Knife’s Edge – the sanity debate

Do voices in the head equate to insanity?

(I’ve got a running theory with some fellow pagans – the gods cannot work with broken tools and so it benefits Them to speak to those of us with minds that have already been cracked open so They don’t break us during the communication process.  I’ll probably discuss that in another post (or series of posts), but here’s what it boils down to – there are an awful lot of us with diagnosed mental illness (or an awful lot of us who are vocal about it) and many of us self-report hearing our deities.  In addition, there’s some thought about satisfied people not searching for anything beyond what they have, and so on, and so on.)

Sorry for the Greenwood-type parenthetical there.

So, yeah, voices in the head.  I’ve had to say, out loud to myself, that although I think I’ve distinguished what comes from my gods from what comes from my own grey matter, the truth is that I’ll never really know.  And, I have to be okay with that; there is no proof.  I need to look solely at the message and subsequent results of doing or not doing what is suggested.

In my own attempts to differentiate between my mental voice and those of my gods, here’s what I’ve learned:

– The following topics are likely my (capital- D) Depression speaking and should be rooted out and destroyed when possible:

  • Anything indicating I don’t matter.
  • Anything indicating that anyone or anything would be better off without me
  • Anything indicating I should do something that will result in harm to myself or others of the self-injury/assault variety
  • Anything indicating someone/something is out to get me
  • Anything indicating I am a super special singled out person with amazing gifts
  • Anything telling me to ignore a hurt, or a fear, because it will go away

– It is okay to make mistakes; they reinforce my humanity

– Not every voice in my head is from deity, BUT every voice in my head is Divine (see FlameKeeping)

– Intent counts immensely but is not the same as ends justifying means

– Ends don’t always justify means…but there are times when that’s okay

– Anything that makes me stronger was, in the end, worth it

Ultimately the sanity debate doesn’t really apply here…and that’s perfectly fine.

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4 responses to “Knife’s Edge – the sanity debate

  1. I have often wondered about this too. Yesterdays’ Shamans, Witch Doctors, Oracles, Holy Wo/men are today’s people with mental illnesses. It seems the two are intertwined somehow.

    I personally have little regard for Western Medicine as it often treats the symptom rather than the cause of the problem and it’s practitioners while having good intentions are often bogged down by the big pharmaceutical companies that pay them so well to push the latest drug. Let’s take Cancer for instance. I have heard rumors as I am sure we all have that a cure for Cancer was found in the 1950’s. Whether it’s true or not is not the point. What the point is, is if there is indeed a cure it wouldn’t be very profitable. One shot and you’re cured. However a lifetime of treatments, drugs and being hospitalized is very profitable so one can see from a business point of view why a cure might not be made public.

    Often times we read in history or myths about certain people. I’ll use Jesus of Nazareth as an example since he’s one of the deities I follow. Were he to walk around today proclaiming he was God’s Son or God (depending upon your opinion) he would quickly be locked away and sedated. Freudian Psychology has made everyone who says such things a mental patient who needs to be drugged and or locked away (in extreme cases).
    It seems to me Divinity is a very real thing because human history is full of such interactions with the Divine. The odds are against this whole concept of a Divine figure(s) being one big delusion or a coincidence.

    When it comes to belief versus psychology I have often wondered where the line is. I mean if it’s a psychologist’s job to diagnose people as mentally ill who hear voices or believe in things no one can see, how then do the psychologists explain their own belief structure. It would seem hypocritical to say the least. How can you condemn one person as having a mental illness when you (the doctor) have the same experiences, yet do not consider yourself mentally ill?

    As far as the Depression “voices” it is my opinion that these are actually entities of a sort. Consider that there are some Entities that have never been human and some have little regard for humans, regarding us as little more than insects to tear the wings off of or playthings to be tossed around. At the same time we have those other voices that reassure us that everything will be fine if we have belief in ourselves. To me this is the voice of the Divine within us.

    That’s all I have to say for now.

  2. So many excellent points!

    I’m hoping you do decide to elaborate on your theory of cracked minds. Personally, I think you’re on to something there.

  3. I’ll be looking foward your expansion on this points. This post strongly reminded me of Dion Fortune’s writings, that outlined the possibility that at least certain forms of mental illness were linked to an uncontrolled opening of psychic centers.
    It’s a theory that stayed with me.

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