I feel this week’s reading ties closely to the ideas I would like to explore in the development of self. I feel there is a stark difference between the biological understanding of life and the phenomenological feelingof living. Although I subscribe to a strict biological understanding of humans (I feel everything has biological underpinnings, even subscribing to a biological determinism), however, that doesn’t discount the phenomenological aspects of life. Having this understanding does not suddenly undo millions of years of evolution and cause me to lose my phenomenologica feelings of perception, becoming a machine-like human. With that being said, I feel like these two disciplines of thought are in competition with each other when they should embrace each as different, but fundamentally connected.
This reading seems to come across the same problem of the inability to synthesize work focusing on the biological and phenomenological. Constantly, Hornstein was astonished at the methods of the HVN and how incompatible they were with her own training in the States. Strictly clinical, her training tended to focus on hearing voices as a symptom of a biological imbalance, to be treated with drugs. Whereas, HVN was less “treatment” in the clinical sense of the word and more just an open forum for those who here voices to find comfort in people like them. These two strategies vary drastically but they are not unconnected. Those who were represented in Hornstein’s book seemed to view the biological as a wrong diagnosis. Maybe not complete, and ultimately detrimental to recovery, but there is a biological underpinning to hearing voices.
I understand the reservation and strife involved with hospitalization involving mental illness and I ultimately believe the HVN is a wonderful organization attempting to use novel ways at treating voice hearing. However, I think the propensity of both sides to deny the other as useful and/or influential is detrimental to an overall understanding of the experience on a multidimensional level. I feel there is a benefit that can be had from both sides working together to realise there is a biological and phenomenological side to hearing voices.