Tuesday, February 28, 2012

June O'Brien, Author and Dream Blogger, Reviews Understanding Dreams

Understanding Dreams is an exciting and remarkable book.  It avoids the formulaic and dictionary-like approach of most dream books which are so misleading, and even destructive. The process presented by Dr. Siivola provides an approach to understanding dreams that is distinctly useful to individuals, or informal groups. It respects the poetry of dream language while empowering the individual dreamer to understand.  The group process he offers is structured enough to be safe for participants, but with enough exploratory freedom to allow the dream to unfold.  Ordinarily I avoid dream-books and encourage others to do the same, but I am pleased to have this one brought to my attention.  The approach he presents is similar to the one I use, but I had not organized it into usefulness to others as he has.   
June O'Brien is the author of From the Bone and A Language of Shape and Shadow. She is also the blogger for the blog Dream Talk.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Cosimo's Book of the Month, African Unconscious, Relevant for Black History

The African Unconscious: Roots of Ancient Mysticism and Modern Psychology by award-winning psychologist Edward Bruce Bynum was originally published over a decade ago. The information and ideas discussed in this book are just as relevant now as they were when the book was first published. Now Cosimo is bringing this monumental book back to the public with a fresh cover.

The African Unconscious offers an exciting and captivating narrative about human history based on archaeology, genetics, and the bio-spiritual roots of religion and science. More importantly, Dr. Bynum posits that humans at their deepest core are variations on the African template. This bold, humanistic view offers a radical new vision of our collective unconscious in its daily and historical operations. Dr. Bynum goes beyond traditional “Eastern’ and “Western” perspectives and presents a powerful, unifying and healing vision of our deeper shared consciousness and identity as a human species from our earliest days in Africa on to contemporary times.

Edward Bruce Bynum, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, Director of the Behavioral Medicine Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Health Services, a Senior Fellow in the Society for Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (BICA), and a Diplomat (ABPP) in the American Psychological Association (APA). Dr. Bynum is the author of numerous books and articles, including five texts in psychology and three poetry books. He has won numerous awards, including the Abraham H. Maslow Award from the APA, and is a student and practitioner of Kundalini Yoga. He is married with two sons and lives with his family in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Valentine's Day Has Come and Gone, but Love is Here to Stay

Money and Love, they're not synonyms and yet they're very often represented together. Perhaps its their shared connection of the Goddess Venus. Perhaps it's the superficiality of today's world which places extra emphasis on money. Or maybe it's because money and love are considered to be high value commodities. Recently, I'm sure you've noticed, the downfall of money. It's no less important, but many are starting to wonder why some are driven by greed (and therefore money). Shouldn't the driving force in our world be love, which is (to a certain extent) free? With occupy movements popping up around the globe, their message is clear: we don't like the way our money and money in general is being handled.

It's possible, that the best way to get real results is to make a radical change beyond what's currently being considered. The article "The Money Has Gone so Make Love our Alternative Currency" on The Guardian website, written in honor of Valentine's day, makes the suggestion that love should be our new currency. How that would work exactly, I'm not sure. But I think his real suggestion is that our lives should center around the things we love, not the money we make. Humans in general should focus their energy on creating, spreading, and showing love instead of money. His line of thinking is not unlike that of Cosimo's author Louis Bohtlingk, whose book Dare to Care: A Love-Based Foundation for Money and Finance with a foreword by Hazel Henderson, discusses changing world currency and focusing on caring and sharing. Will these new and radical ideas help change the world economy? Or has the world become so money obsessed that the change many are looking for will never come?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The 150th Birthday of Edith Wharton and A Reflection on Her Most Famous Works

Edith Wharton was a privileged woman who was born in New York. She grew up surrounded by the elite of society. Her books act as commentaries on society at the time, often becoming critical, especially of New York's literary society. She spent much of her life in the US, until she no longer could deal with the hypocrisy and debauchery of American society and permanently relocated to France.

There was a recent article in The New Yorker highlighting Edith Wharton, her life and her work and how each of her characters reflect her life. It's a small tribute in and of itself to the great writings of Edith Wharton, who is most known for The Age of Innocence, House of Mirth, and The Custom of the Country. These three books in particular show proof that Wharton didn't take an extreme liking to New York society, despite her upbringing. Though it's her most popular books that keep her relevant and well known, it's her lesser known works like Summer, The Decoration of Houses, and The Descent of Man and Other Stories that truly show the depth and versatility of her talent as a writer. Happy 150th Edith!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cosimo Chooses a Relevant Historical Read for February’s Classic of the Month

February is black history month. It’s a time to reflect on the rich history of African American’s in the United States. No doubt the history involves some exceedingly dark times, but it’s the entire historical picture that creates the true narrative struggle. 

The Souls of Black Folk a collection of groundbreaking essays on race and race relations written by W.E.B. Dubois and originally published in 1903 is a must read, especially in this relevant month. The analytical essays in this book look at the interactions between whites and blacks, offering a solution for the obvious inequality. A strong supporter of education, Dubois believed that being properly educated was the surest way for African Americans to better their life. Anyone interested in history, race relations, sociology, or the intellectual heritage of the United States will find this an essential read.

W.E.B. DUBOIS (1868-1963) was a free-born African American in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. He was the first black man to receive a PhD from Harvard University and was convinced that education was the means for African Americans to achieve equality. He wrote a number of important books, including The Philadelphia Negro (1899), Black Folk, Then and Now (1899), and The Negro (1915).

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine’s Day and Its Effect on the Economy

Hazel Henderson, co-author of The Power of Yin, Celebrating Female Consciousness and foreword writer for Dare to Care: A Love-Based Foundation for Money and Finance and Earth Fever: Living Consciously with Climate Change , is quoted in an interesting article about the evolution of Valentine’s Day and the effects it has on the economy.

The article, Love, marriage and Valentine's Day, looks at the development of Valentine’s Day and how it came to be a commercial holiday. This can be traced back to when marriage stopped being about money, wealth, and status and started to be more about love. The article is informative, well researched and looks at the past as well as into the future. Whether you have romantic plans or not, this is an interesting article about the development of Valentine’s day and what it does for our currently sinking economy. Read the article here.