“soul before mind,…”*
A problem with this kind of change of thinking in today’s culture is that the means of production that are the driving force behind how we act, that defines what our culture is, also have a predominant influence over the very same institutions which support their continued dominance.
Does that sound like a bunch of double speak or what? Hell yes it does. Because, for example, we are expected to sit back and let psychiatrists give us drugs that give us temporary relief at best. If the drugs they give us give us anything more than temporary relief, at what cost to our life, our quality of experiencing life at it’s fullest?
I hear my dear friends say, almost without exception, that they are not getting the relief that they thought they would or hoped they would from their meds. A friend of mine said today that they “wanted to throw away all the meds, and have their old life back.”
Please hear me that I am not criticizing any one for doing what it is they need to do to get through life. Like Hillman said, “it’s not about getting better, it is about survivial,” now. I am however critiquing our way of dealing with issues that get labeled as “mental health,” issues when I think they are primarily emotional issues.
So what do we do about all of this? I don’t think there is some simple answer to this. I also think that we need to do something. Depression is escalating in my culture because people are having long term psychic, emotional, physical and mental costs because we have to continue to repress or suppress a part of them. What we dont understand is that if we do continue to do this in the end it has a great propensity to where the individuals affected either just give up or have behavior(s) that become(s)destructive. My own depression has negatively impacted more than a handful of people. If my depression can negatively affect more than five people,and if 10% of our population has depression,which is a conservative estimate, then up to 50% of our population is affected by depression in one way or another.
*I was reading this quote from an interview that James Hillman gave a Minneapolis newspaper in 2007 when he was “promoting,” his book Soul’s Code.
The whole quote goes “[R]adical shifts of orientation, so that we can value soul before mind, image before feeling, each before all, aesthesis and imagining before logos and conceiving, noticing before knowing, rhetoric before truth, animal before human, anima before ego, what and who before why” I might write on each of the parts Hillman put in this amazing quote.