The Spiritual Gift of Madness:The Failure of Psychiatry and the Rise of the Mad Pride Movement INDIEBOUND BOOKS.
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
Dr. Seth Farber doesn't think so. He has collected seven true stories of individuals insulted and injured by the mental health system, individuals who then fought back, broke free, and rebuilt their lives.
Radicals, Rabbis and Peacemakers:Conversations with Jewish Critics of Israel (Common Courage Press, 2005)
-- Rev Daniel Berrigan, S.J.
"Before I explain, let me mention a discovery I made just a few month ago. I discovered that there are quite a few gerontologists on the leading edge of science who believe we are on the verge of being able to stop or reverse aging. Aubrey De Grey, the gerontologist with the most salient public profile, claims we can achieve virtual immortality this century--one might add if we don't destroy ourselves first.Gerontologists realize that we do not have to die, death is is not part of the inalterable nature of things, it is not the result of a natural law, it is not inevitable, death is a contingency. The fact that through science secular persons are reaching the conclusion--that we (as human beings) do not have to die-- that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother reached through mystical experiences, is another indication that we are dealing with an idea that is now emerging from the depths of our collective unconscious and seeking realization.
But the point I want to emphasize here is the remarkable fact that scientists today are seeking the same goal as humanity’s messianic prophets and seers–eternal life. Thus the opportunity to realize our messianic vision, to transform our ancient “memory” of paradise into reality, has never been so great. (Nor has humanity ever been so imperiled by the threat of self annihilation.) But the collective will to realize this ideal is lacking. We have been trained to believe it is fantasy and few people are prepared to accept it as an imminent possibility ...
Science alone is powerless – a new spiritual awakening is necessary. Science now holds virtual immortality within its grasp. Those of us who grasp the significance of this fact must publicize it so that the idea of eternal life, eternal love, of heaven on earth can incubate and grow numinous within the collective imagination. The problem of the lack of unity of humanity and our failure to realize the pivotal role romantic love could play in enabling us to actualize this ideal must be addressed. Romantic love must no longer be minimized or dismissed as illusory. It is our greatest spiritual resource.The task of our spiritual leadership must be to do everything within its power to make eternal love the new social Imaginary, to promulgate the idea of a society without aging, without war, without death, the vision of a society in which romantic love not death has the last word."
Seth Farber is not one of those Christians. It is his conviction that Christianity and psychiatry are nothing less than competing faiths. Dr. Farber challenges the church to consider how it has neglected its responsibilities in its accommodation to the mental health system. Taking on giants from Augustine to Freud, this book is not likely to persuade all its readers. But none will see these issues in the same way again.