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Spirituality and Beliefs Implications and Impact on Mental Illness and Psychiatric Disability Introduction I wish to begin this paper by playing a short piece of music composed by Richard Einhorn and inspired by the life and writings of Joan of Arc At the age of 13 in 1425 this shepherd girl from the village of Domremy in France began to hear voices At sixteen these voices were telling her that she had been given a divine mission to reunite France It is said that she heard the voice of God when the church bell rang This piece is called The Final Walk as she faces her execution In 1920 nearly 500 years after her death at the hands of the church she was declared a saint The basis of this paper have been the musings conversations and reading over many years of a person who has been endeavoring to explain why it is that people who have been through the experience of a mental illness provide the potential of connection with deeper parts of who we are in a way that is not commonly found I have welcomed the writings of consumers themselves to give light to this question some studies and the current resurgence of discussion about the nature and need for the spiritual dimension in life It has been unfortunate that we have not recognized consumers as potential heroes of the journey of the dark night of the soul but instead have negated the spiritual aspects of their psychic journeys In so doing we have failed to listen to their desires that rehabilitation takes account of the meaning of where they have been and what they now understand as their own mental and spiritual well being I acknowledge that my exploration of these issues is only a beginning The place of the soul in recovery There was a time not that long ago when
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