Many people, places, things, and events have influenced my live – most of them in quite ordinary ways. Two influences, however, seem significant to me in extra-ordinary ways. What I have learned from those events may be helpful to others, and for that reason I have written about them. A website seems to me a good place to make available what I have written to whoever wants to read it.
The first influence that I have written about is my three-week stay in a psychiatric hospital and the events relating to it. Although most people would speak of “mental illness” at some point when speaking of that occurrence, I know that such a term is inaccurate and unhelpful – at least in this situation. Rather, the experience was the most spiritual, the most growth-producing, the most integrative of my life. I want to contribute to finding better ways of guiding people through such events.
The second influence that I write about is the philosophy of B.F. Skinner. I studied Skinner’s work when I was a Psychology student in graduate school as I searched for a better way to understand the positive potential of psychic upheaval. I believe that Skinner’s philosophy offers a useful alternative to many current ways of thinking, but so far he has been greatly misunderstood. In Walden, Three, I describe the way Skinner’s approach has helped me make changes in my life and make sense of my life – particularly with respect to my three weeks in a psychiatric hospital. I hope that others will some day benefit from Skinner’s alternative approach to behavior and language.