Mental Health and Context

You know, the main fallacy I notice in all discourse is a singular lack of respect for the Golden Rule: Context is King. In almost any discussion I see or hear, or any article written about almost anything I see a dearth of context. Over a couple of millenia of the gradual indoctrination developed that we are isolated egos in sacks of skin, temporary aliens in this world. We continue to operate from this premise, despite the overwhelming damage it causes and the obvious fallacy inherent in the belief (obvious, as in trees and woods). The whole conceptual divide of man vs. nature (self-evidently absurd, since we are natural) has led to man destroying nature, believing that he isn’t it,  which includes the destroying of ourselves, ultimately (which is taking place). Long story.

The imagined division is projected onto every aspect of our lives and relationship with our surroundings. It’s how we are able to carry out holocausts (humans vs. Jews) or standardised and fully supported – even by “good” people – genocide and wholesale lifelong torture of other sentient beings at the current rate of 10 million – yes, 10 MILLION fellow sentient beings per HOUR (humans vs. animals. We label them “animals” and it creates the required psychological distance to go with the geographical one). It infects our medicine, where it is believed that if we can just target this or that virus or protein or DNA strand or hormone or active ingredient then we can sort it all out, negating again the Golden Rule – Context is King and the whole body is an intricately interconnected ecosystem, as is the earth. We rationalise the damage away with phrases such as “side effects” and similarly dismiss the successes of holistic approaches as “placebo” – the epitome of the reduction of King Context to a singular termed explanation, which explains nothing.

On to the title of the post. At the moment I see all sorts of articles speaking out about mental illness, and how we need to break the taboo (the latest was from the Duchess of Cambridge). Yet I’ve not read a single article where anyone explores the context in which this epidemic has arisen. I’ve been told by medical professionals that I “suffer from depression” and so I fall under the “mental illness” umbrella, yet what does this really mean? Faulty wiring in my brain? A missed chromosome? As if some part of my brain could be tweaked and that would fix it? We seem to believe this, but it again disobeys the golden Rule: Context is King.

The rise of Twitter as a powerful communication tool is so telling, since the very nature of it is to remove context. I’m not saying that the designers of Twitter deliberately sought to remove context from the public discussion, but rather it is a symptom, it is the ultimate crystallization of context-free communication, as if its very existence is a wry diagnosis of the state of things, and almost an ironic statement. Context is King, so let’s remove it.

So what is my context? Well, I’m a homosapien, perhaps the most social primate ever. Evolved over a millions of years to live and love in small, tight-knit groups. The earth is my home and my source, it provides for me and my group. I’m designed by evolution to rise with the sun, sleep with the dark, and eat what the earth provides. But what is the context in which I live?

Well that’s a whole book worth. To cut a very long story short (read The Ascent of Humanity by Charles Eisenstein to get the whole picture) I can summarise it thus: we ain’t cut out for this. Almost every single evolutionary expectation (the fulfillment of which would lead to our natural sense of well-being with the world) is violated for the sake of conformity to an arbitrary sense of time, as well as the monitization of time, love, joy and life itself. Read the book if you don’t get what I’m talking about here.

So isn’t it little wonder that those with the most connection with themselves can hear their soul (which I define as the fulfillment or lack of fulfillment of our evolutionary expectations) screaming out: “not like this!” To my mind, depressed people are quite sane, but unable or unwilling to adapt themselves to an insane world. This is why depressed people are often advised to keep busy. If we end up just “being” we’ll be able to hear our souls screaming out again. Busyness is a blue pill cure to this. It might be that this is the next stage of evolution – can we adapt to this in time? Can we become mad enough to find our place in the madness?

I really don’t know – the future is speculation. But what isn’t speculation is that mental illness – like drug addiction – (and by the way, they’re expressing the same thing, which is why they’re so linked) exists in a context. But everyone talks about it as if it does not. The myth of drug addiction being purely related to chemical hooks is finally beginning to crumble in the light of evidence and the obeying of the Golden Rule. Now that we’re dropping taboos about mental illness, let’s not make the same mistake of ignoring the context in which it arises. I know that everyone will ignore it, as is our programming, but I just want to repeat again, for all our sakes:

Context is King


Author: Phil

Film composer, concert composer, sound designer, choral composer, arranger, song writer, musician.

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