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Cognitive Therapy
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saxifrage00
flipzagging dropped this phrase in a comment in reepicheep's journal today, and it set off gongs and bells and a plethora of other musical percussion in my head.

Cognitive therapy!

That's the key. That's my hammer, when I'm looking for a nail. That's the solution that I feel people always seem to overlook and that I never seem to be able to articulate. Living is perception, so why not master one's own perception to achieve one's goals for living?

Now I need to actually go and look up a definition of "cognitive therapy." Otherwise I'm just, as estrellada would point out, reifying the phrase, munging it's meaning to support my context.

This entry may make a bit more sense if you go and read the original entry and comment, come to think.

Edit: I found an interesting read on the fundamentals of cognitive therapy. It's about Epictetus and why he didn't make a fuss about a broken leg. What's interesting is that the philosophy reflected in that bit of background, and that I try to follow myself, calls to my mind a famous Christian prayer:
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.

On a tangent, is it heretical to accept the wisdom and teachings that have arisen from Christianity without believing in the historical and theological dogma? I'm not sure that it matters, but I do know that it's this sort of thing that makes me respect that particular branch of spirituality despite the bad-apple, fear-mongering, gay-hating, social-progress-loathing squeaky wheels that are constantly being showcased in the media. Despite them, and Bush. That's a different rant subject, though.

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Your first guess at what it meant was correct. Wikipedia's article is more accurate and this one has concrete examples.

The Epictetus story sounded a few wrong notes for me -- if you want a poetic way in, try the Buddhist Dhammapadda.

Thanks for the excellent links!

It's always interesting to find a convergence of western and eastern thought, and to see modern reasoning rediscovering ancient philosophy.

The Dhammapadda link is great. I will have to continue reading that.

Is it heretical?

So even if it was, why would that matter, when it's only heretical in the confines of that religion you took the stuff out of? ;) God knows (hah!) I do it all the time, from all over the place.

On a tangent, is it heretical to accept the wisdom and teachings that have arisen from Christianity without believing in the historical and theological dogma?

If it is, then come join me, fellow heretic ;-) I do this all the time -- I take the bits and pieces of religions that work for me and cobble together my own out of them, throwing out the crap I don't like. As long as I don't go around actually *calling* myself a Christian (or, for that matter, a Buddhist, a Druid, etc), I don't see anything heretical about it, by the definition of 'heresy' (since we're breaking out the dictionary today in your LJ ;-)

Cognitive Theraphy, as a phrase is pretty intuitive to me. I also think it's a kick-ass concept, which many people apply without being concious of it: Talking themselves out of things, using affirmations, re-framing situations in your mind...etc.

The Serenity Prayer is awesome, so good. If you feel iffy you can even gloss the word 'God'...however, I have no particular issue with that term; I'm essentially a monotheist who believes that diffrent gods/goddesses/avatars/saints/prophets are all diffrent facets of the same, organizing life force. (etc etc)

I tend to take bits of religion: For me, it's honouring the fact that even the most prejudiced Baptists rhetoric has, within it, a peice of wisdom or truth.

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