David King, MSc, PhD
Writer, Teacher, and Health Psychologist


       davidking2311@gmail.com

"We need not to be let alone. We need to be
really bothered once in a while. How long
is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something
real?" (Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451)
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Meaning

connect

I have recently found myself faced with a peculiar conflict (of the existential variety). In my heart of hearts, I have long considered myself a socialist. I say this not in a strictly political sense, but in a moral one (I would more formally describe myself as a progressive liberal). I am sensitive to the connections among us. I see them in both the daily minutia and my life as it unfolds more broadly. Undoubtedly, we are all connected. We are all mutually dependent—even at our greatest distances, and in our most desolate of separations. As Carl Sagan (and many others) have reminded us, “we are made of starstuff.” The romanticized nucleosynthetic origins of our finer components (carbon, oxygen, etc.) might be augmented only by the preceding origins of hydrogen and helium during the Big Bang. With such temporal depth … Keep Reading Here

For the pursuit.

by David King on December 20, 2014

shipinthenight

A ship in the passing.
A call in the night.

When I was young, I wanted to be many things. Between the ages of ten and fifteen, my career prospects included palaeontology, astronomy, marine biology, zoology, and veterinary medicine. There is a theme there, surely, but it seems that none of these early musings were of the materializing variety. My life would ultimately take a different path: psychology. But what are all of these things—these ologies and onomies? Are they the means to some end, or the goals before which we lay out some path? Perhaps they are mere products of the pursuit…

They are all of these things, of course, or they can be. They are also a selection of the myriad expressions of human endeavor. But at this precise moment in my life, I find myself more … Keep Reading Here

moon

My eyes burn. Too long have I spent my days staring at this screen…

Today I learned that my 14-year-old brother had his face beaten so badly that he was knocked unconscious—while his adult assailant continued beating him. If it weren’t for an onlooker who threatened to call the police, he would have likely ended up in a coma, if not dead. This was the second unpleasant call I’ve received from my mom in the past two weeks. The first was far more permanent in its implications, as my dad passed away unexpectedly. Lost was his battle with alcohol at the early age of 57; and found sadly was his body by my other brother, Ryan. Upon my return to the day-to-day this week, I gave a lecture in which I discussed the life of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani school … Keep Reading Here

In This and Every Fall From Grace

by David King on November 4, 2013

nature

You can try to hold on if you want to, but your grip is sure to loosen over time.

Grace is a virtue often defined in religious terms, but it need not be so. I have made the suggestion that many expressions of religion and spirituality are the mere products of our desire to reconnect with nature. In its purest form, nature is grace; grace is nature – effortless beauty, simplicity in elegant design, rounded, smoothed, and charming, even when it’s not at all.

It’s right there. It’s all around us, in every drop of water, in every moment of the hydrologic cycle. It’s in the bonds between atoms, in the synapses between nerves, and in the air between each breath. It’s both photosynthesis and decomposition; both mitosis and meiosis; stalagmite, leaf, and root. It’s the ice and the snow; … Keep Reading Here

In Times Past, and Somewhere in Between

by David King on June 20, 2013

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Once upon a time, things were easy.

That’s the curse of adulthood though, isn’t it – to look upon the past with eyes of envy and regret. It is how most lives are played out, with one foot rising toward the future and the other planted firmly in the past. To free it, to loosen it from its grip, is to truly live.

But it is not without its sacrifices, for the past is who we are. The past is everywhere we’ve ever been; it’s every breath we’ve taken, every word we’ve ever spoken, every memory formed. We are very little, it would seem, without these pasts that restrict us so.

This is the predicament of adulthood; the challenge of moving forward in time. We are all caught in it, at some point along the way. Some fare worse than … Keep Reading Here

Confronting Concrete: The Catch-7 of City Living

by David King on May 26, 2013

concrete

I’m tired of the city. Really, really tired of it.

I suppose it’s not the city itself that I’m tired of. It’s what the city has removed that I find myself longing for. I’m tired of the absence of nature; of perfectly aligned trees and genetically enhanced flowerbeds. I’m tired of manufactured landscapes and concrete views. I miss the connection. I miss life – the kind that isn’t constantly motivated by coffee breaks and cocktails on patios.

Such feelings may come as a surprise, given my current location. And sure, Vancouver is a city with more natural beauty than most. But it is nonetheless still a city. Trees have been replaced by towers of glass and cement. Pristine bays once frequented by orcas now function as parking spaces for freighters and shipping vessels. The nature that remains has been quarantined, … Keep Reading Here

Something Less than Decent

by David King on April 27, 2013

humanity

We have become complacent. And in error, we desire to be content, above all else.

In my early twenties, I had come to the conclusion that judgment was indeed something to be avoided, at least consciously, in so much that I had no right to compare my losses to those of others; no right to judge my experiences as better or as worse. By extension, I had no right to offer advice either directly or narrowly, for to do so required a judgment of what was best for someone else. Such judgments once seemed reckless, for who was I? Whether it was complacency per se, I am not quite sure. But despite its original intentions of respect and political correctness (as well as a recognition of the natural variability in human experience and perception), my commitment to all suggestions absent … Keep Reading Here

Darwin Be Damned: The New Rules of Evolution

by David King on September 16, 2012

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The search for meaning is a big one. And it’s the only one that matters in the end.

I believe that everything can be reduced to meaning. I’ve always felt this way about life, not based on some book I read or on some theory I learned in school, but rather on my experiences. We are meaning-seeking creatures, every one of us, no matter our race, creed, or intellect. Meaning is our primary motivation, even if we don’t know it (and in fact, I believe most of us don’t).

Darwin’s theory of evolution and its underpinning mechanism, survival of the fittest, offer sound explanations for a number of life-related phenomena, including human intelligence. But survival of the fittest only explains the lowest 3 to 4 needs on Maslow’s hierarchy. It says nothing of the search for meaning, which would be … Keep Reading Here

Signs

by David King on November 10, 2009

I’m a person who believes in signs.

Back in the 1920′s (and later first published in 1952), Carl Jung proposed the idea of synchronicity – the experience that two events are related when no underlying causal connection exists or is likely to exist. Within this framework, logic, reason, and science are not the only possible means of linking events. Jung added to this list the concept of meaning – the interpretation of causality due to the individual perception of a meaningful relationship.

My own experience with synchronicity has been this: If you keep your mind open, the signs are everywhere. Now, being of a research and science background, this notion can be very problematic, as it essentially creates an experimenter bias within this massive study that is THE WORLD. However, I am not convinced that these signs – these acausal … Keep Reading Here