Photograph take in 2009 in the John Muir Wilderness by a friend. The central goal of this activity is to reveal a picture of my mind in all its complex and simple aspects, memories, thoughts, emotions, ups, and downs.
“The human being is the best picture of the human soul.”
Central Question under investigation during this experiment: How does my environment effect my mood as I “drift” through the two psychogeography routes depicted below?
This collection of Facebook posts is very large in quantity so I will break up posting the entire collection of posts into multiple entries.
Route 1, a hike from Princeton Theological Seminary (where I am a M.Div. student) to the Princeton battlefield and back [~4.5 – 5 miles, mile markers are circles in the image]:
Route 2, a hike from Princeton Theological Seminary up Nassau to the canal down to canal to Quaker Rd. and then by the Princeton battlefield and back to the seminary [~10 miles, mile markers are circles in the image]:
Entries from 6/16 of Facebook posts (most recent posts at the top, oldest post at the bottom):
I might add, why should I live in the “closet” of my creativity for fear of “mania?” My bipolar mania, properly channeled by strict self-discipline, got me my Ph.D. in chemistry from UC Berkeley. I am back to applying strict self-discipline to my body and mind now, with the new feature that I am freeing my creative potential by working on what I want to work on, mental health, neuroscience, and religion. My own brain, mind, and spirit is my medium of art. I seek to apply religious and psychotherapeudic meditation and contemplation to balance my brain chemistry, equalize the fragments of my mind, and enhance my spirit’s true potential. I want nothing more than to change the world of religion and mental health care.
Notes from “The John Muir Project” Psychogeography Brainstorming Session. Basically, the John Muir Project at this stage of experimentation will involve psychogeographic “drifts” through the Princeton environment as meditative contemplative practice to “treat” my bipolar disorder I with ten mile hikes with a thirty pound pack of books. I will conduct “lectio divina” on fragments and bits of text from the books in my bag. Randomly contructing a collage of ideas and t thoughts, I will use Twitter and Facebook to quickly record my spirit’s and brain’s reaction to these fragments. I hope to explain this concept more completely in a blog entry that will compile all my posts on the project from this past week.
Beard growing week 1 for “The John Muir Project.” I have three white facial hairs, scary! I am getting old.
Did John Muir obey the Sabbath to listen to the trees preach for the whole day?
Photos from part of psychogeography experiment 1 of Muir Project. Discovering Indian Pipe during a John Muir Project walk this morning – that’s a Kaya Erbil knee. Wild raspberries on their way – getting out the pail – and photo of Curtis Lake near the Mercer County Equestrian Center. They seem to like the companionship of beech trees and their high root systems. this area had many. I wonder how it would be possible to start a colony in an area where they’re likely to thrive. Interesting but too many other interesting things to occupy.
“The John Muir Project” Mission Statement: The founding of the John Muir Project has progressed to encourage all of us to find balance in our lives, reconnection with the sacred through nature, and to live in right relationship with one another and our earth.
Blog entry 1 (with significant help from a Quaker Friend Laura and my Berkeley friend Chas) entitled: “The John Muir Project: the Story of One Man’s Battle With Suicidal Depression/Bipolar Disorder I and His Recovery to Embrace a Balanced Male and Female View of God.”
75,000-90,000 words is the typical novel length for first time publishers. Thus, the book I write for the John Muir Project will aim for that target.
Pharmaceutical companies play roulette games with clinical trials to make money off of selling medications (as highlighted by this article.) An article on the shaky scientific evidence for the effectiveness of the medication Abilify that I was on that did not work. In my most recent hospitalization I ended up switching back to Zyprexa, which works much better for maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder I.
People with mental illness tend to internalize the stigma placed upon them as hellishly intense “shame.” This film was cited today in church sermon about shame. TED talk on shame that is supposed to be excellent. Excellent resource for “The John Muir Project” in dealing with stimgatization of people with mental illness and the result of having a mental illness. Breaking the cycle of stigmatization and shame is a central component to my work with the Muir project. I intend to tear down the barrier between religion groups and mental health institutions to help in this process. Jesus Christ did not discriminate in his expression of universal love and compassion. Therefore, God does not discriminate. Therefore, humans should not either. Yet, they do. Without advocacy, there would never be solutions to this problem!
Blessings today and learning about bipolar disorder medication pleiotropic effects! Electroboy is a writing project (book and consulting company) of Andy Behrman that centers on his struggle with depression, bipolar disorder, and mental illness. I met a person at Trinity Episcopal church that works for Bristol-Myers Squibb who knows Andy Behrman. She helps her company sell the drug (that I have been on and did not have a good experience with) Abilify. During my recent hospitalization I quickly transitioned from Abilify to Zyprexa. She explained to me how the major difference between Abilify and Zyprexa is that Zyprexa hits H1 histamine receptors and Abilify does not. That is why Zyprexa causes more weight gain, you never feed of food full on Zyprexa.
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