many of us who know Joseph Campbell’s work, know his quote- “The psychotic drowns in the same waters in which the mystic swims with delight.” and we have read about or have experience with the inward journey.
i had to learn to sink or swim. psychiatric drug withdrawal for me was akin to being hurled into undesired vision quests for weeks, sometimes months, at a time from 2004-2015, and not in the desert or the woods, or with a shaman, or on a meditation cushion, or in a breathwork group, but solo in the city streets of New Haven, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, surrounded by people i knew and didn’t know. and i can tell you, i met a lot of the numinous archetypes and Gods and Godesses and nightmare and dreamscapes, and some of them are not very pretty indeed.
i’ve left the thick seas of the depths of the personal and collective unconscious now, but i can take a dip in the water when i want to.
my question is, why are we, as a society, clinicians, and healers, letting so many people drown?
photo art by my dad titled: “Balcony of Terror”.