Prof. Tarhan: “I write my books with the aim to meet the needs of society”


President of Üsküdar University, Psychiatrist – author Prof. Nevzat Tarhan was the guest of Kültür Yolu (The Path of Culture) Program which is broadcasted live on TRT Haber Radio (TRT News Radio). Tarhan made important remarks on his book ‘Bilgelik Psikolojisi’ (Psychology of Wisdom) rewarded with ‘Altın Yazar- Kitap’ (Golden Author – Book) and his motivation for being an author. Stating that he wrote his book by targeting the preventative mental health of society and individuals, Tarhan said that he did not prefer a didactic language. Tarhan expressed that he adopts a method that is “think like Socrates but explain it like a grandmother”.

"I write my books with the aim to meet the needs of society"

Author Tarhan made remarkable evaluations about his motivation to write a book in the live broadcast he attended and said that he did not prefer a didactic language with the aim to be useful to humanity. Tarhan said that "When you start writing a book, you have a goal, and society has a need. You ask yourself how I can produce a solution to that need. You read about it, and then you want to make syntheses about it and create original works that are not a repetition of similar existing books. Instead of didactic books, I tried to give importance to the subjects that synthesize the East-West in particular, that synthesize the wisdom of Anatolia from our ancient culture and modern life. While doing this, I proceeded with my medical sensitivity. There are 3 pillars in medicine: therapeutic medicine, preventive medicine and protective medicine. For example, there is depression, schizophrenia ... There are many books and sources about this matter. Preventive medicine, early diagnosis, preliminary symptoms, are related to very important risk groups. In protective medicine, it is important what can be done to prevent people from getting sick, and studies are carried out in that context. I proceeded through this third step, which is important in all my books. It is the hardest, however, the most neglected part.".

"Think like Socrates, explain it like your grandmother"

Emphasizing that Tarhan aims the protective mental health of individuals and society in all his works, Tarhan said that when you write based on social need, you do not force yourself to write a literary text. Tarhan continued his remarks as follows: "There is a saying as ' Think like Socrates, tell it like your grandmother.' I used this method in my works. I tried to make the technical subjects of medicine understandable in plain language and short sentences. I tried to make an outstanding introduction in the introduction. Then, I tried to establish causal relationships. Finally, I tried to collect what must definitely be remembered. With this method, we were able to explain complicated issues in a simple way. When I started with such a principle, my adventure as an author continued in this way. To be honest, I did not expect this Golden Pen Award. My works Bilgelik Psikolojisi 1-2 are a product of the pandemic era.".

"I thought about how trauma would serve to make people wiser"

Stating that there was a serious crisis in the world during the pandemic period, people's bodies and comfort deteriorated everywhere, including Türkiye, Tarhan said that "On the one hand, people felt that death was very close. On the one hand, there was a situation of isolation, it was said not to leave the house. There has been an increase in the incidence of Alzheimer's disease in mental illnesses and older individuals. Children began to live in isolation. While there was conflict within the family, there were positive developments in some families. The pandemic was a global trauma. There is the 'Post-Traumatic Growth Scale' that we use in psychiatry. When someone experiences a trauma, we turn that trauma into 'developing trauma'. Every trauma has an opportunity and a threat dimension. I thought about how this trauma would serve the wisdom of humanity by addressing these dimensions of this trauma. As Üsküdar University in Türkiye, we conducted a study on this. After applying the Post-Traumatic Trauma Scale to society, we encountered very interesting results. For instance, we have seen that people said expressions such as 'I have improved my relations with my relatives, I have started to appreciate the things I have, I have started to give importance to such small spiritual values', and they have gained values of wisdom.".

"The first book of Bilgelik Psikolojisi contains assertive titles"

Tarhan, who also made evaluations about the works of "Bilgelik Psikolojisi" that was awarded the Golden Pen, said that he wrote about some controversial topics. Stating that some general assumptions originating from the West have started to be questioned today, Tarhan said that "The first book of Bilgelik Psikolojisi contains assertive titles. For example, there were 2 subheadings as 'Spinoza's Fallacy and the Evolution of Evolution.' As you know, Spinoza is one of the philosophers of enlightenment. In the years 1500-1600, Spinoza was one of the few philosophers of the Enlightenment, along with the great Descartes at that time. Spinoza says: 'Do not seek God in heaven, God is nature.' When asked if he believed in God, Einstein said, "I believe in Spinoza's God." This is to accept nature as nature. This is a serious matter, which I referred to as 'Spinoza's Fallacy'. After the quantum, it was understood that the world we call nature is like a point in a very small universe. There is a whole universe. The whole universe is now a design. There is a universe we do not know about, there is dark matter right now. The belief system that is closest to the belief in monotheism that is in our belief system. For example, some court decisions are now taking evolution courses in Arizona as an alternative to intelligent design courses. In fact, this is the evolution of evolution. The proponents of evolution need to put evolution into evolution after quantum. It is understood that there is an external intelligence, a high external power. That is what I tried to say here in the first book.".

Üsküdar News Agency (ÜNA)