Author: Prof. Ashoka Jahnavi Prasad

Concept of Psychic Reality and Conflicts between Imagined Entities for a Mental Patient – IV

Reading Time: 5 minutesAstonishingly enough, after an hour of hesitation, strain, hints of passion, or explicit torment, muteness, imprecations, or beseeching, the patient may rise calmly from his incumbent position, perhaps indicate, however fleetingly, his recognition of the psychoanalyst as psychoanalyst, and go about his business, relatively untroubled, only to immerse himself once again in his creation the […]

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Maximillian Isidore Robespierre and Tipu Sultan: Virtuous or Villainous

Reading Time: 4 minutesSome regard Tipu as the premier freedom fighter, while others tend to view him in the same manner as a section views Robespierre. An ardent marauding communalist who was responsible for the deaths of several Hindus and Christians. And the debate is getting uglier by the day. Prof. Ashoka draws parallels between Robespierre and Tipu, […]

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Mental Illness: Is Schizophrenia Rooted in Childhood Symbolisation? – III

Reading Time: 5 minutesAdult schizophrenic persons are not big children, and my experience with children has not led me to the conclusion that the schizophrenic person has simply returned to a form of symbolisation he knew as a child, or that children symbolise the way schizophrenic persons do,” opines Prof. Ashoka, a renowned Psychiatrist, in the third part […]

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The Idea of a Mental Illness: Is it a Response Located in Psychic Reality? – II

Reading Time: 8 minutesThe more radical formulation holds that the etiologic event of mental illness, the event to which the illness is a response, is always located in psychic reality, is always ultimately an internalised, relatively stable or structuralised symbolic form or forms representing a conception or conceptions of reality—and never events in the situation in and of […]

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National Anthem Debate and the Apex Court: Individual Identity vs. National Identity?

Reading Time: 7 minutesThe Supreme Court had earlier ruled that non-observance of respect towards the National Anthem was a criminal offence wishes to re-visit the issue and has asked the Union Government to elaborate its contention once again. The fundamental issue that they would have to rule upon is whether an individual’s right to disrespect the national symbols […]

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The Idea of a Mental Illness: Is Disease a Historical Concept? – I

Reading Time: 6 minutesDisease is necessarily a “historical” concept; that is, any disease represents an imagined sequence of events. Signs and symptoms are the objectively observable manifestations of an inferred process. One class of events is made up of those events that are termed etiologic. Etiologic events are those that are necessary and those that are sufficient to […]

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Yoga, Meditation, and Psychotherapy – Karma, Guru, and Liberation – II

Reading Time: 8 minutesFor the patient, psychotherapy may be seen as an attempt to improve Karma in this life. In part, the therapist offers this in the role of the guru who shows the patient ways to unhook from old patterns by the liberation of self from attachment to the neurotic past, opines Prof. Ashoka, in this erudite […]

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Yoga, Meditation, and Psychotherapy: Concepts & Misconceptions

Reading Time: 7 minutesOn the occasion of World Mental Health Day (October 10 every year), Prof. Ashoka tells us how he has been guiding young psychotherapists. He draws an interesting parallel between Yoga, meditation, and psychotherapy, dispelling the Western misconceptions about it, in the first part of the two-part erudite research on the subject, in his weekly column. […]

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What is Happiness?: Mill Sets the Bar of Fortune Higher than Aristotle – III

Reading Time: 5 minutesFor Mill, the Aristotelian conception of happiness is too cold. It places too much weight on ‘correct’ activity – not enough on the receptive and childlike parts of the personality. One might act correctly and yet feel like “a stock or a stone.” Here’s an erudite debate that Prof. Ashoka writes about, in the third […]

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What is Happiness?: Various Scholars Agree that it is not Evil Pleasure – II

Reading Time: 7 minutesAccording to Aristotle, pleasure is just not the right thing to focus on in a normative account of the good life for a human being. Some pleasures are bad; evil people take pleasure in their evil behaviour. Happiness, by contrast, is a normative notion: since it is constitutive of what we understand as “the human […]

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