Depersonalization Disorder and Living Corpses: Psychiatry, Religion, and Alienation

milarepa emaciated

(The 11th century yogi Milarepa, in his retreat cave.  He appears here  in his iconic emaciated, green-tinged form that was brought about by subsisting on a diet of nettle soup)

I tend to read pop science pieces on neurological/psychiatric conditions with interest, as I’m sure most cultural and medical anthropologists do. I’m versed in neither neuro-anthropology nor neuro-theology but I do often find myself wondering about the broader social, historical, economic, and political landscapes through, in, and in spite of which specific bio-medical conditions emerge. It’s probably far too reductive and glib to characterize the cases below as merely examples of a contemporary willingness to ‘neurologize’ sicknesses of society. Still, while I’m not about to advocate for a hard-line social constructivist take on these kinds of ‘bizarre’ neurological conditions, I do think it can be interesting to reflect on contemporary psychiatric disorders and discourse in parallel to, and against religious vocabularies. Continue reading

Fly-by Fungus and Yetis in Space

pluto___red_meat___by_danluvisiart-d7lyo7d

Today, is the Pluto fly by. I made this post on Facebook and it seemed like an important enough PSA to re-post here.

“You have all been posting nice pictures of Pluto with whimsical captions and I appreciate that, I do, but let’s not forget how in 1931 as described in H.P. Lovecraft’s short horror story ‘The Whisperer in the Darkness’ a man from Vermont in the prime of his life Continue reading