Monday, December 18, 2006

PRONOIA

In the quest to insinuate pronoia into dinner table discussions taking place all over the world, we bring the following pieces of evidence to your attention. Exhibit a The bible of the mental health community is a 943 page textbook called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, or DSM-IV. Published bby the america psychiatric association, it's a standardized catalog of psychologicial disorders that therapists use to evaluate and treat their patients. Surprise! This ultimate word on the state of the human psyche describe countless pathological states, but there's not a single entry referring to good mental health. You might imagine that shrinks would be mildly interested not only in fixing what's wrong with their patients but also in helping them cultivate what feels good. But how can that happen if the feel-good states aren't even recognized as important enough to name? Exhibit b David G. Myers and Ed Diener authored an article called "The Science of Happiness." which appeared in the Sep/Oct 97 issue of The Futurist. "What causes happiness?", they inquired. "This question not only went largely unanswered during psychology's first century, it went largely unasked." They note that from 1967 - 1995, essays on negative emotions far outnumbered those on positive emotions in the psychologicial literature. The ratio was 21:1. Exhibit c Even those supreme perpetrators of pop nihilism, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, have a better ratio than psychological literature. They average only 12 negative stories to every one that might be construed as non-negative. Most other daily newspapers maintain a similar proportion. Many of their non-negative stories, however, cover success in two specific fields: finance & sports. For example: nasdaq is up today, the atlanta braves won their eighth straight game. Remove these feel-good-stories from the equation, and the media's curse quotient rises closer to that of the psychological literature. PRONOIA, The Antidote for Paranoia - How The Whole World Is Conspiring To Shower You With Blessings - by ROB BREZSNY

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