Playing the Indian Card

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Schizophrenia from the Inside

A marvelous description of what it feels like to be schizophrenic, in particular from the first writer.

I get the general impression that schizophrenics are in fact more aware, more conscious, than the rest of. us: as one writer puts it, they are watching five TV channels while we are receiving only one.

It is also not obviously a "disease": i.e., it is not unpleasant. Rather, it has extreme highs and extreme lows. On the whole, a schizophrenic certainly seems to have more meaning in his life than the rest of us.

Of course, he cannot work or function in society. Nevertheless, this could be a problem with society rather than schizophrenia. I suspect that in hunter-gatherer societies, schizophrenics find ready employment: as shamans. And this is a useful function: their sensitivity to patterns and symbols should, as the first writer suggests, make them able to see underlying problems and solutions.

One writer suggests he is better able to handle his schizophrenia because of his spiritual nature. I suspect that is true. Materialists are caught in a false alternative: either the voices are real in the physical sense or should be ignored as hallucinations. Anyone who believes in the reality of the spiritual world can understand, and deal with, these experiences as real, but on the spiritual plane, and deal with them accordingly, without letting them interfere with their understanding of what is going on in the physical world. For example, a movement in the Netherlands has found that schizophrenics can do very well if they learn to actually negotiate with the voices, find out what they want and cut deals.

Exactly as a shaman does...

Most web sites defining schizophrenia begin with the usual historical approach, remarking that in the old days we ignorantly saw schizophrenia as a case of demonic possession; whereas now we know it is a biochemical illness.

In fact, there is no evidence that it is a biochemical illness, and lots of evidence that it is demonic possession. The only problem is that the dominant religion, scientism, will not permit this--one reason why the insane are persona non grata in modern life.

Perhaps more importantly, with the latter thesis, people actually get better.

No comments: