Walter‛s Not So Peaceful Definitely Not Relaxing But Oh So Awfully Courageous Adventure

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I just think that there's a philosophical issue here that deserves further exploration. After all, wasn't it Freud who said that human beings are basically driven by animal instincts? And if so, what hope is there for mankind if humans don't keep trying to rise above those basic instincts when the chips are down.

Sam: Thank you, Abby. And if I didn't love you so much, I'd never tell you that while it bothers me now and then that I leave my rawhide stick on the carpet and then you devour it before I have a chance to get back to it, it really doesn't ruin my day when that happens. Cockapoos are naturally, instinctually curious and busy creatures, and while you are busily chewing up my rawhide stick, I am fulfilling my need to know what's going on around the house and yard at all times. And of course, every once in awhile, when you aren't looking, Dad or Mom slips me a treat while you're finishing off my chewy stick.

So in the end, I guess we both get enough. Abby: Hm-m-m-m-m. They give you a treat? I'll have to be more vigilant. Maybe I can get both your chewy stick and another treat from them. Or, maybe I could be grateful for the nice life that we have, and that we do, indeed, have enough. Sam: Yes, we do. And I am grateful for that, and for having you in my life. Sam: And you're my girl, Ab. Let's go pester Mom incessantly until she gives us a rawhide chewy stick. That usually does the trick.

We've nearly made it through the very worst part of winter. And despite some nasty cold weather and a lot of snow so far this year, the past few days have been downright lovely. Saturday and Sunday were sunny and warm--between 35 and 40 degrees. If you look at the graph of daily highs and lows throughout the year, you'll see that during the last week of January and the first week of February, the highs often don't get above minus 5 degrees Fahrenheit, and the lows are often minus 20 degrees, or worse. It isn't an easy thing to do, and it doesn't solve the problem.

Thank goodness he waits out there with us when it's that cold. Otherwise, I'd freeze to death. And as much as I hate to put on those boots and that coat when we go for our run with Dad, I think if I didn't, we'd wind up having to go back to the house before we got to the lake, only a block away. Very dapper. It's nice to have such a handsome best friend. And we've gotten our political updates from CNN. I don't know. Whatever you want to read is fine with me.

I'm rummaging around on the top of Mom's and Dad's desk here looking for something Here's something interesting. It looks like a paper they're writing. Here, Sam, will you read it to me? I love it when you read to me. Curl up on that foam doggie bed over there and I'll put on Dad's reading glasses and get started. It's an awfully long paper they're writing. I think I'll just try to condense it for you if that's okay. I just love the sound of your voice, that's all. Well, the paper is talking about personality disorders , which appear to be psychological disorders that go way back into childhood, and that are more or less enduring traits, unlike problems such as depression, which seem to have a more definable beginning and end, and are thus often more transitory in nature.

I know that sounds redundant, Sam, but I think it makes sense to me. We're talking about something that runs a little deeper, and that may be a little more resistant to change, because it's more part of one's core identity, or lack thereof. It's just that when you use it all the time, and with a dramatic, affected tone of voice, it comes across as superficial and hollow.

In fact, "hollow" is a good word to describe someone who has this problem. People with this disorder are at the mercy of their own emotional whims, so that one minute they can seem perfectly reasonable and whole, and the next minute they can be in total chaos. As a result of this, they tend to idealize people and then soon afterwards, get disappointed by them because they turn out to be imperfect, and then they try to destroy that person for letting them down. A popular book written for the general public, for people who may be living with or working with someone who has this problem, is titled something like I Hate You, Don't Leave , which captures the deeply conflicted and contradictory emotions and behaviors associated with this disorder.

People with borderline personality disorder often spend much of their adult lives filing lawsuits, butting heads with their bosses and creating havoc with the personnel departments of their employers; and creating chaos for their friends and families. Paradoxically, they can also be very successful in their careers, and when they aren't stirring everything up and trying to destroy those around them, they can be quite wonderful.

It surely is. Of course, many people try to justify a person's behavior because of the developmental-family history of the person in question. In the case of narcissistic and borderline personality disorder , there is little question that the cause is abuse or neglect in childhood. But the fact that a person had a bad childhood--yes, even a tortured one--is not an excuse for one's inappropriate, damaging behavior. Having no empathy for anyone but oneself, or creating near-constant chaos for self and others, is not justified by one's mental health history.

And the only way for people to overcome these painful conditions is to take responsibility for their actions. I agree with you. It is most unfortunate that the humans in this country have strayed so far to the extreme of seeing everyone as a victim of something. It is most unfortunate. We are, after all, responsible for our actions, no matter what. The real test comes, of course, after the client idealizes the therapist and then begins the inevitable process of demonizing him or her. This is a crucial time in the therapy, because a therapist who can't handle the client's anger, or a therapist who tends to baby his or her clients, will blow it.

At the same time, many clients will leave therapy at this time, just when they're on the verge of a major breakthrough in working through their disappointment. Learning to deal with disappointment gracefully--and to even deepen as a result of it rather than destroying everything because of it, is a key here. Granted, there are some legitimate lawsuits filed in these situations, but there are many that actually turn out to set the client back months or even years by sabotaging this process of learning to deal with disappointment.

After all, life never gives us everything we want. Disappointment is part of life. Learning to deal with disappointment gracefully is one of the hallmarks of healthy adulthood. People with certain personality disorders expect, as a result of deep wounds, that life will eventually give them everything they want, which is impossible, which sets the person up for more and more disappointment.

What a trap, Sam! That it 'tis. And with that, I am ending our most learned discussion so that we can catch the last of that late afternoon sun streaming through the windows of the kitchen. Shall we? For soon it will be dark, and we will have to wait 24 hours for that late afternoon sun to return. But I don't mind. Things often come to us when we least expect them.

She looked like she might have been related to the cocker spaniel part of you. What was the story about?

Walter's Not So Peaceful, Definitely Not Relaxing, But Oh So Awfully Courageous Adventure Review

Abby: She was taken to the pound by her owner, who could no longer care for her, and a year-old man waited and waited until he could finally get her, and then he got her from the pound and they started their new life together. Sam: So, what happened? Abby: The man was backing out of his driveway the other day, and drove right off of the nearly vertical embankment across the street, and he and his dog plunged several hundred feet, the car landing upside down.

After about an hour, the cocker spaniel got free of the car, and the man, hanging upside down inside the car, told her to go get help. Sam: What did she do? Abby: She raced up the hill, across the road, down the street, and up to the neighbor's house, where she barked and barked until someone came out, and then she whined and begged until the woman followed her over to the cliff, where the woman saw the car, and called the police. As they were retrieving her human from way down below, she paced back and forth up on the road, until he was safe! Sam: with a tear in his eye That's such a touching story.

Sometimes life is just too marvelous and mysterious to even begin to explain. Well, it's interesting you should say that. I was watching CNN the other night, and it appears that close to half of all Americans now believe that all of the living creatures on earth have existed in their present form, since time began.

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Sam: Wha??? Abby: And Americans wonder why so many high-tech jobs, and why so many smart, talented scientists, are leaving the U. Despite the overwhelming evidence that the universe, and creation, is constantly evolving, close to half of Americans are so frightened, and so poorly educated, that they choose to believe a simplistic fairy tale instead of the facts. Sam: That's so I'm not sure if it's more sad than it is scary.

Abby: You and I believe in God, right? Sam: Right. Abby: And we believe that God created the universe, right? Abby: Don't you suppose that God is either wonderfully amused, or somewhat offended, by this silly explanation of His incredible universe? Sam: I should think so. After all, if you were an omniscient being, and you created creatures with a big enough brain to contemplate creation, wouldn't you rather create a fantastic, mysterious, wondrous universe that has been evolving for over 33 billion years, so that those beings you created, with those big brains, would have something to be in awe and wonderment about for thousands and thousands of years, rather than doing it all at once, with a sweep of His hand, so that there is nothing more to think about?

Abby: Of course. Sam: I am thankful that we live in a universe of wonder and mystery, and I pray that no matter how hard we try, we never become arrogant and grandiose enough to think that we know more than God does. Abby: Amen, Sam. Happy Thanksgiving. Charlie Melancon, whose district south of New Orleans was devastated by the hurricane, posted a sampling of e-mails written by Federal Emergency Management chief Michael Brown on his Web site on Wednesday.

The Democratic lawmaker cited several e-mails that he said show Brown's failures. In one, as employees looked for direction and support on the ravaged Gulf Coast, Brown offered to "tweak" the federal response. Two days after Katrina hit, Marty Bahamonde, one of the only FEMA employees in New Orleans, wrote to Brown that "the situation is past critical" and listed problems including many people near death and food and water running out at the Superdome.

Brown's entire response was: "Thanks for the update. Anything specific I need to do or tweak? On September 12 Brown resigned, 10 days after President Bush told him, "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job.

I. — WALTER’S HOME

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, saying Brown's expertise was needed as he investigated what went wrong, agreed to a day extension when Brown resigned. Chertoff renewed that extension in mid-October. Brown took over FEMA in with little experience in emergency management. He joined the agency in as legal counsel to his college friend, then-FEMA director Joe Allbaugh, who was Bush's campaign manager.

Before joining the Bush administration, Brown spent a decade as the stewards and judges commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Association. The e-mails Melancon posted, a sampling of more than 1, provided to the House committee now assessing responses to Katrina by all levels of government, also show Brown making flippant remarks about his responsibilities. Can I come home? Brown found time to exchange e-mails about superfluous topics," including "problems finding a dog-sitter," Melancon said. Melancon said that on August 26, just days before Katrina made landfall, Brown e-mailed his press secretary, Sharon Worthy, about his attire, asking: "Tie or not for tonight?

Button-down blue shirt? A few days later, Worthy advised Brown: "Please roll up the sleeves of your shirt, all shirts. Even the president rolled his sleeves to just below the elbow. In this [crisis] and on TV you just need to look more hard-working. On August 29, the day of the storm, Brown exchanged e-mails about his attire with Taylor, Melancon said. She told him, "You look fabulous," and Brown replied, "I got it at Nordstroms. Are you proud of me? I am a fashion god," according to the congressman.

Tom Davis, R-Virginia, chairman of a House committee appointed to investigate what went wrong during Katrina, Melancon said. Brown resigned amid accusations that FEMA acted too slowly after Katrina hammered Louisiana and Mississippi, killing more than 1, people. He defended the government's response and blamed leaders in Louisiana for failing to act quickly as the hurricane approached. He acknowledged he made some mistakes as FEMA's director, but he stressed that the agency "is not a first responder," insisting that role belonged to state and local officials. Although Chertoff has not turned over all the documents requested by the committee, Melancon charged that the material received so far contradicts testimony by Brown before the committee in which he described himself as an effective leader.

Melancon's analysis of e-mails -- PDF. Melancon used an e-mail sent September 2, four days after the hurricane hit, to illustrate his point. On that day, Brown received a message with the subject "medical help. Because of a lack of ventilators, medical personnel had to ventilate patients by hand for as long as 35 hours, according to Melancon. The text of the e-mail reads: "Mike, Mickey and other medical equipment people have a foot trailer full of beds, wheelchairs, oxygen concentrators, etc.

They are wanting to take them where they can be used but need direction. If you could have someone contact him and let him know if he can be of service, he would appreciate it. Know you are busy but they really want to help. Melancon also charged that few of the e-mails from Brown show him assigning specific tasks to employees or responding to pressing problems. They were to receive 60 trucks of ice and 26 trucks of water the next day, even though they needed trucks of each.

Robert Fenton, a FEMA regional response official, predicted "serious riots" if insufficient supplies arrive. Brown was forwarded the series of e-mails about the problem, but no response from him is shown in the e-mails provided to the committee, Melancon said. Katrina came ashore along the Louisiana-Mississippi state line, after being downgraded from a Category 5 to a Category 4 storm.

It flooded 80 percent of New Orleans. It was followed about a month later by Hurricane Rita, which caused more damage and flooding. Melancon and several other Democrats from districts directly affected by Katrina were invited to participate as a ex-officio members of the Katrina investigative committee, though they have no formal role.

This is the second time a congressional committee had dealt with e-mails relating to FEMA's Katrina response. A complete transcript of Brown's e-mail traffic during the Katrina crisis has not been released by the Department of Homeland Security. We have come through what may have been one of the worst weeks in America's history, a week in which government at every level failed the people it was created to serve. There is no purpose for government except to improve the lives of its citizens.

Yet as scenes of horror that seemed to be coming from some Third World country flashed before us, official Washington was like a dog watching television. It saw the lights and images, but did not seem to comprehend their meaning or see any link to reality. As the floodwaters rose, local officials in New Orleans ordered the city evacuated. They might as well have told their citizens to fly to the moon.

How do you evacuate when you don't have a car? No hint of intelligent design in any of this. This was just survival of the richest. By midweek a parade of Washington officials rushed before the cameras to urge patience. What good is patience to a mother who can't find food and water for a dehydrated child? Washington was coming out of an August vacation stupor and seemed unable to refocus on business or even think straight.

And when he was unable to get to Washington in time to vote on emergency aid funds, Hastert had an excuse only Washington could understand: He had to attend a fund-raiser back home. If this is the result, we had better start over. And that's our broadcast. But after that, we need to think about the American community, about the one America we think we are, the one we talk about. We need people to feel more than sympathy with the victims, we need them to feel empathy with our national community that includes the poor.

We have missed opportunities to make certain that all Americans would be more than huddled masses. We have been too slow to act in the face of the misery of our brothers and sisters. This is an ugly and horrifying wake-up call to America. Let us pray we answer this call. Screen shots of the "looting" photos on Yahoo News. Bloggers are outraged over the different captions on photos of blacks and whites in New Orleans. Another school year for the kids is upon us. The Minnesota State Fair started on August 25th, teachers are getting ready for the first day of school, and the sun is just a tad lower in the sky--just enough to give us that first little ache that comes with the beginning of the end of another hot, glorious summer.

Abby the Labrador: Four or five leaves have turned. It's one of those precise moments in time. When the day is so intense and clear that you don't know whether or not to cry. You know that something is ending and that another is about to begin, and you aren't sure of the outcome--the nastiest winter in history? Another terrorist attack? The most spectacular Fall colors since ? Or, will it all just be a dud? And then, for just a moment, you aren't even sure if the summer that is about to end was everything it was cracked up to be.

Sam: It amuses me that people in more "interesting" parts of the country gaze at us knowingly, condescendingly, patronizingly, and shrug us off. How could they have any real meaning in their lives? How could they really have a soul? Abby: A soul. That's rich. As if being grounded and solid and connected to one's family and one's history is passe. Lake Wobegon.

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It's one thing to become famous because you were "discovered" by a vast Hollywood movie machine, and yet another to become a part of the national soul because you did what you do in life, day after day, week after week, regardless of what others think about you. To build something from the ground up--to do what God meant you to do in this life--to do it on faith and from your spirit, despite the small audiences and the absence of fame, and then to have fame be a by-product rather than a goal--ah, yes.

That is what depth is about. Abby: Yes, Sam. We both know it. Some people say that you and I are really just a reflection of Mom and Dad--that ultimately, the way domesticated dogs interact is a mirror image of how their humans act. It is one of life's fascinating little puzzles, because it is partially true. The system that Mom and Dad create from day-to day is, indeed, what puts into play how we treat each other.

Dad has often used us as an example when he does professional training about relationships. He describes how we cuddle up together--legs intertwined--and how we look out the sliding glass doors at the winter scenery, side-by-side, old friends, like in the Simon and Garfunkel song, as in the pictures of us at the top of this web page; and how once in awhile, every ten days or so, I provoke you--I bite at the back of your leg, you nip at me, I charge at you with my face down at ground-level, my butt up in the air, growling and barking and charging you and retreating, and how you finally have enough--you're such a calm, sweet, dear animal, you know--and you go ballistic!

You finally bark and growl and chase me around the house--do you remember that big house we had in North Oaks? The depth and spirituality and power and tenderness and intimacy and meaning in all of those connected moments makes up a life that is, when all is said and done, a life worth living. Sam: Which is a very long-winded way to introduce what we offer to all of you parents, as this school year begins YOU know, and WE know--whether you want to admit it or not--that the number one mental health and academic problem in America today is that families in America are disconnected due to over-scheduling that serves to help people avoid being emotionally connected.

The one common thread that runs through the families of all National Merit Scholarship winners is that they eat dinner together as a family. The National Institutes of Health say without equivocation that the number one protective factor against teen drug and alcohol abuse in America is a family that cares about and creates structure and connectedness amongst family members. In other words, if you need to be your child's "pal," and if you need your child's performance to help you prove to your neighbors that you are "okay," then you're setting up your children and yourself for years of misery.

In dog terms, it's called The same goes for a computer, if it means he or she is constantly disconnected from the rest of the family. Dylan Klebold Columbine Killer was SO disconnected from his family, because his family let it happen--based on the evidence we've seen. Develop the GUTS to do two things at once--a set just a few limits for your kids but hold to them no matter what, with only an occasional exception, and b be kind yet firm as you set those limits. You'll learn a lot about the difference between shallow comfort and enduring, spiritual depth.

Sam: We love you all!! Here comes Fall!! Let America Be America Again. By Langston Hughes. Let America be America again. Let it be the dream it used to be. America never was America to me. It never was America to me. Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark? And who are you that draws your veil across the stars? Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need! Of work the men! Of take the pay! Of owning everything for one's own greed! I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil. I am the worker sold to the machine. I am the Negro, servant to you all. Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers!

The free? Who said the free? Not me? Surely not me? The millions on relief today? The millions shot down when we strike? The millions who have nothing for our pay? When I anchored the evening news, I kept my opinions to myself. But now, more than ever, I feel I must speak out. Like you, I understand that freedom of speech is a founding principle of our nation, and I respect people with the courage to speak their minds.

Over the years, Robertson and Falwell have gained considerable influence on local school boards, in the administration, and in Congress. They have shrewdly twisted the traditional healing role of religion into an intolerant, political platform. Using religion as a tool to push their personal political beliefs — especially, in a time of national tragedy — not only insults people of faith and good will, it also diminishes the positive healing role religion can and should play in public life.

This is why I am speaking out today, and why I urge you to speak out, too.


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In short, The Interfaith Alliance offers a mainstream alternative for people of faith and good will to stand in opposition to the extremism of the Religious Right. Welton Gaddy ,— and I know you will be proud, too. Please join me in this critical effort with a special contribution today. We are local religious leaders and activists, some with years of political experience, some just starting out. We work in our communities, in state capitals, in Washington, DC and wherever else our voice is needed.

Our , members across the nation represent diverse religious and spiritual traditions — Jews, Christians,Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs — 70 faith traditions in all, as well as many Agnostics and Atheists. In Washington, DC, our national office works on Capitol Hill and with the White House, in coalition with denominational bodies and other activist organizations to make sure our unique message is communicated when and where it matters most. Our 47 local Alliances are active in their communities on local issues, carrying The Interfaith Alliance message to decision-makers, the media, and the public at large.

These new letters were written in the midst of their passionate love affair. Sam The Cockapoo: What a find, Abby! Peter Pierre Abelard was born in in a little village in Brittany. It was while at Notre-Dame that he met Heloise, a beautiful young girl who was also inellectually gifted.

Heloise lived with her uncle who, like Peter, was a canon there. Peter became her mentor, and eventually she became his mistress. Their relations interfered with his public work, and were not kept a secret by Abelard himself. Soon everyone knew except the trusting Fulbert.

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When he found out, they were separated, only to meet in secret. Heloise became pregnant, and was carried off by her lover to Brittany, where she gave birth to a son. To appease her furious uncle, Abelard proposed a secret marriage, in order not to mar his prospects of advancement in the church; but Heloise opposed the idea. She appealed to him not to sacrifice the independence of his life, but reluctantly gave in to pressure.

The secret of the marriage was not kept by Fulbert; and when Heloise boldly denied it, life was made so difficult for her that she sought refuge in the convent of Argenteuil. Immediately Fulbert, believing that her husband, who had helped her run away, wanted to be rid of her, plotted revenge. He and some others broke into Abelard's chamber by night, and castrated him. The priesthood and ecclesiastical office were canonically closed to him. Heloise, not yet twenty, consummated her work of self-sacrifice and became a nun.

It was in the abbey of Saint-Denis that Abelard, now aged forty, sought to bury himself with his woes out of sight. Finding no respite in the cloister, and having gradually turned again to study, he gave in to urgent entreaties, and reopened his school at the priory of Maisonceile His lectures, now framed in a devotional spirit, were once again heard by crowds of students, and all his old influence seemed to have returned; but he still had many enemies.

No sooner had he published his theological lectures apparently the Introductio ad Theologiam that has come down to us than his adversaries picked up on his rationalistic interpretation of the Trinitarian dogma. Charging him with the heresy of Sabellius in a provincial synod held at Soissons in , they obtained an official condemnation of his teaching, and he was made to burn his book before being shut up in the convent of St Medard at Soissons. It was the bitterest possible experience that could befall him.

The life in his own monastery proved no more congenial than formerly. Life in the monastery was intolerable for Abelard, and he was finally allowed to leave. In a desert place near Nogent-sur-Seine , he built himself a cabin of stubble and reeds, and turned hermit.


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When his retreat became known, students flocked from Paris, and covered the wilderness around him with their tents and huts. When he began to teach again he found consolation, and in gratitude he consecrated the new Oratory of the Paraclete. Abelard, fearing new persecution, left the Oratory to find another refuge, accepting an invitation to preside over the abbey of Saint-Gildas-de-Rhuys , on the far-off shore of Lower Brittany.

The region was inhospitable, the domain a prey to outlaws, the house itself savage and disorderly. Yet for nearly ten years he continued to struggle with fate before he left. The misery of those years was lightened because he had been able, on the breaking up of Heloise's convent at Argenteuil, to establish her as head of a new religious house at the deserted Paraclete, and in the capacity of spiritual director he often was called to revisit the spot thus made doubly dear to him. All this time Heloise had lived respectably. Living on for some time apart we do not know exactly where , after his flight from the Abbey of St Gildas, Abelard wrote, among other things, his famous Historia Calamitatum , and thus moved her to write her first Letter, which remains an unsurpassed utterance of human passion and womanly devotion; the first being followed by the two other Letters, in which she finally accepted the part of resignation which, now as a brother to a sister, Abelard commended to her.

He soon returned to the site of his early triumphs lecturing on Mount St Genevieve in when he was heard by John of Salisbury , but it was only for a brief time: a last great trial awaited him. As far back as the Paraclete days, his chief enemy had been Bernard of Clairvaux , in whom was incarnated the principle of fervent and unhesitating faith, from which rational inquiry like Abelard's was sheer revolt, and now the uncompromising Bernard was moving to crush the growing evil in the person of the boldest offender. After preliminary negotiations, in which Bernard was roused by Abelard's steadfastness to put forth all his strength, a council met at Sens , before which Abelard, formally arraigned upon a number of heretical charges, was prepared to plead his cause.

When, however, Bernard had opened the case, suddenly Abelard appealed to Rome. Bernard, who had power, notwithstanding, to get a condemnation passed at the council, did not rest a moment till a second condemnation was procured at Rome in the following year. Meanwhile, on his way there to urge his plea in person, Abelard collapsed at the abbey of Cluny , and there he lingered only a few months before the approach of death. Removed by friends, for the relief of his sufferings, to the priory of St Marcel, near Chalon-sur-Saone , he died. First buried at St Marcel, his remains were soon carried off secretly to the Paraclete, and given over to the loving care of Heloise, who in time came herself to rest beside them Sam: What an amazing, passionate, painful, romantic story, Abby.

Abby: I think you're right, Sam. In the first, Abelard stood accused of claiming that there was more than one god, because he had written a book that applied logic to the Trinity. His accuser could find nothing in the work that suggested heresy, except for a single sentence that wasn't Abelard's writing but a quote from St. Still, Abelard was condemned and ordered to burn his book. They were a reformist monastic order that would become the most influential in Christendom, and Bernard was the George W.

Bush of their movement. He "was accustomed to having people listen to him and then eventually agree," Burge writes. Bernard was deeply anti-intellectual, casting Abelard as elitist, overeducated and anti-religious. He charged that in Abelard's theology "the faith of simple folk is laughed at, the mysteries of God forced open, the deepest things bandied about in discussion without any reverence. That's rather frightening!

It's as if history is repeating itself in certain ways. Abby: Remember, Sam But it seems that it is part of the nature of humans--as opposed to canines--that even when they appear to have a sense of their own history, they continue to repeat it. Abby: It would appear so. There is something grandiose and narcissistic about it--as if her uncle's feelings might actually have justified that kind of revenge, in his own mind. Abby: You'll get no argument from me, Sam. Sam: I thought that the purpose of religion in humans' lives was to help them rise above their human limitations--to help them bring their better part forward.

Abby: Well, you'd like to think so, wouldn't you, Abby? Sam: I admire human beings for trying. Abby: As do I, Sam. As do I. By the way Happy New Year!! Let's hope for some new and interesting aspects to The late Jean Piaget revolutionized our understanding of cognitive development in children and adults. His work, which began when he was a boy growing up in Switzerland, is considered to be the most important work on intellectual development in this century. And what Piaget discovered has been fascinating scientists and laymen alike ever since his earliest publications.

His theory of cognitive development states that the human mind is "wired" to adapt to the environment for survival of the individual and of the species. The way that the mind adapts is similar to the way that the body adapts When we modify what we take in to better fit our current cognitive structures, Piaget called it assimilation.

When we modify how we view the world to better fit new information, Piaget called it accomodation. These two mental processes, assimilation and accomodation, are thought to be going on all the time; but one or the other will be more dominant in any given mental activity. Let's say that a child has a concept of "doggie".

To her, a doggie is anything that has four legs and fur, at least at first. She is 18 months old, riding in the car with her mother, and she spies a cow chomping on some grass by the roadside. She smiles and her eyes light up in a flash of recognition. Well, it isn't a dog, and wanting her daughter to understand the world as it truly is, her mother says gently, "No, honey, that's not a dog. Free delivery worldwide. Bestselling Series. Harry Potter.

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