Saturday, March 30, 2013

Psychiatry and the Easter faith

Why do you look for the living among the dead?

Mourners visiting a tomb were asked this question one morning, long ago.

I ask it today of anyone who might study the mind or presume to heal mentally caused ills within a framework alienated from religion or in non-religious fields.

Lately we favor the proposition that bad behavior and unpleasant feelings are sicknesses or diseases of the brain. We believe doctors who specialize in behavior (but tellingly, not doctors who actually specialize in the brain) can solve social problems by medical means. We even tend to believe that scientific medicine is the best and most vital route to happiness in general.

We are apparently so far gone as to accept on faith that an individual exists only as chemical reactions in synapses, only as a brain, grey matter, mud. We look in the mirror and see only a machine, which we expect to entirely predict and control without reference to any concept of soul.

We spend millions to research drugs to heal our souls, and find only drugs that fail to heal earlier drugs. We excuse our worst behaviors by lamenting the wrong drugs and the missing drugs. We don't tell the truth, we don't live the truth, and we don't know the truth.

This is psychiatry. We look for the individual, the living, in places of the dead.

He is not here. He is risen.


  1. We are not there... but we are not yet rizen...

    1. "We" as human beings, as the human race, certainly are not risen. But perhaps the individual is, the spirit always has been.

  2. I suspect that you conflate religion with consideration of the subtleties of self. Many non-religious would inform you that religion is neither necessary to healing nor ultimately compatible with it. Magical thinking may make you feel good for a while. But it is also a source of enormous atrocities against unbelievers and competitors. "Faith" must be qualified by observation and reason, else it become "blind" in its assignment of cause and effect in everyday life.

    1. I think faith, as free postulation of reality by an individual, is above or prior to observation and reason, which are agreement with a reality decided beyond the individual.

      The "subtleties of self", the mind, and the healing of mentally caused ills should not be alienated from religion. Doing so is precisely what gave humanity, in the last century, a high road to a very black gate and a hot mushroom cloud.