On Discovering Rejuvenation:
Conventional thinking has built the modern world so, by no means am I going to argue against its effectiveness. I understand my privilege is the product of convention's success. I want to talk about the limits of convention's effectiveness.
Limits exist to be understood so that we may advance beyond them.
On the Limits of Scientific Analysis:
This, I'm afraid, is where we begin our discussion of mental illness and it's relationship with science.
The scientific method is a proven form of analysis that humans use to discover objective truth. In layman's terms, the scientific method allows us to discover what is true regardless of what we think.
Although mental health presents many problems for discovering a uniform solution, the most important and difficult problem for the scientific method is the problem of where mental illness exists. The location of all mental illness is internal to human experience. We know that mental illness overflows into our shared external world as patterns that we call symptoms; however, the source of those patterns remain central to our internal domain. This movement from isolated internal experience to shared external experience is important; it means that there is another space or dimension to reality that we all have access to through our imaginations. Anyone who is healthy has the ability learn how to notice thoughts before actively speaking them. A healthy person has the ability to choose what they bring into shared experience by using their imagination first.
The Scientific method does not acknowledge that this space internal to our imaginations contains any objectivity because the methodology by definition controls for it. In essence, according to science external objective truth cannot be discovered without creating an internal subjective world. This is how the point of view functions. This is troublesome for discovering a solution for mental illness because the location of mental illness (which is internal to human experience) exists inside the scientific methods self created subjective world. This creates a really big problem for anyone who is ill and looking for an objective solution because the experience of mental illness lives in the same location where science says objectivity cannot be discovered. So, what now?
Let me show you this problem from another angle to make it easier to imagine. Let’s pretend we are scientists and acknowledge that the location of mental illness is internal. If we control for our own internal experience (because we've defined it as subjective), how would we look for the solution?
There are two ways. The first is by literal dissection. We cut somebody else's body open, look at the mechanics of their physiology and create a hypothesis. The problem with this kind of research is that we cannot cut a body open without risking its life. So, if we want to study the mechanics of the brain, we must wait for the person to be dead first and at which point we can only learn what not to do. This is the first limit. The more we dissect another person the faster they die and certain dissections will kill instantly. This means in order to understand how the body lives holistically we must learn about each part separately in order to try and create a complete image. We call this practice deduction.
To get around the limits of physical dissection
Scientists have developed technology to maximize vision while minimizing invasion. One way of maximizing vision while minimizing invasion is by using different wave functions to create images. This is like a boat using sonar to map the bottom of the ocean. We’ve all heard of X-ray, MRI, cat scan, and EEG which use this method in one form or another. Another less invasive means of dissection involves taking living samples to the best of our ability. We can sample blood, urine, breath, saliva, hair, DNA etc. This kind of analysis has created the pharmaceutical industry. We understand there is a relationship between our experience and chemistry. We know that when we are experiencing symptoms of mental illness we are also experiencing a change in chemistry. We know that we can induce someone with chemicals to alleviate symptoms with varying degrees of success.
The second method of dissection that scientist's use to help the mentally ill is metaphorical dissection or talk therapy. We can discover the roots of somebody else’s experience by asking them questions. This has its limits too. The most obvious being: what if the person who is mentally ill doesn’t want to talk or cannot talk? What if talking is excruciatingly painful for them? What do we do then? Drug them to reduce their pain and then see what happens? Now the problem is numbed and they still don’t want to talk. Should we try cutting out part of their brain? Or maybe electric shock therapy? These remedies seem to be lacking in substance.
These methods of analysis are derived from the same methodology that scientists would use to understand the bottom of the ocean from a boat. For the record, we know less about the bottom of the ocean than we do about the surface of mars. Why? We are limited by the physics of the ocean. We can’t really know what is down at the bottom of the ocean unless we go look and at the moment we physically cannot. Mental illness has the exact same problem. We are limited by the location of the problem. We cannot fully enter the living mind of another person. We can only embody our own.
And, to be frank, based on the quantity of mass shootings, the scale of the drug epidemic, homelessness, PTSD crisis in veterans, rape culture, etc; it becomes clear that this kind of thinking has not solved the mental illness problem. This is self-evident. There are a lot of people in an extraordinary amount of pain; both physical and psychological that will never find genuine relief from the solutions created by science other than the relief of being numbed in one form or another.
This is the problem we want to solve.
And, preferably sooner rather than later.