AS OF APRIL 2015
I am a retired psychiatrist, who for about fifty years treated children, adolescents, adults, and the aged, utilizing both psychotherapeutic and pharmacological modalities. I have since my teens been essentially atheistic, but have always been interested in philosophy and religion, as ways to understand my existence, and existence in general, in as basic a way as possible. For many years I attended the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte, and I attended the weekly Philosophy Discussion Group there for over ten years. Subsequently I have attended various Christian churches or church activities, but have not identified with or joined any religious organization. For a number of years I have been the organizer of the Charlotte Philosophy Discussion Group. And over recent years I have spent several thousand hours pursuing the gradually emerging understanding of the phenomena that I have labeled “Humanianity,” and that I am now trying to share.
My undergraduate education was undertaken at George Washington University in Washington, DC, where I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Psychology, and a Master of Science degree in Psychology (Personality Theory). This education was simultaneous with my pre-medical curriculum. I then entered the George Washington University School of Medicine and obtained my Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) in 1961. After a year of mixed medicine internship at the District of Columbia General Hospital, I undertook my psychiatric residency for three years at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, DC. My areas of special interest at that time were psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy, family psychotherapy, and milieu therapy. During my residency, I developed two therapeutic communities (in which the social structure of the ward is used as a tool in healing and promotion of personal growth). During my training (and subsequently), I undertook several years of personal psychoanalysis.
Following my training in psychiatry, I served as a psychiatrist at the Philadelphia Naval Hospital for two years. I then came to practice at John Umstead Hospital, the state psychiatric hospital in Butner, NC, for two and a half years, during which time I developed another therapeutic community.
I then entered a two-year child psychiatry and community psychiatry fellowship at North Carolina Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill, where I further studied family psychotherapy and was trained in child psychotherapy. I also became a consultant at the C. A. Dillon School in Butner, the maximum security correctional school for the juvenile justice system, continuing in that role for about five years, treating severely dysfunctional adolescents at the school.
For a half year after the two years of child and community psychiatry training, I returned to work at John Umstead Hospital on an adult unit, and then became the director of the Children and Youth Unit at Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro, NC, another state psychiatric hospital. There I again developed an intensive milieu therapy program (therapeutic community), as well as providing family psychotherapy for many of the children and youth there. After four and a half years, I relocated to Shelby, NC to become the Director of Clinical Services at the Community Mental Health Center. After two and a quarter years, I began my private practice of psychiatry, as described above, beginning in 1979 and ending with final retirement at the end of 2014.
During my private practice, I began to utilize my own "anger management paradigm" (later changed to "anger prevention paradigm," to distinguish it from other efforts that became popular) in my work with couples, primarily, but I began to see the general relevance of the paradigm in understanding our most basic societal problems, from intrafamilial and interpersonal relationships to international relationships. Also, I came to identify what I believe to be an alternative model of child rearing, alternative to the standard model (with its many variations). The standard model is my name for that model used unless parenting figures specifically know how to do otherwise by virtue of a set of consistent principles, and practices derived from them, acquired through specific training in child rearing, something that our society currently does not provide. My clinical experience and the insights obtained from it came after I experienced the problems within my own life as I attempted to participate in rearing two children within the standard model.
Throughout my life, I have maintained a love for philosophy, including epistemology, ontology, and the philosophies of science and ethics. Through my study of various philosophies, including that done in the Philosophy Discussion Group, increasing connections began to occur between philosophical issues and the practical issues mentioned in the last paragraph. As these connections began to occur, I began leading groups in "anger management" and "child rearing," and the coalescence of all of these ideas and activities brought me to the need to write my first book, in which this coalescence is described. I have used the ideas in that book every day in personal ways that have helped my life to have more meaning and effectiveness, as well as in ways that have helped others. That book is entititled For Everyone: Rational-Ethical Living and the Emergence of “Homo Rationalis”: The Most Important Book. It is free for everyone. (None of my efforts regarding Humanianity or this set of websites has been for, or resulted in, any financial remuneration, these temporal and financial contributions of mine being my way of “tithing,” a way of “paying forward.”)
At the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte, starting in 2002, I conducted an Optimal Living Seminar as the companion to the developing book, and it enriched the book further with the insights and experiences reported by the group members. Just as the book was written "for everyone," so was the seminar designed "for everyone." It dealt with our most basic concerns as a species, in as basic a way possible. The book and seminar were efforts to make use of what I had learned in order to do my part to make the world a better place for everyone, insofar as possible.
In more recent years, I have attempted to formulate more precisely, and elaborate on more extensively, this basic set of ideas about how our species can, if we are fortunate and if we can learn to cooperate with each other to a greater extent, arrive at a far, far better way of life than we have ever known. This has led to my awareness that our religions, which are our effort to live our lives in the best possible way, are crucial to our moving ahead toward this desirable future way of being. This means that improvement in our religions will be both cause and effect of our changing ourselves psychosocially.
Seeing all of our religions as moving up their separate paths on the “mountain” of improvement suggests that the top of the mountain is something that we can begin to identify in our imagination. That top of the mountain I have labeled “Humanianity.”
I see all of our religions wrestling with the psychosocial changes that we have increasingly made as we have moved ahead from the time when we lived much more like chimpanzees, with almost no ability to communicate verbally, and as we have become increasingly amazed by and dependent upon the extremely accurate set of models of reality provided by the sciences with their adherence to the rules of logic and the rules of evidence. In this context, our religious writings, once considered textbooks, now increasingly are coming to be regarded as diaries, through which we can, through our developing a bird’s eye view of ourselves over large periods of time, come to understand even more clearly these important changes we are undergoing.
Because of this evolving set of ideas, and because of my wish to make a contribution, I have been making efforts to use our modern technology to provide opportunity for those who are interested in participation in the discussion of all of these issues. To that end, I have organized in recent years the Meetup.com group called the Charlotte Philosophy Discussion Group, in which the understanding is that we are exploring and debating all of our fundamental ideas, with the idea that depth of understanding comes about most readily when we explore the basic reasons for our differences of opinion.
In addition, I have been exploring some approaches possible with our Internet technology, this set of websites being a part of that effort. I am grateful for the help that I am receiving from those who are similarly interested in working for our future generations through the use of whatever methods we acquire as we move ahead as a species. I also believe that such work in behalf of future generations can have a very beneficial effect on the quality of one's life now, and even be of benefit to others within one's sphere of influence.