Another Country

There is another country, Not far away,
In fact it is very near.
Mental Health Professionals learn all they can about this other country,
Talk to people, its observers and residents, But mostly its observers.
Read books and papers about it,
Attempt to learn its language,
But its borders are closed to most of them,
They cannot visit it.
They meet us at the border.
We tell them about our country,
But they do not believe us.
They say, ”This is not true, it is all delusion.”
But remember, they have never visited our country.
We say there are wonders there,
And horrors too.
Heaven and Hell.
But they do not believe us.
They say, “This is all delusion.”
We have very little industry or commerce in our country.
Only art, fantastic art, insight and our own peculiar wisdom.
They take pity on us.
They give us food and shelter.
But they expect us to obey the rules of their country,
Like some benevolent conqueror.
They want us to learn their industry and commerce,
But this is the death of some of us.
We are far happier producing our fantastic art,
Or simply dreaming.
They would like us to become
Like the residents of their country,
Like them,
But many of us are not interested in playing their games.
We often escape back to our own country,
Where life is easier, less pressured, more inviting.
Then they try to coax us back,
Full of good intentions and well-meaning,
But we are often far happier in our home.
There is another country, Not far away,
In fact it is very near.

By John Excell
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I died as a mineral and became a plant;
I died as a plant and rose to animal;
I died as animal and I was a man.
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die as man to soar
With angels blest. But even from an angel
I must pass on: all except God must perish.
When I have sacrificed my angel soul,
I shall become what no mind ever conceived.

 JALALUDDIN RUMI
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That’s cool man thanks for sharing that.

Based on experience since 1966 (when I was still writing with a crayon) (hahaha), some of Mr. Excell’s experience resonates… and some of it doesn’t. I cannot paint the MHP as “all bad.” I can paint them in not only shades of gray but a rainbow of colors running along several different spectra from, say, “hip and hugely contributing” to “impossibly disconnected (and even dangerous).” I can name dozens who come closer to the latter end of that spectrum I just defined… and hundreds who have come nearer to the former end. Most of the latter fall into the “working stiff” camp I encounter on the floor in publicly funded or for-profit (but largely from insurance payments) treatment facilities; most of the former have been instructors at better seminars and authors of renown, at least within the field.

While there may be people who have had contact with the names mentioned below who appraise their experiences negatively, my experience is that the vast majority see their experiences very positively.

Nathan Ackerman, Hagop Akiskal, Richard Alpert, Robert Altemeyer, Roberto Assagioli, Albert Bandura, Gregory Bateson, Diana Baumrind, Melody Beattie, Aaron Beck…

Sharron Begley, Franco Benazzi, Lorna Benjamin, Herbert Benson, Peter Berger (& Thomas Luckman), Erich Berne, Thomas & Beverly Bien, Claudia Black, Stanley & Carolyn Block, Niel Bockian (& Valerie Poor), Murray Bowen, John Bowlby, Michael Bozarth…

Tara Brach, John Bradshaw, Nathaniel Branden, T. B. Brazelton, Neil Carlson, Patrick Carnes, Joseph Carver, Jude Cassidy (& Phillip Shaver), Timmen Cermak, Alex Champman (& Kim Gratz), Susan Cheever (on Bill Wilson), Pema Chodron, Robert Cialdini, John Clarkin (& Mark Lenzenweger)…

Kenneth Colby, Francesc Colom (& Eduard Vieta), Flo Conway & Jim Siegelman, Mick Cooper, Gerald Corey, Christine Courtois, Louis Cozolino, Kim Cross, Antonio Damasio, Michael DeBellis, Arthur Deikman, Anthony De Mello, Lynne DeSpelder (& Al Strickland)…

Linda Dimeff (& Kelley Koerner), Lance Dodes, Dennis Donovan (& Alan Marlatt), Ronald Duman, Wayne Dyer, Sharon Ekleberry, George Eifert (, Matt McKay & John Forsyth), Albert Ellis, Erik Erikson, Aaron Esterson, Patricia Evans, W. R. D. Fairbairn, James Flavell…

Victoria Follette (& Jacquie Pistorello), Peter Fonagy, Susan Forward, Merle Fossum, Richard Francis (& Sheldon Miller), Anna & Sigmund Freud, Nancy Friday, Robert Friedel, Matthew Friedman, John & Linda Friel, Erich Fromm, Arthur Fruzzetti (& Perry Hoffman)…

Michael Gazzaniga, Daniel Goleman, Elan Golomb, Terry Gorski, Susan Grand, Kimberly Gratz, Ross Greene, Roy Grinker (& Bea Werble), Nicole Guajardo (, Greg Snyder & Rachel Petersen), John Gunderson, George Gurdjieff, Jonathan Haidt, Calvin Hall…

And that’s barely 1/3 of the way through the alphabet. I’m trying to make a point, however, and the ;point is this: Nihilistic closed-mindedness almost killed me.

Some of my favourite people have been/are psychiatrists.

It’s a very interesting list of names. i’ve done a lot of reading & research within all these areas as well. There are good people out there, but we’re also dealing with a very backward & barbaric system/society. OK, certain aspects have improved, & we’re slightly more civilised in ways, but at psychological, emotional & verbal levels, we’re still a violent species - & all that inner violence often spills out into physical violence - with wars & violence in society - by the state & with personal actions.

The entire subject of ‘mental health’ is hugely in depth & complex. Individual manifestation/presentation of severity of experiences/condition can vary greatly, so too often do the overall life circumstances of the individual (& how much actual/genuine understanding, help & support a person receives). Some people do indeed have far far harder lives & circumstances than others (mental illness of not).

i’ll post something i replied to someone the other day in a similar conversation -

[quote]i wouldn’t describe myself as a ‘know it all’, although have met plenty of them.

Over the years on-line, quite a few people have said i’m a narcissist, & years ago a psychopath, i’ve also been accused a lot of bulling people, i think falsely - none of this has ever happened & doesn’t happen in my non-internet life. i think it has something to do with on-line persona & communications. My diagnosis is paranoid schizophrenia, unofficially dual diagnosis - & i can also very much identify with depression, general & social anxiety, & complex PTSD. There has certainly never been any discussion or hint with any health professional in 25 years of any PD traits.

In a very broad & general sense i think everyone can in some way come under general aspects of PD’s - as everyone is now pathologised in the DSM 5. & there are selfish aspects to dual diagnosis/addiction.

i have known a few people, one person in-particular in my life that i think would very much fit a NPD diagnosis. i’ve never been accused of it in my real/non-computer life, & generally people find me very easy going & agreeable.[/quote]

There is a lot of pop psychology & i think a lot of people love to bandy around PD insinuations & accusations. Also a majority love to play the blame game, & these areas can become dominated with projection.