Sometimes Being American Means Being Un-American

Watergate

I read a phrase that asks “What does being an “American” mean?” After thinking about this for a few moments, I realized that it is really a two part question, “What is “old American” and what is “new American.” Old America never provided a United Health Care Act. New America is striving for it. New American is seeking to redefine and reallocate a fiscal budget so as to slash deficient costs, and I believe thereby, at some point in time, improve the country’s overall credit rating. I realized that through the 240 years what it means to be American has changed occasionally due to current events and conditions. For example, during World Word II it became okay to become suspicious of any Japanese American. As a result of irrational fear, we placed them in prison camps. McCarthyisms tainted the country with prejudicial views against homosexuality and other intolerances, another form of fear bore out of irrational logic. And then there still persisted white and black segregation in schools, restaurants, and bathrooms even though we claimed the black man free and equal. How about the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), a committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, investigated allegations of communist activity in the U.S. during the early years of the Cold War (1945-91). It was established in 1938 and the committee wielded its subpoena power as a weapon and called citizens to testify in high-profile hearings in Congress. The intimidating atmosphere often produced dramatic but questionable revelations about Communists infiltrating American institutions and subversive actions by well-known citizens. HUAC’s controversial tactics contributed to the fear, distrust, and repression that existed during the anticommunist hysteria of the 1950’s. America sometimes gets it wrong. I mean, where is HUAC when you need them today? Shouldn’t Trump be called to testify in court about the “incidental collection” of surveillance data during his campaign? Is a Russian national backing our current presidential cabinet? And shouldn’t this investigation be done by an independent investigation team?

But back to the original question. What it means to be truly American at the core involves those values that have transcended space and time. Those virtues that never cease even when Lady Liberty is pushed to the brink, and are in fact made to shine even brighter than before. To be American has always meant extending aid when your neighbors were in need, it has always meant tolerance of ethnic difference in a world full of rich cultures. American has always meant polite political speech, even though we know the underlying anger may not be born on the face. Funny this particular characteristic does not seem to shine through during 5:00 pm rush hour traffic on Friday afternoons. In the past America has explicitly declared to the world, “Give me your huddled mass and we will take care of them.” American has meant equality for all, even though that very equality wasn’t fully recognized in a country that was built on slavery. It was recognized later with the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. American means “we will defend liberty, provide justice, and ensure peace and tranquility of the nation.” These words evoke patriotism in the ears of every civilian and citizen who hears them. Truth be told, America has seen false imprisonment, dishonesty, favoritism, inequity, turmoil, and tumult and these characteristics were even provoked before from a commander and chief in our tainted past political history. We have seen the military abuses at Guantanamo. We have witnessed the unfair treatment of prostitutes, homosexuals, and transgender people. Groups, who by all intense purposes, should be protected. Sometimes, many of these unsavory leadership characteristics are clandestine and certain corrupt acts are never seen or heard by the public’s ears, but they exist. They exist because over the course of time the hearts of men have not changed and the sad truth is, “How can you protect good without evil?” One is dependent on the other. It is at the heart of every organism to survive, and sometimes survival means the issuing forth of evil acts. We just don’t like to hear about it when it happens, and so we pray that these “evil acts” do more good than harm. And when we are told, everything worked out for the best in spite of these evil acts, we breathe a sigh of relief and overlook the transgression as a necessary wrong. War. Survival is war and Trump is a warring heart.

Dealing with and accepting the Trump regime is like including a naughty little boy to your backyard pool party. You know the one I mean. The boy who keeps spiting water in your face all the time. We might not really want him there, but your mom told us it is the right thing to do, to be inclusive instead of practicing exclusion. So we tolerate him and look forward to the day when we will not have to tolerate him any longer. Graduation Day!

Trump is putting America on a noodle diet; breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That is a $3.00 a day diet. It’s a “skinny budget.” What is the sacrifice of a “skinny budget?” A trimmer waistline, better credit scores, lower interest rates on loans, and a shiny new red convertible. What that shiny new red convertible will become is still unwritten. Let’s hope it doesn’t spell out L.E.M.O.N. Russian noodles anyone?

Souping; The New Juicing

Souping

Chefs love soup. Why? Because it is as versatile as tofu. You can swap out ingredients for other choices and still make a brilliant soup. There are three variations to this recipe but your choices don’t end there. Try adding butternut squash as a veggie or yams. Broccoli, orange or yellow peppers, or eggplant. They are not off the menu you know. Yes even eggplant!!! The possibilities are endless.

VEGETABLE SOUP (with vegan / vegetarian options)

Serves 4 to 6 

1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup raw cashews
2 cups vegetable stock
VEGGIES (see below)
ADD-INS (see below)
TOPPINGS (see below)

Directions:
In a saucepan place 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Saute small onion with garlic until tender.

Add cashews and stock. Simmer 15 minutes.

Add VEGGIES and enough broth to cover. Simmer until tender

Blend with ADD-INS until super smooth, about 5 minutes. Re-heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. If too thick, add more broth or water. Serve with optional TOPPINGS.

POMEGRANATE ROASTED RED PEPPER
VEGGIES: 4 cups roasted red peppers; 1 Yukon Gold potato and 1 carrot, each peeled and chopped. ADD-INS: ¼ cup pomegranate juice. TOPPINGS: A swirl of plain Greek yogurt thinned with milk.

ASPARAGUS AVOCADO
VEGGIES: 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and chopped. ADD-INS: ¼ peeled, pitted avocado; juice of ½ lemon; 2-3 teaspoons chopped fresh dill or parsley. TOPPINGS: Sauteed sliced mushrooms.

MISO CAULIFLOWER:
VEGGIES: 1 head cauliflower, broken into florets; 1 Yukon Gold potato, peeled and chopped, 1 celery stalk, chopped. ADD-INS: Juice of ½ lime, 1 tablespoon white miso. TOPPINGS: Chopped parsley or thyme.

My Vegan Conundrum

Midnight Snacking

Trying to understand why I’m waking up at 10:00 am for food the last two nights? My conclusions are several. One, my brain waves are being manipulated by aliens hovering over the earth conducting experiments on human behavior. Two, my liver is severely diseased and requires higher doses of fat than previously thought. Three, my fat totals for the dishes I am consuming are lower than I believe them to be.

For example, my Vegan Lasagna Stacks may have only 2 grams of fat instead of 4. My Kale Chips may have >1 gram instead of 2.5 grams originally thought. My Carrot Dogs may only have >1 or >2 grams of fat instead of 4. Since I am not having my foods professionally analyzed by an outside independent research team for nutritional values, my values could very well be off. And so, this means that my saturated intake was way too low as well, sparking those midnight cravings. And yes! You do need SOME saturated fat in your diet.

28% of my total calories are coming from fat.

So how much fat should you be eating a day in your daily diet? Experts say 30% of your calories should come from fat. That means you should be eating anywhere from 50 to 80 grams of fat a day depending on your daily total intake of calories. But this will not encourage weight loss. On a restricted low-fat, low-calorie diet, one that encourages weight loss, 20% of your calories should come from fat. This means you should be eating:

For a 1,000 calorie a day diet 22 grams of fat each day
For a 1,600 calorie a day diet 36 grams of fat each day
For a 2,000 calorie a day diet 44 grams of fat each day

No more than 7% of your daily calories should come from saturated fats. Wow! This surprised me. I thought it was way lower than that! That means on a 2,000 calorie diet, you should be consuming no more than 16 grams of saturated fat a day. So, I am way below average when it comes to saturated fats in my diet. Not surprising, since I’m eating vegan. An example, I ate 1,752 calories yesterday. I could have consumed 13.5 grams of saturated fat and still have been okay but I only consumed less than half of that amount, mostly due to nut butters and raw nuts. That’s only 3% of my daily caloric total!  Yesterday’s tallies:

My Daily Totals for March 11, 2017:

1,752.5 calories; 55.24 grams fat; 6.424 grams saturated; 167.7 grams carbohydrates;
0 cholesterol; 1,537 mgs sodium; *124.66 grams sugar; 72.44 grams protein; 37.67grams fiber

(*My daily sugar totals came from whole food choices. Only 25 grams came from added sugar, or 2 tablespoons in a Vegan Hot Chocolate beverage, and the sugar I used was unrefined coconut sugar!)

Solution, try to increase you total overall amount of fat calories by insuring you are eating the accurate amount of fat at each meal. For a 1,600 calorie diet that means at least 12 grams of total fat at each meal. For a 1,000 calorie diet that means 7.3333 grams of total fat at each meal, selecting fat-free, whole food, fiber rich snacks like apples, strawberries, and bananas in between meals to help stave off hunger. My suggestion to anyone who wants to lose weight, “When in doubt, go vegan!”

Ten Philosophical Quotations To Think Deeply About

strahov-theological-hall-prague
Strahov Theological Hall – Prague, Czech Republic

“Are the mystics and sages insane? Because they all tell variations on the same story, don’t they? The story of awakening one morning and discovering you are one with the All, in a timeless and eternal and infinite fashion. Yes, maybe they are crazy, these divine fools. Maybe they are mumbling idiots in the face of the Abyss. Maybe they need a nice, understanding therapist. Yes, I’m sure that would help. But then, I wonder. Maybe the evolutionary sequence really is from matter to body to mind to soul to spirit, each transcending and including, each with a greater depth and greater consciousness and wider embrace. And in the highest reaches of evolution, maybe, just maybe, and individual’s consciousness does indeed touch infinity – a total embrace of the entire Kosmos – a Kosmic consciousness that is Spirit awakened to its own true nature. It’s at least plausible. And tell me: is that story, sung by mystics and sages the world over, any crazier than the scientific materialism story, which is the entire sequence is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying absolutely nothing? Listen very carefully: just which of those two stories actually sounds totally insane?” ~ Ken Wilber

“Every science has for its basis a system of principles as fixed and unalterable as those by which the universe is regulated and governed. Man cannot make principles, he can only discover them.” ~ Thomas Paine

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Near this spot
Are deposited the Remains of one
Who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
And all the Virtues of Man without his Vices.
This Praise, which would be unmeaning flattery
If inscribed over human ashes,
Is but a just tribute to the Memory of Boatswain, a dog.” ~George Gordon, Lord Byron

“It is for man to establish the reign of liberty in the midst of the world of the given. To gain the supreme victory, it is necessary, for one thing, that by and through their natural differentiation men and women unequivocally affirm their brotherhood.” ~Simone de Beauvoir

“The people of a nation are enslaved when, together, they are helpless to institute effective change, when the people serve the government more than the government serves them.” ~Gerry Spence

“I stand ready to negotiate, but I want no part of laws: I acknowledge none; I protest against every order with which some authority may feel pleased on the basis of some alleged necessity to over-rule my free will. Laws: We know what they are, and what they are worth! They are spider webs for the rich and mighty, steel chains for the poor and weak, fishing nets in the hands of government.” ~Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

“One of my oldest crusades is against the distinction between thought and feelings….which is really the basis of all anti-intellectual views: the heart and the head, thinking and feeling, fantasy and judgment. We have more or less the same bodies, but very different kinds of thoughts. I believe that we think much more with the instruments provided by culture than we do with our bodies, and hence the much greater diversity of thought in the world. Thinking is a form of feeling; feelings is a form of thinking.” ~Susan Sontag

LIBERATION LEADS TO LIBERATION

“These are the first words of truth – not truth in quotation marks but truth in the real meaning of the word; truth which is not merely theoretical, not simply a word, but truth that can be realized in practice. The meaning behind these words may be explained as follows:

By liberation is meant the liberation which is the aim of all schools, all religions, at all times.

This liberation can indeed be very great. All men desire it and strive after it. But it cannot be attained without first liberation, a lesser liberation. The great liberation is liberation from influences outside us. The lesser liberation is liberation from influences within us.” ~ G. I. Gurdjieff

“To suppose that God Almighty has confined his goodness to this world, to the exclusion of all others, is much similar to the idle fancies of some individuals in this world, that they, are those of their communion or faith, are the favorites of heaven exclusively; but these are narrow and bigoted conceptions, which are degrading to a rational nature, and utterly unworthy of God, of whom we should form the most exalted ideas.” ~ Ethan Allen

dove_olive_branch

“Alienated Man” and Various Associated Personality Disorders

disorganized-schizophrenia
Notice the word “Electro-Convulsive”

The use of the term narcissistic personality or character has been established in the psychoanalytic literature since the 1930s. Historically, it stems from Freud’s original division of clinical conditions into the psychoneuroses, the actual neuroses, and the narcissistic neuroses. Freud’s meaning of narcissistic neurosis subsumed some conditions which were later incorporated into yet an additional category of the character neuroses. In the early 1900s, however, the term “narcissistic neuroses” was used by Freud to include a number of regressive psychotic and conditions which were not amenable to psychotherapeutic techniques in use at that time (see Rosenfeld, 1964). These included some overt schizophrenic conditions as well as latent schizophrenia and what later would be considered schizoid or narcissistic personality. In the past 30 years, the meaning of the term narcissistic neurosis or narcissistic personality began to be more definitive of a borderline state of functioning typified by sever but no psychotic estrangement from both self and social environment.

Freud’s use of the word “narcissistic” carries the implication of narcissism in the sense of a primary, objectless ego state. Kohut and Kernberg have clarified the nature of what they define as pathological narcissism (Kohut, 1971); Kernberg, 1974). Additionally, Kernberg (1972) has depicted a series of stages during early childhood where faulty incorporation of internal objects occurs in certain selected varieties of narcissistic personality.

In common parlance as well as in its mythological derivation, the word “narcissism” is used to suggest a relatively superficial and fatuous self-absorption, which is more suggestive of hysteroid or immature adaptations. In these connections, the word is associated with demands for gratification and cherishment based upon the continuation of a compensatory overvaluation of self. Etymologically, of course, the problem is that the latter connotations of “narcissism” are distinctly different from those which are connected with primary narcissism. In centering on the semantic connected to the process of “splitting,” the Bleulerian term “schizoid” evades some of this confusion. Again, regardless of terminology, there seems to be a genuine consensus concerning the nature of these conditions. There also is agreement concerning the technical difficulties in the psychotherapeutic treatment of such states.

It is necessary to discuss some of the terminologies which have been applied to malignant states of isolation and self-estrangement. The clinical portrait of “Alienated Man,” with regards to psychoanalysis and psychiatry, is to be understood that I use the word “man” in its generic sense, so that references to “Alienated Man” and “his” experience of “himself” are abstractions that stand for individual men and women…..Other terms designating what I here call “Alienated Man” include “schizoid personality, narcissistic personality, Protean Man.(See definitions listed below) (Cf. Fairbairn, 1954; Kohut, 1971; Fromm, 1961; Lifton, 1971: Daly, 1968; Laing, 1960; Riesmann, 1961; Jourard, 1964.)

To clarify, it is my opinion “Alienated Man” refers to the schizoid personality or narcissistic personality disorder. It must be stressed that these individuals are not social isolates or alienates as the term “Alienated Man” suggests, rather these individuals can appear quiet gregarious and social in context. The term “Alienated Man” refers to the alienation the individual experienced in sublimating and incorporating “love objects” into their psychic apparatus. They become alienates because of their self-centered narcissistic states. “Internalized objects are held to be representations of outside experiences that are incorporated by the infant and child in the process of longitudinal development.” Estrangement from “self” and “other love objects” as described by the narcissistic state of development should not be considered “diseased” in and of itself. In proper balance, preservation of the self maintains a person’s ability to differentiate when and where love and care should or should not be given for the best possible outcomes of survival. It is the balance of this incorporated social awareness that creates a healthy narcissism. It is only when these estrangements become perverse and severely distorted that they are considered mentally diseased. These estrangements during “normal” development are necessary for one’s own survival, continuity of life, and balanced cooperation with “other.” During adolescence, or secondary narcissism, the distantiations of separating the internalized self, or self-identity, in the process of segregating those individuals and things we consider separate from ourselves can become quite pronounced.

“Alienated Man” is alienated to the extent that he does not seek cooperation through self-sacrifice, cooperation, and a feeling of unity. Rather, they seek manipulation through self-serving goals, discord, and chaos. Lack of intimacy, as in feelings of disconnected love towards “other” or a lack of feeling of brotherhood among men, because the “Alienated Man” has become disconnected toward loving “other(s)” as normal man is want to do for his continued survival. Delusions and fears may reek havoc on his mind and can drive his warped personality and perceptions toward malignant and malevolent ends. “Alienated Man” does not refer to avoidant personalities as seen in avoidant personality disorder and the tendency to confuse the two should be carefully scrutinized.

In addition, it becomes critical to differential between the schizoid state of the drug user versus the schizoid state of a psychopathic variant. For example the malevolent psychopath who does not use drugs or alcohol, with regard to the lack of difference in their conscious state of awareness and empathy toward others is more severe than the former. In the conscious state of a schizoid drug user or alcoholic, there exists only an transient state of acute lack of conscious awareness and empathy towards other. Once the drug user or alcoholic stops using, his conscious state of awareness may be re-intact. However, with the schizoid psychopathic individual there may exist a perverse lack of conscious state of awareness and empathy towards other. This state, in my opinion, is more chronic and is less easily fixed because they may possess a deep seated delusions about themselves and others that is not as readily corrected by just abstaining from drugs or alcohol. So the levels and the variants need to be carefully examined, analyzed, and addressed as one diagnosed variant may respond better to traditional psychotherapeutic remedies than the other.

In modern times the use of electro-magnetic therapies have been suggested as a curative medicine. Medical personnel have to watch more carefully if using these technologies. They may be doing more harm than good completely stripping an individual of their basic human rights. Historically speaking, the use of electro-magnetic shock therapy was used as a means of controlling diseased behavior and has come to be viewed as inhumane and any further use of these types of technologies should be carefully considered. I often wonder who the sicker party is, the medical practitioner wielding the therapy or the patient?

***Terms Defined

Schizoid Personality is characterized by a lack of interest in social relationships, a tendency towards a solitary or sheltered lifestyle, secretiveness, emotional coldness, and apathy. Affected individuals may be unable to form intimate attachments to others and simultaneously demonstrate a rich, elaborate, and exclusively internal fantasy world.

Narcissistic Personality is a long-term pattern of abnormal behavior characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration, and a lack of understanding others’ feelings. People affected by it often spend a lot of time thinking about achieving power or success, or about their appearance. They often take advantage of the people around them. The behavior typically begins by early adulthood, and occurs across a variety of situations.

Protean Man as described by Robert Jay Lifton (1971) is an analysis of the psychological patterns emerging in contemporary life. The Protean style is characterized by constant shifts in identification and belief, and results from such broad factors as the velocity of historical change, the revolution in mass media, and the effects of 20th-century holocaust. The self can no longer be considered a fixed concept in psychiatry, and the term self-process is preferable.

 

A Valentine’s Day Message For You (edited)

valentins-day-lingerie

It’s Valentine’s Day and what better way to say “I Love You!” than with sex, candy, and some Victoria Secret’s lingerie? I am deviating from my original page’s theme in celebration of this sexually themed holiday. I was going to write a block post about the origins of Valentine’s Day starting with St. Valentine………..BORING!!!! We all know the roots of most traditional holidays began with some Pagan holiday or festival. So, Valentine’s Day probably originated from some fertility fest found in one of these ancient cultures. Sex fests were a pretty common theme in ancient history as the people recognized early on in these ancientcandy-image cultures that without sex there could be no conception, and without conception there could be no offspring, and with no offspring there could be no continued existence. Fertility festivals vary in their different ancient cultural themes and although ritually different displays mark each unique culture‘s celebration, the message still pretty much stayed the same. Thank you god for my reproductive success! Sometimes an offering or gift was given to the fertility god in the temple or a generous donation made to the temple priest, who by the way has now been replaced by your local retail dealer or local Hallmark store. Anybody make a donation yet? Anyone born November 14th?

What better way to show your gratitude for the very organs that gave you life and helped to sustain that life? What better way to give thanks for our reproductive capabilities than to shine some tender love and care on your partner‘s genitalia? What better way to give thanks to the god who has granted us the ability to experience sexual ecstasy in this ultimate act of close intimate bonding? That reminds me, don’t forget to send a card to your parents too, they were your former gods who breathed the very life you own into you!

In life, is there anything better than that which is rooted in this life sustaining act? Anything more gratifying? Anything more pleasuring? So grab your guy or grab your girl, pull the shades, and dim the light. Enjoy this day of celebration with sex and romance and give thanks to your precious origins. A spark of creative culinary inspirations!  Boob Cakes! Nothing says I love you quite like being nurtured by the breast (or penis). After all, the life-sustaining act of breast feeding set in motion our very sexual energies and drives, or at least according to Freud it did. May all of you enjoy a very Happy Valentine’s Day with your spouse or significant other!

valentine-heart

The Human Brain and Aggression

 

The parts of the brain brought to you by two cartoon lab mice; Pinky and the Brain.

Human aggression is so wide spread in the Western world it’s prompted research into the effects of brain stimulation with electrical stimulus. Research has shown us stimulation of the amygdala in cats results in attack behavior. The physiological signs of rage, as well as erection of the hair, elevation of blood pressure, increased respiration also occur. What is striking about the behavior is that it is directed. A cat will attack a rat in a cage and even stalk it. The behavior is not automatic or inflexible. In monkeys, this effect is even more striking. Unlike cats, monkeys are social creatures. Stimulation elicits attack behavior only if a safe object is present. A rhesus monkey will not attack a social superior, but it will attack an inferior or stuffed toy tiger. Stimulation that will elicit aggressive behavior of a dominant monkey toward a subordinate or submissive one will altogether fail to induce such behavior in the same animal in the presence of a newly introduced dominant animal. Indeed, the formerly dominant monkey now exhibits all the signs of submissive behavior. The animal simply does not react in an automatic manner, but evaluates the situation and responds with the appropriate behavior. In humans, stimulation in certain areas of the brain produces feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, fright, and horror, but it does not elicit attack. One woman reported she wanted to slap the experimenter, but she did not do so.

This information is of particular interest and it is provocative to ponder. It should be emphasized the production of aggressive attack behavior by brain stimulation in experimental animals does not presents a good model for what goes on in the human brain. What can be concluded is the presence of a higher governing executive authority known as “social conscious awareness.” Human beings are more likely to respond to social situations with socially acceptable behaviors, even under the duress of stressors like artificial stimulation.

The laboratory findings show that in experimental animals fear, rage, and attack can be evoked in many, but not in all subjects by stimulation of specific locations in the brain. And this is possible because stimulation bypasses the normal sensory channels and directly activates parts of the brain that would be activated if the individual actually were in a frightening, unpleasant, or dangerous situation. However, the reason why stimulation can elicit these responses is that the individual has had such experiences in the past – that is, he or she has been in frightening, unpleasant, or dangerous situations – and these particular areas of the brain were activated on those occasions. Subsequently one can fool the individual into thinking that the same environmental events are presented by electrically stimulating the regions of the brain that were active on those earlier occasions.

It is important to note that even when one taps right into the system of stimulation, the resulting behavior is by no means automatic. The cat attacks the first thing it sees. It makes the “logical” inference that if it is experiencing fright or anger, and possibly even pain, whatever it sees near it is responsible, and it acts accordingly. The monkey may draw the same inference, but its decision to attack or not is based on the social status of the other monkey who is present. A human carries this process further. A human may recognize the fact that the individual who is present is not necessarily responsible for the unpleasant sensations; and, second, even if that individual is seen to be responsible – for example, the experimenter who turned on the current – even then, social constraints prevent a direct attack. It is clear, then, that definite parts of the brain are involved in aggression, and it is equally clear that stimulation of these areas does not result in automatic, thoughtless aggression divorced from the animal’s past experience.

Conscious awareness and the extended time required for human beings to rear their offspring provides humanity the function and time needed to help install conscious awareness, also known as the superego, in their individual offspring. Even at the end of eighteen or twenty-two years of age, we still are not finished practicing. We have spiritual practice to help aid, guide, and further facilitate the necessary equipment for strong social bonding.

Psychoanalysis; A Spiritual Experience

psychoanalysis

“Pride creates a noise within us which makes the quiet voice of the Spirit hard to hear. And soon, in our vanity, we no longer even listen for it. We can come quickly to think we don’t need it” (“Prayer,” “Ensign,” Nov. 2001, 16).

This quotation touches on the ideas of Pride and Vanity. They are the ego-mind with all its rooted narcissism. Religion and Psychology are so closely related that I find myself often revisiting this Truth of philosophy:

“The greater purpose of spirituality, and that of religion as well, is even in the presences of a lack of proof for God’s existence, even if that proof disprove him, the willingness of the individual to be dedicated to the continued study of spiritual practice for the purpose of achieving a higher conscious state of awareness. A state that will help pull him out of his own egocentricity, his own suffering, and his own Hell.”

Pride is defined as a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired or to be especially proud of a particular quality or skill. Vanity is defined as excessive pride in or admiration of one’s own appearance or achievements. Something that is vain, empty, or valueless, a fashionable trifle or knicknack. These two sins are discussed and taught in various religions and Bible study groups. They are warned against in various different scriptures and religious writings as well. The famous quote, “Pride goeth before the fall” is actually a misquote of Proverbs 16:18 which says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” This shows that destruction is the end result of pride, at least according to the Bible book of Proverbs.

Characteristic to psychopathy is this notion that the psychopathic individual is elevated in his perceptions and understanding. He believes he is within full power and right to “teach” another about the errors of their ways. It is for this reason so many psychopathic individuals have risen to ranks of power over the weaker minded follower and can easily influence these individuals into doing their dirty work. In light of this idea, I must pose the question, “Who has any right to assume leadership and authority over another in an attempt to “teach” others correctly?” Does not a human being have a right to choose for himself that for which he desires to study and learn? It must be difficult for a Mormon ministers or Jehovah’s Witness ministers to walk away from a slammed door, especially if the person believes in his heart and soul he holds the power, the secret, the key to transform the lives of those who live behind that door. Still, our country was founded in certain freedoms. Religious freedom has been built into our country’s constitution and we cannot force these notions onto other people. We can only state softly and clearly that for which we have come to know and believe for ourselves, any other behavior may be held accountable in a criminal or civil court of law.

Entering psychoanalysis with the purpose to be cured of a problem becomes a very spiritual experience for the individual. Also, one may find the study of psychology and psychoanalysis just as spiritually enlightening. This should come as no surprise since the approach to studying psychology and psychoanalysis is more than merely science. There is also a philosophical approach to understanding them. Since philosophy is incorporated into the hallways and promenades of many different areas of acadamia, including the science of psychology and psychoanalysis, religious and spiritual philosophies must be considered as these experiences are unique to the individual patients experiencing them. Knowing and appreciating how these experiences relate to people as individuals becomes an important key to helping others. One soon finds that it becomes prudent to understand these concepts and as it becomes of immense value to one’s daily practice of living if one is to extend help to others so they may, too, attain wellness.

Jungian Therapy, The Numinous, & The Spirit That Resides Within

the-anima-animus-final-by-melissa-currie
Anima and Animus by Melissa Currie

“Woman is compensated by a masculine element and therefore her unconscious has, so to speak, a masculine imprint. This results in a considerable psychological difference between men and women, and accordingly I have called the projection-making factor in women the animus, which means mind or spirit.

The animus is the deposit, as it were, of all woman’s ancestral experiences of man – and not only that, he is also a creative and procreative being, not in the sense of masculine creativity, but in the sense that he brings forth something we might call….the spermatic world.”

A brief note from the perspective of Jungian analysis. Jung through his study of archetypal or “numinous,” symbolic experience and what that means for the patient is “the approach to uncover their numinous is the real therapy” and that to assist with this, the therapist “must abandon all preconceived notions and, for better or worse, go with him in search of the religious and philosophical ideas that best correspond to the patient’s emotional states.” It is for this reason that many individuals seek the religious and spiritual perspectives of Jungian therapy.

The numinous experience means transcendent experience: human experience that is imbued with a feeling of something holy, divine, or mystical. Spiritual experience, however, is not usually a psychotherapeutic topic (except with reference to delusions or psychoses). Whether it should be or not depends on one’s worldview and philosophy, but it is clear that Jung gave religion and spirituality the highest value. He sometimes described the goals of psychotherapy specifically in religious terms. “The goal is transformation,” he once said, “….the only criterion of which is the disappearance of ego hood,” which is a Buddhist concept; or, when describing the experience of the Self, an analytic goal that is also a God-concept, “Yet not I live, but Christ liveth in me,” which is Christian doctrine from St. Paul.

It’s important for the patient to have an understand of his’ or her’s unique psychological problems in order to effectively confront them and “certainly, anyone who has transcendent or conversion experiences can be healed by them or, as Jung also noted, overwhelmed by them.” Jung’s approaches were encouraging to those seeking and creating deeper, sometimes uniquely spiritual meaning in their lives, and their Jungian paths sometimes involved direct transpersonal experience through introspection and imagination. From a religious perspective, transcendental experiences would probably be considered acts of grace (or illusions), outside of psychotherapeutic intention. Religious “close encounters” should be responded to empathetically and with guided aid to help the patient understand what they mean to him or her and that goes as well for anything that is presented during a therapy session. For Jung, the solution is in the spirit, but Jungian therapy needs to be able to relate to mundane psychopathology and the more deeply disturbed patients often seen today, who cannot be effectively approached with a primarily archetypal-symbolic method. It is for this reason that Jungian therapy isn’t for everyone. Jung himself recognized that most of his patients were what he called “the walking well.” He also noted they were culturally sophisticated individuals with previous therapy experience. They were also well adapted to society and thus concerned and able to be concerned about problems of self-realization. Jung said, “About a third of my cases are not suffering from any clinically definable neurosis, but from the senselessness and aimlessness of their lives. I should not object if this were called the general neurosis of our age. Fully two thirds of my patients are in the second half of life.” Without diminishing this insight about twentieth-century alienation and about the nature of personal suffering – since emotional pain is not necessarily correlated with psychopathology – it still seems that a good number of individuals within our societies, even today, are still suffering from this same “senselessness and aimlessness” of their lives.

Have you ever uncovered your numinous or the presiding spirit that resides within you? Or have you ever dreamed of your anima or animus which is your symbolic opposite?

Opening quote from Anima and Animus, The Collected Works of Carl Jung

How To Become Karma Free

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“If you want to be Karma free go back to the original source of “prana.” So that is why our whole focus is how to go beyond the mind into the cosmic energy field and cosmic “I am.” Consciousness and energy. So as you learn the practice of Amrit Yoga and Yoga Nidra it’s all about how to go beyond the past conditioning. How to re-enter the present so you can see what is as is, but your preprogrammed past has lost touch with what is as is. Why? Because preprogrammed past has moved far away from the presence which can see what is as is. Having been separated from the presence it cannot see what is present. And therefore you look for love from outside. Why? Because your “I am” which is identified with the preprogrammed condition self-image is separated from the source of love within you. Therefore it is born looking from outside, and outside it is that means the ego mind has moved from the center of polarity, center of unity within and it is seeking from outside, so as it lives outside of the center from within, what it looks for is love from outside, and love from “other.” So what is yoga? Turned back inside. What do you have to do? You have to let go of anybody who has ever abused you, or has taken advantage of you, or has hurt you; your parents, your children, your ex-wife, your husband, everything. You have to let go of that. So then, only then, you will be dismantling from the Karmic past “belief systems” and persona, “the mask.” As you leave from the mask, the real you will begin to emerge.” ~From the teachings of Yogi Amrit Desai