top of page

            There are many categories of mental illness and within each one of those categories there are symptoms that can take on infinite expressions, often times washing over into other possible diagnosis. For brevity, I'm going to skip making a list of those categories. The main point is: lot's of categories make solving the problem of an ill mind very difficult and to some I’d imagine, impossible. This is something that we have to account for first and foremost.

             We have to realize that all of this complexity is a result of a one specific way of thinking called deduction. Deduction is the practice of breaking down the whole into parts so that we can better understand the whole. The problem is: deduction only adds value to the point that we can put everything back together again holistically. If we subtract too much too fast, it’s like taking our car apart and forgetting how to put the pieces back together. Once we go beyond that limit of knowing how to put everything back together we can find our self in a lot of trouble. With a car you end up with some parts working well, some parts left undone and some where you have no clue how to reconnect them at all. With a human being, the more we dissect the faster we die.

              We can see this problem of deduction in our collective society as an accumulation of information. The more we deduce as a collective society the more information becomes available for everyone to get lost in. Our corporations have specialized labor to the point of a metaphorical knife and directed that force to dissect the world in every imaginable direction and now that everything has been cut up and divided nobody can figure out how it's all supposed to fit together. To keep with the car analogy, it’s like we've all become experts at creating parts without understanding what to do with them.  Now, in our case, it’s not the engine of a car that we can’t get working properly; it’s our collective mind. From the point of view of deduction our minds are so complex and mysterious that we don’t have a clue how to fit the parts of our mind into a holistic view of the body. The result: Mental illness appears to be an unsolvable problem.   

             The lesson is: deduction is required and helpful, but only up to a point.  The limit of its value is equal to our ability to re-conceptualize the whole. If we are unable to create a new conception of the whole after boring down to the end then we have to zoom out and begin again. The problem is: the majority of the people who are interested in these topics are too specialized. There are too many truths to account for across too many fields of knowledge that our minds literally cannot hold a holistic point of view without adding in another question of complexity.  Solving the problem then, (if there is a solution) requires that we find a way to sort through complexity in order to discover simplicity. 

On Science and Mental Illness 

(An Essay)

bottom of page