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Madness and Mindfulness: How the “Personal” Is “Political”

  • Hugh Willmott
Chapter
Part of the Mindfulness in Behavioral Health book series (MIBH)

Abstract

The chapter examines the institutionalization of unreason and the potential role of meditation in disclosing its roots. It is argued that meditative awareness can enable critical reflection on, and transformation of, practices that diminish our rational awareness. Mindfulness may contribute to this awareness, but its lack of an ethical frame renders it vulnerable to narcissistic appropriation and corporate commercialization. Accordingly, mindfulness is limited in disclosure, and counteracting, of the needless perpetuation of suffering associated with ego-building and defensive emotions, as manifest in contemporary expressions of sectarianism and fanaticism. The examination of antidotes to unreason and freedom is accomplished through a series of critical reflections upon the insights generated by Wright Mills’ The Sociological Imagination, Carol Hanisch’s “The Personal is Political,” and Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed. These texts provide complementary commentaries on the development of progressive, emancipatory consciousness and praxis to which, I conjecture, meditation, as distinct from the mindfulness movement, contributes.

Keywords

Mindfulness Meditation Hanisch Sectarianism Praxis The Other The Sociological Imagination Pedagogy of the Oppressed 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hugh Willmott
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Cass Business SchoolCity University of LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Cardiff Business SchoolCardiffUK

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