Monday 24 July 2017

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

Psychological Exercise 3: Picturing the Lord

"God is in the Heavens." If you are thinking about God, and you are thinking of Him in the Heavens, you are doing this in one of two ways: 1) you are outside under the sky, actually looking up into the sky, and picturing Him up in the sky. Or, 2) you are inside, picturing Him, picturing the sky, and picturing Him in this pictured sky. For 1) you have to be outside, with eyes open, looking up at the sky. For 2), you can be inside, sitting in an easy chair, eyes closed, imagining the sky with God in it. There is such a big difference between 1) and 2) that I think people who think about God in the heavens in the second way may not be able to picture Him in the heavens the first way. (this exercise is also found in Short Observation 92)

Inward-Outward: Introductory thoughts on the subject

As a psychologist and philosopher there are not any words that seem more confusing to use in a psychological context than in and out. And yet these words are very important for people trying to understand themselves and who want to put their understanding into words they can use to communicate what they discover. The following list, taken as a whole, represents my latest and best attempt to illustrate and clarify the problem. The ideas in the list can be taken as a step by step exercise. (To me these opposite concepts are so important that I have written another article, Paradox 6: What is "In" & What is "Out"?, on a puzzle connected with inside and outside.)

Read more: Key Concept: Inward-Outward


Psychologists who focus on the behavior of their patients do not have use for this idea, but it is useful for people who are trying to learn about themselves.

Read more: Key Concept: Projection

Short idea (139): I am sympathetic with those who speak of an inner and an outer world, but this way of speaking leads to needless complications. I think it is less confusing to say there are two ways to experience the world: inner and outer. — There is an inner way of experiencing something and an outer way.

Short idea (65): Even in a dream there is left and right, near and far, inside and outside, ordinary and awesome. When the dreamer wakes up, there is also a left and right, near and far, inside and outside, etc. It's difficult to describe the difference. This is partly because it's difficult to compare the two. And this is partly because it's difficult or impossible to be in both states at the same time.


the center
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what's innermost
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the soul
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my breath
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my heartbeat
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the inner drama
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my story, my myth
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the inner-outer cycle
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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