Mental Illness as Shamanic Template

Alberto Salinas. el Curandero, qualified as a shaman according to the Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual V, because he channeled the spirit of El Ni~no Fidencio within his cultural milieu; and because he healed people while in a trance state.  Many modes of his behavior had me running to the psychiatric journals with questions of whether or not Alberto’s uncanny abilities also qualified him as schizophrenic.  He said he heard voices and celestial music; he saw shadows; he was over-the-top creative; and, one could say, professionally intuitive and perceptive.  He was also delightfully theatric, which is a common trait among shamans.

Before mankind evolved ego consciousness (i.e., in the prefrontal cortex),  numinosity was manifested with schizophrenic-like symptoms including trance, visions, and glossolalia. The most developed form of this was present in shamans, who worked extremely hard to develop enough ego consciousness to balance out the inner instability. As mankind has progressed, we’ve unlocked “syntaxic” modes, such as creativity, which allow us to integrate the unconscious into consciousness when channeling numinosity.

~Raskolnikov.  Reddit r/Jung

Author: Katherine Brittain

Writer/Cultural Anthropologist

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