Something important is missing from the psychiatric model of ‘mental illness.’ It’s not a secret or anything, but rather more of an omission. It should be there, but by no accident it’s absent.
You see, human beings are multi-dimensional. We are made up of mind, body, and spirit. All three are utterly essential components of life, and until the transhumanists figure out how to disembody the mind, our wellness and happiness are fully reliant on the synergistic balance between these three elements.
Sure, psychiatry along with the medical sciences has the body well enough figured out. And they’ve produced copious theories along with tomes of supporting research on the chemical relation between the body and the mind. With all of this, they can haphazardly tweak the performance of the mind by dumping chemicals into the body, even if they have to add more chemicals to offset the effects of the initial chemicals.
People who’ve had these experiences, including myself, often refer to plant medicine ceremonies as the gift of years worth of high-quality psychotherapy in a single night. We say this because the shamanic traditions first treat the spiritual causes of these conditions. We feel this to be true. It’s difficult to communicate with language, but the knowing is unmistakable.
Once the spirit is healed, the mind and body are easily able to return to normal, proper functioning. Synergy being restored, people don’t need an indefinite prescription of medications, in fact, most people who experience shamanic plant medicines only do so one or two times. There is no need to keep returning to the doctor. Genuine healing works this way.
This is possible only with the understanding that the spirit is the highest component of the self, the most important aspect of being alive. For spirit is the eternal portion of the individual, that which comes long before the body arrives, and that which lives on long after the body returns to the earth. It is where the magic, both good and bad, happens. When the spirit is happy, the mind and body follow suit.
I sometimes reflect on both my experiences with modern psychiatry and those with shamanic plant medicines, searching for common ground. I wonder if there exists the possibility for the unification of science and spirit to positively affect the human condition, and I figure that if there is, it will require modern science to in some degree accept the shamanic view of the world and to open up to the needs of the spirit.
About the Author
Dylan Charles is the editor of Waking Times and co-host of Redesigning Reality, both dedicated to ideas of personal transformation, societal awakening, and planetary renewal. His personal journey is deeply inspired by shamanic plant medicines and the arts of Kung Fu, Qi Gong, and Yoga. After seven years of living in Costa Rica, he now lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where he practices Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and enjoys spending time with family. He has written hundreds of articles, reaching and inspiring millions of people around the world
This article (The Number One Thing Psychiatry Can Learn from Shamanism) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to DylanCharles and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.
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