Mental Health and Community


I have written about this before. There is this tension between the transformation of the self and the transformation of society. If everyone was able to live in accordance with their highest self, then the problems of society would disappear. But how can people live in accordance with their highest self when society makes it structurally impossible to achieve this via scarcity of basic resources, oppression, injustice and so forth?

So on the one had we have the self and the psychological makeup of the self, and on the other hand we have society and community. I am reminded of classes that I had to take in college as part of the common core. Many of them had three names: wealth, power, and virtue/ self, culture, and society. There were a few with one name like POWER. But I cannot remember what are the dyads. What is the triad in self and society. To me culture is like the psychological structure of society. We would need a four fold, self, mind, society, culture …. or something. What I am interested in those is sort of ways that the self and the society interact and influence one another – perhaps that is culture.

Anyway, I read an article on the USV blog this week … not sure how I ended up there… and I sent it to my brother who is getting his phd in psychology. Last year we did a mental health game together. The article was about Mental Health 3.0. My take away.. 1.0 would be in person therapy or institutionalization. Something that is very hands on, non-repeatable/idiosyncratic, and unscalable. 2.0 would remote therapy, or group therapy or the unbundling of therapy (meditation apps for example), a market place model (people can find therapists and patients on the amazon of healthcare or something). Something that is scalable, accessible, repeatable, and commodifiable (perhaps zero marginal cost). 3.0 is personalized, adaptive, free, and changes with scale (network effects), a 3.0 company has phase transitions. 3.0 is the flywheel of the devops loop. I would say we need to think 4.0 now but let stay on 3.0 for a moment. I would say 3.0 is the cyborg or post-human.

So my brother said, what do you think this means. I said I dont think it means we are going to have AI therapists. Although perhaps AI is better than a 90% of therapists. This was actually an early computer program called Eliza. Putting that out there. There still needs to be some radical rethinking in the education of everyone including our healthcare professionals and including therapists.

If we think of 3.0 therapy as really web 2.0 user generated therapy then I think there are interesting things to be said about AA, Microsolidarity, Family Constellation Work, The Work, The Game of Gifts (just learned about that one today), there are a bunch. Here the group gets together and does exercises. What is the tech? Maybe the platform, maybe the AI suggests a particular modality based on your work and exercises you do between classes. Psychology is very territorial and not interested in syncretic solutions – so there is that

I am really influenced by Microsolidarity right now. I do feel that a transformative society can arise from a network of care. That when we learn how to care better than we can learn how to act more meaningfully. I am not sure, but lets start with caring. I also love this from the microsolidarity website: “I believe courage is developed when we _en_courage each other.” I also am interested in the way money and care are related. how can we turn emotional care or psychological safety into economic safety.

Also Emotional Anarchism – I like the sound of that.

Anyway my first experience with this sort of care was probably at the recurse center and the weekly feelings check in. I had never experienced it before and I only went once or twice but it is one of the most vivid and impactful memories of my time there.

Also I am watching Untangling the Worldknot of Consciousness #1 with Gregg Henriques – The Cognitive Science Show. I went down a little Gregg Henriques rabbit hole – and the tree of knowledge system. I would love to read this or go through the slides. It is thought provoking… but why is this space filled with scruffy white cis dudes – much love to them but still.

I feel like to solve the meaning crisis if there is a meaning crisis I want other voices.