take just this form. It takes a strong and centered individual to resist the seductive pull of majority rule in small groups. This is another way we seek to "escape from freedom."
(3 comments) SHARE Friday, July 10, 2020 The Value of Cataclysm
Humanity appears to be divided against itself and pitted against nature.
With devotion, good fortune, genuine remorse, endurance and much effort, the crises in which we will predictably continue to find ourselves may together act as an evolutionary catalyst: motivating the human species to move to a higher level of awareness and skillful action by forcing the issue: what might be called "emergence through emergency."
(2 comments) SHARE Friday, August 31, 2018 Integrative vs. Control Culture - An Overview
We are in the midst of a transformation from one set of global values and habits of mind, called here, "control culture" and the other, "integrative culture." The first is in the process of dying, exhausting itself in an attempt to stay alive and dominant, the second, integrative culture, is still in the process of being born. Naturally, this is a disorienting and disconcerting time.
(15 comments) SHARE Tuesday, November 24, 2020 Evil and The Malignant Narcissist
Erich Fromm first coined the term "malignant narcissism" in 1964, describing it as a "severe mental sickness" representing "the quintessence of evil". He characterized the condition as "the most severe pathology and the root of the most vicious destructiveness and inhumanity."
(5 comments) SHARE Friday, February 5, 2021 Cultivating a Resilient Self Amidst Social Chaos - Part 2
Existential psychotherapy sought to address "terminal superficiality" in western man. "Not knowing who one really is," not being able to engage in life from the depths of one's being, necessarily creates inner conflicts. Beyond simply managing symptoms, this approach seeks to enable clients to grapple with the root causes of their symptoms. Underlying these issues is the search for Being.
(25 comments) SHARE Thursday, December 10, 2020 The Essential Adventure of our Time
Facing the biggest challenge humanity has ever faced, people can dare to be comfortable with uncertainty if they are in solidarity with each other. Feeling overwhelmed easily becomes traumatizing. But once people have tasted that they can, with each other, speak about what they see and feel is happening to our world, a number of things happen. There is a trust and realization of, "Oh my god, I'm not alone."
(25 comments) SHARE Saturday, January 2, 2021 Deep, Positive Stories For the Future
We cannot avoid the urgency and importance of the collective effort of imagining and building a global "eco-civilization" - one that recognizes that we all inhabit the same Earth and want the ecosystem to be strong and resilient to sustain a global civilization into the distant future.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, August 2, 2018 "Achtung, Baby!"
Monopolizing exchanges in one to one conversation is something with which almost all of us are familiar. It is a microcosm of the larger phenomena we have looked at to date. We can not build a cooperative, sustainable world when this is an unconscious norm.
(7 comments) SHARE Friday, November 27, 2020 Honoring our Pain for the World
We now have a previously unprecedented communications capability to connect and share our learning with our local and global neighbors as we create a new civilization into being.
We the People have the right, the means, and the power. We are the ones we have been waiting for.
And the time is now. The window of opportunity is fast closing.
(9 comments) SHARE Sunday, October 11, 2020 Planet Earth - The Titanic?
While much attention is understandably on the upcoming election, we may not be thinking much about the upcoming decades. But the problems we are facing are not going away and in fact are likely to worsen if we proceed with business as usual. After tens of thousands of years, humanity has begun to move into a time of great transition. In reality we are hitting an "evolutionary wall" and need to make a pivotal turn as a species.
(7 comments) SHARE Saturday, March 6, 2021 The Energy We (Sometimes) Call Infinite Consciousness - Pt.3 - Transformative Practices
"Hugging meditation is a combination of East and West. According to the practice, you have to really hug the person you are hugging. You have to make him very real in your arms"You breathe consciously while hugging, and you hug with your body, mind and heart. "Breathing in, I know my dear one is in my arms, alive. Breathing out, he is so precious to me.
Thich Nhat Hanh
(12 comments) SHARE Monday, January 18, 2021 Reconciliation: Toward a Unified World
There are so many divisions that alienate us - one from another. Yet, in order to survive as a species in the coming years, we must find way to bridge our divisions and learn to create a habitable, sustainable planet.
(12 comments) SHARE Monday, January 11, 2021 Dystopians R' Us
The message of the prophets of old: "Change your ways of seeing and living in the world because the path you are currently on will lead to disaster." At the core of our consciousness is a wellspring of caring and compassion. What David Korten has called "the Great Turning" emerges from shifts occurring in our hearts, minds, and views of reality.
(4 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 21, 2021 Reconciliation Pt. 2 - Easier Said Than Done
"There is an important distinction between forgiveness and simply allowing others wrongdoing. Where wrong action is concerned, it may be necessary to take appropriate counteraction to stop it.
"Toward the actor you can choose not to develop anger and hatred. This is where the power of forgiveness lies - not losing sight of the humanity of the person while responding to the wrong with clarity and firmness."
(11 comments) SHARE Friday, April 2, 2021 The Prison-Ashram Project
Viktor Frankl wrote: "What would give light, must endure burning."
When we are unable to move horizontally (forward or backward), we are sometimes drawn to move inwardly - deepening our awareness. What we can discover illuminates the grace of being "stuck." With guidance, suffering can become a rite of passage, a death and rebirth toward personal and spiritual growth.
(7 comments) SHARE Thursday, April 8, 2021 The American Prison System as a Failure in Human Being: Enter The Prison-Ashram Project
"Unfortunately, many of those nonviolent offenders will no longer be nonviolent by the time they leave prison. Prisons are not scaring offenders away from crime; they are incapacitating them so they are hardly fit for anything else... Many wardens, judges, and other officials know this, but it has become political suicide to admit it publicly."