Author Topic: Mental illness as shamanic initiation  (Read 732 times)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Mental illness as shamanic initiation
« on: November 02, 2018, 11:07:08 am »
A venue called, perhaps appropriately, the Loco Klub, is holding an event looking at whether what we think of as mental illness is actually a spiritual experience:
Quote
In traditional, indigenous societies many of the symptoms we associate with mental illness, from depression through to psychosis, were often viewed as a sign that a person was being marked out and called by ‘the spirits’ to a life as a shaman or medicine person.

This talk will explore whether it is possible, or beneficial, to approach mental illness from such a psycho spiritual perspective in a society that doesn’t value the spiritual conditions that give rise to sickness and is stuck in bio-chemical causation model. Asking questions such as what if some of the symptoms we deem pathological, are actually intimations of, or initiations to, a greater level of consciousness?

This will be done without romanticising the real pain that mental illness can cause and will also explore when a spiritual causation approach may be useful and when it may not.

Jez Hughes has worked full time as a shaman in Britain for over a decade and teaches a practitioner training in the woods of Sussex. He has worked with many indigenous tribes across the world, and has close ties to the Wixarika (Huichol) nation of North, central Mexico.
https://www.locobristol.com/shows (scroll down)

Not sure quite what to say about this, other than "madness as holiness" is not a new or specifically shamanic idea. Waiting to hear your ideas...
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Mental illness as shamanic initiation
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2018, 12:54:07 pm »
Yes, it is surprising what pops up on your browser when googling "Fetish & Kink"  ;D
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Mental illness as shamanic initiation
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2018, 01:16:10 pm »
Yes, it is surprising what pops up on your browser when googling "Fetish & Kink"  ;D
It was great to see you at the last coven meeting in Hetty Pegler's Tump. You're so skilled with the electrodes! What a shame the trepanning equipment broke. We really need to complete Flatus's exorcism before the end of half term.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Re: Mental illness as shamanic initiation
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2018, 10:19:34 am »

I think there are good reasons for people with mental health issues / neurodevelopmental disorders to develop positive group identities around their condition. I think that people with mental health issues / neurodevelopmental disorders can have strengths and insights that you don't see so commonly in the neurotypical population.

My immediate reaction to this thing is that if people I care about were interested, I'd try to dissuade them!

I've started to come in to contact with people with "critical perspectives" on autism. Having more than a passing familiarity with social constructionism and with the cognitive / developmental literature around autism and ADHD, I find it hard to understand how they conflate measurable differences that cluster and have a label with being made an outgroup from the rest of humanity. Let's say 25% of people experience mental health issues, having mental health issues is just part of the human experience. However, most people don't experience enduring, severe mental health issues, or the consequences these have. I'm not sure it's useful to avoid this point.

Personally, I see so many amazing things that my son can do, but I know the pain the things he struggles with brings him.

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Re: Mental illness as shamanic initiation
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2018, 08:29:02 pm »
Yes, it is surprising what pops up on your browser when googling "Fetish & Kink"  ;D
We really need to complete Flatus's exorcism before the end of half term.

Be careful what you wish for. Your life may change in ways you did not anticipate.