Chungking Express (Wong Kar Wai, 1994)
Actually, really knowing someone doesn’t mean anything. People change. A person may like pineapple today and something else tomorrow.
The geocentric system was replaced by the heliocentric largely for convenience, as the basis of any adopted system cannot be shown empirically (E. Bloch).
You can assume that the Sun moves and explore a new vision of the Universe with a different kind of development in the calculations. Such relative location of the observer changes the parameters of the system providing innovative relationships between the planets.
Limitations are easily overcome by scrutinizing a particular system and enlarging the view. As the Sun-Earth system, a similar transformation can occur in the therapeutic system. This would help to avoid the current rigidity of: 1. The Tumor paradigm, which reduces a dynamic disease – the cancer, to a complex but yet-unexplained biological events; and 2. The Neurogenomic paradigm, in which patients with “mental” illness are treated according to obscure genetic-neuronal factors.
To replace the pharmacological symptom-based treatment within the widespread scientific paradigms (1. and 2.), a new therapeutic vision is needed.
If I showed you my teardrops,
Would you collect them like rain,
Store them in jars,
That are labelled with “Pain”,
Would you follow their tracks,
From my eyes down my cheeks,
As they write all the stories,
I’m too scared to speak,
Would you stop them with kisses,
Bring their flow to a halt,
As you teach me that pain,
Isn’t always my fault,
Would you hold my face gently,
As you dry both my eyes,
And whisper the words,
“You’re too precious to cry”,
If I showed you my teardrops,
Would you show me your own,
And learn though we’re lonely,
We’re never alone.
On July 2, 1961, a writer whom many critics call the greatest writer of his century, a man who had a zest for life and adventure as big as his genius, a winner of (…), no serious physical ills, good friends everywhere –on that July day, that man, the envy of other men, put a shotgun to this head and killed himself.
How did this come to pass?
A. E. Hotchner (1955), Papa Hemingway. A Personal Memoir, Random House, New York.
As for the electrical treatments themselves, Dr. Renown said that ECT (Electro Convulsive Treatment) was a concept that was now obsolete. He explained that in modern treatment the patient receives an injection that puts him to sleep, thereby eliminating the convulsion that was characteristic of the early use of shock. That once terrifying experience is now no more than an awareness of the injection, then oblivion until the patient wakens a few hours later, when he may or may not have a headache. A patient usually shows some response to three or four treatments, then the series of ten to twelve is completed in order to “fix” the improvement, although it may be necessary to extend the number to as many as twenty. If improvement is sustained a week or two after the completion of the series, the prognosis is good. If there is indication of relapse, a treatment a week may be given for several weeks, often with very good results. Said
I asked Dr. Renown whether the electrical impulses were directed to a particular part of the brain. He said there are fifty organic and fifty psychodynamic theories to explain how electrical treatments are effectual, which is, of course, a comment on our ignorance. (…) No one knows where memory is stored but it probably is closely related to molecular chemistry of the cells.
Dr. Renown speculated that Ernest´s fears of impoverishment and of being in jeopardy physically and legally were probably related to his feelings of impoverishment as a writer, with attendant jeopardy of his identity and stature. His psychopathological symptoms, Dr. Renown thought, were a defense against recognizing this. They were so dominant that he was not accessible to psychotherapy until they could be neutralized by the electrical treatments.
A. E. Hotchner (1955), Papa Hemingway. A Personal Memoir, Random House, New York.
“Presque tous les hommes meurent de leurs remèdes, et non pas de leurs maladies.”
A settler wrote to a lawyer in 1869: For Algeria to survive her doctors’ treatments she has to be hard to kill
― Albert Camus, The First Man.
Wadjda (Haifaa Al-Mansour, 2012)
Mother: I want you to be the happiest person in the world. You’re all I have left in this world.
Ten years ago I wrote Medical Nemesis. The book began with the statement: “The medical establishment has become the major threat to health”. Hearing this today I would respond, “So what?” Today´s major pathogen is, I suspect, the pursuit of a healthy body.
IVAN ILLICH 1986, “Body History”, The Lancet, Dec. 6
The present-day culture relies almost exclusively on a techno-medical system leading to the so-called expropriation of health. This structure seems to neglect the healing power of the individual who overcomes indifference and desires to feel, being a living organism thus feeling life! However, this individual may feel ill while possessing the healthy standards accepted by all medical associations (The American Psychiatric Association recognized 59 psychiatric disorders in 1917. In the last years, this rose from 253 to 347 categories, SIMON WESSELY (2008), “How shyness became social phobia”). More, by means of pathologizing behaviors, boundaries between illness and normality then dissolve (TANYA GLYDE 2014, “Wanting to be normal”, The Lancet vol. 1: 179-80; CHRISTOPHER LANE 2008, “Shyness: how normal behavior became a sickness”).
I am healthy while I may feel ill because of the eclipse of my double-sun. And I suspect this atmosphere of loneliness (more intense in the midst of the crowds) could be the unfeeling that impairs my Dasein….
The Mirror (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1975)
The whole hospital [Ward No. 6] rested as it had done twenty years ago on thieving, filth, scandals, gossip, on gross quackery, and, as before, it was an immoral institution extremely injurious to the health of the inhabitants. (…)
But now when he was reading at night the science of medicine touched him and exited his wonder, and even enthusiasm. What unexpected brilliance, what a revolution! (…)
Psychiatry with its modern classification of mental diseases, methods of diagnosis, and treatment, was a perfect Elborus in comparison with what had been in the past. They no longer poured cold water on the heads of lunatics not put strait-waistcoats upon them, they treated them with humanity, and even, so it was stated in the papers, got up balls and entertainments for them. Andrey Yefimitch knew that with modern tastes and views such an abomination as Ward No. 6 was possible only a hundred and fifty miles from a railway in a little town where the mayor and all the town council were half-illiterate tradesmen who looked upon the doctor as an oracle who must be believed without any criticism even he had poured molten lead into their mouths.
It´s all nonsense and vanity, and there is no difference between the best Vienna clinic and my hospital.
Anton Chekhov, Ward No. 6
Whoever dreams loves… There is life-in a little town or in a heartless city-to go anywhere we want.
Wendy and Lucy (Kelly Reichardt, 2008)
Wendy: Not a lot of jobs around here, huh?
Security Guard: I’ll say. I don’t know what the people do all day. Used to be a mill. But that’s been closed a long time now. Don’t know what they do.
Wendy: You can’t get a job without an address anyway. . .or a phone.
Security Guard: You can’t get an address without an address. You can’t get a job without a job. It’s all fixed.
Wendy: That’s why I’m going to Alaska. I hear they need people.
Security Guard: I hear it’s really pretty up there.
The rule-based social fabric tranpires in mainstream America. “It´s all fixed”… “The rules apply to everyone equally“…
Wendy and Lucy begins with the movement of trains, evoking the desperate plight of thousands during the Great Depression as well Wendy’s tragic rootlessness. (…) Economic circumstance begins to dictate her decisions.
(…) But both the mechanic and the Walgreens security guard are embedded in the same system (meritocratic, that is, competition and survival of the fittest at any cost), ultimately helpless (I also have to admit the side-effects of America, the bitter country´s birth described by R. Guardini –Letters from Lake Como: “Our country has to remain poor and our people emigrate so that you may fulfill your romantic needs there”). Neither can give her the means to escape poverty. Both have their own lives and problems and limitations.
Moreover, to a large extent doctors are no longer in living touch with the nature at work in the body, using its resources to heal and strenghten -think of the wonderful doctor in Stifter´s Aus der Mappe meines Grossvaters or the old Schnarrwerk in Raabe´s Lar! Medical thinking and action today so often move only in the pharmaceutical and mechanical sphere of formulas, preparations, and prescriptions. Our foods have largely been made artificial. We have now broken free from the living order of times: morning and evening, day and night, weekday and Sunday, changes of the moon and season. We live in an order of time that is our own making, fixed by clocks, work and pastimes.
The sphere in which we live is becoming more and more artifical, less and less human, more and more -I cannot help saying it- barbarian. The profound sadness [`depression´] of this whole process lies over Italy.
The decisive point is that we accept all this as normal. (…) Can life sustain this? Can it become consciousness and at the same time remain alive? (…) A system of machines is engulfing life. It defends itself. It seeks free air and a secure basis. Can live retain its living character in this system?
How sickening this is!
Romano Guardini, Letters from Lake Como
The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)
Think of the light given by an open flame. A little while ago I was in Munich. We were in the dining room of an old chapter house. It was lit only with candles hanging in a circle from the ceiling or held in the hand or set in candlesticks as needed. I was able with this light to see in a living manner the beauty of the baroque room. And in it we were in an environment that both enclosed us and received what we had to impart. It then became clear to me that with our gas and electric lighting with is finest in ancient building no longer comes to life. How everything became alive in the living light in a light that constantly battles darkness, that holds warm color and movement in the flickering flame. In such a light the room constantly comes to life afresh. It has froreground and background. The force of the light is graded form brightness close to the flame to the remaining darkness in the heights and corners.
Romano Guardini (1994), Letters from Lake Como
Vivre sa Vie (Jean-Luc Godard, 1962)
Nana: Suddenly I don’t know what to say. It happens to me a lot. I think first about whether they’re the right words. But when the moment comes to speak, I can’t say it. Why must one always talks? I think one should often just keep quiet, live in silence. The more one talks, the less the words mean.
A music that comes with the sunrise brings joy into the heart. This new world arrives quietly with every sunrise, even after a long sleepless night… It is the music of so many poets, the music of some thinkers, the music of all the free-spirited Mothers.
Only the heart is able to appreciate that beautiful symphony that awakes within the new day. It only takes one self-given life to restore hope in the heart of the city, between brothers and sisters, and overcome anxiety and depression.