I appreciate the discussion about mental health. In my next avatar or phase of life, I want to become some kind of a mental health practitioner. A big cause of mental health may be financial insecurity in a capitalist world. …And the social inequalities and pressures and heartburn that causes. The pharma lobby and DSM lobby and many other money-making machines in the West are hard at work to not fully cure but mostly contain the problems. The Federal government has created a strategy to combat mental health issues, however it remains to be seen how effective it will be.
The human body and mind have many ailments arising from whatever thoughts or beliefs or practices etc. Patanjali’s yoga sutras provide the 8-limbed formula to get away from it all. Different practitioners or gurus have emphasized different limbs to suit the times and their purpose. Mahatma Gandhi emphasized Yama and Niyamas to uplift hundreds of millions of Indian people out of colonization. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi used dhyana and samadhi to uplift millions of people from deep stress and anxiety of nuclear annihilation towards a vision of a permanent peace. Ramdev used Asana and Pranayama to uplift a billion people from all sorts of ailments. But from personal stories one knows that any combination of these could cure eyesight, hypertension, and backache etc. Add to it Bhagavad Gita’s message that ‘you are neither born nor do you die’ that also reminds us of our true higher / Yogic self. That is the Truth (capital T) that alone can deliver strong healthy minds.
The language of health needs to change. We are becoming self-educated semi-experts at cancer and hypertension and diabetes and an infinite number of specific diseases and disorders and syndromes that may afflict us. The solution may lie in the language of Chitta vritti nirodha (yoga sutras) and balance of doshas and vikritis (Ayurveda) and harmony (classical / Gandharva music), … and activation of chakras and kundalini and more such vibrational and energetic constructs. The dualist and disease-naming language could be replaced by a more holistic joy-feeling language. As Chomsky famously said that the primary role of language is the self-talk or inner chatter, and not so much communication with others. If the inner monkey-mind chatter could be transformed to coherent silence and awareness, health will be a natural outcome. If health is what we want, a health-ful language may be a starting point.
A health-ful language should be beneficial to the health of body or mind. It should describe something corrective or beneficially effective, even though it may be unpleasant. It should speak to the helpful effects of clean air and water and surroundings. It should speak to what benefits and sustains life physically, mentally, and spiritually. It should make a positive contribution to a healthy condition.
With gratitude to all of you for reading it!