Tag Archives: philosophy

The Philosophy of Unconditional Acceptance

Dr. Albert Ellis (1913 – 2007)

The Greek Stoic Philosopher, Epictetus, wisely observed that

“Men are disturbed not by things, but by the views which they take of them.” 

Though the statement itself may be short and simple, the philosophy behind it is profound.  It is a philosophy that was not lost on Dr. Albert Ellis who, as a result of his own neurotic self-disturbing, learned at an early age what Stoics like Epictetus had known long before — we are, with few exceptions, responsible for our own psychological well-being and that, for the most part, we create our own neurotic tendencies.  It is upon the foundation of this simple philosophy that Ellis created the forerunner of all cognitive-behavior therapies — Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT).  It is a therapeutic approach which empowers the individual by exposing the myth of self-esteem, and by offering instead the philosophical approach of unconditional acceptance.

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The Writ of Cherum Against Spinoza

Baruch de Spinoza (1632-1677)

On July 27, 1656 the Jewish community issued the writ of cherum against Baruch Spinoza — its harshest form of excommunication.  The language of the writ is unusually harsh, but it does not state with certainty the reasons for its issuance.  According to philosopher and Spinoza biographer, Steven Nadler, it is likely that the writ was issued because Spinoza “was giving utterance to just those ideas that would soon appear in his philosophical treatises.  In those works, Spinoza denies the immortality of the soul; strongly rejects the notion of a providential God — the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and claims that the Law was neither literally given by God nor any longer binding on Jews.  Can there be any mystery as to why one of history’s boldest and most radical thinkers was sanctioned by an orthodox Jewish community?”

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An Appeal for Pantheism

Current models of recovery emphasize a holistic approach to treatment in an effort to address all aspects of the disease of addiction which include the physical; the mental/emotional; and the spiritual components.  Treatment methods geared at promoting abstinence through cognitive/behavioral therapies are widely accepted as necessary and effective in recovery.  On the other hand, treatment approaches which also incorporate spiritual growth and development give rise to much controversy and confusion.

In recovery meetings, spirituality and religion are sometimes difficult to distinguish.

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Believing Again

Aristotle and Plato engage in philosophical discussion.

To say that the human mind is complex is a vast understatement.  Cognitive functions such as believing, hoping, and desiring are intertwined and interrelated to such an extent that each resists reduction to simple explanation.  The relationships between these processes are at times unilateral, and at times multilateral; parallel at times and perpindicular at others.

Further complicating matters is the nexus which forms between multiple disciplines when  studying the workings of the human mind.  The principles of philosophy, psychology, sociology, logic, and linguistics all come to bear with equally convincing force upon the subject.  Notwithstanding these and other limiting factors, the concept of belief is explored.

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