There are two periods in life when the risk of mental illness are at their greatest: puberty and the “mid-life change”; both are times of, what our society sees as, immense hormonal challenge and change. Traditional societies see so much of the world differently.
Most first episode mental illness occurs at the same time that in traditional societies young, developing minds are involved in Initiation Ceremonies to help them understand their place in the world and gently move them on to the next phase of life, growth and development.
In western society this is the time when our children start to experiment with new things: drugs, alcohol, sex, freedom, living as independent beings but our fear of the unknown and unwillingness to accept that anything except the narrow belief systems we have developed prevent us from helping them.
Every day there is a growing number of our children being diagnosed with mental illness and subjected to a lifetime of mind stunting ‘medications’. In this time of their life when their minds are having an explosion of new knowledge, strength and potential we subject them to medications that are developed to inhibit and prevent this growth.
Antidepressants that artificially inhibit and alter the minds mood regulation system during the time when it needs to be strengthened and supported to develop to its full potential.
Antipsychotics that prevent and ‘fight’ the visionary potential of the human mind by trying to fight what many Shaman see as signs of a developing Shaman and promise only a future of continuing medication and mind-numbing medicines that have a very tenuous grip on their claims of positive value.
Mind altering drugs to control children who are trying to break out of the prison of TV’s computer games, TV and imprisonment in houses because we, their carers, have become so paranoid about the society we have created that we are afraid to let them go out to play.
In ‘modern society’ our children are trying to do it all not only without a guide or a roadmap or even the occasional signpost, but with society demonising them and putting up one big, judeo-christian sign – “DON’T” and so, being teenagers, they “DO”.
Puberty, that time we see as a great hormonal challenge, when modern science tells us all ‘rational’ decision making potential of teenagers is suddenly turned off, ancient wisdom tells us is a time of great openness to a new level of wisdom and understanding. To open the door you must expose yourself to whatever is out there, but if you have a good doorkeeper, the benefits far outweigh the risks.
With guidance, this is the time of blossoming into the fullness of being; in traditional societies this is that wonderful period when a person is guided and helped into the next phase of life and gains the wisdom that will allow them to become the full potential of who they are, and what do they hear from their ‘teachers’ – “DON’T”. Instead of tending the garden of their future spiritual development we spray it with poison and trample it into dust.
In the forgotten wisdom of traditional cultures, this is the time of the Shamen; the time when that developing, embryonic adult is taught and guided through the minefield of puberty. The things we say “DON’T” to the Shamen guides them through with a sure and steady hand and they come out the other side as more complete human beings.
In the West we aren’t guided by the wise who see the development of human potential as the goal; we’re guided by the rich who see the development of their bank balances as the goal. Our spirituality has been subverted and annexed by capitalism and its goals have changed accordingly. People who have achieved their full potential are free, capitalism doesn’t want free people, capitalism needs drones to fill the factory floor.
Capitalism has taken over religion and so the blood of our children is on the hands of the capitalist-backed fanatical organised religious ethos that has taken the western world.
Still our children lust for the spiritual awakening that society now denies them.
Still, they take the drugs the Shamen would have used to help them to understand the true spirituality of life, but now they take them without the steady hand of the Shamen to guide them and the drugs they take are no longer the natural mixtures of plants that have been finely tuned by wise Shamen for thousands of years.
Instead, today, it’s chemical concoctions made by criminals who’s only motivation is profit and don’t even understand the spirituality that used to be a part of the chemicals they peddle to the highest bidder. Some say these drugs, that were once an important part of Initiation Ceremonies and tools for personal growth and development are now deliberately used by the system to control and manipulate dissent amongst the youth; whether this is deliberate or not, this happens but is only one of it’s effects.
These drugs now make the most unenlightened people in our society rich while repressing the enlightened; all the evidence shows that the war on drugs has done nothing to stop the use of drugs, it has simply made fortunes for the few and criminalised the seekers in our society.
The very things that once were a part of our development as complete human beings have now been turned against us and have become a tool of repression; people who once would have become spiritually enlightened are now criminals and/or subjected to the chemical prisons we now politely call “Antipsychotics” and “Antidepressants” or locked in jails or psychiatric institutions – either physical or chemical.
Instead of the plants the Shaman used to expand our understanding, today we are only permitted alcohol; a poisonous concoction that has been scientifically proven to be far more addictive, far more physically harmful than any of the natural ‘drugs’ used in Shamanic practice. But, of course, we’re not allowed to make our own because then the capitalist system can’t make a profit from poisoning our minds.
As with any journey, some will make it without a map or guide, but most will end up lost somewhere along the way or wandering down some path to nowhere; lost to traditional beliefs, lost causes in our society or drones on the factory floor.
Do we have an epidemic of mental illness or do we have an epidemic of Spiritual a Crisis where the potential Shamen of our world – the potentially enlightened souls are being locked in physical and chemical cages and restrained?
We, as parents, do not decide that we want or need to repress our children’s development so that they become spiritually stunted or mentally ill; but we do blindly follow the ‘wisdom’ of the research – the research paid for by vested interests and enforced by an unforgiving system that has the full power of the state and the church behind it. The cause and effect of ‘the war on drugs’ was forced upon us by such lunacy as “Reefer Madness”; though the perils ‘exposed’ in that movie and similar Government, religious and corporate sponsored propaganda have been proven to be ridiculous on so many levels the ethos remains set fast in our political, legal and religious psyche. Even though our children are demonised and criminalised as a result of this disproven philosophy we support it every day.
We see evidence after evidence of the dangers of drugs, and even though these are invariably discussing the man-made poisons designed by the corporate drug multinational corporations, the evidence is transposed over to the Shamanic medicines as though there is no difference.
Even with the more natural drugs, because our youth have no guidance in how to make the transition into adulthood and how and why to use drugs safely for their intended purpose, they abuse and over-use them and this causes difficulties that would not occur if guides and wisdom were available.
If we look back through history most of the Prophets, the wisest of the wise would be locked in physical or chemical cages in our modern system of mental health repression. Jesus himself believed he could heal by laying on his hands – go and tell a Psychiatrist you can do that. St Francis of Assisi talked to animals – go and tell a Psychiatrist you can do that.
Virtually every old Christian saint was mad by our standards and I’m sure the seers of every other religion were if you take a look at them through psychiatric eyes.
Our children are the future of humanity; do we want to criminalise, institutionalise or demonise or do we want to help them to become the healthy, whole, enlightened beings they have every right to be and, we have an obligation to help them become?