Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Coherence, not disintegration

"I often hear voices. I realize that drops me in the crazy category but I don't much care. If you believe, as I do, that the mind wants to heal itself, and that the psyche seeks coherence not disintegration, then it isn't hard to conclude that the mind will manifest whatever is necessary to work on the job,

We now assume that people who hear voices do terrible things; murderers and psychopaths hear voices, and so do religious fanatics and suicide bombers. But in the past, voices were respectable - desired. The visionary and the prophet, the shaman and the wise-woman. And the poet, obviously. Hearing voices can be a good thing,'

Going mad is the beginning of a process. It is not supposed to be the end result.

Ronnie Laing, the doctor and psychotherapist who became the trendy 1960s and 70s guru making madness fashionable, understood madness as a process that might lead somewhere. Mostly, though, it is so terrifying for the person inside it, as well as the people outside it, that the only route is drugs or a clinic.

And our madness-measure is always changing. Probably we are less tolerant of madness now than in any period in history. There is no place for it. Crucially, there is no time for it.

Going mad takes time. Getting sane takes time."

Page 170, 'Why be happy when you could be normal?', Jeanette Winterson

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