Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Teach them to swim

Joseph Campbell's famous quotation that the schizophrenic drowns in the same waters in which the mystic swims with delight has been passed around for generations as profound "wisdom" and therefore not challenged. To me, this quote leaves people with the impression that the schizophrenic is a write-off as a functioning human being, while in contrast, the mystic, with whom he has much in common is, well, a great and glorious mystic.

The schizophrenic has all the ingredients of a mystic/poet/writer/musician, he just needs help getting there. Teach him to swim in the mystic waters. Support his interests, don't put them down. Encourage greatness in him. Don't insist on conformity to our very limited appreciation for who is worthy and who is not.

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