Neoliberalism is creating loneliness. That’s what’s wrenching society apart | George Monbiot | Opinion | The Guardian

What greater indictment of a system could there be than an epidemic of mental illness? Yet plagues of anxiety, stress, depression, social phobia, eating disorders, self-harm and loneliness now strike people down all over the world. The latest, catastrophic figures for children’s mental health in England reflect a global crisis.

There are plenty of secondary reasons for this distress, but it seems to me that the underlying cause is everywhere the same: human beings, the ultrasocial mammals, whose brains are wired to respond to other people, are being peeled apart. Economic and technological change play a major role, but so does ideology. Though our wellbeing is inextricably linked to the lives of others, everywhere we are told that we will prosper through competitive self-interest and extreme individualism.

Finish reading in The Guardian…

Neoliberalism is creating loneliness. That’s what’s wrenching society apart | George Monbiot | Opinion | The Guardian.

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Holotropic Breathwork Workshops on May 13th and 14th in Toronto

This experiential workshop introduces participants to two simple therapeutic breathing activities.   Working in learning dyads, you will engage in an introductory breath work session, and experience the process both as a client and as a sitter.

Visual image making can play an important role as a follow-up to a breath work session by facilitating integration, safety and session closure.   We will explore several activities using art materials that work as excellent complements to integrative conversation, especially for intensive material that may be difficult to express verbally.

Breath work offers strong parallels with psychedelic psychotherapy, activating a similar range of inner experience. Breath work can be an excellent precursor to psychedelic psychotherapy. Client success with breath work is a good predictor of success in a psychedelic session, and breathing is a crucial factor in the therapeutic management of the psychedelic session itself. Our visual image-making activities will be as valuable in the post-session integration process with psychedelics as they are with breath work.

 

For more information or for tickets, click on this link: Holotropic Workshops in Toronto

 

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A Nihilist’s Guide to Meaning | Melting Asphalt

This is a terrific dissection of meaning. I like the way this guy’s mind works…

 

A Nihilist’s Guide to Meaning

I’ve never been plagued by the big existential questions. You know, like What’s my purpose? or What does it all mean?

Growing up I was a very science-minded kid — still am — and from an early age I learned to accept the basic meaninglessness of the universe. Science taught me that it’s all just atoms and the void, so there can’t be any deeper point or purpose to the whole thing; the kind of meaning most people yearn for — Ultimate Meaning — simply doesn’t exist.

Nor was I satisfied with the obligatory secular follow-up, that you have to “make your own meaning.” I knew what that was: a consolation prize. And since I wasn’t a sore loser, I decided I didn’t need meaning of either variety, Ultimate or man-made.

In lieu of meaning, I mostly adopted the attitude of Alan Watts. Existence, he says, is fundamentally playful. It’s less like a journey, and more like a piece of music or a dance. And the point of dancing isn’t to arrive at a particular spot on the floor; the point of dancing is simply to dance. Vonnegut expresses a similar sentiment when he says, “We are here on Earth to fart around.”

This may be nihilism, but at least it’s good-humored.

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How Do You Measure Your Life?

This is the latest post by a blogger I follow called Mark Manson. This takes ten minutes to read and it’s worth every minute of it!In the early 1980s, a talented young guitarist was kicked out of his band. The band had just been signed to their first record contract, and they were preparing to record their first album. A week before recording began, they fired the guitarist. There was no warning, no discussion. The guitarist woke up one day and was handed a bus ticket home.

The guitarist was demoralized. He felt betrayed. No one considered his side of the story. No one cared how he felt. At the most crucial moment of the band’s short career, he was abandoned by those he trusted the most.

So he vowed to start a band of his own. He would start a band so amazing and so successful that his old band would regret ever firing him. He would become so famous that they would spend the rest of their lives thinking about what a horrible mistake they had made. His ambition would make them pay for their disrespect.

He recruited even better musicians than before. He wrote and rehearsed religiously. His desire for revenge fueled his passion. His rage ignited his creativity. Within a couple years, his new band had signed a record contract of their own and was taking off.

The guitarist’s name was Dave Mustaine, and the band he formed was called Megadeth. Megadeth would go on to sell over 25 million albums and tour the world many times over. Today, Mustaine is considered one of the most brilliant and influential musicians in all of heavy metal music.

Unfortunately, the band he was kicked out of was called Metallica. Metallica has since sold over 180 million albums worldwide, and they are considered by many to be the greatest heavy metal band of all time.

And because of this, in a rare intimate interview in 2003, a tearful Mustaine admitted that he couldn’t help but still consider himself a failure at times. Despite all he had accomplished, he was still the guy who got kicked out of Metallica. Tens of millions of albums sold. Concerts given to screaming stadiums of fans. Millions of dollars earned. And yet, a failure.

 

Read the rest of the post…

 

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George Monbiot – Career Advice

Every week, sometimes every day, someone writes to me asking for advice about the career they should take. I can’t, unfortunately, respond to them all, so I thought I should try to formulate some general guidelines, which I hope people will be able to adapt to their own circumstances. This advice applies only to those who have a genuine choice of careers, which means, regrettably, that it does not apply to the majority of the world’s workforce. But if the people writing to me did not have choice, they wouldn’t be asking.

via George Monbiot – Career advice.

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What is the blue light from our screens really doing to our eyes?

We’ve known for a while that excessive screen time is not good for your sleep schedule, but the latest findings are overwhelmingly gloomy – and extend well beyond insomnia.

An eye doctor says he’s recently seen a few 35-year-old patients whose lenses, which are typically clear all the way up until around age 40, are so cloudy they resemble 75-year-olds’. A sleep doctor says kids as young as toddlers are suffering from chronic insomnia, which in turn affects their behavior and performance at school and daycare. A scientist finds that women who work night shifts are twice as likely to develop breast cancer than those who sleep at night.

What do all these anecdotes have in common? Nighttime exposure to the blue light emanating from our screens.

You’ve probably heard the hype these past few years: being in the presence of light at night disrupts the body’s natural circadian rhythms by suppressing the production of melatonin, a sleep hormone. But melatonin does far more than help us get sleepy – it’s also an antioxidant that appears to play a pivotal role in slowing the progression of cancer and other diseases.

“I’ve been spending a lot of the past 20 years worrying about it,” said Dr. Richard Hansler, who clocked in 42 years at GE Lighting developing “all kinds of bright, beautiful lights” before his move to John Carroll University in Ohio, where he studied the effects of light at night on our health. It was the mid 1990s, and at that point, he said, his concern wasn’t widely shared.

Read the rest of the article on Gigaom

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