Seth Farber, Ph.D.

The Spiritual Gift of Madness:The Failure of Psychiatry and the Rise of the Mad Pride Movement

The Spiritual Gift of Madness:The Failure of Psychiatry and the Rise of the Mad Pride Movement

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This revolutionary book tells how the Mad Pride movement developed in the last ten years as the successor to the mental patients’ liberation movement. It includes interviews with leaders in the movement as well as an interview with Paul Levy author of Wetiko, spiritual educator and ex-mental patient. Dr Farber believes the most important innovation to emerge from this movement is the proposition that madness is a dangerous gift. To explain this movement Farber has developed a new paradigm of madness and cultural transformation that builds upon the work of leading theorists in the existentialist, Jungian, Christian and Hindu traditions—including R.D. Laing, John Weir Perry and Sri Aurobindo. This paradigm helps to explain why this movement of “schizophrenics” and “bipolars” could change the world.


Seth Farber has dedicated his decades of professional life to not merely destigmatizing “mental illness,” but to giving us an all-inclusive, spiritual perspective on the evolution of consciousness that will, hopefully, end the iatrogenic suffering caused to so many in “the doctor’s (iatro’s) efforts to heal.” The existence of this book is, in itself, uplifting; its many cogent insights will surely inspire similarly dedicated readers to further this great humanitarian work.
Stuart Sovatsky, PhD, Words From the Soul:Time, East/​West Spirituality and the Psychotherapeutic Narrative.

Seth Farber, makes a powerful case for the Mad Pride movement, based on a challenge to the normative humanism of modernity. He draws on a number of thinkers, prominently the redemptive-messianic vision of Sri Aurobindo, who saw the human as a "transitional being"and earth as the habitation for a divine life. This is a valuable addition to the expanding library of handbooks for charting a new passage to the future through what Michel Foucault has called "an insurrection of subjugated knowledges."
Debashish Banerji, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco
Seven Quartets of Becoming: A Transformative Yoga Psychology Based on the Diaries of Sri Aurobindo


Seth Farber is one of the most provocative and original thinkers in America. Farber bring us to the threshold of the only questions that really matter: the demarcation lines between imagination and objective reality and between "madness" and "sanity."The Spiritual Gift of Madness is an important book which could revolutionize the way progressive religious people regard what is called mental health.
Frank Schaeffer ,author of "Crazy For God:How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back

An articulate, informed, and lucid exploration of the nature of madness, the Mad Pride movement, and ultimately what it is like to be deemed "mad" by society. Seth Farber's extensive interviews with leaders of the Mad Pride movement are particularly engaging and memorable.
Robert Whitaker, Anatomy of an Epidemic:Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America

Those who are concerned with the gospel of Christ...would do well to read [the work of] Seth Farber.
James G Williams, Emeritus Professor of Religion, Syracuse University, author of The Bible,Violence and the Sacred and editor of The Girard Reader..










































Selected Works

e.g. Fiction, History, Magazine Articles, etc. goes here
This revolutionary book tells how the Mad Pride movement developed in the last ten years as the successor to the mental patients’ liberation movement. It includes a Foreword by Kate Millett and interviews with David Oaks, Sascha DuBrul (The Icarus Project), Dr Peter Stastny and Paul Levy, author of Wetiko. Drawing upon the work of theorists like Thomas Szasz, John Weir Perry and R.D. Laing Farber shows how the mad can embrace their “mad gifts” in order to help the long awaited global spiritual transition.
Nonfiction
A work in the tradition of Thomas Szasz, R.D. Laing, Michel Foucault and Erving Goffman, a challenge to the delusional belief-system known as psychiatry; and a protest against its appalling crimes. Foreword by Thomas Szasz
The contributors are among the leading American Jewish critics of Zionism and of Israel's policies towards the Palestinians: Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Marc Ellis, Adam Shapiro, Phyllis Bennis, Rabbi Weiss and 6 others.
A critique of psychoanalysis and the medical model model of psychology as a form of secularized Augustinianism. Augustinianism, with its insistence on predestination and eternal damnation, was an inversion of the original Christian teaching of human freedom to respond to infinite grace and the promise of universal salvation.
"An important book."
--Thomas Szasz, M.D., Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, State University of New York Health Science Center; author of The Myth of Mental Illness
(Click on title above to read excerpt from book.)
Excerpt (slightly altered) from essay in Review of Existential Psychology and Psychiatry (2001, 25th Anniversary Issue) "Against Psychotherapy and Biological Psychiatry"
Articles
(Published by Free Deion Harris Association -- see article for contact information.)
Pending memoir. Non-fiction.
After years of practicing therapy,Dr Farber-- a psychologist in the tradition of his hero, radical psychiatrist R.D. Laing-- concludes that mental illness is a myth and that "schizophrenics," although often troubled, are the vanguard of a cultural revolution. Farber falls in love with Carla, and a few years later with Lily, both "schizophrenics." (Neither were patients of his.) These two crazy women are so intelligent and charismatic that their personalities burst through the stereotype of "mental illness." Farber talks to crazy people in their own language. Psychiatrists call it "schizophrenese" but Farber calls it the language of dreams, of poetry, of magic. Farber's dogged romantic persistence makes us wonder whether he is a brilliant visionary or a crackpot himself--or both. This is an inspiring story, profound in its implications--it is an affirmation of a vision of life beyond the dichotomies of sanity and insanity as we know them.
Organization
Network Against Coercive Psychiatry is an organization comprised of psychotherapists (including psychiatrists), survivors of psychiatric incarceration (commonly known as "mental patients"), scholars and other concerned citizens.