Toward Personal and National Mental Health
Still on the theme of mental health in relation to religion, a couple additional points: Psychologists talk in terms of a person being integrated or not. None of us is perfectly integrated, and it’s a constant process… balancing and creating consistency in our beliefs, behaviors, having a sense of “identity” without being overly tied to it, etc. Complex stuff.
What we all need is supportive, loving people around us who are themselves relatively integrated. This is especially true if we happen to have something either in our circumstances or within us, perhaps biochemically, “go wrong.” Very often that happens around puberty or early adulthood, as we’ve so often seen with school shooters and the recent Tuscon incident. Again, I will suggest that our society’s tendency to spawn not just a couple isolated instances like this, but way, way too many is suggestive of some things that we need to look at in our own spiritual ways of being, and in the religious/spiritual teachings and practices of our country’s most prominent groups.
One of the most powerful integrating forces is, of course, love. Learning to transform our fears and angers into love, including love of our “enemies” (or mere opponents), is one of the keys…. What are some of your ways of accomplishing this?