I was leaving home in south Tinley Park, heading for my office, Beyond Wellness on the north side of town. When I hit 183 rd street and Harlem I approached the old Tinley Park Mental Hospital, closed down in 2012. The property, 280 acres is rife with asbestos, there’s an abandoned sewage treatment plant, leaking underground, and the soil is contaminated with mercury and lead. The grounds are barren and unkept. The buildings, connected by underground tunnels, now boarded up windows and vacant, once housed schizophrenic patients and those on suicide watch. Hmm.. must be haunted, right? I imagine there are lot of stories in these walls, but what is the real lesson learned here? Yes, it’s about money and politics, but more than that, it’s about a failing model. What I felt driving by this place was a dark cloud over the south side of Tinley Park, not a cloud that you can see, but a cloud that you can feel, Abandoned, Burdened, Helpless, Unimportant, Dangerous, and Forgotten lurking in the sky. It’s the energetic’s of the patients removed. This reminded me of a short story of a Shaman’s view of our medical model. Dr. Some, from Africa visits the United States in 1980 for graduate study and encounters how are country deals with mental illness. When a fellow student was sent to a mental institute due to a “nervous depression,” Dr. Some went to visit him.
“I was shocked. That was the first time I was brought face to face with what is done here to people exhibiting the same symptoms I’ve seen in my village.” reflected Dr. Some, he was surprised that the attention given to such symptoms was based on pathology, on the idea that the condition is something that needs to stop. This was in complete opposition to the way his culture views such a situation. As he looked around the stark ward at the patients, some in straitjackets, some zoned on medications, others screaming, he observed to himself. “So this is how the healers who are attempting to be born are treated in this culture. What a Loss! What a loss that a person who is finally being aligned with the power from another world is just being wasted.”
Another way to say this, which may make more sense to the Western mind, is that we in the West are not trained in how to deal or even taught to acknowledge the existence of psychic phenomena, the spiritual world. In fact, psychic abilities are denigrated. When energies from the spiritual world emerge in a Western psyche, that individual is completely unequipped to integrate them or even recognize what is happening. The result can be terrifying. Without the proper context for and assistance in dealing with the breakthrough from another level of reality, for all practical purposes, the person is insane. Heavy dosing with anti – psychotic drugs compounds the problem and prevents the integration that could lead to soul development and growth in the individual who has received these energies.
Now, something special is taking place on the north side of Tinley Park. As I pulled into the parking lot of Beyond Wellness. Before I even enter the building something feels different. Inside, schizophrenics are looked at as Special, depression can always be reversed, patients are guided into their gifts and the words disorder, terminal, and hopeless do not even exist. Outside, as I looked up into the sky, I felt a change in the clouds, a light breaking through, not just something you could see, but you could feel it, almost palpate it in the air, it felt like a ray of HOPE. There,s a revolution taking place in our mental health care model and it’s not just on the north and south side of Tinley Park, it’s in the air and spreading across the country. It cannot be stopped!