This article was originally published in the Summer/Fall 2013 issue of the Alternative Voice. Click here to purchase.
Recently I listened to a well-known politician advocate for healthcare reform on a television program where he was discussing his work in pushing legislation that would require health insurance companies to treat mental illness as a legitimate treatable disease so that people who suffer from various psychological dysfunctions and disorders can be covered for treatment. His contention is that most mental problems are due to physiological causes in the brain (which then delineates the condition “medical”) and that if the brain is treated through various drugs and other medical treatments, the patient can get better.
Though I agree that health insurance companies should view mental illnesses as legitimate medical conditions that need to be treated, we need to go even further in how we, as a total society, perceive illness and the treatment of it. When we citizens of a culture can change our mindsets about causes of disease and healing, then the systems within our society will change to fit that consciousness. Thus the economic, political, medical, educational, and other institutions of mainstream culture will cooperate with the expanded consciousness of the population to create more effective and efficient healthcare systems that provide for all of its citizens regardless of financial or social status.
I think that this politician and those other “progressives” demanding for universal and more comprehensive healthcare are correct in their perceptions of everyone needing decent healthcare coverage and that many illnesses that are not currently covered should be included. But even these wonderful advocates and activists for progressive change need to expand yet further still in their own understanding of health and wellness.
Though psychotropic drugs may have their place in the treatment of mental disorders, that place should be minimal. I have seen the terrible debilitating effects of various meds that are commonly used by doctors in treating so-called brain anomalies and mental illnesses. It’s not a pretty sight to see a 24-year-old so convinced that she needs her meds in order to get through a day that she creates even more anxiety within herself when she does not have them. And, knowing this troubled young woman for many years before she was treated for her mental distress with the three or four different psychotropic drugs she takes, she seems much worse, much sicker—definitely not better. In addition to the symptoms she already had, she now suffers from fuzzy-headedness and lack of clear thinking, thus making her even more dysfunctional than she already was. Her perceptions of reality are so distorted that she cannot even focus enough to hold down a job or pursue a route of study at a community college, even though she is encouraged to by her counselors, healthcare providers, and family members.
I have observed this worsened malady in several other people who have undergone the usual medical treatment for their psychological symptoms of unhappiness, depression, cognitive confusion, continual inner conflict, lack of internal cohesion, self-defeating cycles of thinking and behaving, ineffective coping strategies, deficient social interactions, schizophrenic tendencies, and the list goes on. I cannot help but draw the conclusion that the commonly-accepted treatments used for the various mental ailments need to be reassessed and drastically changed in most cases.
I, as well as many others, realize that most mental illnesses have to do with being self-absorbed and overly focused on selfish pursuits without a more mature sense of connection with other people that includes a sense of social responsibility. Rather than the treatment focusing on helping someone “feel” better through various psychotropic drugs and therapies that dwell only on the individual’s so-called needs with no or very little accountability, treatment needs to include assessing more thoroughly the thoughts and attitudes that a patient has that is preventing her from healing and composing a better life for herself that includes being able to contribute to the healthy progress of the society she lives in.
There are increasing studies in the areas of psychology and neuroscience that indicate we all need to see the brain and consciousness in a totally new way. Studies are showing that the mind—consciousness—continues to exist and function in some manner when the brain is no longer functioning. This being the case, treatment of any mental illness must go beyond just looking at the brain. Though treating the anomalies of the brain may be effective in some cases, many so-called mental illnesses are a problem of consciousness, of thoughts and values, of world views and philosophies.
If consciousness exists outside of the brain’s usual electrical and chemical processes, then it is the consciousness that must be treated rather than the brain in most cases of mental maladies. I realize that there are cases where there is brain damage and physical anomalies that cause certain mental difficulties that can effectively be treated by surgery or other treatments dealing directly with the brain, even at times certain drugs. But in most cases, treatment for mental dysfunctions and disorders should be addressed in the consciousness, which will lead to the patient being empowered to make the changes needed in his responses to his physical and social environments. As the individual’s consciousness shifts into healthier and more truthful and realistic ways of perceiving reality, his various emotional, cognitive, and behavioral dysfunctions will shift into more effective and healthy responses to his circumstantial reality. Energy/action follows thought.
Besides in neuroscience, studies in the areas of physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, psychology, sociology, and education are discovering that energy does indeed follow thought and that the consciousness of an individual determines other areas of his physical health. It continues to become more evident that if a person begins to change his mind in certain areas that the chemicals and systems in his body also begin to change. Simply put, peace of mind, cognitive clarity, happiness, a feeling of being loved, and a sense of purpose in one’s life make a person healthier not only psychologically but also physically.
Many are aware of the decades of research and experimentation that Masaru Emoto has done with water molecules all over the planet that show how even water molecules change with the consciousness of the people around them, improving and becoming more healthy-looking when human thoughts and/or intentions of goodness and love are practiced in the vicinity of the water being tested. And the more individuals involved, the more noticeable the change. Various studies of people’s thoughts and actions around plants also reinforce the truth that human thought and motives affect plants, with them withering and showing stress with the more negative thoughts and showing healthiness and stimulation with the more positive attitudes. State of mind—consciousness—does indeed move all things, but in which direction depends upon the mindset.
Some geneticists are discovering that the thoughts of an individual can even change her DNA, thus the possibility of health-promoting thoughts overcoming disease-promoting genes. It seems that this truth has been known among some people for hundreds of years. For example, an old German proverb states: “It is the mind that ennobles, not the blood.” A Chinese proverb proclaims “One sincere thought can move both Heaven and Earth.” Ascension science, the science of the Divine New Order, simply concurs that “It is consciousness alone that moves all things.”
If healthcare providers—from doctors to counselors to hospital administrators to insurance companies—had the understanding of the ancient Chinese proverb that “A mind enlightened is like the halls of Heaven; a mind in darkness is like a realm in Hell”, we would have a healthcare system that would look very different than the one we have now in this country, which is more of a “disease-care” system rather than a system of true healing. The costs of healthcare would be drastically reduced and the treatments for both physical and psychological ailments would start with the root of the problem, the consciousness or mindset of the patient. A diseased person must bring her mind out of darkness and the realm of Hell into enlightenment and the halls of Heaven, so to speak.
In talking with a couple of restaurateurs, whose consciousness about food and health changed from the mainstream understanding of food and taste to encompass the slow food movement and whole food values, they told me how difficult it was to get customers to appreciate their farm-to-table whole, organic foods because they were not used to the taste. These two businessmen told me that as they each had begun to address their own personal health issues and evaluate their perspectives of food in view of what they were learning about nutrition and sustainable systems for producing, distributing, and preparing food, their personal tastes in what they liked changed as their minds changed in what foods they valued and were willing to spend their money on. They are now much healthier physically, and they feel much better about their work because they each decided to open up businesses that promoted and provided healthy foods, which are part of a bigger movement of sustainable agriculture and ethical commerce.
Long-time activist, scholar, writer, and filmmaker for sustainability and community, Paul Freundlich, declares that we of this earth need a new consciousness, a “re-valuing of our values”, in order to change how the “cornucopia of capitalism” manifests disaster, destruction, and desecration for our environment and for most of the people on our world. If we are to change the serious worldwide problems of “overpopulation, diminishing natural resources, deteriorating infrastructure, escalating climate risk, and desperation caused by widening economic disparities”, we will need to change our understanding of reality and grow into a consciousness of love and care for others, stewardship for our environment, and interdependence and cooperation.
That is a huge order, for the status-quo consciousness of selfishness, greed, disregard for environmental and human health, and competition is imprinted so deeply in the entrenched financial, political, and social power structures that small groups of individuals need to drop out of that existing structure and build alternative cultures.. When starting a new lifestyle or new business or even a whole new culture, we need to look at “affordability” in a new way and not run business as usual.
As Paul Freundlich points out, affordability must include what we can afford as a planet, a nation, a neighborhood. Affordability must mean also sustainability, and all of our actions and practices must consider short- and long-term impacts on the environment and on society. The dishonorable practices that unsustainable businesses do under the old-order consciousness of making as much money as possible, regardless of the social and environmental costs to the people and land of the area, need to shift to a more whole-systems thinking approach in using our human and natural resources.
The foundation of a new order of thinking and doing must be based on the principles of interdependence and sustainability. Actually, from an even bigger and more expansive foundation, the new consciousness must be based on divine administration principles that include also the principles of ascension science and the laws of divine pattern that embody goodness, beauty, and health for all as well as acknowledgement of the Creator of all.
I agree with American scholar, lecturer, author, and philosopher Jean Houston that we humans could make a consciousness leap into a “renaissance of spirit”. I think this must happen in order to save our world from total destruction, but it requires reuniting with the divine mind circuitry that brings our consciousness up into more spiritized awareness, and that may take some more suffering on our part as individuals as well as a whole people in order to awaken enough of us to the need of reconciliation with God and the ways of divine pattern. Ms. Houston conjectures that “Perhaps it is during renaissance eras that we may actually be seeing the Mind of the Maker determining that the time has come for a major jump in culture and consciousness and inserting social and psychic enzymes to help effect those transitions. The key to all of this is the renaissance of spirit. . . .” This is “when we truly know ourselves as Godseeds ready to emerge into Godselves.”
Personality disorders are really disconnections from our unique, individual God-given personality circuitry. We, as individuals and as a civilization, can heal from the mental illness of myopic, misdirected, selfish thinking that has created a mechanistic and materialistic dominant planetary culture that has endangered all life on our world. The menace of materialism can be lessened substantially as person by person, group by group we change our own mindsets into something much more truthful and expansive. We all need, as Jean Houston emphasizes, “liberating thoughtways that launch understanding motivation and problem solving beyond their constricting cultural and even instinctual preconditioning.”
If more interested in the effects of psychotropic drugs on patients, see the documentary film Making a Killing: The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging. For more information on the film see Citizens Commission on Human Rights (cchr.org).
Niánn Emerson Chase