Tagged: Aliveness; Mental health; Grace
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January 14, 2022 at 8:37 am #17883Paul met DebbieParticipant
In her most recent column on this website, Kate Delany talked about the importance of mental healthcare. I can highly recommend her contribution. I commented on it there already, but I will extend my comment here to highlight her contribution once more.
What a lovely and important contribution, Kate! I couldn’t agree more.
The separation of health/being into a physical and a mental part is one of the tragic mistakes that our species made. The mistake was clearly verbalized by the French philosopher René Descartes (1596 – 1650) when he – erroneously – said: “Cogito, ergo sum” – I think, therefore I am. After this, the mind became much too important and separated from the rest of our being. In the Cartesian world we live in since, this error has pervaded almost all of society and our science, including and perhaps most intrusive in psychology and medical science, but also in philosophy.
I wrote a Tale in 2018 to present the exact opposite of his believe. You can read it on our website here. It is called “Ubi non cogito, ibi sum” – where I don’t think, there I (truly) am. I feel Descartes would have agreed with my intuition in the end. He just didn’t have enough time to realize, that we can’t be our thinking, because who is watching over our thinking then? There must be something more, that underlies our thinking and being. He would have found this as well I am sure, for he was a very smart being.
In reality, All is One. Body and brain are one as well. They share the same nervous system, the same blood, the same neurotransmitters and amino acids, and together as a whole they make us into who we are. “Mens sana in corpore sano ” the Roman poet Juvenalis (60 – 137) already said, shortly after Jesus died. And this is much more true than what Descartes believed. So he might have known.
A little example: some shortages or unbalances in vital resources can be caused by malnutrition or by stress for instance. And they might result in so called physical complaints like neuropathy or in so called mental problems like depression or anxiety disorder. There really is no barrier between those.
In my life I have encountered several crises that I could not have survived well without professional mental assistance. Some had to do with CF directly, most of them indirectly or not at all. Family and friends are not only not always available, they are mostly not trained for this and in some cases, they are actually causing the crisis or at least an important part of it. Where else could we then go for psychological help?
Fortunately, I found the right counseling in most cases, in the form of either a good psychiatrist when I was young (18) and a fantastic family doctor when I was in a relationship crisis (40). In some other instants the counseling did not fit very well and life presented solutions for me in time. We may always trust in life to do this. But sometimes, we need counseling to make us more receptive to this trust and to give us more time to endure the situation long enough for grace (and our own bodymind’s resources) to do its benevolent work.
I conclude with a little story from the past to illustrate the predicament we might feel when we are in trouble and wonder: should we accept help or sit it out and trust life?
A fisherman was caught in a fierce storm, his boat capsized and sank and he was not a very good swimmer. He managed to keep his head up for a while though, when suddenly a boat came along and the skipper said: “Jump in, I will save you!” But the fisherman was very religious and believed firmly that God would come to save him. So he declined the offer and kept struggling in the water. Two more boats came and the story repeated itself. He declined help these times as well, and shortly after the third boat disappeared, he lost his strength, sank to the bottom of the sea and gave up the ghost.For he always was a religious man, he entered Heaven. At the gate he presented his story to God and disappointed he asked: “Why didn’t You come to save me?” And God said: “Well now, man, how didn’t I save you? I have sent you three boats to save your butt. You poor sod, why did you decline the help I offered?”.
The Blissfool (fka Paul)
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