15 April 2007
Elizabeth Mayer was a psychology prof at UC Berkeley, a traditional scientist who never gave any thought to telepathy or ESP. Then a dowser in Arkansas, working with a map of the Bay Area, located her daughter’s stolen harp, pinpointing the block in Oakland and the house where it had been taken.
“This changes everything,” she said, and had the courage to follow through. “The harp changed how I work as a clinician and a psychoanalyst. It changed the nature of the research I pursued. It changed my sense of what's ordinary and what’s extraordinary. Most of all, it changed my relatively established, relatively contented, relatively secure sense of how the world adds up. If Harold McCoy did what he appeared to have done, I had to face the fact that my notions of space, time, reality, and the nature of the human mind were stunningly inadequate.”
“The essence of science is
not analysis but empiricism.”
14 April 2007
“We climb to heaven most often on the ruins of our cherished plans, finding our failures were successes.”
13 April 2007
Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera could compose with rhythmic intensity. British rock pianist Keith Emerson was taken with his Piano Concerto #1, and asked the composer’s permission to adapt the Toccata movement for his band Emerson, Lake and Palmer.
12 April 2007
Kurt Vonnegut invented a religion that elevates the value of man, where people consciously embrace the lies that make them happy, and commune sole-to-sole, sitting back and pressing their bare feet together.
“Still and all, why bother? Here's my answer. Many people need desperately to receive this message: ‘I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them.
‘You are not alone.’”
11 April 2007
There are so many gifts
The Beloved does not mind repeating,
Please forgive Hafiz and the Friend
10 April 2007
Sonja Lyubomirsky of the University of California at Riverside dissects happiness with the same statistical tools that a public health specialist might use to study a particular disease. Using self-reported measures of contentment and persistent joy, she asked how her measure of happiness correlated with other cultural, genetic, and economic factors.
Fully 50% of our experience of happiness is determined by heredity. It’s a genetic propensity, like blue eyes or big ears. Her most surprising finding is that all circumstantial variables – economics and health, love and friendships and fortune, good and bad – together these factors account for only 10% of the variance in happiness.
The good news is that the other 40% seems to be associated with internal factors – habits and attitudes over which we have control. We may not have direct control, in the sense that we can ‘decide to be happy’, but we have indirect control in the sense that we can cultivate mental habits that are conducive to our happiness.
This comes right out of
contemporary Western psychology research, but leads in the direction of
ancient Eastern meditation practices.
It makes me sad that she
should have to ask.
9 April 2007
is no more than childhood recaptured at will, childhood equipped now with
man’s physical means to
express itself, and with the analytical mind that enables it to bring order
into the sum of experience, involuntarily amassed.”