Ronald David Laing

Ronald David Laing

Ronald David Laing (October 7, 1927–August 23, 1989), was a Scottish psychiatrist who wrote extensively on mental illness and particularly the experience of psychosis.

Sourced

  • Insanity - a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world.
    • Quoted in " Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing" - Page 412 - by Larry Chang - 2006
  • We are effectively destroying ourselves by violence masquerading as love.
    • Quoted in "Encarta Book of Quotations" - Page 539 - by Bill Swainson, Anne H. Soukhanov - 2000

Unsourced

  • There is a great deal of pain in life and perhaps the only pain that can be avoided is the pain that comes from trying to avoid pain.
  • Life is a sexually transmitted disease and the mortality rate is one hundred percent.
  • Whether life is worth living depends on whether there is love in life.
  • Schizophrenia cannot be understood without understanding despair.
  • We are bemused and crazed creatures, strangers to our true selves, to one another, and to the spiritual and material world -- mad, even, from an ideal standpoint we can glimpse but not adopt.
  • We live in a moment of history where change is so speeded up that we begin to see the present only when it is already disappearing.
  • Madness need not be all breakdown. It may also be break-through. It is potential liberation and renewal as well as enslavement and existential death.
  • There is no such condition as schizophrenia, but the label is a social fact and the social fact a political event.
  • Normality highly values its normal man. It educates children to lose themselves and to become absurd, and thus to be normal. Normal men have killed perhaps 100, 000 of their fellow normal men in the last fifty years.
  • Creative people who can't help but explore other mental territories are at greater risk, just as someone who climbs a mountain is more at risk than someone who just walks along a village lane.
  • From the moment of birth, when the stone-age baby confronts the twentieth-century mother, the baby is subjected to these forces of violence, called love, as its mother and father have been, and their parents and their parents before them. These forces are mainly concerned with destroying most of its potentialities. This enterprise is on the whole successful.
  • The experience and behavior that gets labeled schizophrenic is a special strategy that a person invents in order to live in an unlivable situation
  • We are all murderers and prostitutes --no matter to what culture, society, class, nation one belongs, no matter how normal, moral, or mature, one takes oneself to be.
  • We are all in a post-hypnotic trance induced in early infancy.
  • Alienation as our present destiny is achieved only by outrageous violence perpetrated by human beings on human beings.
  • In the society of men the truth resides now less in what things are than in what they are not. Our social realities are so ugly if seen in the light of exiled truth, and beauty is no longer possible if it is not a lie.
  • The brotherhood of man is evoked by particular men according to their circumstances. But it seldom extends to all men. In the name of our freedom and our brotherhood we are prepared to blow up the other half of mankind and to be blown up in our turn.
  • Rule A: Don't. Rule A1: Rule A doesn't exist. Rule A2: Do not discuss the existence or non-existence of Rules A, A1 or A2.
  • It is of fundamental importance not to make the positivist mistake of assuming that because a group’s members are in formation this means that they’re necessarily on course.
  • If I don't know I don't know, I think I know. If I don't know I know I know, I think I don't know.
  • A child born today in the United Kingdom stands a ten times greater chance of being admitted to a mental hospital than to a university ... This can be taken as an indication that we are driving our children mad more effectively than we are genuinely educating them. Perhaps it is our way of educating them that is driving them mad.
  • Children do not give up their innate imagination, curiosity, dreaminess easily. You have to love them to get them to do that.
  • The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice, there is little we can do to change; until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds.

External links

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Ronald David Laing
Last modified on 2 July 2008, at 07:27