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About peterjames

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  1. Great to hear that you want to turn the tide toward humanity. For me, the move from jnana yoga towards karma yoga was valuable. Or similarly, from insight-based Buddhism towards right action: Loving relations are such a valuable part of life - and I'm increasingly coming to appreciate the Traditional [as opposed to modern Stoic] Stoic view of happiness: practicing love as virtue as mankind is a universal brotherhood. The Stoics were both spiritual and practical - integrating Pythagorean mysteries-views and humanism.
  2. Yes, that's the commonality between Perls and Satir.
  3. Good question. Gestalt therapy in context The goal of Gestalt therapy is to achieve organismic self-regulation. Which is the opposite of being dominated by an external hierachical power structure. It sees human nature as good in the sense that if you remove coercion, it will flourish. Philosophically speaking this can be seen as a form of "Rousseauian" romanticism with influence from compatible eastern teachings like Zen and Taoism. This type of therapy was common during the Human potential movement of the 60s and 70s. Gestalt therapy comparatively speaking To further one's understanding of the topic, it can be helpful to contrast it with other systems. For example it would be the opposite of military fascism: being a soldier would be an example of being externally controlled by an authority. Speaking in eastern terms, legalism would be an example of such a system in China. It is also somewhat at odds with a more cultivation-based view of human nature, which you can find in Aristotle and Confucius, among others. The cultivation-view doesn't believe that human nature is inherently bad or good, but that human nature should be cultivated - not just left to spontaneous and "authentic" expression - which might regress to infantile and egotistic behavior. As an example, Fritz Perls was known by some people at Esalen as a "old, horny goat". A better alternative? In my opinion it is better to learn Virginia Satir's psychology if one is interested in humanistic psychology. She acknowledged the value of fully feeling one's feelings, but was also able to take a step back from experience, reflect and plan, learn and cultivate oneself. She didn't set out to "turn off her mind", which so many people of the 60s did. NLPer Steve Andreas has written an article on his path from Gestalt Therapy towards Satir and NLP here. Recommended.
  4. Leo wrote: Some quotes that might be relevant to put some of Leo's new sayings into context: Rudolf Otto - The idea of the holy Bernadette Roberts on "alien" oneness A spiritual practitioner's report: Aurobindo talks about Atma-shakti in his "Life Divine"
  5. Buddha had his perspective. There are other perspectives, for example Buddhist Tantra. Buddhist tantra teaches to affirm and love life in all its shapes and forms. Chogyam Trungpa is a famous popularizer of this perspective, and John Welwood has integrated it with western psychology. In the west, Aristotle's Nikomachean Ethics and later "the American dream" are two key examples of perspectives that value this life and seeks to get the most of it. Which perspective to choose? It's good to understand each perspective and its implications before choosing it. One good book for that is Pigliucci's How to Live a Good Life. You might also want to consider Nietzsche's critique of the Buddha.
  6. You wrote The answer is yes. Now how to go about this? There are many different schools within psychology, personal development, philosophy etc. with different base assumptions. What you want is a school with a promising track record, and which allow for big personal changes. You have the "softer" approach on self-love and wholeness which work well. And then you have the more empowerment focused approaches. Within the empowerment approaches, you have those that mainly focus on earning confidence through acquiring new skills, and then you have those who mainly focus on changing your self-image directly. This latter school can be very effective, and is the "Mind Cure" school of thought which the famous American psychologist William James spoke about. Since it works so quickly one doesn't have much to lose by trying it out. A basic principle underlying this approach is that people will usually treat you according to your own self-image. So if you have a poor self-image, you will be treated accordingly. And vice versa. Now within this latter school, there are several approaches a) One which takes a virtue ethical approach [Volume XI - Character Power] - an approach I like b) One which just targets confidence outside a virtue ethical approach Both are effective. Good luck.
  7. Hi guys, I watched to Leo's video on how to practice love today, and thought I'd share a resource I felt relevant to the topic. 1. Alfred Adler's teaching on social interest
  8. Nathaniel Branden and Ayn Rand has written on self-esteem from a philosophical perspective. You might find what you are looking for in their work. See: * Honoring the self * The vision of Ayn Rand
  9. I've had this book recommended for positive self-talk. It's not merely "positive" in the sense of optimistic, but also supportive and constructive: What to Say When You Talk to Your Self by Shad Helmstetter
  10. Interesting. Are you also familiar with the following Facebook groups and websites? Facebook Cobb Institute Community Probing Process & Reality w/ John Cobb Process Philosophy for Everyone Websites Open Horizons: exploring a process worldview and way of living in the world Footnotes2Plato
  11. In my opinion, such a book should combine a) efficacy b) social interest Two books that do this well: 1) How to Stop Worrying and Start Living Mass Market by Dale Carnegie See especially the section on neo-Freudian Alfred Adler. That can be life-changing. 2) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey Practical and with the right foundational principles.
  12. Great question, I have two recommendations: 1) Process-Relational Philosophy: An Introduction to Alfred North Whitehead by C. Robert Mesle A very readable and good introduction. 2) Physics of the World-Soul: Alfred North Whitehead's Adventure in Cosmology, Matt Segall Some context:
  13. Which top users would you suggest people follow?
  14. The Toltec Legacy Theun Mares has taken off where Carlos Castaneda left off, creating a practical path of personal power, freedom, and heart. His spirituality is of the life-affirming kind - a little like a western Vajrayana. It is a warrior's path, where one goes from being a victim (at the mercy of what happens around us), to becoming a victor through taking full responsibility for our lives, and working with our challenges to strengthen ourselves. Part of the path is learning to re-embody and re-own our repressed feelings and emotions, using feelings and intuition as a guide for our lives. One also learns how to change and dismantle one's view of the world. In a sense it combines Jung's heart, with a warrior's efficacy. Most of the Teachings have now been made available for free, but it is also possible to subscribe to become a member of a community of Warriors, fighting to become spiritual warriors. Recommended. I quote:
  15. A lot depends on the framework you are operating within. Find a framework that allows you to look at your micro-actions in everyday life. Those can be changed as long as the motivation is there. One framework that allows for this type of character development is Thanissaro Bhikkhu's Thai Forest Buddhism.