Friday, October 15, 2010

Mark Vonnegut Comes to Harvard Bookstore

Thanks to Google Alert, I found the following article from the Harvard Crimson. No, I'm not stalking Mark Vonnegut. My alert is for "holistic" and "schizophrenia." You'll find these two words buried in the article.

Vonnegut, the son of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Kurt Vonnegut, sat for a book-signing for his most recent work, “Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So: A Memoir.”


  1. Reflecting back on my own years of insanity and what has enabled me to find the way out of that unhappy state of conciousness it has come to me quite clearly just what exactly the person who has become insane needs if he is to really find himself and it is really very simple and can be summed up in the simple statement "agreement with somebody else about something that is true "this simple statement will prove the truth that sets you free from all delusion but only if you can let it and its realization become the most important goal you have. There are degrees of course or substitue patterns which carry a higy degree of fundemental truth in them but do not have the absolute clear tone of the final goal of the true seeker after the his authentic self. the higher the density of the quality of absolute truth a concept or phrase can carry the more useful it is in the successful living of life in the given scheme of things here on earth with which we must all live. Of course no words or language on it own can actually reveal the essential quality or characteristics of the truth unless it is deeply lived and thus realized in ones own experience then one knows the truth for oneself and if it is infact the trutin a fundemental sense one will naturally find that one shares agreement with others who also have come to know the truth.The main problem for anyone who would know the real facts of life has been the prevelance of vast quantities of truth in the mass that is only actually true at a rather shallow level and cannot be depended upon to the degree that one would stake ones very life upon it and find it safe. Put in these terms it becomes clearer why the truth we know must be absolutly trustworthy. If we know fear we do not know the truth. Fear does not exist at the level of the true being which is the fact of true idrntity. At the core of each person is the radient being of light whose character is characterized by love and this the true natures essential quality gives us the information we need to begin to ressonate harmoniously in agreement with the core truth of life.Unselfish or true love is the quality whose expression we must seek to master if we really want to find that perfect freedom to live gloriously and fulfilled here on earth People who are not living true to this their essential nature must find agreement with at least one other human being at the level of the incomplete truth that they have both accepted otherwise they will go mad.The world is filled with people desperate to find and keep connected with other people on the basis of incomplete truths which are really not at all harmonious with the fundemental or core truth. Carl Jung has said that the schizophrenic who finds somebody who understands him is no longrr schizophrenic and this is to a fair degree true because being understood by another indicates agreement with the other at the level where there is mutual understanding however if the shared agreement is not meaningfully rooted in the essential fundamental characteristic of life which is love its healing potential will be only partially realized.In general people everywhere settle for incomplete truth in their agreement with others and on this basis though they can just about eke out mere existance in mainly miserable lives many feel compelled by the promise that most people do sense at some stage in their lives to project the fulfilled state of life off into some future imagined realm to which they will go when their body has died, and many people rather desperately agree with this idea. Because the false idrntity is the only identity most people know and because the truth is however veiled present at their core a restless fearful condition of existance is the main experience known by the false identity which cannot completely hide from itself the fact of its own impermanance.

    Noel Gaughan

  2. Noel - Thanks for the interesting reflection. It is hopeful to hear what you say.

  3. Thinking about the body, the mind, wellness, recovery, just basic general health, having participated in blogs such as this, as well as the NYT health blog and others, reading Breggin and Whitaker, watching the MD skepticism, the MD defensiveness, the MD mea culpas, I have concluded that MDs are basically the “hawks” of the body administration in this discussion! They are the ones most willing to drop the bomb. Diplomacy won’t do. Wait and see won’t do. Talking won’t do. What is also frightening though (much like discussion of military action) is how willingly non-MDs will go along, including I’m sad to say, a lot of newly graduated, non-MD therapists about to enter the work force. That’s very disheartening.

    Yes, I suppose we can say it’s because of the dominance of the medico industrial complex, but I would also say it’s a lack of willingness to challenge our assumptions, and adhere at all times to reason and logic. This would seem to be especially incumbent upon counselors, therapists, etc.

    More personally, dealing with a close relative of mine who I suppose is suffering from mental illness (I just use that term just for brevity’s sake), the issue I had and have to answer for myself is: is it possible to help someone who either doesn’t think he needs to be helped or doesn’t want help? And how is this possible without the use of drugs (he is currently on them)? So how do I answer this? One of the first things we do in this situation (and I’d like to add that I think a part of his problem is caused by the drugs themselves), is to actually look around. And when I look around, and I have looked around and gotten second and third opinions, there are no alternatives to the medical model. Or, certainly none my relative would accept. The treating practitioner absolutely must be an MD – he is of that generation, my relative is. There is no question. Otherwise, my relative could not address him as “doctor.”

    So what I tell myself is if there were established alternatives then I could point to them, elaborate on them, possibly even point out people we know who’ve been treated by them, and my relative might, just might give it a chance.

    As it is, where I am, the only people practicing alternatives are doing so privately and almost in rebellion or at least in secret.


  4. i am most grateful to you Rossa that you have even allowed the publication of my testimony this rsspect for the spirit which I bear is actually a real indication of your own high standard of integrity and lived quality life. If you had not worked hard in your own experience to find out for yourself what the real facts of life are it is likely that you would have ignored or rejected me. The only way that it is possible for any person to actually keep and respect the first and most vital of the two great commandements of Jesus, ie. to "love the Lord thy God" is to respect the truth when it appears.All attempts to love some invisable unknown abstraction are fruitless in fact and merley feed delusion and vain imagination.SO i celebrate your proven love for what is most vital and necessary and wish you every success in your journey of awakening. May life bring you all that you need to complete the work which you have began.

    Noel Gaughan

  5. "If you had not worked hard in your own experience to find out for yourself what the real facts of life are it is likely that you would have ignored or rejected me."

    Noel - If I reject you, I reject my son and vice versa. What you have said is really the key to recovery from the point of view of the relatives. I believe that your experience is greater than mine and it is humbling.

  6. Dear Rossa

    It is wonderful to receive rour response to my words, however I assure you that there is no need to put me on any kind of pedestal because the something which you sense sbolut me which you appreciate is in fact also true of you and your son Chris and actually everybody else. Yes with a few years serious work and the assistanc of quite a few othef people I have realized apprx. over 51% of the truth of my self consistantly in living experience There is a bit of the way to go yet for me to actualize the complete perfection that my assured proven level of realization has revealed to me as really being possible to a person and yes the way really is easy and the burden light once the assured level has been reached.
    I now attend both Rrcovery international and Grow meetings every week. I am finding much that is of value and useful to me in my work of sharing the truths that have been useful to me in these two groups. And real service to others is an essential part of any worthwhile life and also provides a field of opportunity for me to hone and sharpen my developing skills in the art of living.

    With love

    Noel Gaughan


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