The Shamanic Healing of Schizophrenia
This Blog was edited by Caspar Greeff for “The Times“ of South Africa in September 2007. Participating in one of my shamanic seminar programs, Caspar asked the question about the shamanic curability of schizophrenia.
(Este blog ha sido editado para “The Times” de Sudáfrica por Caspar Greef en 2007. Caspar Greef participaba en este entonces en uno de mis Seminarios Shamánicos y me preguntaba por la durabilidad shamánica de la esquizofrenia)
12:35pm Sunday, September 9 2007
“Caspar, I think you should come to see this”, said Valentin. The last time a shaman said this to me, I saw a boa constrictor embracing a rat. No love lost in that particular embrace. But that couldn’t be what Valentin wanted me to see – there are no boas in this part of the world. Welcome to boa free Mucuy Baja, home of Dr. Valentin Hampejs. I took another suck of my mapacho (Indian tobacco), and walked out of the bamboo grove. Looked at where my current shaman was pointing, up and east.
The ex-shrink was pointing at Venus, above a silhouette of mountains. It was Venus as I never had seen here. Huge, and shaped exactly like the star you saw on Christmas cards (remember Christmas cards?), the star that guided the three magi to Bethlehem, Venus was huge and cruciform. the cross was dancing, and around the Morning Star was a halo of cloud.
“¡Es espectacular! ¡Es espléndido! ¡Es maravilloso!” I enthused, using up my stock of Spanglish superlatives. And also most of my exclamation marks.
“Yes,” Valentin agreed. “It is the sign of the Saviour.”
I smoked my mapacho and gazed at Venus. Awesome! It was like a song Valentin had sung earlier in the evening.
The song went sometimes like this:
“En el alto cielo azul, brilla una multitud, cual estrellas y diamantes de maravillosa luz, en el cielo se mostró, una estrella sin igual, que a los magos señalaba clara refulgente bella.”
Much later my Babel-fish translated that into English thus:
“In high blue sky shine a multiplicity of stars and makes shine like diamonds of wonderful light, in the sky was seen a star without equal, that to the magicians showed himself clear and of beautiful brilliance.”
So I got something wrong somewhere, but you get the grist… I think. Anyway, the Venus that I saw was a star without equal, “una estrella sin igual.”
While I was transfixed by Venus, the moon rose above the mountain, and like me this moon was a late riser. Unlike me, la Luna was spectacularly beautiful… a silver smile cupping a spectral globe.There’s nothing quite like the last half hour of darkness at a shamanic ritual. Nothing quite like the first half hour either. Earlier, Dr. Hampejs and I crossed metaphorical swords yet again.
Or rather, Mescalito, the spirit of San Pedro cactus, had once again accused me of “masturbating with your mind”. This was after I had thrown in one question too many – or was it one dozen questions too many? Valentin had sung a song about cherubims, and then we talked about the ranking of angels (I asked), which led us to the seraphims, and then I asked, “How many seraphims are there?” I really did want the answer to that.
However, the query got Valentin/Mescalito thoroughly pissed off, and he accused me being ruled by my mind in the terms described above.
“Listen to what I am about to recite,” he said, fixing me with the look of a Mexican shaman dead for thousands of years. “It is the first mantra of the Yoga Sutra by Patanjali.” And he chanted the mantra: “Yogash chitta vritti nirodah.” And kindly, he translated it for me. “This mantra means that yoga is the cessation of mind-waves, Switch off your mind. Don’t be ruled by your mind. You are not at a seminar now. You are at a shamanic ritual, you are in another dimension.”
“Yea, but,” I said, still not quite having absorbed the lesson, “I have an inquiring mind. If I do not exercise it, it will get flabby.”
“I told you, switch it off,” the shaman admonished me. “Your mind is not you. You are you.”
“Aye, aye,” I mumbled, and switched off my mouth. I fed the fire. The fire snapped, crackled and popped exuberantly, and I fed it more, I fed it all night long. Handled Valentin’s plumes like a pro.
We had one more minor disagreement later that night. I managed to bring the talk down to the level of how much I enjoyed the coffee in Merida.
Valentin gave me that look. Said, “Ja, coffee is not good for you. It stimulates your gross energy.” He quoted some dude named Jacob Lorbeer or Morebeer, a name like that who acquired Vedic knowledge from the spirits, and sat down and wrote masses and masses without a single error, and this Morebeer guy said that “coffee is good for camels and donkeys.”
So, now I had to quit coffee! The sex and the coffee were one thing. OK two things. I have gone days without the desire for either, a couple of nights too. But coffee! No way Jose!
“No,” I said. “I will continue drinking coffee.”
“As you like it,” he said. “You must do what you must do.”
I don’t want to give the impression that Valentin and I were constantly arguing. Far from it. Valentin is a beautiful human being, a man of great spirituality, very funny, exceptionally compassionate, and, well, actually we love each other. I love I. And I and I love Valentin. And vice versa. Before the ceremony began, I asked Dr. Hampejs how he cured schizophrenia, using power plants and shamanic techniques. I recorded his answer. It went like this:
“We are talking about something invisible. Mind cannot be made visible, and disorders of mind cannot be made visible either. Ja? What psychiatrist call schizophrenia is a complex of symptoms… in order to understand it, one need some spiritual and psychological understanding. You cannot talk to everybody in spiritual terms about the reality of invisible dimensions. So the cure presupposes that one has some sort of spiritual understanding of nature and of mind and of intelligence and of feelings and of subconscious and of consciousness. Ja?”
“What is mind? Well, I tell you what the Vedas say. Mind is a subtle energy belonging to the material universe. It’s not spiritual, ja? It is a subtle material quality; and the ego too. The minor or false ego understands life just in terms of its own interests, in terms of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ and ‘me’. Ja…”
“Mind, intelligence and false ego are, according to the Vedas, three subtle energies. They do not belong to the spirit. The spiritual part of us is our individual soul. This is the only part that is not submitted to changes. It is the witness within, the ‘I am who I am’, our individual identity, the essence, our life spark that has been made in accordance to the image of God. This is immutable, because it was also in our childhood present. If it was not, then we could not say that a specific experience during childhood was ‘mine’. Childhood is gone, but the witness remains.”
“We retain the same identity… with more thoughts, with more experience, with more kinds of feelings… and feelings change … thoughts change and so on, but we do not change.” In Vedic literature the Lord Krishna, which is the Sanskrit word for the Supreme God, Lord Krishna would say…” (And then Dr. Hampejs chanted a mantra in Sanskrit. I am not able to transcribe it for you**.)
“And this means,” he said after he had finished the chant, “the earth, water, air, fire, ether, mind, Intelligence and the false ego compose the material nature, which is separated from Me. This does not mean that He is not all present in the material creation also. But He has a separate residence also. He has not exhausted Himself into the energies of creation. This does not diminish His energies in no way. Ja? Because He is the fountain, the source of whatsoever energies. He is the Energetic.”
“So this mantra says, mind, intelligence, false ego compose the subtle part of material nature. So this is a sort of preliminary understand of about what we are talking.
“We have come to understand that mind is of material nature. And with schizophrenia we are talking about mind dis-orders, mental dis-orders. So this is to apply to this field.”
“Well, I tell you a story, ja? I tell you a story of a patient, to help you to understand better.”
“This was in Ecuador. And I knew a woman. She had a kindergarten and we were friends. And she told me that her brother had been in the psychiatric hospital for 23 years. How do you say… he was not free to go? He was forced to stay there. He was obliged because he was not clear in his mind. He could not function in this world. S… she told me the story of her brother.”
“They were 10 children. Her parents had 10 children, and the mother was a gynaecologist, she had a clinic and the father a garage and a car mechanic workshop. So, when the mother came back home at night, she had to share her mother-love in between 10 children. But this one needed more love than his mother could give him. So, this resulted in this boy thinking that his mother does not love him. And this resulted in ‘If you don’t like me, I don’t like you’; and in a child’s brain this can result in impulses like, well, ‘better you were dead’.”
“So then it happened, when he was 16 years, he decided to live in a commune with other guys, and there they smoked marijuana and they took alcohol and some other drugs may be, ja? And it happened in this time that mother had been operated with breast cancer, and was lying in her bedroom, convalescing, when he visited his parents’ house and started a big row with the house maiden.”
“Housekeeper,” my internal sub-editor told him.
“Housekeeper! Ja, and they had a row and they fought with each other physically. So, mother was alarmed, went out from her bedroom, and in order to separate the cock and the hen…ja? had to go down the hall and through open doors, and there was a draught of air, and one week later mummy dies with pneumonia.”
“And now, this young man feels guilty. Because that’s what he had thought very often, and because of his quarrel with the housekeeper, his mother got pneumonia and died. Actually, this was not the reason of the pneumonia. This would have occurred anyway. But he, within himself, feels guilty, because the higher consciousness – the super-consciousness – does not allow us to kill our own mothers. But as a child he had thought it and wished it. Now she is dead.”
“And he can’t reconcile the conflict within himself. Because ’I was the one given life by my mother and I was the one who killed my mother.’”
“After that, on two occasions he tried to suicide himself. With a car he crashes against a wall, but without any heavy result; and then he jumps from the second or third floor of a house, and again, he was not hurt heavily.”
“Well, but little by little, ja? – The people who surrounded him are aware of something strange happening. And they bring him to a psychiatrist, and there it turns out that he hears voice and that he had the symptoms of personality disintegration.”
“Psychiatrists only can describe the symptoms,” continued Dr. Hampejs, “they do not know anything about the reason of schizophrenia. But they think – as they do in the same terms with endogenous depression – that it is a metabolic disorder. And this is the only direction, where they are searching and researching.”
“But I know also, I know of course, that there is a bio-chemical disorder, but I know a little bit more. This chemical disorder is a consequence of a deeper disorder on an energetic level. It must have a cause. Any biochemical disorder must have a cause. It does not come by itself. But they think, it must be the lack of a hormone, a lack of a transmitter substance, or a surplus of a transmitter substance… they are looking just in this direction. But the bio-chemical disorders have a reason why they came to be.”
“It has a reason. Now, let us go on with the story of this young boy. He couldn’t justify to himself that he had killed his mother. He wanted to disintegrate. He wanted to die.”
“W.e l.l.l.l…. what is the devil? A demon; and do demons belong to the light or do they belong to the darkness? Huh?!
“They belong to the darkness. Light is consciousness. Light is identifying with one’s life and being thankful for one’s life. He wanted to kill himself.”
“This other side that belongs to the darkness must wait for a chance to enter into one’s personality in order to get the opportunity to disintegrate it; because disintegration means darkness. Then you don’t even know anymore, who you are.”
“We are talking about demons, we are talking about invisible entities, and you should know it, Caspar, having had so many Ayahuasca ceremonies. We are talking about invisible entities, but with Ayahuasca they can be made visible.”
“This is the point we have to come to. The devil is not just a fantastic, or surrealistic or absurd invention for men, who are leading the industry in order to make presents to Santa Claus for the children. I mean Jesus did not give His life just in order to liberate us from fairy tails. This is a serious thing. We are talking about our souls.”
“Where do we want to go to? Are we going to darkness or are we going to the light? So, one has to understand this.”
“Consequently, schizophrenia is a possession. Always!”
“Demonic possession can also happen with Ayahuasca. We talked about the black dragon. Possession…let me say: alien entities… can be introduced into one, when he takes Ayahuasca. Because shamanic medicine and the sacred power plants are opening the channels of perception, and if you in front of you a brujo – a black sorcerer – he can introduce into you these entities with whom he is collaborating. But you have been lucky that you have found good shamans. This is a great luck. You have been guided by divine providence.”
“Going back to schizophrenia, it needs spiritual knowledge to accept that there are beings, which are invisible to our sensorial perceptions.”
“Does schizophrenia always start with some sort of psychological trauma?” I asked.
“My understanding is that we normally have a sort of defense screen… and we have pores of perception The pores of perception. Huxley would call it the Doors of perception. But doors or pores, it’s the same. And they have a sort of filter… they do not allow to enter anything. Sometimes… look, it’s like with electricity you have fuses. There are fuses on these pores, and as long as they function, not everything can enter through the pores of this filter. However, sometimes the fuses burn. A shock or trauma can disable the fuses, and then energies can enter, because the biological, bioenergetic defence screen does not function.”
“These energies that enter are not neutral. They are energies that want to separate you from the light. Their intention is to possess you, so that you are theirs.”
I asked Dr. Hampejs, how he cures schizophrenia.
“Well, let us talk in our concepts that we share here, because you participated already in so many rituals. Therefore you know that pure light is somewhere within ourselves. So, where can the dark energy be? It can be in all the chakras. The chakras have to be activated, so that the dark energy can be exorcised, with the help of the forces of the light of course. Through prayer, shamanic, mantric chanting and energetic cleansing instruments… you know the feathers and you know the blow with the medicine pipe and the blow with the medicine, which is made of fragrant herbs and you know the smoke and incenses… and also the help of all the invisible light beings which are around us.”
“The medicine opens up the chakras, activates these energies, these demonic energies that cannot stand the light. What does Jesus say… ‘Seek and ye shall find, ask and ye shall receive. So, do you think that Jesus is a liar? That I can ask Him with all my heart for some blessings and he will not help me? And will not help me to help this person? We exorcise demons. And of course we do it with the help of Jesus, or with the help of some other representation of God. Of course we do it with God; and the Archangels, and Mother Mary, and Maria Lionza and all the shamanic spirits of our ancestors.”
“Does the medicine also help the patient recall the primal trauma that brought about the possession?” I asked.
“Ja, you have to go through that, of course. This is part of the healing. The medicine takes you back. And you also have to be helped by the shaman in this process. You have to be stimulated, talked about. And the shaman is also given guidance… not only by the medicine, but by Jesus, the light spirits, by the sacred fire in our fire altar, by the nature energies around us, the elemental energies… we are talking about having taken San Pedro, the patient also, haven’t we?”
“It is much easier to cure endogenous depression.
_________________________ **El Mantra Sánscrito reza:
Bhumir ‘apo o nalo vayu kam mano buddhir eva cha Ahamkara itiyam me bhinna prakritir astadah
Traducción al español: Tierra, Agua, Aire, Fuego, Éter, Ego Falso, Inteligencia y Razón conforman los ocho elementos de la naturaleza material que son separados de Mí. (Anotación de Dr. Hampejs)