John Muir Project: New Situations, New Psychology


The most important aspect of shaping your mind into a new state is adapting to new environmental stimuli.  This is the basis of what is called learning.  Making transitions between states of learning can be thought of as what is commonly called thinking.  I believe one can think themselves into sanity or madness, happiness or sadness, euphoria or depression.  The mind is extremely plastic and supple.  It is like a lump of clay, through out life we can learn and think.  However, over time we can loose this plasticity.  It really is a matter of use it or loose it.  Regular physical and mental exercise is absolutely essential, particularly in our overly sedentary technological society to maintain proper health of body and mind.    

For the average city dweller who travels along a fixed path to and fro, usually in a car or other sedentary mode of transport, simply changing the routes one travels can stimulate neural connections.  If a person is depressed, perhaps the change may foster a better state of mind.  This is the essence of psychogeography as applied to treating mental illness.  New routes for new moods.  New situations, new psychology.  Thus, I hypothesize that the skills and tools of the Situationist International can be employed to treat mental illness and heal spiritual ailments.  Future blog posts will explain this point in more detail through writing and psychogeographic experimentation.  The subhypothesis is that taking an individual that follows a rigid, strictly-defined monotonous routine in a state of depression (as I have been for the better part of four years) and placing them into a new compassionate environmental that continually stimulates them in new ways is necessary and sufficient to heal symptoms of depression.  Subhypothesis 2 states, regular sustained 10 miles walks with a 30 pound pack of classic books and Holy scriptures (employed for lectio divina meditation) can greatly enhance mental and physical health. Indeed, with a miracle of God it may completely supplant medication, even if the mental illness is bipolar disorder I or schizophrenia.  I am not encouraging people to go off their medication, I am hypothesizing that the mind, with the help of God, can be healed to such an extent as to render medication unnecessary.

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About kayaerbil

I am a Berkeley educated chemistry Ph.D. who is moving into the area of working on developing appropriate technology for communities that are subjected to socio-economic oppression. The goal is to use simple and effective designs to empower people to live better lives. Currently, I am working with Native Americans on Pine Ridge, the Lakota reservation in South Dakota. I am working with a Native owned and run solar energy company. We are currently working on building a compressed earth block (CEB) house that showcases many of the technologies that the company has developed. The CEB house is made of locally derived resources, earth from the reservation. The blocks are naturally thermally insulating, keeping the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Eventually, a solar air heater and photovoltaic panels will be installed into the house to power the home and keep it warm, while preserving the house off the grid. A side project while in Pine Ridge is a solar computer. I hope to learn about blockchain encryption software for building microgrids. In addition, it is an immediate interest of mine to involve local youth in technology education.
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