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Paul Kiritsis

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Paul Kiritsis, PsyD, is an interdisciplinary scholar, poet, professional writer, artist, certified hypnotherapist, and a doctoral graduate in clinical psychology. He is an adjunct professor at Sofia University in the disciplines of clinical psychology and neuropsychology. His current postdoctoral training experience involves working with individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and severe mental illness at the Community Institute for Psychotherapy in San Rafael, CA. He is also the psychological testing liaison officer for The Community Institute for Psychotherapy (CIP) in San Rafael, CA, as well as their primary evaluator for neuropsychological testing. Kiritsis’ volunteer and service work encompasses endeavors that are disparate and heterogeneous in scope and subject; from offering psychoeducation and counselling to war veterans via Sponsor a Vet for Life, a non-profit organization based in Wharton, NJ, to offering hands-on practical aid to vulnerable giant pandas through the special volunteer program at Dujiangyan Panda Base in Chengdu, China, to serving as a committee member for literary projects spearheaded by the Greek-Australian Cultural League.

He has authored six books in total, including the creative compendium Confessions of a Split Mind (2017) and a work on the intersection of creativity and disorder entitled The Creative Advantages of Schizophrenia: The Muse and the Mad Hatter (2019). Paul has also authored several unreleased titles, one of which is entitled Shades of Aphrodite - an adventure through past and present Hellenic metaphysical consciousness as seen through Greece’s religious practices. Paul Kiritsis, himself of Greek origin, tells several interwoven stories of a man traveling through his ancestral land, the evolution of the archetypal Mother Goddess in Greece, and a fictionalized account of Aphrodite herself and the legend of the Golden Apple, the instrument of discord that caused the Trojan War. His fusion of mythology, history, and first-person anecdote reflect the inextricably bound threads of Hellenic culture, everyday Greek life, and the worship of the divine feminine that persists even today.

His diverse academic interests straddle cognitive neuroscience, clinical neuropsychology, and philosophy of mind on one end of the spectrum and esotericism, comparative religion, history, and mythology on the other. He enjoys playing the keyboards, reading, drawing, exercising, and scuba diving in his spare time.

THE CREATIVE ADVANTAGES OF SCHIZOPHRENIA Cover
HEALTH & MEDICINE

THE CREATIVE ADVANTAGES OF SCHIZOPHRENIA

BY Paul Kiritsis • POSTED ON June 1, 2019

A scholarly analysis explores the link between psychopathology—in particular, positive schizotypy—and creativity.

As debut author Kiritsis observes, creativity has long been associated with “divine madness” and the inspired artist with tortured insanity. He aims to make the case that there is, in fact, a “connection between the schizospectrum, bipolar, and substance abuse disorders and creativity.” More specifically, the author investigates the possibility that psychosis and creativity “share polygenetic roots” and that “the inner mental processes experienced as delusional beliefs and hallucinations by the inwardly disordered may also be the fountainhead and raw underpinning of creative thought.” Kiritsis focuses on positive schizotypy, which characterizes “highly imaginative” and “internally preoccupied” people who tend to hold beliefs about the world that are unconventionally drawn to the mystical and supernatural. The author furnishes a rigorously synoptic history of schizophrenia and its treatment, including an edifying discussion of the modern tendency to overinterpret it as a “brain disease” and handle it accordingly by pharmaceutical means. He raises provocative questions about the peculiar evolutionary resilience of schizophrenia, which, he argues, suggests that creativity is among its “compensatory advantages.” As Kiritsis points out, his study has “profound clinical and social implications,” not just for the understanding of psychopathology and its treatment, but also as a potential means to disabuse the “profusion of ignorance around mental illness” so common today. Furthermore, the work also points the way to a less idolatrous embrace of “the hegemony of the Western-mind sciences,” which, as a consequence of an unbridled materialism, immediately classifies spiritual experiences as aberrant hallucinations. The book is brimming with haunting images by debut illustrator Christos Stamboulakis, the author’s cousin, and others, many of which depict the struggle with psychosis. Kiritsis’ study is painstakingly argued—he furnishes a model of experimental meticulousness. In addition, the analysis is not just scientifically exacting, but reasonable as well—he draws on both his work as a “burgeoning clinician” and his experiences as an “untutored eyewitness.” The subject matter is drawn from Kiritsis’ doctoral dissertation and often reads precisely like that: long, crashing sentences brimming with gratuitously technical jargon turbidly conveyed. But beneath the topsoil of academic-speak, there is a genuinely intriguing exploration of creativity.

Despite some dense prose, this work offers a stimulating investigation into an important scientific topic. 

Pub Date: June 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5275-3165-9

Page count: 133pp

Publisher: BookBaby

Review Posted Online: Nov. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Awards, Press & Interests

Hometown

Melbourne, Australia

Favorite author

Dean Koontz

Favorite book

The Handmaid's Tale

Day job

Psychotherapist, Adjunct Professor

Favorite word

Sublime

Unexpected skill or talent

Drawing

Passion in life

Self-expression

THE CREATIVE ADVANTAGES OF SCHIZOPHRENIA: THE MUSE AND THE MAD HATTER : Winner of Best Psychology Book in Pacific Book Awards , 2020

Confessions of a Split Mind : Pacific Book Review Star, 2017

Interview with the Online Gazette , 2019 Review of the Creative Advantages of Schizophrenia by the US REVIEW OF BOOKS , 2019 Review of Confessions of a Split Mind by THE US REVIEW OF BOOKS, 2017

ADDITIONAL WORKS AVAILABLE

A Critical Investigation into Precognitive Dreams: Dreamscaping without My Timekeeper

"Paul Kiritsis’ Critical Investigation into Precognitive Dreams: Dreamscaping without My Timekeeper dances between scholarly research and playful storytelling of anomalous phenomena and extraordinary dreams. Kiritsis addresses a fascinating subject with engaged enthusiasm and descriptive acuity that both informs and entertains. The subject of extraordinary precognitive dreams is not often addressed this deeply, with chapters that cover significant ground in science, philosophy, astronomy, and the human mystery. If you are interested in a scientific conversation about dreams, time, space, and paradoxes, all with creative artwork demonstrating the ideas Kiritsis shares like a passionate discussion in a coffeehouse without laptops, the first chapters of this book will not disappoint. Finally, Kiritsis presents his own (2014) quasi-experimental investigation (n=15) into precognitive dreaming. After discussing personal vs. collective types of precognitive dreams, he gives examples of participants’ dreams alongside their waking life notes. These dreams and Kiritsis’ discussion around their potential levels of precognition (excellent, good, or average) are rich and interesting to consider. At the end of the book he sends his readers off with final thoughts about precognitive dreaming and the tension between fate and free will. In addition to critical investigation, this book is also a creative resource to add to the growing body of extraordinary dream literature." - Angel Morgan, PhD, President, International Association for the Study of Dreams "Dreams about future events have been a source of speculation for millennia. In his book "A Critical Investigation into Precognitive Dreams: Dreamscaping without My Timekeeper" Paul Kiritsis summarizes what is known and what is speculated about this fascinating topic. Kiritsis writes in a reader-friendly manner but does not refrain from addressing the key issues involved, whether they be the role of coincidence or the debate between free will and determinism. Even if you think you know this subject matter well, you are bound to discover historical events, research results, and anecdotal material that you never knew existed." - Stanley Krippner, Ph.D., co-author DREAM TELEPATHY, co-editor VARIETIES OF ANOMALOUS EXPERIENCE.
Published: April 1, 2020
ISBN: 978-1527546332

Confessions of a Split Mind

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 each and every one of us: the ongoing battle between science and esoteric spirituality, the secular and religious, cognition and emotion, intellect and intuition, the mechanistic and the holistic, the physical and the nonphysical, the aesthetically masculine and feminine, and so forth. In the author’s idiosyncratic inner world, the former polarized positions are personified by the animus, the Unknown Pilot, and the latter by the anima, Solim. In Jung’s analytical psychology the animus is understood as the masculine inner personality and the anima the feminine inner personality. Olyn, on the other hand, is a pseudonym for his integrated conscious self–the self which is always looking for conciliation, integration, and personhood. 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.”
Published: Aug. 21, 2017
ISBN: 978-1546205517

FIFTY CONFESSIONS

Fifty Confessions (March, 2009) is a collection of free-verse poetry exploring the author’s metaphorical descent into the dark nether regions of his own psyche; one that has been gradually worn down by years of suffering a mystery ailment that has gone undetected. It also revolves around the morbid fears that come when threatened by such an ineluctable destiny. Marked by trials and tribulations, the author’s life is paved by the autoimmune reactions of a conscious mind that makes psychological warfare upon itself; a conscious mind that is forever at odds with everyone else. The circle of confessions are grouped into six sections pertaining to the psychosocial model of stress response, beginning with the illness’s onset and concluding with acceptance and some degree of closure, bringing the reader into his mind as he struggles.
Published: March 20, 2009
ISBN: 978-1440124495

HERMETICA: MYTHS, LEGENDS, POEMS

Hermetica: Myths, Legends, Poems (September, 2007) is a homeric journey into the night where the world of dreams and symbols has sculpted our mythological past. Using the language of alchemy, astrology and magic this tome seeks to reconstruct the lost bonds between old myths contained in the oral folklore of Ancient Egypt; stories which once served as the backbone of a religion centred around Osirian ritual – the cosmic cycles of death, dismemberment and resurrection. It also contains a sequel to the popular Middle Egyptian tale, The Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor; a visual and dramatic interpretation of the passion of Osiris; an astrological allegory of the war between the heavenly bodies and a hermetic saga between a white witch and her mirror. The accompanying collection of poetry is a homage to the alchemy of love.
Published: Sept. 17, 2007
ISBN: 978-0595449569

ORIGIN: POEMS FROM THE CRACK OF DAWN

With the themes of rebirth and discovery of the human spirit, the poems in this anthology concern themselves with the ancient past and represent various stages of evolution that pertain to both individual and cosmic existence.
Published: Feb. 17, 2009
ISBN: 978-0595519309

Shades of Aphrodite: In Search of the Golden Apple

Part travel adventure and part historical narrative—with a pinch of mystical philosophy thrown in for good measure, Shades of Aphrodite is an adventure through past and present Hellenic metaphysical consciousness as seen through Greece’s religious practices. Paul Kiritsis, himself of Greek origin, tells several interwoven stories of a man traveling through his ancestral land, the evolution of the archetypal Mother Goddess in Greece, and a fictionalized account of Aphrodite herself and the legend of the Golden Apple, the instrument of discord that caused the Trojan War. His fusion of mythology, history, and first-person anecdote reflect the inextricably bound threads of Hellenic culture, everyday Greek life, and the worship of the divine feminine that persists even today. "Kiritsis’ personal and quality research, active imagination, strong creative writing skills, as well as his specialized knowledge in metaphysical and esoteric topics make this book a rare and wonderful work of art." - Professor Nina Gatzoulis, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, University of New Hampshire "This book delightfully interweaves a modern Greek travelogue and an exploration of the occult, particularly in relation to the deities of the ancient world." - Winthrop Professor John R. Melville-Jones, School of Humanities, The University of Western Australia "Kiritsis looks upon or writes about various cults, ancient practices and curious locales with sympathy, understanding, and an open mind: yet, concomitant with this very high level of creativity and imagination comes an author and scholar's appreciation of science, credibility and genuine research." - Dr. Paul Leon Masters, Founder and CEO of the International Metaphysical Ministry and President of the I.M.M University System "The writing and research both impress, and there are enjoyable finds herein, for those with a strong background and immersion in everything Greek to those who have always wanted to visit and explore Greece but never succeeded beyond longing." - David Messineo, Publisher of Sensations Magazine and President of the Six Centuries Club of America, Inc.

TALES OF A SPIRITUAL SUN

There are thirteen stories in this collection, all written within the space of a year. Most are contemporary renditions of classical myths. In terms of content and proximity to the classical myths, they range from marginally transformed versions that stay faithful to the original plots to versions that depart radically from the original. Whichever the case, the contemporary versions can be linked to their ancient counterparts through ideologies, philosophies, characters, or narrative fragments held in common. The reader is first dropped into the mystical marshes of the Minoan world and the inner chthonic workings of Hellenistic fatalism before a change of scenery brings him or her to a variegated landscape of star-crossed lovers; a landscape that includes inwardly-turned reinterpretations of Orpheus and Eurydice, Pygmalion and Galatea, Eros and Psyche, and Narcissus and Echo. Following this is a transposition into turbulent waters where the reader encounters such dreadful villains as the Minotaur, the shape-shifting Proteus, the Theban Sphinx, and the Gorgon Stheno. The mythological journey then changes trajectory once again, wheeling a Trojan horse of a different kind before the reader. Finally, a narrative built around a Pandora’s Box of the latter-day intellect unleashes a cosmic paradox into consciousness.