15. ~SOUNDINGS~: PART 3 – The Obstacles | 15th Essay – Mental Illness and Disability

by Frank L. Jordan III

15. Mental Illness and Disability

The Concern; photo courtesy of Alex Proimos


Mental Illness and Disability

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The phenomena of mental illness and mental disability,

     although having similarities to other ailments,

          are unique enough to deserve special consideration.

For they are occurrences of the mind—

     the mind being a unique blend of spirit and matter,

          self and brain.

The brain is not the source of selfhood,

     but it is the essential tool

          through which selfhood is expressed

          within the natural universe.

Matter is by no means the source of spirit,

     but it is the necessary medium through which spirit,

          like conscious energy,

          makes its presence known and felt in this world.


For, apart from the possible unmanifested aspects

     of the essence of God,

          only that which is manifested

          can affect and influence life forms, places,

               and things within this universe—

               even if that which is manifested is pure energy.

That’s what it means to be a part of the unfolding,

     progressing manifestation of God.

Something or someone must be a vehicle

     for that manifestation.

And this is no more apparent than with the phenomenon

     of the animal brain—be it fish, insect, amphibian,

          reptile, bird, lower mammal, or human.

But it is especially apparent with us humans.


For it is the human brain that has developed over eons

     into a more and more complex vehicle

          for the life and expression of each human self.

The human brain is the most effective organ yet discovered

     to act as a sort of gateway to the spiritual realm

          of the individual self.

Each self exists before the development of the brain

     within the human being he or she currently is,

          and each self exists after the death of the brain

          within the human being he or she currently is.


Now, even though an individual self does exist

     before the human brain it is blended with existed,

          and after the human brain it is blended

          with no longer exists,

               it is very possible that the experience

               of the self’s spiritual existence

                    is somewhat different

                    than his or her earthly human existence.

No one can say for sure what it must be like,

     because even those claiming to return

          from a near-death experience

          still had a body and brain to return to.

But it could be similar to our experience

     of existence within the dream realm,

          where flight can occur with a thought,

          and death is but a new awakening.


So it is the human mind—

     coupled with that extraordinarily intricate web of tissue,

          the human nervous system—

          that forms the foundation of existence

               for a human body and being,

               a human person.

And when that mind is damaged

     by infection, chemical imbalances, physical trauma,

          or psychological disturbances,

          the result can be a unique form of disease—

               mental illness.

It is a kind of illness, like any other illness,

     that our loving God does not will,

          that he constantly, persistently strives to eradicate.

With the help and cooperation

     of men and women throughout history,

          in many cases, God has.

As for the continuing existence of mental illness

     in the face of God’s will opposing it,

          the explanations previously given also apply here.


God wants every man, woman, and child

     to have a sound, clear, healthy mind.

God desires nothing more for his, for her human offspring.

That is why Pure Love is continually pressing through

     into the natural world to bring about such healing.

But, like when attempting to bring about

     any positive change, any improvement,

          God meets powerful, natural realities—

          realities that can be obstacles to God’s will

               because they derive their power

               through their very existence

                    from he, from she who is the Purest Love.

That which is manifested in the universe

     has the ability to offer resistance

          to God’s power and will,

          even to that power in its fullness—

               but only for a while.


For eventually all natural obstacles

     within this progressing manifestation of God

          will be overcome and transformed

          by the Spirit of God.

It is just a matter of time.

And how long a time really depends on how willing

     the intelligent and self-aware beings

          in the universe are to collaborate and cooperate

          with God’s loving power and will.

For with such collaboration, countless obstacles—

     be them physical, chemical, organic,

          psychological, or social—

          can be overcome and transformed into better,

               deeper, more harmonious realities.


And if these obstacles are mental illnesses,

     they can be healed.

If these obstacles are the psychological causes

     for mental illness, they can be prevented,

          thus avoided altogether.

For where often physical, chemical, or genetic causes

     of mental illness seem out of our control,

          the psychological causes are sometimes

          very much in our control.

Because it is often what we say or don’t say,

     what we do or don’t do,

          that can contribute to mental illness in others—

          especially to those in our care.


We must strive to love, respect,

     protect and cherish those in our care,

          even if we haven’t been loved, respected,

          protected and cherished enough by those

               who have cared for us.

This can be really difficult to do,

     because it’s not always easy to love

          when you feel like damaged goods.

But we have to try anyway, because those in our care

     really need our love and attention in the present,

          not our fear and loathing from the past.

So let’s try to let bygones be bygones,

     and rightnows be rightnows.

The cycles of psychological abuse can be broken,

     if the desire is strong enough,

          our love deep enough.


Another harsh reality that deserves deeper consideration

     is mental disability.

Many mental disabilities are the result

     of a defect occurring in the womb prior to birth,

          although some do have a physical

          or chemical cause after birth.

Those mental disabilities that are caused before or after birth

     are never willed by our nurturing God,

          never caused to happen by his, by her influence.

Actually, it is God’s desire that no human being

     suffer mental disability at any time,

          that every human being be granted a mental capability

          falling in the range of normal.

Whatever the cause of a disability before birth,

     be it certain combinations of blood types in the parents,

          unfortunate diseases during pregnancy,

          metabolic disorders affecting the brain,

               or abnormalities in the genes—

               and whatever the cause of a disability after birth,

                    be it oxygen deprivation during delivery,

                    illness producing a long, deadly fever,

                         or a head injury—

                         it is always God’s heart-felt will and desire

                         that these tragic events,

                              and the disabilities that they produce,

                              never occur, never afflict anyone.


Actually, the same can be said for any defect

     occurring before, during, or after birth.

God did not will it.

God does not want it.

God wants it healed.


But physical defects, mental disabilities, mental illnesses,

     and the many causes of all of these things,

          are powerful realities in this universe.

They are often made up of countless combinations

     of elements, chemicals, compounds, processes,

          timing, chance, accidents, and diseases—

          all of these being significant realities and occurrences

               within this awesome process we are growing

               to understand more and more fully

                    as God’s unfolding manifestation,

                    as God’s progressing collaboration with nature.


Yes, God wants all of these afflictions healed,

     all of their causes prevented.

How could our all-loving God want anything else?

That is why God so diligently struggles against them,

     so eagerly seeks to empower those

          who would be healers,

          who would join him, join her in combating them.

But overcoming the natural obstacles

     to God’s work and will is a process,

          a process that involves our continuing development

          as collaborators with Pure Love and each other—

               collaborators for wholeness, happiness,

               and healthiness.


This is why God has provided the exalted way

     to guide, aid, and nurture us,

          to cure our fears and afflictions, to empower us,

          and to overcome evil,

               once and for all.

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