“Lithium, Prozac, Sirax, Amitriptyline, and valium may have some effect on relieving the symptoms, but is unable to have any effect on spiritual psychosis, the sickness of the soul.”
He was just five years old. A boy standing alone in the middle of his bedroom. Thin arms hung from shoulders that were too tiny to carry the monstrous weight of his young life. Torment clawed at his soul like a bird of prey. Curly blond hair fell across his brow forming little circles. Everyone loved his curls. But that didn’t matter here. The storm outside his bedroom door had reached a climax, but he did not flinch, staring at the dirty walls in front of him. He envied the wall’s anonymous hardness. Walls don’t get noticed. He learned quickly to spend most of his time not being seen.
This particular storm had a quality of terror in it. Moving for the first time, he crawled underneath the beshambled bed and stuck a dirty finger in his mouth, trying to soothe away the sound, but it barked in his ears like a deranged dog. He could not ward off the powerful gusts of black noise blowing against the bedroom door, threatening to explode into his room. The tiny boy balled up in a pre-birth position floating off into a rudimental world. A narcotic state where he could numb tender skin—where he was no longer a victim. Squeezing his burning eyes tight caused little lights to dance before him. He escaped through one of them into the dreary arms of sleep.
When the little boy under the bed became a man, odds are he will spend the rest of his life trying to find a feeling of love and safety in cravings and addiction. Running but never escaping.
In 1958, Harry and Margaret Harlow documented a series of fascinating experiments on rhesus monkeys. They removed infant monkeys from their mothers and isolated them in separate cages with a surrogate mother that was made of wire, covered in terry cloth. It was capable of providing milk and a light bulb was placed inside to simulate the warmth of a real mother. All the young monkeys grew to develop unhealthy patterns of behavior, staring into space, lethargic, injuring themselves and sitting in the corner in a rocking motion. They also had an inability to mate. The few females that were able to have babies could not provide adequate maternal responses to their young, ignoring, attacking or beating them. Yet, the abused infants would continually return to seek loving comfort from these abusive mothers. Pain passed down from generation to generation, a twisted legacy that has been handed down through parents who are ill-equipped to mother and father the emotional needs of their children.
Emotions have a greater impact than the process of logic and reason. Much of our thinking is affected, if not developed, from emotions. Every thought, idea, decision and sensation that penetrates the consciousness is painted with emotions. Feelings give value to life. We use them as measuring rods for what is important and unimportant. Decisions and behavior cannot help but be rooted in them.
Dr. Damasio, from the University of Iowa, believes that emotion is central to the development of rational thought. His conclusion is derived from the study of two dozen patients whom he has treated personally. One of these patients was a businessman named Elliot. He began to behave irrationally after the removal of a brain tumor. His intelligence was not affected by this tumor nor its removal. Psychological testing revealed that what Elliot did lose was the ability to experience emotion. Before the operation, when Elliot made an investment that went sour, he felt bad about it and was more cautious the next time. This was something Elliot could no longer do after the surgery, resulting in irrational decisions. Damasio stated, “We can't decide whom we are going to marry, what savings strategy to adopt, where to live, on the basis of reason alone.”
CONTROLLING FEELINGS WITH MEDICATION
There is far more to us than what eyes can see. Underneath your skin there exists a realm vaster than the physical universe. The neuro nets of the brain and delicate chemical balances that are observed and attempted to be controlled by psychiatrists are only a physical extension of the eternal part of us that will live forever.
The brain allows the intangible part of us to communicate with the physical world around, even our body. When the soul is filled with storms of pain, hopelessness and depression, it will be observed in how the brain functions. Decongestants, cough suppressants, and pain relievers cannot cure the common cold, but only mask the symptoms. Lithium, Prozac, Sirax, Amitriptyline, and valium may have some effect on relieving the symptoms of what has been commonly called mental illness, but is unable to have any effect on spiritual psychosis, the sickness of the soul. God is not in the business of treating symptoms. His Word has not become archaic in the face of complex modern sciences and physical and mental health.
Damaging anti-social behavior characterizes North American culture and flies in the face of a medical community which believes to hold the key to mental and physical well-being. The energy that is put toward the physical aspect of living is profound and tragic. The majority of what makes up the human psyche is what cannot be seen or observed with the eye. Despiritualizing our understanding of the need of mankind has resulted in the worst kinds of mental illness.
When our passions and desires are focused on God, it brings balance and harmony, filling our lives with value, purpose and a forward motion. In contrast, when the passions, love and desires of the heart are fixed on the meaningless pursuit of worldly pleasures, it results in a vulnerability to emotional instabilities and disorders.
Set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things (Col 3:1,2). Why? Because this is what we have been created for, when we are at our best, fulfilled, balanced, our minds and hearts connected to an eternal purpose. Setting our hearts on things above will break the endless cycle of trying to cram into our lives something that fades, numbs and corrupts.
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