PSYCHIATRY AND THE SPIRIT
The term psychiatry is a Greek derivative that means a physician of the soul. The psychiatrist is one who treats the maladies of the soul with psychological tools as well as with medications that seem to offer a respite from the souls symptoms of disease.
Psychology is the knowledge about the soul, or literally the Word about the soul. It is the knowledge we have accumulated through the ages to help us deal with the problems people face when they are confronted with perceptions that stress people beyond their ability to bear up under that stress.
Dr. Carl Jung tells us in his autobiography that the psychological disciplines did not come out of Christian understanding. It came from the heresy of Gnosticism, through occult practice of Alchemy, into its presently recognized status among the sciences. It is important for us to note this source since it indicates that it is not grounded in Christian spirituality. Instead it is grounded in Old Creation spirituality.
There is a spiritual content attributed to humanity by some schools of psychology, but not all. There are few who will make room for the Christian concepts that we find in the New Testament spirituality of Paul. Jesus says, "He who keeps his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake and the Gospels, will save it." Mk 8:35
Paul speaks of the necessity of becoming a New Creation. We are to be baptized into the death of Christ. When we are buried with Him is a death like His, we shall also be raised up together with Him in a resurrection like His. There is more than a change in the perceptions of reality. There is a change in the reality itself. Rm 6:3,4
The change is not the result of human effort. It is the manifestation of the creative power of Gods love in the life of a believer. The major area of death is the ego. I must be willing to give up egocentric control of my life and the kingdom of self that I am constantly trying to build and control with my own will.
EGO is the acronym some call Easing God Out. It is the effort of humans trying to make ultimate decisions, and usurping the throne of God in as much of His creation as we can grasp. It is the human effort to become God in some measure.
If we are to find a mix of Christian nurture and the psychological disciplines, we must also find a way to bring the two together. We must allow God some leeway in His dealing with His children by making the interior changes in the power of His creative love.
GUILT AND GRACE
Guilt is a plague that follows anyone with a moral conscience. The conscience is perhaps the one unique characteristic of humanity in the animal kingdom. It is the attribute that sets us apart from the other animals on the earth, and it is the source of all of our guilt.
We can search for the origin of guilt and explain it through rationalizing the causes. I can explain that I my problems are caused because I am an adult child of an alcoholic, and therefore I am a victim. I no longer have a responsibility for my behavior. It is beyond my control. That leaves me with a problem beyond my reach.
When I find that there is a God who has called me to give Him my problem and let Him recreate me in that problem area, I can go to Him, as to a physician. I can tell Him the symptoms, and He will remove the symptoms and begin to work on the problem within from which the problems issued.
The process is called Confession. The result is called absolution or forgiveness. It does more than just explain the circumstances. It changes them. It is the spiritual adjunct that must be added to complete the work of the counsel and analysis of the problem. It is not the placing of blame that is the solution. It is the change in the interior life to eliminate the problem.
MEMORY AND REACTION
We also find that we have tendencies to react to the people and circumstances around us in habitual ways we do not like. We react in anger, or fear, or anxiety to the world around us, and the reactions lead us into some measure of bondage to the person or thing to which we react.
When we look at the past conditioning, we find that we are equipped with a record of our perceived memories of our past from conception until the present moment. It is not the simple sight/sound record. It is our interpretation of the sight/sound that actually occurred. We might say that our perception is our reality; but it is not actuality.
We must allow God access to the record that we carry within our hearts. It is the record whereby we know who we are and what we are like. Jesus lives beyond our time/space finitude. He can go back in time into those times and places of our lives where trauma is recorded. He can bring light that changes the perceptions, and sets us free to change reactions.
He can set us free to forgive those who hurt us and use that experience for wisdom and not for vengeance. He can get us beyond understanding to a new creation in which we can find our wholeness and freedom to become and to be the creation He intended when He called us by name, and made us His own. He does not change history. He changes our perception to set us free.
While Neurolinguistic Programming may aid in the comforting of the inner child of the past. It cannot do all that Jesus does when He goes to the little ones in trauma.
There are few who give much credence to Spiritual reality in the realm of the demonic or spirits which seem to work against the integrity and well being of humans. Data in this area can only be accumulated from experiments as we are willing to try what we have been given to do, and see what happens.
Where deliverance ministry is practiced, it seems to have the capacity to remove the compulsive forces from a person which seems to drive them in a destructive pattern of behavior. Satan is sometimes present in people and can be cast out in the Name of Jesus. Anger, Anxiety, or Fear are sometimes spirits that can be cast out.
There are at times other kinds of spirits that may be dispelled through casting them out, and there are alters that result from dissociative trauma that has caused them to leave the host person and live a life of their own within the body. They can be reunited and integrated.
In short the causes that may be discovered through the gifts of counsel, can be greatly helped through the use of spiritual resources and ministries. Jesus sent us to heal and equipped us to do the works that He did. It is not just a matter of using psychiatry or prayer. It is a matter of using all of the gifts He has given us, that we might be set free from bondage and made whole as a New Creation.To Fr Al's Main Page