Quote of the week

My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?

Nathaniel P.Morris
Scientific American
21 May 2011

In a way, it’s like the World Cup, where the dream of welcoming ‘the world’ allowed us to feel, for a few weeks, that the country where we would like to live really existed.  Not Singapore, not Switzerland, not Sweden, but a warm hearted, vibey, ordinary country in the South.  But the World Cup as an ideological project pivoted, really, on our deeply charged, troubled, relation with the North;  our desire to be recognized and seen by something we call the World.   It was, in other words narcissistic  in the strict sense of the word; a desire to appear in a certain way in the eyes of an authoritative Other. The moment that Other disappeared, the moment we were no longer on the TV screens,  the moment we could no longer see ourselves reflected in the distorting mirror of  the World’s gaze, the warm glow disappeared. – Andries du Toit at “A Subtle Knife” Blog

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