Plane Crash in the Alps, Andreas Lubitz – the Other “N” Word

By Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D. • 3 min read

[I’ll make this quick – I haven’t had my coffee yet and the subject matter is too tragic for me to play my silly word-games.  But, yes, brace yourself for a pattern-break, as usual.]

When I read about the crash of the Flight 4U 9525 in the Alps, particularly, about the 8 minute long ominous silence from the cockpit and that even breath, I had a clinical hypothesis: narcissism.  I shared this with a fellow psychologist, who said: “Why?! Maybe it was a psychotic break…”

As you probably know from the recent reports, a conclusion emerged that co-pilot Lubitz locked out his pilot (during a bathroom break) and deliberately crashed the plane.  Huffington Post summarized the prevailing sentiment with one title word: “Why?”

Today I read that the investigators became aware of the following: according to Lubitz’ girlfriend, Lubitz had fantasized about “notoriety” and about “one day changing the system;” additionally, he apparently tried to conceal his psychological/psychiatric treatment for depression because it threatened his ambition to become a pilot.

When I read this, I had a “stigma alarm” go off in my mind – a concern about misunderstanding of depression by the general public.  And sure enough, a related article on BBC about why people commit murder-suicides seemed to be focused primarily on preempting “stigma danger” for depression.

As I looked through the media coverage, I kept scanning for the “N” word – the word “narcissism.”  It was conspicuously absent.

Let me clarify: I am not offering a psychological autopsy.  I am offering a point of discussion which …

Full Mind, Empty Mind

By Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D. • Less than a min read

Sitting by a small cave the other day and humming, I noticed that I doubled my humming effort with the help of the echo.

And realized: “we have to empty ourselves so as to resonate (with What Is).”

We can be full of ourselves or we can be full of reality.

Mindfulness is not about fullness of mind: a mind full of itself is closed off to input.

Mindfulness is about being full of Reality: to make that happen, empty yourself out (to resonate with What Is).

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A Point to Savor

By Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D. • Less than a min read

Savoring (which is a form of mindfulness) doesn’t just detect taste – it creates taste.  Up to a point, taste is up to you.

[adapted from Eating the Moment (Somov, 2008)]

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Let Go of Truth

By Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D. • Less than a min read

Truth is moment-specific (reality updates itself non-stop).

Truth is mind-specific (mind is fundamentally subjective and so are its proclamations of truth).

Let go of truth (and open up to what so inexpressibly is).

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Nondual Accomplishment

By Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D. • Less than a min read

Fearlessness and Compassion are the existential accomplishments with lifelong learning curve. Let us all have enough time to embody these two nondual ideals.

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By Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D. • Less than a min read

Dr. Ralph Siu

Ever heard of Panetics?

“Sitting atop the evolutionary pinnacle, [Homo sapience] is now  the most vulnerable of all organisms when it comes to suffering. […] [We] would do almost anything to preclude, reduce, or cease [our] own suffering. Yet [we] remain woefully gross about the actual kinds and amounts of suffering [we ourselves are] actually causing in others… A new discipline, called Panetics, was therefore proposed in 1988… Panetics is defined as the integrated study of the infliction of suffering in all of its ramifications and of the reduction of infliction. At the same time, a quantitative unit of suffering, called the dukkha, was advanced to facilitate… panetic accountability… [The word “panetics”] is derived from the Pali word, paneti, meaning “to inflict.”  We believe it fitting to look to the Pali language for the root. For this is the dialect of the only surviving complete canon of the teachings of the compassionate Buddha in India in the 5th century BC about suffering and its palliation. We may go as far as to suggest that paretics is in part a modern extension of some of his expositions and that Buddha himself might well have been the world’s first paneticist.”

Now you have. Panetic accountability ensues.

Panetics and Dukkha: an Integrated Study of the Infliction of Suffering and the Reduction of Infliction | Panetics Trilogy, Volume II. R. G. H. Siu, 1993


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Forecast of Acceptance

By Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D. • Less than a min read

Nothing of significance happened yesterday: just Universe stepping on its own toes all over the place.

Same forecast for today.

And for the day after tomorrow.

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Reading the Book of Life Out of Sequence

By Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D. • 1 min read

ourA Pattern Break # 888

It’s possible that each of us is not just born but is given an entire life all at once – not just a first page of existence but an entire book of it. But, for perceptual reasons, we approach this life in a temporally sequential manner – that is, reading the pages of time in sequence (1, 2, 3… this moment, then the next moment…), thus creating a sense of time and creating a sense of an unknown (i.e. future, i.e. yet-to-be-read pages of existence). This kind of temporally linear approach is what Kant believed to be an apriori of perception, i.e. an invariable.

But what if it’s not invariable? What if you could read this book of existence any way you wish? What if you could experience this given life-time of experience in reverse? I am not suggesting that we fantasize about what it would be like.

I am suggesting that perhaps that is already possible. Just consider your premonitions and hunches of foreboding that eventually do materialize… We tend to look at such instances as coincidences or self-fullfilling prophesies. But what if they are just instances of reading the book of life out of order…

One of the implications of this possibility is that your life is fully predetermined – not by some outside agency, but by your own prior self, who already once lived it and, having once collapsed the probability wave to a particular crystallization of a life-script, “doomed” oneself to …

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Interfaced With What Is

By Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D. • Less than a min read

“Human skin is porous; the world flows through you. Your senses are large pores that let the world in. By being attuned to the wisdom of your senses, you will never become an exile in your own life, an outsider lost in an external spiritual place that your will and intellect, have constructed.”

― John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

Close your eyes: there you think you are – wherever that is. And there you think is the outside.

Nonsense: the outside isn’t there, it’s right here wherever you are.

You are seamlessly embedded in this reality. You are not apart from this reality. You are this reality.

Your skin is porous, right? You already know that. So, pause to appreciate what that means: like a living lego block you are plugged right into everything that is!

You and Reality (Cosmos) interface through this skin. What this means is that your face is inside this reality and the face of reality is inside you. What this adds up to is that you and this reality have the same “original face.”

Tat tvam asi – you are not just This, you are also That.


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Pattern Break #45-xc

By Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D. • Less than a min read

Dare to be no deeper than a mirror.

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Select books by Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D.:
Mindful Emotional Eating Reinventing the Meal
Present Perfect
Eating the Moment

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