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Stories We Live By

The Stories We Live By

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Retelling our own life stories that are creative and hopeful rather living as victims and in despair.

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Four elements could be found defining social life in most societies: Moral rules were handed down by the God(s) and were inviolate. The most powerful of the God(s) were male. Human beings lived in tribes and loyalty to the tribe superceded loyalty to the individual. The controlling individuals within the tribe were mostly male and the most admired males were those who had proved themselves as warriors. The role of women was defined by their ability to procreate and and support and obey the warrior class. The pushback against the anarchy of modernity involved recreating tribal lives that operated by those moral rules that had been historically forged in humanity's struggle to survvive and exist as evolutionary imperatives.
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By the 21st century it appeared that science was seen as the ultimate source of truth, that technology was the basis of a good life, that God was dead and atheism ruled supreme, that sexual pleasure had been liberated from... more

The current political scene often seems to pit liberals against conservatives with Democrats defined as liberal and Republicans cast as conservative. I suggest that the current political struggles do not reflect the traditional... more

Two related stories dominate today's broadcast. The first derives from a fine movie entitled "Hanah Arendt," a philosopher who covered the Adolf Eichman trial in Israel and a New York Times article (3/2/2015) entitled "How We Learned... more

In today's story we will continue with the metaphor of cancerous ideas spreading throughout a society and its body politic. The murder of innocents in France, Denmark and other world capitols supposedly bastions of democracy frighten... more

How can we understand the stories that motivate the murderous behavior of Islamic groups such as Isis, Al Queda, and Boko Haram? In my last podcast I suggested that such organizations have always been a part of the human... more

Like many others I am horrified by the lastest activities of those justifying the mass murder of innocents in the name of Islamic Jihad. As a psychologist I feel compelled to try and explain such behaviors believing that only understanding... more

Today's discussion deals with a story in the New York Times of Saturday, October 11th by Michael S. A. Graziano entitled "Are we really Conscious?" Dr. Graziano is a distinguised scientist working in Princeton University, one of America's... more

We wonder why Robin Williams, beloved by everyone, wealthy, funny and talented would hang himself. We constantly hear ourselves and others say "But he had everything!" The official story demands that we believe that he... more

I will tell the story of my work with several individuals suffering from so-called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. I will widen the story's focus to include the role that war has in making human life meaningful and how the way... more

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