The question of sanity is one that has indeed plagued modernity in creating a simplistic binary between purportedly “secular” carno-phallogocentrism and the so called “religious” domain which is most peculiar considering that carno-phallogocentrism (i.e. the sanity of the flesh in Christian theological fantasy) is precisely a derivative of Christian theological imagination.
The origin of the Para-Christian notion of unreason, indeed precisely insanity is that of the religious domain of the non-Christian which was a cultural taboo in medieval Christendom. It was therefore not permitted to scholars of natural science in medieval Catholic Europe to study religious phenomena/experiences that were considered by the Catholic church to precisely exist beyond the realm of Christianity. It has remained a complete and utter taboo for scholars of natural science in superficially “secularized” academia as still pervasively premised on barely secularized Christian metaphysics to study phenomena considered as being beyond the abode of Christian carno-phallogocentrism. This is quite peculiar as most of these purported phenomena/non-phenomena really belong in the investigatory domain of natural science and therefore certainly ought to be intensively studied and rigorously so by scholars of natural science without expectation of necessarily quick breakthrough.
Apophatic theology (a.k.a. negative theology) presumes that god’s existence cannot be proven and therefore must be accepted or in the superficially “secularized” (i.e. Para-Christian) atheist version of apophatic theology instead become rejected altogether. Agnostics take a middle position in as apophatics and atheists uncritically accepting the Christian position that this is a matter of belief rather than one as belonging to the realm natural science. Indeed if belief is pervasive about a particular phenomenon/non-phenomenon in most religious traditions then surely that should be taken seriously by natural science. Yet certainly not as a matter of a priori acceptance or a priori rejection of this ontology/non-ontology but instead as a matter of inquiry in natural science. It could then be argued that we can’t tell as how do we know whether there is such a basis for rigorous investigation by natural science? Yet if we reject this issue a priori as exclusively belonging to the domains of theology, humanity or social science respectively then we preclude ontological investigation by exact science. It is precisely this barely secularized medieval notion that natural science must not investigate certain ontological matters of claim of substance due purportedly belonging to the realm/field of demonology that structurally still prevent proper and rigorous investigation by scholars of natural science.
Different cultures have very different perceptions and notions of what is socially constructed as the sanity/insanity binary in “secular”, i.e. Para-Christian civilization. Shamans and similar communal practitioners are culturally tasked with managing this domain in many human cultures across the world, a social domain which is very diversely culturally perceived and socially constructed indeed. Psychiatrists inherited their professional role from Catholic exorcists and the main difference between the two professions remains the Christian perception that insanity is external (i.e. demonic possession) and the Para-Christian view that insanity is internal to the brain or to put it differently, the Christian view that insanity is non-material (i.e. spatial) and the Para-Christian view that it is material, i.e. carno-phallogocentric in extending the perception of Christian carno-phallogocentrism as somehow mystically having become intrinsic to the flesh.
“Secular” carno-phallogocentrism in academia is typically premised on either explicitly or implicitly intense fascination with the mind/body Para-Christian binary (e.g. medicine/psychiatry or culture/nature) and has been extensively discredited and profoundly so by the works of Jacques Derrida, Donna J. Haraway, Judith Butler and others. Psychiatry is unique among traditional academic disciplines in very much transcending the mind/body binary in establishing a particular socially constructed holistic myth of carno-phallogocentric unity of Para-Christian cognition, i.e. an explicitly Eurocentric (i.e. Para-Christian) perception of the question of sanity.
Psychiatry presumes that cognitive experiences other than so called “ordinary” ones, either secular (i.e. Para-Christian) or “religious” (i.e. Christian or comparable thereof) ontologically belong to the realm of insanity. This of course is a social construction and indeed peculiar socially constructed liminal perception of human cognition whereby human cognition is trisected into the secular, the religious and the insane. Let’s therefore at least for a moment leave the discursive realm of Eurocentrism, Androcentrism and Anthropocentrism and view those issues from the angle of non-human cognition.
There has even since the Para-Christian so called “enlightenment” been the perception that non-human persons (so called “animals” as if humans were not Animals indeed!) are mere automata and non-human Animal cognition is still thus poorly understood. It would be unlikely in the extreme to assume that cognitively advanced non-human animals could engage in complex herd behaviors and learn to understand vocabularies of hundreds of words without advanced inter-sentience, i.e. what is conventionally known as “telepathy” which is actually a very appropriate term. The assumption that what is known as “telepathy” exclusively belongs to the realm of mythology is premised on the perception of denial of non-verbal and non-visual interpersonal transmission of emotions even between human animals, as e.g. clearly observed as between two human persons in love where clearly there is subconscious interpersonal transmission of emotions where the two typically experience the emotions of the other person as their own emotions.
The existence/non-existence of telepathy is thus actually a matter in the domain of proper and rigorous investigation in natural science, specifically physics. Indeed the perception of telepathy as non-existent rather than as existent is premised on ignoring interpersonal transmission of emotions in both human Animals and non-human persons.
This leads us to the question of insanity as defined as cognitive experiences outside of “the ordinary”, meaning as beyond ethnocentrism which externalizes perceptions beyond itself. Psychiatry is thus a certain form of Para-Christian ethnocentrism as based on the medieval Christian demonological taboo on investigation into phenomena actually properly belonging to the realm of natural science. Whether persons “hearing” voices in their heads experience pure imagination as a result of electro-chemical reactions within the brain or else inter-personal communication with others with similar conditions, subconscious communication with other humans and telepathic communication with non-human persons (a.k.a. “animals”) is an interesting question certainly meriting proper and rigorous investigation by academic scholars of natural science. Psychiatric patients certainly deserve to become better understood so as to indeed become better treated as well.
The assumption that cognitive impressions such as these must not be properly investigated by natural science is clearly both irrational and illogical just as it is philosophically irrational and illogical to decide the existence/non-existence of “god” on the basis of mere “belief” as belief without investigation is usually simply structural prejudice indeed.
It is clear that psychiatry is a particular ethnocentric communal practice as anthropologically clearly parallel to those of shamans, witch doctors and exorcists. This is certainly not to imply that psychiatry is somehow not a legitimate field of academic inquiry but rather that its epistemology is unscientific indeed as based on mere belief in superficially secularized carno-phallogocentrism and so phenomena such as telepathy that implicitly assume a physical nature (e.g. telepathy) must be investigated by physics while phenomena that that implicitly assume a genetic nature (e.g. transmigration of souls) must be investigated by genetics. The fundamental beliefs underpinning the socially constructed cosmology of psychiatry are thus not merely epistemologically unfounded but require indeed ontological consideration in terms of proper and rigorous investigation by scholar of natural science rather than perpetuating a medieval taboo of Catholic demonology.
It is clear that the epistemology of psychiatry originates in what psychiatry itself precisely considers insanity. Psychiatry thus still have an epistemology as directly derived from demonology and its ontology is precisely based on a reverse discourse of demonology as indeed directly parallel to the apophatic/atheist illusory binary.
It is clear that the current paradigm in psychiatry as indeed also preceding academic paradigms are indeed beyond the realm of reason, science and perhaps even sanity itself and so psychiatry needs to become comprehensively reinvented in extensively studying cognitive experiences deemed ‘extraordinary’ and doing so by means of proper and rigorous tools of exact natural science of which psychiatry clearly is currently not part.
Merely stating that psychiatry is a pseudo-science is thus insufficient as that clearly can be said about many prior paradigms in various academic fields in the history of science and so psychiatry must not become rejected in the same manner that psychiatry rejected its similarly unscientific academic predecessor, namely the medieval academic field of demonology. Psychiatry thus needs to become the subject of not only epistemological reconsideration in terms of the established history of science but clearly also ontological reconsideration in terms of intersecting psychiatry with exact sciences indeed.
The Eurolect – Politics of the Para-Christian documentation project