Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Elephant in the Room

      “I like to behave in an extremely normal, wholesome manner for the most part in my daily life. Even if mentally I’m consumed with sick visions of violence, terror, sex and death.” Courtney Love

      "Death is an inescapable fact of life that, nonetheless, most people avoid contemplating too directly. When mortality is salient, it can arouse experiences varying from distress and anxiety to a sense of urgency and a search for meaning. Although there are various ways to cope with this existential concern, ranging from hopelessness, to denial, to seeking symbolic immortality, it seems clear that the consideration of death affects people intensely, whether or not such contemplation is made consciously. Indeed, work within terror management theory suggests that mortality salience is a potent motivator of human behavior, even when thoughts of death exist outside of focal attention."

       Niemiec CP, et al. "Being Present in the Face of Existential Threat: The Role of Trait Mindfulness in Reducing Defensive Responses to Mortality Salience." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 2010; 99 (2): 344–365.

     “We all have lessons to learn during this time called life; this is especially apparent when working with the dying. The dying learn a great deal at the end of life, usually when it is too late to apply.” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross      
       Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, David Kessler. “Life Lessons. Two Experts on Death and Dying Teach Us About the Mysteries of Life and Living.” Scribner, 2000.
     “Buddhist psychology offers models of the process and structures of the mind. It shows how flight from the existential inevitability of loss, pain, and death leads to delusion, which is a subtle and pervasive refusal to face reality. Instead, we attempt to find and hold on to something that is concrete and substantial. This common mentality is one of grasping, which leads to attachment and creates an accumulation of habit-energies, preferences, and behavior patterns that support the illusion of an enduring self that can escape impermanence. Buddhist psychology sees this self as a defensive structure that lacks foundation yet dominates the ordinary mind.”
       Caroline Brazier. “Buddhism on the Couch. From Analysis to Awakening Using Buddhist Psychology.” Ulysses Press, 2003.

     “There is no one ‘treatment of choice’ for trauma [or IMHO, existential terror], and any therapist [or IMHO, religious / spiritual guide] who believes that his or her particular method is the only answer to your problems is suspect of being an ideologue rather than somebody who is interested in making sure that you get well.”
       Bessel Van Der Kolk. “The Body Keeps the Score. Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma.” Penguin Books, 2015.

ideologue: an adherent of an ideology, especially one who is uncompromising and dogmatic; an impractical idealist; an often blindly partisan advocate or adherent of a particular ideology.
     religious exclusivism: the doctrine or belief that only one particular religion or belief system is true.


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