The Last Asylum : A Memoir of Madness in our Times written by Barbara Taylor. 

Today was sunny and warm. I was in the city. I needed to back up my iPad data to iCloud so I bee lined for the city library to access the free wifi there. I found a seat and got connected. I had time on my hands, maybe 10 minutes. I walked over to a nearby book tray. “Asylum”, this word stood out to me, it was a title on a book. I sat down and started reading. 

“Barbara Taylor”, I think I have heard the name before or seen it around, I think she must be a well known author. Barbara are you writing about your own experience in this book? I wondered if it was a memoir but later in the day and at home I googled this book and there is mention that this book is a memoir. But I do have doubts that this book is an exact memoir I think that this book is like a genre of novel/memoir if such a genre exists. So here I was in the library now reading this book. Barbara started to interest me, she liked writing. And no doubt she became a full time writer. In this book we see Barbara at a low time in her life. Why low? Barbara was having mental problems. 

Oh me please don’t say anymore, we don’t talk about such things in good society. We are sane people, we work hard, we are Church going people. 

Oh yer, boring. So we see the so called “righteous people” poo hooing the likes of Barbara. Well for your info Barbara did not go for help to the so called good folks she went to a psychoanalyst and paid her own earned money for his services. Barbara yes had money at the start of her illness, but later she was relying on the charity of her parents. In the mean time at the start Barbara had many sessions with her analyst. He helped her a lot and she trusted him. Luckily he did her well and not harm. Yes the analyst was getting paid good money but later he lowered his charges and showed genuine sympathy. So what does it take to get mentally well? Trust and depend on a mentor/analyst. Maybe. You see I read something in this book that made me think more. 
Barbara, on her first appointment with her analyst in his office, saw a normal sit down sofa with a coffee table in front of it, but more importantly she saw a Freudian type of lie down sofa. Barbara heads for the normal sit down sofa avoiding the lie down sofa. And this goes on for a number of sessions. Eventually after a number of sessions Barbara does go for the lie down sofa where she is not facing the analyst. The analyst much later asks on a number of occasions why did Barbara only much later lie down on the Freudian sofa. Barbara avoids this question many times but finally at one session she realises the answer, it finally came to her. 

“I knew you would not eat me”. 

Now this is where I come in. Barbara spoke about eating. It’s not strange to talk about eating in general but it’s strange to talk about people eating people. People do not eat people, well that’s the norm in life. So why would Barbara think that a human or humans would eat her? The answer has to be simple. I am looking for the simple truth. All truth is simple. Humans who eat humans are known as cannibals. And cannibals are few and just about non existent in today’s world. I ask myself – is Barbara speaking metaphorically? Yes she is. The eating is spiritually manifested. So does eating in spirit human to human manifest mental illness? Was Barbara’s mental illness caused by spirit eating her? And what parts of her was eaten? Was she eaten in spirit and soul? We know Barbara was not talking about being eaten of her flesh. The bible in many places speaks about people consuming other people. To consume is to eat. The bible is a manifestation of spiritual wisdom. Can one get mental illness from being eaten/consumed in their soul? Eat the soul. How can one eat the soul? Maybe spirit, our human spirits, can eat the soul. People might ask “What is the soul”? I mean people might think that soul is just a metaphor. Soul is just the thinking and emotions, it’s not a real actual person. But soul is like a shadow, a person in side our body in our mind that is a shadow person. The bible is not short of words about people consuming people so there is more to this than people might think. Who has seen the soul? We avoid talking about mental illness because no one can see the soul. People don’t like taking about God because we do not see God. Who likes talking about things that you can not see. Seeing is believing to most people. To talk about mental illness is to talk about the unseen and to talk about the unseen is to talk mental. Science is about the seen. Religion is about the unseen. People prefer to talk about the seen. Barbara spoke about being eaten so this makes me wonder if she was eaten in soul by spirit and was this the cause of her mental illness. Barbara pays a man to be her psychoanalyst. This analyst becomes her life line to sanity. So the first approach to her life line is to check if he will eat her. But remember the bible in many places speaks about humans eating humans. We are soul and spirit. We are more than just flesh. Soul is the mind. Mind is the mental. Mental is the thinking. So our thoughts can be captured and eaten – is this the consumption the bible speaks about? We get consumed in thought and we lose our minds. We leave our minds, our soul leaves the mind, leaves the head, leaves the brain. We are like “out of our tree”. 

The wolf – he blows down the pigs straw house. But the brick house the wolf can not blow down. So we must make our homes not of straw but of brick. What is strong in the spiritual sense? Jesus Christ. Jesus coverts our souls. We come to have the mind of Christ. Jesus is Gods Son. No one can blow down the house of Jesus. The Father God will destroy them who try and destroy the soul/mind of Jesus Christ. So here we think – can mental illness be caused by our mind of straw and not brick? Jesus the good foundation. So feeble minds are not Christ like minds. Feeble souls/minds can be blown down by the wolf. And there are plenty of wolves around in sheep clothing. These wolves tear in to your soul trying to consume you, to eat you. So no one wants to come to the aid of the pigs in their straw hut who are getting “Huffed and puffed” by the wolf. Our nice genteel folk all run to their homes. They do not help. “Who helps fools” they say. “These fools build their homes on weak foundations. We are wise we have built our foundation on God. We do not help fools”. 

So is mental illness the problem of the foolish? Maybe. 

The fool and the simple are different, the fool knows wisdom but does not obey it, the simple know not wisdom. The simple are called foolish but technically they are not fools. The simple have the excuse of ignorance. It’s the fool who gets the divine beating not the simple. The bible says “The simple become wise”.

There are many wolves in sheep clothing who want to eat us. The wolf will first try and blow down our houses. When he has blown down our home, he will consume us, in soul. The wise have strong houses. The fools have weak houses. Be wise of Jesus Christ. 

Yours Sincerely; Lester John Murray.


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