Being Is Remembering

By Geoffrey Geddes

Perception follows experience; they are neither equivalent nor simultaneous. The time between experience and perception might be less than a hummingbird’s wing flap. Yet, without that period of reflection no perception, and therefore no consciousness, is possible. If the experience perceived has occurred in a moment and that moment has passed (as each moment must), then only a memory – a stored facsimile of the original experience – can be reflected upon. Just as a photograph is not the image captured, a memory is not the moment remembered. Read more

People Are No Damned Good

By Geoffrey Geddes

Psychologist Carl Rogers’s therapeutic model rests on two philosophical pillars: first, that a person will, unless hampered by environmental factors, move toward congruency with his or her real self or, as Kierkegaard phrased it, “that self which one truly is”; and second, that the prototypical human self is intrinsically “constructive and trustworthy.” In other words, people are, by design and desire, good, and the job of a psychotherapist is to help them overcome the environmental evil forces that threaten to derail their journey to the land of joyful congruency. My tongue is not so firmly pressed into my cheek that I cannot appreciate the kind heart with which Dr. Rogers approached each day and each sufferer. Despite his protestation to the contrary, Dr. Rogers was the best kind of Pollyanna: one who applies his positive philosophical presumptions to improve our collective lot. And who knows? Maybe he was right. Read more

Relax and Connect

By Geoffrey Geddes

Relax your shield hand, Captain Ego, for just a moment – just long enough to take a quick breath and exchange an authentic pleasantry. You might meet a pregnant Canadian with a soothing smile who recharges your familial batteries. You might share some truth with a cohort of earnest, fearful, compassionate, differently striped addicts who all take your number so they can stay connected to the human you always knew was struggling to punch through your defensive crust. You might meet the old guard of a new venture who further ignite your unexpectedly fearless fire. Read more

Lay Down Your Defenses

By Geoffrey Geddes

Lay down your ego weapons periodically and appreciate, and perhaps applaud, your adversaries. People rarely show up to a fight empty-handed. Today I met the guy who studied under the guy who studied under Carl Rogers. I met a woman who worked on the unsafe side of a locked door with insane killers. I met a woman who thinks that we’re all miracles of poetic magic (and she was downright convincing). Read more

As Is Often The Case

By Geoffrey Geddes

We experience life in the flow of moments; we learn about life, and ourselves, in the reflective flashes that occur during and after those moments. Reflection often occurs spontaneously, of course. But it helps to reflect purposely – to remember not to forget to pay attention to life’s lessons.

I’m sitting here in a tiny, non-smoking hotel room that stinks of stale smoke, waiting to “check in” for my first semi-annual graduate conference in San Francisco. My hope: to complete a second master’s degree that will qualify me for governmental permission to help fellow psycho-sufferers. If all goes as planned, I will soon hang a second-career shingle and invite my troubled brethren and sisteren to sit a spell and take a breath and set their load down for a bit. Read more

It’s All In Your Head, So Dance

Is Reality Real?

Solipsists isolate, radical empiricists separate, Buddhists incorporate, and monotheists prostrate. Devotees of each perspective syllogize and infer and spin mental pinwheels that yield little more than academic vertigo. The convoluted arguments of earnest seekers typically reveal more about the seekers than the reality sought. If someone offers you the Truth, smile and check for your wallet.

Conceiving Anima

He suckles without shame, oblivious To separation; rapt in unity. He dreams of circles and anonymous Creations that reflect eternity.

Don’t Be Afraid

By Geoffrey Geddes

Ego uses fear to guard its emotional territory. During our evolutionary youth, reflexive fear helped to propagate our species by bolstering our battle skills and energizing our escape. Today, ego-embellished, maladaptive fear sabotages our best efforts to live effectively.

A fly on a cave wall watches Homo Predecessor scrutinize his own hand; HP giggles at the wiggling fingers. He wanders outside, passes beside a watering hole, and bolts at his reflection; the stranger in the water also retreats. HP peeks into the water, and the pool-man peeks back. HP makes faces and watches the image reciprocate, finally realizing his role in both dramas. He exists. He is. He swings his club and down goes a boar, just as before. But now, he ponders as he munches his kill. “Whew,” thinks HP, “if me slower, pig bite me; then me go down; me could DIE!!” Fear of death – a fear provoked by thought rather than circumstance – marks the beginning of ego’s maladaptive reign. Read more

Context and Conditioning

By Geoffrey Geddes

Life imposes context. We do not choose our genetic attributes or our initial social and environmental circumstances. The power to affect our context develops with our maturing consciousness, eventually crossing a threshold after which choice drives our destiny while chance doses in the back seat. Once we cross that threshold, the quality and consequence of our choices depends on our conditioning. Read more

Leaving Wonderland: A Real Hero’s Journey

By Geoffrey Geddes

Life calls to each of us with a singular, persistent appeal: live!  Heroes answer. Cowards disregard life’s plea and die before they bask in the light of authentic living. Late Bloomers doggedly delay their response. Circumstances or conditioning may defer the Late Bloomer’s foray. But life compels fruition. We bloom victorious, or we die unfinished. Read more