Sunday, January 22, 2017

Birthdays on Facebook

A newcomer to Facebook, I noticed that people’s birthdays are publicized, and we’re told to say something “nice” to them, like “Happy Birthday!”  Of course, why not?  It’s  a social medium. What could be more sociable than wishing somebody a “happy birthday?”

But there’s a problem. Some people think the expression happy birthday is oxymoronic.  They tend to go along with the folk wisdom of the ancient Greek sages who said: “Best of all things is never to have been born.”

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Where the Impossible Becomes Possible

In my research on Joseph of Copertino, I came to see the famous wonder-worker as a type of performance artist.  The friar’s success depended in part on a receptive audience, and the right theatrical paraphernalia.  But what made it all happen was belief.  The secret is to intensify belief, fire up imagination, -- above all, sharpen the expectation of the unlikely.  In facts, experiments in parapsychology have repeatedly shown that belief in ESP or psychokinesis is associated with psychic ability.   

In the December 2016 issue of National Geographic, the lead article was titled “Mind Over Matter”.  Author Erik Vance cites research on placebos, which also prove the healing power of belief or faith.  Absolute trust, especially in the Madonna, was a major factor in Joseph’s psychology.  In fact, trust, or belief, may for us all point to a healing potential. 

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