Home » Uncategorized » Rage against the dying of the light

Rage against the dying of the light


Observing the prevalence of spiritual beliefs/practice amongst people diagnosed with psychosis, I have often questioned the legitimacy of believing that these kinds of ideas are symptomatic of illness, rather than a consequence of valid perceptions. For, my own empirical observations indicate that, far for from being delusional, these ideas have a reality base and, in some instances, actually challenge preconceived notions about the dominant model of consensual reality.

Wishing not to appear too anti-psychiatry in my approach, my views emanate, largely, from observations of and relationships with people with mental health issues. Having witnessed the concrete manifestations of ideas, formerly labelled delusional, in the form of observable occurrences of events in the social realm, I believe that these manifestations cannot always be attributed to coincidence. For, the effects of doing this are two-fold; not only does it undermine the validity of the experiences of those labelled, “mentally ill,” but it naturalises the prevailing politico-philosophic framework, based on the principle that social reality is governed by the forces of science and reason.

Whilst I, myself, have found it difficult to reconcile my interest in spirituality with my political views, even, in the darkest hours of my despair, I have always seen a glimmer of light which, unlike others I have known, has prevented my gentle passage into the night. The existence of light is more important than its etiology.

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2 thoughts on “Rage against the dying of the light

  1. I feel that many people when they are ill or stressed understandably turn to God or other spiritual sources of comfort. I would not personally call that delusional thinking. Spirituality and religious belief can be a great comfort and sometimes bring companionship through acceptance into a spiritual community.

  2. I agree with you. However, in my experience most mental health practitioners avoid discussing religious/spiritual matters. I think, this is not only due to concerns about influencing clients, but is a reflection of somewhat outdated views about collusion. For example, people have described to me how, when discussing their beliefs about the origins of their hallucinations, Psychiatrists etc have ignored their comments or swiftly changed the subject matter!

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