Malidoma Patrice Somé is an initiate and a shaman of the Dagara tribe in Burkina Faso, West Africa.
At the request of his people he often travels to the West, taking courses and lectures, and playing a link between the culture he belongs and the Western world.
Somè’s vision of disease and especially mental illness is completely different from the idea that we have in our world. We focus on the pathology and the behavior that derives from it, with the primary objective of stopping it and nullifying it.
Dr. Somè claims instead that depression, schizophrenia, psychosis are forms of transformation of individual consciousness.
According to the shamanic vision to which Somè refers, mental illness originates when two opposing energies merge together, and the disturbance originates from the lack of assistance that the patient receives in order to manage the energy coming from the spirit world.
Mental illness for the Dagara people is “good news”.
It means that a person has been chosen as a bridge between this world and the spiritual one. And will have to face a crisis not simple to be able to give birth to the healer that is in itself.
The concept is extraordinary. Only by struggling with one’s condition does a person become strong, and able to possess a wisdom that can be given to other people as well.
The Dagara people believe that this person has been chosen as a means for a message to the community.
What Westerners consider a “mental illness”, the people of Dagara consider it “good news from the other world”.
The vision of dr. Somè claims that the disorder originates from the fusion of two opposing energies, which create imbalance and perturbation.
If the person who is the object of this state fails to frame the energy from the realm of the Spirit or is not helped in this, the disease becomes more intense.
If the opposite happens, it will later have the ability to guide and heal other people.
In 1980 dr. Somè was in the United States to complete his studies and was able to understand how the West treats illness and mental disorder.
He was shocked to see patients completely locked up in prison-like rooms and sedated with very powerful drugs.
“I was so shocked. That was the first time I found myself face to face with what is being done here to people who have the same symptoms I have seen in my village.
This is the way in which the healers who are trying to be born are treated in this culture. What a pity! What a pity that a person finally aligned with the power from the other world is so wasted “.
These are the words of Somè released in one of his interviews.
The West is not trained on how to deal with the existence of psychic phenomena and the spiritual world.
When these energies emerge, the individual, who does not have the ability to recognize what is happening, is labeled “mad” and receives high doses of anti-psychotic drugs that hinder his spiritual evolution.
Shamans and psychics are able to see “entities” or “beings” that linger in the presence of these individuals.
The screams of patients in the psychiatric ward reported to Dr. Somé that the entities were trying to free the body from the effects of the drugs and these phases were usually complex and even painful.
Describes schizophrenia as “receptiveness to the confusion at the beginning caused by a flow of images and information that can not be controlled”.
“When this kind of chaos occurs at a time that is not chosen by the person, and especially when it comes to images that are frightening and contradictory, the subject goes into delirium.”
The task of the shaman is to eliminate the energies extraneous from the aura of the individual using a practice known as “sweep”.
This helps to calm the spiritual energy that is received and calms the person.
The shaman will then try to align the high-tension energy of the spirit that tries to come to the person’s side and, by doing so, give birth to the healer.
If the energy is negative and malignant, the task of the shaman is to totally eliminate this condition, rather than try to align it within the affected person.