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Power We Want It We Have It We Don T Use It

(category: Psychology, Word count: 503)
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If power begins in controlling something, then are we powerless prior to controlling?

Yes and no.

We have potential, which is a power in itself, but unused and undirected potential is NOTHING.

Are we powerless prior to controlling?

I would say we are not powerless, but ignorant (Which is a version of powerlessness, I guess.)

We don't know that we have power and don't know to know to test it.

The end of all powerlessness begins with awareness.

A Samurai Warrior would learn this by practicing a meditation of sitting on the top of a mountain with his arm extended and sword pointing skyward in a position ready to fall. He would meditate on that fleeting moment when a balanced piece of metal would turn into an unpredictable falling/killing weapon. His awareness was on the potential of the weapon. When he learned that then he could study the application of it's power.

What is power?

What is power like?

How great is power?

Where is power now?

To Know. To Will. To Dare. To Keep Silent.

These were the powers of the Sphinx and they remain dormant in all of us to one degree or another.

You don't know what you don't know. Thus you must seek knowledge in whatever realm you wish to control.

You must Will and Dare to use that knowledge.

To keep silent. This is where power turns to craft. It is the most subtle application of power. So subtle it may seem that things are all happening in your favor when in fact they happen by your design.

A bolder resting precariously on a cliff, a bow string pulled tight, these have a quality of potential force, What the Chinese strategist, Sun Tsu, called "shih". With just the right action and the force is unleashed.

The silent art of power and control is to see the potential force in everything and arrange it so that, if released, it works in your favor.

The keys to this power are first to know what you want far into the future and to know it in rich and glorious detail. The next step is to develop a precise and detailed plan to your goal and to meditate upon it day in and day out. By having this constantly on your mind you will function with the greatest efficiency toward your goal.

You will see the world about and know "This action will lead me to my goal. This action will lead me nowhere."

This task that is unnatural for most of us because of our natural tendency to focus on the thoughts of the present and to respond to the urgencies at hand. To master this skill we must alter our thinking and see every action that we perform as an act of manipulating "shih".

To do this is the height of Sphinx-like power and makes mere men to seem magical as if they controlled the forces of nature.

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Four Cognitive Skills For Successful Learning

(category: Psychology, Word count: 1596)
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The word "cognition" is defined as "the act of knowing" or "knowledge." Cognitive skills therefore refer to those skills that make it possible for us to know.

It should be noted that there is nothing that any human being knows, or can do, that he has not learned. This of course excludes natural body functions, such as breathing, as well as the reflexes, for example the involuntary closing of the eye when an object approaches it. But apart from that a human being knows nothing, or cannot do anything, that he has not learned. Therefore, all cognitive skills must be TAUGHT, of which the following cognitive skills are the most important:

CONCENTRATION

Paying attention must be distinguished from concentration. Paying attention is a body function, and therefore does not need to be taught. However, paying attention as such is a function that is quite useless for the act of learning, because it is only a fleeting occurrence. Attention usually shifts very quickly from one object or one thing to the next. The child must first be taught to focus his attention on something and to keep his attention focused on this something for some length of time. When a person focuses his attention for any length of time, we refer to it as concentration.

Concentration rests on two legs. First, it is an act of will and cannot take place automatically. Second, it is also a cognitive skill, and therefore has to be taught.

Although learning disability specialists acknowledge that "the ability to concentrate and attend to a task for a prolonged period of time is essential for the student to receive necessary information and complete certain academic activities," it seems that the ability to concentrate is regarded as a "fafrotsky" - a word coined by Ivan T. Sanderson, and standing for "things that FAll FROm The SKY." Concentration must be taught, after which one's proficiency can be constantly improved by regular and sustained practice.

PERCEPTION

The terms "processing" and "perception" are often used interchangeably.

Before one can learn anything, perception must take place, i.e. one has to become aware of it through one of the senses. Usually one has to hear or see it. Subsequently one has to interpret whatever one has seen or heard. In essence then, perception means interpretation. Of course, lack of experience may cause a person to misinterpret what he has seen or heard. In other words, perception represents our apprehension of a present situation in terms of our past experiences, or, as stated by the philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804): "We see things not as they are but as we are."

The following situation will illustrate how perception correlates with previous experience:

Suppose a person parked his car and walks away from it while continuing to look back at it. As he goes further and further away from his car, it will appear to him as if his car is gradually getting smaller and smaller. In such a situation none of us, however, would gasp in horror and cry out, "My car is shrinking!" Although the sensory perception is that the car is shrinking rapidly, we do not interpret that the car is changing size. Through past experiences we have learned that objects do not grow or shrink as we walk toward or away from them. You have learned that their actual size remains constant, despite the illusion. Even when one is five blocks away from one's car and it seems no larger than one's fingernail, one would interpret it as that it is still one's car and that it hasn't actually changed size. This learned perception is known as size constancy.

Pygmies, however, who live deep in the rain forests of tropical Africa, are not often exposed to wide vistas and distant horizons, and therefore do not have sufficient opportunities to learn size constancy. One Pygmy, removed from his usual environment, was convinced he was seeing a swarm of insects when he was actually looking at a herd of buffalo at a great distance. When driven toward the animals he was frightened to see the insects "grow" into buffalo and was sure that some form of witchcraft had been at work.

A person needs to INTERPRET sensory phenomena, and this can only be done on the basis of past experience of the same, similar or related phenomena. Perceptual ability, therefore, heavily depends upon the amount of perceptual practice and experience that the subject has already enjoyed. This implies that perception is a cognitive skill that can be improved tremendously through judicious practice and experience.

MEMORY

A variety of memory problems are evidenced in the learning disabled. Some major categories of memory functions wherein these problems lie are:

Receptive memory: This refers to the ability to note the physical features of a given stimulus to be able to recognize it at a later time. The child who has receptive processing difficulties invariably fails to recognize visual or auditory stimuli such as the shapes or sounds associated with the letters of the alphabet, the number system, etc.

Sequential memory: This refers to the ability to recall stimuli in their order of observation or presentation. Many dyslexics have poor visual sequential memory. Naturally this will affect their ability to read and spell correctly. After all, every word consists of letters in a specific sequence. In order to read one has to perceive the letters in sequence, and also remember what word is represented by that sequence of letters. By simply changing the sequence of the letters in "name" it can become "mean" or "amen". Some also have poor auditory sequential memory, and therefore may be unable to repeat longer words orally without getting the syllables in the wrong order, for example words like "preliminary" and "statistical".

Rote memory: This refers to the ability to learn certain information as a habit pattern. The child who has problems in this area is unable to recall with ease those responses which should have been automatic, such as the alphabet, the number system, multiplication tables, spelling rules, grammatical rules, etc.

Short-term memory: Short-term memory lasts from a few seconds to a minute; the exact amount of time may vary somewhat. When you are trying to recall a telephone number that was heard a few seconds earlier, the name of a person who has just been introduced, or the substance of the remarks just made by a teacher in class, you are calling on short-term memory. You need this kind of memory to retain ideas and thoughts when writing a letter, since you must be able to keep the last sentence in mind as you compose the next. You also need this kind of memory when you work on problems. Suppose a problem required that we first add two numbers together (step 1: add 15 + 27) and next divide the sum (step 2: divide sum by 2). If we did this problem in our heads, we would need to retain the result of step 1 (42) momentarily, while we apply the next step (divide by 2). Some space in our short-term memory is necessary to retain the results of step 1.

Long-term memory: This refers to the ability to retrieve information of things learned in the past.

Until the learning disabled develop adequate skills in recalling information, they will continue to face each learning situation as though it is a new one. No real progress can be attained by either the child or the teacher when the same ground has to be covered over and over because the child has forgotten. It would appear that the most critical need that the learning disabled have is to be helped to develop an effective processing system for remembering, because without it their performance will always remain at a level much below what their capabilities indicate.

Strangely, though, while memory is universally considered a prerequisite skill to successful learning, attempts to delineate its process in the learning disabled are few, and fewer still are methods to systematically improve it.

LOGICAL THINKING

In his book "Brain Building" Dr. Karl Albrecht states that logical thinking is not a magical process or a matter of genetic endowment, but a learned mental process. It is the process in which one uses reasoning consistently to come to a conclusion. Problems or situations that involve logical thinking call for structure, for relationships between facts, and for chains of reasoning that "make sense."

The basis of all logical thinking is sequential thought, says Dr. Albrecht. This process involves taking the important ideas, facts, and conclusions involved in a problem and arranging them in a chain-like progression that takes on a meaning in and of itself. To think logically is to think in steps.

Logical thinking is also an important foundational skill of math. "Learning mathematics is a highly sequential process," says Dr. Albrecht. "If you don't grasp a certain concept, fact, or procedure, you can never hope to grasp others that come later, which depend upon it. For example, to understand fractions you must first understand division. To understand simple equations in algebra requires that you understand fractions. Solving ‘word problems' depends on knowing how to set up and manipulate equations, and so on."

It has been proven that specific training in logical thinking processes can make people "smarter." Logical thinking allows a child to reject quick and easy answers, such as "I don't know," or "this is too difficult," by empowering him to delve deeper into his thinking processes and understand better the methods used to arrive at a solution.

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How We Conceive Man

(category: Psychology, Word count: 167)
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As conceive man

The human being is a bio - psycho - social, acting each of these areas as interdependent. The body always tends towards a balance and try as best you can reacomodarse after difficulties or both environmental and internal imbalances. There can be a separation between organic and environmental phenomena as serious reductionist thinking in this way. The paradigm from which we positioned implies mutual and reciprocal influences between the environment and the human body, as well as taking into account the cultural atravesamientos building the reality in which human beings, groups and organizations are being developed.

From the psychology of the Rio de la Plata trying desanudar or deconstruct the conditions of production of subjectivity to construct a reality given to a human being. This subjectivity (ways of being, thinking, feeling and acting) is not given but constructed or natural. So the task is to deconstruct rebuild a healthy reality, a reality with the active position, or to life.

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Why Do People Think Mind Control Is Bad

(category: Psychology, Word count: 413)
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Here's a question for you:

Why do people think mind control is "bad"?

People shudder at the thought of mind control because they live under the belief that there is a "free will". They are scared to think that they don't have control. Yet the truth is we never have complete control.

Being the beasties that we are we've lived, died and evolved based on what gives us the most control. Control is important, vital to our survival, self image and self esteem. But, in many cases control is an illusion.

There are levels to how much control we do have and the things within our control. And while we don't have control in many areas we will often deny that fact with a passion.

Being able to Control our own thoughts and emotions is one of the most difficult things anyone can do. But those individuals who know how people respond and react use that knowledge to control and manipulate us all the time. That's why advertising is such a big industry.

While mind control may be an unpleasant fact it isn't "bad" because as human beings wanting control we will resort to anything that gives themselves an advantage.

One factor in our evolution is determined by how much more in control we become. Perhaps the next level of evolution is to know that we can be controlled and are always under some subtle influence without our knowing.

How would we begin to evolve if instead of fighting the fact that we are subject to mind control we accepted it? This would be the difference between working to understand our limitations and denying them.

This is a fundamental difference between me and the PCT (Paranoid Conspiracy Theorists). For me that we are subject to mind control creates awe, not fear.

To make a personal evolution of sorts, the only thing you can do is know that people are using mind control on us all the time and try to be aware of it. We should also be aware that most of the mind control is so well executed it will likely pass right by us without even a warning.

On an individual level we should also use what we know of mind control to your advantage. This means making an effort to understand human psychology and our own personal psychology. Only then can we truly evolve beneath the omnipresent specter of mind control.

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Discover The Secrets Of Personality Type

(category: Psychology, Word count: 148)
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Have you ever wondered why your spouse, coworkers, or children seem to think so differently from you? You may not understand why they make the decisions they do, or why they place such importance on things that seem inconsequential to you. It is possible to understand the answers to all these questions. The secret lies in the theory of Myers-Briggs personality type.

In the 1960's a psychological theorist named Katharine Briggs had many of the same questions you do. She wondered why some of her family members had such logical, linear thinking processes, when she herself was more likely to take values and feelings into account when considering an issue. In her research with her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers, she looked into this question and others, and discovered four central aspects of personality. Each one of us can be classified as either:

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Mmpi Ii Test

(category: Psychology, Word count: 510)
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The MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory), composed by Hathaway (a psychologist) and McKinley (a physician) is the outcome of decades of research into personality disorders. The revised version, the MMPI-II (also known as MMPI-2), was published in 1989 but was received cautiously. MMPI-II changed the scoring method and some of the normative data. It was, therefore, hard to compare it to its much hallowed (and oft validated) predecessor.

The MMPI-II is made of 567 binary (true or false) items (questions). Each item requires the subject to respond: "This is true (or false) as applied to me". There are no "correct" answers. The test booklet allows the diagnostician to provide a rough assessment of the patient (the "basic scales") based on the first 370 queries (though it is recommended to administer all of 567 of them).

Based on numerous studies, the items are arranged in scales. The responses are compared to answers provided by "control subjects". The scales allow the diagnostician to identify traits and mental health problems based on these comparisons. In other words, there are no answers that are "typical to paranoid or narcissistic or antisocial patients". There are only responses that deviate from an overall statistical pattern and conform to the reaction patterns of other patients with similar scores. The nature of the deviation determines the patient's traits and tendencies - but not his or her diagnosis!

The interpreted outcomes of the MMPI-II are phrased thus: "The test results place subject X in this group of patients who, statistically-speaking, reacted similarly. The test results also set subject X apart from these groups of people who, statistically-speaking, responded differently". The test results would never say: "Subject X suffers from (this or that) mental health problem".

There are three validity scales and ten clinical ones in the original MMPI-II, but other scholars derived hundreds of additional scales. For instance: to help in diagnosing personality disorders, most diagnosticians use either the MMPI-I with the Morey-Waugh-Blashfield scales in conjunction with the Wiggins content scales - or the MMPI-II updated to include the Colligan-Morey-Offord scales.

The validity scales indicate whether the patient responded truthfully and accurately or was trying to manipulate the test. They pick up patterns. Some patients want to appear normal (or abnormal) and consistently choose what they believe are the "correct" answers. This kind of behavior triggers the validity scales. These are so sensitive that they can indicate whether the subject lost his or her place on the answer sheet and was responding randomly! The validity scales also alert the diagnostician to problems in reading comprehension and other inconsistencies in response patterns.

The clinical scales are dimensional (though not multiphasic as the test's misleading name implies). They measure hypochondriasis, depression, hysteria, psychopathic deviation, masculinity-femininity, paranoia, psychasthenia, schizophrenia, hypomania, and social introversion. There are also scales for alcoholism, post-traumatic stress disorder, and personality disorders.

The interpretation of the MMPI-II is now fully computerized. The computer is fed with the patients' age, sex, educational level, and marital status and does the rest.

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The Roots Of Pedophilia

(category: Psychology, Word count: 2068)
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Pedophiles are attracted to prepubescent children and act on their sexual fantasies. It is a startling fact that the etiology of this paraphilia is unknown. Pedophiles comes from all walks of life and have no common socio-economic background. Contrary to media-propagated myths, most of them had not been sexually abused in childhood and the vast majority of pedophiles are also drawn to adults of the opposite sex (are heterosexuals).

Only a few belong to the Exclusive Type - the ones who are tempted solely by kids. Nine tenths of all pedophiles are male. They are fascinated by preteen females, teenage males, or (more rarely) both.

Moreover, at least one fifth (and probably more) of the population have pedophiliac fantasies. The prevalence of child pornography and child prostitution prove it. Pedophiles start out as "normal" people and are profoundly shocked and distressed to discover their illicit sexual preference for the prepubertal. The process and mechanisms of transition from socially acceptable sexuality to much-condemned (and criminal) pedophilia are still largely mysterious.

Pedophiles seem to have narcissistic and antisocial (psychopathic) traits. They lack empathy for their victims and express no remorse for their actions. They are in denial and, being pathological confabulators, they rationalize their transgressions, claiming that the children were merely being educated for their own good and, anyhow, derived great pleasure from it.

The pedophile's ego-syntony rests on his alloplastic defenses. He generally tends to blame others (or the world or the "system") for his misfortunes, failures, and deficiencies. Pedophiles frequently accuse their victims of acting promiscuously, of "coming on to them", of actively tempting, provoking, and luring (or even trapping) them.

The pedophile - similar to the autistic patient - misinterprets the child's body language and inter-personal cues. His social communication skills are impaired and he fails to adjust information gained to the surrounding circumstances (for instance, to the kid's age and maturity).

Coupled with his lack of empathy, this recurrent inability to truly comprehend others cause the pedophile to objectify the targets of his lasciviousness. Pedophilia is, in essence, auto-erotic. The pedophile uses children's bodies to masturbate with. Hence the success of the Internet among pedophiles: it offers disembodied, anonymous, masturbatory sex. Children in cyberspace are mere representations - often nothing more than erotic photos and screen names.

It is crucial to realize that pedophiles are not enticed by the children themselves, by their bodies, or by their budding and nubile sexuality (remember Nabokov's Lolita?). Rather, pedophiles are drawn to what children symbolize, to what preadolescents stand for and represent.

To the pedophile ...

I. Sex with children is "free" and "daring"

Sex with subteens implies freedom of action with impunity. It enhances the pedophile's magical sense of omnipotence and immunity. By defying the authority of the state and the edicts of his culture and society, the pedophile experiences an adrenaline rush to which he gradually becomes addicted. Illicit sex becomes the outlet for his urgent need to live dangerously and recklessly.

The pedophile is on a quest to reassert control over his life. Studies have consistently shown that pedophilia is associated with anomic states (war, famine, epidemics) and with major life crises (failure, relocation, infidelity of spouse, separation, divorce, unemployment, bankruptcy, illness, death of the offender's nearest and dearest).

It is likely - though hitherto unsubstantiated by research - that the typical pedophile is depressive and with a borderline personality (low organization and fuzzy personal boundaries). Pedophiles are reckless and emotionally labile. The pedophile's sense of self-worth is volatile and dysregulated. He is likely to suffer from abandonment anxiety and be a codependent or counterdependent.

Paradoxically, it is by seemingly losing control in one aspect of his life (sex) that the pedophile re-acquires a sense of mastery. The same mechanism is at work in the development of eating disorders. An inhibitory deficit is somehow magically perceived as omnipotence.

II. Sex with children is corrupt and decadent

The pedophile makes frequent (though unconscious) use of projection and projective identification in his relationships with children. He makes his victims treat him the way he views himself - or attributes to them traits and behaviors that are truly his.

The pedophile is aware of society's view of his actions as vile, corrupt, forbidden, evil, and decadent (especially if the pedophiliac act involves incest). He derives pleasure from the sleazy nature of his pursuits because it tends to sustain his view of himself as "bad", "a failure", "deserving of punishment", and "guilty".

In extreme (mercifully uncommon) cases, the pedophile projects these torturous feelings and self-perceptions onto his victims. The children defiled and abused by his sexual attentions thus become "rotten", "bad objects", guilty and punishable. This leads to sexual sadism, lust rape, and snuff murders.

III. Sex with children is a reenactment of a painful past

Many pedophile truly bond with their prey. To them, children are the reification of innocence, genuineness, trust, and faithfulness - qualities that the pedophile wishes to nostalgically recapture.

The relationship with the child provides the pedophile with a "safe passage" to his own, repressed and fearful, inner child. Through his victim, the pedophile gains access to his suppressed and thwarted emotions. It is a fantasy-like second chance to reenact his childhood, this time benignly. The pedophile's dream to make peace with his past comes true transforming the interaction with the child to an exercise in wish fulfillment.

IV. Sex with children is a shared psychosis

The pedophile treats "his" chosen child as an object, an extension of himself, devoid of a separate existence and denuded of distinct needs. He finds the child's submissiveness and gullibility gratifying. He frowns on any sign of personal autonomy and regards it as a threat. By intimidating, cajoling, charming, and making false promises, the abuser isolates his prey from his family, school, peers, and from the rest of society and, thus, makes the child's dependence on him total.

To the pedophile, the child is a "transitional object" - a training ground on which to exercise his adult relationship skills. The pedophile erroneously feels that the child will never betray and abandon him, therefore guaranteeing "object constancy".

The pedophile - stealthily but unfailingly - exploits the vulnerabilities in the psychological makeup of his victim. The child may have low self-esteem, a fluctuating sense of self-worth, primitive defence mechanisms, phobias, mental health problems, a disability, a history of failure, bad relations with parents, siblings, teachers, or peers, or a tendency to blame herself, or to feel inadequate (autoplastic neurosis). The kid may come from an abusive family or environment - which conditioned her or him to expect abuse as inevitable and "normal". In extreme and rare cases - the victim is a masochist, possessed of an urge to seek ill-treatment and pain.

The pedophile is the guru at the center of a cult. Like other gurus, he demands complete obedience from his "partner". He feels entitled to adulation and special treatment by his child-mate. He punishes the wayward and the straying lambs. He enforces discipline.

The child finds himself in a twilight zone. The pedophile imposes on him a shared psychosis, replete with persecutory delusions, "enemies", mythical narratives, and apocalyptic scenarios if he is flouted. The child is rendered the joint guardian of a horrible secret.

The pedophile's control is based on ambiguity, unpredictability, fuzziness, and ambient abuse. His ever-shifting whims exclusively define right versus wrong, desirable and unwanted, what is to be pursued and what to be avoided. He alone determines rights and obligations and alters them at will.

The typical pedophile is a micro-manager. He exerts control over the minutest details and behaviors. He punishes severely and abuses withholders of information and those who fail to conform to his wishes and goals.

The pedophile does not respect the boundaries and privacy of the (often reluctant and terrified) child. He ignores his or her wishes and treats children as objects or instruments of gratification. He seeks to control both situations and people compulsively.

The pedophile acts in a patronizing and condescending manner and criticizes often. He alternates between emphasizing the minutest faults (devalues) and exaggerating the looks, talents, traits, and skills (idealizes) of the child. He is wildly unrealistic in his expectations - which legitimizes his subsequent abusive conduct.

Narcissistic pedophiles claim to be infallible, superior, talented, skillful, omnipotent, and omniscient. They often lie and confabulate to support these unfounded claims and to justify their actions. Most pedophiles suffer from cognitive deficits and reinterpret reality to fit their fantasies.

In extreme cases, the pedophile feels above the law - any kind of law. This grandiose and haughty conviction leads to criminal acts, incestuous or polygamous relationships, and recurrent friction with the authorities.

V. The pedophile regards sex with children as an ego-booster

Subteen children are, by definition, "inferior". They are physically weaker, dependent on others for the fulfillment of many of their needs, cognitively and emotionally immature, and easily manipulated. Their fund of knowledge is limited and their skills restricted. His relationships with children buttress the pedophile's twin grandiose delusions of omnipotence and omniscience. Compared to his victims, the pedophiles is always the stronger, the wiser, the most skillful and well-informed.

VI. Sex with children guarantees companionship

Inevitably, the pedophile considers his child-victims to be his best friends and companions. Pedophiles are lonely, erotomanic, people.

The pedophile believes that he is in love with (or simply loves) the child. Sex is merely one way to communicate his affection and caring. But there are other venues.

To show his keen interest, the common pedophile keeps calling the child, dropping by, writing e-mails, giving gifts, providing services, doing unsolicited errands "on the kid's behalf", getting into relationships with the preteen's parents, friends, teachers, and peers, and, in general, making himself available (stalking) at all times. The pedophile feels free to make legal, financial, and emotional decisions for the child.

The pedophile intrudes on the victim's privacy, disrespects the child's express wishes and personal boundaries and ignores his or her emotions, needs, and preferences. To the pedophile, "love" means enmeshment and clinging coupled with an overpowering separation anxiety (fear of being abandoned).

Moreover, no amount of denials, chastising, threats, and even outright hostile actions convince the erotomaniac that the child not in love with him. He knows better and will make the world see the light as well. The child and his guardians are simply unaware of what is good for the kid. The pedophile determinedly sees it as his or her task to bring life and happiness into the child's dreary and unhappy existence.

Thus, regardless of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the pedophile is convinced that his feelings are reciprocated - in other words, that the child is equally infatuated with him or her. He interprets everything the child does (or refrains from doing) as coded messages confessing to and conveying the child's interest in and eternal devotion to the pedophile and to the "relationship".

Some (by no means all) pedophiles are socially-inapt, awkward, schizoid, and suffer from a host of mood and anxiety disorders. They may also be legitimately involved with the child (e.g., stepfather, former spouse, teacher, gym instructor, sibling) - or with his parents (for instance, a former boyfriend, a one night stand, colleagues or co-workers). They are driven by their all-consuming loneliness and all-pervasive fantasies.

Consequently, pedophiles react badly to any perceived rejection by their victims. They turn on a dime and become dangerously vindictive, out to destroy the source of their mounting frustration. When the "relationship" looks hopeless, some pedophiles violently embark on a spree of self-destruction.

Pedophilia is to some extent a culture-bound syndrome, defined as it is by the chronological age of the child involved. Ephebophilia, for instance - the exclusive sexual infatuation with teenagers - is not considered to be a form of pedophilia (or even paraphilia).

In some cultures, societies and countries (Afghanistan, for instance) the age of consent is as low as 12. The marriageable age in Britain until the end of the nineteenth century was 10. Pedophilia is a common and socially-condoned practice in certain tribal societies and isolated communities (the Island of Pitcairn).

It would, therefore, be wise to redefine pedophilia as an attraction to or sexual acts with prepubescent children or with people of the equivalent mental age (e.g., retarded) in contravention of social, legal, and cultural accepted practices.

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The Narcissist S Confabulated Life

(category: Psychology, Word count: 648)
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Confabulations are an important part of life. They serve to heal emotional wounds or to prevent ones from being inflicted in the first place. They prop-up the confabulator's self-esteem, regulate his (or her) sense of self-worth, and buttress his (or her) self-image. They serve as organizing principles in social interactions.

Father's wartime heroism, mother's youthful good looks, one's oft-recounted exploits, erstwhile alleged brilliance, and past purported sexual irresistibility - are typical examples of white, fuzzy, heart-warming lies wrapped around a shriveled kernel of truth.

But the distinction between reality and fantasy is rarely completely lost. Deep inside, the healthy confabulator knows where facts end and wishful thinking takes over. Father acknowledges he was no war hero, though he did his share of fighting. Mother understands she was no ravishing beauty, though she may have been attractive. The confabulator realizes that his recounted exploits are overblown, his brilliance exaggerated, and his sexual irresistibility a myth.

Such distinctions never rise to the surface because everyone - the confabulator and his audience alike - have a common interest to maintain the confabulation. To challenge the integrity of the confabulator or the veracity of his confabulations is to threaten the very fabric of family and society. Human intercourse is built around such entertaining deviations from the truth.

This is where the narcissist differs from others (from "normal" people).

His very self is a piece of fiction concocted to fend off hurt and to nurture the narcissist's grandiosity. He fails in his "reality test" - the ability to distinguish the actual from the imagined. The narcissist fervently believes in his own infallibility, brilliance, omnipotence, heroism, and perfection. He doesn't dare confront the truth and admit it even to himself.

Moreover, he imposes his personal mythology on his nearest and dearest. Spouse, children, colleagues, friends, neighbors - sometimes even perfect strangers - must abide by the narcissist's narrative or face his wrath. The narcissist countenances no disagreement, alternative points of view, or criticism. To him, confabulation IS reality.

The coherence of the narcissist's dysfunctional and precariously-balanced personality depends on the plausibility of his stories and on their acceptance by his Sources of Narcissistic Supply. The narcissist invests an inordinate time in substantiating his tales, collecting "evidence", defending his version of events, and in re-interpreting reality to fit his scenario. As a result, most narcissists are self-delusional, obstinate, opinionated, and argumentative.

The narcissist's lies are not goal-orientated. This is what makes his constant dishonesty both disconcerting and incomprehensible. The narcissist lies at the drop of a hat, needlessly, and almost ceaselessly. He lies in order to avoid the Grandiosity Gap - when the abyss between fact and (narcissistic) fiction becomes too gaping to ignore.

The narcissist lies in order to preserve appearances, uphold fantasies, support the tall (and impossible) tales of his False Self and extract Narcissistic Supply from unsuspecting sources, who are not yet on to him. To the narcissist, confabulation is not merely a way of life - but life itself.

We are all conditioned to let other indulge in pet delusions and get away with white, not too egregious, lies. The narcissist makes use of our socialization. We dare not confront or expose him, despite the outlandishness of his claims, the improbability of his stories, the implausibility of his alleged accomplishments and conquests. We simply turn the other cheek, or meekly avert our eyes, often embarrassed.

Moreover, the narcissist makes clear, from the very beginning, that it is his way or the highway. His aggression - even violent streak - are close to the surface. He may be charming in a first encounter - but even then there are telltale signs of pent-up abuse. His interlocutors sense this impending threat and avoid conflict by acquiescing with the narcissist's fairy tales. Thus he imposes his private universe and virtual reality on his milieu - sometimes with disastrous consequences.

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The Purification And Advancement Of The Mental Sheath

(category: Psychology, Word count: 1935)
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At every step of our ordinary social transactions, we witness the miracles of our intellectual capabilities. An alert intellectual individual marches ahead in his chosen field with great success. Bang opposite to this people with weak intellects lag behind in various areas despite being blessed with conducive circumstances. In order to solve dire problems of our lives and in order to attain benefits of soul glory, a radiant mind is most required. Via the nervous system these elements are spread out widely in the entire body and the brain is the chief center. In spiritual parlance, this widespread knowledge is the Mental Sheath. Ordinarily for intellectual advancement, schools and other mediums of education are utilized. But the spiritual methods used for advancing the mental conscious center, are based on spiritual practices. With its help the mental energy is purified and evolved.

Spiritual practices for the advancement of the Mental Sheath is like the bloody Mahabharat war wherein one wards off the taints and distortions that have entered our intellectual arena. Along with this is conjoined the firm resolve (Sankalp) to establish Ram's rule or a righteous world government.

With reference to this it is apt that we give due thought to discipline and self control. In ancient times, wind, bile, phlegm, indigestion, blockage of feces, change in weather, attack of venomous germs etc. were thought to be causes of various diseases. But modern research says that the mental center fully controls our body and it further elaborates that diseases based on external causes are nothing but the desire of the life force of our body. Thus with common remedies these diseases can be cured. Intense diseases are generally a result of mental distortions. These diseases cannot be cured merely by medicines and that mental purification is most required in such cases.

This is the chief cause not only of bodily diseases but also of mental illnesses. An individual, who executes vile actions due to a vile intellect, not only faces bodily diseases but also undergoes mental illnesses. Maybe such a person does not turn mad yet because of a certain amount of imbalance, he remains semi-agitated. They undergo pain for no reason and for no reason they inflict pain on others. Such a person's mental state is indeed pitiful. Even if one merely sees such a person, one feels intense turmoil. In comparison to people with bodily diseases, not only is the number of people with mental taints infinitely more, but that the pain too is more severe. The method of curing such illnesses does not lie in hospitals but is dependent on purification of the mind. The cures can take place in other ways too yet on the basis of Spiritual Science it can be more successfully overcome via sanctification of the Mental Sheath and other spiritual practices.

Students of Anatomy know fully well that nerves conjoined to the brain are spread out in the entire body. It is through these nerves that such an intricate 'machine' i.e. the brain functions aptly. The action power, experiences of the sense organs open up in the brain. The sense organs (apparatus) can only gather information and send it to the brain center. When one undergoes mental agitation, the entire body loosens itself and one's power of actions too lags behind. One's face becomes sad when one faces fear, worries, sorrow, despair etc. and the entire body tends to collapse. If one studies the body language of a person who is extremely furious, it is clear that all his bodily parts get excited and agitated with great intensity. Bang opposite to this a man full of joy and serenity who always experiences good health and thus lives a long life. But a person full of agitation keeps losing bodily weight and is seen to die at a very young age. These facts clearly tell us that more than the influence of food, rest, water etc. on our body, it is the influence of our mental state that is infinitely more intense.

In the body via muscular groups and tubeless glands, sentiments are active. Our entire body is full of muscular networks. Ordinarily muscles are white in color and are gross like wires. All our organs work with the help of muscles. The main muscle that reaches every organ is as gross as a rope. Its branches and sub-branches become more and more thin. Many sub-branches are as thin as a cotton fiber.

Every muscular network has 2 parts 1) Voluntary 2) Involuntary Via actions of moving, bending, swerving, picking up objects etc. we move our hands / legs as per our wish. This in turn is due to voluntary muscles. But we cannot function thus with involuntary muscles. They carry out tasks of our inner organs like heart beats, exhaling / inhaling etc.

The center of the involuntary muscles lives in the brain and is called hypothalamus. It is this hypothalamus that controls the male and female glands. Also an enzyme called dopamine oxidase, despite being scattered in the entire body, is more concentrated in the central muscular system. Hypothalamus is known to activate the pituitary gland. From this various hormones are secreted which are reactions of our sentiments and causes of other new sentiments. When new circumstances are created, the tubeless glands are pressurized and thus they secrete new hormones. These hormones react variedly in the body and based on this, new sentiments manifest. For e.g. suppose the pituitary gland secretes a hormone due to the pressure of a germ of a disease, it will result in intense turbulence in the body. Such a person becomes uneasy and thus falls down on the bed. Now in this state of illness, all the sentiments hoarded in the sub-conscious mind start manifesting externally. As a result one sees varied reaction based symptoms in the body.

When we say that the Mental Sheath is present in the brain, we mean that it is its central action office. But its subtle parts i.e. its branches and sub branches are spread all over the body. The cells of the brain are more wise and experienced than cells of other organs. Hence they are called the leaders of all cells of the body. When these leader cells move in a particular direction, the other cells follow suit. In order that the entire subtle body remains healthy, joyful, zealous and progressive, it is most required that the brain too is of that stature. If the leader keeps despairing and experiences anguish, how can one aspire for advancement? The state of a leader whether positive or negative, definitely influences his /her followers.

Dr. Fenkel, a psychologist of Vienna opines that the mental state influences one's bodily health. The cause of mental balance is the true achievement of one's life. Hence he advanced the method of "Logotherapy". Dr. Fenkel believes that if a person is unaware of the true goal of life and its activities, he can never remain healthy. The basis of a blissful life is attainment of the true goal of human life. Dr. Fenkel's Logotherapy encompasses discussion of topics liked/disliked by his patient so as to inspire him to walk on the path of the true goal of human life. As soon as a person understands the true goal of human life, he concentrates his mind on the energies present within him. Thus he imbibes steadfast faith in himself and starts regaining good health. If the mental state is healthy, it can help the physical body to regain good health.

A definite and clear cut reaction is seen on the gross/physical body due to the movements of the subtle body. The cause of nervous system disorders is the suppressed vile thoughts of our psyche. Even anatomists opine, that merely on the basis of mental imprints, many bodily diseases manifest. Dr. Tuk, the author of the book "Influence of the Mind upon the Body" writes - "Diseases like turmoil, indolence, bodily organs becoming handicapped, bile, leprosy, hair loss, decrease of RBC, fear, kidney diseases, distortion of the bodily organ of a fetus in its mother's womb, skin diseases, boils, eczema etc. are the result of mental agitation and vile thinking." Mental turmoil, vile sentiments, undesirable thinking are distortions of the subtle body which clearly influence our physical body. In the same way a sacred viewpoint, healthy thinking, idealistic thought flow etc. radiates our subtle body and this great influence is seen on the gross body too.

In the proposition of the extraordinary importance of positive thinking based on high ideals, Dr. Benett has put his own case in front of us. Up to the age of 50 years Dr. Benett lost good health due to despair and undesirable thinking. When he read about the good influence of positive thinking, he started imbibing it in his own life. He renounced the inertness of his mind along with mental distortions so as to fill his heart with faith based on sacred aspirations. Thus his life overflowed with bliss and serenity. Dr. Benett who had lived a life of bliss for 20 continuous years, printed photographs of himself when he was 50 years and another one when he was 70 years, in his book. The photograph when he was 50 years was indeed crestfallen and withered but the photograph when he was 70 years old was so full of bliss. Where had the withered face disappeared? This is because at the age of 70 years, he looked youthful and oozed with zest for life.

Up till now all research studies of this sort indicate that if one's mind / intellect are agitated, that person too experiences pain. Hatred, jealousy, greed etc. definitely affect a person in a big way. When the intellect experiences bliss, all bodily cells too rejoice. All these cells experience oneness between themselves. If one cell experiences pain /joy, other cells too get influenced. They share their joys and sorrows. Their mutual relationship of oneness is amazing. There are rare examples of true friendship, intense oneness and sympathy for one another. Imagine that one particular individual is extremely hungry. In front of him is a plate of delicious food items. At that moment he gets a phone call that a beloved one has died. Immediately his mind is crowded with thoughts of his beloved kin. The mind experiences oneness with the kin. The cells of the brain get agitated. This agitation is immediately passed on to the entire body. The tongue starts drying up. Those cells which were previously screaming for food due to hunger were now silenced. The heart and other organs too slump. The heart sinks, the eyes are covered with darkness and the body slumps. Thus the entire body is influenced by this mental turmoil. It is very clear that the state of the brain cells influence the state of the bodily cells.

The famous scientist cum author Dr. Bennett in his book "Old Age - Cause and Prevention" writes about a very entertaining and educative incident. A 16-year old French girl decided to marry a young man of American origin. Because the young man was poor, it was decided that he would first earn wealth in America and then return to France to get married. Within three years the young man earned a lot of wealth but as luck would have it, he was involved in a court case and thus could not return to France for 16 years. After 16 years when he returned to France, he was amazed to see that the health and beauty of his fianc

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