Rest in peace my dear friend and comrade in madness…Ian Scheffel (formerly Bill Scheffel)

my beautiful friend (Ian) Bill Scheffel died a year ago yesterday. I was happy to be reminded of this piece I put up in tribute to him. It includes a piece he wrote that is a lovely way to remember him. Please visit the site and read his words and celebrate him in your hearts as I do today. These were my words in memory of him and introducing his piece. Ian was the third musketeer of Mad Spiritual. His death is largely why we’ve never really gotten it off the ground…we’re missing a limb…and still healing:

Editors comment (Everything Matters, Beyond Meds): Ian (formerly Bill) Scheffel was my friend and he was my partner along with Chris Cole in the project I’ve mentioned a couple of times.  Ian and Chris Cole and I have been planning to launch something we’ve called Mad Spiritual...to celebrate and support folks who experience altered states etc.  Ian’s experience with altered states was a critically important part of who he was. Those places in the psyche from which many profound insights come… It’s unfortunate that those corners of humanity’s psyche frighten many people and so our society doesn’t yet know how to support or nurture such emergence processes.  Ian was moving in and out of those spaces lately.  He is a beautiful, loving man who saw into the nature of humanity in ways that became hard to manage. It doesn’t feel like he was escaping but continuing on his particular journey. Thich Nhat Hanh has said about self-immolation that it should not be considered suicide in the usual sense…

“The Vietnamese monk, by burning himself, says with all his strength and determination that he can endure the greatest of suffering to protect his people. What he really aims at is the expression of his will and determination, not death. To express will by burning oneself, therefore, is not to commit an act of destruction but to perform an act of construction, that is to suffer and to die for the sake of one’s people.”  (entire letter to Marin Luther King Jr. here)

Ian was mad spiritual. I am mad spiritual. Chris too, our third partner is Mad Spiritual.  We come together to share love and support  with others like us. We are everywhere. We are an important part of the human family and our needs are not being met. There aren’t many of us who feel free to speak explicitly about such things because there is risk involved. We are not taken seriously and we are often harmed in the name of medicine. 

Ian’s suicide is a loss to the whole world and it is also the most precious of gifts. This I know. I also know that he is at peace and that peace is felt in my heart where he also abides.

The most physically palpable deeply grounded feeling I have about my friend’s suicide is that he knew what he was doing and that he is still here in my heart…holding me down, to the ground in delicious if also painful sobriety. We have work to do that the world might one day be safe for all of us. 

I am sharing an article that speaks to his life below and also reveals much about the work he and I and Chris were doing.  May Ian be remembered and celebrated now with his own words.  If you’ve never encountered Ian before,  feel free to connect with your own heart as you read his words. Let him become part of who you are too. If you knew Ian/Bill let the below bless you further with his wisdom, love and insight. Let us carry on his vision together now. 

— click through and read his article too…it’s so good and there is a link to his other work as well. He contributed so much to are collective. The human species: READ HIS WORDS once you scroll down here https://beyondmeds.com/2018/07/09/comrade-in-madness/

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds

Editors comment (Everything Matters, Beyond Meds): Ian (formerly Bill) Scheffel was my friend and he was my partner along with Chris Cole in the project I’ve mentioned a couple of times.  Ian and Chris Cole and I have been planning to launch something we’ve called Mad Spiritual...to celebrate and support folks who experience altered states etc.  Ian’s experience with altered states was a critically important part of who he was. Those places in the psyche from which many profound insights come… It’s unfortunate that those corners of humanity’s psyche frighten many people and so our society doesn’t yet know how to support or nurture such emergence processes.  Ian was moving in and out of those spaces lately.  He is a beautiful, loving man who saw into the nature of humanity in ways that became hard to manage. It doesn’t feel like he was escaping but continuing on his…

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About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters

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