MAP Lecture Series: The Polarized Mind: Why It's Killing Us and What We Can Do About It
The debut of the DSM V provides a golden opportunity to revisit what we call "psychopathology" in our society and what we call "sane." How can so-called mental patients and victims of PTSD get tagged as mentally ill while bank presidents who compromise their shareholders' money with reckless abandon, CEO's who pollute at will, and U.S. presidents who sanction the slaughter of hundreds of thousands in preemptive wars are thought of as normal, mentally healthy individuals?
There is something quite askew about the DSM and our views of mental disorder when they cordon off the mentally "ill" from the mentally healthy as if the two have nothing to do with one anotheras if each of us does not share the same basic existential condition (albeit with differing degrees of intensity), with the same or similar aspirations to cope with that terror. Indeed, isn't this precisely what Kierkegard, Fromm, Becker, Laing and others were trying to get at?
The problem is not some biochemical disease (although that certainly figures in at points), but an avoidance (or ignorance) of the deeper issues concerning human depravity. Drawing from existential depth psychology (including terror management studies) as well as my book The Polarized Mind, I will plumb this question about human depravity or what I call polarizationthe fixation on one point of view to the utter exclusion of competing points of view. Specifically, I will look at how polarization has developed throughout history (including our own time), the range of its manifestationsfrom despotism to corporatism, and from ideological zealotry to the entrancement with high techand steps we urgently need to take to address the problem (which is now a world peril). These steps combine contemporary insights with centuries of cross-cultural, awe-inspired wisdom.
Kirk Schneider, PhD author, vice-president of the Existential-Humanistic Institute, and adjunct faculty at Saybrook University, Teachers College, Columbia University, and the California Institute of Integral Studies
2 CEUs available
Casey Commons (5th floor Casey Building) at Seattle University (View)
901 12th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|