How We Are Sick, How We Heal

I’ve read a number of articles and seen a number of talks elucidating the experience of the mentally ill in ways that completely changed my perspective, and I wanted to bring them together to show you the shift, because its very exciting, and suggests a very clear path to how we should treat (and love) those who appear disconnected from our shared world of reality.

One woman with schizophrenia stops treating the voices in her head like a dangerous problem and starts recognizing them as a valuable coping mechanism in response to a trauma.

Nature or nurture? This neuroscientist makes a compelling case–and case-study–that psychopathy and violence are not synonymous.

This woman finds a beautiful lesson in dementia. (A bit long, but well worth it.), as usual both hilarious and insightful with some insight into the survival-savvy qualities that go along with several so-called “disorders.”

Do you see a pattern emerging?


Creatively Rethinking the Apocalypse

This week in hope:

It’s a common perception that as time goes by, the world becomes more and more corrupt. If more and more people are airing their dirty laundry in public (i.e. openly living in nontraditional relationship structures, getting divorces, openly doing drugs, consuming pornography, eating gluttonously, getting into ridiculous amounts of debt, etc.), this means we are getting too comfortable with evil and we’re on the path to our own destruction.

A recent report from NASA offers a different perspective on our impending apocalypse. Comparing the collapse of giant civilizations throughout human history, a team of applied mathematicians, natural and social scientists identified some common factors which predict that, as we suspected, our society is heading towards its doom, but not for the reasons we think.

According to the study, it’s not our inability to overcome personal vices that dooms us, but our complacency with society’s vices. In other words, we’re heading towards destruction because we have allowed the elite to establish economic growth as humanity’s top goal, not because we’re too supportive of prostitutes or our drug policies aren’t strict enough. Our world is collapsing under the strain of corporations who refuse to mediate their impact on humanity.

Ultimately, humanity’s survival will depend upon our willingness to save one another from destruction. If we stand by passively as the world descend into chaos, are we not culpable for one another’s deaths? There’s a saying about “the lion laying down with the lamb” in paradise–which I think is a pretty fine clue that we’re not supposed to be waiting around for God to turn the oven to self-clean. We have the makings of paradise right here and now, if only we’d help it along instead of waiting for death to deliver it.

Tune in next week for some prime examples of this phenomenon, as sufferers of mental illness speak up, insisting that their worlds are not so lonely, foreign, or hellish as one might think. At least, not until the silencing begins.