Friday, March 12, 2010

Hothouse flowers

A mesmerizing story about Japan's Chrysanthemum Throne hothouse appears today in the New York Times. As uniquely Japanese as the tale appears, what lies beneath is universal. Crown Princess Masako, who suffers from depression and is not often seen in public, now appears to have a daughter who may be showing early signs of nervousness.

Then there is the Washington Post story about Patrick Kennedy not seeking re-election for a ninth term. I give him credit for weathering the storm of the public eye for sixteen years despite having familial tendencies toward drink and manic-depression.

Kennedy says he intends to work for mental health and addiction issues from his home base of Portsmouth, Rhode Island. "As exciting and as meaningful as work is and as my career is, ultimately something clicked inside of me that there was something that was missing," Kennedy says. "I want a fuller life."

I wish him the best of luck. I can guarantee him a fuller life if he, for personal and professional reasons, decides to investigate the healing world of holistic mental health. He can also develop a reading list of the great inner life authors - Hermann Hesse, Kierkegaard, Neitsche, to name just a few. The Big Bang and energy medicine should be on the reading list, too. We are put here on earth to do more than simply cope with our problems. We can transform them.

"We grew up in a family where there was very little tolerance for self-exploration," says a cousin, Christopher Kennedy Lawford. "I think now he has this freedom . . . to do some real exploration of who he is and what he wants to do in his lifetime. That's a valiant exploration, and a needed one.

"Gandhi," he adds, "said the man who conquers himself is greater than the man who conquers 10,000 armies."

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