“Deep in the wintry parts of our minds, we know that there is no such thing as a work-free transformation. We know that we will have to burn to the ground in one way or another, and then sit right in the ashes of who we once thought we were and go on from there.” Clarissa Pinkola Estés
“We are remembering a potentiality of life
which has been overgrown by civilisation,
but which in certain places is still existent.
If we were to relive it naively,
it would constitute a relapse into barbarism.
Therefore we prefer to forget it.
But should it appear to us again
in the form of a conflict, then we should keep
it in our consciousness
and test the two possibilities against each other – the life we live and the one we have forgotten. For what has apparently been lost
does not come to the fore again
without sufficient reason.”
“Stepping into wilderness and looking past ourselves, we see the vivid space of great forests, mountains, rivers, and deserts. You might say the wilderness experience gives us a standard by which to measure our sanity … [It] calls out the wilderness inside ourselves, and we’re always surprised by its sane and gentle nature.” —Albert Saijo
I found this article over at Jayson Gaddis’ site and wanted to repost it here in full because I think it is such an important message to get out there:
“The Shamanic View of Mental Illness”
by Stephanie Marohn (featuring Malidoma Patrice Somé) (Excerpted from The Natural Medicine Guide to Schizophrenia, pages 178-189, or The Natural Medicine Guide to Bi-polar Disorder)
What a Shaman Sees in A Mental Hospital
In the shamanic view, mental illness signals “the birth of a healer,” explains Malidoma Patrice Somé. Thus, mental disorders are spiritual emergencies, spiritual crises, and need to be regarded as such to aid the healer in being born.
“To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out to another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your dreams, ideas before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing.
They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live.
Chained by their certitudes, they are a slave: they have forfeited their freedom.
Only a person who risks is truly free.
The pessimist complains about the wind;
The optimist expects it to change;
And the realist adjusts the sails.”
William Arthur Ward
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
Frank Herbert, Dune
“A creative illness succeeds a period of intense preoccupation with an idea and search for a certain truth…. Throughout the illness, the subject never loses the thread of his dominating preoccupation. It is often compatible with normal, professional and family life. But even if he keeps to his social activities, he is almost entirely absorbed with himself. He suffers from feelings of utter isolation…. The termination is often rapid and marked by a phase of exhilaration. The subject emerges from his ordeal with a permanent transformation and the conviction that he has discovered a great truth or a new spiritual world.”
Henri F. Ellenberger, The Creative Illness
“Here is this vast, savage, howling mother of ours, Nature, lying all around, with such beauty, and such affection for her children, as the leopard; and yet we are so early weaned from her breast to society, to that culture which is exclusively an interaction of man on man.”
Henry David Thoreau