Tag: Key Concepts

The Lamed-Vov (Thirty-Six Hidden Saints)


Photo by George Keenan. The fields of humanistic and transpersonal psychology today are enlarged by the wisdom of the world’s great spiritual traditions. In this light, one of the oldest and most profound Jewish legends is that of the 36 hidden just persons, known in Yiddish as the Lamed-vovniks (lamed-vov means “thirty-six” in Hebrew). Tradition… Read more »

Just Walking Each Other Home: Nostalgia and Spiritual Longing


Last month, during the Society for Humanistic Psychology Conference at Sofia University, I had the honor of attending a presentation by Elizabeth Wolfson centering on creativity in midlife. Toward the beginning of her talk, Elizabeth posed the question, “What is nostalgia?” I responded with the first and truest answer that bubbled right up out of… Read more »

Relationships, Anxiety, Depression, and Bad Faith


In the early phase of any evolving relationship, we humans present a certain persona or enact a certain role, depending on what we want or are seeking. The ability to use different personas differentiates us from other species. With some exceptions, other species know only one mode—authenticity. In people who have come to value authenticity,… Read more »

The Two-Way Mirror: Projection, Responsibility, and Connection


Here in Chicago, we have been experiencing the first tantalizing hints of spring after the coldest winter on record. I am giddy with excitement to see the tips of tiny daffodil shoots poking shyly through the soil. The weeping willows that line our yard have quite suddenly and boldly sported the yellow tone that heralds… Read more »

April is Parkinsonês Awareness Month


Painting by John Creveling. There was a time when I was not aware that April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month. That changed when my husband, John, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) five years ago on March 31st—what he wishes had been an early “April Fools” joke but wasn’t. While we did not choose the PD… Read more »

Dostoyevsky Out Of Context


Kazimir Malevich was punished by Stalin’s regime for creating bourgeois art. Stalin expected that all art reflect Communist beliefs: it was expected to be realist and populist. Malevich’s cubist works attempted to reduce scenes to their most basic visual elements, culminating in the infamous “black square.” His works were seized, some burned, and he was… Read more »

Mystery, Uncertainty, and Death in the Ural Mountains: Part II: Uncertainty = Terror, But Mystery = Uncertainty, So…?


Uncertainty is one of our greatest imaginary foes while mystery is our idol. How can that be? On the one hand, people don’t stomach uncertainty too well—they plan their future, follow five-year plans, have career trajectories, have goals of doing some things by certain ages, whether it’s graduating from school or buying a house, etc…. Read more »

Mystery, Uncertainty, and Death in the Ural Mountains: Part I: Addicted to Mystery?


Mystery is typically something that eludes our human understanding, something that cannot be fully explained. Maybe it is a bit of an enigma, getting a whiff of the forbidden fruit without getting the full taste. Mysteries fascinate and attract us: this attraction is part of the reason we have movements like science, which strive, above… Read more »