Jewish existentialism – Will To Exist http://willtoexist.com/ Wed, 23 Nov 2022 13:50:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://willtoexist.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-6-120x120.png Jewish existentialism – Will To Exist http://willtoexist.com/ 32 32 “Christianity and Psychiatry” examines faith and tradition in relation to medical and scientific knowledge https://willtoexist.com/christianity-and-psychiatry-examines-faith-and-tradition-in-relation-to-medical-and-scientific-knowledge/ Tue, 22 Nov 2022 14:00:44 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/christianity-and-psychiatry-examines-faith-and-tradition-in-relation-to-medical-and-scientific-knowledge/ BOOK REVIEW Christianity and psychiatry Edited by John R. Peteet, MD; H. Steven Moffic, MD; Ahmed Hankir, MBChB, MRCPsych; and Harold G. Koenig, MD Springer, 2021; 311 pages; $119 (paperback) Reviewed by Renato D. Alarcon, MD, MPH Christianity and psychiatry is the third in a series of books focusing on several angles of the religion-psychiatry […]]]>

BOOK REVIEW

Christianity and psychiatry

Edited by John R. Peteet, MD; H. Steven Moffic, MD; Ahmed Hankir, MBChB, MRCPsych; and Harold G. Koenig, MD

Springer, 2021; 311 pages; $119 (paperback)

Reviewed by Renato D. Alarcon, MD, MPH

Christianity and psychiatry is the third in a series of books focusing on several angles of the religion-psychiatry equation, published over the past 3 years and edited, virtually, by the same team of researchers. These characteristics confer a high academic quality and a homogeneous set of perspectives on the subject of Christianity and its many links with psychiatry throughout the centuries.

The previous 2 volumes dealt with Islamophobia and anti-Semitism as human/behavioural/emotional attitudes. Christianity may not engender a similar breadth of negative responses, but, perhaps for the same reason, its ties to psychiatry present a wider variety of fronts.

This is the objective pursued by the 4 editors (from Harvard Medical School, Medical College of Wisconsin, Duke Medical Center and King’s College London) – asking a total of 31 authors (23 from the United States, 3 from Canada, 3 from the UK, and 1 each from Scotland and 1 from the Netherlands) to contribute 21 chapters. As the foreword and introduction indicate, the book addresses different levels of faith and tradition in relation to medical and scientific knowledge, their antagonisms and controversies, and their integration and reciprocity.

A panoramic and detailed analysis of the content of the book led this reviewer to formulate a catalog of 5 areas explored over the chapters, areas sometimes clearly delimited, and other times inevitably mixed because of their complexity. It is not an isolating compartmentalization because the connections emerge almost spontaneously; nevertheless, I will describe and explore them as neatly as possible in an attempt to systematize the impressive wealth of reading material. The first 3 areas are history, clinical practice and education, while the last 2 examine implicit contradictions (not of or between the authors, but belonging to the subjects themselves) and certain conceptual or formal absences, but not necessarily formidable.

Story

The historical accent touches many chapters with authority. Some readers may think the first, titled “The Heavy History of Psychiatry and Christianity,” would suffice with its impressive deployment of information from biblical sources to lucid insights into the Middle Ages and the accomplishments of legendary figures like Augustine d ‘Hippone, Baxter, Tuke, Brigham, Charcot, Janet and William James over the past 6 centuries.

The questioning of the divinely inspired behaviors of Old Testament heroes as possible psychiatric syndromes also began long ago (Chapter 3). It seems that the stigma of mental disorders (including self-stigma) has always existed (Chapters 2 and 14). We learn about the Christian origins of Alcoholics Anonymous (chapter 11) and the inclusion of “soul care” envisioned and clearly enunciated by Johann Christian Reil (the originator of the name “psychiatry” for our field) in 1808 (chapter 16) .

The controversies between conservative Christians (predominantly Protestant) and liberal Christians generated anger and confusion, but also channeled the first elements of the contemporary concept of liberation theology (chapter 19). Equally important, we learn about the protective attitude of the Prophet Muhammad towards Christians (chapter 19) and we consider the history of ideological and temperamental controversies between Freud (who could be described as an atheist Jew) and some of his early Christian disciples. notables (i.e. Jung), who occupy a crucial place in the doctrinal history of psychiatry and psychoanalysis (chapters 18 and 19).

Clinical practice

Clinical practice encompasses diagnostic and treatment/care actions, all reflecting well-defined goals and positively oriented pragmatism. The historical detection of stigma, primarily among Christian (“charismatic”, authoritarian) communities and churches from ancient times, paved the way for the materialization of faith-inspired healing (Chapter 2).

In turn, religion and God have become a source of resilience and adaptability, especially among young people (chapter 5). The distinction between psychotic symptoms and spiritual phenomena led to early conceptualizations of clinical processes later named spectraan important contemporary nosological term that anticipated the great potential of mutually understanding collaboration among clinicians (Chapter 3).

In the therapeutic realm, the progressive Christian view enabled the acceptance of “folk healing”, a strongly culturally-based approach to treatment that undoubtedly used elements of support, empathy, encouragement and inspiration in non-Christian or nominally Christian patients (Chapters 1, 18, and 19).

The above reiterates the hermeneutic closeness to “faith as treatment” (Chapter 5), which is also part of the spectrum of therapeutic resources that today’s well-trained and competent mental health professionals are learning to utilize. Spiritual care has a place in the list of therapeutic approaches to a variety of clinical conditions (Chapters 10-13 and 17).

This is another way of saying that psychotherapy, as one of the most powerful resources to help patients with mental illness, follows an inclusive trajectory – a complete sequence in which the spiritual crowns a bio-psycho -socio-cultural towards healing (chapters 8, 12, 14 and 16).

Education

Medical/psychiatric education and training issues are an essential component of this volume. Virtually all of the chapters convey valuable concepts, ideas and themes that could or should be incorporated into pre- and postgraduate curricula.

Quite interesting angles are offered by the Christian evaluation of explanatory medical models of psychopathology (Chapters 2 and 4); comprehensive management of trauma (chapter 6) and psychoses (chapter 13); ‘integration debates’ as group educational activities (Chapter 12); characteristics of Christian psychiatric care delivery and clergy-clinician collaborations (Chapters 14 and 15); and the study of the results vis-à-vis different Christian psychotherapeutic interventions (chapter 18).

Didactic principles are often conveyed through valuable biblical quotations (chapters 8 and 10). old terms such as acedia (or spiritual apathy; chapter 4) and theodicy (or human attempts to understand why God allows suffering; chapter 9) takes on renewed meaning and relevance.

It goes without saying that several of the ideas and concepts discussed so far, strongly reinforced by Christian perspectives, occupy a legitimate place in the educational arsenal provided by the book: resilience, stigmatization, “moral damage” helping to understand modern entities like burnout. (chapter 7), loneliness as a pathogen (“magnifying susceptibility to spiritual collapse”; chapter 16), etc. And, at the top, we can only mention, among many others, 3 vigorous contributions of Christian psychiatry:

  1. His celebration of reconciliation as a driving force for emotional recovery and of life as a search for existential meaning – all of which predate Viktor Frankl’s existentialism and logotherapy (Chapter 4)
  2. Shared decision-making and values-based practice (Fulford’s legacy) that give psychiatry the role of a “normative practice approach” compatible with a community approach in social philosophy and ethics – the latter in the way principles such as beneficence, mercy, charity, selflessness, hope and trust (chapter 12)
  3. The study of relational phenomena which, beyond “leveling” and contextualization, bear on intersubjectivity and the existence of the “third party” outside the exclusively dyadic perspectives of doctor-patient and teacher-public (chapter 16) – a wise anticipation of the “otherness” phenomenon that is so deeply relevant in today’s psychiatry and psychotherapy

Contradictions

A book of this nature must also examine ancient and current contradictions in the field of so-called Christian psychiatry to assert truth and objectivity. The controversies between Freudian discourses on religion in general – and Christianity and its churches, in particular – are repeatedly evoked, personalizing it in a way in their exchanges and Freud’s final break with Jung.

Beyond that, the Christian vision reflects the numerous confrontations of yesterday and today between psychology and psychiatry (chapter 12). Differing interpretations of the same clinical phenomena, a frequent reality among clinicians, also occur among theologians discussing the religious/spiritual significance of psychopathological behaviors (Chapter 4).

Last but not least, contradictions are recognized and discussed within and between the Christian churches in their examination of psychiatric symptoms, syndromes and illnesses, and – perhaps more profoundly – between the Jews (the first Christians in history) and the black Christians (chapters 14 and 19).

Absences

Finally, a critic must point out absences, omissions and even excesses in the work read, quasi-criticisms which can be quite personal or questionable. A broad and panoramic view of the religious/spiritual perspective as a strong component of ancient and contemporary cultural psychiatry seems to be lacking; some might say that the whole book is a sort of treatise on the subject, but an ontological clarification in the form of a brief chapter might have helped.

The role of the family is mentioned many times, but lacks clear direction and meaning, again from a cultural (not just Christian) point of view. Theoretical speculation was sometimes unavoidable, and simplistic explanations (e.g., slow breathing triggering autonomic nervous system activation) were perhaps so likely due to space reasons.

In short, this volume is a fascinating foray into a field that everyone talks about, but few delve into. It offers excellent historical reviews, valuable clinical experiences, selected didactic pearls and, in its last 3 chapters, significant autobiographies of psychiatrists of different religious denominations sharing a common work rich in essentially human ingredients: psychiatry. As the final paragraphs point out, this perspective helps patients of all religious beliefs and viewpoints, encouraging them and their psychiatrists to integrate faith into the rest of their lives.

This book will also help psychiatrists and other mental health professionals to “stay aware of (their) blind spots and their needs for both God and science”, reaching, in turn, “a grounded view of truth evidence-based, clinically relevant and informed”. by the wisdom of Christianity and its sister traditions.

Dr. Alarcon is emeritus professor emeritus of psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota; Honorio Delgado Chair at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru; and member of the editorial board of Psychiatric timeMT.

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‘Nashville’ and ‘M*A*S*H’ Director Gets an Informal Retrospective in Detroit This Week | Movies | Detroit https://willtoexist.com/nashville-and-mash-director-gets-an-informal-retrospective-in-detroit-this-week-movies-detroit/ Mon, 14 Nov 2022 20:47:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/nashville-and-mash-director-gets-an-informal-retrospective-in-detroit-this-week-movies-detroit/ Click to enlarge United Artists The camera capturing him frequently through the windows, The long goodbye makes private detective Philip Marlowe as much an actor as an observer. In a stroke of luck, Detroit will see two Robert Altman revival screenings this week — and neither is Nashville or of MASH POTATOES. The first, a […]]]>
Click to enlarge

United Artists

The camera capturing him frequently through the windows, The long goodbye makes private detective Philip Marlowe as much an actor as an observer.

In a stroke of luck, Detroit will see two Robert Altman revival screenings this week — and neither is Nashville or of MASH POTATOES. The first, a 1973 update of Raymond Chandler’s book The long goodbye, which will play as part of Cinema Lamont’s “Noirvember” series (organized, I must say, by friends), stands as one of Altman’s most enduring works, visibly and sometimes timidly planting a foot in the past from which he draws inspiration while fixing the other in the atmosphere much of his own present. The second, Vincent and Theo, returns from 1990: the theatrical version of Altman’s Van Gogh-centric miniseries, premiering at the Detroit Film Theater at DIA. Although Altman is best known for his sprawling sets, including Shortcuts, The playerand the films mentioned above – both of these feature films live off the rich eccentricities of their lead performers, making them feel contemporary like portraits of outsiders brimming with life.

long goodbyeThe detective story of feeds on ironic and inevitable collisions of personalities, each character in play crashing against the mumbling, eternally displaced private eye of Elliott Gould. Weaving in and out of dangerous situations, armed with little wit and the fickle help of chance, Leigh Brackett’s screenplay casts Gould’s Philip Marlowe as an unlikely hero stumbling through situations he can barely hope to straighten out. . In this friction – which sees his shabby, singular and charming figure constantly out of its depth – there is a real thrill to be had, even if it resists conventional approaches to the story: twisting familiar rhythms like resolution, rescue and climax.

Altman, always a politically aware filmmaker, makes a home of this uneasy existentialism, sold by its details. With a trajectory that seems wandering, accumulating both character and detail, the pieces of GoodbyeThe world of holds more connections than it appears at first glance, which gives rise to an existential, slightly paranoid vision, which will influence works like The great Lebowski and inherent vice.

Due to the combined and pressurizing logics of detective fiction and narrative economy (as well as the transplantation of history from the 1950s to the 1970s), paranoia becomes a natural mood. For detective novels are defined by the forces of intuition and intuition, a sense that – in the absence of sufficient evidence to form a complete picture – any movement may yield better results than hesitation. .

But Gould’s lanky figure proves more an avatar of stubborn, cunning effort than brute force, and one with some apparent knowledge of the limits of his own power. With “it’s fine with me” forming a kind of cornerstone of its interior monologues, the film seems to admit that intervention to fix small-scale, past, or even larger social ills isn’t always possible. In such an environment, Gould’s tone of relaxed, if slightly bitter skepticism, with a default mode of puzzled observation, comes to seem like the cleanest and most natural response possible. Vilmos Zsigmond’s camera frequently capturing him through windows, bars or networks of interlocking reflections, The long goodbye makes Marlowe hardly so much an actor as an observer. Coming too late to change much, the job of solving a crime becomes the job of assembling and presenting a compelling, or at least believable, story. The job of making films – and adapting previous works – is only so different, but it’s rare to see it done better than it is here.

Vincent and Theo posits eccentricity and instability as character traits, yes, but which also function as responses to a lack of agency or personal power. With Tim Roth playing Van Gogh as an instinctive, above-water figure on the edge of a norm-driven society, carving out a place for himself and his work creates a constant challenge. Despite short-lived intimate ties to an array of women and a close but strained relationship with his considerably more buttoned-up brother Theo (Paul Rhys), something about his disposition and work reliably propels him away from the social centers of financial and social stability. .

But there’s a lot to be gained from those relative margins — something that cinematographer Jean Lépine (who also shot The player‘s backlots, dive bars and alleys) convincingly captures long shots in boudoirs and outdoor landscapes. Beaches, dunes and fields all look like environments with an inherently wild nature, rebelling against the smoothing and shaping impulses of the society they go against. But like Altman’s Marlowe, Vincent de Roth – albeit a bit less comfortably – makes these spaces a home, presenting them as a kind of natural habitat with a distinct vibe and texture that he and the film work on. in parallel to capture.

While yielding to certain biographical rhythms – not quite unlike those captured in Vincente Minneli’s previous thirst for lifeVincent and Theo manages an intimacy with its subject that feels self-reflective at its core. In a scene with a model, Vincent draws her in what is seen as a kind of violation – as she kneels above a chamber pot. When she protests, he’s perplexed, having found some sort of unposed expression in a moment the portrayal of which she calls non-consensual theft. This tension – between presenting an image that is controlled but also open to the flippant, private and accidental – presents a kind of rebellious impropriety that is at the heart of Altman’s directorial work. Equally enticed by flippant mumblings and unprepared artistic models, Altman’s familiar cinema always seems to resist the backlash of generic structures by its early loyalties to its own predilections, whether found in biopics, westerns or black. Filled with sights and sounds that seem too casual not to be stolen or heard, each Altman work is stamped with its own irrepressible, ever-friendly brand.

The long goodbye screens from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 17 at Oloman Cafe; 10215, avenue Joseph Campau, Hamtramck. Vincent and Theo will screen at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 19 at the Detroit Film Theater; 5200 Woodward Avenue, Detroit.

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In school drama ‘Armageddon Time,’ rules prove hard to follow | Movies | Detroit https://willtoexist.com/in-school-drama-armageddon-time-rules-prove-hard-to-follow-movies-detroit/ Mon, 07 Nov 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/in-school-drama-armageddon-time-rules-prove-hard-to-follow-movies-detroit/ Click to enlarge Courtesy of Focus Features Jaylin Webb and Banks Repeta in armageddon time. With armageddon time, James Gray joins the ranks of his middle-aged (and sometimes older) peers eager to revisit, abstractly or directly, the substance and sentiment of their own respective childhoods. With Steven Spielberg The Fabelmans later this month and the […]]]>
Click to enlarge

Courtesy of Focus Features

Jaylin Webb and Banks Repeta in armageddon time.

With armageddon time, James Gray joins the ranks of his middle-aged (and sometimes older) peers eager to revisit, abstractly or directly, the substance and sentiment of their own respective childhoods. With Steven Spielberg The Fabelmans later this month and the release of Celine Sciamma Little mom earlier this year – with PT Anderson’s Licorice Pizza and Richard Linklater Apollo 10 1⁄2 (as good as Childhood a few years ago), something seems to be in the air.

For Gray, the ground here is noticeably more intimate than in the self-reflective Ad Astra or its curious colonial decor Lost City of Z, reflecting the gritty melodramas that made up most of his career. While the white, Jewish and working-class experience of New York’s outlying neighborhoods is not new territory for Gray (see also Little Odessa, Construction sites, two loversand The immigrant), this is an experience of which he questions the premises and the very contexts head-on.

armageddon time opens with a series of classroom disruptions at New York’s PS 173, with two students cementing a quick friendship through a slightly mischievous partnership. Refusing to take their sixth-grade teacher seriously (understandable offense), Paul Graff (Banks Repeta) and Johnny Davis (Jaylin Webb), Jewish (also white) and black respectively, quickly become targets of their teacher, who comes to assume reliably the worst of everyone. With the clown in the classroom being a natural cornerstone of underdog social performance, but one that puts their status at school at risk, the two quickly find themselves locked – and with little alternative – in a cyclical rhythm that places them decisively on the margins of their school community. , and alienating them from even its most basic resources. Gray’s management leaves little doubt as to whether racial identity – as well as a kind of individualistic ‘bootstraps’ ideology plays a part in this, with both boys eager to treat even their early upbringing like a job. by day.

This pre-professional tenure creates ambient pressure on the film’s wide-eyed preteens, though Johnny experiences it with greater sternness and more obvious bias than Paul. Paul, whose mother’s maiden name might once have marked him as Jewish, experiences a freedom Johnny cannot, able to enroll and move about with relative freedom in a white-dominated society. Although working-class, the film makes it clear that Paul enjoys privileges that Johnny’s Blackness leaves him cut off from, with Paul’s social upbringing in this reality and his efforts to account for it in response being the film’s key arc.

At home, the pressures are not very different; Paul’s mother (a stable and convincing Anne Hathaway) and his outspoken and outgoing grandfather hold tightly to his family’s refugee history, pushing their successors – as so many parents do – to succeed (mostly in the sense of “thrive”) in a way their own ancestors could never have imagined. Gray shows that this hope in practice is both understandable and double-edged, bringing harm of various orders (physical, doctrinal, mental, and social) into the lives of children that they are meant to carry to relative greatness. When Paul’s elders discuss his artistic aspirations, his father (a deceptively aged and often frenetic Jeremy Strong) insists that The art of success is the only book on the subject he should care about, dismissing the potential of drawing or painting as anything more than a hobby. The film’s focus, here as elsewhere, remains on Paul’s education in a broader sense, in areas more social than academic, treating Paul’s academic success in the narrow sense of his parents: as a potential passport to the upper echelons of society.

Though pressured and often tough, Gray makes life at Paul’s home just as comfortable on modest terms, with what looks like light amber filters and careful ’70s décor giving his home space a homey feel. and slightly dull. The clear meaning – embodied by all of Paul’s family, the places and the design – is that of a newly acquired stability haunted by the specter of both recent and historic precariousness. Paul’s experience of this reality – and the pressures imposed by the adults and peers around him – is mediated in vivid and viscerally compelling terms, with Darius Khondji’s camera work feeling almost directly in its grip on perceptions from Paul. In most images, a shallow depth of field covers what is not the camera’s main object in a film of dewy gauze; in others, like with a chilling sequence in which a camera almost falls down the stairs, visions of vivid, momentary experiences are much sharper. Navigating the intimacy of youthful experience without lacking thought and attention, Khondji’s camerawork (often seen in David Fincher’s films, and recently in Uncut Gems) proves essential in situating Paul’s experience in relation to those felt both immediately and widely around him.

As elaborated by the film’s array of lessons and variously formal teachers, Paul spends the film’s time navigating conflicting directions and examples pushing him in turn toward resistance and conformity. “Don’t make yourself reprehensible for once,” his grandfather said at early dinner; later, he insists that Paul stand up for justice on both a small and large scale – even in the face of personal risk to himself. But this first lesson is delivered in a concrete case, the second uttered in a more abstract case, calling into question the substance of this alleged moral rule. Rightly so, the film suggests that context is everything – and each social, professional and academic world comes with its own web of protocols and issues that come with respecting it.

But the film’s environmental spheres are not its only context; another key is who, and therefore who others think, you are. Paul’s freedoms, circumscribed as they are, are constantly thrown into stark relief by Johnny’s tumultuous circumstances, which leave less room for success or failure, reliably devoid as he benefits from the doubt. Whether armageddon time has a lesson to offer is that even though across contexts a given rule can barely hold, the grip of hierarchies proves to be much firmer. The film’s dominating world of mythological bootstrap ideology makes almost everything – and especially one’s personal power – extremely uncertain, even if some hold more of it than others. If Gray dramatizes all of this as a problem for his young white avatar instead of those worse off seems questionable as a premise, it can at least be said that he defines this experience of American inequity as not only personally affecting – but as something far, far bigger than itself.

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A Holocaust survivor talks to Paly – Le Campanile https://willtoexist.com/a-holocaust-survivor-talks-to-paly-le-campanile/ Fri, 28 Oct 2022 07:14:18 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/a-holocaust-survivor-talks-to-paly-le-campanile/ HOn Wednesday, locaust survivor Ben Stern spoke to Social Justice Pathway students about his experience during World War II and the importance of learning the stories of survivors. “I want to thank you for giving me the chance to speak,” Stern said. “I know it’s hard to connect (to me), but I’m here to pass […]]]>

HOn Wednesday, locaust survivor Ben Stern spoke to Social Justice Pathway students about his experience during World War II and the importance of learning the stories of survivors.

“I want to thank you for giving me the chance to speak,” Stern said. “I know it’s hard to connect (to me), but I’m here to pass on (my story).”

Stern, 101, was born in Poland in 1921 to Jewish parents. He was separated from his family by the Nazis at age 17 and survived ghettos, death marches and multiple concentration camps. He was liberated by the US military in 1945 and has said he uses his Holocaust experiences to advocate for social justice.

Stern showed the students his award-winning documentary “Near Normal Man” which tells his story as a Jew during the Holocaust.

Stern’s daughter, Charlene Stern, accompanied him to the speakers’ event. Charlene Stern is writing a book about her father’s experience, which will be released next week on Amazon’s Barnes and Noble.

Charlene Stern said the main idea she wanted students to take away from the event was that the best way to fight injustice is to have compassion for others.

“Weapons of courage, kindness and hope are the best way to live a life of integrity, purpose and meaning,” said Charlene Stern. “I encourage everyone to find their courage, kindness and hope because you never know what life has in store for you.”

Eleventh-grade Social Justice Pathway English teacher Mark Tolentino said he invited Ben and Charlene Stern to speak because SJP students study existentialism in the memoir “Night,” written by the survivor of the Holocaust Elie Wiesel.

“We explore existence and religion, and the role they play (in the book),” Tolentino said. “Students were bringing these theories into their interpretation of Night.”

Tolentino also said the speakers’ event was a rare opportunity to bring history to life.

“Unfortunately, Holocaust survivors are getting old,” Tolentino said. “We don’t have many more opportunities to have this (event).”

SJP student Eloise Dumas said the audience was filled with emotion at the event.

“(Ben and Charlene) are so well spoken and deep,” Dumas said. “People were crying in the audience.”

Dumas also said the speakers’ event was helpful in putting into perspective what the students had learned.

“You’ve read about the Holocaust, but it’s not so real to you,” Dumas said. “But then you get someone who is a real Holocaust survivor, and that makes it so much more real.”

Charlene Stern said Ben Stern’s mission to stand up for oppressed groups and show kindness to everyone following his experiences in the Holocaust was inspiring.

“My father’s story is the story of someone who lost everything,” said Charlene Stern. “He got up, let go of the hate and opened his heart to the world.”

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Official opening of a new bookstore in downtown Twin Falls https://willtoexist.com/official-opening-of-a-new-bookstore-in-downtown-twin-falls/ Mon, 24 Oct 2022 16:23:31 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/official-opening-of-a-new-bookstore-in-downtown-twin-falls/ Attention all bookworms! You officially have an awesome place in downtown Twin Falls, a new and fresh place to discover unique books in a wonderful atmosphere. DAP Books is located on Main in downtown Twin Falls, and you have to go check it out. DAP Books in Downtown Twin Falls DAP is also a publishing […]]]>

Attention all bookworms! You officially have an awesome place in downtown Twin Falls, a new and fresh place to discover unique books in a wonderful atmosphere. DAP Books is located on Main in downtown Twin Falls, and you have to go check it out.

DAP Books in Downtown Twin Falls

DAP is also a publishing house. Di Angelo Publications has been around for 14 years in the Twin Falls area, and now they have their own brick-and-mortar location. They are currently open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

What DAP plans to do

The publishing house plans to hold more events where authors can come, sign their books, meet clients, and more. They also have a book club that you can join. Every month they send you a book to read. Many of these authors are not exactly James Patterson, although they also have these kinds of books. They are always amazing authors who may not have been picked up by other publishing houses. They also hope to organize events for children, and they even have a reading corner for children.

They are looking for more local writers

If you are someone in the area who has written a book and would like to have it published, they may be able to help you. They said they are always on the lookout for new writers and opportunities to publish amazing stories. They have everything from classics to unique new books.

KEEP READING: See notable new words that were coined the year you were born

KEEP READING: Scroll to see what the headlines were the year you were born

Here’s a look at the headlines that have captured the moment, spread the word and helped shape public opinion over the past 100 years.
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In Nosferatu the Vampire, Werner Herzog made Dracula a spiritual scourge https://willtoexist.com/in-nosferatu-the-vampire-werner-herzog-made-dracula-a-spiritual-scourge/ Sat, 22 Oct 2022 13:21:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/in-nosferatu-the-vampire-werner-herzog-made-dracula-a-spiritual-scourge/ “Nosferatu the Vampire” brought a dose of post-war existentialism to the Dracula mythos. For one thing, Kinski’s Count Dracula, here restored to his rightful name, evokes more likability as a character than Max Schreck’s Count Orlok. On the other hand, it seems to open a deeper abyss in the souls of Lucy, Jonathan and Wismar. […]]]>

“Nosferatu the Vampire” brought a dose of post-war existentialism to the Dracula mythos. For one thing, Kinski’s Count Dracula, here restored to his rightful name, evokes more likability as a character than Max Schreck’s Count Orlok. On the other hand, it seems to open a deeper abyss in the souls of Lucy, Jonathan and Wismar.

As TV Guide notes, Herzog felt that “the 1922 film sketched the rise of Nazism in Germany”, and in fact one of his own actors, Walter Ladengast, who plays Dr. Van Helsing, was reportedly a sympathizer. Nazi. The Jewish Virtual Library helps shed light on how images like the cover of the anti-Semitic novel ‘Jew Jokes’ may have spread through the silent Orlok in anti-Semitic children’s books like ‘The Poisonous Mushroom’ and Nazi propaganda films like “The Eternal Jew”.

It’s a disturbing thing. By the end of the 1970s, however, World War II was long over and what was left was “a fatherless generation”, as Herzog called it in a 1978 New York Times interview. This is the same interview where he set out his intention for “Nosferatu the Vampire” as “a parable about the fragility of order in a staid, bourgeois city”.

This fragility extends to the individual human psyche and its own sense of truth and stability. En route to Dracula’s castle in Transylvania, Jonathan Harker encounters locals who warn in their language of “a great chasm” that “swallows the unwary”. A translator told him:

“The gypsies here said such a castle does not exist, except perhaps in the imagination of man. Just ruin, they say. A ghost castle. A traveler who enters this land of ghosts is lost and can never return.”

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Kelly Writers House hosts poet Jerome Rothenberg for a reading of his new book https://willtoexist.com/kelly-writers-house-hosts-poet-jerome-rothenberg-for-a-reading-of-his-new-book/ Mon, 03 Oct 2022 04:43:13 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/kelly-writers-house-hosts-poet-jerome-rothenberg-for-a-reading-of-his-new-book/ Kelly Writer’s House on October 15, 2022. Credit: Max Mester Poet Jerome Rothenberg visited the Kelly Writers House on September 29 to read poems from his most recent book, “In the Shadow of a Mad King.” A mix of Penn’s Philadelphia students, faculty and community members gathered Thursday night at the Kelly Writers House to […]]]>

Kelly Writer’s House on October 15, 2022. Credit: Max Mester

Poet Jerome Rothenberg visited the Kelly Writers House on September 29 to read poems from his most recent book, “In the Shadow of a Mad King.”

A mix of Penn’s Philadelphia students, faculty and community members gathered Thursday night at the Kelly Writers House to watch the reading. Additionally, the KWH community celebrated Rothenberg’s 90th birthday at the event and recognized Rothenberg for his contributions to the literary community.

Rothenberg is an internationally renowned poet, translator, anthologist and performer. “In the Shadow of a Mad King” reflects on contemporary leadership and is the newest addition to more than 90 books he has published.

Professor Penn English and KWH Faculty Director Al Filreis welcomed Rothenberg, acknowledging his contributions to the literary community and reading a quote from his book – Pre-Faces & Other Writings – on the importance of hearing poetry.

“In the poetry of our time, with its use of approximate and highly individualized notation, a poem’s meter (and much of its meaning) is equally clear only when pronounced: in this case , sounded by its author, ” Filreis read aloud.

Throughout his decades-long career, Rothenberg strove to perpetuate the oral and written literary legacy of the vanishing world in modern literature. He drew inspiration from many global cultural movements, including Dadaism, North American Indian culture, Japanese literature, and personal ties to the Jewish community. He is also well known for his work in ethnopoetics, a field that combines poetry, linguistics, anthropology and ethnology.

“Jerry writes in all forms. He cares about other poets, about the poetic community,” Filreis said. “He cares about his own European origins and the importance of European modernism. And he brings out all these interesting concerns in poetry.

From ‘To Dream Infinity’ to ‘Coda’, the poems recited by Rothenberg hone in on a theme of various authoritarian figures in society past and present, exposing the world of deception and manipulation that surrounds our world’s rulers. . Accompanied by illustrations by his granddaughter Sadie Rothenberg, his poems aimed to take listeners on a journey into the mind and operations of a mad king.

Audience members, like Lila Shermeta, a sophomore at the College, said the images and metaphors grabbed them.

Shermeta – who is also a staff member of Under the Button – first heard of Rothenberg through the modern poetry class and said she loved hearing his poems in person. Her favorite poem of the evening was “Times are never good”.

“It was like [the poem] everything rekindled when he read about existentialism, fear and failing democracies. And he brought it back to how we have this anxiety inside of ourselves, but it doesn’t really matter too much because you’re here, and so am I,” Shermeta said.

KWH was founded in 1995 to serve as a home for Penn and Philadelphia writers and runs dozens of programs and projects each semester.

Filreis said KWH has been hosting poetry events since its founding because poetry is at the heart of everything KWH and its writers do.

“Poetry is the only form of writing that is almost always more concerned with the ‘how’ than the ‘what’. Poetry is only interesting in the way it says what it says… The idea of ​​a poem is to encounter a way of saying something and this way is difficult, complicated, open. And that’s why we’re going back,” Filreis said.

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Where are we? The problem of body, brain and soul https://willtoexist.com/where-are-we-the-problem-of-body-brain-and-soul/ Sun, 02 Oct 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/where-are-we-the-problem-of-body-brain-and-soul/ What can the philosophy of mind teach us about our place in nature? Humanity’s position in the order of Being may seem too vast or too mystical a destination to be reached by what is often a rather dry branch of philosophy. At the very least, you might find it odd that the inquiry into […]]]>

What can the philosophy of mind teach us about our place in nature?

Humanity’s position in the order of Being may seem too vast or too mystical a destination to be reached by what is often a rather dry branch of philosophy. At the very least, you might find it odd that the inquiry into what lies between our ears has anything to say about Being, or nature, as a whole.

But I think so. And a philosopher who shows us this is the German Jewish thinker Hans Jonas (1903-1993).

mind and body

Most philosophers of mind approach the subject in two ways, and Jonas is no different.

The first step is to look “inside” and study the contents and structures of subjectivity: the will, for example, or the imagination. What does this imply concretely? The second step is to look “outward” to where the mind is in the world. Is it anchored in the brain?

Many – perhaps most – contemporary philosophers would answer “yes” to this last question. Some of these philosophers would go on to claim that only human beings, who have very large brains relative to our body size, are conscious. A larger proportion would probably go further than that and argue that many non-human animals are also conscious.

However, few philosophers would say no; the mind is not just located in the brain – it is located in the the whole body of a living organism present in everything forms of life: human, animal and even vegetable.

The reason this is a rare sight might be, admittedly, because it looks a bit crazy at first. If we can be sure of anything, then we can be sure that goldfish aren’t composing poetry in their heads, and dandelions aren’t making plans for the weekend. But the are compelling versions of the idea that consciousness spreads, albeit unevenly, through the living world – and Jonas’ philosophy is one of them.

Jonas’ starting point is to insist on the unity of mind and body as a whole, not just mind and brain. As far as he’s concerned, you don’t have a body – you are your body.

Jonas’ starting point is to insist on the unity of mind and body as a whole, not just mind and brain. As far as he’s concerned, you don’t have a body – you are your body.

This idea not only runs counter to a long history of thinking of us as souls inhabiting bodies, but also to science fiction stories like The matrix and Avatar, which suggest that the mind could be uploaded to a computer or other organism. Jonas rather believes in unity of mind and body. He does this because when we turn inward and examine our inner mental life, we find that whether we think, feel, remember, imagine or desire, our body is always there, giving structure to these acts of subjectivity.

Suppose, for example, that I think of a conversation I had with a friend that became controversial. I could ruminate on the words he said, the words I said, and think about exactly when the tension arose and why. But words alone would only tell half the story. I would also have to think back to our gestures, the intonation of our voices, the posture of our bodies and the physical space that separates us to capture the full meaning of our conversation.

In other words, the communication of thoughts and feelings is inherently embodied. And it’s not just the conversation itself that takes this form – even my memory it’s bodily in that I felt a tightness in my chest and my blood pressure rose as I relived the argument.

Jonas asserts that each of our thoughts and actions is made possible by the body and structured by it to a greater or lesser extent. And in his hands, that insight acts as a key to unlocking a new perspective on the world and our place in it.

Hans Jonas (Source: Kritische Gesamtausgabe der Werke von Hans Jonas)

The embodied spirit and life

So far, Jonas’ ideas are only mildly countercultural. Where he goes next in his quest to reconnect us to the living world is Woodstock, a philosopher in his own right.

Because our embodied minds (or conscious bodies, if you prefer) give us a clue to the nature of reality, the immediate evidence each of us has of our bodily consciousness tells us that matter can have interiorityinteriority.

We know, in other words, that at least part of the objective world is also inseparably subjective. And, of course, since the living human body is a product of nature, as the theory of evolution shows, this means that the mind, too, is an outgrowth of the natural world.

Because our embodied spirits give us a clue to the nature of reality, the immediate evidence each of us has of our bodily consciousness tells us that matter can have interiorityinteriority.

Here we are faced with a kind of enigma. However, as he could that the mind, although rooted in the whole living body, is only a late evolutionary adaptation of human beings – like opposable thumbs, for example, or the fact that we have to raise our children for an extremely long and exhausting adolescence. (The offspring of other animals steal the nest sooner, and everyone involved is probably happier about it.)

But Jonas argues that the opposite is true: that spirit is present in non-human life and that evidence of this can be found in even the most basic single-celled organism.

This is a bold, almost heretical claim. But just as the conversation between me and my friend showed embodied spirits at work, so have the actions of plants and animals. As such, Jonas argues that we can study the natural world for subjectivity as evidenced by the behavior of living things.

While animals are incapable of speech and abstract thought, a more basic consciousness is identifiable in their capacity for emotion and locomotion. Think, for example, of a cat stalking its prey, showing intention and anticipation. One might also recall how a lowly woodlouse will curl up into a ball as the first sign of threat, a response that suggests self-preservation. And even the limited behavior of the plants betrays a trace of subjectivity. In a flower, there is nothing more complex than emotion and locomotion but rather a progressive movement towards light, water and minerals in order to survive. Plants cannot think or feel, but can sense certain aspects of their environment.

All forms of life, as complex or primitive as they are, have a share of freedom and openness to the world because this is what is necessary to live, to continue to be

What do all these examples have in common? Jonas’ response is that they represent degrees of “openness” to the world and the freedom to act within it. All forms of life, as complex or primitive as they are, have a share of freedom and openness to the world because this is what is necessary to live, to continue to be. Jonas’s philosophy of spirit thus leads to a theory of Being in which life occupies a prominent place, and man represents its apogee.

Some readers will think this is simply anthropomorphic: that Jonah mistakenly projects the human mind onto animals, plants, and fungi, perhaps because he consumes too much of them.

However, other readers, like me, find inspiration in his philosophy – and even some comfort. Because if Jonas is right, and humanity’s place in nature is at the top of a scale of living beings characterized by freedom and openness to the world, then we are not separate from the rest of the alive and simply alive in nature. On the contrary, we belong to him.

That way we can feel a little more at home in the world – and that’s not a bad place for a philosophy of mind to land.

[Editor’s note]: It’s exciting to see philosophers and cognitive scientists pushing the boundaries of consciousness. My only hope is that they go even further. In classical Jewish thought, there is a universal consciousness that permeates all the material world and beyond, as Isaiah wrote “the whole world is filled with his glory”.

Yes, plants, animals, and even our individual cells exhibit a type of consciousness. Some even seeing some kind of consciousness at work in inanimate matter when observing phenomena like water and rock cycles.

We would say, however, that Jonas’ idea that “you are your body” is incomplete. This would not solve the mind/body problem because we would simply be forced to ask “if we cannot explain how a brain is able to generate consciousness, how could we expect the rest of the body to succeed?” In the Jewish way of thinking, our essence/consciousness/soul and our body are more connected than people realize, but the soul is not imprisoned in the brain, body or any other material entity.

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Paulo Freire, the “pedagogue of the oppressed”: is this a good choice for Jesus? https://willtoexist.com/paulo-freire-the-pedagogue-of-the-oppressed-is-this-a-good-choice-for-jesus/ Tue, 20 Sep 2022 03:30:14 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/paulo-freire-the-pedagogue-of-the-oppressed-is-this-a-good-choice-for-jesus/ William Herzog believes that Jesus stood with the poor in the conflict between power and powerlessness. Paulo Freire was a Brazilian activist and scholar. He taught, and led others to teach, literacy to poor, oppressed, and despised people in northeast Brazil. Teaching for Freire was not just about imparting knowledge and skills. The purpose of […]]]>

William Herzog believes that Jesus stood with the poor in the conflict between power and powerlessness.

Paulo Freire was a Brazilian activist and scholar. He taught, and led others to teach, literacy to poor, oppressed, and despised people in northeast Brazil. Teaching for Freire was not just about imparting knowledge and skills. The purpose of education, he believed, was to help people discover themselves as “creative agents” rising up and changing their world. Before being vindicated by the global academic community, Freire was imprisoned as a threat to Brazil’s elite. This was after a CIA-assisted coup replaced Brazil’s once-supportive leftist government.

Does Freire’s career as a teacher of the oppressed bear enough resemblance to the work of Jesus to make it a good model? William Herzog thinks so. There is the biblical account of the many times Jesus referred to poverty, wealth, debt, and the working conditions of the poor in sermons and parables. Then there is the fact that Jesus was also an enemy of the state, or was crucified as such. Herzog, along with many others, explains that the Roman overlords of Palestine must have seen Jesus as a threat to their status and luxurious living, both of which came at the expense of the poor.

Paulo Freire and Jesus: Differences and Similarities

If Paulo Freire, as a pedagogue of the oppressed, is our model for understanding Jesus, then we should see similarities between everyone’s journeys. But the differences first strike the observer. Herzog, in Parables as subversive discoursechapter one, (see note below) details:

  • Jesus was a poor villager and unknown to the whole world. Freire experienced poverty during the Great Depression, but came from a middle-class, urban family background and achieved worldwide fame.
  • Jesus did not teach letters to the illiterate. He may not even have known the letters very well. Freire has written books and been published worldwide.
  • Freire was familiar with the intellectual currents of the time, including Marxism, existentialism, and liberation theology. The only source of wisdom learned from Jesus was the Jewish scriptures. He knew how the rabbis interpreted the scriptures and developed his own reading of them.
  • The Palestine of Jesus was occupied by Roman lords. Freire’s Brazil had been an independent country for a century and a half.

With all these differences, the similarities are still significant.

  • Both Jesus and Freire were educators with a special interest in the poor.
  • Both teachers lived in advanced agrarian societies. Jesus mainly ministered among the poor peasants. Freire was more often among the rural poor, less often among the peasants. But the agrarian peasants of both eras were familiar with urban systems; they depended on them. Freire’s peasant clientele was similar to that of Jesus’ time for another reason, as the next point explains.
  • Even though Freire’s Brazil had been independent for a century and a half, the colonial mentality was as strong there, both among the rich and the poor, as among the contemporaries of Jesus.
  • In both societies, religious influence was strong, and prominent religious figures identified and shared interests with the urban elite. Religion has blessed the separation of classes and the impoverishment of the poor by the rich.

Why a model?

William Herzog’s method of interpreting the sources we have for the life of Jesus (mainly the Bible) differs from that of many scholars. It is not enough, he says, to collect and analyze historical data and let that fund lead to historical conclusions. These data are too incomplete and obscure. The interpretation will necessarily depend on the vision that the interpreter has of the world and its possibilities. In fact, the conclusions interpreters draw are about as numerous and contradictory as the mindsets they bring to their task. The problem, according to Herzog, is focusing so intensely on the data that personal biases operate in the background, hidden from consciousness.

A better procedure is to work upside down. Start with a tentative conclusion, or model, based on preliminary and rough knowledge of historical data. Then, see how well or poorly the model scales to further analysis of the data. Modify the model or discard the model as needed for the data. This procedure highlights personal biases.

“Generative Words” and Word Pictures

As Herzog explains what Paulo Freire meant by “pedagogy of the oppressed,” we begin to see more similarities between this model and Jesus.

Brazil had literacy programs for the poor before Freire came on the scene. He called them “paternalistic”. Their textbooks relied on middle-class and elite words and images. This prompted peasants, who valued literacy, to devalue their own language and culture. Likewise, the elite of Jesus’ time had ways of devaluing the life experience of the poor.

Unlike these government-sponsored literacy programs, Freire studied the vocabulary of peasants and the urban poor. He chose “generative words”, words with a rich meaning and relevant to people’s lives. Kim Diaz, in an Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Paulo Freire, says it could be a word like tijolo (brick). Paraphrasing Diaz:

A teacher would break the word down into its syllables (ti-jo-lo). Students would then practice pairing consonants with different vowels (ta, te, ti, to, tu; ja, je, ji, jo, ju; la, le, li, lo, lu). They would combine the new syllables to form new words. Words like “land”, “economy” and “culture” can crop up and be discussed. During the conversation, the class might arrive at a “borderline,” a problem that the participants and the facilitator, working together, could find a way through or around.

We already see a certain similarity with Jesus. Freire’s literacy program used words that captured the rich life experience of the poor. The parables of Jesus drew verbal pictures of common peasant experiences. Did these images of words also evoke something like Paulo Freire’s “borderline situations” for the peasant listeners of Jesus? This is what Herzog tries to show in his detailed analysis of several parables of Jesus. And this will be the theme of the next articles.

Image credit: Quotefancy


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To be wrong about fascism | Gene Veith https://willtoexist.com/to-be-wrong-about-fascism-gene-veith/ Wed, 14 Sep 2022 10:04:36 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/to-be-wrong-about-fascism-gene-veith/ “You keep using that word,” Inigo Montoya said in Princess Bride. “I don’t think it means what you think it means.” The word they were referring to was “inconceivable”. The statement also applies to the word “fascism”. President Biden calls Donald Trump and his supporters “semi-fascists”. Progressives frequently warn that Republicans are “fascists.” The term […]]]>

“You keep using that word,” Inigo Montoya said in Princess Bride. “I don’t think it means what you think it means.” The word they were referring to was “inconceivable”. The statement also applies to the word “fascism”.

President Biden calls Donald Trump and his supporters “semi-fascists”. Progressives frequently warn that Republicans are “fascists.”

The term has become, as has been said, a general term of abuse. But it has a specific historical significance. Fascism, as a political and economic ideology, refers to a system in which the state controls everything. It’s a totalitarian, which means that the scope of the government is total. Communism is also totalitarian, but Fascism sticks to “national socialism,” which allows for private ownership in an economy totally run by the state. It is collectivist, in that it opposes individualism, civil liberties, and all forms of dissent, with the aim of creating a single national body.

Trump could without charity be accused of being a demagogue or even a so-called authoritarian, but that does not make him a fascist or even a “semi-fascist”. Those who believe in small, limited the government cannot be fascist.

Lance Morrow – who is not a fan of Trump – explains it in his the wall street journal column titled Biden’s Speech Had It All Backward with the bridge “Biden Democrats Seek One-Party State. Trump supporters want freedom from government power. The room is behind a paywall, but here’s a sample:

If there are fascists in America these days, they are likely to be found among left-wing tribes. This is Mr. Biden and his people (including the lion’s share of the media), whose views have, since January 6, 2021, hardened in absolute faith that any party or political belief system other than theirs is illegitimate – impermissible, inhumane, monstrous and (a nice touch) a threat to democracy. The evolution of their overprivileged emotions – their fanatical sentimentality – led them, in 2022, to adopt Mussolini’s formula: “All in the state, nothing out of the state, nothing against the state”. . . .

Believe it or not, Mr. Trump and his supporters are essentially anti-fascists: they want the state to stand aside, impose as little interference as possible, and allow market forces and entrepreneurial energies to work. Freedom is not fascism. Mr. Biden and his vast tribe are essentially enemies of freedom, although most of them have not given the matter much thought. Freedom, the essential American value, is not on their minds. They desire maximum, that is, total, state or party control over every aspect of American life, including what people say and think.

I wrote a book on the subject, Modern Fascism, which shows that ideology was a modernist phenomenon, favored by the modernist vanguard, as illustrated by the poet Ezra Pound, and more precisely the faction of modernism which would evolve into postmodernism. This is evident in the commitment to the Nazi party of Heidegger, whose brand of existentialism was the basis of postmodernism, and of Paul DeMan, who is the father of “deconstruction”. I also examine the centrality of ‘will’ to fascist thinkers, which has survived today in ‘pro-choice’ ethics. Fascist religion ranged from overt neopaganism to theologians who sought to purge Christianity of its “Jewish” elements—that is, of the Bible—by employing higher criticism and rejecting biblical authority.

There are other elements of fascism in which I touch – including Darwinism, eugenics and anti-rationalism – but I show that it is anything but “conservative”.

Sure, you can get to fascism from the right – I worry about “conservative” intellectuals flirting with “illiberalism” – but right now that mindset is more evident on the left.

Photo by Alisdare Hickson from Canterbury, UK, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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