The Divided Self: An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness

The Divided Self: An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness Reading The Divided Self An Existential Study In Sanity And Madness By R.D Laing Bandcamptomp3.co.uk Dr Laing S First Purpose Is To Make Madness And The Process Of Going Mad Comprehensible In This, With Case Studies Of Schizophrenic Patients, He Succeeds Brilliantly, But He Does Through A Vision Of Sanity And Madness As Degrees Of Conjunction And Disjunction Between Two Persons Where The One Is Sane By Common Consent He Offers A Rich Existential Analysis Of Personal Alienation.The Outsider, Estranged From Himself And Society, Cannot Experience Either Himself Or Others As Real He Invents A False Self And With It He Confronts Both The Outside World And His Own Despair The Disintegration Of His Real Self Keeps Pace With The Growing Unreality Of His False Self Until, In The Extremes Of Schizophrenic Breakdown, The Whole Personality Disintegrates.

Ronald David Laing was a Scottish psychiatrist who wrote extensively on mental illness in particular, the subjective experience of psychosis Laing s views on the causes and treatment of serious mental dysfunction, greatly influenced by existential philosophy, ran counter to the psychiatric orthodoxy of the day by taking the expressed feelings of the individual patient or client as valid descrip

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  • Paperback
  • 224 pages
  • The Divided Self: An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness
  • R.D. Laing
  • English
  • 25 September 2018
  • 9780141189376

10 thoughts on “The Divided Self: An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness

  1. says:

    Me OMG this book is diagnosing all my problems 1 11Husband Then why is it so small He was being funny, but he was also making a valid point The explanation is that this book gets at the root cause of so many thingsThe psychology classes I took in college were such awkward mashups of psychoanalysis and behaviorism, at once oversimplifications and obfuscations If I d known psychology could be like this, I might have majored in it.The philosophy classes I took in college were about things than about being about essence than existence, I guess, in traditional terms certain...

  2. says:

    From a foundation of ontological insecurity, in which the self is divided from the body, the schizoid personality finds refuge within the safe haven of incomprehensibility Never feeling secure within a monistic, holistic sense, the divided self fractures into semi autonomous entities which serve to shield the person from an imagined external threat of annihilation When your sense of being, of life and self worth, are threatened by the very notion of becoming perceived it bodes you well to become enigmatic and misunderstood For when you are rendered incomprehensible to the Other you face no fear of destruction, no fear of being killed, no anxiety of becoming found out and subsequently rejected Laing postulates that schizophrenia is a reaction to the basic insecurity of rejection that by adopting the persona of a false self, by hiding behind a masquerade, the true self is immune from all attacks Lock yourself behind impenetrable walls and you have no fear of extinction Yet isolation is sure to destroy as well In absence of connection to the world without the self is surely to die You murder yourself to prevent others from murdering you It is a damning, futile attempt to preserve the self by starving.I can t help bu...

  3. says:

    This work resonates what I had been thinking for years, it s like a treasure chest filled with things that one knew with great familiarity An in depth description and analysis on the phenomenon of the Divi...

  4. says:

    After a second, or third read I can t remember , I still consider this the best phenomenological psychology I ve ever read.

    The case studies showed a combination of empathy and rationality that I find rarely in any written works about people His studies of Joan, and of Julie, which conclude the book, are tough for me to read without raising strong emotions.

    Speaking as a student of philosophy, though, Laing s early work is best when he speculates, and phenomenological speculation may be one of the safer forms In particular, how are we to answer this question what is a perspective of experience which does not constitute the feeling of self identity over time Frankly, it reminds me of Sartre s claim that any ego, empirical or transcendental, must be constituted on the basis of an impersonal field of experience Williams James seems to have come to the same conclusion in his later work To read particular accounts of experience shifting from this impersonal field to one persona or another puts flesh on these philosophical bones, to say the least.

    It may be intolerably crass to cite H.P Lovecraft, the author of gothic fiction, in an attempt to appreciate psychiatric case studies of real human beings, but bear with me HPL claimed that correlating the total contents of one human mind would be terrible enough to drive one mad Perhaps that was true for him It seems to me that it is far terrifying repeatedly to mov...

  5. says:

    One cannot go too long in this life without meeting people who have or less lost their humanity try saying Hello to everyone you meet today on the street you will invariably be met with not a few mute lips and stone faced grimaces This is called alienation, and schizophrenia is the psychological term for it I like to call it the Madonna syndrome, because the primary symptom is not identifying with what one projects oneself to be Hence, schizophrenics are everything in fantasy because they are nothing in reality self willing their death so as to preserve their life from external death it is the imagination that has destroyed reality No one outside of Laing chose to talk about this topic with the understanding that what schizophrenics were doing and saying wasn t insane, but a mere reflection of their personal, and perhaps our larger social tragedy As a result, Lai...

  6. says:

    one of the best books i ve ever read about the workings of the mind right up there with Consciousness Explained, The Mind of a Mnemonist A Little Book about a Vast Memory, and The Origin of Consciousness i...

  7. says:

    R.D Laing was only twenty eight years old when he penned his magnum opus, which is a brilliant and visionary orientation to mental illness, informed by the masters of existential phenomenology Jaspers, Sartre, et al , and a work which made him a counter culture star For Laing, as for Foucault, mental illness cannot be imputed to biological defect alone Such a conception amounts to a scapegoat as it outright vindicates society at large and other environmental dynamics from the fundamental role it plays Mental illness, then, is a product of our social relations, master slave dynamics within family and society which inevitably cause some to become ontologically insecure The ontologically insecure person is affectively cut off from experience, withdrawn unto himself, enclosed inside a central citadel which is impenetrable to others Laing suggests that what the schizophrenic attempts to accomplish is a death inside life as affective engagement becomes impossible and withdrawal becomes a desperate mode of existence Such people are hopelessly oriented to life since the very experience and look of another is felt to be shattering and suicidal He suggests that we need to meet the schizophrenic in the fog of his loneliness and break the tyranny of otherness so suffused in him since the schizophrenic lives under the specter of an interiorized other This would involve going outside the c...

  8. says:

    This book blew my goddamn mind Of course now I m convinced I m schizophrenic, but then again

  9. says:

    Revisited the Divided Self after 40 years Working with schizophrenics back then, it was like our bible It was an approach that didn t just start from noting down all the abnormalities and then bombarding the person with Thorazine It tried to understand the differences, to make sense of what seemed to make no sense I am not sure it got everything right, and maybe it was replacing one mistaken interpretation of schizophrenia with another mistaken interpr...

  10. says:

    As an introduction to this review, the actual process that R.D Laing undertakes is one of empathically describing the lived experience of his patients that struggle with schizophrenia, in a relatable way Moreover, Laing attempts to place the foundations of schizophrenic presentation within the family constellation Notwithstanding this particular summation, my intent is to respect the specific nature of Laing s endeavor while attempting to abstract his existential comportment and relatedness into a generalized overview towards the givens of existence.

    The problem, according to Laing, begins with the terminology utilized in exploring the lived experience of others How can language be used to accurately depict thought How can the significance and relevance of a person s situation be conceptualized and isolated for this particular person client in relation to another particular person counselor therapist Obviously, the answer is not to be found in the vocabulary of psychology nor can it be found in an objective isolation of an individual from their inherently subjective positioning.

    Words may have meaning however, this meaning is lost in abstracta in such words as mind and body, psyche and soma, psychological and physical, personality, the self, the organism Laing, 1969, p 17 Instead of strengthening the relationship between two people, these words externally objectivize the lived exp...

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