The Medicine of Mind and Soul
“Mental Health” is an issue that has quite rapidly become a central issue within the discourse of modernity. It seems as though every month a new mental health “condition” or diagnosis is discovered. For anybody who has considered this issue in full, they are likely to come to the same conclusion as I, that these are effectively arbitrary designations of atypical behavioral patterns. For some of these disorders, people are able to function well in society, yet are implored by their doctors to take medicine for it — to correct the “chemical imbalance” supposedly present in their heads.
While I do not doubt for a moment that psychiatric medicine can help alleviate the difficulties of such mental illnesses, I think the medical community is truly and completely lost on their actual understanding of them. For most mental problems, they are virtually undetectable by any empirical means. Even with conditions as simple as depression, where we are told there is a “lack of serotonin” or other such reductive nonsense, there is nothing but conflicting study after conflicting study on whether there is an actually detectable chemical imbalance in the brains of depressed patients. Most of the science behind the claim that depression is caused by a lack of serotonin is merely that serotoninergic drugs appear to counteract the symptoms of depression to a limited extent. That’s it. Drugs help, but doctors know that they never cure. So, we must be critical of their unproven theories regarding mental illness.
I have stated previously that it is the position of the Ecclesia Sodalium that psychopathy and sociopathy are the result of literal absence of soul in the mind. Where the psychopath has no soul, the sociopath has a deeply malformed connection with his soul — his brain can decipher his identity but naught else.
To explain how this can be, I should first clarify the mechanics of the mind-body-soul mechanism. The soul, firstly, is absolutely real and true in every sense of the word. I am not talking about some figurative subconscious phenomenon, I am talking about a metaphysical substance of essence that is effective a “piece” of God. She has shattered herself such that she can filter out the wheat from the chaff by way of the suffering and beauty of life. These pieces of God are called partes Monadis. We refine our souls as we live, and in doing so we refine God’s character. God is perfect in the future, which for God is present. God is imperfect and divided by her children in the past, which for God is also present.
You’ll notice that I use feminine pronouns for God here. This is not to be performative, but merely that as a Sod, I believe God exists in two spirits: female and male. The female spirit is the love and creation of God, the male spirit of God being the order and justice of God.
The role of our minds is twofold. Firstly, it has indeed originated from the animal mind, which itself has primitive abilities to commune with partes Monadis, but with humans, whose evolution was guided by the omniscience of God, developed brains which were capable of fully appreciating the partes to such a degree that each human mind became paired with a pars, which became the “soul”.
Unfortunately our corporeal form is necessarily imperfect, and everything in the material world is necessarily chaotic. This is not to say that these things are bad, but they do create inequity. This is the case with psychopaths or sociopaths, who have either been born without the capability for a soulful life, or were so traumatized that their soul was completely cast from their body and mind.
Thus, I separate these sorts of mental disorders decisively from those more mild disorders such as depression, or even the more severe mood or personality disorders. The question then, is in what way are these such disorders separate from these so-called “anti-social” disorders ie. the degrees of sociopathy?
I separate mental conditions into three distinct categories: desoulments (sociopathy), pathologies (depression, some anxieties, mood and personality disorders), and physicalities (mental conditions that appear to be entirely physical, ie. deformities to the brain or truly independent chemical imbalances).
Pathologies are by far the most common type of mental disorder. They vary greatly in their severity, and everyone to some extent practices some manner of pathological thought. The manner in which pathological thought emerges is by one mechanism alone: the recession of the mind from the soul’s guidance. The human brain, having adapted specifically for ensoulment, does not do well when it has distrust in the soul. It begins to act out with animal-like behavior and thought patterns that more often than not provide no inherent value, and are, in fact, detrimental to the quality of the life of the individual.
The human brain can “recede” from the soul in this way for many reasons. Often, it is unknowingly induced by the individual, and often in a positive feedback loop. As the brain recedes further from the soul, the person falls deeper into their pathologies, which further corrupts their mind’s priorities which causes further recession from the soul. These pathologies eventually can significantly impact the individual’s behaviors in such a way that is usually maladaptive.
These recessions can also be caused initially by legitimate “chemical imbalance” ie. physicalities. This is more rare than suggested by pop science and pop psychology (which are both vile and horribly unrepresentative of the actual state-of-the-science). One example of this is drug use (which itself is a pathology developed by modulating oneself’s mental priorities), however there are other cases where this may happen — but keep in mind that generally it is an impetus rather than a continuous cause.
However, more common than either of these, the recession is initialized by venial sin. When we sin, we recede from our soul because we are effectively shunning God. Of course, this is to be forgiven many times over, but each venial sin wears the relationship between our soul and mind. The closer we are with God, the closer our mind is with our soul.
The question is now of course: how does one solve this recession from the soul? The simple answer is that one must consciously counteract their pathologies. These pathologies are the remnants of an animal mind, but our ensouled mind has decisive power over these pathologies so long as these pathologies have not been left to their own devices for too long (at which point there is no recovery because the brain has effectively desouled. This is only the case in very, very extreme cases of untreated mental illnesses).
Furthermore, reverence and gentle submission to God is always deeply enriching for the soul. For the Sod, this does not mean a life of quiet and painful asceticism, but instead a life of jovial appreciation for life itself and a dedication of this appreciation to God. We do this through both comedy, love, imbibery, and evangelization. Though this is not without sin, it is the appreciation for life in all its inequities that enriches, and God will forgive the enriched soul so long as it has dedicated it’s enrichment towards God.
Again remember that at all times of your life, you will have pathologies. They are natural; we exist in this material world which is imperfect, and we accept this. Our relationship with God and our soul is imperfect, and will always be imperfect. So do not shame yourself for your flaws, merely take heed of this relationship between soul and mind.