Tag Archives: Brene Brown

What Are You Grateful For?

What is it that makes Thanksgiving such a powerful notion and valued celebration?  In studying all manner of philosophy and contemplative practice of late, I have noticed a widespread, repeating thread that might begin to answer the question.  That is, the power of the practice of gratitude.  To get an idea of how popular the idea is, try googling ‘practice of gratitude’ and explore the results.  One high-rated result is a short spot by Brene Brown (who was featured earlier on this blog) that serves as a great introduction to the subject:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Selectively Numbing and Thought Stopping

At chapter ten in What Is Wrong With Scientology?,  I discuss the thought stopping process that Scientologists are conditioned to engage in.   I have subsequently recognized a couple more insidious by-products of that thought stopping process.  They might in fact explain the substantial ‘decompression’ process period corporate Scientologists seem to need to feel human again.   I got to thinking about this after viewing an extraordinary talk that a friend sent me the link to.  It was given by Dr. Brene Brown, research professor of Sociology at the University of Houston.   I highly recommend you watch and listen to this in full when you have got 21 minutes to spare:

In order to acceptably thought-stop in corporate Scientology, don’t we also stop (or numb) our emotions?    I think Brown is right that people cannot selectively numb emotion.   Instead, they numb themselves so as to wall off, or not-is, emotion.   After engaging in the process enough we make ourselves incapable of experiencing spontaneous – and appropriate – emotion.   Perhaps the same mechanism occurs with thought.

In either event, I think – irony or ironies – that Scientology communication training routines (including mood drills) do wonders in rehabilitating the damage done by years of thought-stopping and emotion-numbing within corporate Scientology.  That is, when they are done as they were originally designed to be practiced.  And that is, as a fun, decidedly unserious, activity.