Wednesday, 5 February 2014

On Normlight ...

Edited on Feb 18

To be eventually continued in "... and the light in the dark"

Near the end of  "There is no Dark Side. There is only fear of the dark" I wrote about "truth-sayers, law-making labellers, knowers of right and wrong and good and bad". 

In that story from the dawn of mankind, cohesion around the campfire of a tribe was crucial to the tribe's survival, and the labellers were indispensable.

Now campfires have been replaced by Normlights: Streetlights of knowledge of good and bad and right and wrong and normal and abnormal.

And, even though they span the whole spectrum of human perception, from Religion to Woo to Academia and Science, labellers of our time all have something in common: 
Not what they think or state or do, but what they create: They create blind zones - areas where information is taboo or invisible. 

And sometimes they create lucrative industries.

Here are some examples from the New Age spectrum:

Deepak Chopra gets upset

The Secret of The Secret: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Runaway Bestseller by Karen Kelly

A critique of Byron Katie by Morten Tolboll

And one from the borders of psychology: 

A critique of Non-Violent Communication

And one from psychiatry:

The statements in this screenshot are from a psychiatric point of view, but with a little tweaking they could just as well have come from other branches of the mental illness and help industries, where another common factor seems to be assurance of being in the right. 

The problem with Normlights of all kinds is that they can blind people to what is out there, in the dark. So I evaluate them. And I refuse to learn the knowledge that fuels their lamps before evaluating them. 

I can't get past more than 3-4 sentences of Chopra before my mind goes soggy. 

I gave up "The Secret" at Rhonda Byrne's exhortation to avoid people who are ill or in trouble, as their negativity can spread to you. 

I gave up "The Work" at Byron Katie's advice to turn "He raped me" into "I raped him".

There are very many psychiatrists and psychologists that I respect. I have linked to many of them in my blogs, and I follow many of them on Twitter. And certain models of psychiatry and psychology have the same effect on me as the spirituality of Deepak Chopra: They make my mind go soggy.

And no, I don't judge any of them by the sogginess of my mind, I evaluate their ability to be aware of and protect the vulnerable - in themselves and in others. 

Because that is one thing all human beings have in common: We were born helpless, and we remain vulnerable for many years before we can fend for ourselves.

Losing touch with that vulnerability seems to be a normal aspect of growing into adulthood, and in the circle of many normlights, vulnerability is seen as a weakness to be overcome or hidden. And this attitude is frighteningly prevalent in mental health care. 

Respect for the vulnerable, in ourselves and in others, is what I look for in Normlights ... any Normlight ... and if I do not find it, I do not respect the knowledge that fuels their light. 

From my point of view, it's that simple. 

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