Archive for August, 2003

Using Movies for Healing and Growth

August 31, 2003


Cinema therapy can be a powerful catalyst for healing and growth for anybody who is open to learning how movies affect us and to watching certain films with conscious awareness. Cinema therapy allows us to use the effect of imagery, plot, music, etc. in films on our psyche for insight, inspiration, emotional release or relief and natural change. Used as part of psychotherapy, cinema therapy is an innovative method based on traditional therapeutic principles. Even outside a therapist’s office, following certain guidelines for choosing films and watching them consciously can support personal and spiritual growth. In the case of long-standing psychological problems this is only recommended in the context of psychotherapy.

Using movies in therapy has been something i have done for many years, but I never thought of it as Movie therapy. I might need to add it to the list of Approaches I use.


Raising Doubts About Drugs

August 30, 2003

Millions of people are signing up for these prescriptions because they are convinced they have a chemical imbalance. But there is not one piece of evidence that can back that up,’ said David Oaks, executive director of MindFreedom Support Coalition International, or SCI, an organization of current and former psychiatric patients that organized the strike.

There is no chemical imbalance, people often think there is because they undergo a blood test – this is to check that thatere is NOT an imbalance which should be treated – eg thyroid or diabetes. But perhaps the drugs do have an effect. i work with people who say they have been saved, and with others who say they make it all much worse. The situation is a mess!


August 27, 2003

RSS – A Primer for Publishers and Content Providers You will see an xml link on the left in my weblog. Let me know what happens with it, I really don’t have much sense of the point of it. But this primer looks good!

The revolution will be emailed by Russell Brown

August 26, 2003

NZ Listener

Some magazines are lucky if they define the age; a few actually manage to predict it. Launched in 1993, Wired saw how the future would be shaped by computers, and announced it through the words of Marshall McLuhan: ‘Everything is changing: your education, your family, your neighbourhood, your job. And they’re changing dramatically.’

This is a review of WIRED: A Romance, by Gary Wolf. amazon

Neal Stephenson Rewrites History

August 26, 2003

Wired 11.09:

Stephenson took the time to tell Wired why, if you’re a hacker, the 17th century was the place to be.

Archetypes, teleology and what is real

August 24, 2003

Archetypes of Cyberspace is the title of an essay I am writing (still!). The research notes are on this weblog, they are this weblog. I will be doing a more research in the next few weeks if I get the time.

What *is* an archetype? It means chief type as I understand it, in other words the BOSS. But not the boss of the other types so much as the boss of the phenomena. Thus Venus and Eros are archetypes of love, Mars is the archetype of war. The question I put then is – who is the architect of cyberspace, the force that governs it, is behind it, whose domain is it? WHO is building cyberspace? It is interesting think if there is an outcome we are being pulled towards. Is there a plan.

That question might look to Terence McKenna as if I am thinking of the pioneers of Cyberspace as human receivers of instructions from the spiritual realm – the mushrooms or the aleins telling them what to do. Terence postulates that we are TV sets who receive our thoughts from angels etc. I don't think like that.

Even less am I thinking of teleology as used in the Catholic proof for the existence of God by design – though that might have some mileage in it for me.

In a way I do think in both those ways, but not literally, not ontologically. The world is *as if* there were these daemons running the show. It is best to behave as if there are. This is because there are objective unknowable structures in their depth and detail, that we can participate in only by allowing our own psyche to mesh with those structures. To do that we need to live, to allow our own unknown depths to mesh. We are not as machines, but living participants in the world. In other words to live as full humans who are not just systems and wo see not just systems. Is fathering the same as being the male in a family system? No, but sadly many people talk like that. Seeing through the mechaniocal world to the living energy might be hallucination but it is the way to fully participate in life.

The paragraphs so far are prelude to an I dea i am dwelling on. Teleology. That we can relate to a living world by knowing the archetypes is the essence of psychology. But to what extent are the archetypes also out there with definite plas – with an end-point in mind?

Thinking that there is a plan, a pre-conceived end point, is teleology. The idea is much maligned in science as nonsense hanging over from God as the literal architect of everything. Let us be struck for a moment with the word tele here. There is something archetypal in this word. Look how it recurrs in various devices we use: television, telescope, telephone etc.. Distance – space in other words – is what it refers to. JL Moremo used the word on its own to refer to the feelings and thoughts directed by a person into space – distance – to an entity, imagined or real, I am not sure about how that hangs together… space=tele, if we substitute space with tele we get cybertele. If steering is what the cyber is about we are able in cyberspace to steer our tele in the morenian sense.

This following passage is interesting from Teleology item on Principia Cybernetica. In this item they manage, quite appropriatly for a 20th century science, to take the supernatural out of teleology while still allowing it to have a meaning within the legitimacy of a fairly positivist model.

Originally, the study of ends, goals and purposes. In cybernetics, the STRUCTURal and organizational conditions for systems to exhibit purposeful behavior, reach goals (see goal oriented), maintain steady states (see homeostasis), survive threats from their environments (see evolution, adaptation), etc. (Krippendorff)

Along with the supernatural they take the metaphor out, and thus the psychology out. They see the world as a machine – which is one way. Which is fine – it makes them biologists or physicists of large systems. Someone has to do that, but it is not psychology. So can we think of a metaphorical teleology? Can we rescue teleology from religion, not for the physical sciences but for psychology? It is the *as if* which cyberneticists leave out that is important.

One reason is role reversal, we can learn about the world from the inside by being the world, or the spitit of a 'system' in the world. Role reversal is the ability we have to step into another's shoes. But we can do this with things and imaginal entities as well as people. As Moreno put it, [1975, p22]

Instead of coming down from the skies, he comes in by way of the stage door. God is not dead, he is alive in psychodrama!

Archetypes are dramatic, imaginal, that is where their power lies, by fully entertaining them we get to know them. But is there some sort of destiny, some sort of pull into the distand future?

I have a sense there is, and that this is not some "transcedenral other" hovering out there in any literal sense. More along the lines of a fractal, that a bit of coastline will let us know the shape of the whole coastline, even when that coastline is still in formation.

Following Hermes and Serpents – Archetypes of Cyberspace

August 24, 2003

fUSION Anomaly Has a quote from Hakim Bey The Obelisk :

It is Hermes who bridges the gap between the metalinguistic and the sublinguistic in the form of the message, language itself, the medium; he is the trickster who leads in misleading, the tremendum that echoes through the broken word. Hermes is therefore political, or rather ambassadorial — patron of intelligence and cryptography as well as an alchemy that seeks only the embodiment of the real. Hermes is between text and image, master of the hieroglyphs that are simultaneously both — Hermes is their significance, their translatability. As one who goes ‘up and down’ between spirits and humans, Hermes Psychopomp is the shamanic consciousness, the medium of direct experience, and the interface between these other forms and the political. ‘Hermetic’ can also mean ‘unseen’.

The full article is here. Also this from Erik Davis, Techgnosis: Myth, Magic & Mysticism In The Age Of Information:

Already in Homer, Hermes is a multitasking character. The figure who flits through the _Iliad_ as a messenger and thief becomes in _The Odyssey_ a guide of souls and a shamanic healer, curing Odysseus from Circe’s witchy poison. But the god really doesn’t find himself at center stage until the pseudo-Homeric _Hymn to Hermes_, written around the sixth century b.c.e. The poem begins with the nymph Maya, lately loved by Zeus, giving birth to a boisterous child. Leaping instantly out of his crib, the babe Hermes dashes into the outside world, where he happens upon a turtle. He kills the creature, takies up its shell, and invents the lyre, becoming the “first to manufacture songs.”

I Like This!

August 23, 2003

Playing around – seeing how the ads work. Let me know what you think.

It is something to learn about! For all its commercialisation it
should send ads that are of interest. It could even do that so well
that people might like to come here for the ads. I doubt it. But RSS
could do that. I have been thinking that RSS is really a form of I
like this!
. (Our old idea from the ninties) So I am going the get it going, if only as a way of
creating TOPICS that I am envious of in Typepad etc.

Notice the thread here in the posts. Email is Dead, Topics, Spam… I
think I was wrong to say that the RSS alternative to email is not
likely to happen.

It happens like this:

  1. An XML marked up version is created out of my emails.
  2. This puts my emails in a big pile on my machine.
  3. Depending on certain tags, most of that pile goes online with
    super-secure protection.
  4. Weblogs are created from the pile using certain key words.
  5. Access is set up – for each weblog, anything from public, to
    family, to self-only.
  6. I allow you to add items to your Weblog using only those items with your
    name in the to line.
  7. That Weblog is your inbox and with the tags you can
    create sub-weblogs like folders in an email client.
  8. No spam!

Add a rating tag for I like this! we create taste-pools
with our taste-buddies.

BTW – these are email posts.

August 23, 2003

The last few posts were all sent by email to the Weblog. I
can add that address as a BCC to a private blog, so none of this
is too far away for me.

Incidentally, it is the
first time I have ever wanted a Decent HTML way of
sending mail. Right now this is coming from Homesite via Agent
to the weblog.

Fractal Freud

August 23, 2003

Found this image while looking for Compressionism. Which is a whole ism about what Stanislav Groff called Systems of Condensed experience. I see it as something Freud named as transference – carry-over. Fractals, a pattern in one time and place resonates with a pattern in another. OK, a very brief post – a big idea.

What’s with the Ads?

August 23, 2003

Playing around – seeing how they work. Making money 🙂 Let me know what you think.

Unspoken of Groups

August 22, 2003

This is from a thoughtful item by David Weinberger:

I have two premises today. The first is that groups are really, really important. I believe they’re what’s driven the public passion for the Net from the beginning. But I suspect I don’t have to talk you into seeing the value of groups.

Second, the Net is really bad at supporting groups. It’s great for letting groups form, but there are no services built in for helping groups succeed. There’s no agreed-upon structure for representing groups. And if groups are so important, why can’t I even see what groups I’m in? I have no idea what they all are, much less can I manage my participation in them. Each of the groups I’m in is treated as separate from every other.

Email Dead?

August 22, 2003

Many-to-Many – a post by Ross Mayfield quoting many other items on the subject, claiming RSS is a better group tool. I doubt it myself as it is just not ubiquitous enough.

The ONLY SPAM solution: MONEY

August 22, 2003

BRAIN WAVES: neurons, bits & genes:

Only money can eradicate spam. The Internet is a globally distributed ecosystem complete with evolving organism/organizations that continuously adapt to change. The current spam epidemic is proof. Moreover, no legislative or technical solution (i.e. filters) will be able to stop it. Why? Because spam is fundamentally an economic problem.

Nice item with a great idea from Zack Lynch on the Corante website – which filters news – is a weblog? With various subsections including the Many-to-Many which is good on groupware.

New layout live!

August 20, 2003

Psychotherapy Online Home Thanks again Josh and all those who commented and tested it.

Mena Tripp’s weblog

August 20, 2003

Not A Dollarshort All my focus on design of late has alerted me to Mena Tripp and TypePad. Her work has a nice touch. I am envious of the topic setup in TypePad. I’d like a Books version of Psyberspace.

Weblog Layout Done!

August 19, 2003

I am very pleased with the layout at this point. I’ll call it version 3.00 With a lot of help from Josh Campbell (thats him on the right) of Zype I have got the CSS the way I want it and the layout images right. I have done an extraordinary amount of tweaking to get the black borders here to work with blogger… Black borders you ask? In Mozilla this weblog is 800px wide and centered. That is a reasonable width to read any single column of text IMO. IE does not have max-width working so it fills the window. I might still put it in a box on IE, not sure. For now its done.

ON to finalise the rest of the website!

Thanks Josh, and everyone else who watched me agonise over this.

Less is More … The Art of Clean Language” by Penny Tompkins and James Lawley

August 19, 2003

Clean Language

Clean Language Questions

The aim of Clean Language early in the process is to allow information to emerge into the client’s awareness by exploringtheir coding of their metaphor.

Let’s revisit the above example, this time using Clean Language questions:

    Client: I’m stuck with no way out.

    CLQ: And what kind of stuck with no way out is that stuck with no way out?

    Client A: My whole body feels as if its sinking into the ground.
    Client B: I can’t see the way forward. It’s all foggy.
    Client C: Every door that was opened to me is closed.

This gives the client maximum opportunity to describe the experience of ‘stuck,’ and therefore to gather more information about their representation of the Present State.

OK this is full of NLP jargon, but I like the idea of accurately reflecting and probing the situation at the same time. Also I like the idea of how this leads to the client’s own metaphors. In other words it is about holding off on the empathy and sticking to the image.


August 19, 2003

links for a rainy day

Terence McKenna Land

August 19, 2003