Category Archives: Uncategorized

Happiness is contagious

September 27, 2010

Whoever is happy will make others happy, too.

Dr. Robert Florida will be giving a lecture titled “Buddhist Hospice Care in Thailand: A Response to the AIDS Crisis” on Wednesday, October 27, 2010, 4:00 pm at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, at the Social Sciences and Math Building, Room A104.

Dr. Robert Florida has been a fellow of CSRS since retiring from Brandon University as dean of arts and professor in the Department of Religion. His major area of research is contemporary ethical issues in Buddhism. He has written a book on Buddhism and human rights as well as a number of articles and chapters on Buddhist approaches to various ethical issues.

Thailand, a predominantly Buddhist country, has been relatively successful in dealing with its AIDS crisis. Several Buddhist monasteries established programs for AIDS patients and their families; one of these has the largest hospice in the country. The lecture will cover the principles and practices found in Thai Buddhist hospices and will note some significant differences between what is done there and in Western countries. The talk will be illustrated with material gathered in Thailand, some of which will be in the forthcoming CSRS book Religious Understandings of a “Good Death” in Hospice Palliative Care, edited by Drs. Harold Coward and Kelli Stajduhar.

This lecture is free and open to the public.

The Venus Project Lecture Tour will stop in Vancouver on Saturday, October 23, 2010 from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM.

This event is organised by The Zeitgeist Movement Collective Vancouver, a local chapter for the Zeitgeist Movement and The Venus Project. In their own words: “Adhering to the principles of human birth-rights, we are moving strongly towards a more peaceful way of life. This is referred to as the Resource-Based Economy as proposed by Jacque Fresco, creator of The Venus Project. Looking towards human betterment is what the movement is all about. As the Vancouver chapter, we hope you will join us in the movement and be the change you want to see in the world”.

More information and tickets are available on:

Just breath it

September 25, 2010

We forget to breathe during challenging transitions; yoga teaches us to connect to sources and resources by focusing on the breath.

The Century of the Self: is a British television documentary film that focuses its attention on Sigmund Freud, Edward Bernays, Anna Freud, Wilhelm Reich,‭ ‬who exerted a surprising amount of influence on the way corporations and governments throughout the‭ ‬20th century have thought about, and dealt with, people.

To many in both politics and business, the triumph of the self is the ultimate expression of democracy, where power has finally moved to the people. Certainly the people may feel they are in charge, but are they really? The Century of the Self tells the untold and sometimes controversial story of the growth of the mass-consumer society in Britain and the United States. How was the all-consuming self created, by whom, and in whose interests?

The Century of the Self: Part 1, Happiness Machines

Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, changed the perception of the human mind and its workings. His influence on the twentieth century is generally considered profound. The series describes the ways public relations and politicians have utilized Freud’s theories during the last 100 years for the “engineering of consent”. Freud himself and his nephew Edward Bernays, who was the first to use psychological techniques in public relations, are discussed.

The Century of the Self: Part 2, The Engineering Of Consent

Freud’s daughter Anna Freud, a pioneer of child psychology, is mentioned in the second part, as is one of the main opponents of Freud’s theories, Wilhelm Reich, in the third part.

The Century of the Self, Part 3: There is a Police Man Inside All of Our Heads- He Must be Destroyed

Along these general themes, The Century of the Self asks deeper questions about the roots and methods of modern consumerism, representative democracy, commodification and its implications. It also questions the modern way we see ourselves, the attitudes to fashion and superficiality.

The business and, increasingly, the political world uses psychological techniques to read and fulfill our desires, to make their products or speeches as pleasing as possible to us. Curtis raises the question of the intentions and roots of this fact. Where once the political process was about engaging people’s rational, conscious minds, as well as facilitating their needs as a society, the documentary shows how by employing the tactics of psychoanalysis, politicians appeal to irrational, primitive impulses that have little apparent bearing on issues outside of the narrow self-interest of a consumer population. He cites Paul Mazer, a Wall Street banker working for Lehman Brothers in the 1930s: “We must shift America from a needs- to a desires-culture. People must be trained to desire, to want new things, even before the old have been entirely consumed. […] Man’s desires must overshadow his needs.”

The Century of the Self – Part 4

In Episode 4 the main subjects are Philip Gould and Matthew Freud, the great grandson of Sigmund, a PR consultant. They were part of the efforts during the nineties to bring the Democrats in the US and New Labour in the United Kingdom back into power. Adam Curtis explores the psychological methods they now massively introduced into politics. He also argues that the eventual outcome strongly resembles Edward Bernays vision for the “Democracity” during the 1939 New York World’s Fair. It is well-known his series was inspired and informed by a book written by the American historian, Stuart Ewen, “PR! A Social History of Spin.”

The Venus Project is dedicated to confronting all of these problems by actively engaging in the research, development, and application of workable solutions. This is a schedule of its 2010 lectures around the world, as published on its official website:

Date Country City Confirmed
6th April Colombia Bogota yes
15th April New Zealand Auckland yes
17th April New Zealand Wellington yes
21st April Australia Brisbane yes
23rd April Australia Sydney yes
25th April Australia Melbourne yes
29th April Australia Perth yes
8th May Japan Tokyo yes
20th May India Bangalore yes
5th June Slovenia Ljubjana yes
11th June Greece Athens yes
20th June (Second Lecture) Greece Athens yes
26th/27th June Netherlands Eindhoven yes
3rd July Portugal Lisbon yes
10th July Spain Valencia yes
24th July Sweden Stockholm yes
31st July Denmark Copenhagen yes
7th August Scotland Glasgow yes
14th August Ireland Dublin yes
21st August England Bristol yes
28th August Germany Munich yes
11th September France Paris yes
25th September Canada Montreal yes
2nd October Canada Toronto yes
9th October Canada London yes
23rd October Canada Vancouver yes
29th October Canada Calgary yes

Life is beautiful

September 24, 2010

Life is beautiful, let’s enjoy the beauty and spread our love!

Healing From Rain Forests: The Value of Traditional Knowledge” a very promising lecture by Dr. Memory Elvin-Lewis, at the Vancouver Institute on October 2, 2010 at 8:15 p.m., Lecture Hall No. 2 in the Woodward Instructional Resources Centre, University of British Columbia.

Dr. Elvin-Lewis’ multifaceted scientific career has encompassed aspects of virology, epidemiology, microbiology, ethnobotany, and ethnopharmacology. Her studies have been worldwide with particular emphasis on plants used in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, the West Indies and North and South America. Her research focuses on understanding the therapeutic rationale behind plants selected for a wide variety of maladies, particularly those of infectious origin. Dr. Elvin-Lewis also continues to be interested in the risks of inappropriate herbal formulations and/or use. Her original 2001 article, “Should we be concerned about herbal remedies”, enjoyed more “hits” on the Ethnopharmacology’s website than any other publication at that time.

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