I was one of the lucky ones, as I was able to extricate myself from the medical and psychiatric establishment. Little did the doctors realize that I was taking part in some sort of spiritual awakening/shamanic initiation process, which at times mimicked psychosis but in actuality was an experience of a far different order. In 1993, after many years of struggling to contain and integrate my experiences, I started to teach about what I was realizing. I am now in private practice, assisting others who were spiritually emerging and beginning to wake up to the dreamlike nature of reality. In a dream come true, psychiatrists consult with me and send me patients.
In ancient wisdom cultures it was understood that there were certain individuals whose craziness was the sign of a passage into a higher consciousness. They realized that the person needed to be both honored and supported in their process. They knew that the person who passes through this process successfully and becomes an accomplished shaman, healer, or teacher, returns bearing incredible gifts and blessings of wisdom and healing for everyone. To quote the noted author Ken Wilber “Though the temporary unbalance precipitated by such a crisis may resemble a nervous breakdown, it cannot be dismissed as such. For it is not a pathological phenomena but a normal event for the gifted mind in these societies, when struck by and absorbing the force of the realization of ‘something far more deeply infused’ inhabiting both the round earth and one’s own interior.”
I had been doing Buddhist meditation for over a year when that lightning bolt went off inside of my brain. Within a day or two I felt like Alice who had fallen through the looking glass, finding myself “drafted” and playing a role in a deeper, mythic process, what Jung would call a “divine drama,” where everything was permeated with a deep symbolic meaning.