It’s 600 BC in a Native American village. A child is born. He grows into a young boy and is a bit different than the other children. He sees things that aren’t there. Spirits and animals are his friends more so than his own family. He stays away from the village as much as possible and really never gets along with any of the other children. His parents are worried, and they talk to the local medicine man. The medicine man realizes that the boy is simply a natural medicine man. The spirits have chosen him, and it is his destiny to become the next medicine man. So he begins his training.
It’s 2010 in small town America. A child is born. He grows into a young boy and is a bit different than the other children. He sees things that aren’t there. His invisible friends are more his friends than his own family. He plays in the woods as much as he can and rarely play with other children, regardless of how much his parents try to get him to. His parents are worried. There’s not much for them to do. He grows into a teen and never really changes. His parents finally take him to a psychiatrist and he is diagnosed with schizophrenia. He is heavily medicated and lives the rest of his life in a haze.
It’s strange how similar these stories are, and how different they turn out. The boy would have been considered a highly regarded and highly functional member of society 3000 years ago, but now he is forced to either live his life in a haze or to be completely non-functioning in society. Yes, I could rant and rave about how wrong this is. I could complain about the backward nature of a society that seeks to limit and expansion of the consciousness, but I will refrain and simply seek an answer as to how we can instead learn to help these children and adults. So let’s take this scientifically so we don’t just sounds like a bunch of crazies who also need to be medicated. I’m writing this as I would in a scientific journal, so I apologize for complicating things that are simple.
The purpose of the post is to explore the methods for dealing with any “delusions” that would be handled by a shaman or other historical spiritual advisor in both children and adults. It is not the purpose of this essay to provide solutions, simply possibilities.
Let’s make a simple assumption. Schizophrenia is caused by some sort of expansion of consciousness to include beings of other planes of existence. This could be the expansion into either the realm of spirits as well as the astral (dream) world. There may be other expansions possible, but these are the primary that come to mind. Thus, the two expansions must be treated differently. One (astral) should be dealt with as though everything is symbolic, much like a dream, while the other (spiritual) should be dealt with literally. In this essay I will be dealing with the spiritual side rather than the astral.
It is also necessary to assume that all hallucinatory experiences fall into these categories as well due to their regular use in historical shamanic and magickal workings in order to induce communication with the other planes of existence. These hallucinatory experiences include drug use, dehydration, exhaustion, starvation, torture, chemical deficiencies within the body, and other easily dealt with delusions.
It is also necessary to assume that if these experiences are caused by an expansion of consciousness, that they are as real as the realm of consciousness that we all live in. Though it may seem difficult to do, we must not consider these to be delusions in the commonly used sense. Drugs, sweat lodges, and ritual torturing have been used for millenia to interact with these other realms for real world changes and knowledge. If they had not been worthwhile experiences or had given false information, they would have been abandoned far before Christianity came into existence.
Effects of the Shamanic Calling
It is important to put into perspective the effects that an untreated person who’s consciousness has naturally expanded will endure. The experiences can range from simply hearing voices to seeing faeries to talking with spirits and demons. Sometimes they are friendly, sometimes they are terrifying. Whispers in the dark, your deepest fears appearing before you while you’re showering. These are the making of the most fear-inducing horror movie, and there are children world-wide being plagued by them. Yet, these are the same effects that people have striven to achieve with years and years of effort. They are not able to be ignored, but medication may not be the best way of coping.
Necessities of Treatment
In order to find ways of coping and controlling this expansion, it is necessary to ascertain the needs which must be fulfilled with any kind of treatment or counseling.
The most important part of any kind of treatment is the explanation that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the person, that there are others out there like them. It is important to also establish that there are hundreds and thousands of people who work their entire lives to earn the gifts that they were born with. It is absolutely necessary for the child or adult to understand that there is help out there, and they do not have to simply ignore or try to hide from this gift because that is exactly what it is, a gift from the universe. It isolates them, scares them, and makes their life more difficult, but that is because they do not have any control of it and have no understanding of it.
Family and Loved Ones
For the person who has these difficult experiences, isolation is most likely their most difficult obstacle to overcome. Therefore, it is imperative that those who are still in their life need to be counseled as well. They must learn to accept the experiences as a real experience and not the delusions of a madman. They must be counseled as much as the patient does because it is not a simple thing to remove the society-imposed idea that only their reality exists and all others are delusions.
In the immediate, it is necessary to find the coping mechanisms which the patient has created for themselves. These can range in many directions, and most of them will be effective for as long as the patient has faith in them. They are very likely similar to OCD behaviors due to the complete fear that befalls them when they do not keep the behaviors, and at some later date they may need to be dealt with separately.
It is also necessary to create coping skills if there are not any. This may entail lying to the patient in order to create faith in the skills because trust is absolutely necessary for most simplistic skills to work. This must be considered on a case by case basis due to the need for trust in such a difficult counseling/treatment situation.
Coping mechanisms are not enough to deal with this lifelong issue. It is necessary to teach the patient how to control their experiences with these other realms of existence. The best way of doing this is by looking through the more occult teaching from history. Much will be useless due to the majority being about how to open these same realms of consciousness. Techniques such as meditation, calming exercises, and basic understanding of the spirit world are important.
It is also necessary to teach the patient to learn from their experiences in these other worlds. Historically, guides are available to all travelers in other realms and it is only the patient who can interact with and gain help from these guides. They will be the primary teachers of the patient, and it is simply the counselor’s job to help the patient understand the teachings. Especially for children, the teachings are not always simple, and it is the extremely difficult job of the counselor of holding all of the knowledge needed for these journeys and feeding it to the patient as needed. The counselor must become the shaman of old who is training his apprentice, even though the counselor may not have any experience of these other worlds.
Necessities for Success
It’s important to understand that on a basic level, many of the issues associated with this theory are difficult to implement due to societal issues. It is very possible for a parent to implement if they are understanding and are qualified enough (not with pieces of paper or resumes, simply in how much they understand these other worlds). They control their environment and how much other people know about their therapy sessions. On the other hand, society has a very strong distrust of anything outside of normal psychiatric treatment, which we’ve seen through many of the struggles of Scientology. It would be even more difficult to promote this type of treatment due to the differences in mentality of the patients as well as age issues.
The other primary issue would be that for the immediate, the patients would need be held in the same place they are being treated so that they do not have to feel alone anymore. The other issue is that all people working their would have to treat the patients as apprentice medicine men rather than as patients. There couldn’t be any drugs used to tranquilize patients as they do in mental wards when there are schizophrenic episodes because the episodes are necessary for their understanding of this other realm of consciousness.
It would also be important for the area to be conducive to exploring the spiritual realms. Areas of natural beauty where the patients could be alone would be helpful. Because many of the journeys necessary to understanding and controlling their gifts require solidarity, there would have to be ways for the children to spend large amounts of time away from the protective eyes of the adults and caretakers. This would mean that it would have to be protected from intruders and dangerous animals.
All of these issues would require large amounts of understanding and informed employees as well as a large amount of land and funding. At the same time, there would be little to no government assistance because of the lack of sanctions from government agencies. This is not even considering the issues with current laws and licensing. All of these point to a very limited possibility for this type of institution to exist. I have no idea how something of this type could come together, but regardless, I believe that there is a need for it.
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