Is the Web Driving Us Mad?

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The current incarnation of the Internet–portable, social, accelerated, and all-pervasive–may be making us not just dumber or lonelier but more depressed and anxious, prone to obsessive-compulsive and attention-deficit disorders, even outright psychotic.  Our digitized minds can scan like those of drug addicts, and normal people are breaking down in sad and seemingly new ways.

Tweets, texts, emails, posts.  New research says the Internet can make us lonely and depressed–and may even create more extreme forms of mental illness.

Read Tony Dokoupil’s compelling report here at Newsweek’s Culture section.

The Best Strategy for Reducing Stress – You have two choices: Either change the reality around you or change your expectations.

Monkey Knot

Peter Bregman, the author of 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done, due out in September, and Point B: A Short Guide to Leading a Big Change, has a great article on Psychology Today Online.  Herein he explains the dissonance between anticipations and expectations as the greatest source of anxiety and stress.  To read the article go here.

Keep the RED BOOK open

The Red Book

It is important to keep your Red Book open. Find the medium for your madness and keep it going. And of course if you happen to have a copy of the RED BOOK, then by all means keep it open for all to see. What better way to speak of the importance of dreams, of individuation, of creative imagination… and then share the results. Let us see your madness in whatever small doses you feel safe in sharing it. Where does your passion lie and where is the record of this aliveness? Let’s have a look, for indeed anything else we have to talk about is just so unimportant or stepping stones to that which really holds our attention.

Our Media, Ourselves: Are We Headed For A Matrix?

Design Within Reach? The cool sterility of 2001: A Space Odyssey is just one example of how pop culture expresses an anxiety that's seemingly about technology, but may be as old as time.

An incredible audio report from All Things Considered on NPR by Bob Mondello.  Man, who traditionally knows himself by his artifacts, is at risk of loosing it all as we sacrifice our books and information to off site servers we call “clouds”.  This provocative piece of editorial journalism is worth a listen.  Go here to hear it and review the transcription.

Be Conscious at Every Breath

I received many years ago via oral transmission that the first rule of the Khwajagan is to be “Present at Every Breath”. When I first heard it, I did not know how to spell Khwajagan, who the Khwajagan were, or how to verify the information. Now with the advent of Google, its spell check, and memory of the phrase, I have discovered not only who the Khawjagan are purported to be [a chain of Central Asian Naqshbandi Sufi Masters from the 10th to the 16th century], who they influenced [Gurdjieff’s ‘Fourth Way’ originated with the Khwajagan], but some of their other rules. Not unlike other oral traditions that are hitting the internet this is not readily verifiable, but the rules do seem to pass the litmus test for “Way Above Average”.

Find the first and the other listed rules of the Khwajagan here.

Married, with Infidelities–Dan Savage on the Virtues of Infidelity

What is the benefit of marriage? … stability.  The rest is negotiable.

New York Times contributor, Mark Oppenheimer, introduces us to the work of Dan Savage who has much to say about the contemporary outer limits of committed relationship.

Go here and learn the advantages of good, giving, and game and so much more.

Music Training May Delay Hearing and Memory Loss

A new study suggests lifelong musical experiences can retard certain aspects of the aging process. Specifically, Northwestern University scientists discovered a lifetime of musical training slows some aspects of hearing and memory loss.

The experts believe the findings suggest age-related delays in neural timing (the ability of the brain to decode and then recode audio stimuli) are not inevitable and can be avoided or offset with musical training.

The study is the first to provide biological evidence that lifelong musical experience has an impact on the aging process.

For the rest of this PsychCentral.com article go here.