reply to post by atlasastro
I highly agree to most of your points.
A schizophrenic seeking treatment should, in my opinion, be simply focused upon living a life as healthy and normal as s/he can, as the posters here
who have or had this illness do.
I also think that the "herbal intoxication" I allude to is actually paralleling this mental illness, thus I never encourage anyone to engage in it
regularly, I myself have stayed away from anything like that for over a decade now, preferring to rely upon natural altered states of dreaming, active
imagination and Ericksonian trance (I am an NLP professional). Research is out now to prove that the earlier people try this intoxication, the harder
it is for them to adjust to consensus reality. (Luckily I had all my experiments in my twenties, not earlier). Also, it has been my experience that
you can replicate all pleasant or interesting altered states in Ericksonian trance, however, it is self-limiting - normal people will return to an
everyday state when their conscious and unconscious minds see it fit, and profit as much from the experience as they see fit. Indeed, in meditation I
have had much more interesting states of mind, contrary to what McKenna asserts.
The "filter" theory is tentative at best, it is interesting to consider from a theoretical point of view for psychologists and others in the helping
One useful aspect of all this research in therapy and altered states is that the verbal side of our life should match the nonverbal side. Now this is
notoriously out of whack for people diagnosed with schizophrenia, and (along with the meds) the more they can express their feelings, and the more
they can understand what others say in consensus language, the better their everyday status is.
The scientific understanding of time and space etc. however is knowledge that is transmitted via words. People learn it at school. However, time to
time, science is dazzled by certain abilities of mentally unstable or maladjusted individuals, for instance the mathematical calculating abilities of
certain autistic people. Also, there have been significant contributions to the arts by people who had mental illness, such as Van Gogh.
Philosophically, you can say that there is not one "alternate reality" of perception, cultures and individuals differ on how to interpret the world.
The hard sciences work with equations and specific descriptions to circumvent this problem. Yet it is a "soft science," linguistics, which is my
home field, that proved (not everyone adheres to this theory) that different languages shape our thinking slightly differently.
While language does work only by agreement of a group of people, and in reality each one of us interprets the same words slightly differently (the
more abstract they are, the more differences can be observed in the actual thinking process), the mentally ill sometimes live too much in their own
world of interpretations, and turns of language are interpreted by them in a radically different way than by average speakers of the same language.
Frequently personal or family trauma lies behind this, but humanistic psychology only answers for a part of this problem - it is possible that
everything from vitamins to genetics comes into the large picture.
So just because shamans or people exploring, let us say, out-of-body experiences by binaural sounds (as in the famous Monroe Institute) actively seek
altered states for healing and inspiration (and in the case of inventors, even concrete scientific solutions are found in naturally altered states -
naps etc.), and schizophrenics have very special and individual explanations, which sometimes also go together with altered states (usually unhappy
ones, I must add), the two are not IMHO the same, they bear similarity only in that intuition and a mythic-archetypal type of understanding is more
important than reasoning and consensus reality. Other than that, there are more differences than similarities...