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What's in a terminology? Call it ""positive addiction"" rather than ""good habits"" or ""self-discipline"" and you may have a theory--or another panacea. Dr. Glasser (Reality Therapy, 1965) peremptorily divides all of us into two categories: strong people and ""inadequate"" ones who resolve their feeling of worthlessness by doing something crazy. Eighteen months ago, however, Glasser stumbled onto the pathway to nirvana, which he has termed ""the PA-state."" The attainment of PA is a by-product of a voluntary, non-self-critical improvement activity such as athletics or arts and crafts. In plain English, which is anathema to this kind of bullshitting--a relaxing, diverting hobby. Glasser's prime example is running (TM is a secondary one), which supposedly produces ""sort of a transcendental, trance-like state."" A mystical experience, as it were. He doesn't explain the nuts and bolts of it, but this somehow sets your neurons spinning free so your brain can ""grow."" About as significant a ""medical breakthrough"" as therapeutic basket-weaving, injected with the pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo that regularly hooks readers addicted to fad psychology.

Pub Date: Feb. 4th, 1975
Publisher: Harper & Row