Reynold Ruslan Feldman, Ph.D. - Author, Editor, Nonprofit Consultant, Wisdom Coach
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The Dangers of Mysticism
Kneedy No More?
Right Use of Money
Don't Worry! Be Happy!
Not the Team or the League But the Sport

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the good life

Don't Worry! Be Happy!


Last summer I attended a free concert here in Boulder. Called “Band on the Bricks,” the event was a gift of the City of Boulder. That evening there was a Beatles cover band. They weren’t fantastic, but they were good. And of course the Beatles’ music was and is great. Cedar and I went along with my younger daughter, Christine, who was visiting from New Hampshire. Not only is she a Beatles fan; she’s a Beatles scholar, with a communications Ph.D. focused on Mod culture to prove it.

Anyway, there were between 500 and 1,000 people on hand, from babes in arms to oldies like me who had been young professionals when the Beatles first became famous in the States.

Happiness and How to Achieve It

Dear Ruslan,
Here is how I think of happiness. First, you can’t find it head on. Despite the Declaration of Independence, happiness cannot be successfully pursued. Rather, live a meaningful life—one that benefits you and others—and happiness will pursue you. So what is happiness? I’d use terms likecontentment,fulfillment, or even that 12-Step favorite,serenity. It’s a feeling of enoughness: The fancy term issatiety. It’s how you feel after good food, good sleep, good sex, even a good workout. Happiness also seems to result from the satisfaction of a job well done.

Twenty-Five Characteristics of an Enlightened World

“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. . . .” That’s how Dickens begins his fictionalized account of the French Revolution, The Tale of Two Cities. I suppose one can say the same about any era, since there will always be pros and cons. Nevertheless, we’re living now, I’m convinced, in a Dark Age. Yet the good news is, we are on the cusp of a new Renaissance. On that premise, my wife Cedar, her friends Marni and Nancy, and I brainstormed 25 characteristics of this born-again better world: 5 individual and 20 social. I hope you can improve on our phrasing and/or send us some additional characteristics of your own. So, at the individual level we see people moving from . . . boredom to a sense of wonder, reliance on the intellect to greater use of their intuition, fear of the other to interest in them, culturally sanctioned learning resources to learning from everything, and psycho-spiritual disconnection  to psycho-spiritual integration. At the social level, globally, there will be a fair distribution of wealth, peaceful conflict resolution, universal health care, sustainable energy usage, sustainable lifestyles, person-to-person versus technology-based friendships, an ethic of sufficiency versus materialism, need-versus-profit-based enterprise and marketing, a need-versus-want-based culture, effective world governance instead of chauvinistic nation-states, community-oriented populations versus rampant individualism, more natural approaches to healing replacing drug-based medicine, “Jesus” versus Wall Street ethics, the right use of power and influence instead of their widespread misuse, gender equality versus patriarchy, a prejudice-free society not a spectrum of isms, non-polluting versus polluting industry, fulfilling instead of soul-killing work, and soul-freeing, inclusive religiosity versus the exclusivist, shaming/blaming kind. In future blogs we’ll consider the parenting, education, and religion needed to create such a world. For now, I’d love your comments.  

Attitude Is Destiny.

Freud thought biology was destiny. It was not an idea likely to find favor among feminists, and it didn’t. Freud also introduced the concept of penis envy. Clearly, to his way of thinking, women could never be kings, only queens, and the latter were, for the most part, consorts rather than rulers. If gaining worldly power was the name of the game, the fairer sex had without doubt been disadvantaged. They had every reason, he thought, to be envious.  For my part, I prefer the idea that attitude, rather than biology, is destiny.

Three Tips for a Better Life

Last week my writing group asked me to lighten up the writing prompts. Too much death and dying, among other serious themes. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. This week I’ll spare you Latin-embellished deep thoughts too. Instead, even though January and New Year’s resolution time are past, how about three tips for better living?Go work out;twist and shout; andjust get out. The first relates to one of my resolutions—to exercise regularly. While Cedar and I were still courting, we lived 15 minutes apart by foot.

Knowing--and Doing--Better

Recently a great teacher died. He was, directly and indirectly, responsible for improving the lives of tens of thousands of people. He is assured of a continuing presence in Wikipedia. Yet he was also tragically unable to acknowledge the love and respect of his students and was hurtfully dismissive of those who offered him constructive criticism. In short, with all his virtues and contributions, he was a less-than-perfect human being. Just like the rest of us. The beginning of wisdom is knowing, really knowing, that we are not God.
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