Module 1: Neurodiversity in the West
Neurodiverse Geniuses and Game-Changers: Their Stories
Isaac Newton: A brilliant mathematician and physicist, Newton came up with the laws of motion, gravity, and calculus. His life was marked by intense focus on his work, and he experienced episodes of intense introspection. He spent most of his time by himself as a child, and didn’t spend much time with people as an adult either. He had seasons of high energy, sometimes working 5 days straight with no sleep. He hallucinated and had conversations with absent people, and at times believed that everyone was out to destroy him. His notebooks in college document suicidal thoughts. He spent more of his time writing on theology, the study of God, than physics, and was passionate about alchemy.
Ludwig van Beethoven: Beethoven struggled with hearing loss throughout his life, leading to social isolation and emotional challenges. Historical accounts and letters from Beethoven himself suggest that he faced profound emotional struggles, and some aspects of his life align with symptoms associated with depression. In his famous "Heiligenstadt Testament," a letter written to his brothers in 1802, Beethoven expressed despair over his increasing deafness and contemplated suicide. Despite facing these difficulties, he continued to compose music and is considered one of the greatest composers of all time.
Nikola Tesla: Tesla experienced periods of intense focus and concentration, seeing his inventions so vividly in his mind that he sometimes struggles to distinguish them from external reality. This begun after a tragedy: witnessing his brother be tramped to death by a horse. He was known for eccentric behaviors and a vivid imagination. He tried to things in multiples of 3, stacking 18 napkins on his table before starting to eat, and only staying on hotel floors levels that were divisible by 3. He also fell in love with a pigeon.
Mariah Carey: Endowed with an exceptional vocal range, Carey's creative mind has produced chart-topping hits, making her one of the most influential and successful musicians in contemporary pop history. Mariah Carey has been open about her struggles with bipolar disorder. In 2018, she revealed her diagnosis and has since been an advocate for mental health awareness.
Abraham Lincoln: Lincoln had a long family history of mental health conditions, and he himself experienced symptoms consistent with depression. The death of his son and the stress of the Civil War likely took a toll on his mental well-being. Dr. Marvin Bleiberg explains that “Lincoln would spend time in solitude, because he just couldn’t handle having to deal with people. It was during these introspective times that Lincoln worked out complex problems and heart-wrenching decisions. Lincoln’s wisdom actually was an outgrowth of his aloneness, which was a result of his depression. Perhaps his depression created an inward thinking process that allowed him to be a visionary.”
Module 2: Frequencies of Science and Mind
Hero/Heroine's Journey Lyrics:
Well since ancient times those who looked would find that there’s a rhyme to this life
The hero (heroines) journey is how it’s described as the Greeks mapped out this ride
It starts in the world we that think we know until there’s a call or a push to adventure
We cross into the world of the great unknown where it’s not rainbows and butterflies forever
Challenges and temptations come our way to define and refine the heart
And in almost every case, to the hero's dismay, we find ourselves deep in the dark
The cave of abyss where the light has gone out and all hope seems lost for our plight
But as our old self dissolves in the mess of cocooned night, out of the ash a new life starts to rise
Revelation dawns and metamorphosis is born, as the old self re-emerges transformed
And comes back to the world that we left once before bringing gifts of perspective and more
The same terrain that the caterpillar crawled on is now seen from vibrant new heights
As the butterfly soars all the scars and the stories are upward currents on which we take flight