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Down the Rabbit Hole
Paul Kiritsis, PsyD candidate, DPhil., MA (Psychology), MA (History)

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Confessions of a Split Mind

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Confessions of a Split Mind is a compendium of selected drawings, philosophical dialogues, and two myths from Kiritsis’ personal journal. Collectively they capture an internal conflict between differing aspects of the conceptual self which plays out in every one of us. For the author this phenomenon takes the form of an ongoing war between science and esoteric spirituality. In the author’s idiosyncratic inner world, the former discipline is personified by a male character known as the Unknown Pilot, and the latter by a female character, Solim. The integrated conscious self also appears in the guise of a character named Olyn.

These three entities bide their time grappling with the Big Questions in life and arguing over the veracity of existing interpretations: is it possible to explain genius-level creativity through contemporary scientific models? What exactly are the “voices” that psychosis-sufferers hear? What is precognition and what does it mean for a linear, materialistic model of the universe? Does free will exist? Have we underestimated the powers of the placebo and the mind? How much do we really know about the brain? Is it really like a computer as computational and connectionist models would have us believe? How therapeutic are creative pursuits? Does anything survive the death of the human body? Each chapter deals with a different topic and is illustrated by thematic drawings.

Many of the conundrums and life mysteries expounded in the broader narrative are represented visually in a separate section in the middle of the book entitled, “Interlude: A Journey Through the Split Mind.” The book begins and ends with the narration of personal myths whose purpose it is to convey images of an ostensibly paradoxical world as it would appear to our logical operative cognition and the either-or logic we pride ourselves on, hold aloft, and deem infallible.



Reviews

"Paul Kiritsis offers an interesting exploration of the mind as it relates to art and personal creativity in his latest published offering, Confessions of a Split Mind. The author/poet/artist gets very personal here, going deeply in depth to explore the brain and theorize what causes us to create, while offering his own narratives and artwork as an artistic expansion upon his earlier published poetry collections. While the book falls comfortably into the self-analysis category almost as a personal clinical case study, it's the author's sharing of the process of self-discovery, and his findings, that make this book an interesting tangent from his earlier published works. While the author does not go in depth into historical case stories, browsing through the book brought to my mind Van Gogh and his ear episode, and Nijinsky's diaries as he descended into madness. Thankfully, in contrast to those two episodes, Confessions of a Split Mind is exploration via clinical perspective, ending not with a descent but an ascension into greater personal enlightenment. It makes a fascinating read for anyone into creative self-expression, and those that know and love the creative folks among us."
David Messineo, Publisher of Sensations Magazine and President of the Six Centuries Club of America, Inc.

“In Confessions of a Split Mind, Paul Kiritsis has created something quite unique in the realm of modern publishing. His journal teaches basic aspects of the functioning of the mind along with giving the reader a basic understanding of some of the big philosophical questions as they relate to the brain. Through the creative and often lively argument between The Unknown Pilot, Solim, and Olyn as well as the inclusion of his own artwork, Kiritsis allows the reader to utilize both their logical and creative sides to make sense of and draw their own conclusions regarding these larger issues that affect humanity.”
Krista Schnee, Pacific Book Review

“In the question of God versus the natural world, there are many ways to align yourself. Some strictly adhere to scientific thinking or religious beliefs, firmly convinced that the two can't coexist. Others manage to find a middle ground, straddling the two worlds with various degrees of success. In Confessions of a Split Mind, author, artist, and philosopher Paul Kiritsis explores where his own beliefs lie. Through two allegorical short stories and a series of dialogues, paired with a number of symbolic works of art, Kiritsis makes connections and asks probing questions about our brains, the nature of humanity, and our world.”
Yuliya Geikhman, The US Review of Books