Episode 144: Existentialism, Humanism and The Drowsy Chaperone

MichaelTherapy11 Comments

Americans spend billions of dollars on self-help products each year, but does someone else hold the answers to your questions about what your life is all about? Join me as I discuss a fascinating book called If You Meet The Buddha On The Road, Kill Him! We also see how a wonderful recent Broadway musical, The Drowsy Chaperone has some very intriguing things to say about life. Could it be that there is some existentialism in that musical? Listen to this episode to find out.


Resources on Existentialism

  • William Glassman from Ryerson University has a good summary of humanistic psychology here. (Thanks to Allen Esterson for this link)
  • Being And Nothingness: An Essay in Phenomenological Ontology“Being And Nothingness: An Essay in Phenomenological Ontology
  • One of the big names in Existentialism is Viktor Frankl who developed a therapy called Logotherapy. Here he is in a video from YouTube called:Viktor Frankl on Religion & Ultimate Meaning 1990:


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11 Comments on “Episode 144: Existentialism, Humanism and The Drowsy Chaperone”

  1. Hi Michael,
    I thought this was a really interesting episode – fascinating to see the way your mind works. 🙂 I just wanted to say that I really must look up that book as the first quote you gave from it (something about the patient needing to realise that (s)he really was just quite ordinary) reminded me of some of Chuck Palahniuk’s book Fight Club (also a movie, which I’m sure you know), whose audiobook form I’ve just finished. There’s a lot of nihilism and anarchism throughout the book (telling himself he’s “not a unique and special snowflake” or similar) however it’s also coupled with a rage against society, and history in particular, for ‘forcing’ the hero to pay for all society’s past misdeeds (pollution, corruption, etc), like he’s owed something.
    Anyway, maybe it was a bit of a stretch, but I really enjoyed the episode and will look for the book and if that stage show comes to town then I’ll try to see it (is it travelling to Australia, do you know?). 🙂
    Take care and keep up the great work!
    D.

  2. Oh, and it amused me that the author of “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him” was named Sheldon (being a Big Bang Theory fan). 🙂

  3. Derek: I can tell from the many comments you’ve left on the site that you are quite a well read guy. How do you find time to get into all these topics? I can’t say I’ve read anything about the Big Bang theory, so if there’s a guy named Sheldon involved, well that’s news to me. And I’ve never heard of Chuck Palahniuk, though I did see the movie – a bit too disturbing for my tastes, but it does make some good points about society. You have got to check out the “Buddha” book. Really fascinating reading.

  4. I’m really interested in the graduate programs you mentioned in existential psychotherapy. Do you have any more information about this?

  5. Thanks, I’ll look into that. I really enjoyed this podcast, btw, and I’ve got the Buddha book on hold at the library. I’m looking forward to reading it.

  6. Howdy again,
    I really can’t recommend the Fight Club book enough – it’s not necessarily a pleasant read, but very interesting. Just like the book that the film Trainspotting was based on. Awful situations, but an amazing experience to read it (especially with all the Scottish brogues written out phoenetically – quite challenging).
    The Big Bang Theory is a sitcom about scientists and Sheldon is theoretical physicist with some variant of Asperger’s. I don’t know which channel it’s on in the US (CBS perhaps?) but it’s very popular in Australia. Worth checking out too.
    🙂
    Looking foward to your next episode.
    D.

  7. Dear Michael, this is another excellent Podcast that I couldn’t help but kept listening to it. Thanks & much appreciated!

  8. I’m going to have to read/watch Trainspotting. I’ve heard that title many a time. I’ll look into it Derek.

    Thank you Ting!

  9. Glad to hear it (re Trainspotting), but beware, neither is a film/book for the faint hearted. Quite a challenge, but I really felt like it was worth it by the end. 🙂

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