Scientology – Useful or not?

Scientology

By Stephen Russell-Lacy. Several spiritual movements offer courses and counselling for self-development. Their teachings form an inherent part of these. They claim we will gain increased emotional well-being and quality of life. Scientology is an example. It offers to remove hidden emotional pain within a person. The appeal is to those who wish to find … Continue reading Scientology – Useful or not?

Free choice – An illusion?

free choice

By Stephen Russell-Lacy. Question – How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? Answer – one, but the light bulb has got to want to change. According to award winning professor of psychiatry Irvin Yalom, this idea of free choice (also called free-will) presents a problem to many psychological therapists. Their goal … Continue reading Free choice – An illusion?

Materialistic thinking – rational?

materialistic

A materialistic way of thinking assumes that science is the be-all and end-all of human knowledge. Those who have this outlook claim that the methods of science are the only reliable ways to secure knowledge of anything “Science provides all the significant truths about reality and knowing such truths is what real understanding is about.” (Alex Rosenberg, … Continue reading Materialistic thinking – rational?

Consciousness – Can science explain it?

With advances in brain scanning equipment, neuroscience can now observe human consciousness — seeing what the brain is doing when the person is aware of remembering, imagining, feeling, thinking and even making choices. Before the invention of this technology, it had been well known that when a brain is damaged, then the mind doesn’t work so … Continue reading Consciousness – Can science explain it?

The Zombie Survival Guide

by Max Brooks Published by Duckworth 2009 ISBN 978 0 7156 5318 2

Are you alive and kicking? Not so sure? Perhaps you feel your own level of vitality, vim, and vigour are at a low ebb. If so The Zombie Survival Guide may be for you. It is a self-help book with a difference. It purports to protect the reader from entities called zombies. These fantasy creatures have became popular in modern horror fiction since the success of the 1968 film Night of the Living Dead. They are portrayed as lifeless, sterile and apathetic, supposedly roaming around with a shambling awkward limp, and experiencing little or no physical sensation or emotion. The popular myth is that they are either re-animated human corpses or human beings controlled by someone else by magic. In either case they are said to be devoid of life of their own, and so assumed to be wanting to suck the life-blood from those who get into their clutches. If they get hold of you the book suggests this would be a living death and it aims to give practical advice about how to avoid this peril.

Yes, it all sounds rather macabre but I do wonder if this is a potent symbol for our times.