Question: How do you see the paradigm of spirituality intersecting with the paradigm of biology?
As a psychiatrist who blogs that behaviors come from the brain and not a theater script we voluntarily revise to perform, this is a good question. As readers, and perhaps subscribers to this same belief, this is a good question.
In church, Bible study, or circle of any kind, there are fewer things that goad me more than listening to descriptions of the moral value in emotions and behaviors. I have found myself visiting the lady’s room more often, carousing the fellowship hall-kitchen and fridge, or thrusting myself on a poor unsuspecting soul loitering by the door with my fervent uncomplimentary words. I do this before I stand up and pull rank on the speaker.
(I know. The words “pull rank” sound just as arrogant, and probably are, but they were said in the heat of the moment. Please understand that the emotion behind them and including the words came from my brain.)
It wasn’t so long ago that suicides were thought to be the ultimate separation from God. Oh wait. That’s still happening isn’t it? It wasn’t so long ago that anger and sadness were thought to be from separation from God. Oh wait, they still are. Ok. I’ll stop. This is childish.
The hunched figure of Notre Dame comes to me now, ringing his bell, gazing at Esmerelda – pure heaven in flesh. He offers up his humble life force, begging to be near her despite his biology. He is ugly. He is different. He is separated by his own beliefs that he is forgotten by God. His answer to our question is his own isolation.
This pithy topic has no boundaries across the world but yet I reduce it down to Me, one apparently arrogant psychiatrist, kicking up dirt where I stand. I realize that the best way to protect us from stigma, to help you (again arrogant me swaggers in), is to start with my answer to this marvelous question. I have to answer it for myself. I have to start with self-care, spiritual care, relationship care, physical care – I have to start right here with Me.
These kinds of imposed opinions have never been reduced quickly. We can’t take care of everyone before we take care of ourselves. We must be patient. We have the privilege to answer thoughtfully. It is our freedom. It is our right.
Self-Care Tip #193 – Answer the big questions in life for yourself, deliberately, and see that a secondary benefit is that it will protect you from the prejudice of others as well as reduce their prejudice.
- Do The Opposite. For Your Self. (friendtoyourself.com)
- Old Paradigm, New Paradigm (time.com)
- Talking can help reduce stigma of suicide (timesunion.com)
- Efforts to reduce mental health stigma take over Twitter ” Anxiety UK (anxietyuk.org.uk)