Jump to content

On Healing - A Sermon by Paul Tillich


Narcissus

Recommended Posts

  • Moderator Emeritus

While I am not a Christian, I am fascinated with Paul Tillich's interpretations of Christ's teachings.  This is a sermon he gave in 1955 on healing that I find really riveting.  Just to be clear, when Tillich describes the human flight from freedom and insecurity into sickness, I'm not suggesting that this is what's happening with withdrawal, which obviously has deep physiological causes.  However, I do think that it's a danger we may occasionally face during recovery, and that it's something to be wary of.  

 

Here's the link.

 

http://www.lighthouselibrary.com/pdf/TILLICH,%20PAUL/ON%20HEALING%20[Paul%20Tillich]%20Year%201955.pdf

 

There's quite a bit here and I'd love to discuss it.  What do people think?

3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Narcissus,

 

Im not a christian either but it has some interesting connections to some trauma therapy literature I have been reading.  The key similarity is that the therapy literature talks about the desire for connection and the fear of connection and how when developmental trauma or shock trauma in our childhood impacts on connection we develop maladaptive responses that play out in both our psychology and our physiology.  It has really struck a cord with me and makes sense of my experience and way of being in the world

 

Here is a link to the author http://www.drlaurenceheller.com/Intro_to_NARM.html

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Mr. Heller seems to be reiterating the rejection of conditioning and cultivation of metaphysical awareness that are prescribed in most religious programs, particularly in Eastern programs.  There's a lot to this approach I think, and it's nice to see someone putting it into a more current and scientific language, although I think I prefer the older and more religious language myself.  

3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

Link to post

I like Tillich's stuff...I have got a lot from the christian saint stories...Teresa of Avila for example suffered great physical illness...

 

I've considered this as much a spiritual journey as anything else...it helps me cope...I borrow from all traditions to come to this understanding...the kundalini framework has been helpful too.

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

 

 

Teresa of Avila for example suffered great physical illness...

 

I don't know much about Teresa, but I know that the medieval mystic Julian Norwich prayed for sickness as a means for sharing in Christ's passion.  The relationship between sickness and spirituality is extremely interesting, definitely something worth delving into.

 

 

 

I've considered this as much a spiritual journey as anything else

 

I have a very difficult time with this...although some part of me knows better, withdrawal often confronts me as pure meaninglessness.  It may be that I have not fully acknowledged my own role in bringing it about, and until I do the meaning will be mysterious to me.  

3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Some excerpts from the sermon: 

 

There may be something in the structure of our institutions which produces illness in more and more people. It may, for instance, be that the unlimited, ruthless competition which deprives 

everybody of a feeling of security, makes many in our healthy nation sick; not only those who are unsuccessful in competition, but also those who are most successful.

 

...nobody can be healed especially of mental disorders and diseases who does not want it with his whole heart

 

...salvation is healing. And the savior is the healer.

 

 

...becoming healthy means becoming whole, reunited, in one’s bodily and psychic functions.

...the process of mental healing is a difficult and painful one, accompanied by convulsions of body 
and soul.

 

...the mentally sick are afraid of the process of healing, because it throws them out of the limited but safe house of their neurotic self-seclusion.

 

 

 

The great physician is he who does not easily cut off parts and does not easily suppress the one function in favor of the other, but he who strengthens the whole so that within the unity of the body the struggling elements can be reconciled. And this is possible even if deep traces of former struggles in our body remain as long as we live. 

 

 

Faith...does not mean the belief in assertions for which there is no evidence. It never meant that in genuine religion, and it never should be abused in this sense. But faith means being grasped by a power that is greater than we are, a power that shakes us and turns us, and transforms us and heals us. Surrender to this power is faith.

 

None of us is isolated. We belong to our past, to our families, classes, groups, nations, cultures. And in all of them health and illness are fighting with each other. How can we be whole if the culture is split within itself, if every value is denied by another one, if every truth is questioned, if every decision is good and bad at the same time? How can we be whole if the institutions in which we live create temptations, conflicts, catastrophes too heavy for each of us?...Only a new reality can make us whole, breaking into the old one, reconciling it with itself.

...it is the power of reconciliation whose work is wholeness and whose name is love.

 

 

3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

And here we get Tillich's dramatic statement of the recurring problem of Christianity (and, I think, of spirituality in general):   

...the serious problem is, as always, the problem of our own existence. Are we healed, have we received healing forces, here and there from the power of the picture of Jesus as the Savior? Are we grasped by this power? Is it strong enough to overcome our neurotic trends, the rebellion of unconscious strivings, the split in our conscious being, the diseases which disintegrate our minds and destroy our bodies at the same time?  Have we overcome in moments of grace the torturing anxiety in the depth of our hearts, the restlessness which never ceases moving and whipping us, the unordered desires and the hidden repressions which return as poisonous hate, the hostility against ourselves and others, against life itself, the hidden will to death? Have we experienced now and then in moments of grace that we are made whole, that destructive spirits have left us, that psychic compulsions are dissolved, that tyrannical mechanisms in our soul are replaced by freedom; that despair, this most dangerous of all splits, this real sickness unto death, is healed and we are saved from self-destruction?

 

 

3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

Link to post

every dark night has a long period of hopelessness and apparent meaninglessness as part of the journey...that is exactly why I'm drawn to such interpretations. (granted, I don't BELIEVE anything) it just helps me make some sort of existential sense out of it...

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

Link to post

those are great quotes you've collected Narcissus...I just came back to read them carefully. I'm going to post one or two on Beyond Meds. thanks

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

Link to post

I've put this quote on the blog a couple of times...it's something along the same lines...perhaps from somewhat different perspective:

 

“A sacred illness is one that educates us and alters us from the inside out, provides experiences and therefore knowledge that we could not possibly achieve in any other way, and aligns us with a life path that is, ultimately, of benefit to ourselves and those around us.” – Deena Metzger

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

Link to post

I was brought up in the Catholic Church by Irish parents and a profoundly religious father who believed strictly in it's teachings. And while I still respect the institution for almost unexplainable reasons other than it is ingrained in me, I do not adhere to those teachings at all. But I do think that perhaps it is some part of that teaching that has helped me to be reliant on myself, and seek knowledge to become reliant on myself.

 

And it is also the contrast between these teachings and parents who became alcoholics that reinforced this self reliance. And thus, I would forever struggle with Tillich's views on "salvation is healing," although I do agree that many people do seem to lapse into positions of feeling the need to be cared for and insecure whether successful or unsuccessful in the competiveness of today's world.

 

And while the writings of Cormac McCarthey are so wonderful in expressing the reality of the human condition, in spite of attempted proactivity by characters, the stories do seem to portray a truthfulness that demonstrates the lack of control we often find ourselves in. And in the instances of trying to overcome these drugs and what they do and have done, I think proactivity that does not succeed will not do.

 

So, while in college, i found as part of assigned reading a short story that is indeed powerful in the development of individual insight and what I often think is helpful in the determination to overcome this very situation. Perhaps it is just me, and I have read no other works by this author as well known as she is, but I can never forget it, and I do think it has application far above the spirituality of any religion. And that work is "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas," by Ursula Le Guin. It is a short story, 5 pages long, and can be found on the Internet in PDF. The message is very powerful.

 

Marie

On Xanax 10 years for anxiety, 2 mgs, night only. Attempted my own taper w/o understanding the dependency issues.

 

Researched and then understood the need for longer half life med. Doctor crossed me from X to klonopin 4 times in 6 months. Last time on X, she up dosed me to 3 mgs X.

 

On last cross attempt, ended up in ER with profound w/d sx from X. Got new doctor. Final cross to K, structured, slow was completed 6/5/12-12/5/12.

 

Attempting liquid micro taper from K. Difficulty with micro cuts; significant w/d sx requiring several weeks of holding after each cut. Also concerned if it's possible to use pill/liquid combo for dosing.

 

Hope I Meet Other Benzo Taperers Here! I have tried ADs in past. Could not tolerate them, gave up trying, none for over 12 years.

Link to post

Ursula Leguin is wonderful...The Left Hand of Darkness was a formative novel for me...I've not read what you mention...I'll look it up.

 

I can come at this illness from about 1052 ways...it's useful to me to see things from as many perspectives as possible. I was raised Catholic too and rejected the institution entirely. The institution has little to do with mystics and scholars who have insight into the psyche...for whatever it's worth I've never confused the two.

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

Link to post

And here is the website of the PDF version of Le Guins "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas."I'm not very good at this computer website "stuff," so it may require typing it into the heading, but if so, it is absolutely worth it.http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/faculty/dunnweb/rprnts.omelas.pdfMarie

On Xanax 10 years for anxiety, 2 mgs, night only. Attempted my own taper w/o understanding the dependency issues.

 

Researched and then understood the need for longer half life med. Doctor crossed me from X to klonopin 4 times in 6 months. Last time on X, she up dosed me to 3 mgs X.

 

On last cross attempt, ended up in ER with profound w/d sx from X. Got new doctor. Final cross to K, structured, slow was completed 6/5/12-12/5/12.

 

Attempting liquid micro taper from K. Difficulty with micro cuts; significant w/d sx requiring several weeks of holding after each cut. Also concerned if it's possible to use pill/liquid combo for dosing.

 

Hope I Meet Other Benzo Taperers Here! I have tried ADs in past. Could not tolerate them, gave up trying, none for over 12 years.

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy