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 Saints, Sinners and Madmen

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Temperance
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PostSubject: Saints, Sinners and Madmen   Sat 03 Dec 2016, 15:21

Amazon  Shocked  tells us that, in his classic work, "Solitude", internationally acclaimed author and psychiatrist, Anthony Storr, "probed our basic and often unmet need for solitude, especially emphasizing its relation to creativity. In "Music and the Mind", Storr explored the fundamental human need for music, demonstrating its ability to reunite the mind and body. Now, in "Feet of Clay", Storr again provides a fresh perspective into one of the most potentially dangerous human needs, the need for certitude. In vivid portraits of some of history's most intriguing gurus, from David Koresh to Freud and Jung to Jesus, Storr examines why we are so enthralled with certain dogmatic figures who play on our need for certainty. Gurus are extraordinary individuals who cast doubt upon current psychiatric distinctions between sanity and madness. Because gurus are charismatic figures who are gifted teachers, they recruit disciples who adopt the guru's vision as their own. The guru convinces others that he knows, a persuasive capacity which can bring illumination but which may end in disaster. Storr demonstrates that most of us harbor irrational beliefs, and he discusses how the human wish for certainty in an insecure world leads to our confusing delusion with truth. Storr reveals how the adoration for the guru can so easily corrupt him and explains why certain gurus become moral parasites while others become spiritual beacons."

Discuss, or do not discuss, as you see fit.

Kind regards,

Temp.


Last edited by Temperance on Sat 03 Dec 2016, 16:43; edited 1 time in total
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Saints, Sinners and Madmen   Sat 03 Dec 2016, 16:13

Amazon wrote:
Storr reveals how the adoration for the guru can so easily corrupt him and explains why certain gurus become moral parasites ......
.... and write fatuous books which they then try to sell to their regular readership ... whilst remaining completely oblivious to the irony!

Cool


Last edited by Meles meles on Sat 03 Dec 2016, 17:22; edited 1 time in total
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Saints, Sinners and Madmen   Sat 03 Dec 2016, 16:38

Oh, MM...

Sad Sad Sad
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Saints, Sinners and Madmen   Sat 03 Dec 2016, 16:45

If you are so beastly horrid, imagine what nord will say...

I race for the shelter of my stone...
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Saints, Sinners and Madmen   Sat 03 Dec 2016, 17:29

I wasn't being horrid, just, well, come on...

"In ... Solitude, internationally acclaimed author and psychiatrist, Anthony Storr, probed our basic and often unmet need for solitude, especially emphasizing its relation to creativity. In Music and the Mind, Storr explored the fundamental human need for music, demonstrating its ability to reunite the mind and body. Now, in Feet of Clay, Storr again provides a fresh perspective.... "

That's all just ....well ...

Round objects!

PS : And anyway I thought you were just being being a bit facetious or even ironic.


oops Embarassed


Last edited by Meles meles on Sat 03 Dec 2016, 17:37; edited 1 time in total
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Vizzer
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PostSubject: Re: Saints, Sinners and Madmen   Sat 03 Dec 2016, 17:35

I'd suggest Benjamin Franklin got it right when commenting on the human 'need for certitude'. In fact, with the advent of surgical transplantation, cryonics and artificial intelligence etc, it seems that now only taxes are certain in life.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Saints, Sinners and Madmen   Sat 03 Dec 2016, 17:59

MM wrote:
 
That's all just ....well ...

Round objects!


Oh, let's stop all this euphemistic nonsense, MM: if you mean bollocks, say bollocks!

MM wrote:
PS : And anyway I thought you were just being being a bit facetious or even ironic.

Actually, now you mention it, I rather think I was! drunken

According to Saint Paul, we are all saints. So there!

PS Denis has just jumped in through my conservatory window. Oh heck.

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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Saints, Sinners and Madmen   Sat 03 Dec 2016, 18:14

@Temperance wrote:

According to Saint Paul, we are all saints. So there!


I thought that, according to Saint Paul, we were all sinners ... at least fundamentally, originally, even cardinally, even from before birth perhaps ... or was that the word according to someone else.


Last edited by Meles meles on Sat 03 Dec 2016, 18:20; edited 1 time in total
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Saints, Sinners and Madmen   Sat 03 Dec 2016, 18:18

Temps in the watched over set, MM...... must be to have a conservatory window open on a cold night like this.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Saints, Sinners and Madmen   Sat 03 Dec 2016, 18:30

Well, as Oscar Wilde said: "I can believe in anything, as long as it's incredible - that's why I intend to die a Catholic."



Last edited by Temperance on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 06:21; edited 1 time in total
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Saints, Sinners and Madmen   Sat 03 Dec 2016, 19:54

@Temperance wrote:
Amazon  Shocked  tells us that, in his classic work, "Solitude", internationally acclaimed author and psychiatrist, Anthony Storr, "probed our basic and often unmet need for solitude, especially emphasizing its relation to creativity. In "Music and the Mind", Storr explored the fundamental human need for music, demonstrating its ability to reunite the mind and body. Now, in "Feet of Clay", Storr again provides a fresh perspective into one of the most potentially dangerous human needs, the need for certitude. In vivid portraits of some of history's most intriguing gurus, from David Koresh to Freud and Jung to Jesus, Storr examines why we are so enthralled with certain dogmatic figures who play on our need for certainty. Gurus are extraordinary individuals who cast doubt upon current psychiatric distinctions between sanity and madness. Because gurus are charismatic figures who are gifted teachers, they recruit disciples who adopt the guru's vision as their own. The guru convinces others that he knows, a persuasive capacity which can bring illumination but which may end in disaster. Storr demonstrates that most of us harbor irrational beliefs, and he discusses how the human wish for certainty in an insecure world leads to our confusing delusion with truth. Storr reveals how the adoration for the guru can so easily corrupt him and explains why certain gurus become moral parasites while others become spiritual beacons."

Discuss, or do not discuss, as you see fit.

Kind regards,

Temp.


Temperance,

nowadays it is the sickness of the time...an every time increasing need for all kind of psycholical counsellors...if you were now as a civilian in the middle of the Syrian turmoil I think you wouldn't need to be worried about Freud, Jung and all that ilk...

I agree perhaps then comes post traumatic psychological problems and that is to be treated, but at least then you known about the cause.

No I mean the nowadays in our rich Western society depressions, which I think the new "strebers" (competition) mentallity and stress implementing work culture can emphasize, the new civilization illness...to feel ill without an apparent cause.
If I were a psychological counsellor Wink ...
I would advise my patients...

to seek for a "goal" in their life, something to work for, and if they haven't a goal, then seek for one...

having many social contacts to communicate with in case of life difficulties and as a matter of fact not a heremite live isolated from the rest of society while social contact has a healthy effect on people's psychological well-being.

in the overconsumptive Western world, no big excesses on the "spending" side or on the "green" side, nor in food or in material consumption. That doesn't say that there can't be once a temporary "excess", but remember Wink  : a kermesse (Dutch: "kermis" (fair?)) is worth a flogging, but the flogging isn't always pleasant Wink

and in this apparent dangerous Western world, which is in fact one of the safest of the whole world it is worthwhile to learn to put things in perspective...after all if you go out now and cross the street and a car accident is killing you on the place, where are then all your little incoveniences of just before?

PS. I heard my parents saying that during WWII as they had nearly no food or consumption goods and there was a daily struggle to got the family feeded, the people seemed to be more healthy than nowadays, especially on the psychological side.

Kind regards, Paul.
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Saints, Sinners and Madmen   Sat 03 Dec 2016, 23:38

Mmm. Paul I have very clear memories of those war years and of many people. The  mental stresses were there and stiff upper lips were a front in many cases. I recall many a conversation about people at that time when I was listening in and thought too young and shy (!) to have any understanding of what they were on about. But I did. One thing that also happened was the loosening of social shackles and inhibitions. The 'goings on' in our small community were blatant. And I knew far more than I really understood at the time.
In more recent times living more than once in 'war torn' conditions abroad, I saw - and had to handle - several people who fell to bits with mental stress, hysteria and often with very irrational behaviour and  cases of untoward panic in some cases about events far from them. On this I could write a book - but never would. What was interesting later was how many who had really gone to pieces were in denial afterwards.
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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: Saints, Sinners and Madmen   Sun 04 Dec 2016, 02:46

Being in denial is a really big problem - a lot of the logs have eyes and loads of teeth.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Saints, Sinners and Madmen   Sun 04 Dec 2016, 09:58

Temp wrote:
... from David Koresh to Freud and Jung to Jesus ...

It's a strange list of "gurus" Storr allegedly uses above - a deluded small cult leader, two psycho-analysts and a largely fictional character. And none of them, with the possible exception of Koresh, even fits the criteria he apparently sets out in order to define "guru-type" behaviour regarding exploitation of people's inability to differentiate between delusion and fact and satiate their desire for certainty. Both psycho-analysts named above actually wrote at length about how such delusion could and should be exposed for what it is, and the last guy on the list is so diffusely designed by his authors that just about any attitude regarding delusion could be attributed to him based on selected quotes.

But then I see that this is an Amazon review and bears little relation to Storr's writing at all, which was actually quite interesting. In the book "Feet of Clay", for example, he pretty much proved that an attempt to isolate common personality traits among charismatic "guru-like" shapers of other people's opinion is doomed to failure given the extraneous factors at play in the development of a mass regard for these people which are unpredictable, specific to circumstances and time, and essentially outside the control of the individual to exploit in any meaningful way. On the other hand he makes a good stab at working out a common propensity on the part of dedicated and enthusiastic "followers" of such people to delude themselves anyway.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Saints, Sinners and Madmen   Sun 04 Dec 2016, 19:05

@Priscilla wrote:
Mmm. Paul I have very clear memories of those war years and of many people. The  mental stresses were there and stiff upper lips were a front in many cases. I recall many a conversation about people at that time when I was listening in and thought too young and shy (!) to have any understanding of what they were on about. But I did. One thing that also happened was the loosening of social shackles and inhibitions. The 'goings on' in our small community were blatant. And I knew far more than I really understood at the time.
In more recent times living more than once in 'war torn' conditions abroad, I saw - and had to handle - several people who fell to bits with mental stress, hysteria and often with very irrational behaviour and  cases of untoward panic in some cases about events far from them. On this I could write a book - but never would. What was interesting later was how many who had really gone to pieces were in denial afterwards.


You can be wright, Priscilla. Perhaps the WWII period in Belgium was a bit exceptional to the rest of Europe. Or perhaps occupied France and the Netherlands had the same circumstances. A brief hectic period during the invasion and the same one during the freeing. But a bit of more than three years were a period where the most urgent task of the families was looking for food, in fact it became primordial in the people's life. If you weren't a "partisan", apart from that food providing, life was relatively quiet. We were freed in 1944. And I togheter with the family were bombed at some yards near in our house near Ghent by an American bomber. Friendly fire...And yes you had the V2s on the big cities , but we were only a small one. But Holland especially the North had still to pass a "hongerwinter" (a hunger winter) where people I heard to tell that they cooked the wall paper to eat the starch of the glue of the wallpaper.

Kind regards, Paul.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Saints, Sinners and Madmen   Mon 05 Dec 2016, 10:29

To be honest, it was not so much Storr's counselling skills that interested me, but his examination of our need for saints and gurus - and whether the need for the "certainty" such people have offered is always pathological.

I haven't read Feet of Clay - it will arrive courtesy of Amazon (what would we do without them?) - I hope tomorrow. But Storr's Solitude has just landed on my doormat. Many of the  famous saints loved and need solitude, and Storr, in this book, apparently challenges the widely held view that success in lots of personal relationships is the only way to be happy. Interesting in this age where, it seems, people just cannot bear to be alone. I must be odd: I'm finding more and more that people drive me mad.

Oh dear.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Saints, Sinners and Madmen   Mon 05 Dec 2016, 15:05

I thought the heading of this thread was "Saints, Sinners and Madonna" (as in the singer) when I first read it.  I don't think I'm dyslexic - or if so it must only be mildly - but I have sometimes made silly howlers - I think I've already mentioned once reading in a prospectus "Lace making using the traditional pillow method" as "Love making using the traditional pillow method".  I have typed "emphasise" when I have meant "empathise" more than once - and haven't picked up the fault when I've proof read but I think it's always easier to "proof" another person's work than one's own.  I will come back when I have thought of a saint, sinner or madman or (madwoman) to post about.  I know I am in the minority but I absolutely loathed the TV series "Madmen" - well I gave it my test which is to watch two episodes and abandon it if it hasn't "hooked" me in by then.
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