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Deeper Perception Made Practical

How Energetic Literacy Helps Me Accept Reality, a Guest Post by DAVE

When reality passes your sniff test....

When reality passes your sniff test….

Today’s guest post comes from a Blog-Buddy in his 20’s, sharing his thoughts as someone who actively uses Stage Three Energetic Literacy in everyday life. Three cheers for DAVE!

All I added were some links, formatting, and light editing. The voice belongs to this smart and courageous Texan.

A lot of my current outlook and perspective on life comes from being a student and client of Rose’s, off and on, for over the last three years or so, plus being an avid reader of this blog. I think I’ve read every post on here plus 90 percent of Rose’s books.

I’ve gone through the empowering yet disillusioning process of becoming a skilled empath, plus cut 50 or so cords of attachment, plus read hundreds of auras.

What I’ve learned is probably what many Enlightened or awake people learn, albeit more gradually, which is that:

  • A huge percentage of conventional wisdom and understanding is extremely rudimentary
  • And often wholly wrong or useless.
  • And this applies for every area of life you can think of.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have this accelerated growth in my understanding because of Stage Three Energetic Literacy, the basis of most of the system of Rosetree Energy Spirituality.

Without the ability to read auras, our basic understanding of life in society is based on mostly observational assumptions. It is as doctors’ knowledge was based solely on viewing a cadaver externally.

Stage Three Energetic Literacy is dissection. Information from the inside out. True knowledge of what’s really going on.

And guess what? It’s far more useful. And often surprising.

Often that knowledge bears no resemblance to the external assumptions that rule society. Read almost any of the amazing aura readings Rose has posted and you will see exactly what I mean. They are an amazing educational tool. And just fun to read.

The more blog posts you read here, the more aura readings you do, the more cord items you capture, the more you deepen your knowledge of the true internal working of humans.

This level of insight is not necessarily compatible with conventional wisdom.

Nor is it available to the majority of our human peers right now. (They could learn though, if interested)

How Stage Three Energetic Literacy has changed me

Although enlightening, this process is also extremely disillusioning.

It has forced me to reconsider countless core assumptions and then integrate to a fuller, broader, more pragmatic identity.

A journey I’m glad to have made but one that has also made me digest some scary, sad, and unfortunate facts about human life. This has caused an even greater intellectual, emotional, and spiritual schism between myself and many of my countrymen.

I’m undoubtedly more effective and more powerful as a result, though. Certainly I have learned to see things in a very different light.

Trusting my own self-authority

What this process has done has been to reinforce my belief in the irrationality of humans.

It has shown a spotlight on the sometimes comic ways that people play out their lives because of STUFF. I laughed at this before, but was as confused about life as anyone else.

Now I’m more secure in the ways in which I understand life and society, so I doubt myself less.

In some ways I have become less sympathetic to certain issues people face, partly because of my belief in life contracts and also because of a lessening tolerance for people who subscribe to victomology.

I have also because less nihilistic, which is a positive development. I have become confidently theistic.

Further I believe the nature of the human life is one of suffering. The very REASON we incarnate is to be confused, sad, depressed, angry, insecure. That is why we leave heaven.

I used to be more indignant at the ” injustices” of the world. Whereas now I accept them, mostly. I’m not saying I rejoice in babies dying of malnourishment in Asia or Africa, but it no longer bothers me the way it once did.

Expressions of collective consciousness

No longer do I take the broader issues of groups, countries, or societies so personally.

Life, society, and the world are often dreadful. But they are designed that way.

I’ve stopped talking the world as a conceptual whole so seriously. Instead I have become much more serious about my own life, my own happiness, my own relationships, my own money.

Before it was the opposite. This can in part be attributed to my developing Empath Empowerment, becoming the most important person in the room.

Accepting reality more

What I’m getting at is that I see a lot of interpersonal interactions as continuous misunderstandings, neuroses, and irrational emotions.

My favorite TV show, “The Office” (US version) plays off these themes of life.

Nearly every character is so self-interested, it’s like seeing a bunch of short-sighted kids in adult bodies interacting with each other.

Most of the characters lack self-awareness, continually acting out their insecurities and ID-based desires in comical and absurd ways.

“The Office” distinguishes itself because it’s not so exaggerated as other comedies. It expertly captures the lame, trite, and meaningless power struggles and dramas of suburban office workers in the U.S. who have little hope, desire, or ability to seek a better life, conveying their stuckness in a subtle and plausible way.

Sounds depressing, doesn’t it? Sometimes it is. But it’s also hilarious and, ironically, often heartfelt and genuine. I highly recommend it.

But that’s kind of how I see many people living out their lives. Even those of us who hold ourselves out as “awake” or spiritual are still literally animals. Like we’re only a finite number of genetic sequences removed from monkeys or domesticated dogs.

Therefore, part of my journey, and what I understand of the journey of many householders who have moved into Householder Enlightenment, is a deep acceptance of their humanity. Their desire for power. For prestige. For sex. For money.

Re-Evaluating Enlightenment

I remember when this blog explored the topic of of Enlightened gurus who seduced students, who lied, who deceived.

Many commenters were outraged. I didn’t really care, in part became I think I’ve been in this process of accepting myself as a human with spontaneous thoughts, wishes, and desires.

I am a spiritual being housed in the body of an animal, to some degree still governed by his animality.

In general I abhor self-righteousness and coercive moralism coming from any direction, partially because it often spews from immoral or amoral people but also because my expectations of humans in general aren’t too high.

Plus it doesn’t surprise me when people give into their animal self.

Also important to me, I recognize that on a spiritual level… this is all an illusion. A big God-made videogame we consent to.

Even though I know that, I don’t take it as a warrant to not care about life. In fact this has is inspired me to work in the opposite direction.

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  1. 1

    Photo credit for today’s post, from “The Office” goes to this photo of Brian Baumgartner:

    By lukeford.net [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

    This photo comes courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. In no way is it implied that the photographer or the subject endorses either me or this use of the image.

  2. 2
    An avid reader says:

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks so much for writing such an informative guest post!

    I, too, an an avid reader of this blog (actually, Rose’s blog is the only thing I avidly read). I bet there are many more silent avid readers…

  3. 3
    Dave says:

    Hahahahaha thank you for posting Kevin as the photo for this post! That made my day.

  4. 4
    David B says:

    Thanks, Dave. I quite enjoyed the post. I’ve had some similar insights.

    But “I believe the nature of the human life is one of suffering.” Really?

    Now certainly I agree that the majority of humans are suffering. In fact, they’re suffering even more than they realize because it’s become a kind of normal.

    But I disagree it’s the nature of life itself. The vast majority of beings don’t suffer like we do. Earth school is a difficult place but offers opportunities for growth not possible elsewhere. Many of us stumble in the process, but the net result is worth the exercise. To me.

    Bliss is the direct subjective experience of life. That is it’s real nature, under all the Stuff.

  5. 5
    Kylie says:

    Ha ha!!! At first I thought that photo was Dave, and I was very confused. “This person does not look at all as I imagine Dave.” I also thought he looked familiar, but it totally escaped me that he is from the Office. I love that show, by the way. I love the way you describe it Dave–so true.

    I don’t know that I see things quite the same way as you do (life as suffering, human’s animal side being something to fight) but I can so relate to the overall process you are describing.

    Deeper perception does often bring disillusionment. I used to view other people with such rose colored glasses… and suffered a lot for that. While deeper perception can be disillusioning, it ultimately leads to so much less suffering and to so much more effectiveness as a human being.

    I love this sentence: “I’ve stopped talking the world as a conceptual whole so seriously. Instead I have become much more serious about my own life, my own happiness, my own relationships, my own money.”

    I also love what you say about having to reintegrate to a broader, fuller, more pragmatic identity. I know that process! I also feel that schism between me and most people I know. Sometimes it makes me feel lonely, but mostly I feel so filled up with that expanded interior experience that it does not bother me.

    Still, it is nice to know there are others out there on parallel journeys.

  6. 6

    Along with the delightfulness of DAVE’s guest post, I am so relishing comments as they start pouring in.

    AN AVID READER, you know how I am avid for you!

    KYLIE, so well put about everything, and especially the expanded inner experience.

    DAVID B. I totally agree with your perspective on the suffering. Reminds me of a saying, “Life is either bliss or lessons.”

    Right now, DAVE, I think you are emphasizing the suffering part, the lessons. This happens a lot. However, life really can be based in bliss — not a mood but more an inner recognition of what is that lasts.

    You know, God.

  7. 7
    Dave says:

    Avid Reader, thanks for the comment!

    And Kylie, I have to agree so much with your comment. I too am more filled up and joyful even if sometimes lonely. But not too lonely.

    David B., thanks for your comment here and elsewhere on the blog. I am really glad for your insight and perspective, which I respect a lot.

    In regards to the suffering comment, what I was trying to convey is an idea I heard from a regression therapist Rose has linked on blog before. I don’t remember his name. Basically what he said is that imagine heaven is completely white. A white room, beautiful, nothing can go wrong. But the individual in a body of light is also completely white. Eventually that being seeks to gain a greater understanding of himself, yet cannot, because he is fully blissful, white, and so are his surroundings.

    Thus the individual decides to incarnate to a world like earth. A world of contrast, what that is dark and not blissful in comparison to heaven. A world of struggle, sadness, anger, and confusion. This world is crappy in comparison to heaven so we can learn.

    I definitely agree though that much joy and fulfillment can be achieved here! 2013 while sometimes tricky and upsetting to me have also been categorized but a more pronounced underlying feeling of joy. I will sometimes aura read myself and be happy to find a feeling of joy in a databank that I might not have realized consciously. That’s when I pay myself and Rose’s techniques on the back 🙂

    But I definitely believe my opinions will change as I get closer to Enlightnement. But the belief that being in the world guarantees suffering has been a freeing revelation for me. I believe at least in the US there’s this fantasy that gets bandied about that suffering and hurt and struggle can be minimized if we try. Like if junior just fits in, plays on the basketball team, and thinks like everyone else, things will be perfect. And if that fails we’ll pump him full of Prozac and Xanax until he’s happy and normal (read: can’t think or feel anymore.) The idea that there’s a pill or a treatment for anything.

    But what I’ve come to realize, at least for me, is that, by golly, feeling angry and sad and sometimes hurt and sometimes insulted is just a part of life! There’s no escape for it and it’s not abnormal. I think this is what I was trying to convey rather than we’re doomed to feel like crap all the time when on earth. Crap is just a not infrequent occurrence sometime.

  8. 8

    DAVE, I am just loving your latest comment.

    Yet I do wish to share my personal view regarding what you just wrote about Prozac and other psychiatric medications.

    It is true that sometimes they are over-prescribed. Or there is not a good fit between that medication and the patient.

    However, you can thank God, DAVE, that you can make such a statement about psychiatric medications. Clearly you have not had occasion to know from personal experience. Psychiatric medications
    can save a person’s life.

    Medications don’t just keep a person functioning more comfortably, although that is no small matter. Appropriately prescribed psychiatric medications, yes like Prozac, provide the stability for huge spiritual evolution here at earth school.

    I have known many people (clients included) who are very evolved spiritually, and they happen to be on long-term psychiatric medication. No, despite your implication, DAVE, they are not cowardly, nor stupid, nor lazy, nor inferior to you in any way.

    Wisely, these clients take their meds because they are courageous.

  9. 9

    Medication from a doctor is not the same thing as a recreational drug like cocaine.

    Medications are prescribed to help the body function more normally.

    If you are reading the blog and you are one of the readers who uses psychiatric medication to function in everyday life, you might need that sort of help for the rest of your life.

    DAVE, I have never met a person who is happy to take psychiatric medication. Yet it helps the person function as a basis for evolution.

    In my line of work, I meet a variety of people. So I can tell you that sometimes it becomes a pride thing, a shame thing, an honor thing, a kind of interior contest, “Can I get off the meds?”

    If and when it seems appropriate to decrease your dosage, let your medicating doctor know and decrease that medication gradually under supervision.

    If your doctor is adamant that no changes can be made, get yourself a better doctor.

    Know that sometimes Soul Energy Awakening Hypnosis has helped client to stop taking medication altogether, with the doctor’s monitoring and approval.

    Mostly it is important to appreciate that a person’s mind-body-spirit system may require medication for reasons that are genetic or karmic, maybe just for a while and maybe for the entire rest of the lifetime. That’s reality.

    As someone who has worked in mind-body-spirit since 1970, I have found many instances of “New Age Guilt” or courageous people giving themselves a hard time because of the need to take medications of any kind. How I wish that would stop.

  10. 10

    P.S. Here is one more bit of practical perspective from Rosetree Energy Spirituality. This is directed towards all you Blog-Buddies who just hate taking your meds.

    If you experiment about decreasing medication and your distressing symptoms recur, please, do not engage in a “Fight to the death.”

    Go back to the meds, still working with your doctor. Don’t give up hope of some day being free from medication. Give yourself a year or more after you stabilize and then experiment when it feel wise to you.

    Always bring your doctor on board. Otherwise act in a responsible manner.

    Most of all, if you benefit from psychiatric medication, please remember you are in this lifetime for the long haul. You have so much more about you than whether or not you need to take some meds for now.

  11. 11

    Oh, okay, a P.P.S. Something else I have observed working in New Age since 1970.

    Ooh, prepare for controversy.

    Many people who seek out psychics and alternative healing do have mental health problems that could be ameliorated by appropriate medication.

    Unfortunately these folks are not willing to admit this to themselves. Often mind-body-spirit healing could help, if only they were willing.

    One common example of healing removing the need for medication, in my sort of energy spirituality? Clients and readers and students sometimes report huge improvement in quality of life, once they learn Empath Empowerment(R).

    And no, I don’t think anyone ever got put on Prozac by complaining, “Doctor, I think I am having mood swings related to being an unskilled empath.”

    That said, sometimes energy healing does not remove the need for medication. Many people would benefit from psychiatric medication, appropriately prescribed.

    How do I make my peace with this fact as a healer who is not qualified as a mental health expert? Like my apprentices and graduates in Rosetree Energy Spirituality, I work to help ordinary people handle ordinary human problems.

    If I suspect that someone has a mental health problem, I am not qualified to handle that. Accordingly, I make a referral to an expert.

    Over the years, I have developed enormous respect for psychiatrists. They help the most troubled patients of all, as well as ones who are not so troubled. And no occupational group has greater knowledge about how to prescribe psychiatric medication.

  12. 12
    Dave says:

    Thanks for the response Rose. I don’t mean to imply that many people who take psychiatry drugs are lesser people than me. That would be a silly statement for me to make. I believe though that listening to the conventional wisdom, which is not very useful, can cause more harm than good. Sure some people need psychiatry drugs to survive, but that’s nowhere close to the majority of people taking them. By most numbers, those taking psychiatry drugs by an large are the worried well. When I have more time I will type up a more detailed summation of my experience with psychiatry and its effect on me and others first hand. I do appreciate your perspective that it can be a stabilizing and helpful resource for people. That’s awesome. And I mean no disrespect to anyone who chooses to take perescribed medicine. I’m short on time right now but this article does a good Jon summarizing some of my perspective on the field of psychiatry, which actually has a long history of corruption and collusion with drug companies, going all the way up to the highest levels.

    “In retrospect, my critique of modern psychiatry was probably too mild. According to Anatomy of Epidemic by Robert Whitaker, psychiatry has not only failed to progress; it may now be harming many of those it purports to help. Anatomy of an Epidemic has been ignored by most major media. I learned about it only after Marcia Angell, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine and now a lecturer on public health at Harvard, reviewed Anatomy in The New York Review of Books last year.

    As recently as the 1950s, Whitaker contends, the four major mental disorders–depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia–often manifested as episodic and “self-limiting”; that is, most people simply got better over time. Severe, chronic mental illness was viewed as relatively rare. But over the past few decades the proportion of Americans diagnosed with mental illness has skyrocketed. Since 1987, the percentage of the population receiving federal disability payments for mental illness has tripled; among children under the age of 18, the percentage has grown by a factor of 35.

    This epidemic has coincided, paradoxically, with a surge in prescriptions for psychiatric drugs. Between 1985 and 2008, U.S. sales of antidepressants and antipsychotics multiplied almost fifty-fold, to $24.2 billion. Prescriptions for bipolar disorder and anxiety have also swelled. One in eight Americans, including children and even toddlers, is now taking a psychotropic medication. Whitaker acknowledges that antidepressants and other psychiatric medications often provide short-term relief, which explains why so many physicians and patients believe so fervently in the drugs’ benefits. But over time, Whitaker argues, drugs make many patients sicker than they would have been if they had never been medicated.

    Whitaker compiles anecdotal and clinical evidence that when patients stop taking SSRIs, they often experience depression more severe than what drove them to seek treatment. A multi-nation report by the World Health Organization in 1998 associated long-term antidepressant usage with a higher rather than lower risk of long-term depression. SSRIs can cause a wide range of side effects, including insomnia, sexual dysfunction, apathy, suicidal impulses and mania–which may then lead patients to be diagnosed with and treated for bipolar disorder.

    Indeed, Whitaker suspects that antidepressants—as well as Ritalin and other stimulants prescribed for attention deficit disorder—have catalyzed the recent spike in bipolar disorder. Relatively rare just a half century ago, reported rates of bipolar disorder have spiked more than 100-fold to one in 40 adults. Side effects attributed to lithium and other common medications for bipolar disorder include deficits in memory, learning ability and fine-motor skills. Similarly, benzodiazepines such as Valium and Xanax, which are among the drugs prescribed for anxiety, are addictive; withdrawal from these sedatives can cause effects ranging from insomnia to seizures, as well as panic attacks.

    Whitaker’s analysis of treatments for schizophrenia is especially disturbing. Antipsychotics, from Thorazine to successors like Zyprexa, cause weight gain, physical tremors (called tardive dyskinesia) and, according to some studies, cognitive decline and brain shrinkage. Before the introduction of Thorazine in the 1950s, Whitaker asserts, almost two thirds of the patients hospitalized for an initial episode of schizophrenia were released within a year, and most of this group did not require subsequent hospitalization.

    Over the past half century, the rate of schizophrenia-related disability has grown by a factor of four, and schizophrenia has come to be seen as a largely chronic, degenerative disease. A decades-long study by the World Health Organization found that schizophrenic patients fared better in poor nations, such as Nigeria and India, where antipsychotics are sparingly prescribed, than in wealthier regions such as the U.S. and Europe.

    A long-term study by Martin Harrow, a psychologist at the University of Illinois, found an inverse correlation between medication for schizophrenia and positive, long-term outcomes. Beginning in the 1970s, Harrow tracked a group of 64 newly diagnosed schizophrenics. Forty percent of the non-medicated patients recovered—meaning that they could become self-supporting–versus five percent of those who were medicated. Harrow contended that those who were heavily medicated were sicker to begin with, but Whitaker suggests that the medications may be making some patients sicker.

    A caveat is in order here. Whitaker does NOT claim that medications have no value and that no one should take them. In his talk at my school, as in his book, Whitaker acknowledged that many people benefit from psychopharmacology, especially over the short term. But he does believe that the drugs should be administered far more sparingly.”

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/2012/03/05/are-psychiatric-medications-making-us-sicker/

  13. 13

    A powerful and educational follow-up, DAVE. Thank you so much.

  14. 14
    Jean says:

    Hey Dave,

    Thanks for this post – and for your follow up comments.
    Got me a – thinkin for sure.
    You go 🙂

  15. 15
    Curious As Ever says:

    Thanks Dave, I really enjoyed reading your guest-blog post. I also feel very different now that, very much thanks to Rose’s books and blog, I am beginning to be able to perceive people energetically in greater depth and detail. Mainly I feel calmer. So if somebody gets their hair on fire about whatever, or keeps insisting on something in a way that had seemed to me very pushy or even bizarre, I can now say (to summarize), ah ha! It’s just their STUFF. And then, to use my “train coming out of the tunnel” analogy, I see it, and so I blithely step aside– and therefore no longer get run over. I don’t expect people to be like me or to “be reasonable” or whatever– I try to see them as they actually are. Easier said than done. But there it is.

    Another analogy I like to use is judo– that is, a martial art that’s not about fighting but managing energy to one’s own advantage / defense, that is, to see something coming before it gets anywhere near, and with clear and focused intention react appropriately.

    I’ve also noticed that the news holds far less interest for me now. Not for lack of curiosity or concern about various people / issues, but because I can now perceive where it is coming from energetically– it’s trying to hook me or grab my emotions/ energy in a way that just doesn’t work anymore. Which find very interesting.

  16. 16
    Curious As Ever says:

    Dave, here’s hoping you’ll do another guest blog post.

  17. 17
    Kylie says:

    Thanks for the follow up, Dave. I was going to say something to this effect (about psychiatric medicine being sometimes necessary but often prescribed unnecessarily) but you beat me to it. And thanks for clarifying your point about suffering. I think you are on to something there. When people look at life from only the surface perspective, and expect that everything should be smooth and rosy, of course life doesn’t make sense and the negative feelings are overwhelming. It’s not that drugs don’t have their place–sometimes they are the best option. But in many cases what is really needed is deeper perception…

  18. 18
    Amanda says:

    Dave,

    So impressed by your Comment 12.

    I think a failure to accept anxiety and depression as natural parts of life have contributed to drug presciption rise, and vice versa.

    It has put people with these perfectly normal processes into a space of labelled victimhood and compounded the problem.

    I would also postulate that more people may be having ‘STUFF clearouts’ or entering realms of the subconscious that are not generally recognised or accepted, and when this kind of opening happens in the absence of qualified help such as that offered by Rose and other healers, drugs can be an alternative.

    I studied psychology, way back when, so this kind of comment is guaranteed to light up my day! Thank you.

    Amanda

  19. 19

    DAVE and others, are you aware what a controversial figure Robert Whitaker is in psychiatry?

    I just did a little googling.

    http://mentalillnesspolicy.org/myths/Mad-in-america.html

    According to Mental Illness Policy.com, “‘Histrionic'” is perhaps the kindest adjective that can be used to describe Robert Whitaker’s new book on American psychiatry.”

    And, in case you didn’t know this, “Histrionic” is not just an adjective to a mental health professional. Histrionic Personality Disorder is a mental health diagnosis.

  20. 20
    Amanda says:

    One of the things I love about psychology is how disparate the views are and how much tweaking of statistics is done to present one’s theories.

    It certainly keeps you on your toes!

    I agree that the headline nature of Whitaker’s views are likely to arise from this kind of tweaking.

    However, there is still a more serious point, which is that true, untreatable-except-by-medication mental disorders are far rarer in the population than we might think, given the preponderance of drug prescription.

    One of the defining characteristics of anxiety and depression is a chain of negative and misleading thoughts. Adding to this chain ‘you have a mental illness’ and backing it up with prescription drugs is likely to anchor the issue which would otherwise resolve and bring new insight and learning in its place.

    When I was in my early twenties and had just moved to London, I went through a patch of having panic attacks and hypochondriacal thoughts.

    I went to my doctor, who gave me a prescription after ten minutes consutation. I told him I didn’t want a prescription, I wanted psychological help.

    He sent me to a Jungian therapist who said not a single word to me in the hour I sat in her office – one of the oddest experiences of my life, and utterly hilarious! – but certainly not helpful to my issue.

    I went back and demanded cognitive behavioural therapy, and got it. Six weeks later the panic and hypochondria were gone.

    If I had not had a clear instinct for what I needed, plus a small amount of knowledge to back it up, and if I wasn’t naturally quite a fighter on my own behalf – 🙂 – then that would be it, I’d have been on Prozac or diazapam and a chain of drug dependence would have followed.

    I am passionate about this issue.

    Even in severe cases of ‘hearing voices’, being unable to get out of bed for fear of dying and relentless panic and anxiety, if there is not a specific neurological cause then breathing, relaxing the body, courage and help from qualified and knowledgeable people can bring about relief.

    Amanda

  21. 21

    AMANDA, thank you for sharing your story. Phew!

    Like you, I strive for balance. So here is something to think about your statement that:

    “Even in severe cases of ‘hearing voices’, being unable to get out of bed for fear of dying and relentless panic and anxiety, if there is not a specific neurological cause then breathing, relaxing the body, courage and help from qualified and knowledgeable people can bring about relief.”

    We have a very sweet yoga community in the state where I live, Yogaville. I have twice gone there for retreats. It truly is lovely, with staff who are qualified, knowledgeable, and dedicated.

    Many people go to Yogaville to feel better, and some of those people have severe problems.

    I happen to know someone who has worked at a nearby hospital with a psych. ward. Plenty of people have gone from Yogaville into that psych. ward.

    Yoga can be wonderful. Meditation can be wonderful. I happen to think Energy Spirituality is pretty darned wonderful.

    But many people need support, from time to time, as you once did. Support from a mental health professional.

    Psychotherapy and psychiatry are not only for people with lifelong mental health issues. Sometimes they are the very best, smartest, cheapest solution, whether medication is included or not.

  22. 22
    Amanda says:

    Hear hear, Rose!

    I am against medication as the knee-jerk response, however, and have seen and heard too many tales of that.

  23. 23
    Madeline says:

    Really interesting points of view.
    One comment I would like to make is that there is no collusion between drug companies and drs that I know of. Drug companies can bring snacks and pens to doctors but believe me that is quite unlikely to cause a physician to over prescribe a medication. A common misperception is that there is some kind of monetary gain for a dr to prescribe a specific drug, that is patently against the law.

    Also it can be dangerous for a mentally ill person to just go to yoga or try relaxation as evidenced by recent massive shootings by psychotic people who were not treated appropriately.

    I think we are talking about two different groups of people, Severely mentally ill and others with relatively mild issues.
    I have seen so many people helped in both categories with drugs.

    I worked as a psychiatric nurse and have seen behavior that is truly crazy/bizarre, had patients that killed their children etc. Hearing voices is something to take extremely seriously.

    These drugs may be overprescribed but in my view that’s better than under prescribed.

  24. 24
    Madeline says:

    Rose I really enjoyed your comments about psychiatry, drugs and shame. I have seen so much of that. People who really suffer but feel that taking a medication is a “crutch” makes them feel weak, damaged, judged.
    Knowing that you can take medication and still be on your path to enlightenment is wonderful
    Thank you.

  25. 25

    MADELINE, the appreciation is mutual. Thank you for your eloquent comments, for all who are participating in this thread, psychiatric medications being a complicated topic rife with nuances and no one simple answer.

    Discussion like ours seems pretty taboo in New Age circles, but why?

  26. 26
    Katie says:

    Discussion about psychiatric treatment including medication is probably taboo in most circles due to stigma. No one wants to take medication if they can avoid it, but we are more accepting of treatment for our bodies, more willing to take medication for high blood pressure or diabetes, than for treatment of illnesses of the mind. I think the stigma of mental illness makes people afraid to be dismissed as “crazy” (by others and even by themselves,) if they take psychiatric medications or are hospitalized on a psychiatric inpatient unit.

    As a practicing psychiatrist, I am very aware that of the considerable controversy about psychiatric medications, as addressed in this thread referencing Robert Whitaker’s controversial work. Some of it is justified — psych meds can be overused, and people can have adverse reactions to them (as they can, I would add, to any medication.) Sadly, many people have horror stories about becoming ill from adverse effects, or of being abused in some way by the medical system. But there is no systematic collusion between psychiatrists and pharmaceutical companies to take advantage of people seeking treatment for their suffering.

    Psychiatric medication appropriately used helps people function optimally, and can even be lifesaving. Most people who take these medications are not the “worried well,” but are people who are suffering, and in genuine need of relief from debilitating symptoms. As with any other type of medication, short-term use is ideal, but not always realistic. Karma and/or genetics may indeed mean that a person would choose to take psychiatric medication long-term to continue to function optimally.

    These medications don’t heal, as energy spirituality does. Appropriately prescribed, they do offer relief and stabilization, which is important for meaningful participation in other healing modalities.

  27. 27
    Ashley says:

    I used to be pretty anti-psychiatry in my younger years (early twenties). I had icky personal experiences in that way. I have made peace with those experiences. No cords cut yet, but I am now on the side of psychiatry. While I am aware of the horrors that went on in this relatively new field of science (in fact I would say it’s still a field in the baby stages of understanding), there are efforts being made to evolve it to a level where it is more helpful and less harmful. I have a family member who wants to go to school to be a psychiatrist and it was she who told me that my views of psychiatry in my early twenties are now outdated (now I’m in my thirties), so a lot has been accomplished in just ten or less years! Things she’s been explaining to me is like how the symptoms we have been calling schizophrenia or bipolar are being heavily reevaluated as new understandings of the mechanisms of those conditions are being brought to light. Previous treatment prescribed for these conditions (a heavy dose of heavy drugs) are being set aside for different treatments, where medication is given only if necessary. It seems to me that the field really is changing for the better.

    I suppose I see the same thing going on with the New Age um.. community? healing field? It seems to me to be even less evolved than psychiatry frankly. Now we’re just finding out about astral Ponzi schemes and icky cords of attachment, and most healers don’t seem to have a clue how to deal with them. Well, why would they know? Spiritual healing is a field that might still be in its baby stage. I am sure it will evolve just nicely. I’m just glad I chose a very smart and perceptive healer like Rose.

  28. 28
    Ashley says:

    Oh, yeah, and I used to be anti-drugs too, but it’s helped a lot of people I know — those drugs like Xanax and Prozac. I myself have gotten on anti-depressants when I had periods in my life where I was depressed. I only took them temporarily once I moved on from the experience that was depressing me. I’ve also been told that depression is no longer called a “disease” like it used to be. I always thought that was wrong. None of my doctors have ever told me I have a disease and its called depression. They were just dictors that understood I was going through something sad and needed some help so that I can get back on with my life.

  29. 29
    Ashley says:

    I did encounter some of that anti-drug stigma from people though. It’s always sad to me. I remember one time I was arguing with an ex boyfriend about whether people on anti-depressants have the right to own guns. I said of course they have the right if the doctor thinks they are stable. People on certain drugs are not necessarily unstable nor irresponsible enough to not own a gun. Sometimes they are a heck of a lot more stable and responsible than a person who has issues and is either not self-aware enough to recognize it, or just flat refuses to get help. The debate was just silly with him being the silly one I think (not that I can’t be silly myself sometimes, heheh).

  30. 30
    Ashley says:

    I loved your post Dave. It resonated with me. You know what’s funny? I also always had this feeling that this life of ours is just a game (or to quote the late Bill Hicks — it’s just a ride). This exact phrase ‘life is just a game’ landed in one of my cord of attachments. I think that’s funny (generally I don’t find cord dialogues funny, btw). No idea why it landed there, but it’s gone now so I don’t think about it too much. Maybe it was because I was going through a distressing time when it occurred to me and I said it sarcastically. Anyway, I always loved The Office. Actually, there’s a great deal that happens on that show that I don’t find even slightly exaggerated. Maybe the parts where bats are flying around the building and the characters do silly things, but the characters are so very much people I know in real life. I’ve totally had jobs where the office politics are so very much like that show.

  31. 31
    Ashley says:

    Amanda that story about the Jungian therapist is something I find hilarious. But I’m sorry if it was a bad experience. What would that be like? I imagine that to be so awkward. Did the person warn you or give you a heads up that they wouldn’t be speaking? Cause I’m imagining all these scenes where I walk in on one of these sessions thinking I’m gonna get someone nice and helpful to talk to and I’m just staring at the therapist and they just stare back at me and don’t say a word. Lol!

    I’d be having all sorts of flurries of weird thoughts. If I said any of them outloud it would go like this: um Hello? Are you gonna say anything? Did I do something wrong? Am I doing something wrong? Am I in the right office? What are we doing? What are you doing? Is this like the movie I, Robot where I’m not asking the right questions? Are you a robot? Is this some weird psycho-therapy that’s supposed to make me feel self-conscious and that’s supposed to be an expression of my id and ego? Is this mute therapy? Are you a mute? Am I not supposed to talk? Are you a monk? Or are you on strike? Are you on duty? Are you on guard, protecting the queen? Is the government out to get us?

    Funny.. but I can’t imagine that being therapeutic.

  32. 32
    Zelda says:

    The conversational thread about medication brings to mind a theme from a recent health adventure that’s not quite over for me yet. After years of managing my health and wellness really very well with alternative medicine modalities, my wise homeopath advised that I get connected with a wonderful allopathic doc earlier this summer, which I did. I had some painful and mystifying symptoms.

    The experience of going to the ER, seeing my primary care doc, my cardiologist, and rheumatologist squashed any remaining “New Age guilt” out of me. People get stuff. Their brain chemistry can go out of balance and medication can help it. The heart sometimes needs medication to calm a racing heart rate.

    Along the way, I was mystified by certain comments directed my way by seemingly well-intentioned folks. I was told more than once that I should just meditate more. I met someone who doesn’t believe in ever taking any medication at all. These were people who didn’t ask me much about what was really going on, but somehow they felt it would be helpful to give advice.

    The cool and somewhat amusing outcome of my adventures so far is that after very good allopathic care, I’ve delved into alternative modalities again, with great results. My cardiologist is impressed! He has a positive attitude about what works and is very open-minded. It’s been a great opportunity to hone my sense of self-authority.

    What works in the realm of healthcare, whether it’s psychiatric medications or heart treatments or whatever, is so very personal!

    It can be challenging enough to have to deal with a health issue. Being judged or told what to do really doesn’t help anyone to heal.

    I’m glad you shared what you did, Rose, about medication being so helpful for some people. I’ve experienced the “conventional wisdom” of the allopathic world and I’ve also seen a New Age “conventional wisdom.” I’m all for a respectful, open-minded, integrative approach. A common sense, personal approach.

  33. 33
    Dave says:

    Madeleine, in regards to your comment: “One comment I would like to make is that there is no collusion between drug companies and drs that I know of.”

    You would be quite wrong according to what I’ve read. Drug company reps have (an may still) taken doctors to 1000 dollar dinners, on cruises, to spa days.

    The psychiatric industry has an extensive history of corruption at the highest levels. A pretty blatant money trail between doctors, drug company reps, and the psyciatric boards. A little research will pull up some shocking information. I will see if I can find some links.

  34. 34
    Amanda says:

    Hi Ashley,

    Your comment made me laugh! Yes, it was really very discombobulating. I felt self-conscious and slightly amused, but I also felt rather dropped in it, unhelped and, when you get right down to it, insulted. I

    Even at the end, when she finally opened her mouth to say ‘Our session is now ended’, I gestured to a print on the wall and said ‘That’s lovely, where’s it from?’ (aiming to have at least some conversation) and she said ‘We can talk about that next week,’ in a very final tone.

    I do find it funny – but only once I was out of there – and I cannot for the life of me see how dropping someone into a hole like that can have any kind of helpful or therapeutic effect. In short, it was dreadful.

    Rose made a point about silence as a weapon in a post the other week. This was silence as a therapeutic weapon!

    🙂

    Amanda

  35. 35
    Amanda says:

    Hi Madeleine,

    I bow to your experiential knowledge – I only had an opinion.

    🙂

    Amanda

  36. 36
    Dave says:

    To your point Rose,

    Many people did denounce Whitaker. In general, I find institutions and big fields self-preserving and resistant to change. It’s no surprise then that those who make money off the status quo of psychology would seek to undermine the credibility of someone who conducted damning research that seems to suggest a new epidemic of prolonged disability CAUSED by drugs themselves. This is political obfuscation tactic number 1: call into question the moral or mental capacity of someone with a differing opinion.

    Whitaker has also won awards for the research. Most importantly, the numbers themselves tell a story that goes beyond rhetoric, in my opinion.

    To address my problem with prescribing non-vital psychiatric medicine, I object for two reasons. Firstly, like much of modern medicine, psychiatry often treats symptoms not causes. Modern Psychology asserts a determnistic and Cartesian model of the mind, where’s it’s a sort of machine, albeit a complicated one, that you can add pills to and change. Psycholgy’s egregious ignoring of evidence that suggests a supra-matrerialistic paradigm of the mind does as much to invalidate it’s supposed authority as the simplistic assumptions it makes about the mind. Evidence in peer reviewed journals that support reincarnation has been ignored since the 1970’s.

    In regards to a therapeutic model, it’s fully my belief that anti-depressants or benzoates should not be prescribed unless a patient has done the basic things that are pre-requisites to a happy and chemically balanced brain. Do you do vigorous exercise 3 days or more a week? Ok do that for 3 months and report back. Do you engage in social hobbies where you meet people and/or serve the community? Ok do that and try to make friends. Your level of happiness will increase. Do you watch over an hour of TV a day, or play lots of videogames that cause social isolation and distortive effects? Ok stop playing video games all the time. Get outside. Talk to people. Be a normal social creature, like evolution designed you. Do you smoke marihuana or drink alcohol with frequency? Oh, you drink 3 times a week? Well you better cut that out before we decide that you have a problem only cured by strong, controlled substances. As a regular drinker, you’re like tens of millions of Americans who sabatoge their ability to reach new heights of happiness. Do you have basic social skills? Can you stand up for yourself? Ok learn those first. A talk therapist of life skills coach is a great place to start. Do you have people you can talk to? Do you have a community? Do you eat bad food that has killed positive bacteria in your gut which has been shown to regulate mood? Like, you might be anxious all thins because of all the Dr. Pepper and cupcakes you eat. Seriously.

    After you’ve done all that, and tried to live like an optimal human (I say this to refer to the human in it’s optimal habitat: good, nutritious food, social bonds, sexual fulfillment, vigorous exercise, competition but also safety) then we may be able to assert that something is wrong with “you” or that you’re dysfunctional. Until then, you’re letting bad societal influences keep you from functioning correctly, like pouring just a bit of sprite in every tank of gas you put in your car.

    Unfortunately many psychiatrists don’t ask these questions. Psychiatry has moved towards a model of prescription based on treatment of symptoms not cause. According to my understanding, psychiatrists by and large don’t waste their time in talk therapy. They instead hold 15 minute consultation sessions, going down a check list of symptoms, in order to decide what to prescribe (countless exceptions exist though). Apparently psychiatrists just make more money this way, along with drug companies, which do have their tentacles in the field of psyciatry itself, have played a huge part. You can’t make money off people who don’t need drugs.

    Unfortunately many people who take anti-depressants can’t answer yes to many or most of the above questions. They haven’t done everything to promote the normal and healthy functioning of the brain without adding in powerful, external chemicals. I disagree with using any powerful meds that aren’t necessary be it penicillin, hydrocodone, or Valium. In that way, like I saw with a friend of mine, many use anti-depressants as a crutch.

    This friend has been on anti-depressants since he was in High School. I knew him in college. For 6 or 7 years he’d ingested a powerful substance to affect his brain chemistry. Everyday. He was also an unskilled empath. As I knew him more, we became close, and we’d talk.

    He’d never kissed a girl at 21, played video games sometimes 6 hours a day, had no exercise habits to speak of, little fashion sense, a self-effacing manner, and bad social skills. He’d sometimes complain about different things in his life and I’d give him some basic and obvious tips he could follow: become a skilled empath, start working out, and stop spending hours playing computer games and watching porn.

    But he seemed unable to do those things. Or he didn’t want to. Furthermore, based on some aura reading I’d done, it seemed to me that the drugs he took, anti-depresants, actually seemed to create a sort of barrier between him and other people. Like we’d be in a group setting and he’d say or do something completely out of sync and awkward. Like he wasn’t really connected to what was going on. The drugs built a little wall where he couldn’t fully connect. Not that psychologists or psychiatrists currently have the ability to perceive something like that.

    My longitudinal theory of his development was that video games and porn and lack of hobbies or social involvement never pushed him to develop social skills. And the drugs allowed him to numb or ignore the pain that he felt and just move on.

    Instead, I think if he’d hit rock bottom, and been forced to emotionally feel where he was at, take stock of that, that would push him to do basic things to improve his happiness and live a more balanced and normal life. Instead he lived in a non-evolving limbo. Although spiritually connected, he was hardly fully human. He was spiritually addicted, of the electronic addiction variety.

    I found out that after some months he didn’t heed much of the basic life advice at all and instead got prescribed to an even stronger drug, Xanax, which is about as “happy-pill” as they come, by his psychiatrist since my friend told him he was in a rut – hmmm I women why. I’ve tried Xanax on a few occasions out of curiosity and its basically like having the dopamine of being drunk without the impairment. It’s like, pop this pill, and have a sort-of happy detachment 20 minutes later.But it also has a shocking inability to work long term, requiring an ever increasing dose to stay effective. It’s really meant for short term anxiety but is recklessly, IMO, perscribed as a long term solution to anxiety and depression.

    Ultimately I think we’ve seen a rapid increase in psychiatry as we’ve seen a rapid deterioration of the United States. In the last thirty years what have we seen? Urban planning that destroys community, a rise in food that causes diabetes, cancer, and other numerous illnesses, radically more time in front of TV and Internet, less informed citizens, vastly lower rates of civic involvement, an obesity epidemic (being overweight is correlated with mental illness) and more intangibly, a move towards a lazier, more self-centered, more-entitled, national psyche.

    In my opinion, in general, psychiatry in a broad sense works like bandages we’re using on the open sores of culture, community, and consciousness. If someone feels bad and taking a pill makes them feel better, does that bother me? No. More power to them. What alarms me is the underlying causes of our “mental illness epidemic” (google for statistics) we as a culture seem reluctant or unable to address and treat. And I stand by my previous assertion that the majority of psyciatric drugs taken in the US are unneccessary. India and Bulgaria have rates of psyciatric drug usage that’s 100 times lower than the US. Now why is that? Do they have 100 times fewer mentally “ill” people or do they conceptualize mental health in a different, more historically consistent way?

    Again, my outlook on life is that it is not devoid of suffering. I come from an upper-middle class household, in the richest country in history, as an ethnic majority, with a high IQ and decently good looks. Yet my life has been filled with rejection, sadness, loneliness, anger, and grief. Along with anxiety, depression, and obsessive thoughts. Does that make me ill or normal?

    My life has also been enriched by joy, adventure, emotional connection, love, euphoria, and blessings. Are we brainwashed by the media to hold life to too high a standard?

    I mean, to develop muscle, the muscle must first be torn. Every while achievement or growth comes from hardwork and persistence in the face of continual difficulty.

    I think the percentage of people with mental “illness” that’s actually a disease is much lower than the amount of people being categorized as such by the drug-company industrial complex.

    But, I also do see the value in short term use of anti-depressants or benzoates to treat depression or trauma.

    My thoughts are my own and everyone is more than invited to disagree!

  37. 37
    Morgan says:

    Dave – thanks for sharing! Your perspective and experience resonates with my own. I sooooo wished I could have had doctors that would have done simple tests to determine a hypothyroid or hormonal imbalance rather than just automatically prescribe anti-depressants. Not that antidepressants caused me damage, but the casualness of prescribing it is troublesome.

    Just to add to the prescription problem – prescription drugs are “recycling” in the environment and disrupting our water supply and food chain. I can’t see prescription drugs as being a sustainable practice. I think it is indicative of our future problems that I have to drink organic milk and meat products just because my body is sensitive to the antibiotics fed to cows.

    I’ve concluded from my own experience that alternative medicine (including regression) are superior in providing benefits. Permanent comprehensive healing without the nasty side effects so often included with prescription drugs.

    Also I’ve found emotional/physical healing in adopting a New Age belief system (as opposed to a X-ian’s version of a judgemental God). It is sooooooo much easier to accept my first 35 years as being full of karmic payback/life contracted events – making life feel safer and easier and so able to proceed with healing modalities. Learning what is really going on in “reality” (true nature of God/unskilled empathy merges/cult brainwashing/etc.) does wonders for helping me accept myself and life as it is and get out of victim/fatalism mentality which gets one stuck in a cycle of depression and hopelessness. I hope everyone who experiences a life of misery and suffering can find this drug-free solution. Alternative medicine (and adopting a New Age belief system) cured so many of my own physical and emotional aliments which prescription meds couldn’t. In fact, I would say the failure of Western medicine is what pushed me to explore alternative medicine and for that I’m grateful.

  38. 38
    Dave says:

    “Alternative medicine (and adopting a New Age belief system) cured so many of my own physical and emotional aliments which prescription meds couldn’t. In fact, I would say the failure of Western medicine is what pushed me to explore alternative medicine and for that I’m grateful.”

    This, this, this. I could’ve written this exactly. The complete uselessness of psychology and western medicine put me on a rabid google-ing spree that made me find Rose’s blog, a discovery for which I’m immeasurably thankful.

    Ha – also a funny aside (depending on your sense of humor) that I just thought about.

    I suffered from fairly severe headaches and allergies starting around age 7. I was prescribed variants of Zyrtec and Claritin D which helped somewhat. This is the medicine that black market entrepreneurs make methamphetamine, one of the most dangerous and addictive drugs on the planet out of.

    I slowly developed an addiction to the medicine where I would get splitting headaches if I didn’t take it. It also gave me fatigue and other nasty symptoms. It was a battle whether I wanted to take the medicine or not. Again I have a sensitive nervous system of an empath so these drugs that society sees no issue shoving down small children’s throats affect me doubly.

    Well, gee, as an empath with emotional oneness and physical oneness, would there be any way I could be constantly picking up other people’s emotional and physical ailments, all the time throughout my day?

    Once I became a skilled empath, most of my allergy issues subsided. The headaches, the nausea.

    No drugs necessary!

    But, ultimately, what the strong antihistamine drugs probably did was some auric level band aid that helped me cope. A suboptimal band aid, but still somewhat useful. This would be a candidate for stage four energetic literacy, me-thinks.

    This story is indicative of my wider opinion on non emergency medical care : it’s a suboptimal solution that sometimes helps but sometimes does more damage than good. ( I can’t knock all western medicine though. If I get into a car accident and hav a bone sticking out of my arm, please get me to the nearest ER. There’s no where id rather be. Similarly, the truly crazy 1 to 5 percent of the population really should find their ways to the nearest psychiatrist!)

  39. 39
    Arlene, the Groovy Psychiatrist says:

    I read this article and thought it might help Dave think from a broader perspective:

    When it comes to psychiatry, primary care could use the help

    Edward Pullen, MD | Physician | November 1, 2013

    In Pierce County, Washington, where I work, it is difficult to find a psychiatrist to care for psychiatric cases that are outside the scope of practice of a primary care physician. Our community is not unusual in this situation. There is a nationwide shortage of physicians specializing in psychiatry.

    According to Tom Insel, MD, the director of the Institute of Mental Health in 2011 both the number of psychiatry residency programs and the fill rates of the available training slots is declining. In addition 55% of psychiatrists are over age 55, compared to 38% of all practicing physicians. The difficulty in finding available psychiatric care for patients with difficult psychiatric disorders is likely to get worse in the near term.

    This is made worse by the shortage of primary care physicians. Family practice physicians in particular have at least moderate training in the diagnosis and care of psychiatric disorders. Over the last 10-20 years we have been left simply doing the best we can to diagnose and treat these patients because they simply cannot find a psychiatrist to assist with their care. We often lean heavily on psychologists to help with counseling and psychotherapy.

    Unfortunately we also have to rely on these psychologists more than is ideal for diagnostic assistance. Many psychotherapists are pretty good at diagnosis, but they are simply not trained in the complex pharmacotherapy decisions that are involved in the care of these patients. Oftentimes psychiatric nurse practitioners can help with these decisions, but they too are in short supply. Too often I just have to do the best I can to make therapeutic decisions without a psychiatrist consultation or ongoing management.

    The options for pharmacologic treatment of the major psychoses like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and major depression have become much more varied and intricate than they were not many years ago. In addition many of the medications used in treatment are used off label, meaning that their use for treatment of these psychiatric disorders is not FDA approved.

    The newer or off-label drugs are often better tolerated with lower chances of intolerable side effects than those seen with many of the earlier antipsychotic medications which is a mixed blessing. It can make a primary care physicians less reluctant to try treatment sometimes without rigorous diagnostic evaluation when a patient does not have access to a psychiatrist to help with coming to that diagnosis.

    These illnesses are diagnoses almost entirely clinical, meaning there are no lab, imaging, or other quantifiable tests to confirm or add certainty to the diagnosis. In addition, symptoms can vary considerably over time, modified by social circumstances, life stage and the patient’s overall circumstances. Having a skilled psychiatrist is crucial to high quality care for many of these patients. Often times it is simply not available, and primary care physicians just have to do the best we can.

    What will it take to recruit and train more psychiatrists? I really have no idea, though Dr. Insel gives hope that there is a movement in the focus of psychiatric training away from psychotherapy to more intense focus on the rapidly evolving field of clinical neuroscience as well as looking at novel ways to reach patients in need of care. Hopefully he is correct in his hope that this change in focus will attract larger numbers of medical students into psychiatry, because we can sure use the help.

    Edward Pullen is a family physician who blogs at DrPullen.com.

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