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What Is Psychopathology? (1 of 2)

July 20, 2015

What Is Psychopathology? (1 of 2)

At least, what do I mean by that term?

I think I mean Change, in its most profoundly human form, as our experience of change is enacted in and by soul (the great perceiver, the great imaginer, great image-maker).

Okay, that was an attempt to get right to the point, and say no more than is necessary for the immediate purpose of the narrative. I tend to mow the entire lawn when I need to trim the sidewalk, but here I’ll try to just walk directly out to the mailbox and back. *

It’s no secret that All of Being, all being, is constantly changing, including the soul. Thus (1) psychopathology is the soul’s experience of, and reaction to, the changes it is going through (and they can be disconcerting, they can throw it off balance), and (2) every human activity, and to the degree that it enacts our soulfulness, is psycho, a pathology of our individual and/or mutual soul. **  Including democracy.

Re. (1) everything is in motion, and the soul both moves and is moved. It moves with e-motion, in healthy ways, and in unhealthy ways, and we recognize that, by often using “psychopathology” to refer to psychological illnesses. ***  But the soul is constantly experiencing life as a simultaneous combination of health and unhealth, healthy and unhealthy changes; thus the soul is profoundly pathological. Deeply moved. And deeply moving.

Re. (2) everything is in motion; democracy, for instance, is profoundly pathological—but that simply means that as a human, soulful activity, it is always one of those troubled mixtures of health and unhealth. We do the best we can.

So by “psychopathological” I mean every movement of the soul, within the conditions of being that it finds itself in, as it “suffers” the conditions of life, as it goes through its changes.

Well that might do it; but because I need to get my thinking out in front of me, and in case anybody is interested, I’ll think a bit farther about it, including the nature of the soul, on page 2 of this episode.

* I find this subject endlessly fascinating and very important—and of course I wouldn’t have this novel to narrate, without it. My thinking is influenced largely by my experience and observation of myself (with the help of an excellent therapist), my observations of others, and my reading in literature and depth psychology (especially C. G. Jung and James Hillman). Taoism, Buddhism, and Christianity enter in. Then there’s philosophy, biology, astronomy…. It gets out of hand, exacerbated by my having been around for such a long time.

** Note for page 2 (which i hope to get to soon): Hillman explains that I am in soul, not soul in me; it’s not “my soul”—I am of it.

*** One way to think about “psychopathy” is that a “psychopath” lacks capacity to be e-moved by a soul, to e-move in his (mostly) soul—as when, in the Bible, a heart is turned to stone (and not a rolling one), by none other than God Himself. I also find this helpful in thinking about the nature of evil.

From → psychopatholgy

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