Sunday, June 26, 2016

Wilderness Meditation: Being Alone With Ourselves

The angst that we sometimes feel when we are alone can be a moment of contact with ourselves--if we do not escape the contact with distractions. Mountains, rivers, canyons, and oceans all present us with an opportunity to be alone with ourselves, in the presence of something greater and powerful than our individual sense of ego (I). In this wilderness meditation Dr. Giobbi explores how moments of isolation can help us to come into contact with ourselves and others.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Wilderness Meditation: The Choice to be Free

We live in a historical, social moment in which causal determinism  seems to be the default assumption of human experience. Ready made explanations about genetic determinism or environmental determinism have all but eliminated the agency of willful action. When William James, suffering from a depressive state in the face of a deterministic world--one which we take as granted today, read the essays on free will by the French philosopher Charles Renouvier, he immediately lifted from his despair. "My first act of free will," proclaimed James, "shall be to believe in free will."

The will, what many philosophers claim to be the defining human characteristic, is evident in our choice to create for the sake of creation--what we call art. In this meditation we explore the ideas of determinism and the human agency of willful choice in existence.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Wilderness Meditation: Seeing Through Social Fictions

In this wilderness meditation outing we explore how increased awareness can lead to liberation from social structures that we take for natural realities. Edmund Husserl used the term captivation-in-an-acceptedness, to describe how we take some things in our lives as being normal, natural, truths; the way things are. Many of these social constructs (such as the admiration of success and the inherent goodness of progress), if left unchecked, can be toxic to our lives. Meditation can help us to become aware of our thrownness in society, and to question the social beliefs and systems that we never thought to question. The phenomenological attitude provides us with the tools for breaking the chains of illusion.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Wilderness Meditation: Making Contact With our Environment

As we walk through the wilderness we remain mindful of the here and now. We cultivate closer contact with our environment; both internal and external. We say, "Now I am seeing a flower," or "At this moment I smell the musk of the deer."

Our goal is to be fully present, to experience the phenomenology of our senses and our emotions. We engage existentially in responsibility and willful choice. Memory (past) and fantasy (future) are forgotten. Contacting our environment serves as an opening for growth and change.

The Marketing Character

This blog originally appeared on October 23, 2011.

When Jean-Paul Sartre described a life lived etre de mauvaise foi he was not speaking so much of dishonesty or destructiveness to others, but rather, a dishonesty to oneself. The bad faith examined by Sartre is the life lived in what Heidegger called fallenness. Heidegger described the person who has become lost in culture, buried so deeply in the layers of the social that the authentic self is concealed. Heidegger does not isolate the self from culture; however, he does describe authenticity as a remembering or awareness of the identification with culture. This is the soul of Sartre’s bad faith -a life completely forgotten in the isolated spectacle of the manufactured desire.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Hiking Meditation in Wind Gap, Pennsylvania

In his first published book, Nature, Ralph Waldo Emerson describes the spiritual and healing qualities of nature. Influenced by the philosophy of Immanuel Kant and the British Romanticists, Emerson joined in the concern over the loss of the individual to the industrialized, technologize, progress-obsessed, Enlightenment tradition. Where and how will humankind fill and express their spiritual needs in the age of "objective" science? When Friedrich Nietzsche read Emerson's words in a German translation, he quickly took Emerson to be the greatest of American thinkers. We find a great affinity between Nietzsche and Emerson.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Introduction to a Humanities based Psychology

Contemporary academic psychology is dominated by schools of thought that propose psychology as a natural science. However, there are approaches that critique the assumption that psychology can be a natural science and offer an option to the hegemony of natural science based psychology. In this lecture I introduce psychology as a part of the humanities.

Part 2 (Dilthey & Habermas)
Part 3 (Spranger & Jaspers)
Part 4 (Phenomenology & Existentialism)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Freud & The Cocaine Episode in Context

This essay was originally posted on January 5, 2015

Coca in Context: From The Andes to Paris & Atlanta
An early documentation of the use of the medicinal properties of the coca plant came from the Spanish friar, Vincente de Valverde, reporting on the importance of the coca tree to the Incas:
"...coca, which is the leaf of a small tree that resembles the sumac found in our own Castile, is one thing that the Indians are ne'er without in their mouths, that they say sustains them and gives them refreshment, so that, even under the sun they feel not the heat, and it is worth its weight in gold in these parts, accounting for the major portion of the tithes."1

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Myth of Freud's Iceberg Model

Originally published on February 29, 2012

The 1933 illustration Freud used to depict the psyche.
About ten years ago I was heading to teach a class in introductory psychology at a small liberal arts college in Pennsylvania. As I walked passed the social sciences office I encountered a box of books marked "free". Little did I know that the box contained an out of print gem, Robert C. Bolles' The Story of Psychology: A Thematic History.