Mental disorders are spiritual emergencies, according to Malidoma Patrice Somé in “What a Shaman Sees in a Mental Hospital” published in Earth. We are One. Somé argues that western culture has become too entwined with “the energy of the machine” while the ancestral spirit of the natural world is trying to emerge within us. And the more we ignore or suppress these breakthrough energies, Somé says, “there will be a tendency from the other world to keep trying as many people as possible in an attempt to get somebody’s attention.”
However, without the proper supports in place, Somé cautions, “When this kind of rush occurs at a time that is not personally chosen, and particularly when it comes with images that are scary and contradictory, the person goes into a frenzy.” Somé says that with proper rituals and efforts to align the energies, the experience can be very positive. “The spirit sees in us a call for something grand, something that will make life meaningful, and so the spirit is responding to that.”
The article is an excerpt from Stephanie Marohn’s 2003 book The Natural Medicine Guide to Schizophrenia.
What a Shaman Sees in a Mental Hospital (Earth. We are One.)