Topic Review
Theravada
Theravāda (/ˌtɛrəˈvɑːdə/; Pāli, lit. "School of the Elders") is the most commonly accepted name of Buddhism's oldest existing school. The school's adherents, termed Theravādins, have preserved their version of Gautama Buddha's teaching in the Pāli Canon. The Pāli Canon is the only complete Buddhist canon surviving in a classical Indian language, Pāli, which serves as the school's sacred language and lingua franca. For over a millennium, theravādins have endeavored to preserve the dhamma as recorded in their school's texts.[web 1] In contrast to Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna, Theravāda tends to be conservative in matters of doctrine and monastic discipline. Modern Theravāda derives from the Mahāvihāra sect, a Sri Lankan branch of the Vibhajjavādins, a sub-sect of the Indian Sthavira Nikaya, which began to establish itself on the island from the 3rd century BCE onwards. It was in Sri Lanka that the Pāli Canon was written down and the school's commentary literature developed. From Sri Lanka, the Theravāda Mahāvihāra tradition subsequently spread to the rest of Southeast Asia. It is the dominant religion in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand and is practiced by minorities in India, Bangladesh, China, Nepal, and Vietnam. The diaspora of all of these groups, as well as converts around the world, also practice Theravāda. During the modern era, new developments have included Buddhist modernism, the Vipassana movement which reinvigorated Theravāda meditation practice [web 1] and the Thai Forest Tradition which reemphasized forest monasticism.
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  • 05 Dec 2022
Topic Review
Sparśa
Sparśa (Sanskrit; Pali: phassa) is a Sanskrit/Indian term that is translated as "contact", "touching", "sensation", "sense impression", etc. It is defined as the coming together of three factors: the sense organ, the sense object, and sense consciousness (vijnana). For example, contact (sparsha) is said to occur at the coming together of the eye organ, a visual object, and the visual sense consciousness. Sparśa is identified within the Buddhist teachings as:
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  • 02 Dec 2022
Topic Review
Trauma Model of Mental Disorders
The trauma model of mental disorders, or trauma model of psychopathology, emphasises the effects of physical, sexual and psychological trauma as key causal factors in the development of psychiatric disorders, including depression and anxiety as well as psychosis, whether the trauma is experienced in childhood or adulthood. It conceptualises victims as having understandable reactions to traumatic events rather than suffering from mental illness. Trauma models emphasise that traumatic experiences are more common and more significant in terms of aetiology than has often been thought in people diagnosed with mental disorders. Such models have their roots in some psychoanalytic approaches, notably Sigmund Freud's early ideas on childhood sexual abuse and hysteria, Pierre Janet's work on dissociation, and John Bowlby's attachment theory. There is significant research supporting the linkage between early experiences of chronic maltreatment and severe neglect and later psychological problems. In the 1960s trauma models became associated with humanist and anti-psychiatry approaches, particularly in regard to understanding schizophrenia and the role of the family. Personality disorders have also been a focus, particularly borderline personality disorder, with the role of dissociation and 'freezing responses' (more extreme reactions than fight-flight when someone is terrified and traumatised) thought to have a significant role in the aetiology of psychological disturbance. Extreme versions of trauma models have implicated the fetal environment and the trauma of being born, but these are not well-supported in the academic literature and have been associated with recovered memory controversies. People are traumatised by a wide range of people, not just family members. For example, male victims of sexual abuse report being abused in institutional settings (boarding schools, care homes, sports clubs). Trauma models thus highlight stressful and traumatic factors in early attachment relations and in the development of mature interpersonal relationships. They are often presented as a counterpoint to psychiatric orthodoxy and inform criticisms of mental health research and practice in that it has become too focused on genetics, neurochemistry and medication.
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Topic Review
Physical Law
A physical law or a law of physics is a statement "inferred from particular facts, applicable to a defined group or class of phenomena, and expressible by the statement that a particular phenomenon always occurs if certain conditions be present." Physical laws are typically conclusions based on repeated scientific experiments and observations over many years and which have become accepted universally within the scientific community. The production of a summary description of our environment in the form of such laws is a fundamental aim of science. These terms are not used the same way by all authors. The distinction between natural law in the political-legal sense and law of nature or physical law in the scientific sense is a modern one, both concepts being equally derived from physis, the Greek word (translated into Latin as natura) for nature.
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  • 01 Dec 2022
Topic Review
Agency (LDS Church)
Agency (also referred to as free agency or moral agency), in the theology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), is "the privilege of choice which was introduced by God the Eternal Father to all of his spirit children in the premortal state". Mortal life is viewed as a test of faith, where our choices are central to the plan of salvation in Latter-day Saint teaching. "It was essential for their eternal progression that they be subjected to the influences of both good and evil". LDS Church members believe that Lucifer rebelled against the God's plan, which resulted in a war in heaven, and Lucifer being cast out of heaven and becoming Satan. Church members believe that all individuals have the ability to differentiate between good and evil and that Satan and his followers are not able to tempt people beyond the point where they can resist. This implies that mortals can be held accountable for their actions; mortals will be judged by God based on a combination of one's faith and works (with salvation coming only through the power, mercy, and grace of Jesus Christ).
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  • 01 Dec 2022
Topic Review
Luciferianism
Luciferianism is a belief system that venerates the essential characteristics that are affixed to Lucifer, the name of various mythological and religious figures associated with the planet Venus. The tradition, influenced by Gnosticism, usually reveres Lucifer not as the devil, but as a destroyer, a guardian, liberator, light bringer or guiding spirit to darkness, or even the true god as opposed to Jehovah.
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  • 01 Dec 2022
Topic Review
The Consolation of Philosophy
The Consolation of Philosophy (Latin: De consolatione philosophiae) is a philosophical work by the Roman statesman Boethius, written in 523 AD. It has been described as the single most important and influential work in the West on Medieval and early Renaissance Christianity, as well as the last great Western work of the Classical Period.
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Topic Review
Indeterminacy
Indeterminacy, in philosophy, can refer both to common scientific and mathematical concepts of uncertainty and their implications and to another kind of indeterminacy deriving from the nature of definition or meaning. It is related to deconstructionism and to Nietzsche's criticism of the Kantian noumenon.
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Topic Review
Stylite
A stylite (from Greek στυλίτης, stylitēs, "pillar dweller", derived from στῦλος, stylos, "pillar", Classical Syriac: ܐܣܛܘܢܐ‎ ʼasṯonáyé) or pillar-saint is a type of Christian ascetic who lives on pillars, preaching, fasting and praying. Stylites believe that the mortification of their bodies would help ensure the salvation of their souls. Stylites were common in the early days of the Byzantine Empire. The first known stylite was Simeon Stylites the Elder who climbed a pillar in Syria in 423 and remained there until his death 37 years later.
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  • 29 Nov 2022
Topic Review
Risk Factors of Schizophrenia
Risk factors of schizophrenia include multiple genetic and environmental risk factors. The prevailing model of schizophrenia is that of a neurodevelopmental disorder with no precise boundary, or single cause, and is thought to develop from complex gene–environment interactions with involved vulnerability factors. The interactions of these risk factors are complicated, as numerous and diverse insults from conception to adulthood can be involved. The combination of genetic and environmental factors leads to deficits in the neural circuits that affect sensory input and cognitive functions. A genetic predisposition on its own, without interacting environmental factors, will not give rise to the development of schizophrenia. Environmental risk factors are many, and include pregnancy complications, prenatal stress and nutrition, and adverse childhood experiences. An environmental risk factor may act alone or in combination with others. Schizophrenia typically develops between the ages of 16–30 (generally males aged 16–25 years and females 25–30 years); about 75 percent of people living with the illness developed it in these age-ranges. Childhood schizophrenia that develops before the age of 13 is quite rare. There is on average a somewhat earlier onset for men than women, with the possible influence of the female sex hormone estrogen being one hypothesis and socio-cultural influences another. Estrogen is seen to have a dampening effect on dopamine receptors.
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