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Archive for June, 2012


what words trained me slowly to your smile
held me a moment, brought me back
to an unbreakable note of love of touch:
your fingers, your lips, your wandering hip,
all that i loved in one single love.

will i walk all the days of my life in grief
will i laugh

will atoms of time
pull away

and find your infinite eyes at last.



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one of the arbitrary patterns i often notice in the world around me is an imaginary line dividing me from some group of people. this set may be defined by adjectives like “married” or “happy” and the line dividing us often becomes the occasion for emotions like “sadness” or “grief” part of which includes the thought “i’m broken.” what i find objectionable about this pattern these days is the extent to which it interferes with the process of actually grieving what i experience as lost.



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the question arises as to how often are relationships between men and women in our culture characterized by “bullying.” by “bullying” i mean a pattern of shaping another person’s behaviors based on the goals of the shaper and not the goals of the recipient of the shaping. how much active mutual shaping (cooperation) is going on and how much of it is flowing in one direction from the “active” to the “passive” participant? do we still live in a culture that rewards men for active shaping yet expects women to accomplish their goals through subterfuge, concealment, capitulation? are men expected to be the apparent goal setters and women the apparent goal followers? and in what manner is goal setting aversive and goal following negatively reinforcing? or bullying maintained by a schedule of variable reinforcement? how healthy is any of this in the end?



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even a thorough systems thinker like skinner still from time to time picked up the language of cause and effect. the question here is not whether he or descartes or newton or anyone else was right to do so. the question i’m raising is the question of whether cause and effect is a useful metaphor anymore. could we contemplate another metaphor like the buddhist concept of dependent origination (emptiness) which directs attention to whole systems rather than discretely identifiable parts? how do we want to describe the system now and in the future? the description is itself a creation not a discovery, a part of the emptiness that it is looking at. and how does the system look back at its own description?



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einstein showed us that as soon as we start to move, we start to slow down. taken to its extreme of course this means that if we move fast enough, we will stop completely. is this a recipe for nihilism? absolutely not. it is a recipe for letting go of our common sense prejudices about the way things should be and allowing ourselves to slip back into the river of life, to live again in the house of being.



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today i am very grateful for what my higher power has taught me over the past 5 years: that i am powerless over alcohol and that my life is unmanageable.



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over the past hundred years we have learned to reconsider the raw data of our sensory experience and recategorize it as something called spacetime. isn’t also spactime now then to re-name our bodyminds? for i have noticed that there is no difference between therapy and medication. every visit with every patient to discuss their medications becomes a spacetime to shape new behaviors, becomes indeed a therapeutic session.



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