Everyone with an interest in these subjects knows that there is an overlap between “shamanic” or “spiritual” perceptions and so-called “schizophrenic” ones. I have always assumed, without question, that (as I think RD Laing said), the shaman is able to swim in waters which the schizophrenic is drowning in. In other words, that schizophrenia was a mishandled or distorted experience of deeper, “shamanic” reality.
But what if the reverse is the case? What if shamans and gurus and spiritual people are simply those who have so fully adapted to - learned to navigate and communicate - their schizoid delusions that they are able to create (or connect with) believers in it, leading to sub-communities and counter-cultures in which delusional thought-forms became experiential reality?
I’m not saying this is what I think. I have known a least a couple of shaman-guru types who do seem a lot more balanced and sane than, say, Richard Dawkins. All I’m saying is—how can we be sure?
It’s a bit of a paradox, because if delusional belief is powerful enough to “create” false realities, then that idea itself confirms the schizoid/shamanic view of reality. In Dawkins’ view of things, the belief in God isn’t enough to create strong evidence for the existence of God, and so Dawkins looks like a chump and a poor scientist because he dismisses anything that challenges his argument, like those zealots who refused to look into Galilleo's telescope because they already knew he was insane. What I am positing would not please Dawkins and his ilk any more than it would your average New Ager: that belief is strong enough to create mental projections which will confirm that belief, but which are not sourced in anything objectively real.
This would have to allow the fundamental premise of both shamanic and schizophrenic experience: that everything is consciousness and that physical reality is therefore subject to change in accord with changes in (our) consciousness. However, if the assumption of a separate self, soul, or entity (including a Creator God) from which consciousness arises is erroneous, or at least unnecessary to the fundamental premise, then every subsequent perception that’s predicated on that idea (of a creator or experiencer) would also be false.
God, spirits, angels, devils, the psyche, archetypes, shamans, gurus—anything in short that has any sort of empirical authority or meaning within the larger context of a living consciousness system—would all just be elaborate thought forms generated by that fundamental schizophrenia which underlies all “spiritual” and “shamanic” belief systems whatsoever.
Holy false reality models, Batman! Is it time to go back to the scrying mirror!?