Recovery Oriented Blog for Mental Illness

I have recently started a new blog, because I felt that I needed to strictly focus on recovery in serious mental illness, as a theme by itself and calling it any other name would not do justice to my commitment, engagement and research. I have, in the past, tried writing on this blog about mental illness related encounters I have had. However the purpose of the new blog is slightly different.

The new blog is committed to one single theme. All my mental ‘illness’ oriented work would go on that blog as it is also my desire to share with the lay intelligent reader whatever knowledge I interact with, in the course of my phd research. Since a researcher by definition tends to be looking into a vaster expanse of information, data, analysis and study than someone who is not a researcher, for reasons of social good and making research accessible, people could routinely offer small chunks of that knowledge to the wider audience. This is my attempt in that direction.cropped-website-hope-image

However research is not an easy journey to make, for it is largely solitary and a tough act of balancing one’s financial needs, professional goals, study commitments, family responsibilities, domestic routines and you name it. I cannot say I am in any enviable position except that to reduce the monotony of my work, I have started teaching classical music to a few youngsters- it is a breath of air for me. Of course I continue learning with my own guru also- another breather!

This blog post is basically to re-direct anyone who is connected to me for the above reason, to redirect their gaze in a more appropriate corner. You can well imagine that I am likely to post little on this blog, while my focus lies in recovery. However peace is close to my heart and at the heart of all my efforts. If one can help even a single person come into their own center, attain a little peace- they will gradually create their own peace and spread it further as well. I call the new blog- recovering self, because only in re-covering ground that people lose due to setbacks which are called mental illness, do we become our WHOLE SELF again- the self that we were intended by Mother Nature to be. The recovery blog is only meant to be a little offering in wholeness, a testimony to the work I am doing as well as a knowledge sharing blog- diminishing stereotypes about mental illness, challenging convention and offering alternatives.

Hope it accomplishes the intention of its birth.

Of ‘higher’ castes and lower minds

Imagine burning two little children alive, while they sleep at home with their parents. By what stretch of imagination can this be called the act of a sane mind, let alone the mind of a so-imagined ‘higher’ caste?

The continued myth of higher castes needs to be shunned at all levels in society and its oppression on the ‘lower’ castes needs to be dealt with utmost severity. But who will wield that firm stance? Those who themselves are pillars of this social menace and who have stood to gain in the name of caste and birth, generation after generation?

Just look at their faces here. Do they look like children who are any different from any children anywhere in the world? What is the meaning of Dalit or caste to these little children or other children of their age? But what have they lost their innocent lives to? To an imaginary social hierarchy created by adults centuries ago, that they had no role in creating or perpetuating, but simply becoming victims of it, without having any part to play, other than being born.

We are a failed human society. Sorry to say that, but there is no other truth that justifies this shocking, unthinkable, most condemnable act of mob violence. There can be no further words than that. Forget about civilization, when adults can go and burn children to death in a barbaric, brutal fashion…it does not show any progress, culture, education or development. It just shows that the lower mind is doing its brutal, barbaric, naked dance and it will crush anything now…unless crushed with equal force. And that force is has to be organized social action, not individual or another caste based solution.

These ‘higher’ caste men who really think that caste is their entitlement are so illiterate that they do not realize that the basis of caste system was a division of labour and at a philosophical level the four varnas were depicted within the human body itself, where the mind or intellect represents the brahmin, the arms that do work and labour are kshatriyas!! The feet that do the walking and carry the burden of the body are the lower castes. Can you see the lower caste in your own self? It is what you cannot survive without.

There is no lower caste outside of you- it is all within. So stop this brutal, barbaric, primitive dance of your savagery, you idiots. You are not higher in any sense of the word, those whose actions are governed by your lower minds. Conquor the Ravana within, and not burn laughable effigies outside.

Shift in West Asia Policy- not mine

Perhaps governments do not expect ordinary citizen like me to even have a thought about Palestine- Israel crisis, for have we not been fooled and befuddled by the extremes that we experience in our daily struggles to remain alive? Not to talk of remaining ‘sane’. We of course have the Vyapam scam raging live midst us right now and idiotic filmstar weddings to dazzle our senses and more nonsensical news of filmstars (not to forget the FTII furore over Gajendra Chauhan!!) to hoodwink us and believe they are more significant than the rest of the country, including little children. (I must add as an aside that left to their own means, and without scripts, these film actors are really the MOST IDIOTIC characters going around ).

Just to bring the context in, recently the Indian government (GoI) has shown a shift away from Palestine, towards Israel, in a historically unprecedented move. All these years, we as a newly independent nation were supportive of the claims of the people of Palestine to their home in the West Bank and Gaza. Yassar Arafat, when he was alive and active, would have always known India to be a fraternal nation, supportive of its struggle against Israeli control and in asserting its independent status.

In my personal capacity, not that it amounts to anything, I am absolutely unhappy about this shift towards Israel- not because of any innate anti-Semitic streak running in me, but because I see it as a weakness of spirit and solidarity towards the Palestinians who have always been dear to Indians.  I see this as a larger ploy to keep West Asia in continued conflict, (not that India can actually have a decidedly significant role in this),  to inflict unthinkable amount of violence on thousands of people without a remorse and to openly flex its military and financial might, by trying to rope in all parties who are willing to believe its story. Sadly, now we in India also also supposed to believe that Israel is correct in its senseless pounding in Gaza.

This is a thought in the spirit of peace and non-violence that I have in me and possibly my desire to work/aspire towards personal and universal peace at every level. I am vehemently against militarization of anything- whether it be a country, a region of a country, a piece of land/ocean or mountain or you name it. I do not think the world, if we dream of world peace, should ever indulge in the manufacture of arms and their sales. It is one thing to talk about peace (which all politicians do, as part of their job) and another to act in its creation. You cannot create peace if you manufacture, buy, create or sell arms – to anyone. And if one buys arms, then another will most certainly as well.

All sensible people, are dismayed at this shift of a non-aligned country, (of course the non aligned movement is long dead, no thanks to the end of the Soviet Union) towards Israel, a rogue nation in West Asia- which impudently crushes the rights of millions of people for decades.

As someone who struggles in this small world of mine, which is laced with musical notations, writing in mental health, counseling and supporting others and myself, I find it shameful that a government in my name (a govt always represents its people, not its own self only) is going back on the promise of fraternity that we once showed towards a greatly oppressed people. Is it because the government is really not tuned to the views of the people or is it because after all it is a government that enjoys the mandate of only a small percentage of its own population (33%). I am ashamed of this move and I stand by Palestine. If India is bending towards Israel, I am not a part of it.

My problem with the Israel-Palestine conflict and why peace talks fail

If you like what you read, kindly share further – on facebook or twitter, and add your voice to mine, to spread global peace

For years now, somewhere in the back of my mind, I have been anguished by the Israeli atrocities against Palestine and have wondered how a people who have faced so much persecution over the centuries, which reached a pinnacle during Hitler’s reign, become so inured to human suffering? How is it possible? Does suffering of an extreme nature make you inhuman, apathetic or bloodthirsty so that they want to enact the same drama again and again and again- and for how long? 11 millions Jews died in Europe (for more figures/statistics and facts, please check all links in blue, for this is a thoroughly researched piece)

While I am developing my own analysis of the situation in a slow and phased manner, for this attitude is something that I would extend to all conflicts around the world, I always look at any conflict from multiple positions and from different perspectives too- mostly with an attitude to understanding the genesis, the development/escalation of conflict and then to look for a solution that is beneficial for a larger number of people. But one position I am lately beginning to take is that of political economy and sometimes use the social constructionist view for dialogic engagement.

How the new nation of Israel was born– a background

Due to the Nazi holocast, in which millions of Jews were killed in Europe, the flight of the Jews to other regions of the world, when Hitler lost the war, it was time to see whether Jews who had been persecuted for thousands of years before that, should not have the promised homeland.

As far as i am concerned, I personally always had a soft corner for the Jews, more so for I found them so hardworking, honest and committed to everything. There contributions in the field of knowledge are legion. If we look at some of the greatest among them it is truly inspiring.  I also loved the movies in which we saw them and naturally sympathized with them, whether it was Teyve singing if i were a rich man, in Fiddler on the Roof , or the Von Trapp family running away from the Gestapo in the Sound of Music. The chilling stories in the Boy in the blue, striped pajamas and Schindler’s list, or the Pianist made me see the other side, where people were not really escaping but getting caught and dying premature deaths at any age. The books that nailed it for me, for I was incapable of seeing it beyond that were Anne Frank’s Diary and Frankl’s writing.

Anyways that was the background and the conditions, as well as the historical antecedents of it all. Now coming over to the birth of the new nation and how it takes roots in Palestine, where the Jews were supposed to have originated from, making Jerusalem, come into the eye of the storm. Now the problem is that the holy land of the Jews, lies in a place which belongs to the Palestinians! So what happens next? I just encountered a simple video, which shares that- this one.

Since the present state of the conflict is very well known and how it impacts even the smallest aspects of life in Palestine, i am simply looking at the larger context of its political economy and who stands to gain, if the region remains in conflict. So here is this Political Economy Analysis. We all know that the biggest industry in the world is the armament industry, followed by the pharmaceutical. So if there are two sides at war ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD these are the two who will gain first of all. So well…what have we. You create a war and sell arms to both the parties, then when they kill and maim one another, you rush in medical aid and then so on and so forth.Each year, the United States gives Israel about $3.1 billion in military assistance, a commitment that stems from the 1978 Camp David accord that led to peace between Israel and Egypt. Those billions are roughly divided into two funding streams. About $800 million underwrites Israeli manufacturing of weaponry and military products.‘ In case you want to read the full details of how the US gains from the conflict, you might want to click this- by an American journalist. Just imagine, if the anyone gave $3 Billion dollars to Palestine to develop- every year at that!

(Actually at this stage, it is correct that I bring in perspectives about the various sides involved in the conflict, including what is HAMAS and how it was created, what purpose it serves and what about the ones who are not part of Hamas- who are/were they, what was the role of Yasser Arafat and why his death has been such a great loss…but this is just  blog post and I cannot write more than what I can, so that whatever I am saying at the moment is not lost or become too much for anyone to digest. In the near future I will write about all these as a separate post- or several of them)

WHY PEACE TALKS FAIL?

Don’t ask me this…who stands to lose if there is peace? Just probe that. Nobody is going to buy from the arms dealers, and they may have to close shop. There will be no money spent on deployment or maintenance of troops, there would be enough for everyone to eat, study, develop and live a life of sharing simple pleasures and not creating barriers for movement from neighbour turned enemies overnight. So much more, so..much much more for everyone. Who does NOT want that? Do you think the ones who want to sell arms want to sit at home and appreciate the blue sky on a clear winter morning?

This is a very broad way of putting stuff- the political economy analyses has to go down deeper, also bringing in the role of US foreign policy and why it needs to defend its own imaginary or real interests, everywhere in the world. We need to fundamentally understand one thing- there is always two sides in a conflict- the one that wants war and the one that does not. Now if there is one that does, then the second one automatically gets drawn into it, and often have no choice in the matter.

Do you think little children whose charred and stiffened bodies we encounter every other day are there by choice? Or young girls and boys, mothers and fathers, old people and wounded people- did they have a choice in the matter that a grenade came through their window and burst in their homes? Can we choose to stand immune to this human suffering any longer?

But equally significantly, I want to ask the Jews in Israel, hey what happened to you guys? I would have thought you were such gifted people and the ‘chosen ones’ – as you liked to call yourself. So how come, despite having suffered so hugely, you did not develop any compassion to not persecute another? Did you forget your own sufferings, and not want to save the world from it? I never forgot mine, so I want to save the world from it…so why are you and me, not the same? We are the world after all, we are (same) people- of this planet earth.

But just see this before we part-  

 

How about living in Gaza- just to know for yourself?

At least read this post to see a summary of what life is like in Gaza and to understand what connection the General Electric of the US have with the war in Israel. Please share it further, if you can see the truth in all the ideas shared here. Let us not remain indifferent to the suffering of thousands of people.

Though I am not someone who likes to do any warmongering or spread lies, I think the truth needs to be heard, louder- for we are all day and in day out inundated with so many images of Gaza, that it benumbs the senses and one may come to a point of shutting the ‘noise’ out.

But my agenda is principally, neither anti-Semitic, nor anti-Muslim. I am pro-human and pro-peace. So my question is when it is so clear that Gaza is small, outsized, outnumbered and out-what have we…why in the world is the war on?(is that a war by any standard or a prison that people have been pushed into?) Just watch this video to know what the media does not tell you- that Israeli arms come from the US and other countries in the world, whereas Gaza does not even have cement to build it buildings, hospitals and whatnot. Please watch.

So what in the world is really happening here and why does it not happen? Because there are powerful financial stakes involved, particularly those of the US. Please listen to this- 

My problem with the Israeli Palestinian Conflict or Why peace talks fail

If you like what you read, kindly share further – on facebook or twitter, and add your voice to mine, to spread global peace

For years now, somewhere in the back of my mind, I have been anguished by the Israeli atrocities against Palestine and have wondered how a people who have faced so much persecution over the centuries, which reached a pinnacle during Hitler’s reign, become so inured to human suffering? How is it possible? Does suffering of an extreme nature make you inhuman, apathetic or bloodthirsty so that they want to enact the same drama again and again and again- and for how long? 11 millions Jews died in Europe (for more figures/statistics and facts, please check all links in blue, for this is a thoroughly researched piece)

While I am developing my own analysis of the situation in a slow and phased manner, for this attitude is something that I would extend to all conflicts around the world, I always look at any conflict from multiple positions and from different perspectives too- mostly with an attitude to understanding the genesis, the development/escalation of conflict and then to look for a solution that is beneficial for a larger number of people. But one position I am lately beginning to take is that of political economy and sometimes use the social constructionist view for dialogic engagement.

How the new nation of Israel was born– a background

Due to the Nazi holocast, in which millions of Jews were killed in Europe, the flight of the Jews to other regions of the world, when Hitler lost the war, it was time to see whether Jews who had been persecuted for thousands of years before that, should not have the promised homeland.

As far as i am concerned, I personally always had a soft corner for the Jews, more so for I found them so hardworking, honest and committed to everything. Their contributions in the field of knowledge are legion. If we look at some of the greatest among them it is truly inspiring.  I also loved the movies in which we saw them and naturally sympathized with them, whether it was Teyve singing if i were a rich man, in Fiddler on the Roof , or the Von Trapp family running away from the Gestapo in the Sound of Music. The chilling stories in the Boy in the blue, striped pajamas and Schindler’s list, or the Pianist made me see the other side, where people were not really escaping but getting caught and dying premature deaths at any age, or came close to it, as the movies showed. The books that nailed it for me, for I was incapable of seeing it beyond that were Anne Frank’s Diary and Frankl’s writing.

Anyways that was the background and the conditions, as well as the historical antecedents of it all. Now coming over to the birth of the new nation and how it takes roots in Palestine, where the Jews were supposed to have originated from, making Jerusalem, come into the eye of the storm. Now the problem is that the holy land of the Jews, lies in a place which belongs to the Palestinians! So what happens next? I just encountered a simple video, which shares that- this one.

Since the present state of the conflict is very well known and how it impacts even the smallest aspects of life in Palestine, i am simply looking at the larger context of its political economy and who stands to gain, if the region remains in conflict. So here is meaning of what is Political Economy Analysis.

We all know that the biggest industry in the world is the armament industry, followed by the pharmaceutical. So if there are two sides at war ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD these are the two who will gain first of all. So well…what have we. You create a war and sell arms to both the parties, then when they kill and maim one another, you rush in medical aid and then so on and so forth.Each year, the United States gives Israel about $3.1 billion in military assistance, a commitment that stems from the 1978 Camp David accord that led to peace between Israel and Egypt. Those billions are roughly divided into two funding streams. About $800 million underwrites Israeli manufacturing of weaponry and military products.‘ In case you want to read the full details of how the US gains from the conflict, you might want to click this- by an American journalist. Just imagine, if the anyone gave $3 Billion dollars to Palestine to develop- every year at that!

(Actually at this stage, it is proper that I bring in perspectives about the various sides involved in the conflict, including what is HAMAS and how it was created, what purpose it serves and what about the ones who are not part of Hamas- who are/were they, what was the role of Yasser Arafat and why his death has been such a great loss…but this is just  blog post and I cannot write more than what I can, so that whatever I am saying at the moment is not lost or become too much for anyone to digest. In the near future I will write about all these as a separate post- or several of them)

WHY PEACE TALKS Fail?

Don’t ask me this…who stands to lose if there is peace? Just probe that. Nobody is going to buy from the arms dealers, and they may have to close shop. There will be no money spent on deployment or maintenance of troops, there would be enough for everyone to eat, study, develop and live a life of sharing simple pleasures and not creating barriers for movement from neighbour turned enemies overnight. So much more, so..much much more for everyone. Who does NOT want that? Do you think the ones who want to sell arms want to sit at home and appreciate the blue sky on a clear winter morning?

This is a very broad way of putting stuff- the political economy analyses has to go down deeper, also bringing in the role of US foreign policy and why it needs to defend its own imaginary or real interests, everywhere in the world. We need to fundamentally understand one thing- there is always two sides in a conflict- the one that wants war and the one that does not. Now if there is one that does, then the second one automatically gets drawn into it, and often have no choice in the matter.

Do you think little children whose charred and stiffened bodies we encounter every other day are there by choice? Or young girls and boys, mothers and fathers, old people and wounded people- did they have a choice in the matter that a grenade came through their window and burst in their homes? Can we choose to stand immune to this human suffering any longer?

But equally significantly, I want to ask the Jews in Israel, hey what happened to you guys? I would have thought you were such gifted people and the ‘chosen ones’ – as you liked to call yourself. So how come, despite having suffered so hugely, you did not develop any compassion to not persecute another? Did you forget your own sufferings, and not want to save the world from it? I never forgot mine, so I want to save the world from it…so why are you and me, not the same? We are the world after all, we are (same) people- of this planet earth.

It is with great deliberation that I write in a simple language so that even someone who does not understand anything about the conflict can understand. Please help others understand.

But just see this before we part-  and never underestimate what you can do, and more than that what YOU and ME can do together