Mindlessness: The Corruption of Mindfulness in a Culture of Narcissism (Hardback)Thomas Joiner (author)
Hardback 224 Pages / Published: 28/09/2017
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A contemplative practice with Buddhist roots, mindfulness is "the awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present-moment, non-judgmentally." Practicing mindfulness can be an effective adjunct in treating psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, and addiction. But have we gone too far with mindfulness? Recent books on the topic reveal a troubling corruption of mindfulness practice for commercial gain, with self-help celebrities hawking mindfulness as the next "miracle drug." Furthermore, common misunderstanding of what mindfulness really is seems to be fueled by a widespread cultural trend toward narcissism, egocentricity, and self-absorption. Thomas Joiner's Mindlessness chronicles the promising rise of mindfulness and its perhaps inevitable degradation. Giving mindfulness its full due, both as a useful philosophical vantage point and as a means to address various life challenges, Joiner mercilessly charts how narcissism has intertwined with and co-opted the practice to create a Frankenstein's monster of cultural solipsism and self-importance. He examines the dispiriting consequences for many sectors of society (e.g., mental health, education, politics) and ponders ways to mitigate, if not undo, them. Mining a rich body of research, Joiner also makes use of material from popular culture, literature, social media, and personal experience in order to expose the misuse of mindfulness and to consider how we as a society can back away from the brink, salvaging a potentially valuable technique for improving mental and physical wellbeing.
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 435 g
Dimensions: 242 x 164 x 22 mm
"In Mindlessness, Thomas Joiner provides a cogent critique of the mindfulness craze that permeates the contemporary cultural scene. He not only debunks the common misconception that research demonstrates the uniquely effective nature of mindfulness practice and mindfulness-based treatments, but also demonstrates the way in which the more valuable dimensions of the mindfulness based traditions are undermined by the narcissistic turn that contemporary culture has taken. Joiner argues that what he terms authentic mindfulness has been replaced by a corrupted form of mindfulness that emphasizes an egoistic preoccupation with gratifying our own needs, desires, and fantasies.
In its place he argues for the importance of a more fundamental reorientation of our approach towards life that emphasizes a stoic emphasis on accepting life in its own terms and holds that happiness is a byproduct of the pursuit of virtue." --Jeremy D. Safran, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, New School for Psychotherapy Research
"There is a point in the evolution of all great ideas when-by virtue of their utter domination of the cultural zeitgeist-they are liable to become parodies of themselves. Thomas Joiner's incisive polemic, Mindlessness: The Corruption of Mindfulness in A Culture of Narcissism, convincingly argues that the venerable practice of mindfulness has undergone just such a transformation into unintentional self-satire; however, Joiner isn't laughing. With equal parts curmudgeonly bewilderment and righteous indignation, Joiner sets up a mirror to the legions of self-obsessed, "faux" mindfulness aficionados (whom he dubs the "Narcissi"), indicting them for their misguided smugness and intellectual hypocrisy...Prudent, sincere, and occasionally hilarious, Joiner fills the role of social dissenter with gusto. And--at a moment when mindfulness is being peddled as an effective treatment for everything from trauma to tinnitus--it is a role that desperately needed filling." --PsycCRITIQUES
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