The Politics of Experience and The Bird of Paradise
|Author||R. D. Laing|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
The Politics of Experience and The Bird of Paradise is a 1967 book by the Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Laing. The book comprises two parts - the first a collection of seven articles previously published between 1962 and 1965; the second a free-flowing quasi-autobiographical piece of poetry and prose.
The Politics of Experience and The Bird of Paradise was inspired in part by Laing’s extensive experimentation with LSD; but also owes a debt to authors such as the anthropologist Gregory Bateson and the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre.
Laing examines the nature of human experience from a phenomenological point of view, as well as the possibilities for psychotherapy in an existentially distorted world. He challenges the idea of normality in modern society, and argues that it is not merely people who are mad, but the world as well. He presents psychosis as "a psychedelic voyage of discovery in which the boundaries of perception were widened, and consciousness expanded".
While accepting in principle that “There is no need to idealize someone just because he is labelled 'out of formation'” (or mad), Laing tended to confirm a view of the mad as explorers of the inner world.
- R. D. Laing, The Politics of Experience and The Bird of Paradise (1984) p. 9-10
- Tom Burns (2006). Psychiatry: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, pp. 96-98.
- R. D. Laing, The Politics of Experience and The Bird of Paradise (1984) p. 94 and p. 83n
- "Review: The Crucible of Experience: R.D. Laing and the Crisis of Psychotherapy". Canadian Journal of Sociology Online. May–June 2001. Archived from the original on 2012-04-15. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Elizabeth Day and Graham Keeley (1 June 2008). "'Dad solved other people's problems - but not his own'". The Observer.
- R. D. Laing, The Politics of Experience and The Bird of Paradise (1984) p. 98
- Jenny Diski, The Sixties (2009) p. 127-9
- Harold Bloom, Doris Lessing (2003) p. 230