While looking up Koestler’s chapters on Pythagoras, I ran across this great passage:
The sixth pre-Christian–the miraculous century of Buddha, Confucius, and Lao-tze, of the Ionian philosophers and Pythagoras–was a turning point for the human species. A March breeze seemed to blow across this planet from China to Samos, stirring man into awareness, like the breath in Adam’s nostrils.
He’s right, of course. I just wonder why he didn’t mention the other luminaries from that century: Zoroaster, Solon, Heraclitus, Nehemiah, and the author of the Book of Isaiah.
Anyway, here’s one of those passage about Pythagoras that I vaguely recalled:
The Pythagoreans were, among other things, healers; we are told that ‘they used medicine to purge the body, and music to purge the soul.’ One of the oldest forms, indeed, of psycho-therapy consists in inducing the patient, by wild pipe music or drums, to dance himself into a frenzy followed by exhaustion and a trance-like, curative sleep–the ancestral version of shock-treatment and abreaction therapy.
Compare that passage to this article I saw last week at Lew Rockwell: The Myth of Mental Illness. The article makes some interesting points and presents things I’d never considered, like the possible link between our psychiatric-therapeutic culture and the modern phenomenon of mass shootings.
It makes me think we ought to ditch all psychiatric medicines . . . or at least make them a last ditch effort, to be utilized only after the frenzied dancing is over.Bookmark it: del.icio.us | Reddit | Slashdot | Digg | Facebook | Technorati | Google | StumbleUpon | Window Live | Tailrank | Furl | Netscape | Yahoo | BlinkList