"Many who view themselves as repositories of ultimate truth ( especially those who call themselves "twice born" Christians) feel mandated by God to convince others of the verities they claim to comprehend. However, few of these "gnostics" feel obliged to honor the methods they themselves normally require (outside of religion) for establishing credibility. In the area of religion, they often confuse epistemology with morality. They feel that others "ought" to believe, as if belief were a matter of choice. It is as ludicrous to tell me that I ought to believe something as to tell me that I ought to laugh at something which to me simply isn't funny . How dare one be viewed as guilty (sinner?) when he simply finds incredible what is presented to him for belief. Whatever the degree of certainty we develop for knowing the truth will be measured on the scale of a healthy skepticism." -- Bill Stroud
A Personal Reflection
My life is the epitome of a mind's Sisyphian tragedy, that adventure in the examination of ideas which inevitably and repetitously rolls theory back to new beginnings. But like snowballs, such new beginnings are never really new. They carry with them an incorporation of the past. Sam can't really "play it again" because of his memory of the "first times." Likewise, my philosophical orientation has turned more corners than a bumper car at a state fair carnival.
I consider it unusual--and amazing--that I, starting where I did, ended up on the road I travel today. It's the story of a redneck going to the universities. It is the account of a move from a religious mythology to a scientific one, from a dogmatism narrowly defined to one which is more elusive. Actually, it is the latest installment of my personal neurosis. And for that I am grateful. Long ago I determined to my own satisfaction that the only escape from ones neurosis is its exacerbation, psychosis. Consequently, I am determined to protect my neurosis. It is the signature of my individuality and an escape from a worse madness.
I came to the study of psychology from an initial academic background in religion and philosophy. And how fortunate for me. Most people move to psychology from a study of medicine, which is rooted in the disciplines of anatomy and drugs. The medical paradigm is a mechanistic one. (Click on link to text of article: Influence of Conceptual Models on Today's Health Care: The Physician as Dr. Goodwrench)
It views the body as a machine which often needs to be fixed. Physicians essentially operate as body mechanics, and the medical specialists who focus on the mind (psychiatrists) seldom break out of this mechanistic perspective. They attempt to fix the psyche with pharmaceutical interventions, working somewhat like a good auto mechanic who fine tunes a rough running engine. Consequently, the presenting client is viewed as substantially defective, suffering from what is called "mental illness." He needs to be "cured" somewhat like an infection needs an appropriate antibiotic.
In contradistinction to this mechanistic paradigm, a philosophically oriented model for psychology grounds psychological problems more in a perspective which recognizes the dynamic of meaning. Meaning implies a perspective and perspective implies interpretation. Such existential perspectives aren't cured by something from outside; a psychological change is always a philosophical one. The latter allows one to view sanity, therefore, not simply as a "healthy" condition of "being in touch with reality" through good mental health. The philosophical model depicts an existential factor. Ironically, this existential model often characterizes ones sanity as his success in exercising "an appropriate denial of reality." (If you really want to go nuts, keep focused on everything that is real!) Normality in this sense is rooted in a philosophical dynamic, i.e., a configuration of experience (Gestalten) which allows one to simply get on with life and happiness. Contrary to what the official allopathic guardians of our "mental health" require, this non-mechanistic model recommends that we simply drive on through life without an official inspection sticker.
Speaking of official inspections: many readers will not invest their time reading paragraphs on philosophical and psychological issues unless the author brandishes those conventional signs of erudition called academic credentials. Ironically, we who can claim a few notches on our academic guns know full well that the most ridiculous postulations of all time have spewed from the pens of pundents. It often takes well educated men to make astronomical mistakes. Certain academic hurdles, however, should at least imply that there has been some organized exposure to ideas, with attestations to such hurdles being those traditional leather-bound diplomas. Consequently, yours truly lists below his odyssey through academia as well as supplemental training and study which are part of his past.
B. A. from Mississippi College
B. D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
Th. D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
Ph. D. from Hebrew Union College--Jewish Institute of Religion (Cincinnati)
Professional Training (Study Programs, Etc.)
-- Psychotherapy Training under direction of Jim McKenna, Teaching Member of I.T.A.A.
-- Fifteen years of focused attention (readings, etc.) in field of psychotherapy,
personality development, and study of integration of philosophy and psychology
-- Structured tutoring in discipline of Controlled Remote Viewing, under tutelage of Lyn Buchanan of
Alamogorda, NM (presently in process)
-- Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Arkansas State University
-- Consultant to Industry (Areas involving psychology: personality profiling, management
dynamics, conflict resolution, humanistic approach to art of persuasion)
-- Keynote speaker for various conventions, associational meetings, marketing conferences, etc.
-- Adjunct Professor in Department of Philosophy and Religion. Ole Miss University
r various meetings and conventions