Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Atheism isn't an aberrant religion

Atheism isn't an aberrant religion

The problem with problems is they tend to focus on negativity. So must one, as a realistic activist, constantly confront negativity? Well no, try counting your blessings instead.

This is an email from Cindy Swan:

Below is an excerpt from
*PRONOIA IS THE ANTIDOTE FOR PARANOIA*
available at Amazon
THE OUTLAW CATALOG OF CAGEY OPTIMISM
(The complete text is here)

Psychiatry and psychotherapy obsess on what's wrong with people and
give short shrift to what's right. The manual of these professions is a
991-page textbook called the *DSM-V.* It identifies scores of pathological
states but no healthy ones.

Some time back, I began to complain about this fact, and asked readers
to help me compile material for a proposed antidote, the Anti-DSM -- a
compendium of healthy, exalted, positive states of being. As their entries
came in, we at the Beauty and Truth Laboratory were inspired to dream
up some of our own. Below is part one of our initial attempt at creating
an *Anti-DSM-V,* or as we also like to call it, "The Outlaw Catalog of
Cagey Optimism."

* ACUTE FLUENCY. Happily immersed in artistic creation or scientific
exploration; lost in a trance-like state of inventiveness that's both blissful
and taxing; surrendered to a state of grace in which you're fully engaged
in a productive, compelling, and delightful activity. The joy of this
demanding, rewarding state is intensified by a sense that time has been
suspended, and is rounder and deeper than usual. (Suggested by H. H.
Holiday, who reports that extensive studies in this state have been done
by Mihaly Cziscenmihaliy in his book, *Flow: The Psychology of Optimal
Experience.*)

* AESTHETIC BLISS. Vividly experiencing the colors, textures, tones,
scents, and rhythms of the world around you, creating a symbiotic
intimacy that dissolves the psychological barriers between you and what
you observe.

* AGGRESSIVE SENSITIVITY. Animated by a strong determination to be
receptive and empathetic.

* ALIGNMENT WITH THE INFINITY OF THE MOMENT. Reveling in the
liberating realization that we are all exactly where we need to be at all
times, even if some of us are temporarily in the midst of trial or
tribulation, and that human evolution is proceeding exactly as it should,
even if we can't see the big picture of the puzzle that would clarify how
all the pieces fit together perfectly.

* BASKING IN ELDER WISDOM. A state of expansive ripeness achieved
through listening to the stories of elders.

* BIBLIOBLISS. Transported into states of transcendent pleasure while
immersed in reading a favorite book.

* BLASPHEMOUS REVERENCE. Acting on the knowledge that the most
efficacious form of devotion to the Divine Wow is tinctured with playful or
mischievous behavior that prevents the buildup of fanaticism.

* BOO-DUH NATURE. Dwelling in the blithe understanding of the fact that
worry is useless because most of what we worry about never happens.

* COMIC INTROSPECTION. Being fully aware of your own foibles while still
loving yourself tenderly and maintaining confidence in your ability to give
your specific genius to the world. To paraphrase Alan Jones, Dean of
Grace Cathedral: following the Byzantine ploys of your ego with
compassion and humor as it tries to make itself the center of everything,
even of its own suffering and struggle.

* COMPASSIONATE DISCRIMINATION. Having astute judgment without
being scornfully judgmental; seeing difficult truths about a situation or
person without closing your heart or feeling superior. In the words of Alan
Jones: having the ability "to smell a rat without allowing your ability to
discern deception sour your vision of the glory and joy that is everyone's
birthright."

* CRAZED KINDNESS. Having frequent, overpowering urges to bestow
gifts, disseminate inspiration, and perpetrate random acts of benevolence.

* ECSTATIC GRATITUDE. Feeling genuine thankfulness with such
resplendent intensity that you generate a surge of endorphins in your
body and slip into a full-scale outbreak of euphoria.

* EMANCIPATED SURRENDER. Letting go of an attachment without
harboring resentment toward the stimuli that led to the necessity of
letting go.

* FRIENDLY SHOCK. Welcoming a surprise that will ultimately have
benevolent effects.

* HIGHWAY EQUANIMITY. Feeling serene, polite, and benevolent while
driving in heavy traffic.

* IMAGINATIVE TRUTH-TELLING. Conveying the truth of any specific
situation from multiple angles, thereby mitigating the distortions that
result from assuming the truth can be told from a single viewpoint.

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