This book is subtitled a "Shaman’s view of Schizophrenia and Acute Sensitivity". Odette Nightsky experienced what she calls ‘ her own darkness of the soul’ in her 20’s. Rather than follow the psychiatric path, she chose to follow the shamanic path to find healing. She is now a trained Shamanic guide and member of The College of Shamanic Studies U.K.
Her book is written in an easy to read style. It was refreshing to read a book with a different framework for hearing voices other than illness.
Odette prefers the term “Acutely Sensitive” to “schizophrenia” as she has found in her work that most people have been spiritually wounded. Leaving them profoundly sensitive to energies and to other realities.
Odette's experience as a shaman gives her an in depth view of one trained to walk in other realities. The explanation at the beginning states “the Shaman lives the mythology of the unconscious”. Many voice hearers do hear and experience gods and other beings from mythologies but have no framework as the West has discarded these experiences as fantasy and delusions.
Odette speaks not only as a healer but also from personal experience which gives her book a richness of one who has walked the path. She writes:
“I finally realised that fear and fighting were the two most useless tools. Neither of them worked in helping me with these visiting energies.”
Odette researched what she could on such experiences. Then realised she was looking in the wrong place. She started looking into the history of religion, and the history of visions and voices in other times and cultures. These provided many insights and led her to discover the ‘shamans path’ was the best for her to deal with her experiences.
Her images and descriptions of the experiences themselves are succinct and create an accurate picture of what it is truly like for “acute sensitives.”
As such, it is a great read for family and caregivers as well as voice hearers, allowing them an insight into what the experience is like in the type of language voice hearers themselves use. So often resources explain the voice hearing experience in a way that leaves it without meaning and the voice hearer without dignity.
The book uses stories of her work with others and her own experience to provide an insightful and useful guide for someone hearing voices. Encouraging people to treat voices and visions in a real way.
This is a welcome addition to the literature available. It is available in NZ from Keepwell New Zealand. www.keepwell.co.nz