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Psychosis_mysticism and Feelings

Psychosis_mysticism and Feelings

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Published by: cgarci on Dec 29, 2013
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12/29/2013

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by John A. Speyrer
"If guided with kindness and understanding, the schizophrenic experience couldbecome a transcendental ourney of death and rebirth toward a new, more positi!e meaning in life."
 
 #eter $. %reggin &. '.
Toxic Psychiatry
"&adness need not be all breakdown. It may also be breakthrough.It is potential liberation and renewal . . ."

$.'. (aing
I
n autobiographical literature, by individuals who have experienced  psychotic breakdowns, one occasionally finds recountings which illustrate the full release of repressed memories. Invariably, these spontaneous re-livings of infantile and childhood traumas erupted during a personal crisis in the biographer's life.One such writer was Lara efferson, who in,
These Are My Sisters
!"#$%&, poetically describes her dark night of the soul and subseuent liberation through a spontaneous deep feeling episode while a patient in a mid-western psychiatric hospital during the "#()s.efferson's experiences were of an intense transcendental nature and are also an example of mystical experiences during a psychotic episode. *enneth +apnick, in
Understanding Mysticism
used her writings for this purpose. is article, ysticism and /chi0ophrenia'' is contained in this anthology.Lara 1eterson's primal2mystical re-experiencings of repressions on a  psychotic ward of a mental hospital at age %#, resulted in such improved functioning that she was soon released from the institution. oping to find more material than +apnick uoted, I went to the source of his material, 1eterson's,
These Are My Sisters
!"#$%&, and the uotations !reproduced with permission& are from that source.
 
* * *
In her desire to reassure those readers who one day would also confront the origins of their psychosis as she had, Lara 1eterson wrote3
4emember, when a soul sails out on that unmarked sea called adness they have gained release, much greater than your loss --and more important.
 
5hough the need which brought it cannot well be known by those who have not felt it. 6or what the sane call 7ruin' -- because they do not know -- those who have experienced what I am speaking of, know the wild hysteria of adness means salvation. 4elease. 8scape. /alvation from a much greater  pain than the stark pain of adness. 8scape -- from which could not be endured. 9nd that is why the adness came. :eliverance; pure, simple, deliverance. . . . <othing will stay it -- there is nothing that can hold it; nothing with the power to deter it when it sweeps out to pursue its destiny through the dim caverns of itself. . . .I have felt it sweep me and take me -- where -- I do not know !all the way through ell, and far, on the other side; and give me keener sense of feeling that the full edge of reason has& - still, I have no way of telling about the things experienced on that weird =ourney.
Lara efferson's ward physician told her that unless she learned to think differently, she would become incurably insane. *nowing that forcing herself to think differently was impossible, she reali0ed that the =ob of avoiding the descent into complete insanity was totally her own. /he seemed to know intuitively, that to get well, she had to feel what lay  behind her mental suffering. /he knew that she could not
. . . escape from the adness by the door I came in, that is certain -- nor do I want to. 5hey are dead -- past, -- the struggles of yesterday. Let them lay in the past where they have fallen -- forgotten. I cannot go back -- I shall have to go onward -- even though the path leads to 5hree >uilding''-- where the hopeless incurables walk and wail and wait for the death of their bodies.
>ut go back she did. 1erhaps, she reasoned that by facing the problem, she would lose insanity in madness and find a sound mind on the other side.'' 6inding a pencil, she began writing down her self-progress which helped to keep her from slipping further into psychosis.One day, thoughts of her mother came to her mind, and things her mother 
. . . had often said lashed again across my memory. . . .I heard her voice, filled with cruelty sneering, ?ou poor ungodly thing. . . . 9nd that I had given her such pain because I had not fulfilled all of the beautiful things she had  planned for me. . . . I wondered if she were having any delight in knowing that at least I had fulfilled the contempt she held for me when I had failed. I hated her with a fierceness I could not control -- had I wanted to. It raged through me with such intensity it seemed I had lived up to a great destiny in fulfilling that much of her expectations. I shrieked out, before I reali0ed there was no one to take the message; that I wanted her to know before she died of old age that at least one seed she had planted in my very babyhood had taken root and grown; that as she had never been able to see anything but failure in her other efforts, I wanted her to take great pleasure in this one -- for she had nurtured it more carefully than the other things.9ll my human fear of pain and death and loss of reason was drowned in wild exultation. I stood upon the brink of everything I had ever feared and knew it did not matter how far into any of them I fell.
9s her symptoms worsened during confinement, she became more convinced that release from her mental anguish lay in confronting her schi0ophrenia head-on and not by defending against it. /he thus began a
 
five day period of attempting, as she put it, to fight madness with madness. 9s she continued feeling the sources of her mental illness, she felt as though something was about to explode inside herself.>ut Lara 1eterson feared the results of feeling her internal pain and reuested that she be placed in a strait=acket. It reuired three pleading reuests, each followed by intentionally bi0arre behavior, before her reuest was granted, but with her shackeling in the strait=acket, 1eterson felt safe enough to let down her defenses completely.er doctor chided her for giving up so easily and reuesting a strait=acket, but she did not
. . . feel the ridicule, for she was a soul stretched on a rack in a hell very far removed from all ordinary living. 5he opinions of those whom I had left did not reach through to me -- I was too far away. 9nd I do not know whether I was courteous or rude to him. 9s far as I was concerned his significance had ceased. I lay stretched in the humiliation of the thing which had happened./o the monster was out and the ghost of some old beserker ancestor rose up within me and suggested that I could do something about it, and the fierce hatred exalted that it had possessed itself of a massive and powerful body. . . . 9nd once the great adness in me found a voice, there was no stopping it. It rolled out in such a tumult I was ama0ed at it myself; wondered where it all came from. It seemed obscene and terrible that I should answer in adult language, things said to me in my childhood. 5hings I had forgotten, until they again began to pour about me in the flood of bitter memories. 8ven incidents I remembered clearly came back so warped and twisted they seemed like evil changelings. . . . I felt so much better that I had at last found the courage to look and see things as they were !not camouflaging them in the rosy light of a meaning they did not have& that I wanted to shout and sing. 5hat voice was reason making a last desperate stand, but it was =ust a shadow and had no power to check the things I was feeling. . . 9ll my human fear of pain and death and loss of reason was drowned by wild exultation. I stood upon the brink of everything I had ever feared and knew it did not matter how far into any of them I fell. . . that wild thing within me stood erect and laughed peals of laughter not good to hear. . . /o the last connected and coherent thing in my thinking gave way -- and the adness filling me re=oiced. >ecause at last there was nothing to stay it, it shouted and exulted with a noise that tore my throat out, charging through me till it nearly dragged the life out of me. 1art of my mind stood there and took in the whole situation, yet could know nothing about it. 5he thing that was raging did not seem wrong to me then -- but the rightest thing in the world -- a magnificent accomplishment.
9fter five days, her feeling episode seemingly over, her restraints were removed, and she was soon discharged feeling better than ever./he wrote, 8very nerve and fibre in my whole body registered the effect of what I had been through. y whole chemistry had changed. 5ruly I was a different person.
 
* * *
")hen analytically adusted psychiatrists ha!e recognized that the content of thepsychosis is *cosmologic,* we need not a!oid the next step, that of analysis of cosmology itself, for then we shall find that it is nothing other than the infantile recollection of one*s own birth proected on to +ature." tto $ank in
The Trauma of Birth
 -/0/1

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