Sunday, December 24, 2006

Some new thoughts on raising kids

Human beings have been raising kids forever. There are oceans of words on the subject. Mountains of theories. Even comic strips. You can pay to have child rearing advice, or get an earful of the unpaid kind every time the in-laws come over. But are there any final conclusions?

When you Google the topic, you'll be overwhelmed with pages to peruse. A search in Yahoo will yield thousand to books on the topic. There is certainly no shortage of perspectives out there. Still, it seems no matter what you do, sooner or later, some expert will pop up out of the blue and declare with absolute certainty that you did everything wrong.

But if we're finalizing the mapping of the human psyche here at the International Society of Integral Psychoanalysis in Brazil, we must be able to draw some more definitive conclusions.

Selma Genzani is a psychoanalyst at Dr. Keppe's Integral Psychoanalysis clinic in São Paulo. She sees a wide range of clients, including many children and their parents. She has a lot of great, and different from the usual, thoughts on raising kids.

Oh, and one more thing ... she's a parent, too. The combination makes for a very interesting program today on Thinking With Somebody Else's Head.

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Some thoughts on freedom

The greatest revolutions in human history have all had one over-riding objective in mind: freedom. Of expression. Of religion. Freedom from tyranny or injustice.

Personal freedom is something many of us take for granted. Others dream and scheme and protest because freedom's been denied them. Is there anything left to be said about freedom?

Actually, yes. Today on Thinking With Somebody Else's Head, we'll take a crack at discussing freedom in a new way.

Dante Alighieri, like all of humanity's greatest artists, had a number of things to say on the subject. He weighed in rather definitively, actually, with his observations that mankind is at its best when it's most free.

Adam Smith believed that if you just left people to do whatever they wanted they would rather miraculously do beneficial things.

That all sounds pretty conclusive.

But Shakespeare was a little more cautious: the wise man knows himself to be a fool, he cautioned.

And the great fathers of psychopathology in the twentieth century saw some murky stuff down in our psyches that gave them pause as well before declaring that human beings always do what's right when they have the freedom.

Is it possible that this much sought after condition called freedom hasn't been considered as much as it should have?

Let's find out. Join us for the discussion.

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Understanding Psychosomatics

After all the research and new ideas emerging in the area of health and wellness, it's safe to say we haven't fully understand the impact of our psychology on our health. Until now. The cutting edge research emerging out of the International Society of Analytical Trilogy in Brazil is giving us a much clearer roadmap to this admittedly tricky area.

In a nutshell, we are what we don't know about ourselves. What's flying below our conscious radar has much more influence on every area of our personal lives and society that we've understood. As we've been exploring in our programs.

Let's take a step towards understanding the psychosomatic mechanism a little better today. My guest is Swedish journalist, Helena Melander. And I promise you will find the discussion intriguing, provocative ... and helpful.

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Friday, December 01, 2006

Getting a handle on depression

The latest studies on depression tell us that the chemicals in our brains have gotten all screwed up, or that we've inherited the damn thing, or that we're burned or stressed out, or that some life trauma is affecting us. But as we're discussing regularly on Thinking With Somebody Else's Head, the standard view on just about everything needs to be re-considered. Depression is no exception.

Today, we go beyond the usual to look at the real causes, and cures, of depression. My guest once again is Dr. Claudia Bernhardt Pacheco, vice-president of the International Society of Analytical Trilogy in São Paulo, Brazil, and one of the pioneers in the area of psycho-somatic disease. You'll find her perspective refreshing, provocative ... and, not unimportantly, hopeful.

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Friday, November 24, 2006

Some truth about human intentions

When Sigmund Freud postulated that no mortal could keep a secret, that the betrayal of our real intentions oozes out of our every pore, it was a new vision of human behavior. Suddenly, you weren’t just doing something good or bad. With Freud, it was now possible to say, “You think you’re doing something good. But you’re not.” Because much, if not most, of human activity is being driven by something down deep that we don’t have much understanding of.

Until now.

Today on Thinking With Somebody Else’s Head, we’ll explore the latest research into the psychological roots of disease with Dr. Claudia Pacheco, psychoanalyst at the International Society of Analytical Trilogy and founder of the STOP the Destruction of the World Association.

Dr. Pacheco will offer us an incisive look into the latest discoveries in the science of psychopathology being put forward by the extraordinary psychoanalyst and social scientist, Norberto Keppe, with whom Dr. Pacheco has worked closely for the past 30 years.

The inescapable fact arising out of their research and clinical analysis is that, shockingly, human intentions are not good. This, of course, flies in the face of much of what we’ve learned from numerous big brains throughout history, but that doesn’t take away its validity. And it certainly explains why, in the middle of the largest media explosion in human history where more information is available about our destructive ways and the need to change them than ever before, we are continuing to destroy the planet at a skyrocketing pace.

Let’s learn a little more.

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Some truth about love

Love. How much do we really know about it? We've got love shops, love food, love travel. Love inspires us. Some say it even destroys us. Love is blind. Love can keep us together. Love is like an itching in my heart.

You see, we're surrounded by the word, but I wonder if we know the first thing about it. Today on Thinking With Somebody Else's Head, some truth about love.

Maybe there's no subject that's been as much written about, thought about, sung about, and cried over than today's topic. But all of that only gives us the illusion that we know about it. You say the word enough times, you hear it enough, and you can think you know it. But how many of us have ever actually taken a hard look at love?

We'll do that today on Thinking With Somebody Else's Head.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Behind AIDS - virus or voracity?

As we explored in our last program about AIDS, the common beliefs about its causes are turning out to be myths. Omni-present, to be sure. Dogma even. But omni-present dogma does not scientific certainty make. There are a lot of very highly qualified people ascribing quite different causes of AIDS. We're going to hear about some of those thoughts today.

This is a more psychological perspective, perhaps, which we'll be exploring more. This will be a start.

My guest will be Swedish journalist, Helena Mellander, who has been researching psychosomatic medicine for the past three years and writing extensively about her findings both in Sweden and here in Brazil. Let's see if we can think with a different head about something that deserves to be re-thought.

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Monday, November 06, 2006

What we never hear about AIDS

It's common knowledge that HIV is the cause of AIDS, that it's sexually transmitted and that there's no known cure. Arguing against that can cost you dearly if you're a scientist (not to mention cause people to give you a very wide berth at parties). When world renowned virologist, Peter Duesberg, had the gall to question the efficacy of the virus testing process of the first supposed isolators of HIV, he was widely ex-communicated from the scientific community and denied future grant money to continue his research.

That kind of stuff should really make us sit up and take notice. Any fact that is incontrovertible can certainly withstand the scrutiny, can't it? But the complete ostracization of the would be scrutinizers is surely proof that there is more going on here than we are being led to believe. At the very least, we should take a closer, objective look. We'll do that today on Thinking With Somebody Else's Head.

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Monday, October 09, 2006

What the Bleep Was That all About?

Quantum physics critique

I just got in from watching “What the Bleep Do We Know?” at my friend’s place. While it’s a pretty cool movie graphically (especially the neural transmitters graphics that make it much clearer than old Mr. Erickson ever did way back in Grade 11 Biology), it’s seriously lacking in some key metaphysical concepts.

First of all, the “creating your day” thing is totally megalomanic, but beyond that, it’s interesting to note the conclusions quantum physicists have made about the macro world because of the contradictions they see in the micro one. Just because an electron changes its position when a scientist looks at it or light can be both a particle and a wave depending on the way in which someone views it is no reason to suggest that the same thing happens in the world we can physically see. I mean, if you pass me on the street on Tuesday, I’m going to look pretty much the same as I did a week ago. Or a year ago. Or even ten years ago, for that matter. There’s no reason to suspect that gravity is suddenly going to reverse its direction from one moment to the next. The reality we have around us is NOT contingent on our input, as many quantum physicists would have us believe.

Now, of course, I’m simplifying considerably here, but the simplification contains a truth as well. And there’s something here quantum physicists need to consider deeper. And thanks to the extraordinary work of Dr. Norberto Keppe, we have the science to challenge their conclusions. Here’s a show that starts the process of doing that.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Darwin's Folly

In 1831, a young man with a weak stomach set off for 5 years as an unpaid naturalist onboard the HMS Beagle. The conclusions he reached on this momentous voyage changed how we saw the world and our place in it. There was only one problem: Charles Robert Darwin was wrong.

Today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head, we’ll examine one of the most influential ideas in science over the past 200 years – the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. Charles Darwin’s much touted theories have been enthusiastically, even religiously, embraced by science, and questioning them invites scorn on a level normally reserved for members of the flat earth society. Still, it has to be said: Darwin made some great and essential errors. Let's have a deeper look.

Today on Thinking With Somebody Else’ Head, Darwin’s Folly.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Nature of Good and Evil

Many times in my English classes here in São Paulo, a student will make a comment that seems to me to strike right at the heart of a fundamental misunderstanding. The comment will go something like, “But who’s to say what’s right and wrong? What’s bad for you might be good for me. Everyone has their truth, after all.”

This is the essence of relativism, isn’t it? Right and wrong? Well, that depends on your point of view ...

These types of comments sound scholarly and learned. After all, we must learn to appreciate all points of view in our increasingly globalized world. In Canada, where I’m from, we’ve taken this on as a national initiative, making a great effort to absorb all differences into our malleable and ever expanding national heritage.

But philosophical relativity is deeply flawed. In actual fact, we don’t live our lives by it either. If someone tells you a lie, you don’t say, “Well, maybe he needed to sleep with that other woman and not tell me about it.”

Further, we can say unequivocally that slavery is ALWAYS wrong, lies are never welcomed, goodness is better than evil. We may have opinions about these truths; those can be relative. But the absolutes are … well, absolute.

With all that in mind, let's explore it a little further.

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Blog and podcast overview

I moved from New York City to São Paulo in the summer of 2001 with a six-month return ticket. I'm still here. Best laid plans and all that ...

Why I'm still here is what this blog and podcast is all about.

All of my work here emerges from my study at Dr. Norberto Keppe's Institute of Integral Psychoanalysis in São Paulo.

The title, Thinking With Somebody Else's Head, derives from a conversation with my good friend, Cesar Soós. We were discussing how we human beings base our lives on opinions and points of view we seldom question. A lot of this comes from the heads of people who’ve been dead for awhile. And what's worse is ... we don't even realize it.

This podcast wants to change all that. Thanks to Keppe, we can finally understand what was going on in those long-dead heads. And what their ideas have done to our understanding of reality. Come on along for the ride. What have you got to lose? For sure, you'll never get anywhere thinking with somebody else's head.