Hi, I’m Whitney. Welcome to docu-mental.
docu-mental: mapping the american states of mind is, since the beginning of 2018, a trusted weekly source of well-wrought analyses and podcast interviews on how public and corporate policy in this nation correlates with our declining rates of mental wellness.
Podcast guests range from New York Times bestselling authors, to internationally recognized thought leaders in public health policy, economics, religion, and post-modern theory, as well as experts in mental health and psychiatry, corporate power, culture and the arts, and other relevant fields. Interviews are conducted through the lenses of personal experience and cultural analysis.
I began docu-mental as a subscription-based publication in the spirit of public service. My mission was to help “create herd immunity to anxiety and depression™”, a notion I had long before the pandemic, by identifying the ways in which our public and economic policies undermine rather than support our mental health, and then thinking about what we could do differently.
To date, all paths in this investigative exercise seem to lead me back to the same revelation: abjectly hierarchical, linear thinking is what makes us sick. It infects freedom and democracy, and its “mechanism of action” is its ability to separate us from ourselves and one another, whereas it is integrated, even holographic thinking that keeps us whole, sane, and healthy.
In all my acts of publicly thinking out loud through docu-mental, the only antidote to the poisonous linear mindset I have discovered so far is to adopt an open-minded state of loving kindness, a state of mind that both generates and is generated by understanding we are always standing at the crossroads in a vibrant, ensouled, connected universe.
The personal essays, critical analyses, and interviews that serve as the long division behind docu-mental, I hope, demonstrate how complex and nuanced this state of being as a cure actually is — and how it is available to us all.
Not everyone will “get” what I am talking about. But if enough of you have realizations and conversations about how this works, we can model to others how to find meaning and mattering in our lives with greater ease. That’s where the herd immunity comes in. It simply means we strengthen one another when we strengthen ourselves. Not with anger and violence, but with a sense of peaceful purpose.
Whole people create whole communities.
I’m Whitney Fishburn, a Washington, DC-based former journalist, whose 30+ years of writing about healthcare antitrust law, federal health policy, clinical psychiatry, and other medical disciplines, helped me develop a deep and multi-faceted understanding of how the system itself is largely what undermines our mental well-being. Looking for a remedy, I turned to the serious study of many esoteric traditions. Currently, I am a formal student of the Western esoteric traditions, through which I seek to describe and heal the damage done by the status quo that seeks to label and sort us, pathologize us, and tell us what we "should" want from life.
When we live from within ourselves, rather than try to live separated from ourselves, the way our current reductionist system forces us to do, we diminish mental distress, and create pathways that raise our levels of joy and gratitude. When we do this for ourselves, we can readily do this for others, building communities of peace and progress.