I spent the morning reading and rereading this article. It is lengthy but informative on how another culture deals with mental illness. It fascinates me how different a person’s/culture perspective on the same topic can be found so different. How awesome if we could embrace mentally ill people with the thought that there is something more than a loose wire but a spiritual phenomenon happening within that person, they need help working through. Even in Christianity it refers and talks about generational sin in the bible. It has everything to do with your ancestry working through you to fix the curse.
I love in this article when he says, ” these people are healers, due to their sensitive dispositions. In the western world it is looked down upon to be over sensitive, in the shaman ways it is a gift, the spirit world is communicating.”
It is again that concept that maybe if we embrace what we consider to be curses as actual gifts ,what would the result be? If you are told you are crazy long enough, you will believe it. What if you were told this is a spiritual thing and you will be assisted through the process? Not every mental illness symptom is considered a gift, this is important to note. The shamans assist through that negative process as well, in a positive way.
My dad was very sensitive, so am I. When my father discovered his faith, I have never met someone that devoured the writings of their faith, like my dad. He would get every translation and spend 4 to 6 hours a day reading and studying. In my father’s suicide note he wrote; his main motivation of wanting to leave earth was his desire to be with God. He was unable to hear through the noise from God, but his faith was solid that God existed and he was going to be with him.
My father died looking at psalm 23.
After reading this article it makes me wonder, if dad had been assisted spiritually in the days of his seeking faith for the relief of his insatiable depression, if the fate of my father would have been different? I don’t know ,it just gave me a different lense to look through and view my dad differently.
I know my dad is happier and the bondage he felt as a deep feeler is relieved, his undeserved guilt gone with the men he lead that died under him in Vietnam . Never giving kudos to him self for his courageous acts of bravery. I consider my dad a warrior.
He believed in his younger years, more along Native American beliefs. He was attached to nature spiritually more than anyone I know. He once told me, after he had spent some survival time, in the Forrest of the Rocky Mountains, sleeping under a fallen tree, after feasting on berries he knew safe to eat, was peed on by a bear, ( true story) that when he dies, ” I want to go dry out and dehydrate myself like the Native Americans, it is considered sacrificial to do this.” It makes me feel sad that I never had this information when he was alive to talk to him. It is us, the living that suffer from his suicide.
When I talked to my counselor yesterday; we talked about perspective and how you have to have a reason to get out of bed, every day.
Today I will view his suicide; as his only way he knew to move on in his spiritual passage unassisted. As the shamans did, I will when climbing fourteen thousand foot mountains pick a rock that calls to me, on behalf of my dad. I have a deep connection with the earth, flowers, nature like my father, it calls to me, I have a now have a new spiritual perspective about that.