Self-Pity and Self-Satisfaction Opposite Sides of the Same Self-centered Coin

In a recent blog post entitled “Get Tough With Yourself”, the author relates the unavoidable pitfalls for people who give in to self-pity.  I’ve broached this subject before in a previous post (Patristic Cognitive Tools for Coping With Bad Thoughts) in which I related the AA slogan “poor me, poor me, pour me another”.  Self-pity is one of the first signs of giving up, throwing in the towel, and beginning the downward spiral of comfort-seeking rather than virtuous striving. Here’s an excerpt from the “Get Tough With Yourself” blog post, “Anytime a man is in a downed place—i.e. he’s annoyed, … [Read more...]

The Role of the Mind and the Body in Behavioral Modification

The Fathers rightly understood that man is a composite of mind and body and that both must be addressed in order to correct the thoughts and actions.  Long before cognitive psychology appeared on the scene to correct one-side behavioralism, patristic tradition had a unified understanding of human mental functioning in terms of theoria and praxis.  For the Fathers, theoria and praxis refer to the inward and outward aspects of life in Christ respectively.  Theoria concerns the correct ordering and control of thoughts while praxis refers to properly ordered outward acts.  Nepsis (or watchfulness) … [Read more...]