I grew up in a small town in New Hampshire that felt kind of like a flashback to the 50’s. I remember reading the Outsiders in jr. high and thinking humorously that perhaps we lived in some weird dimensional portal that left us with this mentality. In High School I hung around with kids my grandfather would have referred to as Hoodlums. We were not bad, but we were slightly on the wild-side….hanging around smoking cigarettes and looking for the next party. It was the 80’s lets leave it at that. Hanging around a small town smoking cigarettes after dark introduces you to some interesting characters. One of the characters I met was a schizophrenic man who was a local in the town. Rumor had it that he had been discharged from the military after being exposed to heavy experimentation with LSD…again the rumor had it that the exposure was through the military itself. Now I am not hear to talk politics about what they did or whether they did it. My story is about the man himself, for he was an interesting character. He moved back in with his parents and had many unusual behaviors, but for all intensive purposes was relatively harmless. He was known for saying really weird shit to people and to have hallucinations that he believed were real.
I have thought about him a lot over time as my personal experiences with him were unusual. I have two particular experiences that stand out, for they make me wonder how much of what he saw was real…for certainly some of it was. The first time I remember talking to him was late at night and I was hanging around with a group of young people, wishing we lived in a bigger town with more to do. He came up to us and asked if we wanted to go to the graveyard with him and drink graveyard water @ midnight. The point of drinking the graveyard water was to let the Spirits enter us or communicate with us. He then looked at me and said “Don’t worry, your a Brown so you have nothing to worry about”. (Brown is my maiden name). He then went on to tell me that because I was a Brown, I was protected from the Spirits. I thought this was a strange thing to say. But as a an adult who works with Spirits as a Medium and is from a family of Mediums I now ponder on what he knew and how he perceived it. The second experience I had with him I was sitting by myself on a park bench on the green in the center of town. It was early afternoon and I was waiting to meet up with some of my friends. He came up to me and said “You must be an Angel, because you have Spirits all around you”. I never felt threatened by him, but he made me think…what is he seeing and how does he know these things. For the things he said about me were true just misinterpreted. For I am protected from Spirits more then the average person, as I was born into a family of Mediums and I have multiple lives of experience working with Spirits. As for the second statement, I am not an Angel…but I do have an unusual amount of Spirits surrounding me.
This brings me to my subject…Psychosis & Spirituality
I believe he was truly seeing things that other people did not see, I also believe that not all what he saw was real or interpreted properly. This happens when someones Psyche is opened aggressively, through substance abuse or mental illness. Add to it the mentality that use to be pervasive in mental health counseling, which said that if you are hearing voices or seeing things that other do not you must be crazy. I want to state clearly, that I am not against mental health counseling, nor do I believe that everyone who sees & hears things others do not is experiencing Psychic phenomenon. I am simply saying there is a grey zone in which people suffering from mental illness are sometimes seeing things that are real. The problem is they do not know how to separate the truth from reality & often they lack proper guidance to differentiate between the two. We live in a tricky time folks where many people are opening up to Spirit and not all have the stability to handle what they experience. It’s important to remember when seeking Spiritual opening that we will need to work with our own Shadows, the wounded pieces of our Soul. There is a saying “Healer-heal thyself”. I feel it is more accurate to say that “Seeker heal thyself”. To be a Seeker is to be a Spiritual explorer. We cannot truly step into a relationship with Spirit without facing our personal demons, & we all have them. My second point would be to say that ‘forcing’ Spiritual opening can be dangerous and I would not recommend using psychotropics to open ones mind. It is true that it can give a significant boost in how one perceives the world, but it is also true to say that without proper guidance sudden opening can be dangerous.
Modern Psychology is exploring the bridge between Psychology & Spirituality. One of the things being presented is that the difference between a Spiritual experience & Psychosis is the ability to return to normal reality at will. With a healthy mind we are able to tell the difference between the everyday living (work, school & grocery shopping) & the experiences we are having in our Spiritual explorations (journey work, spirit communication, etc). I believe one of the best ways to keep in check is to be skeptical with our Spiritual experience. That’s right Skeptical…I am a firm believer that fact needs to be present in Spiritual experience. If a Spirit is communicating with me they need to give me substance I can get proof on. They also need to communicate with me in a kind, respectful manner. Communication from the Spirit world should be seen in many ways like communication in our world. I would not let a living person talk to me in a degrading manner, nor would I let a Spirit do so. I also expect that when a living being tells me something as truth it can be proven. I expect no less from Spirits. I also as a mentally healthy person need to be able to come and go in this world I live in & connect with the World of Spirit by my will. When I am shopping for groceries or picking up my mail…I need to be present and solid in this reality.
I will be writing about Spirituality & mental health all weeks folks. Please note-I am not a Psychologist or Psychiatrist….I hold no degree. This is simply my musing and insight as a practicing Medium. I hope you enjoy the read & feel free to share.