By EBF Staff
The Polarized Mind: Humanity’s Plague and What We Can Do About It
November 6, 7 p.m.
Seattle University, Student Center rm. 160
What do a school shooter, a corporate swindler, and a bullheaded ideologue have in common? They all converge on what I call “the polarized mind.” The polarized mind, which is the fixation on one point of view to the utter exclusion of competing points of view, is killing us—personally, politically, and environmentally. Drawing from the standpoint of existential psychology as well as my recent book The Polarized Mind: Why Its Killing Us and What We Can Do About It, I elaborate the basis for the polarized mind, how it has ravaged leaders and their cultures down through history (up to and including our own time), and steps we urgently need to take to address the problem. These steps combine contemporary insights with centuries of cross-cultural, awe-inspired wisdom.
This event is free and open to the public. A donation basket will welcome your help. Contact the EBF for more info.
The Polarized Mind: Why It’s Killing Us and What We Can Do About It
November 7, 7 p.m.
Seattle University, Casey Commons (5th floor)
This is an SU campus event with Kirk Schneider on basically the same topic Thursday evening Nov 7 that is available to the public. With a light meal provided at 6 pm it requires a prepayment of $20. For just the lecture part of the evening, 7-9 pm, without the meal, a registration fee of $10 is required. A detailed description of the Thursday event can be found at http://eventful.com/seattle_wa/events/map-lecture-series-polarized-mind-why-its-killin-/E0-001-060562899-0
Contact Rebecca Severson at
or 206-296-5400 for more info.
KIRK J. SCHNEIDER, Ph.D., is a leading spokesperson for contemporary existential-humanistic psychology. He has been editor of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology (2005-2012), is vice-president of the Existential-Humanistic Institute (EHI), and adjunct faculty at Saybrook University, Teachers College, Columbia University, and the California Institute of Integral Studies. A Fellow of the American Psychological Association, he has published over 100 articles and chapters and has authored or edited 10 books (seven either have been or soon will be translated into Chinese). His present book is reviewed in this newsletter (p. 2).
Kirk has graced our functions many times. Use the search function at the upper right to find 10 entries. Also visit www.kirkjschneider.com.
Concerning the financial viability of the EBF
By EBF Staff
We recently had the good fortune to receive an unsought unexpected spontaneous gift of support for $500. Not only that, it was matched by an employer.
EBF policy is to depend for our support by an educated public based on our faithfulness to the dissemination of Becker’s synthesis and its application. We don’t badger you all the time for money.
2013 celebrates our 20th anniversary. It is also the 40th anniversary of the publication of Denial of Death. One of the first challenges in our early days was that Escape From Evil was close to being remaindered. The Free Press was printing only 150 copies at a time. But then the 1997 printing of Denial came out with the superb Foreword by Sam Keen. Thanks to him the EBF got a free boost both in the text and on the back cover.
Our next newsletter, the Dec issue, is traditionally our one annual appeal for financial support. We want to get an envelope to all our supporters. Please contact us with your snail mail address, if you only receive our e-mail notifications.
By Daniel Liechty
Of Recent Interest… is the new book by Kirk J. Schneider, The Polarized Mind: Why It’s Killing Us and What We Can Do About It (Colorado Springs: University Professors Press, 2013). This book nicely summarizes a lot of what is already found in a number of Schneider’s books and places it right in the center of current discussions of politics and the fundamentalist mindset. In this way, Schneider adds significantly to that discussion, by helping us to view it not simply through the lens of power politics but rather through the more sensitive eyes of existential-humanist psychology.
The Polarized Mind as Schneider presents it is characterized as reflecting elevation of one point of view to the utter exclusion of competing points of view. It is extremism, to be sure, but extremism of a particular kind. It is an extremism motivated fundamentally by existential fear, the fear of groundlessness, extinction, powerlessness, and of feeling that the only way it can establish itself in relation to that fear is by essential annihilation of any and all competing forces. It is a type of thinking that says, in effect, the only way I can exist securely is to rule the very cosmos.
By Daniel Liechty
In early May, the EBF was pleased to host a visit by Corey Anton, Professor of Communication Studies at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Professor Anton has been a friend of the EBF for many years, but this was the first time busy schedules facilitated a trip to Seattle. Anton is not only a university professor and author of a number of significant books, but he has also has become a very popular “public intellectual” through his hundreds of short “chats” posted on YouTube, in which he employs his specialized professional knowledge to inform his commentaries on contemporary issues. Those talks average around 4,000 views, with some of them registering more than 50,000 views!
Anton delivered three major presentations during his visit, at both Seattle University and the University of Washington. The first presentation, at Seattle University, was titled “Education and Ethics in the Digital Age.” In this well-attended and stimulating lecture, Anton spoke of the ironies of the digital age. Digital technologies have not necessarily made us intellectually “more this, or less that,” as so many of the popular analyses suggest. Rather, these technologies have just given us more of everything! More intelligence, yes, but also more ignorance. Anton, following the traces of Marshall McLuhan and others characterizes this as a time of information commodification and overload. This has had very direct impact on education. Whereas “inquiry” should ideally be motivated by existential desire to learn and to know, when fast and ready “answers” are constantly being handed us for questions we didn’t ask, education itself too easily becomes a commodity and is sapped of its sense of adventure and vitality.
These talks are available from our store in both audio and video versions and at our YouTube channel (youtube.com/ernestbecker).