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Some Clarifications of Stefan Molyneux’s Internal Family Systems “MEcosystem” Approach

February 15th, 2011 by Howard Ditkoff

I’m impressed and excited that Stefan Molyneux is using his platform with Freedomain Radio to introduce the concepts of the Internal Family Systems model to so many people – especially thoughtful people committed to creating a healthier world - who otherwise wouldn’t know of them. I’m also very glad that he is raising important awareness of the fact that MEcosystem work, like all peaceful change techniques, has limits. But - based on the admittedly limited example of his “The Limits of the MEcosystem” segment from his February 6, 2011 call in show - I think that the approach will prove more powerful for him and his listeners if they broaden and deepen their understanding of the model’s technical details and gain a greater perspective on where MEcosystem work fits in the context of IFS as a whole. Read the rest of this entry »

On the Dialogue Between Neil Kiernan (V-Radio, The Venus Project) & Stefan Molyneux (Freedomain Radio): Questions, Suggestions and Takeaways

February 8th, 2011 by Howard Ditkoff

I just finished listening to this discussion (embedded below) between:

Neil Kiernan - Host of V-Radio and a proponent of The Venus Project, which is discussed in Peter Joseph’s Zeitgeist series of films and seeks to implement a Resource-Based Economy (RBE)


Stefan Molyneux - Host of Freedomain Radio

Listen to internet radio with V RADIO on
Blog Talk Radio

I have to say it was one of the best and most important dialogues I’ve heard of late. This is exactly the kind of discussion we desperately need more of and I hope that they will continue it. While I don’t fit snugly into either of the Molyneux or the Zeitgeist/Venus Project camps, I’ve greatly enjoyed exploring the ideas put forth by both and I find that both make valuable contributions to the dialogue about how we bring about a healthier, more sustainable future for humanity and the rest of our ecosystem.
Read the rest of this entry »

Optimistic Unlearning and A Belief in
Infinite Flexibility =/= Adulthood

February 6th, 2011 by Howard Ditkoff

Today I was given a copy of an article from the February 5, 2011 Wall Street Journal by Matt Ridley entitled “A Key Lesson of Adulthood: The Need to Unlearn”. The title certainly struck me as important for two reasons.

  1. The need to unlearn has been a central theme in my life. I spent much of my twenties unlearning a tremendous amount of what was fed to me as truth growing up. And through my writing, coaching, activism and promotion of the work of various change agents such as Daniel Quinn (whose book The Story of B focuses on just such an unlearning process), I have long championed the importance of being willing to question dogmatic beliefs.
  2. We live in an incredibly destructive, unsustainable culture that is driven by the actions of hypocritical adults who act on the world stage in greedy, violent ways that, at home, would get their own children sent to their rooms – if not worse. So I am always fascinated to read commentary by this culture’s adults on what “adulthood” in such a society is considered to really be about.

And so I dove in. Read the rest of this entry »

Publicizing The Threat of Personality Disorders Among Those in Positions of Power

December 11th, 2008 by Howard Ditkoff

As some of you may know, I often rail about the abundance of sociopaths and people with Narcissistic or Borderline Personality Disorder in positions of power in our culture. There has been ample evidence of this problem in the news recently. Yet rarely do analyses of these cases go beyond charges of corruption to asking the crucial question of whether they involve an actual psychological disorder.

In the wake of the recent scandal involving Detroit’s ex-mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, one of our major local papers finally directly raised this issue in an article entitled “Politics & personality: Psychologists weigh in on behaviors of the former Detroit mayor”.

But, in general, coverage of this issue, so central to the destructiveness of our times, is dangerously and tellingly lacking. Read the rest of this entry »

Adam Monroe: Another Web 2.0 Talent Promotion Success Story

July 24th, 2008 by Howard Ditkoff

One day last December, I was on YouTube, checking out videos of songs by Tool and A Perfect Circle, two of the fantastic bands fronted by singer Maynard James Keenan. At one point, as I was watching a performance of “3 Libras”, perhaps my favorite of the many great songs by these bands, YouTube’s related recommendations feature suggested several videos of various artists performing cover versions of the song.

In the past, while watching videos of original bands performing songs I enjoyed, YouTube’s related videos feature had introduced me, through cover versions, to the wonderful Meghan Julius and Kiersten Holine. This time, after listening to a couple of other cover versions of “3 Libras”, I was introduced to an amazing piano and vocal version of the song by the incredible Adam Monroe. Read the rest of this entry »

Josiah Leming: Brilliant, Haunting Music & Web 2.0 Drive American Idol Castoff’s Prototypical Success Story

May 19th, 2008 by Howard Ditkoff

Another Season of Inspiration on American Idol

Two years ago, I wrote an essay called “How American Idol Changed My Life”. I realized as I wrote it that some who see me as a person focused on more profound issues might find my enjoyment of an iconic pop culture talent show to be seriously out of character. However, there was no denying the impact on me of the show and especially of particular contestants from the show.

As I described in that essay, American Idol has the power to stimulate crucial thought and dialogue about the importance and optimal methods of promoting talent and authenticity in a hierarchical culture that often suppresses people’s true selves. These are themes I also explored in my piece called “The Joy and Power of Discovering True Selves”.

This season has been no exception. I’ve watched every minute of the show this year and it has already provided more than one powerful example of a genuine talent beginning to truly blossom. It was during the second round of auditions in Hollywood early in the season that I was first blown away by the gifts of one of this year’s performers, David Archuleta. Watching him sing Bryan Adams’ “Heaven” gave me chills and I instantly felt that this was one of the best contestants the show has ever seen, a feeling that I still maintain, having watched him progress through the season.

However, it is another contestant - one who didn’t even make it past the Hollywood auditions and into the Top 24 - that I want to talk about in this piece.

A Memorable Audition

It was even earlier in the season, during the initial auditions in Atlanta, that America first met Josiah Leming. Josiah was a kid with a very moving backstory. He was an 18 year-old high school dropout from Morristown, Tennessee, who, unbeknownst to his family, who believed he was staying with friends, had been living in his car for the last year as he traveled around the country playing shows. In early interviews, he conveyed a willingness to sacrifice to achieve his dreams, declaring that he felt right at home living in his car. But then moments later, Josiah first displayed his deep vulnerability as he tearfully described how lonely and scary life on the road can be.
Read the rest of this entry »

Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month: Discussing, Understanding & Publicizing an Under-Recognized Epidemic

May 5th, 2008 by Howard Ditkoff

Sparked by the painful outcomes of once hopeful relationships involving Borderline Personality Disorder, several recent conversations refocused me on the condition’s growing prevalence, crucial cultural role and disproportionate social impact. Despite a desperate need for greater awareness, BPD remains under-recognized due to various obstacles. However, recent weeks saw the disorder highlighted on television and by the U.S. House of Representatives. In a spirit of compassion and hope for healing, I offer suggestions and resources for education and publicity during Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month.

Choosing Intimate Partners: To Repeat or Not to Repeat?

April 7th, 2008 by Howard Ditkoff

Why do we repeatedly attract similarly unhealthy intimate partners and relationship patterns? Should we seek to escape such seemingly self-destructive cycles through safer, less intense relationships? Or do these patterns serve a purpose that we must respect, instead using a new approach to harness their energies toward healing and growth?

In the midst of yet another challenging relationship, I deeply explore the unconscious roots and mechanisms of this “repetition compulsion” in the chemistry of our relationships. I also initiate a discussion about the dilemmas, paradoxes, catch-22’s, risks and rewards posed by two contrasting approaches to compatibility and conflict. In an era of dangerous polarizations and threats that demand engagement and resolution, it is a topic of great relevance to our families, society and world.

Ralph Nader Running Mate, Matt Gonzalez, to Shine a Spotlight on Election Reform

February 29th, 2008 by Howard Ditkoff

In my previous post, I voiced my longstanding frustration with Ralph Nader for continuing to run for president within a plurality election system while simultaneously failing to focus his campaign on raising awareness of and advocating reforms of that system that would eliminate the very possibility of the “spoiler” role of which he is so often accused.

Great news. It appears that Nader’s recently-announced 2008 running mate, Matt Gonzalez, has decided to make these issues a priority. In fact, Gonzalez says it is a major reason he decided to accept the position. Read the rest of this entry »

The Key Issue Suspiciously Missing from Ralph Nader’s “Table”

February 25th, 2008 by Howard Ditkoff

Yesterday, Ralph Nader announced that he will once again run for president. In explaining his reasons for running, he gave his usual litany of stances on a number of issues with which, in great part, I can’t argue. He summarizes these positions in this table on the Issues section of his campaign website detailing the solutions that he has “on the table” that none of the major party candidates has on the table:

Ralph Nader Issues that Matter for 2008
It is true that on these many key issues, Nader does, as his table reveals, have particular solutions on the table that none of the major party candidates have on the table. However, I’ve taken the liberty of adding the one line that Nader doesn’t show on his table that I believe goes to the very heart of what is missing in all of his campaigns for president:
Nader Missing Issue
Read the rest of this entry »

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