Category Archives: Psychology

In Defense of Making Mistakes

In my first year on the faculty at St. John’s College, a senior colleague sat down beside me at lunch and asked what classes I was teaching. After I told him, he grinned and gave me some hopeless advice: “It’s … Continue reading

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From the Annals of “Easier Said than Done”

I recently came across this gem in Jon Kabat-Zinn’s fine book, Wherever You Go, There You Are: So, if you stop trying to make yourself into more than you are out of fear that you are less than you are, … Continue reading

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Feeding Your Inner Wolves: A “Traditional” Cherokee Tale

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves that are inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, … Continue reading

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The Science of How to Learn Anything

Some time ago I introducedĀ a post offering advice for serious readers by bemoaning the fact that in all my years as a student I never once had a teacher who spoke in any detail about how to read and study … Continue reading

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The Way of the Monkey or the Way of the Kitten

In India there are two imagesĀ used to characterize the “two principal religious attitudes” found among human beings. One is the “way of the kitten”; the other is the “way of the monkey.” When a kitten cries, its mother takes it … Continue reading

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Syphilis, Hypnotism, Buddhism, and the History of Psychology

Lately I’ve been reading Ronald Comer’s textbook on abnormal psychology. Needless to say, it’s a very big book. The author classifies many theories and therapies according to whether they adopt a somatogenic or psychogenic approach to mental illness. In other … Continue reading

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How to Take Criticism

We all have to deal with criticism, whether we asked for it or not. Writers and artists are in the especially tough and tender spot of needing critics in order to get their work noticed, which means they are inevitably … Continue reading

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