Mental Health · schizophrenia · Spirituality

A shamanic initiation



People have asked me how I’ve made sense of my schizophrenia and used it as a learning for healing. These are personal queries several caregivers and those living with similar labels have asked.
For a long time I wasn’t sure of the answer or maybe I was and I still had self – doubts. The reasons for doubting one’s learning is due to the nature of patriarchal & matriarchal constructions that shape us. We still need some kind of authority to confirm our believes and methods.
Now that I’ve dug out my 20 years of madness through my journals, I can put these connections together and share them with those who are on the same path of experiences of this thing called ‘mental illness’.
Having a record of your drawings and writings no matter how stupid or crazy they seemed is truly important.
How you make sense of it is up to you to understand what battle you’ve chosen in this life which your psychosis will play for you repeatedly. There is always a theme in our ‘delusions’. Recognizing our white knight and the dark night of our soul are both equally important in how we reach a harmonic balance with our Shadow Self.

The journal entry above on the Snow Ball effect was made in 2004 when I met my first counsellor. She helped me accept what was happening to me which was an important first step. She used clinical terms such as mental illness, psychosis and schizophrenia and when her job was done, she knew she needed to put an end to our sessions as I begin getting comfortable.

Her purpose was served at that time that year when I was yet undergoing an ordering of sanity versus insanity. What I made sense of later is the drawing the corresponded to my journal entry. Though the drawing happened 3 years after my journal entry in 2007 when I left home and took to wandering. It was sketched in London.

Schizophrenia is a shamanic initiation in its own right and given purpose. For those who wish to disagree with me its not for me to convince you of my journey. One part is the dance of chaos where I am caught in multiple realities of communicating with all kinds of beings that fall under the symptomatic category of visual, auditory, tactile, and olfactory hallucinations.
This comes with several added layers of listening to sounds of nature and losing oneself to it. I would make facial smacks and sounds that would be similar to little kids. But because I am in an adult body it came across as something ‘mad’.
The ability to lose oneself here as a child is the biggest step of surrendering oneself to mother nature and knowing that I am nothing compared to Her.
The Shadow Self is a reminder that my ego was coming in the way. This ego is a strength when I began recognizing the pattern it existed in. Due to the conflicting nature of child and adult ego, of reality and illusion, of delusions and real learnings – the Shadow served as a kick in the butt all the time – which is 24 hours! Hence, no escape from the experience of madness and it is a true test of will and challenging your every construction.

When I got caught in useless delusions my shadow self would show up getting the better of me and controlling my every action, thought and feelings. It would throw me in a pool of seduction and temptation games until it gains such control that suicide is the only option. Maintaining a record of every one of these processes served me well and I would thank my OCD like organizing and cleaning trait for that.
There is much happening in the dance of chaos called schizophrenia. The dance of order is the balancing act between one’s schizophrenia and the world outside of schizophrenia which is called normal.
There is no abnormal but the non – normal. A word used in shamanism with no political or medical implication of madness.
(English is just a language)
Hope this helps those who are exploring the same but are not open about talking about it since even there in lies stigma and discrimination.
If I’ve now called myself a shaman – I’m definitely going to be called schizophrenic and delusional. Irony isn’t it?

2 thoughts on “A shamanic initiation

  1. Thanks for the note on the snowball effect of thinking. Once again, I’m exactly having an issue with this. A few years ago, I was told by a psychiatrist that the “schizophrenic” is one that enters that “realm” without knowing how to leave it again, but the shamanic can enter and leave it as he/she wishes. Well, I guess it’s a matter of how one deals with it rather than the mode of “coming and going.”

    1. The ‘can’ enter as per our wish is the problem of social constructions again isn’t it? It questions the ‘schizophrenics’ free will and our abilities again. I think it is a very natural process for us that nature is telling us to accept the fact that we are just doing it 24/7 like my cats do…like mother nature does…like the sun and the moon. I think here the shaman is a human person who is yet bound by expectations to be a certain way in order to function with the world. And maybe the ‘schizophrenic’ does not have to be that way AT ALL. We are just like nature, existing and spinning and turmoiling and running and flying and falling. For me, this works. It is not that I feel one-up over them but I need to do what I got to do for being rejected as a schizophrenic at so many various levels including mystics who think they are better than the schizophrenic only cause they don’t experience ‘psychosis’ with the ‘tic’.
      We are just there mate. We don’t need to leave it. Free will does not imply being free to me. Psychosis is me being free. The will to exist with my psychosis is equally free. The rest are just jealous 😀 lol

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