~ At coffee yesterday I ran into an acquaintance of mine who I hadn’t seen in some time (a coffee shop is like that, sometimes you see people every day, and then you might go 6 months without seeing them for no damn good reason….kind of like bloggers <hint, hint>)
My friend was quite disheveled, and after an inquiry into his emotional state he soon was expressing the solidarity of his sadness; the love of his life, his girlfriend of 10 years, had entered into a psyche ward due to (what the doctors diagnosed as) schizophrenia.
“She kept hearing a voice that she believed she must obey. When the voice didn’t talk to her she didn’t know whether to put on jeans for the day or wear a skirt; her entire life became obsessed with listening for this voice” he said.
Without adding any consternation or meaning any ill will to those suffering from such cases of mental illness, I can’t help but wonder if the Western World has been somewhat led astray, whether due to arrogance or egotistical ambition, in its ability to diagnosis mental illnesses. After all, it seems one can’t turn around in a crowded room without bumping into a dozen people who are each suffering from an assortment of mental illnesses.
The U.S. Department of Health reports 70% of all men, women and children in America being on some type of prescription drug, and even more staggering is the statistic that 1/3 of all Americans are taking 5 different prescription drugs!
The odd realization that each of us must face at sometime in our bold existence (that is, if we do not want to be a nebbish our entire life) is that at every moment, of every minute, there are tens of millions (perhaps billions) of people all around this blue and green sphere who believe a voice (or voices) are talking to them in their head. On every concrete street corner and dusty dirt road, sit magnanimous edifices built unto the deities, in which men and women wearing frocked robes or post modern hipster ministers wearing polos and jeans, espouse the wisdom of their holy writs and teach the masses that the invisible God, holy spirit, or Jedi Force wants to talk to them in their heads and tell them how to live their life.
Rarely a day has gone by in my life (accept on those precious vacations in which I sit by myself for hours on end hiding from the nebbishes) that I don’t meet people at coffee who believe a body-less entity talks to them in their head;
—) “I believe the Lord is telling me to buy this house” says one young man to me
—) “God told me that Jeff is the right man for me, we are to marry next year” says a twenty something woman
—) “I have to pray about this and see what the Lord tells me” says yet another
When it comes down to brass tacks, what really makes these religious flibberty jibbets any different than someone who has been diagnosed as having schizophrenia?
If religious people all over the world believe an invisible deity (or spirit) is talking to them in their head, why are they not diagnosed with schizophrenia?
What about all the psychics, mediums and Patricia Arquette; shouldn’t they be diagnosed with schizophrenia as well?
What am I missing, (beside the fact that there aren’t any voices speaking to me in my head) why do we determine that someone who believes a voice is telling them to only eat sauerkraut is schizophrenic, but someone who believes an invisible deity is telling them to purchase the house on Suburban Street instead of the house on Main Street is normal?
Speaking of normal, its interesting to me how it took the mass murder of innocent African Americans in a church building over in South Carolina, to finally get our schizophrenic media off the subject of Bruce Jenner and his penis.
My heart goes out to those Black Christians who suffered at the hands of a non-schizophrenic white militant. A young man who bought into the damnable ignorant teachings of the confederacy. It is a sad state of affairs that Southern Americans are even this morning calling radio talk shows defending their right to wave the symbol of their forefathers and their hatred of black people.
Days before the South would fire upon Fort Sumpter, the Vice President of the Confederacy, Alexander Stephens, explained what the South believed the confederacy was all about;
Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition.
Those aren’t the words of a crazed schizophrenic, they are the voice of the Southern Population in the 1800’s who believed in their damnable philosophy of hate and would probably being burning in hell for their utter evilness, except hell is too good a place for people who believe shit like that. Those are the words that defined what the damnable Southern flag stands for; I hope every single flag is burned to the ground at some point in history, save those kept in museums to teach future generations the consequences of evil.
Fortunately, just as Saul the murderer found redemption and came face to face with the error of his ways, so there is always hope for Southern Americans to one day see the truth about their gospel of hatred. In the case of Saul the murderer, he found Truth before he died. In the case of Southern Americans; they keep passing down their gospel of evilness to one generation after another.
Sadly, its our schizophrenic culture which makes it nearly impossible to see one simple truth; there is nothing new under the sun. Hatred, racism, and all sorts of evil have been around since our ancient ancestors used to lust after what their neighbors had. Sure, it wasn’t much, perhaps a few extra slabs of corn or a couple colored pieces of chalk to write on the cave walls. Yet even among those meager possessions there was lust and envy. As the great writer said,
I have also learned why people work so hard to succeed: it is because they envy the things their neighbors have. But it is useless. It is like chasing the wind. 5 They say that we would be fools to fold our hands and let ourselves starve to death. 6 Maybe so, but it is better to have only a little, with peace of mind, than be busy all the time with both hands, trying to catch the wind.
Just a few thoughts as I sipped my coffee
(Thank you to all the kind emails, private messages, and more that I have received in my absence. Unfortunately I simply can’t respond to everyone. A future post will be coming to discuss my sudden disappearance)
Categories: Culture & Society