A treatise in favor of “mind and body” arts, antidepressant medications, psychotropic drugs, and scientific procedures to alter the human mind and change consciousness; as well as an article in favor of religious practice (of any and all faiths)
By Roman Payne
Why do so many humans invest a considerable portion of their fortunes on, and are so appreciative of, the advancements in neuroscience? It used to be assumed that the goal of neuroscientific studies were to cure dementia, Alzheimer’s, memory loss, and overall: to cheat death.
In 2016, however, we no longer kid ourselves privately or publicly. Today it is as acceptable to tell a stranger or a new acquaintance that you are on antidepressant drug or other psychotropic substances; or that you perform anything from yoga and meditation, to Catholic rituals or Muslim prayer.
Twenty-First Century literature, popular media in Western countries, and articles by learnéd scholars and the intelligentsia tend to agree that a fully-realized human being is someone who is not afraid to die. *
*Epicurus, for example, regarded “the unacknowledged fear of death and punishment as the primary cause of anxiety among human beings”; while Saint Augustine believed that “the fear of death makes a happy life impossible. […] The true, happy life,” Saint Augustine wrote, “requires immortality. The true life is one that is both everlasting and happy.” Scholars and writers from Plato onward wrote similar doctrines. Every man and woman may have “once have had” a fear of death. In fact, “almost all” humans feared death during childhood, and many later on. But those of us who live more or less: “contemplative lives”; those of us who devote part of each day to such activities as: introspection, self-improvement; philosophy, morality and religious practice, or the intake of pharmacological or natural psychotropic medicines, have either come to the point (and if they have not, they hopefully will, for such is the entire goal of everything from philosophy to magic to religion) where they are and can be considered “A fully-realized,” or a “flourishing,” adult.
A “flourishing” adult lives a “flourishing life”—(more specifically, a “eudaimonic” life).