Human Rights Should be Central to Global Mental Health Approaches

Professionals from the United Nations and World Health Organization review the movement for rights-based approaches to global mental health.

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An article published in the International Review of Psychiatry offers a comprehensive review of the current state of human rights in mental healthcare across the globe.

The article is authored by some of the world’s leaders in global mental health: Artin A. Mahdanian of Johns Hopkins, Marc Laporta of McGill’s Douglas Research Center, Nathalie Drew Bold and Michelle Funk of the World Health Organization, and Dainius Pūras, the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health.

While there is an academic discussion emerging on human rights in mental health, there remains work to be done to make rights-based approaches central to the global delivery of mental healthcare rather than merely an alternative.

“The relationship between mental health and human rights is complex and bidirectional. On the one hand, human rights violations can themselves negatively impact mental health, while protecting human rights can buttress or even improve mental health outcomes. The presence of a mental health condition is more likely to place an individual at risk for human rights abuses, and people with mental health conditions are often at higher risk of human rights violations like discrimination, stigma, and coercive measures than the general population,” the authors write.
“From the perspective of recovery-oriented care, which focuses on  mental and physical health beyond symptomatic treatment, and integration of human rights principles into mental health policy and law can promote autonomy, physical integrity, confidentiality and privacy, self-determination, legal capacity, liberty and security of a person.”

The international initiatives and conventions established by the United Nations and the World Health Organization are at the cornerstone of human rights and mental healthcare, most notably the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the WHO QualityRights Initiative. The article’s authors sought to understand if their recent push to integrate a rights-based understanding of local and global mental healthcare systems has been successful in recently published literature.

The authors combed through and sought to identify articles that directly relate human rights issues to mental healthcare services. Using keywords like “human rights,” “rights-based approach,” “CRPD,” and “QualityRights” in conjunction with “mental health,” “psychiatry,” or “psychiatric,” the authors initially found 608 articles available across multiple academic search engines. However, after excluding the duplicates and carefully reviewing titles and abstracts for relevancy, only 26 articles remained.

However, the existence of these 26 articles does reveal, as the authors note, that a growing number of practitioners and rights advocates from around the world are becoming aware and interested in human rights and mental healthcare and are thus writing more about it—integrating these perspectives into the mainstream understandings of mental illness.

The authors categorized each article they found into one of three themes.

  1. Tools to assess compliance with human rights in mental health services.

Measurements to understand how stigma toward individuals is detrimental to ethical and efficient healthcare delivery have been developed and modified over the years to better document and understand adherence to global standards in ethical care delivery. Other tools have been created to better assess and understand how closely varying mental healthcare legislations comply with human rights norms.

  1. Current status of human rights in mental health service delivery.

The growing awareness was also made clear through the articles and research that the authors found that documented both the violations and the achievements in rights-based mental healthcare across the globe and how challenging it is to deliver rights-based care in low-resource settings such as prisons and developing nations in the majority world. Although these articles were few and far between, they illustrate the significant gap between the current policies guidelines and facilities’ abilities to meet them.

  1. Coercive measures in psychiatry and human rights.

Most articles note that the most prevalent rights violations issue in most healthcare settings was involuntary commitments and coercive measures. Typically justified as a kind of “protection” for “patients,” the literature review revealed that rarely, if ever, does the general population question involuntary and coercive treatment.

“Although these provisions are meant to protect people with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities from causing harm to themselves and others, many people, including service-user advocates, raise valid concerns that substitute decision-making can be considered and is often experienced as abuse and can potentially lead to a range of other abuses including but not limited to the misuse of psychiatric methods for political suppressions, sexual and physical abuse of mental health service users.”

At the end of the paper, the authors contend that “the already existing biopsychosocial model used to formulate the etiology of and treatment plans for mental health conditions should be enriched by fully integrating human rights into the model.”

“This will structure our understanding that all people with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities are rights holders and serve policymakers in actively promoting services permitting the complete realization of their rights. Human rights need to be entirely incorporated into mental health treatments, care, and approaches (a bio-psycho-socio-rights formulation).”

 

 

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Mahdanian, A. A., Laporta, M., Drew Bold, N., Funk, M., & Puras, D. (2022). Human rights in mental healthcare; A review of the current global situation. International Review of    Psychiatry, 1-13. (Link)

30 COMMENTS

  1. “Typically justified as a kind of “protection” for “patients,” the literature review revealed that rarely, if ever, does the general population question involuntary and coercive treatment.”

    Which makes telling my story dangerous. Which explains in part why I am still trying to tell my story and correct the record.

    https://www.madinamerica.com/2021/10/people-dont-recover-criminal-psychiatry/

    https://ginafournier.medium.com/people-dont-recover-so-spectacularly-from-criminal-psychiatry-actual-violations-of-the-state-70383532e0c9

    https://ginafournierauthor.com/

  2. We should all be treated like children. Nobody argues with a one year old. The one year old has a basic human right to hold their own opinion.

    It is a right enshrined in the Declaration of Human Rights.

    As a one year old I have a right to not have forced or coervive or unwanted forms of care. So I agree with this article completely.

    And as a one year old I have a basic human right to hold an opinion about why I am ill and suffering. Even if it is an opinion at variance with everyone else’s.

    I am schizophrenic. My being so does not mean anyone else has to have the same opinion of what makes them struggle in life.

    And since I struggle so much with my schizophrenia I need care. I do not accept that my care should involve going against my basic human rights, with bad or unwanted treatment.

    I am free to call myself whatever I like and still expect good care, whether my choice of care is talk therapy or nutrition or herbal tinctures or respite in Soteria. All one year olds hold the same expectation and rightly so.

    This is my belief. I do not listen to anyone else’s. Not because I am uninterested but because like a Christiain or a Buddhist, this belief works for me. I understand that others have their own belief and that too is a human right, and rightly so. I welcome everyone expressing their one year old needs for them.

  3. “the most prevalent rights violations issue in most healthcare settings was involuntary commitments and coercive measures. Typically justified as a kind of ‘protection’ for ‘patients,'”

    … when in reality involuntary and coercive measures are likely often used by doctors to profiteer off of covering up easily recognized malpractice and medical evidence of child abuse, in well insured, innocent individuals. As was the case with this, finally FBI convicted, criminal doctor (albeit, he was only convicted for financial crimes against the state, not the harm he did to the – God knows how many – clients he had psychiatrically “snowed,” performed unneeded tracheotomies on, and likely murdered):

    https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndil/pr/oak-brook-doctor-convicted-kickback-scheme-sacred-heart-hospital

    “the already existing biopsychosocial model used to formulate the etiology of and treatment plans for mental health conditions should be enriched by fully integrating human rights into the model.”

    There is absolutely zero in the “already existing biopsychosocial model” – the DSM “bible” (a scientifically “invalid,” stigmatizing, billing code, systemic child abuse covering up,”bible”) – that discusses “the etiology of … mental health conditions.”

    “The DSM has long claimed to be “atheoretical” about the causes of mental disorders.”

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-child-does-not-have-bipolar-disorder/201402/dsm-5-and-child-neglect-and-abuse-1

    “the literature review revealed that rarely, if ever, does the general population question involuntary and coercive treatment.” But there are millions of people who don’t want to be coerced and forced to take the Covid “vaccine.”

    I would imagine the “literature” is silent on this because it’s written by the very “mental health professionals” who want to maintain their right to force drug people. And because the general population hadn’t assumed that our government (via the social workers, CPS, etc.) and our religions (via their “partnership” with the “mental health professionals”) would be dumb enough to “partner with” a faction of the so called medical community. So that the “mental health profession” could function as “omni-potent moral busy bodies,” and become systemic child abuse and rape cover uppers – which is the number one actual societal function of today’s psychiatric and psychological industries.

    https://www.madinamerica.com/2016/04/heal-for-life/
    https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/01/23/18820633.php?fbclid=IwAR2-cgZPcEvbz7yFqMuUwneIuaqGleGiOzackY4N2sPeVXolwmEga5iKxdo

    https://www.amazon.com/Pedophilia-Empire-Chapter-Introduction-Disorder-ebook/dp/B0773QHGPT
    https://books.google.com/books?id=xI01AlxH1uAC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
    https://medicalkidnap.com/2018/08/05/america-1-in-child-sex-trafficking-and-pedophilia-cps-and-foster-care-are-the-pipelines/

    “all people with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities are rights holders and serve policymakers in actively promoting services permitting the complete realization of their rights.”

    What does this even mean? And why do you claim people should “serve policymakers,” rather than policymakers should be functioning to serve the people? Perhaps you believe that the policymakers should only serve in big Pharma and the “mental health industries'” best interest, not in the general public’s best interest? Which is what seems to be currently going on.

    The bottom line is the only way to ever bring “human rights” to the “mental health” industries, is to take away the “mental health” workers’ right to force drug people.

  4. The group I am active with is a human rights watchdog over the field of mental health.

    But what if the system totally cleaned up its act and never treated someone against their will or harmed anyone in their care? Would that be enough? Could we all go home and rest easy?

    Of course, it is highly unlikely that any such thing would ever happen. I suppose it could, but even if it did, I would not rest easy. What if every psychiatrist followed the path of Kelly Brogan and swore to never use any drugs on their patients? I would still not rest easy. Because Kelly does not yet know all there is to know about the human mind and how to improve it.

    And so, while human rights abuses remain prevalent in the mental health field, they are only slightly less prevalent in many other fields, like medicine, public health, government, and others. So we have a more basic problem to solve, and more basic lessons to learn. And most, as eager as they may be to make things better, are not learning those lessons. While I still have confidence that the people who are actually advancing human knowledge and application in these areas will eventually set things right, I see a lot of needless death and suffering yet to come.

    • I really like your comment. It has brought something new to my awareness.

      (I use the “you” word now not as speaking to you but as a figure of speach that is plural).

      Historically, I see two stances in any human that are vital for survival of the species.

      First. The vital importance of sabre rattling at a perceived danger.

      Second. The vital importance of stepping towards a fellow human for healing.

      In life we need both talents.

      Confusion can come because it is felt to be “healing” to “sabre rattle” IF you have been bitten too often by deceit from those you trusted.

      But that does not mean you do not at times still need to step towards a fellow human and ask for their compassionate response, if you have an ant bite or a broken tibia or a fever or desperate grief.

      There may be no way to build a caring system that will not take advantage of you. Life is flawed that way. People are imperfect when they bind into systems since systems can become more powerful than any lone human’s ability to rattle, never mind sabre rattle. Yes, yes.

      But that does not mean bin all hope of some basic harmless safe forms of caring.

      When we all get dementia from forever plastic microgranuals we may need not so much to sabre rattle but help to wear our raincoats outside in from inside out. There is a basic level of care that very iatrogenically damaged or unwell people need. That is not a sneaky backdoor way to muscle in more coercive treatment. That has to stop.

      There comes a point when there needs to be a division or a…

      (a di-vision)

      between the scrapping of old menacing treatments and the pioneering of some new or even ancient tribal forms of just caring. BOTH of these survival imperatives are necessary. There cannot be a relinquishment of sabre rattling guardedness lest the danger be surreptitiously “pretending” to reform, or acting the part of a new caring system whilst still continuing the former ways. Yet there cannot be a relinquishing of a new vision of better forms of caring.

      Given that it is easier for a human to say what they don’t want year after year, rather than risk the impossible and say what they “do want”, there needs to be a weather eye kept on how the vision of a new form of care is shaping up. Is it even happening at all?

      I’ve suddenly gone too tired to finish my sentence. Been a long crisis strewn day. I’m away to bed.

      • A new form of care IS shaping up, but in a non-academic group, so is being ignored by the “experts.”

        Who’s to say for sure how well this newer approach could be adapted to secular society, but there have been some test cases (in particular, of the Purification Rundown though a group called Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education or FASE)) that look promising. But a breakthrough into the mainstream seems like a long shot at this point. Perhaps we can reach a “tipping point” where an acceleration towards sanity, instead of away from it, will begin.

        • I shall weep if you do not have the care you desire.

          You ought weep if I do not have the care I desire.

          Each person must have the care that their heart desires.

          If not, then it is not your care.

          If not then it is not my care.

          The problem in the world is not the kinds of things on offer.

          It is the bullying that says you or I must only have this kind of choice or that kind of choice and no other. This bullying over our own individual desired choices is at the centre of all distress. It is not in the various choices themselves.

          If someone wants traditional psychiatry, let them.

          If someone wants nothing but rain bathing and radish yoghurt and a prayer mat, let them.

          Until humans sabre rattle against the bullying erosion of “every” human’s conceivable free choice, the sabre rattling will be responded to by yet more sabre rattlers until the world is deafened by tanks rumbling into every street.

          Thank you L.E Cox, for responding to me with kindness.

  5. …people with mental health conditions are often at higher risk of human rights violations like discrimination, stigma, and coercive measures than the general population,” the authors write.

    Where does one turn when professionals unite their voices with those taught or teaching there is a stigma to mental illnesses?

    As a reminder: Saying there is a stigma does not make it so. Even in the terrible time of Hitler, despite seducing millions to act with him on that prejudice, there were people who declined and instead did their best to save fellow citizens’ lives.

    So, the pertinent question is, Was there a stigma to Jews, or was there a hierarchy declaring there was? They are two separate and discrete issues.

    That same issue arises today: There is a stigma, there are people who declare there is.They are two separate camps.

    —-from one authority

    “Stigma” has been used as an all-purpose term for the negative attitudes faced by people with behavioral health issues. However, increasingly reporters** are using more precise terms, such as “prejudice”, “bias”, “social exclusion”, or “discrimination”.

    ** I cannot think of when it is warranted to accommodate anyone directing a stigma, or to use less than precise language.

    Edited: …people with mental health conditions are often at higher risk of human rights violations like discrimination, prejudice, and coercive measures than the general population,

    Harold A Maio, retired mental health editor

  6. The problem with the whole notion expressed in this article is that “rights” do not come from other humans or organizations of humans, whether governmental or quasi-governmental entities, such as the UN or a defined governmental territory, such as a nation, etc. “Rights” come from God, or one could use terms like “Spirit”, “Higher Power,” etc. depending on one’s belief system. However, Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence noted well that only God bestows “rights.” Although this was partly in response to the tyrannical king of England at the time, it still rings true today. We need to realize that we are only mere Humans and that it is not up to us to determine who gets rights and who does not. That belongs to God/Spirit in which all deserve “rights.” Of course, this line of thinking would probably put many out of business, such as psychiatry and the like. Thank you.

    • Because this article is actually about human rights, I will attempt to summarize how I see this issue generally.

      I write here a lot about Spirit. This is because I consider that the existence of something we could call Spirit has been verified by careful study done by several different individuals. The ramifications that arise from taking Spirit seriously are vast and not fully explored. But if we begin with the idea that each of us started out as an immortal causative nothingness, then we might wonder how we all got to the point where we have to worry about psychiatry violating our human rights.

      The central theoretical construct that bridges a condition where a bunch of immortal beings are just sort of floating around amusing themselves with their own creations with a condition where a bunch of beings acting through bodies constantly interact with each other in a co-created universe is the Theory of Games. A game consists of only a few fundamental parts: freedoms, barriers, and a purpose. They also need a space (“playing field”) to be played in.

      Our human rights and our human rules are examples of freedoms and barriers. The most basic and “universal” of our rules describe our agreements about how any human game should be played. We want everyone to have the right to join, and the right to leave. We want all players to “play fair” or suffer eviction from the game.

      Being tied to a human body is itself a game, as the body presents us with various freedoms of action and various barriers to action. The goal, normally, is to keep the body alive for as long as possible.

      However, some games have the goal of eliminating as many human bodies as possible, or in war, at least enough to wear one or both sides down to a point where one side will be declared the “winner” and end the war. However, it is the normal intention of most games that play go on indefinitely, or forever.

      All basic laws (or rules of play) such as the 10 Commandments, assume that all humans deserve certain basic rights or freedoms, as long they play fair. The irony of games and rules of play is that a totally free spiritual being innately has all those freedoms, while their bodies essentially have a very limited set of freedoms. When a group of humans agree to a list of “human rights” they are essentially honoring the essential spirituality of people, and wish all involved in the human game to also honor that. But the fact that we can then write laws that will deprive individuals of some (if not all) of their rights if they are found to be cheating, demonstrates how frail many of those rights become in the context of being human.

      Generally speaking, it is considered “good” to play games that promote human survival and “bad” to play games that inhibit human survival. And from this we derive our basic moral and ethical frameworks.

      From our experience we have found that certain beings (they carry this as a spiritual characteristic, though they can decide to change it) can only play “bad” games. This has been a continuing and confusing problem for us, as those of us who believe we should all have rights want to share those rights with those of us who believe that others should not have any rights. In theory this problem would be handled by a justice system, but in practice no system yet invented has been able to handle the problem. These problem beings could be called “born criminals” or “real criminals.” In psychology they are usually called psychopaths.

      Essentially, then, the only reason we need to list out our “human rights” and pass laws to punish people who violate those rights is because psychopaths exist. If they didn’t we would likely be aware that we are spiritual beings, and any problems that arose from playing any of our games could be peacefully resolved by discussion.

      I learned all this in the process of studying the subject that we call Ethics. I don’t know that it is really the same as what is known as Ethics in philosophy, but it is intended to be similar. The basic problem that Ethics tries to solve is psychopathy. Not on a technical level, but on a practical level in day-to-day life. Human rights and human laws are all concerned with this basic problem.

      Today we can see an entire planet, more and more coming under the influence of the unethical (psychopaths), losing its grip on the subject of human rights, of good and bad (right and wrong) and of the importance of laws (rules of play). Though psychiatry may not in fact be the leading force in this attack on humanity, it certainly measures up to that accusation in many ways. To recover control of this planet from them will require intelligence, skill, courage and dedication. I think this work is important and that everyone involved in it should be recognized for taking some responsibility for getting it done.

      • Lovely astute work.

        I am having to stop writing so this may be messy but I just wanted to pipe up in my cheeky, though affectionate way, that perhaps “the game” is to try not to fall for the illusion that the psychopath is real. The purpose is to look through the holographic veneer of that character and see that their originally pure essence has agreed, in an immortal higher dimension, to take on the costume role of “villain” in life’s theatre game in order to give Earthly people the “experience” they need to define what love is and is not. Like all jobs, it is a thankless task, teaching people love from lovelessness, but just like as in cleaning a toilet maybe someone has to do it.

        • While your view could be considered correct from a higher-level spiritual perspective, the psychopath gives us unending problems here on Earth, and it is only rational to expect Earth humans to want to do something about it.

          It is not like we don’t have enough problems that stem from other sources to give us “interesting” lives.

          And though I believe the problem of psychopathy has been technically resolved, I am not pressing here for that solution to be implemented, but just for a better understanding of how life on Earth works. As this involves an appreciation for the concept of Spirit and its ramifications, this is more than enough to challenge most people beyond their intellectual boundaries.

          Though every day we put off handling psychopathy in a more workable and resolute way puts us one day closer to losing the entire “playing field” (this planet), handling it incorrectly will only hasten that descent.

          And though it is a popular notion that evil people exist to teach good people lessons, I believe that a fuller inspection of our past history would indicate otherwise. Even if this were true, I don’t think it should stop us from pursuing the goal of making everyone good or “healthy.”

          • Joyfully sparring in the spirit of levity…

            How do you propose to “make” a person healthy?

            To “make” anything implies becoming a force. So is this to be one that robs them of their choice to be as healthy or unhealthy as they wish. If someone balanced on your kitchen refrigerator watching you eat a platter of delicious chocolate muffins and told you that you were “not allowed” to be unhealthy it would not feel like freedom.

            Love equals freedom.

            Even the freedom to do drugs or unhealthily euthanize oneself if one’s burdens become impossible to bear.
            The only time where force is perhaps healthy in and of itself is if you are being unpleasantly badly treated by someone with an armoured tank.
            To force the evil to be good is using a force that is antithetical to goodness. Since we cannot force the evil to be good without also becoming in some sense also just as evil something else needs to happen.
            The evil must be stopped from chaotically harming others in outward behaviour, but they have a free choice to be intrinsically as unhealthy as they wish WITHIN THE CONFINES of their own SELF. This not only applies to the evil but it applies to all good beings too. Just as a Buddhist has that free choice, and a Hindu has that free choice, and an Atheist has that free choice.
            We can all be as good or not good, healthy or unhealthy, as we “freely choose” and want to be, provided we are not outwardly actually physically harmful, nor encouraging others to be so.

            You mentioned that lives have enough of a stockpile of grievances to bestow depths of experience and so we do not need excess.

            I say people are like the elements. The wind and rain and blistering heat and ice cold snow and syruppy sunlight.

            You don’t say…
            “There really ought not be quite so many hailstones, yesterday there were three hundred but today there are a thousand and seventy four”.

            If each human had their way the world would only have temperate weather and only lovely sweet nice people in it who all adore eachother’s choice of pop chart hits. But it would become a hell. Everyone and everyone would be “all the same”. Like everyone all only ever reading the “same book”.

            If Jesus had not encountered the odd narcissist or psychopath there would have been no Christ story. We can only define goodness by its opposite. In the tapestry of life we can only pick out our own life’s lovely shade of orange or blue or green by the surrounding colourful threads “freely choosing” not be identical.

          • I like many of your ideas, however, there is only one little fly in the ointment as they say in “pursuing the goal of making everyone good or ‘healthy.'” And that is the concept of “free will.” This means although noble to purse the goal of making everyone good or healthy; it is still a person’s choice as to whether he or she wants to be good or healthy. Some people do choose evil over good when given the choice (i.e., psychopaths etc.) Also, when given the choice to be healthy or unhealthy, some people do choose the “unhealthy” option. For some, the “unhealthy option” reaps a lot of “rewards.” And there are those who choose this option because they are choosing to basically “give up” and no longer “fight” for their lives. Psychiatry enables this in so many ways by basically creating real life “zombies” through their drugging and therapies, etc. But there re those who would never be involved in psychiatry who sadly choose this option. I, also, think there are many in this world who are terrified of “SPIRIT.” I consider this to be the result of systematic brainwashing. I know there are those who are fielding discussions on systematic racism/sexism, etc. However, no one wants to discuss, perhaps the underlying and pervasive problem of “systematic SPIRIT-BASHING” Many times, this even happens from those who we would think should know otherwise, like some religious clergy. Well, anyway, that is my opinion on this Good Friday. Thank you.

          • Diaphanous, your points are true on the spiritual level, but they are compromised when playing the game of being human.

            How do you love a criminal? By allowing him the freedom to steal, rape and murder? Or by restraining him from doing so? In human society, we are bid to restrain the criminal so that no too many suffer.

            Of course, one cannot make someone healthy unless they come to you and ask you to help them become more healthy. Given that the person is willing to cooperate, there are several workable approaches to helping them become more healthy.

            I understand that my wording was a little sloppy. But this does speak to the basic problem of help. When someone commits a crime, the urge of the more morally strong is to help them to stop committing crimes. When someone breaks their leg, the impulse is to get the leg treated so that it will mend. But the criminal may refuse your help. And some who get hurt or fall sick may also refuse help, for various reasons. It is then up to the one responsible for helping to judge if he can help anyway by temporarily taking over control of the injured or unwell person and then return control to that person as they heal. If the helping professional does not in fact know his craft well enough to accomplish this, he has the choice to get trained, get out of that profession, or fake it (becoming a criminal himself). We might imagine that some fake it because they want to help but don’t actually know how.

            Of course, the hurt or upset person may fail to recover for other reasons. The primary reason would be that the person is under the influence of a psychopath who wants him sick, not well. So the healer needs to be aware of this possibility and know how to handle it when it arises.

            I won’t address all your points in detail. But your idea that if everyone could have around them the people they enjoyed having around them, life would become boring and monotonous is interesting. I don’t think it would work like that. People who like to be bored might be surrounded by people who bore them, people who like to fight might be surrounded by others who like to fight (or argue) and people who like to do great works might similarly be surrounded. But all those taken together do not make a boring world. It could possibly make a world where every human could be seen to be “on the same team.” But that leaves all the other species, the elements, and the ravages of space and time to challenge us. I don’t think it would ever get boring.

            Rebel, I hope the above discussion also clarifies my ideas a little for you. But it is not easy for me to be totally clear, partly because the various situations of life are not always totally clear. Distinctions between good and bad actions, right and wrong actions, are not always that clear. I am currently reading a book that involves an ancient battle that happened in India. It was really quite an atrocious battle, full of death and destruction. And yet, Krishna, a very spiritually elevated person, thought it had to happen. My teacher, on the other hand, would never allow that such a destructive action was justified. And he developed some special tools to help adversaries avoid violent situations.

            I just think that the impulse to make life better is a worthwhile impulse, and should be followed even when met with repeated failures. Having and defending a code of human rights is an important part of that process on Earth.

  7. L. E. Cox,

    It is not the criminal who is all that unhealthy.

    It is the decent.

    Or rather I should explain that it is the strictly morally decent.

    Throughout human history the decent have responded to “the criminal” and “the mad” because both follow their own eccentric choices.

    To this end millions of ordinary people were spit roasted in the Inquisition, millions were wiped out in death camps, and millions were smashed in wars of shock and awe.

    Humans tend to call the choices of others “criminal” or “mad” because they have been groomed by schooling in childhood to only favour “correct” choices.

    Humans cannot allow in others what they have been taught not to allow in themselves. If a neighbour uses spice to cook a meal and you have been taught to only use sugar, you may find their choice shocking, wrong, incorrect. Just because it is a different choice. Just because they are “not you”. Because most humans think they are pretty marvelous, for various reasons, when they encounter an other who is not like them they cannot “also” be seen as marvelous. That would make the “correct” choice to use sugar seem slightly iffy, if using spice were “equal” to it. Humans like to “feel good” about themselves because of their “correct” choices. They have been taught that way. But this is societal control. Mostly choices are innocuous. There are few “incorrect” choices. Abuse, murder, bullying. Those are not good choices. Society should do all it can to ensure nobody behaves that way.

    But instead, sometimes a society is made up of “the decent” who are really just the abusive and murderous and bullying, who all act like righteous pontificators who believe in the myth of “correct” choices. They then impose persecution of an individuals birthright freedom to choose. With a vengeance they tell the person their choice marks them out as a “criminal” or “mad”.

    You also alluded to something like this in the way a psychiatrist can be “decent” and yet not.

    However, since most free choices are harmless, for you to make, and for me to make, provided they are not resulting in overt behaviour of a murderous or abusive or bullying sort, I actually see nothing “wrong” or “incorrect” in a person’s free choice to become a lovely caring gentle respectful psychiatrist. Whatever you may think about various departments of psychiatry, there is a need for someone to tenderly care for the altzheimers demented, the road accident brain damaged, the person just dealt a blow that they will be dead in a year from an incurable tumour, the hormonally crazed post natally psychotic mom who wants to leave her newborn in a cold doorway. The list is long of people who genuinely need more care than an activist flyer and free cup of coffee.
    A problem can be that “decency” of the strictly moral sort, the judgey sort, seeps into any establishment and when it becomes enshrined there the worship of “correct” choice do too. Which means the demonizing of “invalid” choices. The muscle for such control meted out by such “decency” is “consensus opinion”. Where ever you find “consensus opinion” you find intolerance for “your own quirky opinion”. You then may become “the demon” for having an opinion that is at varience with the “regime”. Most regimes run on the illusion of “decency”. Most regimes are “trying” to make heaven on Earth. An Earth that actually already is a perfectly good heaven were it not for himans trying to control it.

    All “trying” tends to be “non acceptance” of what “is”.

    Much of what “trying” is comprises of bullying.

    Trying to impose fixing an other.
    Trying to make an other more like the right kind of person.
    Trying to make an other see reason.
    Trying to make an other conform to set standards on heaven on Earth.
    Trying to make an other sane.
    Trying to make an other work at a shit job.
    Trying to make an other more attractive to society.
    Trying to make an other learn the lesson of “decency” about your “incorrect” choices.

    All “trying” wants something from you. Mostly for you to “change”, so that you “only” choose to cook with sugar.

    Mainly all “trying” to “improve” you is coercive, whether welcome or unwelcome.

    The opposite is “letting go” and “letting live” and “letting be”. Such are airs of “love”.

    I know I have wandered away from psychopathy. I must admit I have a soft spot for the renegade feeling since it adds counter balance to uptight strict moral “decency”, a coldly planning death camp building decency that has filled more mass graves than any rogue psychopath has.

    But all this does not mean I applaud destructive behaviour in the “decent” OR in the reckless. All destructive behaviour is utterly unforgiveable.

    I make a distinction between feelings and outward behaviour.

    On a packed bus you can feel murderous yet do nothing of outward harm to anyone. You were just in a grumpy mood. Your feeling is NOT “criminal”.

    What the strictly morally decent do is try to “control” other peoples freedom to “feel” the “feelings” they “feel”.

    That is mostly unacceptable.

    (I could go on but I genuinely am in the midst of painting my hall, flecks of snow are in my hair and under my fingernails).

    • What is the perfect disguise for a wolf? A sheep.
      What is the perfect disguise for the criminal? Being “decent” “righteous” or “holy.”
      But if you decide that all who are decent, righteous and holy should be suspect because this is the criminal’s favorite disguise, then you help condemn humanity to hopelessness and slavery forever.
      We CAN learn to tell the difference. There are many who do it every day.

      While I can empathize with the feeling that because we have been fooled so many times, all who try to improve society are just fooling us and themselves, I don’t believe that and never will. That’s what the criminals want you to believe. I don’t think it’s the truth. They desperately want you to believe that it is the truth. I refuse to go along with that.

  8. I know someone who needs to believe society is wrong and that it needs to be “fixed” because finding it all wrong seems to excuse that person venting outrage and even lets them justify their vengeance. Because of this the person needs to use the veneer of “hope” in making the world “better”.

    There is always a hopeful “vision” behind an apocalypse like a ransacked city.

    This illusion of “hope” explains the person’s valliently trying to “fix” the planet. This usually means weeding out those who are deemed to be counter productive to the “fixing”, or complying with “societal bettering”.

    This then leads to picking “sides’. As in “us”, the “decent people” and “them” the “enemy people”. But to keep the society decent often means rooting out enemies amongst enemies amongst enemies until you end up with a granny and in nightgown being shot for destroying the “hope” in “bettering” the “society”.

    Is that really better?

    PEACE HAS NO SIDES.

    • At this point I rather fail to follow your reasoning.

      The hopeless will find all sorts of reasons why it is wrong to hope.

      And the hopeful will find all sorts of reasons why it is wrong to be hopeless.

      In the physical world, all things have sides, even peace. It’s a game, and a game must have sides.
      In the spiritual world we don’t need games, but as we are stuck in this physical world it seems wise to me to learn to play and to improve our skill.

      • Actually, I somewhat disagree on one point. There are sides in the spiritual world; good versus evil. This seems very simplistic, and it is possibly more complex. However, there seems to be possibly “good entities” in battle against “evil entities” every day. I think there may be a barrier against the “evil entities” but when they “sneak through” there is some sort of danger afoot. In my opinion, it is a constant battle that will eventually be win. But I am a mere human and don’t know when. Thank you.

        • Though the struggle between good and evil is seen as a “spiritual” struggle, I urge you to consider what a spiritual being really is.

          To me, a spiritual being is causative but formless, and immortal because it needs no concept of death or destruction to exist as itself. Thus, what would the concept of “evil” mean to such a being? In a world where you need nothing to survive, how could any other being ever threaten your survival?

          The concept of good and bad did originate long ago, as spiritual beings have always (it seems) enjoyed playing with each other, and for this needed some sort of physical thing that they could “win” or “lose.” With this came the idea that they could not immediately create a replacement for anything they made that was lost or destroyed. But on the spiritual level, this is a lie that is only necessary in order to have a game.

          So for me, the whole concept of good versus evil arises from the activity of playing with each other, and only makes sense in the concept of a game. We can have games like sports where there are rival teams, but no real enemies. And we can have games like war where the rival is considered evil. In games like sports, evil only comes in the form of someone or something that threatens the game or the playing field. Thus, peaceful people can see war as an evil game, whereas warlike people would not see the logic in that.

          But here we are discussing life in a very philosophical way. Though I think it is important for a better understanding of our human situation, in the human context there is no question that good versus bad (or evil) is relevant. The big question for humans involves which games are “good” and which are “bad.” And that seems to be what our political and religious discussions often deal with.

          Creating a list of human rights and freedoms helps define this for us. There will be rational beings that might disagree with some points of such a list, or argue that the list is useless because it cannot be enforced, or that the act of enforcement creates a moral quandary. These can be valid arguments. However, I would prefer to just run with the list we have and work to achieve better awareness of it and a world where human rights are fully respected.

  9. L. e. Cox.

    I am delighted you find my comment devoid of “reason”.

    It is a pleasure to spar with you. I am limited in how much I can.

    I have not the time of day to do the “game of logic”.

    What “logic” does is it seizes on a fractal and hoists it up for inspection but then finds it leads to another fractal and another fractal. Meanwhile a hall floor needs painted.

    I am not so interested in pusuing specific verbal fractals, like the “hope versus hopelessness” fractal, fun though that often is. I am more interested in savouring the poetry of a whole parable. When you read a poem you let the whole ensemble permeate you without picking out a word or line.

    People often seem to want to seize on any word I say to nail me to the cross of “incorrect” thinking. And you have done so by citing the word “all”. Like when you sort of say I claim that “all” the “decent” are suspect. Or like when you sort of claim that I say that “all” hope is suspect. Like when people hear me saying that I have schizophrenia they jump onto a notion that I say “all” people have it.

    The Declaration of Human Rights has it that we are each free to hold our own opinion.

    Interestingly in general the use of the objecting word “all” in response to someones freedom to “hold their own opinion” is sometimes a way to make their opinion seem non-specific and contageous and “unreasonable”, and by extention “their freedom” seems “unreasonable”.

    I am not sure I said lots of “all” things or if I did I am not sure I intended it. A comment is not a thesus.

    I find that people who do that fractal inspection of my glib “beat poetry” are taking exception to me not being “analytical” or “academic” or “logical”. For this I am “unreasonable”.

    I never want to be those things as are “logical”!

    To me “logic” is the biggest “game” there is and I refuse to play it or waltz with it, not if and when I do not choose to.

    In my life people like to critique my remarks as being carelessly saying “all” this or “all” that, as if I am generalizing. Mostly they do so to demean me. It is a way of saying…

    “You are not precise and logical”

    or

    “You are not obeying the game rules of academia and are being childish”.

    or

    “You are being to womanish”.

    But I say that “rules” pick “sides”.

    Logic “picks sides”.

    PEACE DOES NOT PICK SIDES.

    Peace is about Oneness. Oneness accepts diversity as if different things are not sides but are each all expressions of the whole.

    I enjoy refusing the demands of “logic”. I am happy to flamboyantly be childishly saying “all” fairies are lovely, and “all” chocolate cakes taste great, and “all” mean people are bullies.

    Of logic I don’t give a stuff.

    I will say that I have lots more to say on everything I produce in the comments section but I am aware that what people do in my life is shove me in a ditch, then hear my ideas, then steal my ideas, shove me in a ditch, and win awards for my ideas. Whilst I am wanting my ideas to prosper, not least because where they come from is somewhere that does not work on a level of awards or identity but rather generosity of sharing, I also know that my ideas are apt to be snatched up and used willy nilly without the infinite care they require.

    For instance, in all my many years at these muses I DO outline a “difference” between being “ethically caring” and being neurotically “decent”.

    But if I start spelling that out in a tiny comments section I will not paint my hall.

    May I respectfully suggest you to back and see your responses to my comments. You seemed to go for saying I said “all”.

    It would be like person A saying…

    “I do not like rain. The rain is heavy”.

    And person B saying…

    “You cannot logically say that ALL rain is heavy, I refuse to buy that!”.

    What is really going on is person B compelling person A to “be specific”. Be “logical”.

    Logic is not the only way to understand a person. People here often deride psychiatry for being that way.

    There is another way.

    Feelings.

    You either get the gist of them or you do not.

    What I find sad in the comments section is the habitual use of clinical scientific scrutiny to unravel clinical scientism.

    You say you are spiritual. I love this about you.

    But then…

    If science is not your God why speak in that logical tongue at all?

  10. DECENCY CAUSES ABUSE !

    Further to my previous comment…

    A molestor is seldom a grungy delapidated mess of a person. A molestor is usually a banker or a lawyer or rock star or priest or a doctor or a popular pillar of the community. In other words NICE PEOPLE rape children.

    Why?

    Because being nice all day and being decent all day requires having no feelings.

    Only those without feelings can care so little as to rape.

    Society insists on its people being impossibly nice and impossibly decent in a sixty hour week and then wonders why those NICE PEOPLE go off the rails. In order to impose niceness and decency society shames “the feeling”. As if “feelings” are destructive. Logic is used to “pick sides” and shame “the feeling”.

    But without “feelings” there can be NO feeling of compassion. Only “the feeling” are caring enough to not be rapists. Feelings are not “decency”.

    I will say no more on this. Shoved in a ditch will happen.

    And by the way, I must add that my spitting at academic credentials does not mean I lack any. I achieved a university degree in Divinity.

  11. L.e. Cox,

    I have been way too quick to respond to some things you said to me that upon reflection “do” make sense to me. I now understand more what you mean by the term “game”.

    To me life is “a mirage”. I think there are parallels in our mutual philosophical findings. A game is an unreal thing that feels passionately real. Ditto a mirage. I apologize if I upset you. I think the comments section is not able to allow for greater depth of understanding. Plus it can be a log jamb of feistiness since every comment made will be bookended by detractors. It is a chaotic and unnatural way to delve into “the deeps”. People need space to ponder whether what they say still feels heartfelt to them. And there can be a pressure to sound absolutely certain. And in a rush many precious notions that are dear to your heart can get scattered like bread upon the waters. Ending up disappointingly feeding nobody.

    I will leave it at that. I need to do lots of leavings at present.

    Always good to be leaving.

    Vastly superior to arriving.

    • Appreciate your remarks here.
      That’s why I have a blog, I suppose.
      Few read it, and since it’s free it has ads, but it remains more of a body of work that can be studied (should one feel so moved) than seemingly random comments on someone else’s blog.
      Though I do have my opinions about how things work and am willing to state them emphatically on occasion, my purpose is to get others to look beyond their usual limits, as I have done, if for no other reason that to become aware of what is there. It is rather obvious to me that we have more to learn, as if we knew all there was to know we’d be farther along in our own development than we are.

      • My angels tell me everything is a mirage.

        We are all having a shared dream in which our behavours can manifest as nightmares to others. But that only occurs to degree we get swallowed up into believing the dream of reality is…real.

        A person may not kiss their girlfriend if they think she is part of “a dream”.

        But equally a person may not harm her if she is like mist that can harm nobody merely by “being”.

        When you embrace the notion of everthing being a mirage you allow what IS to be entertaining.

        Crimes occur because people take everything too seriously.

        I found this video a close contender to what you appear to like.

        Always exciting to encounter a wise “knower” such as yourself.

        I shall put the link separately.

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