Practical Psychology <![CDATA[Writer's block Quick Tip by woopak_the_thrill]]>

 ]]> Fri, 20 Apr 2012 16:33:41 +0000
<![CDATA[ Voices]]> When a memory invokes one to act, when a piece of music rekindles the love in your heart, when out of somewhere the inspiration comes, it is the formula for something uniquely special. That something special is that which calls for something greater than oneself and one’s self-contained world.
To continue to put up something that is meaningful to oneself and then hopefully to others, it takes a lot more than perseverance and inspiration. It takes a belief that one can do better, that one can’t help himself or herself, that one is anointed with something beyond the physical and the mystical. That something special is the voices in our heads and hearts.
There was a dream
Long time ago
There was a dream
Destined to grow

For a lifetime
Of heartbreaks
That brought us here today
We will go all the way

And, it feels like we're having
The time of our lives
Let's light the fire, find the flame
Let's come together as one in the same
'Cause it feels like we're having
The time of our lives

We'll find the glory in the game
All that we are, for all that we are
For the time of our lives

We'll find the glory (Find the glory...)
In the end (In the end...)
For all that we are
For everything that we wanna
be and all that we are
For the time of our lives
For the time of our lives...

Sometimes it takes the “poet” in me to write something as simple as a review. I started out review #500 not knowing what I should write about. Yeah, you’re not alone. Even after hundreds of reviews, I stumble. What should I write on today? It’s not just that it’s review #500, which in some ways is a milestone as these reviews don’t come by over the years. They are not historical pieces from some decade ago (on a different website, from a different era). Instead, they come in bits & pieces in the space of the last 2 years; as and when I feel the desire and need to write. Sometimes, it’s what transpired inside while at other times, it’s from what I see in movies and in real life. Occasionally, someone up there compels me to “write”.

Hello! Are you still out there? I no longer wake up morning after morning with words rushing out of my mind to be captured on “papers”. Occasionally, I looked out of my bedroom’s window and saw men waiting by the shore to catch the fish of the day. Today, it’s just a tiny boat out there in the middle of the sea, so calm and serene, a reflection of my mind; just a mere light wind, not a word shouting out to the world… how strange! I guess some of you might call it writer’s block. Since I’m not even a writer, (if I was indeed one, albeit an unpaid one!), I possibly can’t even call it that.
So, unfortunately, at this juncture, this is the best I could do for you the readers. The 2nd time in my life I encountered writer’s block (after almost the same duration of writing continuously for a period of 2 years or so the first time round). I don’t have much to share at this juncture, what I do have is some great pieces of music which I can offer to share. They are my inspiration as well as some of the best works out there in the world which I feel if I could only write as well as they do, even if only a mere 1/10 of it, it would have been phenomenal as far as I am concerned.

This is it, folks! Review #500 and if God’s willing, my last one here on I’m taking a long overdue break (for now, I clearly have no idea how long that’s going to be)!

]]> Sun, 26 Jun 2011 08:49:26 +0000
<![CDATA[ End of Life Termination choice]]> Fri, 27 May 2011 14:03:29 +0000 <![CDATA[ The little bud]]>
Having confidence does not necessarily mean having a conviction. It can be a subset of one another but they are not exactly totally inclusive. The difference lies more in the topic of discussion; as I mentioned earlier, an event or thing rather than a confidence about a person. I may be wrong naturally but that's the way I understand it for now...

Why do I write about conviction? Well, after having written on Christianity, Confidence and Death, why not? It is something which I personally do hold a strong belief in. So, what is my conviction? No, it is not one on Christ (I know HE exists) or another person or if my new business venture will succeed. It is one on death though. Since I can't remember when, long ago, may be even dating back to my early twenties, I have the conviction that I won't live to a ripe old age of 70 or 80. I do think and believe I'd die young, may be in my 40s, 50s or by latest 60s. I didn't think I'd die in my 30s though. Strange, isn't it? How is it that someone would have such a belief?! That's highly irrational, isn't it?

I don't have any idea how. That is not that important to me. It is important in the way I conduct my life and live it though. And therein lies the beauty of having a conviction about anything. It changes the way one lives and it propels one to take action! Unfortunately, I can't tell you how to get a conviction (not the criminal kind!!!). I don't understand much about it myself! 

Conviction may be religious based and that's probably one area where we find conviction most dwells in. Otherwise, it's simply a personal belief in an event happening (like those who never win anything but kept buying the lottery till they are in their 80s and actually did hit the jackpot! oh boy, what a conviction!) or those in search of a medical cure for their sick family members.

What I do know is there are a few advantages having a conviction.
  • Conviction extends one's limit. It allows us to take a step further with it in the back of our mind. 
  • Conviction helps build our confidence.
  • Conviction can spread. When you believe something strongly, others will be influenced and changed by it too. Hence, conviction leads although not vice versa, ie. leaders may not necessary have conviction (though rarely, it's just a case of having the right or healthy conviction).

A few disadvantages of having (especially if they are wrong) conviction.
  • Conviction may not necessary be accurate or real (like the blind conviction in the investment of tulips in the early 20s of the last century). It may not come to fruition. 
  • Criminals may use it to their advantage. If they have it, they may turned out to be terrorists!
  • Hence, conviction may also destroy a person's life.

Conviction is neutral in itself although it has the power to influence, to change and to shape the world. The judgement of conviction depends on where it ended up and the person who owns it. All in all, having a healthy conviction is a good thing in itself. It propels one to action much quicker than pure confidence. It also allows humans to reach a state beyond what they are capable of. Most importantly, leaders in the world must have a conviction that they are able to lead their respective country to a higher ground and a better world!!!]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2011 05:07:05 +0000
<![CDATA[ Mirror Mirror On the Wall]]>
Confidence can be classified into 3 broad categories:
  1. Self Confidence
  2. Confidence in others
  3. Business Confidence 

Self confidence at its best dazzles not only ourselves but also the world at large. We can spot someone who's confident about himself/herself from afar. That confidence doesn't have to be long lasting nor does it has to be real. As long as one believes in oneself in a certain field of expertise or during that moment in time, one will exude that confidence to the world. It has a mirror effect. See it in yourself and the world will most likely see it in you too. Hence, it's also a "trick" that many books are teaching those who lack self-confidence in themselves. In this scenario, visualization plays an important part in the acquisition of real confidence.

In other words, act it long enough and it becomes a reality. Acting confident will eventually leads one to feel more confident about oneself. Naturally how long each person takes to do so differs. Essentially, some may argue this is self deceiving. Correct! I do believe that when you cannot trust yourself to be confident, that may be what it takes to get you there. Personally, I'm not sure if it will work for everyone as I'm sure some are good at deceiving others and themselves while another group of people find it impossible. For me personally, I was confident since a very young age, being the eldest in the family normally gives one that privilege (again, that can be argued to be a generalization...) so I don't have a problem with Self-Confidence. 

Nonetheless, I'm also human, that means I've had my fair sure of trial and tribulations. There are times when I lose confidence (though normally for a short period of time ;-)) so I prefer to think that for normal people, it's normally how long you pick yourself up from the low that is of more importance. These are times when you need your friends most and people whom have shown support to you in the past. Talk more to them instead of just staying home and fret. That I feel is a great way to get out of the rut!

Hence, in that very sense confidence in others come hand in hand. We all have friends and families. Relationships that support our existence and mental well being in this world. We need to have confidence in others to function and operate successfully in this world. Think about waking up in the morning and brushing your teeth. You need to know the water is safe and your toothpaste is not toxic. That is one way of looking at confidence in others. When you get out of the house, you need to know that the mechanic has serviced the lift well and that it operates safely. Then the bus driver, the train or your car mechanic has not tampered with the wires and that you can depend on his/her expertise to get you where you need to go...  

IF you don't have confidence in others, life would be extremely tough for you. Confidence in others translates to confidence in them doing the right thing and performing at their best mental states at any moment in time. The pilot who is not drunk while you are on the same plane, the driver who is not going to kill himself because he's a terrorist and the chef who is not mentally disturbed because he/she lost his/her lover and acted mindlessly (or carelessly) in the kitchen and hence blew it up while you're having your lunch there! 

Yes, we certainly need a great deal of confidence in others, even if you don't stop and think about it. We at large simply hope that is not a misplaced confidence. The world had been good to one another and we have many unknown heroes to thank for to get through our daily lives. So, if you really think about it, we are all very lucky most of the time. The world functions extremely well!

Now, business confidence is not so much the confidence about others. Rather, it is the business community confidence about the future. It is our trust in the world's way of conducting businesses and the economies at large. In the world of Finance and Banking, business confidence is of utmost importance. It relates to the allocation of resources and hence affects each and everyone of our lives. It gives you an idea what kind of jobs is highly demanded in the future (say architects vs golfers or bankers vs pianists). It gives clue as to what to invest in, stocks or properties or gold. It tells the government where to allocate jobs and if federal budget will be met!!! 

[S&P is losing confidence in US ability to meets its debt and is considering downgrading its credit rating, the last I heard! That could be disastrous for the US$!]

In retrospect, business confidence affects self confidence especially if you are a working adult. When you are successful in your job (aka your macro environment is positive, then your probability of success increases) your self confidence naturally increases in doses. As much as we don't like it (or for some, like it) our feelings about ourselves are dependent on how we do financially. When we are financially sound, we are able to do lots, not only for ourselves but also for others. It's a multiplier effect with reference to confidence. Clearly, there is much to be gained from being confident about ourselves, others and business. When that fails, it is when the world falls apart. 

We are at the intersection of that road of confidence now in the world. The last 5 years have the world seen its total sum of confidence (if that can be measured, that is) plummeted to the low (which I believed is not quite the low as yet) from its highest level in 2006/7. Humans learn from past mistakes and we take comfort in that. Hopefully, we are not going to see a further erosion of confidence as that clearly is not good for everyone's sake!!!]]> Wed, 27 Apr 2011 05:36:39 +0000
<![CDATA[ Get Inside the Head of the Young Carl Jung]]>  
Take a walk inside the inquiring mind of Carl Jung. For me the same INTJ Myers-Briggs type as Jung and Jungian scholar proved so enlightening, took me inside my own mind in an eerily correct mirror. Throughout Liber Novis you will see the immergence of Jung’s beginnings of his psychological types and archetypes. So many people, known concepts and familiar understanding for me, like a walk on a pre-prepared path. Delicious, like St. Paul’s Philemon somehow connected to Elijah from Jesus’ transfiguration. Jung came from a Christian family, father a pastor. So do you have to understand the Bible to read the book. It helps. For example, in Jung’s fantasy, he has Salome blind and with Elijah, when in reality Salome was the daughter of Herodotus who danced for Herod and requested the head of John the Baptist be brought to her on a place, when Herod told her she could ask for anything, because he enjoyed her dancing so. In Jung’s fantasy, a cross had Elijah at the top representing rational thinking and Salome at the bottom representing feeling. The left cross beam represented Superior the irrational interior and the right cross beam represent the Serpent thinking sensation inferior.
Still, the dictionary, and I used it many times, especially words no longer in common usage, can enable you to read the book without worry, if you are willing to go the extra step of looking things up.
Jung speaks of Logos, the spiritual principal and an old man who represents understanding, insight, foresight, legislation and wisdom and Eros as a maiden, the unspiritual principal of feeling.
Liber Novis, written before 1930 and never published until 2009 spans several years and provides an understanding of the foundational beginnings of the personality analysis and other scholarly work, especially the individuation process. If that were all that would be plenty. But Jung also speaks out loud of his own personal psychoanalysis process, his own hard-scrabble individuation process and shares wonderful paintings of his fantasies.
Imagine traveling with Jung as he actively tries to reconnect with his soul and gain wisdom stored in the unconscious.
Then, get into this huge Red Book bound in red leather, hence the nickname that stuck, and first look at the interior disclosure paintings. These alone, especially for this artist, occupied hours. Jung, although he never seemed to consider himself such, was a wonderful artist, abstract images, for the most part, with phenomenal detail, pure originality, drawing and color skills—delightful to experience!
Let me call your attention to Jung’s artwork on pages 79, 88-89, 105, the mandala on page 107, pages 115, 119, the gemstone on page 121, the mandala of Christ on page 127, defiant snake on page 129, the mosaic head on page 133, the most amazing page 135…. Jung says next to the painting on page 154,The Bhagavad-Gita says: “whenever there is a decline of the laws and an increase of iniquity/then I put forth myself: for the resource of the prous and for the destruction of the evildoers/for the establishment of the law I am born in every age.”  I see Jesus preaching on page 155. What will you see?
Jung’s painting shows highly developed technical skills and proficiency, painting in both oil and watercolor. These paintings represent Jung’s fantasies—the myth-creating function of the mind.
Want to do your own paintings?
Here is Jung’s way to move into active imagination, a far superior introspective tool than passive dreaming, a conscious way of entering the unconscious realms more purposefully, targeted and elucidating than dreams.
  1. Empty the mind to produce a vacuum in the consciousness
  2. Concentrate on a particular mood
  3. Attempt to become as conscious as possible of all fantasies and associations that come up in connection with it
  4. Allow whatever fantasy free play without departing from the initial affect in a free association process
  5. Should lead to a concrete or symbolic expression of the targeted mood nearer to consciousness, making it more understandable
  6. Draw, paint or sculpt the fantasy
  7. Visuals will see the inner image
  8. Auditories will hear inner words
  9. Kinestetics can access through automatic writing or with a planchette (used with or without a Ouija board) to facilitate automatic writing
  10.  Experience an inner dialog to widen consciousness
Within this purposely unscholarly volume, you will find dialogs about Jung’s inner state/s. St. Ignatius of Loyola’s fifth spiritual exercise instructs one to see with the eyes of the imagination the length, depth and breadth of hell. Instructions: empty the consciousness, go under it. Beneath the threshold of consciousness, everything is animated in what Jung eventually named the collective unconscious.
Of course, writing this book over nearly two decades, Jung also worked. For example, in1913-14, Jung saw about 5-7 clients a day, five days a week.
Certainly the connection and disconnection with Freud was mentioned. Freud’s analytic reductive method was based on causality and Jung felt showed only half of the picture. Jung used the constructive method of the Zurich school which showed the whole of it. Life is lived new so cannot be understood merely retrospectively. KEY: How out of this present psyche, a bridge can be built into its own future.
Imagine, after the assassination on June 28th of Archduke Franz Ferdinand until the outbreak of war on August 1, 1914, Jung described having the feeling that he was an over-compensated psychosis—33 days!
There are personal dream and what Jung called “big” dreams that r3elate to the world at large. Also private fantasies and public event fantasies, which Jung called “active imagination.” Psychotics experience these but re unable to integrate them and get swallowed up by them.
Imagine also a being part God, part human, part animal land consider which one rules at any given time. (Appendix C of the Red Book) Below you serpent, within you man and above you God.
Jung says of the afterlife—to him for whom solitude is Heaven, he goes to Heaven; to him for whom it is Hell, he goes to Hell. (Appendix C)
Here, you get to look at the personal unconscious together with other conscious elements, the impersonal unconscious or collective psyche. So Jung presents people with three parts of knowing, the self, the conscious and personal unconscious acquired during a lifetime (the I) and the impersonal unconscious or the collective psyche inherited (the non-I). This can explain twins separated at birth meeting decades later wearing similar clothes and liking similar foods and things and preferences. We stand between two worlds-external perception (rational) and perception of the unconscious (irrational). Symbolic art can contain the rational and irrational.
One more part of our personal self is the persona or the person we create and choose to present to others, our mask or chosen role on the stage or our life that somehow arises out of the collective psyche.
Individuation is achieved through synthesis of the individual with the collective psyche to reveal the individual lifeline.
Jung called the anima (how the subject is seen by the collective unconscious) a counterpart to the persona. Anima-male’s female soul. Animus-female’s masculine soul.
Jung’s fantasies he claimed came out of his inherited collective psyche. I-center of the field of consciousness a complex among other complexes, different from the self. Self-subject of a person’s totality and includes the unconscious psyche, so the I is included in the self. Jung equated Hindu Brahman/Atman with the Self.
One goal is to come to an acceptance of the irrational.]]> Wed, 6 Apr 2011 20:34:52 +0000
<![CDATA[ Politics of Anarchy in Outer Space]]> This is a first contact story between humans and well, humans.

All really good science fiction stories create some kind of out of this world conditions which create some kind of strange background conditions against which the characters interact and each other.  Depending on the story this can be a great thought experiment or it might just be a propaganda platform for the author.  Voyage from Yesteryear could be either one but it is both interesting and entertaining.  Curiously it duplicates a situation from a well known SF short story, And Then There Were None by Eric Frank Russell.  But Russell's short story does not explain how the anarchist society comes about it only describes how the people behave in a quite humorous manner.

Earth launched a space ship in 2020 to explore other stars.  But it also carried frozen embryos and robot nannies to raise them so they created a new kind of culture started by kids raised by robots with no adults for bad examples.  So these kids grew up becoming, Charonians, without any Earth traditions.  But Earth sends out another ship in 2060 to arrive in 2080.  But the second ship takes live people all of the way, raised on Earth in the usual manner and more are born on the trip.

So the story is about the cultural conflict between "normal" humans and neo-humans who never had to put up with any traditional Earth culture.  That is how it becomes a thought experiment on the part of James P. Hogan and the reader gets to critique his experiment. The Chronians turn out to be completely different from anything the new arrivals can imagine.

So the story raises the question of should we let our stupid cultures control our futures or could we become Charonians without leaving the planet.  So is WikiLeaks an example of a new Anarchist Revolution?
.]]> Wed, 5 Jan 2011 05:18:21 +0000
<![CDATA[ Brene Brown gives an amazing speech on vulnerability and a concept she calls "whole heartedness"]]>

Shame is the #1 thing that causes people to not feel connected to other people. Vulnerability is the ability for people to beat shame.

those who have a sense of love and belonging believe they are worthy of it.

1) courage - tell the story of who you are with your whole heart, have the courage to be imperfect.
2) compassion - show compassion to be kind to yourself first, before others... can't be good to others if not good to self.
3) authenticity - let go of who you should be in order to be who you are.
)fully embraced vulnerability causes connection... courage to say I love you first etc., invest in a relationship that or may not work out, we numb vulnerability>afraid to do things.
>>a lot of people don't want to feel vulnerability - so they just have a beer to forget etc.
>>you can not numb those hard feelings without numbing joy as well, happiness, gratitude, and then we are miserable and purposeless, and feel more vulnerable - cycle repeats
>>blame - a way to discharge pain and discomfort
>> raise children as you are - imperfect, but you are worthy of love anyway. don't tell children they are perfect etc.
>> let yourself be deeply vulnerably and seen. believe "I am enough"]]> Thu, 9 Dec 2010 09:31:35 +0000