Guest Writer for Wake Up World
Hallucination (huh-loo-suh–ney-shuh n) : a sensory experience of something that does not exist outside the mind, caused by various physical and mental disorders, or by reaction to certain toxic substances, and usually manifested as visual or auditory images.
Psychiatry has built an entire infrastructure around the definition of normal.
In my training, I learned clinical, diagnostic terms like “magical thinking” to pedantically dismiss any flourishes of wonderment, “delusions of reference” to coldly malign any experience of meaning or synchronicity, and even “grandiosity” if you might deign to think too much of yourself.
When human behavior is medicalized, the foundation of a shared belief system is set up. Some behaviors are unacceptable, some are not. And conforming to these expectations – even through force and involuntary submission, retention, and medication – is essential to reinforcing what is considered normal. Those who are not performing their expected part in the machinery of this system are deemed less or non-functional (the quantification of which, psychiatry assigns a numerical value based on the Global Assessment of Functioning metric scale). But what if it is, as Krishnamurti warned, “no measure of health to be well-adapted to a profoundly sick society”? What if being “functional” requires buying into an entire matrix of illusions, many of which require a total divorce from one’s own soul?
Mental Illness as an indicator of sensitivity
It’s my belief that those who are mentally ill are the canaries in this coal mine. Whose bodies, minds, and spirits are exquisitely sensitive to all that is off, amiss, misaligned, and divergent from truth. What if these illnesses are a special invitation to wake up, to embody, and to move through a dark night, a tight passage, shedding one more artificial skin, revealing a layer closer to an unfettered experience of being, of freedom, and of joy. A sometimes loud reminder to stop eating chemical food, stop participating in the poisoning of this planet, stop working just to work, and start making room for whatever it takes to awaken.
In this case, those hallucinating are those who still believe, despite all of the evidence to the contrary, that we are, as my favorite philosopher, Alan Watts says, flesh robots on a dead rock, spinning out in the middle of nowhere. That the natural world is an indifferent backdrop subject to random forces that we must shield ourselves from. Those who still believe, despite the grossly exposed limitations of the model, that Newtonian physics – linear cause and effect, what you get out is what you put in, push-pull hydraulics – reigns over subtler, nonlinear quantum processes. Quantum physics introduces all manner of uncomfortable concepts to those firmly fixated on the delusional belief that there is an objective, quantifiable, measurable reality of known variables that predictably govern a non-sentient universe.
What if this is a collectively held delusion? Those who have had mystical experiences know that it is but an illusion that our selfness is between our ears and behind our eyes, and that the natural world needs to be managed and controlled. We know that we emerge from the complexity of beingness on this planet and that there is no objective good and bad, and perhaps no objective anything at all.
Alan Watts, puts it this way:
I wonder what you mean when you use the word I.
I’ve been very interested in this problem for a long, long time. And I’ve come to the conclusion that what most civilized people mean by that word is a hallucination—that is to say a false sense of personal identity that is at complete variance with the facts of nature.
And as a result of having a false sense of identity, we act in a way that is inappropriate to our natural environment. And when that inappropriate way of action is magnified by a very powerful technology, we swiftly begin to see the results of a profound discord between man and nature.
As is well known, we are now in the process of destroying our environment as a result of an attempt to conquer it and master it. And we have not realized therefore that our environment is not something other than ourselves.
In assuming that it is, we have made a great mistake and are now paying the price for it.
Resolving the hallucinations of the dominant narrative
The thing is, that a hallucination that becomes aware of itself, dissolves, if it is, indeed a hallucination. In the case of the dominant belief system – the most collectively shared hallucination – this is called awakening and it has everything to do with generating an awareness of the story that we have been telling ourselves.
We have been telling ourselves that we control our lives – or we wouldn’t experience anxiety.
We have been telling ourselves that we are supposed to simply feel ok with what is happening on this planet – or we wouldn’t feel depressed.
We have been telling ourselves that the world is unsafe – or we wouldn’t feel paranoid.
We have been telling ourselves to stay in line, punch the clock, and behave – or we wouldn’t get manic.
So what if we simply turn the light on and wake up to the story and recognize it as such.
Here’s how to wake up and dissolve the illusion:
1. Feel better
Information, in and of itself, changes nothing. We have to experience the truth, viscerally, for our bodies, minds, and spirits to shift and open. In order to generate the conditions of a reunion with the natural world, and a felt sense of having emerged from it, it becomes critical to experience the environment as an inextricable part of oneself. This means that nature is rendered sacred again. The human organism is seen as a miracle before which your consciousness bows. In this light, the only proper comportment is to strip away chemicals and the participation in a chemical free lifestyle, eat whole organic food, and begin the process of healing from many years of desecration. It is my belief that these simple behaviors – being in nature, cleaning up your consumerism, your eating, and beginning to detox – not only result in feeling better but in feeling apart, feeling held, and feeling a deep sense of ok-ness that stands in sharp contrast to the feeling of discord generated by the modern lifestyle.
2. Know better
Once you feel better, you are ready to learn about why. This is a good time to explore the wisdom of our forefathers and mothers, of indigenous cultures, and of modern visionaries. If you’re attracted to science as a means of narrating our shared perceptions, then begin to enjoy a growing body of science that tells a totally different story about the natural world, healing, and the wonder of this planet. Continue to look at the places where you may still be asleep, delusional, or hallucinating!
Part of this process is claiming radical responsibility for your journey, your decisions, and your experience. If you can reclaim all of the energy you are putting towards blaming, resenting, hating, and otherwise feeling victimized, you will be amazed at the experience of empowerment that results. Deeper change, reflexive self-examination, and compassion towards others comes from this shift in perspective.
3. Do better
Once you feel better and you know better, then you are ready to live differently – to do better. But here’s the surprising news. There’s no pilgrimage required, no major planning or strategy, no big decisions. Doing better, in an awakened state, involves simply caring for yourself – kneeling at the altar of your body and getting clear enough to see the programs of fear and control when they creep back into your consciousness. Getting clear involves pausing, every day.
This is how you keep the “I” illusion at bay. You resist the temptation to do, fix, better yourself and your life circumstances endlessly. You let it be. You say yes, I accept. And you work with the flow. You give to others even when you feel most in need. In short, you burn your stories and you have faith. Watts says,
“To have faith is like when you trust yourself to the water. You don’t grab hold of the water when you swim, because if you do you will become stiff and tight in the water, and sink. You have to relax, and the attitude of faith is the very opposite of clinging, and holding on. In other words, a person who is fanatic in matters of religion, and clings to certain ideas about the nature of God and the universe becomes a person who has no faith at all. Instead they are holding tight. But the attitude of faith is to let go, and become open to truth, whatever it might turn out to be.”
Call it living in the Matrix, call it hallucinating, call it Biopolitic, or Maya, if you live life according to what mainstream media, government, and appointed authorities say is, there will come a time when you crack. Freak out. Or choose to opt out. Or when you simply leave the premises. You’ll be labeled with ADHD, Generalized Anxiety, Major Depression, Schizophrenia, or Bipolar Disorder. You will be told you are the sick one, that something is wrong with your inbuilt hardware. The figurative bone will be pointed at you and the collective will support your containment, restraint, and oppression to keep the infrastructure of the illusion intact.
But the mortar is cracking. Too many of us who have felt the truth that is spirituality. To be infused with spirit. To feel your own soul. To stop and inspire, breathe, and understand that without the entire ecosystem of beingness on this planet, you yourself are nothing. And once you have felt the fearlessness of this faith, you can never be controlled again, and you are finally free.
Originally published at kellybroganmd.com and reproduced here with permission.
About the author:
Kelly Brogan, M.D. is a holistic women’s health psychiatrist, author of the NY Times Bestselling book, A Mind of Your Own, the children’s book A Time For Rain, and co-editor of the landmark textbook, Integrative Therapies for Depression. She completed her psychiatric training and fellowship at NYU Medical Center after graduating from Cornell University Medical College, and has a B.S. from M.I.T. in Systems Neuroscience. She is board certified in psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, and integrative holistic medicine, and is specialized in a root-cause resolution approach to psychiatric syndromes and symptoms. She is on the board of GreenMedInfo, Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, Functional Medicine University, Pathways to Family Wellness, Mindd Foundation, SXSW Wellness, Chickasaw Nation Wellness, and the peer-reviewed, indexed journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. She is Medical Director for Fearless Parent and a founding member of Health Freedom Action. She is a certified KRI Kundalini Yoga teacher and a mother of two. For more articles, sign up for her newsletter at kellybroganmd.com.