Thursday, May 19, 2022

Comments by l_e_cox

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  • Short term personality changes are common. A person is happy in life, then hears that a parent died and becomes sad. Then the question becomes: How long before they return to their “normal” selves?

    What happened there? The person had his attention out on the various activities of life, and was happily handling those activities, then his attention got pulled onto a tragedy in his life. So it is a matter of attention and control of attention.

    Drills that could put the being more in control of his own attention would help him feel more impervious to the bumps and twists that are bound to show up in life.

    Similarly, if a person loves dogs and carpentry, but feels sad all the time, the ideal “therapy” results in a person who still loves dogs and carpentry, but is less sad more often.

    The idea that a person has a depressed “personality” if he is sad or apathetic all the time is not very workable. The idea that a person who is depressed just has his attention stuck on something that is very depressing is more workable. It’s not a matter of changing his whole personality. It’s just a matter of unfixing his stuck attention.

    I see IQ as more of an acquired skill. Of course there are people who seem to be smarter than others, but a general aptitude like intelligence should not be confused with personality traits like what a being wants to achieve in life or how they like to dress or things like that.

  • I was largely unaware of these studies, except to know that they existed, and was surprised to learn that inherited IQ was still being pushed by anybody as “science.”

    If anything, the studies that include fraternal twins probably point to the conclusion that how the children are raised is more important than their genetics, at least for traits like IQ.

    I have been taught that IQ can be changed (improved) by various intellectual drills. I don’t know if this has been studied by academics, but my group is quite certain this is true. In fact, there are mental drills that can alter all sorts of personality traits. It’s an interesting subject that has been largely ignored in psychology. We can only assume that psychologists are being used to find ways to control people better, not to make them more intellectually and emotionally free and happy.

  • Though a full treatment for a reaction like this may not be practical in all cases, I don’t want to leave the impression here that its causes remain a total mystery.

    At the risk of being over-technical, I will summarize my understanding of the situation: Depression (or apathy) is one of many possible psychological reactions to events and environments that may be more or less obvious. In other words, the “triggers” can exist above or below our level of awareness.

    One whole set of valid therapies involves medical care, nutrition, and changing the environment to one that causes less of a problem. It also involves training and educative “therapies” that would help a person to cope with the problem.

    But if time and resources permit, the root cause of the problem can be located and handled. This is not necessarily a quick process. The root cause is unique for every single individual. There is no pat answer that will work for everybody. But there are people who know how to do this and get results.

    My main point in being here and commenting is not to point out that psychiatry is an unethical profession, even within its own set of rules, but that it is acting to hide from us much better solutions.

    Because Psychiatry has been so active in hiding better answers, many of us believe there are none, or that they still have to be discovered. I am simply here to point out that this has been happening and that we, as a species, are in a much better position than most of us believe. It is just a matter of ignoring the unethical “experts” and finding and using the more workable answers that they have been hiding from us.

  • While this is a valid point, this research is not about the technical details about various mental conditions, but about the deception used by a professional group to make itself look like it was doing something helpful when it really wasn’t. Though this is certainly not the only profession where this has happened, this profession in the focus of this website and in this context, this context is definitely unethical.

  • Though these two paradigms both have some degree of validity, the medical model that focuses on the brain and nervous system is the most limited, while the one that focuses on mental processes is less limited.

    They still do not cover the entire range of possibilities. Another old paradigm was “demonic possession” which was one ancient attempt to fill in the gap. Yet another ancient spiritual teaching involved the concept of karma, which explained this-life suffering as a result of unresolved conflicts from previous lives. These all in fact have some validity. And I don’t think we should rule out any paradigm simply because it could be used as a justification for mistreating the “mad.” Many in this field will find reasons to lord over patients regardless of how well we understand what makes them suffer. After all, it is mainly this irrational desire to suppress others that is the cause of all these problems in the first place.

    If people are getting into the mental health system for being merely a bit delusional (like Elwood Dowd in Harvey) or depressed – a very common response these days to the pressures of life – then we are back to our basic criticisms of the current system which seems to operate as a con game constantly looking for new “marks.” But there are many people who have experienced “mental illness” as real suffering or a genuinely confusing experience. They seek out the mental health system hoping for real relief, not a label and a bottle of pills. To help such people, all the paradigms of “madness” must be brought to bear and each cause properly identified and properly treated. In an ideal world, the being itself would be able to treat itself. But we don’t have an ideal world. We struggle every day just to find what’s left of our own humanity.

  • 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.

  • It’s good to hear that someone believes in less (or no?) coercion in the delivery of mental health services. Beyond certain very narrow circumstances, you can’t force someone to “get well.” You can only force them to stop communicating, which a form of death.

    But without a total reevaluation of all we know about history and humanity, I think this is just lip service for an impossible dream. If we continue to operate on the basic assumptions most of us agree on now (man is basically an animal; spirit is a religious delusion) we can never wrestle power away from the tyrants and the tyrannical among us. We cannot win out over them unless we are willing to stand up to them with the full knowingness that body death does not end life. And currently, very few of us have that knowingness.

  • Well, you may speak for “us” if you want, but I for one believe I know something about the mind, about as much as I know about the Earth. Which is to say, there is a lot I don’t know about it, but I am quite certain of some basics which others have shown to be workable assumptions or have been demonstrated to me in other ways.

    If you want to pass off the mind as something ephemeral or not-quite-real, this would make some sense 150-200 years ago, but we could have said the same about radio frequency radiation. In modern times we developed instruments that can sense and measure radio frequency radiation. We have begun to do the same thing with the mind.

    However, with the mind we do have our own experiences of it to fall back on. Many people can think of times when they were in a dream state or restful state and saw vivid and very realistic pictures of one kind or another. They were looking at their own minds.

    Others have described the experience of telepathy, either with “higher” beings or with animals, and they describe it mainly as an exchange of ideas in picture form. Such pictures also come up in some types of spiritual therapy.

    So we can be fairly certain that the mind is some sort of energetic construct (invisible like radio waves) that contains pictures and other data of an emotional or conceptual nature.

    This mind has actually been studied quite extensively, but (oddly) not by psychologists. So while “we” remain uncertain about what the mind is or what to do about it, I don’t. And while my information about the minds is technically part of my religion, I see no reason why it couldn’t be tested and used in secular contexts, and it in fact has, at least in the case of animal communication.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • I appreciate your comment.

    Insomuch as psychiatrists are supposed to be the experts in this area, the problem does reflect more on them.

    But my understanding of the situation is that we have all been persuaded (or forced) at various times in the past to give up our spirituality and our higher mental abilities (like telepathy). So though psychiatrists are among those who work hardest to keep us in ignorance, most of us have a built-in reluctance to look in this direction for answers.

    This helps explain for me why it has been so difficult for me to get my message across and why so many do NOT oppose psychiatry for its technical ignorance but only for its lack of humanity.

  • 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.”

  • While I am reluctant to read the entire original paper, perhaps this report gives enough data to give us a place to start.

    The first point that strikes me is that the authors of the paper don’t seem to have an opinion on the subject, though it seems they consider mind-body dualism “illogical.”

    The second point that strikes me is that they consider mind-body dualism to be strictly a belief system with no legitimate research to support it. Considering that more than half of the population studied in the “1898” (actually 2012) paper were dualists, it seems that the reason for this might be worth investigating. Is it, perhaps, because the belief mirrors reality better?

    Per that paper “The Dualism Scale revealed that, to a surprising degree, a sample of American undergraduates held dualistic theories of mind that are at variance with contemporary neurophysiology, psychology, and philosophy.”

    I can imagine that the authors (as well as many of those they surveyed) are totally ignorant that any serious work has been done on the subject. Thus, they would also be ignorant of the fact that this work supports dualism but suggests a “higher” coordinating entity (which many call Spirit and some call The Soul). Though studies of NDEs (Near Death Experiences) are popularly known about, this is by far not the only work that has been done in this area.

    The quote from Churchland probably refers to Paul M. Churchland who is at UC San Diego: “popular dualism: This is the theory that a person is literally ‘a ghost in a machine’.” Well, that is what a person literally is! Except the placement of the ‘ghost’ is not entirely relevant, as it can be variously positioned, along with its mind, and is actually much more comfortable outside of the machine than inside it.

    I am happy to see such articles and papers, as this is where we need to look to accomplish something technically in this field. Though I can continue to accuse psychiatrists of being psychopaths, I know there are some who aren’t. But their medical training is totally insufficient to prepare them for their work, so I can imagine them getting discouraged and apathetic, or even going crazy. If we don’t find more workable methods for those who wish to be mind healers, we condemn them to lives of failure. While it is unethical for them to harm their patients in the name of help, as so many of them have done, they could use some hope amid the punishment they will ultimately inflict on themselves for destroying so many lives. And that hope lies in the direction of Spirit – Mind – Body.

  • 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.

  • This article was published 16 Dec 2019 and written by Mikkel Krause Frantzen. He “is the author of Going Nowhere, Slow: The Aesthetics and Politics of Depression (Zero Books, 2019).” He “holds a PhD from the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen, and is currently postdoctoral fellow at University of Aalborg, Denmark.”

    The above is an extract from the larger article.

    I consider this absolute drivel.

    If one could construct a workable therapy from these outlandish ideas, I’d like to see it.

    That said, he is pointing out something that his generation is feeling, and perhaps more intensely than previous generations. There IS something out there trying to force us all into a corner that will cause us to give up (become “depressed”). He doesn’t know what it is, so he calls it “capitalism.” He then blames capitalism for creating the ideology (or “logic”) of “responsibilization.” That is ridiculous. We have been holding people responsible for how they feel and behave for thousands of years before capitalism became an issue. And we have been blaming demons, ghosts and other external entities for those feelings and behaviors just as long.

    Fact is, in the entire history of life in this universe we haven’t known where those feelings and behaviors come from, why they feel so all-powerful, or what to do about them (though some got close now and then).

    In the field of psychology in particular, several factors have conspired to make the problem near-impossible to solve. And that includes the tendency to reject even the possibility that it could be solved or study in the direction of solving it, rather than just wallowing in it.

    “Politics” is indeed key to an understanding of human psychology. An individual does not get messed up without interacting with other individuals. And the tricks others will use against you include political tricks like “you broke the rules (or laws)” or “you have an inferior blood line” or any number of similar tricks.

    But personal responsibility is also key to understanding human psychology. A spiritual being has to choose to interact with other beings. It has to choose to make others wrong when they do things it doesn’t like. It has to decide to use a body. It has to decide to improve its skills in the games it has chosen to play, or skip it. And it has to decide to forget what it really is and that it can be free.

    Workable therapies based on personal choices in the context of interactions with others exist. They are NOT based on the medical model. And any critic of the current system who fails to throw out the medical model and fails to include Spirit and its decisions about life will not contribute to this subject called “mental health” but will only muddy waters that are already much too murky.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Remember to take into account the flawed assumptions of neurology and psychology.

    Thus to say “we’re psycho when we dream” is probably a misstatement. All we know from what you have reported is that the brainwave patterns match. But psychosis is a waking mental state associated with certain behaviors, not a brain state.

    But I know at least one person who suffers from occasional “psychotic” episodes who is basically fine and only requires some quiet time when these things happen.

    Oddly, it is true that none of us have as much control over our minds as we could (can you remember what you were doing 10,000 years ago?) but most of us get by in this world anyway, and for those of us who are having a hard time, it’s probably because we bumped into one too many psychiatrists (or their psychopathic brethren)!

    So, while I would resent being called “psychotic” just because I dream, I don’t resent the idea that I could improve my mental and emotional abilities. For better or worse, psychiatry has no idea, and probably no interest, in helping us out in this regard.

  • “Incompletely understood” seems to be the operative concept here.

    As far as I can tell, Big Pharma has a stranglehold on the funding of research in this field. That leads to a complete disregard for any work that will not lead to yet another new pill. I don’t think these people understand the depth of deception that has been leveled at the general public by those who want us to believe that drugs are the only answer.

    Incompletely understood? It has been a full-on media assault going on for decades now. There are NO mainstream outlets who are pushing back against this marketing campaign. We have witnessed the commercialization – the industrialization – of health care and mental health care. And the public and workable alternative approaches are getting the short end of the stick.

    What is to not understand? It is a blatant and ongoing power grab. Maybe psychologists should be required to study political science?

  • My major point about animals is that science does indeed see them as mechanical things, just bodies. We as “normal” human beings don’t experience them that way, but that’s the science model.

    Both animals and humans (as well as plants, etc) are motivated by Spirit, but science leaves that part out. In the case of humans, who have learned to communicate through language (unlike animals who remain largely telepathic) we have a way of sharing our experiences with each other without having to be psychic. Thus, remembering past lives is also possible, although it takes special procedures.

    We have learned from doing this that many of us have motivated robots in the distant past, indicating that even a “machine” can be “human.” These are possibilities (I consider them facts) that science and psychiatrists cannot embrace with their current way of thinking. In the realm of mental health it results in an extremely limited approach, because you have to address Spirit to get anywhere with the mind.

  • Well, Krista, my church is working on a strategy that takes finances and media into account. Who else is following our model?
    But as things stand, with mainstream financial and media corporations well in the hands of psychiatry, we cannot realistically mount a public campaign that can match their current and imagined future efforts.

  • Fear is not a rational response to any situation. It is an understandable response, but will not result in rational behavior. To rationally handle an evil or destructive threat you must be able to recognize the threat and take quick and effective action. Fear paralyzes people.

    In this example, if you need a checkup, get a checkup but refuse any mental health screenings. If the screening cannot be refused, just leave. Acting terrified in that situation could only get one in more trouble. But I must admit, I have been staying away from doctors unless I know exactly what their beliefs are regarding certain basic subjects. That leaves some people who “care” about me worried about me. But at least I don’t have to go around feeling worried about myself!

  • What worries me the most about articles of this type is that in their fascination around the power dynamics of various technologies, there is no particular mention of whether they will actually help people get better.

    I see a practice being criticized but with no sense of how it could be replaced with something better.

    The main author (Cosgrove) on her academic web page talks about both social justice and human rights. Yet it has been demonstrated that these two ideas in many ways conflict.

    Sometimes I get the feeling that some of these people live in a different world (like a video game) and have no interest in inviting others who don’t just “get it” in.

  • An “anonymous physician” wrote this article. It was published a week ago.

    Good find to pull this out of everything that gets published on the web!

    Of course, many have been noticing this trend for years, if not the example of medicine in particular.

    But I don’t see emotion (or misemotion) itself as the problem here. A riot resulting in burned buildings and death can be justified and makes the news. And our entertainment products remain highly emotional. So, there seems to be some sort of thinkingness connected with the doctor-patient relationship, and perhaps similar relationships.

    And there is, in particular, the attitude of the corporate world to its “customers.” Though they are known as “people,” to Corporate they are treated more like a resource to be prospected and mined. And when no more wealth can be drained out of them, they become a “waste problem.”

    So, my analysis is that the corporate model is overtaking medicine, as it has done to entertainment, journalism, education and other social activities and institutions. We allowed this to happen. We like our smartphones! We were a bit naive about the whole thing, it seems. Perhaps that can be remedied.

  • I am surprised that you think elected officials can handle this. We have witnessed in my lifetime what amounts to a corporate takeover of the democratic process, using money and their expertise in marketing.

    We have seen most elected officials go along with the wishes of Big Pharma, which, outside of the vaccine controversy, includes a mostly wholehearted endorsement of psych meds.

    I think this is largely on us. We have to find better modes of healing and offer them to people with the result that they abandon “medicine” that doesn’t work and is just profiting off their suffering.

  • The new way is up to us to work out and put in place.

    I personally support the ideas and techniques developed by Hubbard. But I don’t know that this will be the first choice of the professional world, whatever is left of it.

    As mentioned in another comment, researchers like Vince Felitti have found a pattern of causality that at least aligns with other information I am aware of. The pattern is that early childhood trauma increases the development of disease later in life. Vince’s vision starts with an educational approach through mass media that would be more supportive of rational parenting behaviors.

    The probability of this actually happening, of course, is quite problematic. The whole mainstream media complex, along with most of academia, seems bent on pushing the unhealthy “medical model” for most human problems. But what we are seeing as the actual causes of these problems are unhealthy social interactions. And you can’t solve that by medicating it!

    But can you solve it through some sort of educational program? I know from my own experience that this strategy works for some people, but not for all people. Thus, if we really want to carry through with a more enlightened form of social betterment, it will likely involve a combination of ethical boundaries (we know this as a police force), education, and real therapies. This is my basic vision.

  • I didn’t know about Vince Feletti. He is a straight talker for sure.
    Hubbard made this same link in the 1950s. He was looking mostly at attempted (failed) abortions (fetal abuse), not child abuse. But he got similar results. Using his techniques, he found more earlier traumatic events (in past lives). That’s why he had to turn his work into a religion.

    I would see most childhood abuse as triggering events. These events can have powerful and long lasting effects on an individual. Psychopaths are quite aware of the most potent actions that will trigger self-hate and disease in a person. Given the opportunity, they will even teach these behaviors to the less sick in their environment or community. That these triggering events produce a shame reaction, and thus tend to be kept secret, is something psychopaths rely on to remain undetected.

    So, we see a way forward, both in the short term and in the longer term. In the short term, we have various educational activities that can strengthen people against these triggering events and the people who specialize in them.

    And in the longer term, we can look forward to therapies that will “defuse” or reduce or eliminate the power of earlier traumatic events to cripple the psyche and the body.

  • I am happy to see this sort of curiosity about people expressed in a comment.

    It’s a valuable observation to have noticed that all races in South Africa suffered. What I derive from that is that those driving and defending apartheid the hardest were destructive personalities. If they had not had an obvious class and race difference (white colonist versus black indigenous people) to take advantage of, they would have found something a little more subtle, like the Nazis did in the 1930s.

    Though I can see racial mixing as a real perceived threat to a white-skinned ruling class (because the darker tones are genetically dominant), I believe that a more general criminality is driving these people. And on top of that, there is a spiritual malaise on this planet that affects everyone to a certain extent, and makes the situation worse.

    Though psychiatry as it currently exists is an obvious target, as this is the profession that claims to hold the keys to solving these riddles of poor human behavior, if it didn’t exist we would still have huge problems on this planet. Not only is psychiatry fatuous and enormously self-protective, but so are many other sectors of human society. To understand why psychiatry is the way it is, we need to understand why people are the way they are.

  • While this article largely speaks for itself, I might make a few comments.

    In the early 1960s the NIMH was very free with its money, and its giveaways included a grant to my father which helped him complete a phD in Social Work at UC Berkeley. Our family lived quite well while my father was going to school, indicating that the grant had been quite generous.

    We are up against a funding mechanism that can turn a poor man into a member of the ruling elites. That money and whatever strings must go with it have tempted many a young person into the “tribe” of psychiatric faith. Insel is obviously a member in good standing.

    What impressed me the most about my father’s academic approach was that he absolutely refused to read any of the materials I sent him concerning subjects he should have been interested in because they were written by Hubbard. This particular bias is extremely common in academia, in my experience.

    Thus a member of this tribe serves his group by refusing to recognize the existence of any meaningful alternative to their answer to the problem.

    From the point of view of someone seeking real reform, anyone who toes the line as well as Insel has should not be looked to as a potential catalyst for change. It was good manners, perhaps, to devote an entire article to his latest book. But not helpful to the rest of us. This person has left the realm of the rational. Of course the treatments are contributing to worsening outcomes. This is an observable fact.

  • Judging from this article, the authors cited give a valid analysis.

    But then they suggest a branch of Critical Theory as the answer? Critical Theory has failed us in other fields, so I would not trust it to resolve this issue.

    In sports, the team that gets the most points wins the game. This might be called “evidence-based sports.” It might be noted that not all sports have always worked this way!

    I don’t disagree with the idea that a handling for a situation should be based on evidence that it works. But in the long run, we also need saner ways of getting better ideas. If one idea kills 40% of the patients and the other kills 50% of the patients, is it really “evidence-based medicine” to choose the one that only kills 40%? What if the process of finding a handling eliminated one that would not have killed anyone and would have been more effective at making people well?

    So we also need a saner approach to making people well. Medicine has its place, but it is obviously not the total answer, and on top of that, it has been taken over by an industry that is not ethical.

    Several years ago, I got the idea that we needed to re-think the whole subject of how we provide healing services to a population. My first idea was to prohibit profit-making businesses from entering this field. But now that seems a bit superficial. The corporate world has nearly a stranglehold on modern society. And if they take over central governments, then there is no one left with sufficient force of arms (let’s be practical) to enforce any ethical framework on big business. And there are many “non-profits” among the list of offenders.

    So we have been pushed so far towards the edge of the cliff now, that we must either learn how to fly or be willing to fall. We are moving into a world of “miracle and wonder” as prophesized by Paul Simon. “Medicine is magical and magical is art.” We COULD learn to fly, but will we, in time?

  • Though this misses the mark for me, it is worth a bit of contemplation.

    Whether or not the present-day family is at the core of an individual’s upset or confusion, there can be no doubt (in my mind) that the family experience is one of the most basic experiences of human life.

    And though a particular family might not be that spiritually connected, there is also a good chance that they are. Particularly if a being has unfinished business with its family, it might find a way back into that family.

    The simplest example of a hidden family dynamic is when a pregnant woman experiences some sort of trauma. That’s going to mean that the child also experienced it. And if the trauma was related to an abusive husband, for instance, then the pattern may repeat in every child.

    Hidden (suppressed) events that are a part of the family’s history could also play a big role in “inherited” upset.

    However, it can get a lot more complicated than this. Though families are a good place to start, if you don’t eventually include past lives, the case may never resolve. Therapists be prepared!

  • We have so much to learn, don’t we, about what really heals!

    The whole discussion about brain stems may be palliative to some, but it’s way off the mark for me. But in rhythm and music, we have several factors all working together to – at a minimum – calm a person down if not switch their attention totally off what was bothering them to something happier or at least neutral.

    The primary factor I am aware of that others might miss is Aesthetics. Beauty attracts attention. Look at how advertising continues to rely on it. A simple song or rhythm is more likely to be emotionally neutral or a bit positive. Introducing that into the environment of someone who is worried or upset helps them pull their attention away from the misemotional events that were triggered and onto a more neutral or positive present time.

    A secondary factor is that music is non-verbal. This takes a huge burden off anyone who is having difficulty explaining what they are experiencing using language. And language itself can be triggering.

    My training includes basic assists for the deeply disturbed and they do not include language. If you are stuck in too much trauma, you can’t talk coherently.

    I don’t know much about CBT, but it requires a level of “hereness” that not all people may be able to attain. I have met several people like this. These people have jobs and “seem normal.” But you try to have a serious conversation with such a person, and you see how out of it they really are. You’ve got to get a person’s attention well back onto present time before any sort of talk therapy will have much effect.

    The techniques I have been taught do not include music, but it makes sense to me that music could have this effect.

  • To see a licensed psychotherapist bring up this subject is interesting.
    I am sure many therapists would prefer to work unhampered and in a manner that is most beneficial to their clients.

    This website tends to concentrate on instances where the practitioner himself or herself acted in ways that showed they did not have the well-being of their clients at the top of their list of priorities.

    However, there is indeed a whole administrative structure supposedly there to support the work of the therapists that may also have other priorities. In fact, you might expect this. I have even experienced this is in my own case, in an environment where there are strict policies against interfering with the progress of the person being serviced.

    The idea of including this sort of behavior as just another “TIB” seems incorrect at first, but does point out a larger issue: Just how much does society, as a group, want people to get better? Does the group actively encourage excellence and emotional freedom among its members, or does it feel threatened by such people?

    It seems that just 60 years ago, we were at least giving lip service to the idea that our culture should be composed of “the best and the brightest.” Yet already at that time it was becoming obvious that compliance to enforced social norms was what was desired from most people. And these days, this desire is openly stated by leaders in government and in business.

    So, while we still have a mental health system, and we still have leaders claiming they are all for improving mental health (but more precisely, treating “mental illness”) we have a culture that observably would prefer that we stay sick. As if the evils done by the psychiatric profession weren’t bad enough, the society more and more sees the biggest mental problem as noncompliance with enforced norms. And treating that will not result in mental health. Quite the reverse!

  • Though I could not make it through this entire “episode,” what I read was most interesting.

    I think of Forensic Psychiatry as an academic subject, populated by people like Robert Hare and Stanton Samenow. Through these researchers we have the only somewhat reliable data on real-life psychopathic behavior. I am not much interested in other “criminal” behaviors. For me, most such behaviors stem from contact with a psychopath, or are concocted by a psychopath in an attempt to silence a perceived enemy.

    But these “forensic psychiatry” wards, euphemistically referred to as Mental Health Centers, are little more than mental wards where the staff take the role of prison guards and the patients are the prisoners. If not humane, at least this is honest. One might expect a few psychopaths to be on staff at such facilities. And that is the worst tragedy for me. No psychopath should ever be allowed anywhere near the subject of mental health, yet the field is crawling with them.

    I think it should be law that all staff in such facilities be able to pass tests showing they are NOT psychotic, multiple times if necessary. And of course the ones giving those tests would have the most stringent requirements for employment! Psychiatry has such tests; we might as well use them in a way that would make a difference.

  • I was wondering if anyone else would eventually come to express this realization!

    I think, rebel, that you are basically correct in your assessment of the situation.

    Whether one believes in just one Creator, or that each individual is capable of being a creator, when we assume that such a creator exists, the problem begins to simplify. And the fact that the materialists have it backwards explains why they can never get it right. They have assigned Wrong Cause.

    I know from my experience in engineering that until you find the correct cause (or Root Cause or Right Why) a problem remains unsolvable. This is really just a basic of sane thinking.

  • From what I understand, the argument that atheism ushers in the state to replace our reliance on God for moral guidance is an old and common one. I personally don’t know who first voiced the idea.

    But you see, “neoliberal capitalism” is not the only atheistic/materialistic ideology. Marxism and Communism are also atheistic and materialistic. As are many other modern ideologies.

    I did not grow up around the ideas of Critical Theory or its many derivatives, or the ideas deconstructing capitalism into “neoliberal” “corporate” “croney” and other flavors. So I see this talk as excessive and over-complicated.

    My basic question about an idea or ideology is: Is it sane? And beyond that: Does it incorporate a respect for Spirit in some form? Does it deal with the problem of criminality or instead ignore it or insist that it will no longer exist if that particular ideology is implemented? Has it been tested and shown to be workable? Does it incorporate safeguards against subversion or alteration in ways that could make it unworkable or give it a bad name?

  • And it is now, likewise, becoming an “old attack” to accuse white men of being driven by their male chauvinism. But I thought this group was above casting aspersions on people for their views. So I am sorry if my comments came across that way. I am very concerned about this embracing of Critical Theory, as I see it as a very confused, and purposely confusing, view of reality. That view is not limited to women, and extends back to Marx himself, if not also to some of the ones he drew his ideas from, like Hegel.

    We are obviously dealing with very heartfelt beliefs. I don’t mean to criticize the believers in criticizing their beliefs, but sometimes I err. And it can be difficult to keep the two separate, can’t it? You certainly think there is something wrong with me, and not just my beliefs. Well, perhaps their is. Yet it is ideas, and not personalities, that we are mostly addressing here. Until it comes down to the insane, where the two intersect.

  • When you speak about a system like Mental Health that has been infiltrated, if not constructed, by psychopaths, you must look beyond profit as a motive. Profit is a rational motive. But the psychopath is not a rational person.

    Were there not psychiatrists in Soviet Russia? Did they make profits? Or the ones that worked for Hitler? Psychopaths exist in all societies, and though they love to hide behind rational motivations, these are in fact lies. That’s why no sector of the planet has been immune from their influence; no sector of this planet has yet to come to terms with the brilliant criminal who can act “normal” while destroying the lives of all around him,

  • Oh gosh! The only point I was trying to make was that I thought there were a bunch of psychiatrists who were Marxists. And then, instead of determining if that was true, we get into a huge argument about whether Marx was a genius or a fool.

    I stand by my basic premise which that what the world needs now is sanity, not some new half-baked “system” that is likely to end up in the wrong hands and result in the murder of millions of people.

    Sanity! That’s what mental health is all about! I am not interested in diatribe. I am interested in finding ways to get the mental health system to make saner people.

  • I am surprised, Steve, to see you unclear on this point! But of course, there is what might be called “pure” Marxism, and then there is what has been done in its name in real times and places.

    But both China and the Soviet Union have been happy with a totalitarian approach to bringing socialistic “equality” to the people. Though I see this as hugely hypocritical, it cannot be denied that many psychiatrists worked for the Soviet state in its time, just as they worked for the Nazi state in its time and for the Corporate state. They are political cowards who seek the favor of any ruling government and have been willing, as a profession, to service the political needs of whoever is in power. Also, their traditional approach to expanding their influence has been self-described (by J.R. Rees) as “5th column” which is to say, subversive. This has also been the chosen strategy of Communists and Neo Marxists (including the Woke) in the U.S. (if not elsewhere).

  • While what you say is sensible, what we are saying is that this whole medical approach to mental health is not only inappropriate but is also ineffective. It is not even that effective in the field of body health, as many doctors refuse to recognize the validity of using vitamins as treatments, even though much earlier work in medicine recognized some diseases as the result of vitamin deficiencies.

    The fact is that mental health practitioners do need a diagnostic system. But currently they don’t even have a workable theory of how to improve mental health. And this is partly due to the pressure exerted by vested interests, just as the drug companies would like to push supplement (vitamin) makers out of the field of body health.

    But in this case, the interest that the vested interests are vested in is the desire to prevent individuals from becoming aware of who and what they really are. Without this understanding, the route to any sort of workable mental therapy, or even a theory of one, is totally blocked. With this understanding, the whole world would change. And so the vested interests oppose it. If we cannot dislodge the current system, we could at least develop an appreciation for what a workable system would look like. Then, if we ever acquire the power to put one in place, we will be ready.

  • I could not disagree more. But you are free to be a Marxist, as I am free (I hope) to be an anti-Marxist. I see Marx and a petty criminal with a keen intellect who spent his life trying to explain why he disliked work. This may be unfair, but I think it is warranted.

    It is my understanding that many psychiatrists had Marxist leanings as this was a type of “liberation” ideology that suited them. That psychiatrists in the West ended up supporting the corporate power structure, while those behind the Iron Curtain worked for the Soviet power structure indicates their criminality, not their political allegiances.

    I don’t believe that Marx had any better grasp of true freedom than do the corporate publicists currently flying the flag of Social Justice. If anything, old fashioned Capitalists had a better grasp of freedom and human rights than did the old Left or the new Left.

    Psychiatry, as a dramatization of psychopathic tendencies (not as an impulse towards real help, which does motivate a few people in Mental Health) will assert its rightness no matter how accurate the criticism, and will justify its atrocities using whatever ideology seems the most popular or convenient at the time.

    I wish political ideologies were not brought up in relation to the problem of psychiatry, as I see them as irrelevant. They are as irrelevant here as they are in discussing the problem of crime, or of illiteracy or of malnutrition, as these problems have plagued us regardless of who was in power or who was blamed for these problems.

    The problem of bringing real love and freedom to a civilization is senior to mere politics and cannot be achieved through political change alone.

  • While you are quoting standard Marxist theory, I don’t know what that has to do with reality. Do you agree with the Marxist view of life on Earth? You may state the theory as fact if you desire, but there are many who will not agree that this actually demonstrates any sort of workable view of life.

    “Individualism” has a lot more to it than is contributed by neo-Liberal (or neo-Conservative for that matter) ideologies. And “free markets” need not be wedded to Capitalism, nor Capitalism to Corporatism.

    And “injustice” has a lot more to it than a manifestation of class privilege. Real criminals scream about “injustice” all the time, so we need a little more nuanced approach to that subject to understand it well.

  • It is perhaps unfair for me to characterize this woman’s ideas as confused and hopelessly tied to failed ideologies. But that is the simplest way for me to state my reality about this.

    Psychoanalysis was as close as psychiatry ever got to abstracting the human mind in a useful way. It failed for the same reason that Jung did. He wanted to include his ideas about Spirit in his work, but felt pressure from his academic peers to avoid that topic. And so it is with “modern” forms of psychoanalysis. I don’t care how much Critical Theory (or Whiteness theory or Decolonial theory) is in the mix, if they don’t address the subject of Spirit, their theories WILL NOT WORK in practice, as Spirit changes the entire ballgame.

  • Per this write-up, Szasz was a Libertarian, not a Capitalist. I find your political analysis wanting in several ways, but what we are seeing in modern society that so many people are reacting against is corporate capitalism intensified by various control technologies like electronic media and computer systems. This sort of society represents an antithesis of Libertarian ideals.

    This is what organized psychiatry is actively promoting, as it has a place in a society where corporate criminals control the means of production, distribution and banking. It seems that these corporate interests, now morphed into “friendly” tech companies, are in the process of overtaking the other liberation movements you mentioned and, using Critical Theory and other confused ideologies confounding “liberation” with a world of corporate dominance. Thus we see psychiatrists and psychologists supporting the ideas of Critical Theory in their publications. They know, apparently, where that road actually leads.

  • It is good to see a discussion of Szasz, as I have not studied him. I am a Scientologist, not a student of psychiatry or even of medical ethics. But I think the only reason Szasz distanced himself from Scientology was that he probably knew very little about it, which is the same reason most people reject it. Of all the examples of “institutional bigotry” (to misuse a modern catch phrase) the mindless denigration of Scientology has been one of the worst. Because Scientology stood squarely in the way of the advancement of the Mental Health State (and still does).

    It looks like Torrey lacked personal integrity and was just going with the flow. The mention of Trump, however, is gratuitous.

    Biederman got caught. I wonder how many others never were.

    Though Levine’s overall premise is crudely put, it is basically correct. Left unexplored however, is how a freedom-loving society (ours) deteriorated into the fear-based society that it is today. My explanation for this is that one particular personality type – not that common, but very destructive when bright and empowered – gained the upper hand. These people are commonly known as psychopaths. I call them criminals. My teacher calls them Suppressive Persons. Our last hope against this personality type is to understand it better than it understands itself and exploit its weaknesses to remove it from positions of authority. As these beings think nothing of convincing a police officer (for instance) that an enemy of his is dangerous and should be shot on sight, this project requires a certain amount of bravery.

  • I suppose the most interesting thing about this article is that it appeared in Wired. I found this information about the technology industry: “… the most recent Harvey Nash Tech Survey, conducted in 2019, included the stark finding that half of tech professionals said they were or had in the past been concerned about their mental health due to the pressures of work.”

    The article goes on to explain that a new survey conducted in 2020 found that about a third of this same group felt that their mental health had worsened.

    So this subject is a big deal among Techies. This same group at the same time tend to be fervent “science believers.” But that doesn’t mean that they are actually good at thinking scientifically. It just means that if you tell them that there might be a spiritual component to some human problem, they are likely to laugh nervously. Engineering school didn’t cover that.

    To be fair, I was taught about the importance of Spirit in the realm of mental health by a guy who likened the human mind to an electronic computer with “memory banks” and “circuits.” But as electronics was my field of study, I was amused by the analogy without being overwhelmed by it.

    In short, most of these people still don’t know what they are talking about. But they should at least be aware that there are two distinct and different aspects to the mental health problem.

    The first is: How do you treat (as in, handle administratively) someone who seeks help (or is forced to see a professional)? That is really what the DSM is all about. It is for the benefit of the doctor, the therapist and society at large. It is not for the benefit of the patient. Never was and never will be.

    The second aspect is, what do you do to make someone feel better? Or cure them? This involves the technology of treating mental illness. Psychiatry doesn’t like to talk about this because, as a profession they don’t really care or are apathetic about ever figuring this out. They are a bunch of posers who think that all their rules and manuals and drugs will convince people that they are doing something useful when they really aren’t.

    I wouldn’t be here writing this today if I didn’t think there ARE ways to make someone feel better. But you have to start by really wanting them to get better, and not just interested in making a buck off their suffering. So many “mental health” complaints could be handled by letting the person get enough sleep, or get properly fed, or in the extreme, remove them from an environment that is overtly abusive. If the patient doesn’t have any of those problems, the handling is a little more technical, but not necessarily rocket science. It all starts by wanting the person to feel better, to be happy. If you don’t start there, you’ll never get anywhere.

  • We, as in all of us, Mankind, or anyone who cares and has proper training.

    But I should be clear that I do think it is NOT an illusion that some mental problems stem from something a person has (or created for themselves).

    I don’t think that today’s “toxic society” is the problem. It gets in the way of implementing solution, but there are many other toxic societies and relationships and decisions that have contributed to the problem.

  • Though the author cited, Adam Rutherford, is a geneticist, he is mainly a science journalist. So I am surprised that he is willing to deal with this subject in his new (though not yet published) book.

    The author of the article, however, is John Nicholas Gray, a philosopher. He is considered by Wikipedia to be a “pessimist.”

    Interestingly Gray dumps this problem squarely in the laps of “secular progressives” as he assumes they have attained global control and will maintain it. Yet, if this assumption is correct, why should they worry about medical ethics? They don’t when it comes to mental health. Many argue that they also disregard this subject in the field of public health. So why should the field of genetic engineering be any different?

    Gray’s article includes a very informative historical rundown. But he leaves us with the unsettling (though we here are already greatly unsettled, aren’t we?) conclusion that eugenics did not in fact die, but simply went dormant for a while, waiting for a new term and concept to latch itself onto. Transhumanism? Perhaps. This is very popular with some Big Tech honchos and is even endorsed by the Dalai Lama.

    Gray notes that Rutherford asserts that basic human rights are “fictions” (or noble lies). Though I could consider God to be such an idea, I don’t consider human rights in that way. Yet here we see how the door has been opened to a future where human rights as we think of them no longer matter, as Big Brother always knows best.

    The problem with Eugenics in particular, of course, is that it doesn’t work. Rutherford’s book covers that fact. But in the great cauldron of political ideas, since when did workability matter? This is an activity governed by the principles of PR, marketing and propaganda, not utility or even morality.

    We in our struggle to reform (or remove) the Mental Health System must realize what a frail bridge we walk across if we do not, in the process, lay to rest the whole materialist idea of brain equals mind and death equals the end. They don’t, they never did and they never will. And in that small revelation lies the seed of an answer to the question of why people feel so much better when they are free to decide for themselves.

  • It would be good if that were the only thing going on, but it isn’t. There are plenty of people who need real help. Though many of them were triggered by bad experiences, we can’t ever hope to totally eliminate bad experiences from life. That’s just not realistic. We can strengthen people when they want to be stronger. That’s about all we can realistically do, and that’s more than we are doing now.

    Ultimately, “society” is only a product of all the people participating in it. So, you can’t blame “society” without taking a look in mirror.

  • Actually, some physical maladies do have a spiritual causation component. This can be seen in Ian Stevenson’s work on birth marks that match a past life wound. But of course it is commonly accepted that the only reason people get sick is because of a pathogen or a poison. Attempts to apply the same rule to “mental illness” are absurd, and if we addressed the spiritual component of strictly physical diseases, we would keep more people healthy for longer periods of time. Yet another reason why the Medical Establishment wants nothing to do with actually effective remedies.

  • Though I find this discussion a bit overworked, the basic proposition is perfectly valid.

    Many words have multiple meanings, and most meanings are rooted in cultural traditions that trace back into forgotten history. To say that the meanings are “arbitrary” overstates it a bit. One either uses a word in line with its traditional meanings or misuses a word in the hopes that it will somehow impress or fool people. Some of the misused meanings enter the cultural tradition, such as “xerox.”

    “Illness” is derived from a word meaning “evil” and reflects earlier beliefs that unhealthy conditions were caused by possession by evil spirits. The word definitely implies poor health or reduced ability to survive bodily. But I don’t like to concentrate in these words. It is obvious that Psychiatry would like us to believe that mental problems are caused by some unhealthy condition in the brain. They equate mind (mental) with brain. To me, this is totally absurd. The two have only a loose connection to each other. That is the huge mistake, and we will not escape it simply by changing terminology. We actually need to figure out what a mind really is.

    Next we need to attain a full list of the actual causes of diseases and/or illnesses, and develop techniques to address all of them. To assume that biological disease only has biological causes is amazingly narrow minded which would not be tolerated in many other fields of knowledge. Most recognize the environment as an obvious factor. This includes of course all the various possible environmental toxins. But the list is not yet complete. Freud and many others had the idea that past “trauma” would be another possible cause. How Psychiatry succeeded in dropping this whole line of investigation is another story, but Psychology never totally did, though their dogmatic blinders have prevented them from discovering the whole story. A few got close.

    And so we have the current scene. Regardless of terminology and rhetoric, most practitioners of Psychiatry and Psychology don’t know what a mind is and don’t know how to solve mental problems. As one might expect, I have my own ideas on this subject. But the beginnings of a better understanding have already been delved into by the old hypnotists, parapsychologists like Ian Stevenson, and a few others considered outliers by those wedded to medical answers but who actually are getting closer and closer to better answers. The way things are going, they may never arrive. I feel confident, however, that this knowledge exists in a workable form and is factually publicly available even though most practitioners will deny it with their characteristic academic arrogance.

  • I am a little surprised that this is being framed as a problem with “neoliberalism.”
    Isn’t that kind of a code word for “conservative?”
    They are criticizing a human weakness (seeing other humans as objects instead of people) that has a long and tired history on this planet. I don’t really see what neoliberalism has to do with it. There HAS been a trend towards greater corporate control of the economy and of government. This is sort of a technocratic impulse, and has been taken up in a lot of science fiction literature. But this trend definitely includes a tendency to reject those who don’t fit in or aren’t productive. That could include the young, the old and the disabled.

    There is a rather famous old science fiction story about a computer that took over a city and convinced all the residents to commit ritualistic suicide at the age of 21. This kept the human population “more productive” while also limiting the population. It is an ancient and recurring fear that the young will find ways to neglect the old rather than care for them with respect, and this seems to be happening. Calling it “neoliberalism” seems dogmatic and a bit insincere. I would call it “corporatism,” or something similar.

    Either way, it is a shame but would not be my first priority, though I am well on my way to becoming a prime target for The Machine. I would be more interested in restoring the entire society to a more hopeful frame of mind concerning the future. It seems a large portion of younger people are scared to death of dying before they even reach old age. This used to be a concern of mine, and according to recent surveys about 60% of young people are very worried about climate change. If we can’t keep the society in the positive emotional band, all sorts of quite dire consequences could result, including various forms of genocide that could be age-based.

  • In this particular study they were evidently testing drug efficacy only, not treatment regimen efficacy. So the drug and saline “placebo” were administered IV, and I doubt any further procedures were involved. As we know, when we are dealing with people with emotional problems, this approach borders on inhumane. They need someone to talk to much more than they need a new drug in their blood.

    In such a situation, it is a little amazing that the study found any “efficacy” at all. But they did after the first 3 days. It then wore off, or vanished. I personally am not in favor of any drug-assisted mental therapies. But I know some who think ketamine as well as more potent psychedelics should not be ignored in the context of therapies that include emotional work with a trained facilitator. But I think they should be ignored. I think we need to move on from any idea that drugs are helpful for mental-emotional distress on anything other than an emergency basis.

  • The reliance on Critical Theory to explicate the obvious problems connected with “mindset” approaches to economic change ruins the basic premise, which is that these approaches don’t work well.

    Ditto the mentioning of various concepts borrowed from Evolutionary Psychology.

    This discussion fails (in my book) for the same reasons that so many others fail: Because they don’t recognize that people are immortal spiritual beings and they have not paid any attention to findings based in that fact.

    When one does the above, one finds what, for me, is a better terminology and theoretical framework for thinking about and talking about this problem.

    Enforced poverty – which is what many people today are really experiencing – is simply too discouraging for most people. A few make it through such conditions, then look back and tell the others, “if I could do it, you can.” But that isn’t really true. There are good reasons why only a few manage to make it out of those desperate situations “by their own bootstraps.”

    And one of those reasons is that they are simply spiritually stronger individuals. Spiritual strength is not that common here on Earth. And to develop that strength if you weren’t born with it is not easy, even if you know how.

    To the spiritually strong, “mindset” makes sense. To most people it’s just more psycho-babble.

    But Critical Theory (analyzing all human relationships for their hidden power dynamics) and Evolutionary Psychology (the study of human psychology as if it were the product of animal evolution on Earth) are not going to further this discussion much beyond the faultfinding that is expressed in this article.

    There ARE many hidden power dynamics in human relationships. But they have developed over millions of years and stem from the fact that we are immortal spiritual beings whose memories have been crippled, not from the fact that this-life “oppressors” prefer to keep themselves hidden.

    And there ARE elements of animal psychology that impinge on human behavior. But it’s not because humans are animals, it’s because human bodies are animals.

    I applaud those who realize most current approaches aren’t working. But I also insist that they become more intellectually flexible. Much of this newer data comes from the 1950s, and it has only been mushrooming since that time. If you really want to solve more human problems, you need to find out what others who had similar goals found out when they looked.

    Academia – and that definitely includes psychology – was pretty well captured by what has become the corporate-political machine (“military-industrial complex”) by the middle of the last century. Very little real innovation (in the humanities) has been produced by academia since that time. It is time for those who want real change to ask like-minded people outside academia what they know that academia is ignoring.

  • I honestly believe that the being itself is primarily responsible for the formation of its own personality. When you see certain behaviors in response to certain inputs, you are seeing the results of a personality already well-developed acting in its environment. Of course this does not mean that there are no learned behaviors or attitudes. But there are many inputs available and the individual has some choice about which ones to accept and which ones to reject. Responses to childhood trauma, for example, are likely to be a mixture of triggered reactions and learned behaviors, and result from a personality that is already quite well-developed.

  • Bradford, where did you learn that a person does not create his or her own personality?
    Even if one modifies your statement to read “personality is formed out of all the words and behaviors directed at that person during their SPIRITUAL childhood,” it is still a creation of the person themselves. Different people can have near-identical “inputs” and end up with very different personalities. If the individual were not the ultimate creator of their own personality, then all the therapies that I know work wouldn’t work.

  • Daniel is a very gifted member of this community.
    It’s good to hear from him again.

    Like many of us, Daniel doesn’t understand what’s going on. The obvious answer is “trauma.” And until one is willing to consider the possibility that we are actually immortal spiritual beings, that’s probably the best answer, and there are even workable therapies for that. Of course, if you just throw the person you are trying to help back into a traumatic environment, you aren’t going to get very good results.

    But the problem is that we experience some degree of trauma each and every time we die. So eventually we will have to implement a therapeutic strategy that is a bit more workable if we want to keep our heads above water, or even improve ourselves.

    So we have two big problems to solve on Earth: The first is to make this place more livable and less traumatic. The second is to implement a mental health technology that actually works. These are interrelated, as failure with solving the first problem makes the second almost impossible to implement.

  • The title attracted my attention, as death remains a very misunderstood subject in this modern world. We have had a better understanding of it for most of my lifetime, yet most of academic medicine has ignored that data.

    While the article does admit that death has a “spiritual” aspect, it treats the problem from a conventional Western-oriented perspective. Many people have always died alone, suddenly, or under emotionally trying circumstances. Even where hospitals are available, there is no guarantee that we will die in one. Hospitals, when it comes to ICUs and other higher-tech aspects of care, are the creation of wealthier people who have a lot to lose if they die in an uncontrolled manner. Most of us, I don’t think, really care that much.

    But for us to still understand death as some sort of finality to be absolutely avoided for as many years as possible is, today, an ignorant even irresponsible attitude to take. Death is a very real human problem. We all have things we want to accomplish in this body and in this lifetime. We have friends and people to take care of. We hate to think that one day we might suddenly leave all that behind, messy and unfinished.

    But we should realize, at least, that we will have another chance. That death isn’t THE end, but only the loss of a body, unfortunate or not. If we understood death (and life) more for what they really are, not as biological experiences but as spiritual experiences, we could prepare for both much better and find more happiness in the process.

    That we are immortal spiritual beings who DO NOT die is the last thing our rulers want us to become aware of. And thus I think it is the most high priority fact of life to become aware of. This whole website deals with how a class of doctors found a way to prey off some of us with a “diagnostic manual,” guaranteed insurance payments, and “treatments” that make us dependent on them or kill us. They are doing this because of how spiritually dead they are. Those of us who think it’s wrong need to become more spiritually alive. We need to do our own research, publish our own journals, and eventually take the whole field away from them. They will not soon give up. We should never give up, Why give up? We are immortal spiritual beings!

  • Read is being extremely patient with his political (oops – academic) opponents. To see this as anything other than a political battle at this point seems foolish to me. The criminals want a legal way to kill people. That’s all. I don’t think it is much more complicated than that.

  • I will restate my viewpoint on this, as it is an essential point for us, and something we have not yet reached good agreement on. The “anti-psychiatry” movement (as they would style us) has been attacking psychiatry from several different angles. We have won a few legal victories based on fundamental agreements concerning human rights and medical ethics. We have gotten almost nowhere, though, in getting them to stop (or rein in) their use of drugs.

    Our first and primary argument is that this is a “profession” that has demonstrated a total inability to police its own members as to ethical behavior and honesty. This argument is weakened, however, by the observation that numerous “professions” also have the same problem and that this is in fact a fundamental human problem.

    Our secondary argument – actually potentially more potent – is that psychiatry is essentially nonscientific. This argument separates psychiatry even from ordinary Medicine. It is a powerful truth, but one which is not that persuasive to many of us (the opposition). I, being a student of Scientology, have no problem making this assertion. But this is more difficult for people who go along with the medical model to some degree, such as being convinced that the brain is the organ of mental function.

    I can, from my perspective, see how the entire society – nearly an entire planet – has been convinced of a basic falsehood about ourselves: that we are not spiritual beings but mere animals. It is this basic fallacy that has helped psychiatry to endure in its defense of its own status as the “mental doctors” of the planet. From this perspective, many persons outside of psychiatry have contributed to an intellectual climate in which psychiatry has been welcomed rather than laughed off stage.

    This is the argument I keep pushing because I see it as the most important truth that we are overlooking as well as the most important element in psychiatry’s continuing power. Psychiatry sees us as animals with animal minds, and that is a large part of their justification for treating patients the way they do. The “anti-psychiatry” movement is not yet convinced that this basic assumption is incorrect, and I feel that weakens us and our arguments. We do still have the more basic arguments concerning basic medical ethics and human decency, but if we were more sure of our spiritual identities, it would strengthen our own resolve considerably.

  • The above is an example of a communication that has a lot of truth in it that psychiatrists and probably any academic would simply laugh at.

    If we actually seriously want to get through to members of this “profession” we will need to use civil language, even if it pains us to do so. I am not sure, however, that such a project is worth it.

    The arrogant defensiveness of people like Pies is perhaps more obvious than the mannerly and carefully worded retort by Aftab, but they both point to a level of “rightness” that is most commonly seen in the criminal mind, the narcissist, the psychopath. These are terms that – while totally defamatory – are in the lexicon of psychiatry and psychology, which is one reason I like to use them.

  • I feel that the recent emphasis on gender and critical theory (power relationships in everyday life) has confused the subject of abuse considerably.

    Abuse is one of those things that predates biology and sex. In its “lighter” forms it relies primarily on shaming a person, on degrading their essential sense of self-worth and power. In its heavier forms it specializes in delivering pain in various forms that accomplish a similar end. The purpose of abuse, generally, is to degrade the being into feeling that it is worthless, purposeless, hopeless, a thing not fully alive.

    Forced nudity is one way to abuse children who haven’t yet fully developed a sexual identity. But it works at any age. It is a very basic form of abuse and is widely practiced in institutions, prisons and even “normal” hospitals and to a lesser extent security check points like in airports. The excuse often given is “security.” This is a slippery slope that many societies can easily fall into. We are experiencing it here on this planet at this time.

  • This is a good example of how disabling these sorts of experiences can be, and of a problem we should have solved by now, but failed to. Not only does the average practitioner know nothing about the mechanism we call “triggering” but they have no real idea what underlies such experiences or how to remove that problem from the mind. If “mental health” professionals had bothered to figure this stuff out (others already have) they might still lose some people to disability, but they would also have some people who fully recover. The average person in the system today does not have the slightest hope of recovering and faces a lifetime of coping with the damage caused by these experiences. This is the great tragedy created by the greed and ignorance (and apathy?) of practitioners. It need not have turned out this way.

  • I am not relying here on mere theory or what seems most logical or consistent. We are looking for ways we can help people feel more free and happy. To the extent that this is a mental problem, we need a mental solution. If we insist that the mind is part of the body, we don’t get that solution.

    Workable mental therapies have only been developed by those who were willing to entertain the possibility that the mind is separable from the body. And that is because this is the more workable assumption, and is also more likely to be more true or actual. We see this phenomenon in near death experiences and are, perhaps, amused. But if we are only amused we have neglected the full ramifications of what this means to human life, thought, and psychology.

    A being can leave its body, see that body on the operating table (or wherever) and notice what the doctors are doing to it, what the nurses are doing and remember this experience as brilliantly or more so than they remember fully awake experiences. The mind, we find, is a separable energetic structure that can function and has function without a body, though much of it is indeed devoted to operating the body. When we treat the mind as an energetic structure that the being (patient) can learn to look at and handle, we get techniques which make people factually more able, happier, and so forth.

    So we should at least be discussing this on the theory level.

  • The fact is, though, that the mental health system includes a system of compulsion in cases that are acute and extreme. Therapists in many practices will never see these cases, but it is a part of the “mental health” experience, and is often harmful, per many people who have been through it and comment on forums like this one.

    I use the term “healing” broadly, as do many psychologists. The combining form “iatro” which is part of the word “psychiatry” also has this meaning. Many people who do spiritual work consider themselves healers and I know from my experience that there are purely mental conditions that do require something that could be called “healing.”

    I know there is a trend to apply “illness” only to physical phenomena, but this does not encompass all its traditional meanings. On the other hand, the modern concept of illness tends to be physical only, and this is exacerbated by a total denial of the existence of Spirit and with that, the concept that Spirit could be troubled in a way that would make it seem “ill.” Perhaps there should be a distinct word for spiritual conditions, but the main barrier remains the recognition of the existence of Spirit, and not exactly what to call it when it doesn’t feel well.

  • The problem is: The mind is NOT part of the body.

    What we see in our experience is our very close emotional connection with our body and its experiences of hunger, lust, activity, inactivity, getting poisoned, dying, etc. Many of us doubt that much of anything else is going on mentally but of course more is. We have dreaming, imagination, study, education, training, work, problem solving. Those are all mental (one could say spiritual) activities, some of which are very emotional and others much less so.

    In this modern poisoned world we are all exposed to toxins on a daily basis and suffer mentally and physically as a result of this. This could lead one to conclude that we all suffer from “mental illness” but this would be a correct conclusion based on incorrect assumptions. The fact is, we have all been exposed to certain “mental toxicities” that have created a baseline of mental distress in society that we accept as “normal.” One can be attacked as “deviant” from either being much more troubled by these mental attacks, or much less troubled by them. In a similar way, the truly physically well, now a minority among us, are seen as worthy of special study because they are so unusual. Of course, their physical health tends to support a more healthy mental attitude as well.

    The distinction between mind and body is often mentioned in these discussions, but remains an uncertainty for most people. As they are so closely connected in human experience, this is understandable, but regrettable. It results in endless circular conversations about how better body health can result in better mental health. Though this is a real relationship in human experience, it is technically incorrect. And that technical distinction blinds most of us from making any real progress in the field of mental health. I know of no certain way of clarifying this for others; they either come to realize or or they can’t.

  • I think science can and must confront this subject if it ever intends to move humanity forward.

    We have many good approaches to detecting spiritual action, and particularly in addressing spiritual memory in all its various aspects. Courtney Brown has pioneered a science-based approach to remote viewing and many others have been working along similar lines in their own fields. At this point it is clearly a matter of academic snobbery to keep this subject closed to scientific inquiry.

    If scientists can play around with concepts like multiple universes, neutrinos and qubits, then it can darn well begin to deal with everlasting life and the question of ultimate causality.

  • Is it really too much to ask an intelligent person after arriving at the conclusions that these people arrived at that they might be barking up the wrong tree? Is the possibility of spiritual existence really such a zero for them that no possible set of experiences could ever get them to consider it might be true?

  • At first is seems a bit brave that these neuroimaging experts would call out earlier studies as clinically useless. However, when we see at the end that all they do is beg for more funding, perhaps this makes more sense. I hate to be cynical about these people but…

    They have had over 50 years now to follow up on work that indicates that irrational emotional responses come from the triggering of mental pictures, and to discover for themselves the role the spiritual being plays in creating and paying attention to its own mental pictures. They have instead chosen to speak and write as if this information never existed. I can no longer give them any tolerance for their ignorance. They should have figured it out by now; they obviously have other fish to fry.

  • We can walk away from the term “mental health,” but what are you going to call it when you are feeling happy, productive, intelligent, connected? We can shorten the concept to “healthy” but I don’t see any good purpose to abandoning the concept of “mental health” if we at the same time abandon the concept of being healthy.

    In general, and in the case of the mind in particular, health is basically a subjective perception of wellness, completeness, or happiness. In that sense, it cannot really be reduced to a set of factors that a test can measure and arrive at an objective answer about.

    But mental health is more than a feeling. The being, through its mind, does more than just feel. This is one of the limitations that psychology has sought to impose on us. The being, through the mind, can solve problems, imagine, carry on lengthy conversations, read books, study and learn new skills, and all sorts of other things besides feel. Mental health includes all those mental skills, just just feeling well.

    “Mental health” when viewed from the position of a technical-minded medical doctor is so limited compared to what it really is. I don’t think we need to abandon the term, I think we need to take it back and expand it to its full range of meanings.

  • Wow. The woman I know is in almost the exact same physical condition.
    And her frustration with her situation is likewise upsetting to me.
    For me to know that this started with an emotional-spiritual cause that could have been addressed and handled but was not puts some sadness in my life that I could do without.
    Yet with me it is at least an informed sadness. My challenge now is not to discover what could have been done, but to discover ways to get others to realize that there is something they can do.

  • When I was very young, the word “health” had a positive connotation and was not being extensively used by corporate marketers for their own questionable purposes.

    Same with the phrase “mental health.” Per Google’s Ngram Viewer “mental health” did not exist as a phrase until the 1900s and did not start becoming popular until the 1950s (when I was born). Its usage peaked during the 1970s and has been at a median level since 1990.

    Then there is the expression “health insurance.” Oddly, the use of this term peaked during World War 2, up to the beginning of the Civil Rights era. I associate it, however, with “Obamacare.” The term “health care” did not take off until 1970.

    Today all these terms are apparently owned by Corporate Medicine. we get “health care” which is covered by “health insurance” and supposedly results in physical and “mental health.” Except it doesn’t. These marketers are taking us for a bunch of suckers, and a lot of us are indeed acting like a bunch of suckers.

    We don’t know what bodies really are or how they really function, so we really don’t know that much about body health. Same goes for the mind, except it’s much worse. So Corporate Medicine has taken advantage of these weaknesses to sell us a bill of goods about body health and particularly about mental health.

    I don’t want to trash the English language in order to rescue it from corporate marketers. I would prefer simply to insist that they are being dishonest and misleading in their use of these terms.

    “Mental health” in particular remains problematic, as there is a long history of people with something to hide and something to lose using “mental illness” as a way to get rid of their political enemies, even if they are close friends or family. It is less common to shoot a personal enemy to disable them, but it is a similar operation.

    I don’t believe that “environmental aspects of mental distress” are the most important issues in understanding real mental distress. But today (if not always) they are a much more important issue for society to deal with. That is because this issue reduces to a problem of criminal activity, which is the most basic problem that individuals, academics, societies, and governments have been troubled by and have been unable to deal with over long centuries of time.

    Ironically, criminal behavior does stem from mental illness. But I would be perfectly happy if that were the only mental illness we worried about and learned to treat successfully. The biggest problem facing the mental health community is the criminal behavior of practitioners and their accomplices. Until we can nail that one, why pretend we are helping people with mental health problems?

  • There are MANY approaches to mental health that avoid psychiatry and their toxic “theories” about human life and behavior.

    I would support any alternative to psychiatric “care.”

    But to actually slow down or halt the advance of psychiatry and its ideas is a whole other matter. We know already that any believable alternative to psychiatry will be fought and discredited. The operation to install psychiatrists (and doctors) as the arbiters of modern life rolls forward like a robot with terrifying monotony and disregard for human life. We must arm ourselves with knowledge and skills that can deal with this without becoming a new version of it. I don’t think it can be a traditional battle, war or revolution. We must grow strong enough to laugh in their faces in a way that will stop them in their tracks. A certain number of us must become simply invincible to their poisons. And eventually they will realize that are doing the wrong thing and stop. This they are almost certain will never happen (though they fear very rightly that it could!). We must be just as certain that it can happen.

  • This new discussion touches on many of the basic issues and problems connected with anyone who seeks to help another out. In so doing, he or she takes the role of “healer” (or helper) more or less forcing the other to admit to being “ill” or needing help.

    When a beggar walks up to me and asks for money and I give him some, while I can assume I have helped him to some degree, I dare not fool myself that I have healed him. If I interact with him in some other way, and later I see him again and he is happy and thriving and walks up to me to shake my hand to thank me, I can then be a little more certain that I’ve healed him. Yet in the end I should be humble enough to remember that I really only helped him decide to heal himself. That is the first barrier that any healer in this field must face.

    If I am a “professional healer” and someone is brought to me who is in obvious distress and I do something to relieve that distress, did I help the one in distress or the one who brought them to me because their distress was upsetting to them? When a doctor sets a fracture even though the patient never asked him to, then the patient heals (or, perhaps, fails to heal), what exactly occurred there, anyway? This is entire realm of concern for many ex-“patients” as they were not aware of ever asking for help and feel the “help” they got was destructive.

    If we can wade through these basic questions of what is help and healing, we still are left with the problem of the skill and exact intent of the healer. And the general agreement – at least on this website – seems to be that professional-level skills and noble intentions are often lacking in the “professionals” that many patients have interacted with.

    This speaks somewhat to the topic of this article: Should a condition of mental distress be seen as a disability? The meanings here become so exacting and intertwined with various legal definitions that I feel unqualified to give a proper answer. But clearly, the “disabled” have been granted access to certain legal remedies in recent years that the simply distressed cannot take advantage of. And to the extent that “treatments” are unsuccessful and the distress becomes a chronic problem, it begins to look more and more like a disability, even though this doesn’t make that much rational sense.

    In this way, we could see the willingness of the mental health community to get mental disorders treated as disabilities as a form of admission of failure. A person with a mental problem should not have to walk around thinking he or she is permanently disabled, yet this aligns with the actual experience of many such people.

    I know a woman who has been dealing with mental-emotional problems her entire life. Though in a perfect world she in theory could have been cured, this is not what happened to her. And though she works 40 hours a week at a real job, she has also developed obesity and other body problems to the point where she has been declared by a doctor to be actually disabled. She no longer has any hope of overcoming her mental conditions, and her physical problems now only add to her suffering. This is a failure of our “system” and I am sure not at all unique or special. And though I am convinced that a professional healer could have cured her long ago, and dug her out of any relapses, the average American – much less Indian or African – has nearly zero access to people that good. The “system” doesn’t aspire to be that good, even though it has that potential.

    So, from my point of view, a wide variety of factors have led us to this unhappy place. People with mere disorders that should be curable are being turned into disabled who can now hope for no better than to get some sort of compensating action from society because of their disability. Of course this whole “framework” does not promote a very hopeful attitude or productive approach for the mentally ill, but is does reflect the sad reality of our current condition.

  • The world needs a certain level of rationality to keep the game of life going. But insisting on totally logical thinking and zero emotionalism is going way overboard.

    While I don’t believe we need to surrender our lives and wills to The Creator, there is a basic level of madness about life on Earth that we must be willing to tolerate.

    I don’t want to surrender my life and will to a tyrant, either, which is the other extreme we are being asked to agree with. That goes way beyond my limits of tolerance.

  • I appreciate you commenting on this, Tina.

    Yes, the subject of “spirit” is extremely problematic! No two people seem to understand it the same way.

    The most basic part of my understanding of it is that we are (as personalities, or “ourselves”) immortal spiritual beings. This is difficult for most people, as they have no conscious memory of any other existence besides this life. But some children do have such memories, and some of those cases have been validated. And others have been regressed into past lives, or used similar techniques, and some of those cases have been validated as well. Those who do this work for a living would say that the therapeutic results from past life recall itself validates its reality. I agree with that.

    But once we are willing to think with this basic, what follows is the possibility that we have a long term memory of experience (I have been calling it “spiritual memory”) which we might be able to learn from. And indeed, from what I have studied, this is the case.

    For a little boy to remember being a fighter pilot 40 years ago (and that memory is validated) is one thing. But for the process of locating that memory to result in the lessening or cessation of violent nightmares about drowning in an enclosed space is therapeutic. This is a publicly known case, which is why I cite it here. There are MANY more such cases, as this reality has been used for therapeutic benefit for decades now.

    But we can extend our knowledge even further if we are willing to explore our pasts with more persistence. Dena Merriam’s memories of past lives extend over a thousand years on Earth, and are quite educative. Other researchers have explored much farther back, into our days Before Earth. The data gained in this way are amazing and highly illuminating. They have opened up whole new avenues of therapy, though these currently are only being used in a non-secular (religious) context.

    My point is that the mental health community – of all communities – should be aware of these things and willing to discuss them. It is one thing to decide “that’s not for me.” But it’s quite another to be totally clueless. The data are out there. As time wears on, and conditions on Earth worsen, cluelessness is becoming a poorer and poorer excuse.