Blog Posts

Siri Hustvedt on the Creative Impulse and the Meaning of Life

    Siri Hustvedt, the prizewinning writer and scholar, describes the meaning of life in her vigor for work, the joy she finds in the creative impulse and the urgency to write driven by it. She recounts her life being a woman writer in men’s world, married to the well-known writer Paul Auster and describes her remedies to overcome the challenges of the “writing self”. Her deep knowledge of psychoanalysis, art and neuroscience is woven in her stories where the human condition is playing up real and tangible. She insightfully draws answers to the question “what are we ?” Here

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Why We Make Art

  Victor Hugo, the irreplaceable writer reflects on his life and works “ For half a century I have been writing thoughts in prose, verse, history, drama, romance, tradition, satire, ode and song…but I feel I have not said a thousandth part of that which is within me. “ And that renders the abundant creative power of the writer as reflected in the invaluable and timeless works of Victor Hugo. His insightful saying “ a writer is a world trapped in a person ”  is beautifully captured in Auguste Rodin’s sculpture. From writing, sculpture, and painting to the enchantment of

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Dancing Keeps Us Happy

  In the dance, one finds the cinema, the comic strips, the Olympic hundred meters and swimming, and what’s more: poetry, love and tenderness, said Maurice Bejart, the exceptional choreographer, opera director and dancer. Long before neuroscience confirmed that our brains are wired to move along with music, dancing was there. Babies, children, and adults, all instinctively move to the rhythm of the music. Based on recent cognitive research, it seems like human beings are universally synchronized with the chords of music. Moreover, the rhythmic movement lifts our mood, regulates the mental and emotional fluctuations, and we become happier. Such

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Intelligent Life of Plants

  Plants are sentient beings which have emotions, who feel the pain when damaged, enjoy Mozart, can respond to unspoken thoughts of humans and more. Cleve Backster, a former intelligence agent, best known for his experiments with plants using a polygraph (lie detector) instrument in the 1960s long before science has discovered the intelligence of plants capable of cognition, learning, memory and communication. He hooked up the galvanometer of the polygraph instrument to his house plant and to his astonishment, he found that simply by imagining the plant being set on fire, the needle of the galvanometer rose, recording a

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Psychoanalytical Therapy, How it Works and What to Expect, myth II

  Psychoanalytic therapy aims to explore the hidden emotions, repressed childhood memories, fantasies and thoughts affecting present behavior and relations of the client. The ultimate gain is a sound sense of self, contentment at a higher state of consciousness and self-mastery. The history of the psychoanalytical practice is not only long but it has been evolving ever since S. Freud’s work in psychoanalysis from 1915s up to present. Moving from the divan (couch) to psychoanalytic therapy wherein the client is relocated to the armchair facing the therapist and further on to the developmental approach founded by S. Freud’s daughter Anna

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The Myth of Choosing the Right type of Therapy I

    The practice of psychology had started with two traditional schools: psychoanalytic and cognitive psychology from which further derivatives and styles of therapies would be formulated in tandem with advanced research in cognitive science and developmental psychology. Freud’s pioneering work with psychoanalysis at the turn of the 20th century and the Jungian approach to the unconscious, both prepared the field for psychological practices, primarily paving the way for psychoanalytical therapy in the 1930s. The next major school – Cognitive Behavioral psychology was founded in the late sixties by the developmentalists Bruner and Neisser.   Here is a simplified outline

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The Egyptian Guidebook for the Underworld

    Ancient story wisely told on the lightness of the heart on departure from earth:   the Egyptian method for weighing the virtues of the soul before the final judgement and the destiny of the soul in the afterlife. Upon death, passing through the underworld full of dangerous trials and seven gates, the dead would reach the Hall of Osiris, the place of final judgement. An assembly of forty-two gods would listen to the confessions of the dead and evaluate the virtues he attained during his life on earth. Then the final judgement would be made by weighing the heart

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The Whistle of the Condor

  Rondador (panpipe) is one of the oldest instruments played in Latin America made of condor feathers, bamboo and cotton string, creating a purely beautiful sound echoing in the Andean mountain tops where the condors fly. The photograph of the rondador  below is taken in the Musical Instruments Gallery of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The showcase dating back 1500 B.C is the world’s largest collection of musical instruments on display, it’s really worth a visit.     A well-known folk song played with this instrument is “El Condor Pasa”.  In the original lyrics, an allegory is made

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Hypnos, the God of Sleep and his Powers

The story of how Hypnos, the god of sleep made Zeus fall asleep and how the Greeks went across the Aegean and won the  Trojan war. The Greek god Hypnos was represented as a gentle and calm young man, with wings attached to his temples. His voice had enormous power over the mortals and immortals including Zeus, the god of the gods. The word hypnosis derived from his name is used today as a psychological method to put someone into a deeper state of consciousness where pure attention is heightened. When conducted properly into this state of mind, one can

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