To Be.. Mindful

“Mindfulness means moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness. It is cultivated by refining our capacity to pay attention, intentionally, in the present moment, and then sustaining that attention over time as best we can. In the process, we become more in touch with our life as it is unfolding.” ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn

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Freudian Interpretation..

“The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.”

1. Freud, Sigmund (1913). The Interpretation of Dreams, Third Edition. Trans. by A. A. Brill. New York: The Macmillan Company.

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It’s been a while

So my fellow readers its been a awhile since my last Post, which I should apologise for. It has been rather busy around here, however, shortly i’ll have some extra time to write some good and juicy articles for you to read including some book reviews on some excellent mindfulness books I have been reading as of late.

Have a good weekend.

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A post which I thought would be an interesting read…

Last Thursday I attended one of Brunel Universities public lectures, which as you can guess was about the how through different disciplines view reality and its part in the world. The lecturers for the evening were Akram Khan, Dany Nobus and William Watkin, a little about the lecture in Brunel’s own words..

“Focusing on physical realities, Akram Khan will share his sense of wonder about the fact that humankind now has within its grasp the means of unveiling nature’s profoundest secrets. Dany Nobus, however, will demonstrate that the hidden truth of all forms of reality is that they must be false because they are inevitably identified through the distorted lens of human experience. William Watkin will argue that reality is not composed of secrets hidden down rabbit holes or false reflections from a distorting lens, but is a magic two-way mirror that has no meaning beyond its ability to make other meanings intelligible, truthful and questionable.” – Brunel University (2012).

I must the evening was delightfully entertaining as we first was introduced to theories such as the string theory to explain reality and how we can measure and see the universe around us. We were then taken through the psychoanalytic approach to reality with explanations of why individuals may see illusions or hallucinations and whether or not these are actually mental health problems or just how reality is perceived, with examples of mind illusions such as the one below this post. Lastly we were introduced to the philosophical approach to reality, which included examples of Watkin’s son and saying to those around him he can fly and how we can take that both as the child is lying or he is imaginative.

Now I have nothing against the first and last method of analysis to reality, however, as we all know I am a psychologist at heart and so it should be viewed and analysed in this way accordingly. Taking the view of psychoanalytic thought which Prof. Nobus explored it should be noted that we can also view the idea that reality should be connected to the area of psychology known as neuropsychology. This is because while more than one individual understands or views part of reality in a certain way it should be understood the brains reasoning for this occurrence. Moving back towards the discussion in the lecture, Prof. Nobus explained that how individuals perceive reality can in fact be both a mental health issue and normal at the same time depending on the circumstances. For example an individual’s who has the delusion that someone is after them can be classified as psychotic whereas, an individual who sees the colour red in the sky when it’s not there may in fact have another problem such as migraines to them the colour is reality and so we must take it at that value.

The first talk by Khan, was informative in the scientific sense of he continued to explain reality in the form of calculations, variations and patterns. He explained reality in the universe and how it continues to expand or even contract in the future. He continued to explain his work with the hadron collider and how it will help identify how our reality as we know it began. I shall not endeavour to explain his work future as after all I am only a psychologist with a taste for the world of science.

One thing I will say is that the theories of reality when we look at how each speciality looks at them is interesting and detailed, the most interesting is Prof. Nobus’s view of reality and that we may in fact be sane in a reality which doesn’t make sense or vice versa. The one area that is clear is that the Chaos theory was not noted into any of the three ideas and I believe with several other participants that this is an important theory to discuss as it is the idea that everything we do or that is around us is indeed chaos but when we look at the outcomes is in fact not chaos at all. Brunel public lectures are definitely not to be missed… there is in fact one tonight at 7-9pm in the Newton rooms pop down if you’re interested tonight’s topic is on Urban Psychosis with one of the lecturers being the famous Will Self recently on the politics show ‘Question time’.

So what do the readers think? What do you see reality as? More importantly in your everyday reality can you pin point times where you question yourself, what you’re seeing or even if something is possible…

NB: Please be aware that this is an old post and that the lecture is no longer available, however, check brunel.ac.uk website for upcoming dates of new lectures.

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Have we entered the age of the death of Religion?

As we have seen through the years from Nigel Barber and even Sigmund Freud himself have argued for and against religion in the debate of impending death. Religion has been used to explain most unexplainable events which threaten humanity. Threats include hunger, disasters and disease; these threats to our survival are made easier by believing there is a greater cause or higher being. Barber explains that in the age of improving our quality of life we are subsequently allowing religion to die.

Freud suggested that society believed in religion in order to stop the anxiety of the unknown, well there is less unknown in today’s world than ever before and the major religions seem to exploit individual’s emotional fears in order to gain new members. However, in the changing world religion has lost its security which society once felt and is becoming the unknown anxiety itself.

I believe that it is not down to societies improving quality but instead down to how individuals are brought up by their parents and schools. Looking at schools today, we can see that it seems to become a black sheep of the teaching curriculum. If a child it taught too much of one religion which may in fact be against their own there is uproar by parents and other officials, this equality of religion is making religion irrelevant in contemporary society. With religion spanning back to the beginning of time, we see that as quality of life improves religion remains the same within society until recent years when disasters and wars have become more apparent. Religion has since been seen as failing those who have been wronged, injured or lost everything because if there was a higher power surely these wrongs would not happen to such good people.

However, contrary to psychological thought religion does continue to play a role in some contemporary societies, who are having a renaissance as globalisation and democracy spread across the traditionally more fundamentalist parts of the world. Which we can see can cause the chaos of religious fundamentalist’s using religion as an excuse to hit back at the western world. I mention religious fundamentalism because it does have some explanation to individuals abandoning religion for the lesser contemporary anxieties we experience in the modern world. The main cause of societies losing interest in religion will never fully be understood, but we can suggest a number of different explanations including the ones being society’s belief of religion failure and the lack of societies need for an anxiety killer when we have modern day anxiety relievers such as twitter or facebook.

Where next…?

1. 1. Barber, N (2011). If We Live in an Age of Anxiety, How Can Religion Be Dying? Why Facebook is killing God.
The Human Beast.
2. Freud, S (1950). The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud: Totem and Taboo, and other works. Vol.13 (1913-1914). London: The Hogarth Press.
3. Freud, S (1949). The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud: Beyond the pleasure principle, Group psychology and the analysis of the Ego and other works. Vol.18 (1920-1922). London: The Hogarth Press.

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Roll over Freud…

Welcome to my blog the aim is to feature debates, book reviews, upcoming papers and research interests…

We shall attempt to cover a number of topics within Psychology developing themes to the topical subject areas such as Psychoanalysis and many other mental health fields.

Watch this Space……

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