Glore Psychiatric Museum ~ “Finding our way”
Saturday November 10th 2018 by James AnthonyCurtis
Today we visited the Glore Psychiatric Museum in St. Joseph Missouri just north of Kansas City.
St. Joseph is pleasant town, with lovely people, a rare little gem of attractions in US history. Having a commitment we are en route to, we decided on a couple of places that peaked our interest for the day. I chose the Native American exhibit, and Ciara picked the Glore Museum.
As per usual, the universe lines up what we need, even though we may balk at our circumstances. Sometimes I struggle with negative or afflictive emotions, and being in places where tragedy or strong pain was felt, vibrationally I will sense the energy stored in the items, land, and buildings that are still there. Although this happens, Ive received guidance over the years to really embrace the energies, that there are always deeper lessons, healings, expressions coming forth in the experiences that are priceless.
I’m a firm believer in learning from our history, and contributing to the process of healing by emerging myself in these areas of need that call out energetically.
I forget as a healer though, that when in exploration while sighting seeing, the impact things may have on me. This actually works to the benefit of the process sometimes, in that each experience is felt on a much deeper level, when we are unaware of what’s happening, because the mind doesn’t interfere with its analytical inquisitions or opinions.
Earlier in the day when we were choosing our destinations, its also beautiful watching the synchronicity of events that align for our desires of what we need to manifest in our life paths. Everything plays a part in coming to surface what we may realize in hindsight, as perfection is always moving all things together for wellbeing. Our conscious ‘trip planning,’ really is the tip of the iceberg in what happens on any given day.
So we found ourselves moving through the halls of what was once labeled “State Lunatic Asylum No. 2″, renamed the “St. Joseph State Hospital” in 1899. Built in 1874, the structure has echoes of a medieval fortress, where one might suspect to find all sorts of various torture devices in the damp lower sections of its foundation walls. Although the mind might run a bit with the idea of barbaric treatment as you begin to wander the museum, instead what we found was far more revealing in nature, sinister even, — a vain attempt by our predecessors to understand dark places in the human psyche, and in failing to do so, meet them with brute force in order to bring them in line with societal codes of conduct.
In an introductory video when you first enter the museum, a modern Psychiatrist examines his own methods of treatment for the mentally ill, posing the question, “fifty or a hundred years from now, will the methods I use be thought of as barbaric or inhumane attempting treatment of the mentally ill?
As we walked from room to room, seeing the devices and various forms of treatment used in those individuals that were committed, neither of us had the words to describe what we were feeling. Knowing what I know now, working with many people that struggle with mental health, how many of these people would have been tossed to the wind as ‘abnormal,’ or ‘less than’ in humane consideration? ‘Love,’ seemed far removed from the equation, as each treatment focused more on the obedience of behavior, and awakening the individual to societal norms in thinking.
Though I do not hold those in authority or charged with the care of these people at the time responsible, it is difficult to imagine being flexible with such obstinate thinking. The fact that we are ‘evolving’ is still in debate today, drive long enough on any major highway in the US, and you will eventually see a billboard disputing evolution with a rather narrow view of creationism. And although this may seem counter productive, even resistant, and full of rigidity, we are only being served with a deepening path to practice the love we so much are calling out for in humanities shortcomings.
As I look closely, feel into the history of many of those that were housed at ‘Lunatic Asylum No.2,’ the devices used on the people, the ‘tranquilizers,’ restraints, and many methods of treatment being explored, a story begins to unfold of two lives — both intertwined in the relationship of questioning our sanity. With each whipping, dousing of water, and handling of the insane with brute force, to the more sublime encounters where some small connection might be made, both patient and counselor must have wondered what bridge they were walking on through their chosen life path. As each questioned each, why couldn’t the other see what was so revealing and important in meaning?
On the third floor of the museum is a display of crafts, artwork, and instruments that gave worth to so many in the halls where they stayed. Some venting, others broken in heart, pain pouring forth in expression, and moments of joy in once heard voices having hope of being listened to again. The evidence on this floor was overwhelming, the conclusion of contrast real, that which was opening was being opened by the innocence of love, not by the torture of oppressive obedience. Those place that are so misunderstood, dark to us in nature, even violent in their force, are merely asking for love, the attention we long seek by the demons of our desires. The artwork resonated so much with us, it brought up other great artists of our time, and we were made to wonder how many of them were seeking only to be loved, valued in their journey of introspection, so clearly translated and identified on a mass scale of human canvas in the heart of the minds eye? How many of them were merely seekers, walking the inward road, only to escape incarceration or rejection by a narrow thread had their thoughts been more openly known?
The answer is not an easy one to accept, because it means a shift in each of our personal daily lives. As we draw closer to the truth of healing, expression, and our divine nature, we also meet our ‘mirrors,’ those places we lack conformity with, that are not aligned, asking only to be loved in their cries. As humans we are in a place of unique significance, in that we are both living embodiments of earth and sky, having the capacity for greatness and awe in our movements, but only as we learn to endure our most afflictive of energies in emotion with loving embrace. As we continue to grow into our potential, those parts that come forward in what we may perceive of as ‘insanity,’ are only indications of the higher self we are coming to know as we struggle to maintain some semblance of reality. With each grounding that falls away from under our footing, we are moving inward to the uncertain path, and learning to trust in the universal weight of liberation.
May you be blessed, may you be opened when ready, free to explore those parts that are asking only to be heard by the love that you already are. May it be so, so it is.???