Sep 232013
 

 From the book: Chum for Thought: Throwing Ideas into Dangerous Waters by David Satterlee

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Read or download this essay as a PDF file at:https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4eNv8KtePyKZkxRVW9jSWpsZVk/edit?usp=sharing

Japan, America, and sacred nationalism

The Japanese islands have remained relatively isolated throughout their history. This has allowed for the development and concentration of distinctive religious and cultural characteristics. Although Japan has experienced Eastern influences (mostly Chinese and Buddhism), and Western influences (especially Anglo/American and Christian), these have seemed to only flavor, not disrupt, the Nipponese sense of identity. This bears a strong resemblance to contemporary American right-wing conservatism.

From the most ancient times, Japan, and its Shinto practices have been organized around community-clans and their respective clan gods. Even when communities gradually expanded, community worship continued to revolve around local guardian gods and the ancestors of extended families. Broader political power was rooted in the relationships of confederations of clans. This religio-cultural structure made it unlikely that religions of foreign origin could have much impact and still remain intact. This system retained a stable core of abiding traditions, supplemented by a somewhat more adaptive layer of minor local traditions.

As an example, Buddhism, when promoted by certain nobles, was assimilated in Japan by considering local practices as manifestations, rather than contradictions. It helps that Buddhism does not insist on a strict distinction between secular matters and that which is sacred. Seeking purity was already esteemed as a matter for all members of Japanese society. Extending that search for purity, by renouncing the world and taking up monastic service, was no great leap. Accepting the Buddha Nature in all things is parallel to accepting the spirit essence in all things. Buddhism advocates that one abandon grasping for self-interest as Shintoism promotes community welfare over selfish pursuits.

In Japan, community purity and religious control was part and parcel of political authority. The Shoguns, for instance, never hesitated to challenge religious influences that threatened their power. Each ruling clan elevated their own gods and divinized their own ancestors, producing “sacred kings.”

Eventually, Japanese society was able to more-completely organize itself into a coherent nation with supreme religious and secular authority vested in the Emperor. When war with China was initiated in the Emperor’s name, it became a sacred national war and reflected Japan’s over-riding pride in their national superiority and identity. All aspects of life became part of a holy war. At the end of World War II, American strategists seriously considered that every citizen would take up arms if the mainland of Japan was invaded.

Although the current Japanese culture retains a strong sense of honor and responsibility to community, the shock of Japan’s ultimate defeat in World War II devastated their sense of sacred nationalism. Japan is now often considered to be even more secular that the West. Japan has been rapidly industrialized and urbanized. Social mobility and personal isolation is endemic. The Japanese psyche has rocked from one pole to the other.

Presently, parts of American culture are in a state of radical transition as right-wing religious conservatives struggle for ever-greater governmental control. We are, on the one hand, “One nation under God,” and, on the other, a melting pot of diverse immigrants. This makes generalizations difficult and open to contradiction. Nonetheless, George Bush was able to start and sustain foreign conflicts in the name of “protecting our [capitalistic and mostly-Christian] way of life.” This could hint at an American parallel to the military adventurism that sprang from Japanese homogeny.

Conservative elements of the Republican Party seem distressed that they are losing their grip on a vision of Christian religion as intrinsic to what they see as American national identity and culture.

On the other hand, American liberalism seems to be persistently emerging into a proud model of diversity and tolerance. Old majorities are finding themselves not only endangered, but irrelevant. John F. Kennedy broke the Protestant barrier; George Bush appointed women and Hispanics. Now, the leadership of Barack Obama seems to be outdistancing conventional wisdom so fast that traditionalists can neither keep him in sight nor rein him in.

Isolated cultures, such as those of ancient and feudal Japan, are capable of sustaining religions and religion-infused cultures and identities. In Japan, the popular ethic of myopic superiority (including devotion to the traditions of kami, ancestors and Emperor) erupted and suffered mortal disruption following World War II.

Our world still finds remnants of rabid religious and ideological nationalism. Stalin, Mao, the Khmer Rouge, Pakistan, North Korea, and conservative American evangelicals are a few remaining flashpoints of isolationist nationalism. The balance of the world is growing toward proliferation of international relationships, dependencies, and cooperations. Radical identities including race, language, religion, cuisine, and nationality are being subsumed by multinational businesses, non-governmental organizations, and international treaties. Our distinctive cultures are dissipating. Even deep in the Appalachian mountains, I only have to drive a few miles to find several restaurants serving fresh Japanese sushi.

Sep 232013
 

Eastern influences on contemporary Western culture and spirituality

From the book: Chum for Thought: Throwing Ideas into Dangerous Waters by David Satterlee

Find out more, including where to buy books and ebooks

Read or download this essay as a PDF file at:https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4eNv8KtePyKY0djTlVOMDJQR1E/edit?usp=sharing

Many people in Western cultures have become aware of, and adopted elements of, traditional Eastern religions to a variety of degrees. Although usually ignorant of, or rejecting the full scope of the associated original foundational historical practice and philosophy, they are creating a new flavor of Western spirituality and a related social consciousness.

Both Eastern practitioners and Western philosophers have helped raise our general consciousness of Eastern spiritual traditions over the last century. Some of the more prominent are briefly described in the following:

William James, a leading psychologist and philosopher published The Varieties of Religious Experience in 1902. This helped introduce Eastern religious thought to the West.

Aldous Huxley’s 1945 The Perennial Philosophy identifies a recurring insight of divine reality that is common to most primitive peoples and all higher religions. This insight is related to “thou art that,” the Atman, the Brahman, and “the Absolute Principle.”

Huston Smith wrote The Religions of Man (revised as The World’s Religions), which is still a popular treatise on comparative religion. Smith has been intimately involved with Eastern religions and produced award-winning films and several public television series on the subject.

Alan Watts, a British philosopher, did research on comparative religion. He wrote many books and articles including The Way of Zen. Along with his long-running weekly broadcast in the San Francisco area, copies of his lectures were widely distributed and introduced many people to Eastern philosophy.

Shunryu Suzuki [Roshi] came to manage a temple in San Francisco in 1959, where Zen was already a leading-edge interest. Suzuki was astonished by the watered-down Buddhism practiced by Americanized Japanese immigrants. He began teaching classes on Buddhism to Westerners. His books such as Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind became popular.

[Thich] Nhat Hahn, a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, “has played an important role in the transmission of an Asian spiritual tradition to the modern, largely secular West” (TIMEasia). A BBC report described Nhat Hahn as “… a world renowned Zen master, writer, poet, scholar, and peacemaker. With the exception of the Dalai Lama, he is today’s best known Buddhist teacher. He is the author of more than one hundred books including bestsellers Peace Is Every Step and The Miracle of Mindfulness, … ” (BBC)

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, has lived in exile since 1959. The plight of Tibetan Buddhists under Chinese government, and the Dalai Lama’s unshakable peaceableness, have galvanized world attention to his person and his teachings. He has traveled widely, written extensively, taught, and participated in efforts to cultivate world peace.

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist monk, escaped Tibet in 1959. In 1967, after further education at Oxford, he established his first meditation center. After a disabling automobile accident, he became a lay teacher. He traveled almost constantly throughout North America and wrote prolifically during the 1970s. Attracting considerable attention, he established three additional meditation centers and Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. He also developed “Shambhala Training” to introduce meditation in secular terms. His work resulted in the establishment of meditation and art centers in over 100 cities throughout the world (Shambhala).

Popular cultural leaders have also been instrumental in introducing Westerners to Eastern thought.  The Beatles, after meeting Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, studied Transcendental Meditation in India. The songs they created there in 1968 are considered by some to be their most creative work. The Beatles certainly influenced many of their fans to explore Eastern thought. Oprah Winfrey introduced a number of Buddhist teachers, including Pema Chödrön and Sharon Salzberg, to the American public (Oprah, 2008).

Eastern themes and situations have been eagerly accepted in our entertainment media. Examples range from Kung Fu Panda and Mulan to “Wire Fu” action adventures to Amy Tan’s stories of growing up Chinese. We loved to see Brad Pitt in Seven Years in Tibet, yearned for Shangri-La in Lost Horizon, wanted to walk to the sea with Gandhi, and wondered if “the Force” in Star Wars was anything like what a Japanese Samurai or Hindu Fakir does. Could we ever figure out how to do that ourselves? I have a deal with my youngest son that the first one to levitate has to buy supper.

Many popular books have addressed (or borrowed) Eastern spiritual themes. Robert M. Pirsig’s 1974 book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, was a popular, if idiosyncratic, introduction to Eastern philosophy for a displaced generation. It is now considered a classic. Many authors, riding the wave of interest in Eastern philosophy, produced books with titles including: Zen and the Art of Writing (Ray Bradbury, 1994),Zen in the Art of Archery (Eugen Herrigel and Daisetz T. Suzuki, 1999), Zen and the Art of Making a Living (Laurence G. Boldt, 1999), Zen and the Art of Poker (Larry Phillips, 1999), The Tao of Pooh (Benjamin Hoff, 1982), The Tao of Physics (Fritjof Capra, 2000), The Tao of Sobriety (David Gregson, 2002), The Tao of Network Security Monitoring (Richard Bejtlich, 2004), and even The Tao of Warren Buffet (Mary Buffett and David Clark, 2006).

The teachings and life of Jesus Christ have been compared, and correlated, to Hindu, Buddhist, and Taoist scripture in books such as: Jesus and Lao Tzu: The Parallel Sayings(Martin Aronson ed., 2002), Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings, Marcus Borg, ed., 2004), Christ the Eternal Tao, 4th edition (Hieromonk Damascene, 2004), The Yoga of Jesus: Understanding the Hidden Teachings of the Gospels (Paramahansa Yogananda, 2007), Jesus, Krishna, Buddha and Lao Tzu: The Parallel Sayings (Richard Hooper, 2007). Many people are open to the theory that Jesus was exposed to Eastern influences during the “quiet period” in the gospels before presenting himself to John the Baptist at the beginning of his explosive ministry.

The West has gradually opened up to a variety of translocated Eastern concepts and practices. For one, karma has become a household word in the West. It is generally associated with the ideas that “what goes around comes around” or “you reap what you sow.” Thus, its application is, typically, more secular and leaves behind any concept of karma associated with past lives or reincarnation.

Westerners have begun exploring Eastern systems of medicine including Ayurvedic Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Practitioners generally receive a strong grounding in the underlying concepts. Medical doctors occasionally add techniques such as acupuncture to their practice. Meaningful accreditation is available to schools that teach most Eastern systems of medicine.

Patients, however, are often simply open to, or desperate for, a more-effective therapy than they may currently be receiving, without having any substantial appreciation for the concepts driving their diagnosis or treatment.

Deepak Chopra has become very influential while promoting his mission of “bridging the technological miracles of the West with the wisdom of the East” (Chopra). He began his career as a Western-trained endocrinologist but he felt moved to expand his practice to include Ayurvedic therapies and mind-body counseling at his own clinic. He has written prolifically, and lectured and consulted widely, teaching about balance in both health and spiritual matters.

Acupuncture is a technique of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that inserts and manipulates very fine needles along meridians of Chi (vital energy) to regulate its flow and distribution. Acupuncture, with other techniques of oriental medicine, are now taught in about fifty schools in the United States. Most specialize in oriental medicine except for three that prepare Naturopathic Doctors for general practice.

Related practices that profess to affect Chi in the body include acupressure, foot reflexology, Chi gong, and Tai Chi exercises. Chiropractors often include attention to Chi flow in their patient care. Chi concepts are widely accepted in the American public. After I had an emotional breakdown in a class this spring, a counselor in Student Support Services advised me on how to activate a series of acupressure points.

Many youngsters are introduced to Chi and other elements of oriental culture as part of martial arts training. Popular Asian martial arts, including Karate, Aikido, and Judo, spring from religious traditions. But, these are often studied in the United States for exercise, development of coordination, self-defense, competition, and combat — largely without deep philosophical training.

Similarly, precisely-prescribed and highly-differentiated forms of meditation were formerly part of the different mystical traditions of each Eastern religion, and even different branches of the same religion. In America, meditation is becoming popular but is poorly or indifferently differentiated. It is usually undertaken for pragmatic purposes like relaxation, stress relief, improved concentration, or as a homogenized element of new-age spirituality. Progressive muscle relaxation, biofeedback, and autogenic training may be considered Western adaptations of Eastern meditation.

Chinese herbal medicine has been introduced in accredited TCM schools and as full courses for Naturopathic Doctors. Units of elective classes in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) are offered for conventional doctors, and in private herbal schools such as Michael and Lesley Tierra’s East West School of Planetary Medicine.

More-limited aspects of Chinese herbal medicine may be borrowed in “bite-size” pieces. As an example, Nature’s Sunshine Products, Inc. released a set of ten Chinese herbal formulas—two for each of the five elements in TCM. For instance, AL-C (Xuan Fei – Metal Reducing) was for lung stress such as Allergies while LH-C (Fu Lei – Metal Supporting) was for “Lung Health” issues such as chronic respiratory weakness. While these formulations gave token reference to the five elements, and used Chinese names and herbs, most herbalists applied them using Western sensibilities. A third-party reference work explained:

[These] Chinese herb combinations are based on the five element model and the principles of harmony and balance, Yin and Yang. The element model states that an individual’s constitution is typed – wood, water, metal, earth or fire – according to the five basic elements found in nature. Each has weaknesses and strengths, which must be kept in balance in order to maintain good health (Satterlee 2000).

Meditative states can be monitored or even facilitated with assistive technology. Products such as Proteus®, Holosync®, and Hemi-sync®, use audio tones to stimulate brainwaves at desired frequencies. For instance, simultaneous tones at 440 and 452 cps produce a difference beat at 12 cps that is within the normal range for brain waves; the brain will tend to synchronize with it. Goggles with simultaneously flashing lights may also be supplied to enhance the effect. The intended result is to produce enhanced alertness, relaxation, sleep, or meditation associated with the selected stimulation. One user commented that:

“Hemi-sync sounds facilitate the synchronization of the cerebral hemispheres. They contain frequencies corresponding to different states of consciousness. (This is the electronic era’s version of the shaman’s drum, the mantra, the singing of psalms, the Gregorian and Sufi chant.)” (Ferrari 78)

It may be tempting to characterize the changes occurring in Western spirituality as a “cafeteria culture” or the indiscriminate co-mingling of spiritual traditions. In fact, history shows that cultures typically undergo cross-pollination when they interact with others. As an example, the culture and modes of worship in India often include contributions from Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist traditions. Similarly, the culture and modes of worship in China often include contributions from Confucian, Taoist, and Buddhist traditions.

This is not to everyone’s liking. Just as the denominations of Protestant Christendom sometimes branch into bitterly antagonistic groups, Eastern lineages may see themselves as distinct and exclusive. The Tibetan lama, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche protests:

Vajrayana [Buddhism] is very different from the New Age approach. The difference is that the Vajrayana teachings are controlled by the lineage. I know we don’t like the word control, but the Vajrayana teachings are actually held by the authority of the lineage. …When we have this pure lineage, this genuine lineage, there is no space for our egocentric interpretation of dharma. We cannot interpret dharma like the New Age gurus. We cannot invent a new lineage because a lineage must be received. It must be received by transmission. It is not something we can just create here. That would beNew Age, probably from California (Ponlop).

American philosophy and culture is borrowing from more than only Eastern thought. Some of us have learned to cherish the words of the Muslim poet Rumi or have friends that like to discuss the mysteries of the Jewish Kabala. Our Christian Men’s groups rediscover their masculinity in group shamanic drumming. We hang Native American dream catchers from our mirrors and study rune lore. Some like Wiccan spells, Druid runes, fairies, and dragons in their fantasy fiction and adventure games. We listen to Celtic music and adore the African spiritual influences in our “uniquely American” jazz and gospel.

As with all newly-discovered ideas and practices, leading-edge thinkers explore and analyze them. Academics tear them to shreds and feed them to their students. Early-adopters begin to incorporate them into underground or alternate lifestyles. Perhaps, we experience the real thing as we interact with our expatriate neighbors and their communities. Initial curiosities become common knowledge; the exceptional becomes mundane; and the forbidden becomes tolerated. Eventually, the most useful or meaningful elements of formerly-distinctive ways become so intermingled that only the very thoughtful care about the past origins of what is now very commonplace.

Our modern world, with its increasing speed, range, and capacity for information transfer and social networking, makes it actually difficult to avoid being exposed to other religions and philosophies. America perceives itself as a nation of immigrants; prejudice is actively suppressed and diversity is promoted as a virtue. Americans like to think of themselves as independent and pragmatic thinkers; if something works, use it.

At the same time, we are becoming disenchanted with personal isolation from family and community, with over-active and over-stimulated lives that seem to lack meaning. The values of Eastern thought often seem to offer more-satisfying and more-meaningful life options. It should not be surprising that useful elements of Eastern society are snatched-up and integrated into our evolving societies.

Theodore Ludwig put it this way: “It is not that Chinese people are missionaries to other peoples of the world. Rather, many people throughout the world are discovering a vision of life and a practice of harmony that fascinate and compel them…”

References Cited

BBC. Religion & Ethics – Buddhism – Thich Nhat Hanh, 4/4/2006,

Chopra, Depak. About Us < http://www.chopra.com/aboutdeepak> July 7, 2009
Ferrari, Guido. A Journalist’s encounters with the Akashic experience. Quoted in The Akashic Experience: Science and the Cosmic Memory Field. Ervin Laszlo, Inner Traditions, Rochester, Vermont, 2009
Oprah, O, The Oprah Magazine, Oprah Talks to Pema Chödrön, 2008 July 7, 2009
Ponlop Rinpoche, Dzogchen Quoted in Policy for the West. Khandro Net, July 10, 2009
Satterlee, David. HerbalDave’s Notebook: Exploring Natural Health. CD-ROM. Health Education Library Publications. League City, Texas. 2000
Shambhala. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. 2007 July 7, 2009
TIMEasia, 60 Years of Asian Heroes – Thich Nhat Hanh. 2006. http://www.time.com/time/asia/2006/heroes/in_hanh.html July 7, 2009
Dec 292011
 

Source: Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy by Bill Clinton
Abstracted from pages 12-14

We live in the most interdependent age in history. People are increasingly likely to be affected by actions beyond their borders, and their borders are increasingly open to both positive and negative crossings: travelers, immigrants, money, goods, services, information, communication, and culture; disease, trafficking in drugs, weapons, and people, and acts of terrorism and violent crime.

People everywhere face severe challenges, most of which can be grouped into three categories.

· The modern world is too unequal in incomes and in access to jobs, health, and education.

· It is too unstable, as evidenced by the rapid spreading of the financial crisis, economic insecurity, political upheavals, and our shared vulnerability to terrorism.

· And the world’s growth pattern is unsustainable, because the way we produce in use energy and deplete natural resources is causing climate change and other environmental problems.

Because the world is still organized around nations, the decisions national leaders make and citizen support today determine tomorrow’s possibilities. For poor countries, that means building systems that give more people a chance to have decent jobs and send their kids to school. For rich countries, it means reforming systems that once worked well but no longer do, so people can keep moving forward in an increasingly complex and competitive environment.

That’s what America has to do. We have to get back in the future business. Over the last three decades, whenever we’ve given in to the temptation to blame the government for all our problems, we’ve lost our commitment to shared prosperity, balanced growth, financial responsibility, and investment in the future. That’s really what got us into trouble.

[amz-related-products search_index=’Books’ keywords=’future challenges’ unit=’grid’]

Dec 252010
 

StriveDrive Worldview Highlights

StriveDrive consciousness exists in a hierarchy of worldviews:

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Dec 242010
 

Stages of Consciousness and Culture

The 19th century German philosopher, Georg Hegel, noted that conflict enables transformation to higher states of organization. This idea was reinforced by research in the 20th century; particularly in Developmental Psychology. These states have developed sequentially through human history as increasingly organized world views—for both individuals and cultures.

As we develop through childhood we experience this transformation and change as our thoughts and feelings become more complex. Developmental psychology demonstrates that this kind of staged development continues through adulthood. Leading researchers have supported this concept of developmental stages: Jean Piaget, Lawrence Kohlberg, Jane Loevinger, Abraham Maslow, and Robert Kegan.

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Sep 292010
 

From: Greater Good Science Center

New video: When Dacher Keltner talks about compassion in action, it comes down to one word: TOUCH.

Many of us live in a touch-deprived culture. But in this video Keltner explains how touch is essential to communicating compassion and is a basic form of preventive medicine.

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Jan 122010
 

Source: “Pursuing Human Strengths,” Martin Bolt, Introduction

“Choice” reflects our freedom to strive for self-determination. We all have the experience of considering options, choosing a behavior, and experiencing the consequences. The American culture is structured around the concept of freedom. We cherish the concept, nurture the capacity, and defend the right to make choices. We are more likely to sign petitions if someone has tried to coerce us into not doing so. Like Romeo and Juliet, we may become more passionate about an option that we feel is being denied to us. The concept of “reverse psychology” depends upon related principles.

Autonomy, acting with a sense of true choice, may be considered a “fundamental human need.” A sense of autonomy increases or interest in and commitment to the things we do. Conversely, restricting choice decreases our interest in an activity. Our sense of autonomy, our human freedom of choice, increases are commitment, ability to achieve, and level of satisfaction.

Dec 182009
 

Source: Amazon.com

“Ed Diener is the Joseph R. Smiley Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois. He received his doctorate at the University of Washington in 1974, and has been a faculty member at the University of Illinois for the past 34 years. Dr. Diener was the president of both the International Society of Quality of Life Studies and the Society of Personality and Social Psychology. Currently he is the president of the International Positive Psychology Association. Dr. Diener was the editor of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and the Journal of Happiness Studies, and he is the founding editor of Perspectives on Psychological Science. Diener has over 240 publications, with about 190 being in the area of the psychology of well-being, and is listed as one of the most highly cited psychologists by the Institute of Scientific Information with over 12,000 citations to his credit. He won the Distinguished Researcher Award from the International Society of Quality of Life Studies, the first Gallup Academic Leadership Award, and the Jack Block Award for Personality Psychology. Dr. Diener also won several teaching awards, including the Oakley-Kundee Award for Undergraduate Teaching at the University of Illinois.”

Shop at Amazon for:
Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth
by: Ed Diener

“Happiness is a process, not a place. That’s one of the key concepts that leaps from Happiness: Unlocking The Mysteries Of Psychological Wealth by Ed Diener and Robert Biswas- Diener.” (Diana’s Blog: Quirky Words and Book)

“In their sweeping new book Diener and his son, Robert Biswas-Diener, distill the results of worldwide research into happiness and come up with an explanation, a recipe, for a sustained state of good feeling, psychological wealth, as they call it.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 2008)

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Assessing Well-Being: The Collected Works of Ed Diener

The collected works of Ed Diener, in 3 volumes, present the major works of the leading research scientist studying happiness and well-being. Professor Diener has studied subjective well-being, people’s life satisfaction and positive emotions, for over a quarter of a century, and has published 200 works on the topic, many more than any other scholar. He has studied hundreds of thousands of people in over 140 nations of the world, and the collected works present the major findings from those studies. Diener has made many of the major discoveries about well-being, which are outlined in the chapters.

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Well-Being: The Foundations of Hedonic Psychology

The book is highly recommendable for those interested in hedonic psychology especially Subjective Well-Being (a.k.a. Happiness). It covers a wide range of chapters which include definitions, measurement, clarifications/reactions, recent findings and researches. Its probable drawback is that, to a certain degree, it is somewhat very technical in approach. Not too many readers might easily grasp some contents/materials presented. Nonetheless, it is a great reference material.

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Worker Well-Being and Public Policy, Volume 22 (Research in Labor Economics)

In this volume, the authors explain the reasons why subjective indicators of well-being are needed. They describe how these indicators can offer useful input and provide examples of policy uses of well-being measures. The book then delves into objections to the use of subjective well-being indicators for policy purposes and discusses why these objections are not warranted. Finally, the book contains answers pertaining to the measures that are currently in use and describes the types of measures that are most likely to be valuable in the policy domain.

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Culture and Subjective Well-Being (Well Being and Quality of Life)

This book is based on the idea that we can empirically study quality of life and make cross-society comparisons of subjective well-being (SWB). A potential problem in studying SWB across societies is that of cultural relativism: if societies have different values, the members of those societies will use different criteria in evaluating the success of their society. By examining, however, such aspects of SWB as whether people believe they are living correctly, whether they enjoy their lives, and whether others important to them believe they are living well, SWB can represent the degree to which people in a society are achieving the values they hold dear. The contributors analyze SWB in relation to money, age, gender, democracy, and other factors.
Dec 052009
 

Source: Academic Earth

By Paul Bloom | Introduction to Psychology Lecture 20 of 20

[The first part discusses theoretical influences on the effectiveness of therapy for psychological disorders.
Starting at 11:30, the actual discussion of positive psychology begins.]

Lecture Description

The last lecture in the course wraps up the discussion of clinical psychology with a discussion of treatment efficacy. Does therapy actually work? Professor Bloom summarizes the different types of influences that clinical interventions might have on people who receive therapy.

Professor Bloom ends with a review of one of the most interesting research topics in "positive psychology," happiness. What makes us happy? How does happiness vary across person and culture? What is happiness for? Students will hear how the most recent research in psychology attempts to answer these questions and learn how people are surprisingly bad at predicting what will make them happiest.

Nov 232009
 

imageSource: Integral Institute – Scholars

Sean Esbjörn-Hargens, PhD,  is an Associate Professor and Program Director of both the Integral Psychology and Integral Theory programs at John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, California. He is Co-Director of the Integral Ecology Center at Integral Institute and the Executive Editor of Journal of Integral Theory and Practice. Sean is a leading scholar-practitioner in Integral Studies.

Source: Integral+Life Contributors

Sean Esbjörn-Hargens Ph.D. is an associate professor and founding Chair of the Integral Theory Program at John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, California. He is founding Director of the Integral Research Center, which supports graduate and post-graduate mixed methods research. In addition, he is the founding Executive Editor of the Journal of Integral Theory and Practice. Recently, he co-founded and co-organized the biennial Integral Theory Conference.

Sean is a leading scholar-practitioner in integral theory. He has worked cloesly with Ken Wilber for a decade operationalizing the integral (AQAL) model in multiple contexts. He is a founding member of Integral Institute and currently serves as their Vice President of Applications and Research. He is currently the most published author applying the integral model to a variety of topics: education, sustainable development, ecology, research, intersubjectivity, science and religion, consciousness studies, and play. He has just completed writing a 800-page book with environmental philosopher Michael Zimmerman: Integral Ecology: Uniting Multiple Perspectives on the Natural World. Currently, he is co-editing an anthology on integral education and editing an anthology on integral theory.

Sean Esbjörn-Hargens Ph.D. emerged out of the rocky shores of the Pacific Northwest and harbors a deep and committed passion to the articulation of an Integral Ecology. Having grown up in the crossfire of lumber and salmon industries battling environmental regulation, Sean is acquainted with the many nuances that surround controversial environmental issues that involve the clash of divergent worldviews and perspectives. In particular, Sean is concerned with promoting environmental awareness and exploring the intersection of ecological sustainability, cultural preservation, and spiritual transformation. He has spent much of his adult life as a backpack and sea kayaking guide for an outdoor program serving young adults. Having lived and worked overseas in Asia and Africa for many years Sean brings an important global perspective to his Integral work.

Sean is Co-director and a founding member of the Integral Ecology Center at Integral Institute and has been doing research in environmental philosophy and sustainable development for over a decade. He is currently collaborating on a book with Michael Zimmerman about Integral Ecology. In addition, Sean wears a number of other Integral hats at Integral Institute. He is a Lead Seminar Trainer for Nature as Transformative Path, which presents an Integral approach to nature mysticism through a variety of Integrally designed personal practices. He is Executive Editor of the newly established academic journal AQAL: Journal of Integral Theory and Practice, which began Spring 2006 (www.aqaljournal.org). Sean has served as a consultant to I-I helping to establish partnerships with John F. Kennedy University and Fielding Graduate University who offer accredited certificate and MA programs based on the Integral model.

Sean is also an Associate Professor in the Integral Studies Department and Program Director of Integral Psychology at John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, California. At JFKU, Sean teaches courses in consciousness, culture, and ecology. JFKU is the only place in the world where an individual can get a residential MA degree from an accredited university that is explicitly based on Ken Wilber’s Integral Model.

Sean lives at Sea Frog Haven—five-acres of redwoods just north of San Francisco with his wife Vipassana and their three cats and dog. Both he and his wife are Tibetan Buddhist (Shangpa Kagyu linage) practitioners and work with A. H. Almaas in the Diamond Approach. In addition, Sean engages an Integral Ecological Practice for personal transformation.

Written work:

Sean is a leading scholar-practitioner in Integral Studies. He is currently the most published author applying the Integral model to a variety of topics. He has published integral explorations on the topics of education, sustainable development, ecology, intersubjectivity, science and religion, consciousness studies, and play. His articles have appeared in academic journals such as the Journal of Consciousness Studies, Journal of Bhutan Studies, World Futures, ReVision, Constructivism in the Human Sciences Journal of Humanistic Psychology, and AQAL. He co-edited Ken Wilber’s recent book The Simple Feeling of Being and has just completed writing a 600 page book with environmental philosopher Michael Zimmerman: Integral Ecology: Uniting Multiple Perspectives on the Natural World.

Sean Esbjörn-Hargens Article at Wikipedia

Media Presentations at Integral+Life

Integral Ecology Uniting Multiple Perspectives on the Natural World

Sean Esbjorn-Hargens and Ken Wilber

 John F. Kennedy University Transforming Lives. Changing the World.

Sean Esbjorn-Hargens

 A Comprehensive Approach to Today’s Planetary Issues An Overview of Integral Ecology

 Sean Esbjorn-Hargens and Michael Zimmerman

 An All-Inclusive Framework for the 21st Century An Overview of Integral Theory

Sean Esbjorn-Hargens

  Today there is a bewildering diversity of views on ecology and the natural environment. With more than a hundred ecological schools of thought and methodologies—and scientists, economists, religious leaders, activists, and others often taking completely different stances on the issues—how can we come to agreement to solve our toughest environmental problems? In response to this pressing need, Integral Ecology unites the valuable insights from multiple perspectives into a comprehensive theoretical framework—one that can be put to use right now. Real-life applications of integral ecology are examined, including work with marine fisheries in Hawaii, strategies of eco-activists to protect Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest, and a study of community development in El Salvador.
   

Publications coming:

Esbjörn-Hargens, S. (Ed.) (in press). Integral Theory in Action: Applied, Theoretical, and Critical Perspectives on the AQAL Model. Albany, NY: SUNY.

Esbjörn-Hargens, S. (in process). Living Integral: Cultivating Multi-dimensional Awareness in Daily Life. New York: Random House/Integral Books.

Esbjörn-Hargens, S. (in process). Integral Theory: An Approach to Everything. New York: Random House/Integral Books.

Esbjörn-Hargens, S. (Ed.) (in process). Humanity’s First Planetary Crisis: Why We Need an Integral Approach to Climate Change.

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Nov 192009
 

Source: integraldiagrams.info

IntegralDiagrams.info is a collection of conceptual diagrams related to the integral movement.

These diagrams have been created by people all over the web in order to explain the ideas of the AQAL & underlying holonic frameworks in theory and practice, as well as other non-AQAL integral frameworks.

IntegralDiagrams.info is a customised web application created and curated by Stephen Lark, and is a major upgrade of the Integral Diagrams project.

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