0018: If we can be little wiser to what the notes in a tune might be, if they began to wake up to the fact that they were notes in a tune, in the brief time before they fade, and begin to imagine intimations of a melody whose existence they may just manage to infer, but which they will never hear.
0040: who wants coffee and cream?
0042: Mm, I wouldn't mind coffee and cream.
0044: Oh, I'll have some.
0047: We'll all have coffee and cream!
0049: you can make it…
0052: You obviously need the experience!
0054: Take that outside please, ?? to be washed up.
0059: But anyway, as far as [I'm concerned], not much else has been ??.
0104: ??. Not going to wash them now, am I?
0107: Colin's good at making coffee.
0111: ?? go and make it ??.
0115: Oh, what a nice kind boy you are, Colin! Very sweet.
0126: You wait till you've finished!
0128: Yes. Really not unreasonable. ??. Doesn't matter.
0142: I'll put the kettle on for you.
0144: You can make it!
0146: Don't worry!
0150: We all insist, Colin.
0151: We are acting parts in a play that we've never read. Have never seen. Whose plot we don't know. And whose end I do not dare to presume to imagine.
0223: I was very much impressed from the beginning of my life and into my teens and into my student days, with the fact that most people I met seemed to be miserable. There didn't seem to be too much happiness around. And also people were frequently very vicious and malicious, and nasty to each other.
0255: And when I got into mental hospitals I was in a way more impressed by the lunacy and craziness and sometimes viciousness and maliciousness of the people who weren't supposed to be crazy.
0312: Would you then say that schizophrenics don't suffer from their symptoms? I've been a schizophrenic -
0318: What are you talking about?
0321: The craziness was all around and certainly wasn't confined to the patients.
0345: The only psychological or sociological definition of reality, without going into metaphysics, is to say that reality is what most people, statistically speaking, take to be real. Or take to be the case. And so that varies from different times, different times and from different cultures, one culture to another. There have always been people who've been particularly restless at finding themselves, as they feel, in something of a prison, in experiencing the world of the senses just in one way only. And many people have devoted the greater effort of their lives to trying to explore the alternatives.
0454: Well I would like to buy my own paper, to be exact, that I could draw in the art department. Unfortunately I find, generally speaking, the paper I believe is Hungarian, I'm not sure. I do realise the tenacity of verbosities entailed in the makeup of it. And I personally feel I like to buy paper outside. Not intransigent to the hospital management committee.
0528: Yes, do you have any pocket money?
0530: When the city chambers were being built, a quarter of the city of Glasgow lived in tenement blocks like this, except that this is a particularly nice example, the worst of them have been torn down.
0543: When these places were first built, no water, no plumbing, no bath, no lavatory, no taps. Excrement was thrown out the window. People suffered from chronic malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies. It produced, for instance, 'the Glasgow type' - the stunted Glasgow 'wee bacle' who had never grown because his bones hadn't been formed. Bow-legged, and a hard heid they used to butt people with in fights.
0626: Darkness. Desolation. Life pared down to the bone. Mere existence. Bare survival. Culture. Where in this world was there any place for Bach or Chopin?
0723: I must confess that I don't like religion very much, and I'm very glad that in the Bible the word is not to be found.
0738: There is despair at the heart of every one of us, isn't there, really?
0742: Yes. Soren Kierkegaard had called it the sickness until death. And everybody participates in this sickness.
0754: By real life, I mean - let's say, fullness of life. What you call, in general, 'real life', is - a great part of it is only fictitious.
0939: Now, the great advances of the last 30 years have been the use of physical treatments. When I went to the Maudsley in 1934, only one third of all schizophrenics got better. Now with the drugs and treatments, in my unit, 84% of schizophrenics are better in a two-year follow up, with only six weeks of treatment. Whereas it used to take months.
1000: Oh come on Will, the admission of depressive illness has doubled in the last eight years.
1004: It's doubled, I know, but it doesn't mean to say that you can't get better.
1016: These old asylum patients are now treated in general hospitals, and you can see how well, how worthwhile it's been. And without these new treatments, we did have psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, you know, thirty years ago, but we hadn't got these new treatments. Without these new treatments I think we would still be in the old mental hospital atmosphere.
1032: Yes, so this is a lady with a six year history of abdominal pains, blackouts and depression.
1038: Six years?
1039: Yes. six year history. And she's done very well with the combined drugs and five ECT’s, she's only been in just over a fortnight and she's very much better indeed.
1047: But surely - what were you doing for six years, what treatment did you have all those six years?
1051: Well, my doctor never seemed to care very much about it, he just said, have some pills, have some more pills -
1058: I think for six years you've been trying sex as the answer to all your problems, haven't you?
1105: Yes, actually, it does work for a few hours, put it that way! [laughter]
1108: No, but are you better now?
1110: I'm very much better.
1112: Well, my stomachaches have nearly all cleared up. I did have one yesterday, but I didn't try my usual practice for getting rid of it.
1121: I go through tremendous heart burnings, but I find that the only criteria I've got is this: would I use any method on myself, my wife or any of my relatives, that I use on patients. And I think it's true to say that in all my thirty years I've tried never to use any method that I wouldn't use on myself- if necessary.
1142: I couldn't agree with quite a number of his ideas.
1148: Which ones in particular?
1151: Well, chiefly his purely personal approach, and his disregard of the historical conditions of man. You see, we depend largely upon our history. We are shaped through education, through the influence of the parents, which are by no means always personal.
1221: We, our family, our family's families, and our school, our church, our town, our country, our state and our television and cups and saucers and display cabinet and our Aunt Jessie are real, and true, and we can trust each other, and we have a full life. The world comes to our town, and if we sometimes do wrong, we do our best. We don't wish any evil on anyone we are, and what we say doesn’t exist doesn't exist, and if we can help it, shall not exist, because we must defend reality against the emptiness, deceit and evil of unreality, that's what we're fighting for, to defend the real against the false, the true against the untrue, the full life against an empty life, the good against evil, what is against what is not. But then, what are we defending against?
1320: I agree, the word has been so widely misused that under the circumstances I think the only thing to do is to go back to the original Greek meaning of the terms: schiz meaning split, or fragmented or broken; and phrenos being the term for the heart or the soul. We speak about being light-hearted or heavy-hearted, one can lose one's heart. A schizophrenic is one whose heart is broken. Who is broken-hearted.
1414: I contend that what we now call psychiatry deals not with any kind of disease but with human conflict, or what I have sometimes called 'problems in living'. Then, there comes the issue that commitment, as historically justified, has been supported by a very ambiguous and confusing dual justification: namely, that it helps the individual - for example, if he's suicidal, by preserving his life - I'll come back to this - and it also helps society by protecting society from unpleasant or harmful so-called mental patients. Now I contend that these two functions have nothing in common and must be separated.
1503: Because I know a lot of people find that the pressures of life sometimes tends to get them down. And what you do about it, I do not know. It is certainly true to say that in Ireland we have the highest proportion of our population in mental hospitals than anywhere else in Western Europe. And a greater proportion of those tend to be diagnosed as schizophrenics. This is all by way of leading up to the fact that our next guest is a psychiatrist, he's probably one of the most famous psychiatrists in the world, mainly because a great number of people have learned their first bits about psychiatry from his books in layman's language, the most famous I suppose would have been… the most talked-about…. would have been Divided Self and the Politics of Experience. He's on a lecture tour here at the moment, indeed this is his second or third visit to Ireland, he was on a lecture tour last year as well. Would you welcome please Dr R D Laing! [applause]
1554: Sir, how would I know that it's all getting too much for me and I was beginning to go down the slippery slope? What are the telltale signals?
1614: I think there's a great deal of confusion in many people's minds, not least in the minds of psychiatrists, as to what psychiatry is. I take psychiatry to be the healing of the mind. And I take a great deal of psychiatric practice to be nothing of the kind.
1634: And what do we do? If they are guilty do we send them to jail? Which are imperfect facilities? You've equated jails with state hospitals, so it doesn't matter, you're saying what society is saying "let's get them out of here! Let's extrude them!" And whether we use our medical system to extrude them or our legal system, we'll get them out.
1658: This is one way of putting what other people have said, like Ivan Illich and Szasz and so on, that psychiatry itself manufactures madness, that to a considerable extent it creates the very condition that it sees as its mission to eliminate. If we could let each other be a bit more, without being indifferent to each other, if we could help each other without being intrusive and coercive, then we feel that a great amount of the problems that are being dealt with in the domain of psychiatry would simply evaporate.
1754: Well, no-one tries to be personal with me and I don't try and be personal with them! I find that -
1818: I want you to - I want you to drop your upper body down. Now, I'm going to give you a very sharp blow, right here, huh? But it will not be a hateful hit, okay? Okay?
1844: Just keep breathing.
1846: [cry / laughter]
1848: Let it go, let it go, let it go.
1853: It's a rather trivial question, that, isn't it?
1854: No it's not, I don't think so.
1857: During most of the last century, that is the history of modern psychiatry, schizophrenia has been regarded very much as a medical disease. The ideas about the origin of this disease, so-called, varied from the hereditary through the biochemical. Various other bodily causes have been proposed. In fact there's been very little evidence that any of these physical or genetic factors pertain in the case of schizophrenia. Now, over the last two decades, particularly in America and more recently in this country, we've begun to realise more and more how human factors of interaction are important in the case of this so-called disease. In particular we've become, we've been able to realise how important what happens in families is as regards generating madness or schizophrenia - schizophrenia is the most common form of madness.
1957: Perhaps the most important disease is what some of us call psychiatrosis, the disease of psychiatry - and this is very much a matter of the compulsive categorising of people, people have to get into some prescribed form of illness.
2011: In that stress period, when we had no future, I had a talk to Wiener;cybernetics, and he said "What are you doing in California?" And I said, "We're studying schizophrenia." He said, "What's that?" And I said, "Well, it's confusion in the use of metaphors" "What do you mean?"
2035: Neo-psychology, the descriptive manner of incognito mannerism of speech, when I was speaking to Dr Cooper, I was – what do you think are the causes of this trouble of yours?
2049: I want you to specify to me the characteristics of a machine which you will be willing to say is schizophrenic.
2059: And we invented an imaginary machine which would be like a telephone exchange. And it could handle the voice, you would say "Connect me to number 398." And you would talk to number 398, and in the course of talking you'd say, "Send me 254 pigs, FOB Detroit." The machine would hear 254, disconnect you from 398, and connect you to 254. And we decided that this machine, which maltreats the nature of the message and puts it in a different category - it's not a number of pigs, it's an ordinal number -
2147: So is that where the logical types began to come in? as a way -
2151: That's where logical types came in. Wiener of course was bringing the logical types with McCulloch, I used already the logical typing…
2200: But you began to see its application.
2201: Right. And I followed up this conversation, and said "Ah, that machine, and the pigs - how would we train that machine to that pathology?" That's the double bind.
2215: That's lovely.
22.25: What do you take wormwood to be?
2228: One wood. Worm. One wood. One wood is mistletoe. One wood is mistletoe.
2244: One. Worm. One. Worm.
101 mililiters of Codeine. Not the ten gallons for parboiled pork Francis. That’s wrong, that's ramified reality, that’s ramified reality finished…
2327: Francis; I've got a little notion that if you put a pig in ten gallons of codeine it could be parboiled. That could be for your Malay manager fellow. That merry fellow. That merry fellow. Ten gallons of codeine. And it'd be parboiled. As long pig. Parboiled. That's right, parboiled. Yes. Yes, that's right.
2355: The, the the - the Greeks, and right up to and through the Scholastics were concerned with the problem for instance of the paradoxes of Xenos. Where they observe certain things to happen but were able to identify that they hadn't got the forms of thought that could account for them. It wasn't until Descartes invented the corner geometry, you could sort of draw two lines as crossing each other, with different corners, and find the equation. Then you had found, the human mind had found a form of expressing that could accommodate itself to what was known to exist.
2449: If you've reached a stage where you're sort of crystallising things with Geometrical
2457: The rules of algebra. The rules of logic and Russell, deriving the rules of what can be derived. But you're gradually getting further and further away..
2516: Where's it gone?
2518: From the sort of many sides of things... Into the sort of reduction to points. And the gradual development of the axiomatisation. You know, I mean its the ultimate, it shows a lack of understanding, it shows the replacing of the question and not understanding. With formalised dots which can make associations, to other sets of formalised dots which are undefined except as second order and third order and things like that.
2556: Hmm? What do you think the cause of this trouble of yours is?
2603: Well, inertia. As far as I'm concerned, I went to the labour exchange to be employed, to try and put my services to society and reality, and they informed me as such that I was rather foolish staying in the hospital so long.
2624: It's difficult to determine what is given and what is constructed. Our adult experience is a very sophisticated product of many procedures. The laws governing our experience, I presume, are both natural and social. The deeper social laws are implanted, or to use another metaphor, the more hard-programmed they are, the more like natural laws they come to appear to us to be.
2702: I got the feeling when reading your book, doctor, that the so-called schizophrenic was more sane than the normal. Is this possible?
2712: I think that's true. His so-called delusions are attempts to express, sort of last desperate efforts to say that he's being destroyed, and being murdered.
2730: We have to find the truth of delusions, so-called, because delusions are simply socially defined, in a very arbitrary, very false way I think. It's a matter of finding the truth of delusion, not the falsity of it; not trying to cure people of it.
2746: For instance, if doctors never ever went out of their casualty wards, and only saw people who couldn't tell them what had happened staggering in with black eyes et cetera et cetera, they might very well think black eyes was a genetically determined syndrome. If they never ever watched someone juxtapose their fist to an eye, and that a black eye is the outcome… of a punch, say.
2812: Well what about somebody who says they want to be buried?
2814: I think there's probably a tentative in that case to achieve a state of death and then rebirth. I think this is essential to one's understanding of what psychotic breakdown means. It's always the attempt to achieve a proper death and proper rebirth.
2832: Well, the question arises - to what extent is any experience ultimately shareable? If you take, say, the relationship of two entirely exterior things, like a billiard ball, the two billiard balls, their relationship can only be built up by an observer. The billiard balls have no inner worlds. It's the relationship between each person's inner world that establishes, if you like, the shared element in their experience, and provides the media for their communication.
2920: Disintegration. Reintegration.
2927: Given our distinctions, and our rules, we have to do a great deal of work to normalise our experience. Now I want to consider these operations as things that we do to our experience. If experience is permitted to be pleasant or ought to be pleasant, experience will be operated upon to make it more-so. But if the rules don't permit or demand this, if pleasure for instance is forbidden, then pleasure will be sacrificed for other values higher on the hierarchy. A very peculiar fact of these operations on experience is that they are themselves operated upon, to render them, as we say, unconscious. Now this is repression. It's not a simple operation, but it's a very effective one.
3026: So I did Nelson's portrait about that big, with him, his eyes, the left eye looked so real that it looks as if Nelson's looking at you. There's a little boat on top left. Dr Erickson.
3040 : Apart from painting, have you got any other special abilities?
3044: Well I'd like to sail away with Nelson on a new boat and to marry Karen, and have a little girl called Sian. And they've gone to Australia but they're coming back sometime to see us.
3056: I'm getting a bit confused, I think I asked you about painting and you went over to Australia!
3102: I don't know why, because the world is round, if you cut the world in half like an apple you'll find purple and pink and yellow stripes inside, with a blue river running through the middle and some green fir trees. That's the world. When you see the world cut in half like an apple, like that painting.
3119: It doesn't seem to me to be straightforward flight of ideas there. There may be something else happening. Or would you like to take a different view, because I think we're all in the same boat, watching this, I mean do you accept that this is sort of the kind of degree of inconsequentiality that you might expect -
3141: The link from the world to apple, to yoghurt, seemed very tenuous. Or somewhat bizarre. You could see where the thoughts were going but it wasn't a very usual progression of thought.
3156: Of decomposing under terror the very soul of their adversaries, or of lulling them by hope before enslaving them by arms. Lastly by so skillful manipulation of the crudish lies that they deceived even posterity, and deceive us still.
3215: So she seemed to have some evidence of thought disorder there.
3217: But there were connections between each thought.
3219: Yes, there were, they were slightly bizarre.
3222: One could follow the move from painting Nelson to sailing away with Nelson. I think this is more consistent with flight of ideas, rather than a derailment which is jumping onto a completely different theme. I felt that I could follow it.
3239: You'd accept that as a kind of artistic vision, rather than as a disorganised thought process that you were seeing ?
3255: It's maybe taken some of us this length of time to see through the Romans. But we - I think, all of us becoming aware that we're living in a civilisation and a culture and a society comprising Northern Europe and America, the Western world, which has rendered that statement out of date. As far as I can see, looking at what has been done by the agents of the society of which I am a member, we have arrived at a cruelty and violence which far exceeds anything that the Nazis ever did. What, however, we do have to spend some time on because it is by no means obvious, by no means. Where is the tie-up between industry, the industrial-military complex, and the link-up between these massive bodies of corporate interest and of vested interest groups and so on? What we want to develop, is this invisible web where everyone feels trapped in it - not everyone, some people are happy perhaps to be trapped - but there's an increasing realisation that there is a dialectic of liberation. Remember Hegel had one famous example, a dialectic in the relationship between the master and the slave. He pointed out that the more the master enslaves his slaves, in other words the more he gets the slaves to do everything for him, the more he becomes himself helpless, until the slave wakes up one day and realises that he is the master, because the master has put himself in his power. I think that more of us now are realising that until all men are free, none of us can be.
3521: Mediation. The mediation of the microsocial and the macrosocial. Let me mention just two false solutions that have been suggested to me recently, in fact in the course of this congress. One was that hip psychiatrists, or anti-psychiatrists should elect to see only those people who could turn them on politically, so that the anti-psychiatrists could then potentiate the political activism of these people. The other was that anti-psychiatrists should cut across, cut right across the mythical, socially invented neurosis of their patients, and then deflect them, deflect these patients into the emerging new revolutionary groups. So that schizophrenia could be used against these social manipulators who have in fact invented it as a disease. But these are false solutions. Before we propose answers, we have to be quite sure that we have the question. Because, once again, the answer is in the question.
[singing: Daisy Daisy]
3727: For instance, when - I remember, I think when I was six years old, looking into a butcher's shop window with my parents, and being struck with the resemblance between some of the sausages in the window, and horse's dung. And voiced this, and got what in Scotland was called a skite on the lug from my father, and he told me not to think such dirty thoughts. Which I can remember thinking at the time; how I could possibly not think dirty thoughts, unless I somehow thought them first and then at some other level cancelled them out.
3833: I slice my experience into inside-outside, into real-unreal, into good-bad, into me-not me, into here-there, into now-then, and so on. Let us suppose I have a slice that consists of inside, me, here, now, good, real. Then you may feel I am a lucky man. Think what a hell it would be to most of us to arrive at me, unreal, bad, here, inside, now. This is quite a common slice.
3918: I work from the assumption that anyone who comes to see me is sane, and rational, and knows what he or she is talking about. And it has to be proven that they don't know what they're talking about, it has to be proven that they're talking a lot of nonsense. If you start off from that assumption, you actually sit down and you listen to what the person has to say. And you make allowance for the fact the person may be agitated or upset for various reasons, and you give them a chance to explain why they're agitated or upset. If you do that, you discover again and again and again and again that they make sense!
3954: That must have been a terrible time for you.
4000: Everybody else was happy. So I had to think I was.
4007: What did you have to be happy about?
4009: Everything seemed to be going all right, to start with.
4014: Do you feel ashamed about the way he speaks?
4017: I don't feel ashamed, really. It appalls me. His friends all speak the same, it's -- not as I want him to speak, I suppose. Because I know, you know, a few years ago it wasn't like this. Sometimes I think, oh, it's not that important, I shouldn't worry about it, he will grow out of it. That's all right until I hear him say, "Pass the but'ah". [laughs]
4050: I could have completely murdered you this morning, not only beaten you up. I would have thought it would put all of us out of our misery. I was doing you a favour as well as the rest of us.
4104: Cos I was - cos I didn't have any money and I wanted to go out somewhere.
4114: Well obviously - did you ask her for some?
4120: I used to, but I always used to get - I was refused.
4127: But this seems to mean that you've never actually had spending money, pocket money, given to you by your mother.
4136: For a long time I clung onto the view, without realising I was clinging onto it, that communication has to do, putting it very crudely, with conveying the truth. This may be true of a railway timetable and suchlike, but why should we assume this to be the case generally? According to one linguist, voluntary communication can scarcely have been called upon except to deceive. Language must have been invented for the purpose of lying.
4208: Did the three of you ever discuss among yourselves - the three adults -I mean - how the news was going to be brought to the children?
4224: Did you expect the children to be affected by the breakup?
4237: You didn't?
4244: Supposing you did have your chance over again, what things would you do differently?
4257: It's a very tricky situation. It's not one which our society seems to have a clear role for someone in John's position, there doesn't seem to be a clear role.
4308: And he felt that it was a slight on him, if people knew he was out of work. So for five and a half months we didn't tell the children that he didn't have a job. And because his job has always been such that he would go after they went to school and very often be back before they came home from school, they didn't really query it.
4330: I wasn't born in a slum. I was born in this respectable neighbourhood, not 200 yards down there. People here could move in this direction or that direction but never in that direction. If I ever dreamt of going down there I could be thrashed by my father to within an inch of my life, because my parents were terrified if I ever went down there. I would contract some of the contagious, unspeakable, unmentionable infectious diseases that people down there, were riven and rotten with.
4405: I was an only child. And I grew up in the southside of Glasgow, on the borders between slums and lower middle class respectability. And -
4428: Which were you? Slum or lower -
4430: No I was - my father was a lieutenant in the Royal Air Corps, he was principle baritone in the Glasgow University Chapel Choir, and it was a house in pinched economic circumstances, struggling - my parents struggling away to carve out what they felt was a decent life for themselves and for me.
4458: But we've arrived at least in some pockets of the earth's surface, of having banished different sorts of diseases and made all sorts of technological advances which I'm not perhaps as enthusiastic about as some people, but I certainly enjoy. Given all that, we've arrived at this point, where we find ourselves imprisoned, in a sense in prison, in straightjackets that give us very little room to move outside of the certain prescribed forms.
4600: Family means a desperate privacy, a horrible privacy, in which women have nothing and no-one to talk to, and nothing to do that is creative. They must get into social production, into public work, in order to become full human beings.
4631: One hippy, just known as John, from Birkenhead, explained:
4635: There's a lot of people in the situation where they can't mix with society, they've got nowhere to live, they’ve been thrown out of their houses, been thrown out of their homes, their parents have just not taken any notice, some of their parents are dead, and you know they've absolutely nowhere to live.
4650: The main criticism that people like you get is why don't you go out, get a job, earn money and buy a house, or rent a house?
4656: I have been working, but some of these people just - you know, in a society you get people who work, you got people that don't work, you got people - there's always an opposite to one.
4708: The people here don't really believe in work?
4710: The majority don't believe in work. Some of them are good poets, good musicians…
4714: There seemed to be a little confusion about the flag fluttering over the front door. I was told it was the anarchists' flag. But when I made the point that most anarchists have black flags, I was told; they'd look into the matter.
4816: First of all, some years ago you were associated with people who radically criticise our society, and some of whom felt that it has to be torn to pieces and something clean and new built in its place. And then it seemed to me that in your more recent writings you were moving towards a mystical conception of society. Towards the Hindu, Buddhist conception that the real, sensory world, the material world, is illusory, and that to feel that you're in touch with reality because you're in touch with material things in this everyday world is to delude yourself. Hence, those who are in touch with that inner reality, that mysterious inner reality of aeonic time, where you feel in touch with the primordial Adam, with animals, vegetables, and even minerals - God knows how you do that - so you've said. Now, this inner reality, I confess, is a strange area to me.
4920: I've - I don't want to say that the world in which most of us live our lives is any less or more real than any other zone of the mind, that is to say that we- most of us live our lives in terms of the data of sight, sound -
4938: But in your writings you frequently do say just that, you do so that -
4944: If a lark is brought up by chaffinches it doesn't learn to sing like a lark but tries very hard to adapt its endowment to sing like a chaffinch, and produces a blend of the two kinds of song. It's easier, perhaps, in observing animals, to take a detached view and to see exactly what's happening. Students of personality development have quite often chosen to carry out their studies in an unfamiliar culture. I spent a number of years myself in villages in northern India, studying the sort of personalities which the adults -
5020: - we’ve entered a moment in the history of political thought. And more simply, a critical moment in the history of the world...
5030: Sympathy is not always with the young. Many people in Britain have been angered by scenes like this - at Essex University lectures have been interrupted and strike tactics adopted. This kind of behaviour by some students affects attitudes towards all students.
[shouting, chanting ‘fascists out’]
5051: I don't think that all that is is subsumed under sight, sound, taste, touch, smell, or body sensation, and the framework in which that's experienced, of space and time. That is a fishpond in relationship to the ocean. And the way in which we as modern men experience space and time, and order our sensorium, is by any anthropologist, by any student of history, regarded as culturally relative and parochial, as is everything else.
5128: When I was in Kashmir I went along to see a Muslim saint in those parts who was reputed to be over a hundred years old. He was -- just like a bird. Very tiny little man with quick moving eyes. Not like that, I mean he wasn't sort of looking out in any sort of startled way, but he had a white beard and hair and eyes. He asked me why I'd come to see him, and I replied that I was seeking for the correct way to live.
5225: But to turn away from it with an emotional revulsion, and to put in its place a mysterious swirling void of inner experience, that seems to me a curious retreat.
5238: No, I don't myself turn away from it, and I don't advocate turning away from it. However, I do perhaps have more sympathy than you do, to have those people who find that the complete immersion in that space-time box -
5303: You know there are these peculiar faculties of the psyche, that it isn't entirely confined to space and time. You can have dreams or visions of the future, you can see round corners, and such things. Only ignorance denies these facts.
5322: There is such a thing as transcendental experience. But where I quarrel with you is that I think it's rare for a schizophrenic, in his illness, to be undergoing a transcendental experience. I think it's not too rare for a schizophrenic to wonder if there's some significance in the mysterious hallucinations and delusions that interrupt his normal contact with reality. But it's extremely rare that that has any real lasting significance, that he wakes from the nightmare enriched.
5355: I think it would be less rare if he was in the company of a psychiatrist who could act as a guide to him in what he had found himself to be in.
5413: ?? James Joyce is left... Chain my hands! That's it, that's it. [inaudible]
5427: Can't have proper mentalism. I cannot have proper medicine.. Yes. A box, what's a box? A box a box a box.
5436: Quickly, quickly, can't remember what a box is.
5440: Yes, now a box has matter, energy, space and time. All nicely in a box. Force and the rest. Is information and data into the box. Three. Three. Oh, three.
5454: I've never been personally tempted to follow someone over the edge.
5504: You haven't?
5505: No. I don't like distracted and disordered and confused and bewildered states of mind, I do not like them at all. I'm very sorry for someone who's trapped in a state of mind like that, but I've got no desire to share it.
5526: Well, as on the last admission, she's on quite a -
5529: I think we've started her on Lithium as well.
5531: ..quite a mixture.
5534: Just pass me the information.
5548: She needed it. I mean, we had to put her on this. I did it myself.
5555: Has she had any serious side effects?
5557: Well I wonder if she can be brought in and we'll go through -
Modicate could be an alternative…
5603: I got cooperation from the manufacturers and they gave me all the literature, they searched for it and got it for me…
5615: You're looking very glum, or very tense.
5624: Tense, ah. Mmhmm.
5633: Look at my hands. That's what you always do.
5639: Mmhmm. Always? Or once?
5649: What do you think's making you so tense? Because you're very ill I suppose? And you keep discharging yourself right in the middle of the treatment, so we never get you quite right, and then you relapse in no time at all because you stop taking the medicine.
5701: That's right, yeah.
5703: I want to suggest two things to you. One is that you have an injection, so that the medicine stays in your body for some time. The other is that we oblige you to stay in hospital until we get you quite right.
5722: Yes, but what about the baby?
5723: Well, you're not pregnant.
5728: Baby's a future baby, but this is a present problem.
5732: Yeah, okay, okay I agree. Hand’s up. I submit. I submit, I submit.
5740: Is this a change in you?
5743: Well, I ask that because in the earlier days, at times you used to suggest, partly in the poetic way in which you wrote, that.. when you got to know what were called “schizophrenics” when you lived and talked and ate and drank and spoke and slept in their proximity and so on, you began.. to have actually great doubts at distinguishing their experiences from your own.
5809: That was very instructive, because I realised that what you see is very much conditioned by the way you look. I complained against the denigration of experience. And the dehumanisation of the patient. But in doing so I wanted to bring them back into the ordinary fold.
5835: I would guess that when you left us you stopped taking your medicine. But did anything else happen to upset you?
5842: Yes, I failed my exams.
5845: Well I think you might not have been quite well when you took the exams. Mm? Don't you think? Maybe when you're better you'll pass the exams without too much trouble. Have you had any problems with your boyfriend?
5900: Yes, lots. He hit me, beat me up -
5904: A lot of suffering, whether it's mental or physical, is not beautiful.
5913: You have a lot of problems with your boyfriend.
5916: One wonders why you stick by him so closely.
5923: We think you're very much better if you take lithium. Don't you?
5928: I think it's a pity that you stop and start, because if you stop it it's worse than not taking it, so to speak.
5934: Yes, okay, I take the Lithium.
5937: Thank you very much.
5950: How would you characterise her behaviour?
5954 eh….let me put it another way…affective disorder… yes, affective disorder.
10006: Supposing you were to become profoundly psychomotor retarded, profoundly depressed, suicidal - what would you want someone like me to do? If anything, indeed?
10027: Whoever was taking my case over, to make sure I hadn't anything rational to worry about, in terms of obligations, commitments, duties, et cetera et cetera, that feed a sense of guilt and worthlessness and failure, and to transport my body to some nursing home, and if you had any drugs that would get me into a brighter state of mind and not be so completely given over to the effort to raise a finger -
10111: The moving spirit of this charity, the Philadelphia Association, has been to try and create places of asylum and refuge. Safe places to be. For someone in - particularly for someone in mental distress and mental disorder.
10133: Most schools of therapy are, if you like, into just pure subjectivity, just expressing emotions, endless encounter groups, and love-ins, et cetera, and I think that the study program, which has, which is if you like more intellectually orientated, but it's giving a boundary to things, the limits of things. It's encouraging people to realise that therapy isn't just about the so-to-speak naked expression of emotions.
10211: And what have you done so far?
10212: Well we've got a day centre where people can go during the day, you know, if they want someone to talk to.
102221: Phil West was a computer scientist before he started working with COPE. Now he's helping to renovate the dilapidated house where people who are going through a crisis can come and stay.
10233: The threatened group of patients at this clinic. For the Paddington Clinic is now threatened with a reorganisation scheme, and so bring its individual approach to an abrupt end.
10242: I mean we're also acting and it's unreal, and we're all being false to an extent.
10256: Well now, Brian, you tell us about your problems now, Maggie, you're a therapist -
10302: Its all so bloody stupid!
10336: If one is not deprived of what I would regard as the normal, natural functions of a happy, full, satisfying social life - music, singing, dancing, agonising and screaming, crying and weeping, lamenting as well as laughing and enjoying oneself, are all part of normal life. It's only when these things are not allowed as part of the warp and woof of the actual social fabric that we've got to go to special places and to pay people 3,000 dollars or something like that, in advance, in order to learn how to scream. I never needed anyone to tell me, or to teach me, or to help me to scream or to cry.
10427: Can you scream, just like that?
10430: Well, I don't particularly feel like screaming at the moment, but I could turn on a scream or a howl or a yell, it's - [screams] - no special problems!
10444: Getting into the anti-university is mostly a question of finding out where it is. Down a narrow street in Shoreditch, your best point of reference is the little pub next door. Behind this unspectacular entrance is a movement which, rather ambitiously, hopes to change the pattern of university education. What they offer are new-style courses in contemporary arts, politics and psychology. Inside, it's all a bit chaotic. They had well over 500 enquiries, but nobody's sure what happens if they all turn up. Apart from the small lounge, there's only a basement and four cramped lecture rooms. It's not, perhaps, surprising that some of the forty courses offered don't appear at traditional universities. John Latham, who left a London art school after returning a library book covered in a test-tube of acid. A psychologist in the movement, Dr David Cooper, believes it'll spread much further.
10532: What precisely does the 'anti-' signify?
10535: The 'anti-' signifies a basic change in the rules of the game, whatever game one's playing, whether this is in the context of a hospital, a certain art form, academic situation. But a basic, qualitative, radical change in the rules of the game. Whereby a basic aim is to break down all false compartmentalisations, you know, as boxes that people get into. So we're concerned to break down academic boxes in terms of the total nature of the bureaucratic academic institution. False discipline compartmentalisations, and this extends to many other areas - the box of the bourgeois family, for instance, this has to be broken down so that children can relate to people outside the family much more freely than they do, so their parents can relate to other people outside the family box also. In fact what we're aiming at is the breaking open or explosion of all boxes.
10627: To diversify the family as much as possible, so that you have all sorts of multiple relationships. Some people can be a monogamous couple with one and three quarter children or whatever, I don't mind! All I'm saying is that society must, if it is to be the sort of revolutionary society I would hope to see, take into account all the range of possibilities that people can create. In some cases, a group of men might live together. In some cases there'd be monogamous units, in some cases there would be a group of women, in some cases there would be a group of both sexes, in some groups there'd be more children, in others there'd be more adults. There'd be every possible combination you could imagine.
10707: I wonder the extent to which your whole vision of the way humans communicate with each other has borrowed heavily from what sounds, as you describe it, an almost remarkable interaction in the Laing family back in Glasgow.
10725: Oh, yes, I think so. There can't be any doubt about that.
10758: I don't think I've fully recalled and assimilated some of the negative side of that childhood.
10818: It makes no pretensions beyond the very considerable pretension of hopefully being entertainment. I hope it an occasion to laugh and provides some amusement to some people whose sense of humour is along the same lines as my own.
10837: But you're a man who's been engaged with a central body of ideas which has taken the imagination of a lot of people. Why did you choose to - what did you want to put them in this verse, musical form for?
10850: That's making it a lot more conscious and deliberate than the way it actually works. As Anthony Burgess was saying, from childhood I've been particularly haunted by music hall songs. My father was a singer and one of my uncles was a song and dance man, that's in my blood as much as the theoretical stuff.
10922: Well I'd ask you, really, whether they are entertainment, I don't know: "Take this little pill to help you not to shout, it takes away the life you're better off without." It really disturbs me. I find it a little mordant. Is it for young people, these stories, mainly? The new generation of young people?
10936: I think Isherwood called it “high camp” squeezing fun out of pain, which perhaps you're only entitled to do if you feel the pain yourself.
10949: Some people have a definite aptitude for keeping others tied in knots. Some are good at tying knots, others excel at being tied in knots. Both the tier and the tied may be unaware of how it is done, or even that it is being done at all.
11012: My delusion is that I think we're all deluded. Whatever I am going to find will have to be another comical invention of my self-mistrustful mind. Be calm. No thoughts. Talk is a useless bore. And silence is another metaphor.
11036: [whispered] Can't you see how it works Jo? There's a conspiracy between these people - teachers, psychiatrists, police. A conspiracy to keep us under control. You should never have got to see this bloke because you're in now, they've got your file.
11050: [whispered] I had to go. It was him or the sub-dean.
11053: [whispered] Well precisely. [rustle] Jo. It's like this photocopy. It's packed with information I need, right? But it's too big for my file. So, what do I do? Trim it all off so it fits neatly. The file looks good. Look at the page, now it's unintelligible. It's marginal behaviour that these people can't cope with in any other way than with scissors.
11129: But what if the photocopy's very unhappy!
11133: Shh! Come on Jo, come on…
11134: Anthony Clare, your view of Mayberry.
11136: Yes, I think it in a sense represents late 1970s psychiatry as against the 60s. And that first character - it's interesting that it opened that way, it was to say to the audience, the great revolutionary fervour, the Laingian model of the anti-psychiatrist, that's over, and this series is about something else.
11153: It stops. This autobiography stops in the 1960s. Before the 1960s, that remarkable decade, we saw Laing publish Sanity, Madness and The Family, with Aaron Esterson, and The Self and Others, in which he examined patterns of communications with families and schizophrenics. In 1967 he published The Bird of Paradise and the Politics of Experience. In which could be perceived the emergence of a, what has been called, very controversially, the “conspiratorial model of mental illness”. In which the psychotic patient becomes the scapegoat, driven into madness by a mechanistic and dehumanising world, and a voyageur, engaged upon a semi-mystical journey of self-exploration, transcendence and potential growth. It became a crucial text - [though Dr Laing has argued] about whether it should have done - became a crucial text in the anti-psychiatry movement, by virtue of its implicit portrayal of psychiatry as agents of social control, psychiatric institutions as centers of degradation, and psychiatric treatment as a process of invalidation and the establishment of a pseudo-sanity.
11305: ..In the interests of economy, the remaining patients will be restored to the community. A fate that has already overtaken the old hospital farm, which has a rich, new crop of housing estates.
11318: ‘fraid so. Best of intentions.
11321: Thanks very much.
11322: What, going outside the hospital? What, you mean - what, doing something outside here? Oh, I wouldn't. But my mother says she can have me home for Easter if she wants to. If that - well, it would be all right for me if I do come home for Easter. Be a lot better for me.
11339: Would you like to stay at home all the time?
11342: Well yes, in a way I would, yes, it'd be all right for me, that. Yes, it would.
11357: Dave, do you feel better now that you're only on the one drug? You're not sleeping all the time?
11400: Yes I do.
11402: He's no longer mad, but he drives everybody else mad!
11405: But is that a good reason for us to say he should be on drugs? He's actually saying he feels better without them.
11410: Well, I can put up with him. I rather like him actually.
11414: The alternative is to walk away from him.
11417: But it's not nice, generally it's not nice hearing voices. Generally they're pretty critical.
11427: What causes voices then?
11430: Sounds, in the environment.
11431: Is it spirits?
11432: Echoes. Echoes. Echoes.
11438: I hear voices and it doesn't bother me. I just say, I have conversations with them, yes.
11444: But one side of the word brain relies on a word kit, and the other side of the brain relies on the vocabulary. And archive is on the left, but the engineering facility's on the right.
11452: But how d'you know it's all in perfect working order?
11455: It's perfectly visible to everybody, on the screen, as Gnome Thomas, and I'm Gnome David.
11502: David, stop it!
11505: He's my animus, to use a Freudian and Jungian term!
11509: Now why do you think that he ought to be on drugs?
11512: People are saying that when you're on a lot of drugs, you sleep a lot, but when you're awake you do stay on the subject. Which would you rather? Which would you rather have - sleeping a lot and staying on the subject, or being more awake and -
11525: Sleeping a lot, and being awake, because I feel that I've got a fairy friend, who I had in childhood, who got very anxious over the word people. And last Yuletide I had the resolution; I don't like people. And my reply, this Yuletide is mad chicken.
[singing over speech]
11624: There is a tendency in all of us, I think, to recoil from suffering, and to push it away and distance oneself from it, say that's got nothing to do with me, these people are another breed. Here we come to one of the controversies, you know, genetically, different from me. It's impaled on this issue of, on the one hand, the tremendous emphasis on physics and biology - and at the same time, on the other hand, we're dealing with the most subjective things imaginable, people's immediate pain and experience et cetera, that can't be translated into objective terms.
11718: And this is what makes me feel, time and time again, that schizophrenia essentially is one of the deepest manifestations of a disorder in society, of a disorder of family orientation, involving parents, grandparents and so forth. But it's a colossal burden, schizophrenia, because you can see it from the other point of view. Because if you look at it from this point of view, and you try and understand something about the patient, you try and understand something about mother, and you try and understand something about father. You try and understand something about the relationships between those. And then you have to bring in grandmother and grandfather on each side, and you try and get an understanding of that. By the time you've got the slightest clue of understand, you're so exhausted and so dizzy that you secretly pray that somebody will prove that what one's trying to understand is a lot of nonsense, and that an answer is going to come out of a test-tube and you're going to give the patient an injection and make it better. That would save you all these awful headaches and worries and anxieties.
11819: But the patients, when you ask them, as you say, they don't talk about biochemistry they talk about religion, feelings -
11825: They don't, they talk about mother and they talk about father.
11827: They talk about family…
11828: And they talk about what happened when they were four.
11830: In fact they talk about a social situation, about something that's going on between people. Between themselves and others.
11843: You're setting yourself up!
11845: How do you feel inside yourself?
11848: Well - I feel just a little bit cut off, you know, from speaking to people, you know.
11857: Can you tell us what that feels like, being cut off?
11900: Well - you can't concentrate, you know. And, I find talking to other people and being kind, you know, is a great effort, you know.
11920: I don't know if you ever experience feelings about your thoughts , that were strange?
11927: I used to be afraid - thinking that my heart might stop beating. I had nowhere to go, I daren't cry or anything like that.
11935: You were afraid that your - you thought your heart might stop.
11938: Yes. It was beating away two to the dozen and then it'd just stop. That's how it felt.
11947: Yes, but Ronald I must say, you are under stress at this very moment. You are, yes. Yes, I mean you've been out during the day. I get the whiff of alcohol from you. And you're definitely slow. Now why is that? Knowing that you were coming on a television programme, why would you knock back the booze? Is that a sign of stress?
12017: Last week our Janet met a guru in transition.
12021: R.D. Laing - or Ronnie, to his friends and patients - is probably the world's most famous and best-selling psychiatrist. His books have sold over 37 million copies, leaving fellow practitioners like the late Mr Freud, way behind. Now his work has taken a different direction. If people might misunderstand Laing's motives for writing an agony column, how will they cope with his latest venture?
12050: (singing) How could I help my fellow man, and make a contribution to the common weal? If I am bound to make the old mistake of taking false for true, fictions for real?
12102: Laing has hit the pop world with an album of his sonnets, to be released on October the 6th. The music is by Ken Howard and Alan Blakely, who've written dozens of top 10 hits for artists like Elvis Presley.
12116: (singing) My delusion is that I think we're all deluded! Whatever I am going to find will have to be another comical invention of my self-mistrustful mind.
12128: How can you expect people to take you seriously as a psychiatrist if you make a record? I mean do you think that -
12136: I think that's an unfair remark, that you get the whiff of alcohol from me. I haven't - I've had a couple of half pints of Guinness in the course of the day and I… I… I think that's unfair to say that… I'm certainly under stress, in this world. Because I find the world I live in, eh, is eh, difficult for me.
12222: (singing) We're ships in the night. Have you a light? A momentary fusion, no illusion. Don't take it serious, it's just an experience. It's only a flutter, like rain in the gutter. Don't tell your mother, just develop a stutter.
12257: Because I've got to move correctly, speak correctly, at the right rate, the right pace, not too slow you said, and not too fast, and not humming and hawing - and you're a television interviewer and you come on like that and so on. Now, you're asking me to come on like that, with you, to-night, and you are prepared to put out that disgusting sort of thing that I've drunk to much or so on - or anything at all - what's that got to do with eh?
12343: What if people just laughed at it, and said, I just cannot take this man seriously, what is he at?
12352: Well, that'll be my misfortune…
12353: Would it upset you?
12354: Oh yes, I don't like to be laughed at.
12358: Well what are you saying to me just now?
12400: Well, what I am saying is that there is an unwritten rule for anybody who is going to appear on television, that you don't - what?
12405: (audience) That's your rule! That's your rule! [chatter]
12413: Yes, it is my rule!
12415: (audience) Why doesn't that man be entitled to speak at whatever rate he wishes to speak?
12428: No, I'm not talking about the way he speaks -
12420: (audience) But you're laying out the rules!
12423: The rule is a safeguard, if you're going on television and you're
– but what about the safeguards that Television gets?
12432: Wait a minute! Because there are things called lights on television, it is very hot in this studio, and if you are under the weather at all then it is going to be accentuated within three minutes of your going on. And therefore anybody who is -
12444: (audience) Are you really that concerned, though?
12446: Just a minute! Just a minute! Just a minute! Yes, I am concerned, yes I am concerned. I -
12450: (audience) Your concerned about running your programme smoothly, really?
12453: Well yes, I suppose so.
12454: (audience) Or are you concerned about solving the deeper problems that Dr Laing is talking about?
12459: No, I am asking a perfectly justifiable question. There is nobody in this studio or watching who doesn't realise that Dr Laing is slow and under the weather…
12513: Being diagnosed in this manual (The American Diagnostic, Statistical Manual 3rd Edition) is a very serious business. In practically every country in the world and in this country on the basis of a diagnosis in here you can be stripped of civil rights and liberties for three days, a month or for a year.
12534: If you look at the diagnostic criteria for a schizophrenic illness there, they list A B C D E F, and then they've got categories and sub-categories et cetera et cetera, and at least one of these has to be present at some phase of what they call the “illness”. This is supposed to be a worldwide reliable system of nomenclature and the stuff that they list - I mean, everyone here could be diagnosed as schizophrenic if a psychiatrist was so-minded! They list magical thinking, clairvoyance, telepathy, sixth-sense, others feeling my feelings, hoarding garbage, hearing one voice, or two, or more voices, saying one or two words - in other words, voices are out - delusions about being controlled, my god if I was in a psychiatric interview I would be entitled to feel controlled. Et cetera, et cetera. I mean it's just a mish-mash!
12638: Interviewer - "Okay. Why is it, do you think, that people believe in God?" Patient - "Well, first of all, because He is the person that is their personal saviour. He walks with me and talks with me, and the understanding that I have, a lot of people, they don't really know their own personal self, because they ain't - they all - just don't know their own personal self. I understand also that every man and every lady is just not pointed in the same direction. Some are pointed different. They go their different ways. The way that Jesus Christ wanted them to go. Myself I am pointed in the ways of knowing right from wrong, and doing it. I can't do any more or less than that." That is an example of poverty of content of speech.. (laughs)
12802: In the Biblical sense, you can't really know someone unless one's got some respect and regard for that person in their own right, in their own being, in their own reality, just as they are. So it would, if one's got that sense of letting someone be as a pre-condition of knowing them, it would be with great reservations that one would suppose that one could get to know someone by cutting them up into bits et cetera, which is the scientific method.
12839: I think we’re terrified of love, of living out regressively all our fantasies and dreams, in fact of having our dreams - but above all we're terrified of love. I think love is what schizophrenics are after.
12850: I think it's my fault, to some extent, that I've tended to write more about pain and misery than about happiness and joy in families. It's one of the things that made me very unhappy in the late 60s, that my books on the family; “Sanity, Madness and the Family” and then later “The Politics of The Family”, and in between “The Politics of Experience”, were taken up, by so-called, self-styled anti-psychiatrists (that I tried to dissociate myself from from the very beginning) as an indictment of the capitalist family system, whether the working class or the bourgeois family. And what I hoped I was doing then, and still hope that I can be perceived as having done, and still trying to do, is to make a contribution towards the survival of the family.
[For Reference - Transcribed by Emily Roff - Proofed by Luke Fowler]
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