Oceans of Energy: What Paranoia Reveals About Interconnection

36
2278

“The psychotic drowns in the same waters in which the mystic swims with delight.” — Joseph Campbell

Words like interconnection and oneness point to an underlying unity, an ocean of consciousness, in which we swim. And yet, as individuals with a fixed point of consciousness, humans experience the Great Mystery through a narrow lens. The tension of experiencing union as an individual is at the heart of a spiritual awakening; the desire to transcend this narrow lens, innate in humanity.

Transcendence is sought through day-to-day experiences: losing yourself at a concert or a sports match, on darkened dance floors, through the inhibition of alcohol, the endorphin rush of exercise or sex, immersion in stories read in books or watched on screens. These experiences of unity don’t cause much disruption. But go further, and stretch the ego’s boundaries far beyond their usual confines, and you also stretch the thread between mysticism and madness.

Along with depression and anxiety, my madness has been psychosis and paranoia. Paranoia is a powerful teacher of the nature of ego and interconnection, as implied by its etymology, para (beyond) and noos (mind). The sense of being the “center” of unwanted attention, of being observed, a feeling of presence or persecution, is fearful and isolating. Although the opposite of what mystics seek, the water is the same. Madness motivated me to understand what mystics do differently. Here’s what I’ve learned.

Paranoia and Oneness

A oneness experience is the realization that subjective awareness is also beyond the boundaries of the ego and individual consciousness; an awareness which permeates both you and the world. Such an epiphany is life-changing. My first experience of awakening to this degree felt like a rebirth, as the world burst into life, with presence emanating from all things. But this experience came years after I first experienced acute psychosis, where the world burst into life and judgement and threat emanated from all things.

Rather than offering insight into the underlying unity of consciousness, the ego can hitchhike a ride into territory it’s not designed to travel. All the personal baggage of “I” is mixed up with the sense of interconnection. For me this manifested as auditory hallucinations, where conversations — be it group discussions or the background chatter of public transport — merged with self-conscious thoughts and warped my perception, so the conversation became about me, as if hearing it for real.

Paranoia also manifested as a judgemental presence, in crowds or social settings, and more disturbingly, with no one around, outsourced to trees or the sky or God. Initially, I was convinced I was crazy. The only model I had was the typical Western worldview of material reality, with hard boundaries between the self and the world. Spiritual traditions gave me a different outlook. I understood that rather than being crazy, I was experiencing a fluidity in consciousness as part of an awakening.

As my practice evolved, I had more experiences of interconnection unfiltered through ego. These were liberating, harmonious, baggage-free. Seeing the other side of the line, I comprehend the mystics. With consciousness as the foundation of reality, the blurring of the self and the world is logical. What is perceived as “out there” ultimately comes from within. Take this insight from Jungian analyst, Marie-Louise von Franz:

“The individuation process is more than a coming to terms between the inborn germ of wholeness and the outer acts of fate. Its subjective experience conveys the feeling that some supra-personal force is actively interfering in a creative way. One sometimes feels the unconscious is leading the way in accordance with a secret design. It is as if something is looking at me, something I do not see but that sees me — perhaps that Great Man in the heart, who tells me his opinions about me by means of dreams.” — Marie-Louise Von Franz, Man And His Symbols

Perceptions of a “supra-personal force” as described by Von Franz might be misattributed to psychosis or schizophrenia. Indeed, it is a trademark symptom of both. But Von Franz, an esteemed psychologist, one of Carl Jung’s most gifted protégés, uses these terms to articulate not pathology, but the movement toward wholeness (individuation).

Von Franz understood the vast unconscious as an energetic force that is inherently intelligent, directive, benevolent, wise, and supportive, and what is seen or felt or sensed as “out there” is a manifestation of this force. Psychological projection, hallucinations, and synchronicity are all refracted phenomena of this force. Von Franz understood that the psychotic and the mystic swim in the same water. But why do some swim, and some drown?

Breaking Down the Parts

The amount of fear and suffering in this process isn’t to be overlooked, even if this is an empowered message. At its most extreme, this “supra-personal force” made the simplest of tasks, like walking to the shops, an ordeal, each step trudging through an invisible syrup of persecution. Living out an unconscious projection doesn’t feel like a projection, it’s perceived as real, really out there, really happening, although I was blessed with a small window of doubt.

Over a decade of persistent practice, inner work, insight and learning has given me a decent hold on these experiences, to allow their transformative process to take place, to nurture the seed of wholeness, rather than stomp it back into the soil of the soul. There’s a profound opportunity for transformation when energy from the unconscious surfaces into conscious awareness to the extent that it is sensed everywhere.

Engaging with your inner landscape in this way makes every quirk a teaching opportunity. That includes the quirk of paranoia. With mindful attention developed in meditation, I became aware of the smaller parts constituting the whole. I noticed how paranoid judgements weren’t what other people thought of me, but what I thought of me. If I didn’t buy into the judgement, through my practice of self-acceptance and self-compassion, it wouldn’t stick.

My first spell of psychosis came after the sudden death of a friend in a motorcycle accident. Most of the paranoid judgements perceived as “out there” were along the lines of “Is that guy okay?” The truth was, no, I wasn’t okay. I was putting on a brave face, only for my environment to reflect the part of my psyche that was very much aware I wasn’t okay. This projection pointed me inward, to deal with unclaimed grief overspilling through lack of attention.

That’s the nature of projection, as Jung acutely described. Deny parts of the self, and those parts become displaced. I happen to have a particularly permeable boundary, which means that any suppressed contents saturate my environment fairly easily. Once claimed, even through as simple a practice as labeling it — “Ah, I’m angry right now” — the nexus of that emotion or thought returns to “me,” and I’m better able to discern what’s mine, and what isn’t.

Paranoia and Energetic Sensitivity

Paranoia to some degree is healthy. As social beings, paranoid thoughts motivate prosocial behavior, as long as they don’t become neurotic. Wondering if a certain comment upset a group of people may lead to reflection on how to relate kindly to others. Psychosis, in my definition, is when the line between inner and outer, thought and perception, blur.

The energy I’m describing is scientifically elusive, yet subjectively universal. Taoism calls it chi, Hinduism calls it prana. Carl Jung’s terminology is libido, or life force; what Von-Franz calls the supra-personal force. All of us can sense the vibe of a room or know if someone has “good energy.” The energetic experience of psychosis was like being submerged in a highly pressurized environment, a deep ocean crushing the membrane separating me from the world.

On bad days, going outside was reminiscent of Dracula in daylight, as if there was a blinding light that was unbearable to be in, my soul turning away from the glare of the sun. I was sensitive to movement, and things unseen. My body would have a somatic response, entering fight, flight or freeze. I’d sense “energy centers” that would knock me off balance, most notably around other people and in crowds.

If this ocean is one of spiritual energy, like dark matter in empty space, humans are significant vortexes of energy, but that energy is everywhere, and I’m certain some people are more sensitive to it. The work here is to establish greater boundaries, energetically, to avoid melting into the ocean. When such energy arises internally (many call this kundalini), dormant traumas, insecurities, or self-judgements can burst into consciousness.

In yoga, these are samskaras, imprints in consciousness that are uprooted with equanimity and awareness. I’m immensely grateful for these techniques, particularly Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Meditation was my savior. I’d practice keeping my perspective on awareness, relaxing my body, and not reacting to sensations or experiences. I worked on my body physically, particularly with weight training, and practices to regulate “stuck” energy, including breathing techniques.

A kundalini awakening is a profound energetic shift that body, mind, and emotions struggle to adapt to. I had to increase my body’s capacity to be with this energy. I faced fears of insanity, worried that if I expressed this energy, I’d unleash a bull in a china shop of societal politeness, smashing civilized behavior to pieces. I came to realize that what I saw as intensity was aliveness, and the civilized way of suppressing this aliveness was insanity.

Though natural and innate, this energy is potent, responsible for great works of art, the creation of the cosmos; what the Greeks called divine madness. Allowing it doesn’t mean running away with it. If the ego claims the energy of transformation as “mine,” there’s a risk of pronoia, paranoia’s opposite — the sense of the universe revolving around the individual from a stance of specialness; a Messiah Complex, the belief that you are God, humanity’s savior, the Chosen One.

It doesn’t help that, typically, such awakenings evoke divine symbols and images in the form of visions. I had many of a Christian tone, including initiations and images of Jesus. Thankfully, for everyone involved, I was aware of this ego trap and worked on grounding myself and managing my hubris as a damage limitation exercise, some times more successfully than others.

Paranoia as a Pathway to Transformation

“True sanity entails in one way or another the dissolution of the normal ego, that false self competently adjusted to our alienated social reality: the emergence of the ‘inner’ archetypal mediators of divine power, and through this death a rebirth, and the eventual reestablishment of a new kind of ego-functioning, the ego now being the servant of the Divine, no longer its betrayer.” — R.D. Laing

Dismissing these extreme experiences as pathology is a missed opportunity. With patience and practice, tension will resolve, leading to greater spiritual maturity. My concern is with how obscure much of this understanding is. I had to search far and wide to contextualize my experience, and although I had peer support, most of the hard work was done through trial and error.

Learning to trust the process is an individual and systemic issue. As an individual, the surfacing of trauma, the awakening into energetic realms, the fear of insanity, make it difficult to trust, especially in a world that pathologizes much of the territory. Without supportive mentors and peers, people are left alone, institutionalized, drugged, gaslit, dismissed, left adrift, desperately trying to swim against fierce tides.

Learning to swim is nuanced. My experience, along with that of many others, is a lesson that these waters have to be respected. I won’t claim that everyone can avoid drowning. While our nature is one of interconnection, our psychology, emotions, traumas, or social wounds have to be worked through, to rest in the paradox of being connected to underlying unity and grounded in individuality. This is a Herculean odyssey.

Despite all the fear, the moments of questioning my sanity, sojourns to the supermarket like mythological walks of shame, and sardonic reflections on why, as a grown man, I was suspicious of trees, it all led to something remarkable — a genuine deepening of self-understanding, a flourishing of love and acceptance, an excavation of the fountain of creativity I’d ignored, and a vague sense of starting to understand my place in the world, my connection to the cosmos.

Oneness experiences, in their darkness and light, are a reminder that “who you are” far exceeds the ego, that creative influences reside below the surface of consciousness, and that while supra-personal forces may initially seem disconcerting, their nature is to guide you, ultimately, to the fullest version of yourself. Leading the way, these forces offer an energy to work with — an energy that is an inherent part of the interconnected universe.

***

Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.

***

Mad in America has made some changes to the commenting process. You no longer need to login or create an account on our site to comment. The only information needed is your name, email and comment text. Comments made with an account prior to this change will remain visible on the site.

36 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Ricky, thanks for sharing your reflections on this tricky area around the intersection of paranoia and spirituality or our larger identity! This needs a lot more attention – but I think most mental health professionals avoid considering it or don’t know how to talk about it.

    Report comment

    • Thanks, Ron. I agree most avoid the topic altogether. Developing shared language/understanding is essential, but not easy. By the way, I presented at the last ISPS-US conference and I’m keen to collaborate, so perhaps we can get in touch? I’m also working through your course Spiritual Issues Within Treatment for Psychosis and Bipolar, which is illuminating. I’m grateful for the work you do!

      Report comment

  2. I am going to start with the positives:

    I am gratefull and appreciative others can find comfort in spirituality in a way I never could.*

    I don’t see it as a negative, I see it as a a negative when it is pushed thoughtlessly, deceiptfully or harmfully on at least me.

    My two cents worth on mystical, spiritual, or religious experiences:

    Consider the Alice effect, particularly when “special”, chosen, or enlightened pops up in the back or front of one’s mind on account of those trascendental experiences, dreams, visions, insights, intuitions, “connections”, even deliberations, etc.:

    What if spirits, ghost, demons, angels, people in non-obvious ways, or just mere ideas not clearly seen as such (don’t know where one gets them either), etc., are just looking for whomever fits the part?

    Like the white hare/rabbit: “Are you Alice?, I have a message for her”, “Are you Alice?”, “Alice!, I have a message for you!”. “Are you Alice?”.

    Except, this “things” deliver the message first before realizing they were not “speaking” to any Alice. Similar to mass mailing…

    The other cent is that those searches and messages delivered, not necessarily spiritualy, it could be subconscious in the sense that we integrate the ideas from our pasts in ways we don’t think about clearly enough. No spirit required for that, and no other interpretation of what subconscious means or how it works except the: we don’t know, really, how it works, but it happens. The bare minimum so to say.

    Mere mind as a collection of ideas, receiving ideas from other minds in ways we are not clearly aware how. No telepathy, no sinchronicity, nor spirituality for that, mere unawareness of imibibing them needed. That is not hard to believe, is it?.

    Now, what if, as we don’t rememeber 80% of our dreams, those messages and the processing from them happens in a way we can’t rememeber?. We can only rememeber the dreams that happen right before we awake…

    So, that could explain why some folks interpret the world while awake, in a manner that looks like altered states: it’s a memory of our forgotten dreams, nothing more.

    They might come out “awaken”, oh the irony, as revelatory, profound and with deep meaning because they match an unacknowledged expectation in what we see actually in the world!. They are triggered by something in the world that we don’t know what it is!, like a flasback of a forgotten dream!.

    Or it could be random, I can see that happening too. Or, else all it matches is the feeling of being right without reasons to feel enlightened, insightfull or spiritualy awaken.

    Like the coyote running in nothing but air feeling he is gettting so close, and running over solid ground.

    And to me those speak of ideas we acquired unaware IN the past: from other collections of IDEAS in ways we WERE not fully aware how, but are not spiritual, mysthical or the like.

    So, for me, going back to my second paragraph, my only choice is to say no: Heck no, I am not embracing that unawareness as if it was enlightnment nor “understanding” of an “alternate” reality.

    For me it would be embracing the OPPOSITE. And I think I already explained why to me it’s the opposite.

    Again, I am gratefull not everyone thinks like me. Gratefull it gave me an opportunity to elaborate and strenghten my deeply held beliefs since I was a small child: Heck, no, I am not believing that!.

    Thanks…

    * I imagine a person having flashbacks, not necessarily traumatic, of things that didn’t happen in an awaken state or remembered dream, but in the aggregate of the life of that indivual are congruous with who she, he, x is, what he/she/x remembers, what she decides, even an uncanny insight into things otherwise he is ignorant, and damn right ignorant at that, etc.

    If despite having clear memories of revelations, yes, revelations, that person can’t preach to the divine, can’t search for spirituality, does not believe in mysticism, despite having ALL those experiences, and pressumably then some because of the flashbacks, except hallucinations associated with that. Then what?, God made that person skeptic?, that was THE divine/spiritual/mystical plan?.

    What if, on top of that, this person suffers what I call the Jesus effect: he, she, x, got a lot of miracles without divine intervention, no spirituality intervened or needed, just by blind sheer random “luck”.

    It just happened that along the distribution curve of miracles one sees in one’s life for whatever reason happened to cluster around this poor folk!.

    I can see that going wrong for many people, including me if I chose and choose to believe in that…

    So again, heck no, Non, mercy. Rien de rien…

    And that’s not merely hypothetical, I know such a folk, actually. Thank God he/she/x came out a skeptic too. A little miracle only fitting. Imagine if this folks spoke of ALL of that to a mystical, a priest, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, a religious person, or a new ager, etc., instead of me?. In this superstitious world?, where psychology and psychiatry are STILL pseudosciences?. Lucky, lucky…

    Report comment

    • If getting ideas from the past in ways that we don’t understand how sounds abstract, I put forth this real live example of an almost undeniable nature:

      Think of the Montenssori method.

      Not the practical part, but the part not very well known: Montessori teachers really, really don’t say a word in the classroom. None, that, apparently it is a talent and skill learned during the training.

      And, I guess, no Montessori pupil said that to me, pupils don’t speak a friggin word until they get home.

      Really, I met a gal when I was a kid that I walked home several times and she got the dible out of me when she spoke!, only, when she was inside her house!. Granted, I don’t know if she was a Montessori, but I am educatedly guessing.

      How, then, all those kids “learn” in the most oppressive environments I have physicially seen, I figure there are worse out there in the world, come to behave as they do in Montessori lessons, without the teacher saying not one single word!?.

      Uncanny!

      There is no telephathy, no insight, no intuition, no understanding, no ilumination, no third eye, etc., and certainly no intimacy to following the commands of a Montessori teacher.

      Even the hug on the teacher has or could be prodded: no real love there either… no words spoken, no meaning really conveyed in that act… a mere act that looks meaningfull. I saw it, and if I questioned, no usefull words might have come out of the kid nor the teacher, even if the kid got that the teacher behaved like that because at some point she was “hurt”, the kid got it, I got it, but the teacher couldn’t: she had to speak, actually to validate that feeling, and they don’t do that!. It’s against the Montessori method…

      I have seen it, I am not a Montessori graduate, I had the privililege of seeing a top professor of that in a small city in her class, and that was oppresive on those sad Zebras, and I can “understand” one can get some kids to behave in certain ways without actually saying a single word. I have seen it, outside Montessori classrooms…

      Just perhaps, a little prodding until you do what I, I, want you to do, without saying a single word. You are a smart fellow, you will figure out what I,I, want you to do. I am patient and trained after all!.

      Report comment

      • Hi,
        Have you heard of meridians?If you take care of your liver meridians, you will notice that your mood is under control, and you feel better.

        The other thing that you will find is that there should be a few points that are very painful on your liver meridians.

        There is another point that you must feel painful. That is the middle point between your nipples.

        Through taking care of these physical areas, you will find out that your mental health has been improved.

        You might not believe, just try please.

        Report comment

    • I think I get the gist of what you’re communicating, though I’m not certain. I’ll respond to what this brings up in me. Firstly, dreams. I agree they’re untapped potentials, forms of communication in their own right. I’m inspired by the Jungian approach; that the Self, which transcends the ego, is the architect of dreams, and speaks through them. In addition, that this realm is outside of time, which explains phenomenon of synchronicity.

      The next question is: to what degree is this knowledge useful? If someone is already very open, struggles with a solid grounding and sense of self (I include myself in that) then focusing on that realm can create instability or detachment from the “real world.” You note specialness and Messiah Complex; these are repeated patterns during awakening that have to be integrated and understood.

      “And to me those speak of ideas we acquired unaware IN the past: from other collections of IDEAS in ways we WERE not fully aware how, but are not spiritual, mysthical or the like.”

      I also agree that the unconscious has a wide aperture, far, far beyond what we’re aware of. But I don’t see this exclusively as information or ideas picked up from “out there,” but also embedded in the spiritual, archetypal dimensions.

      There’s enough support in direct practices of insight, inspired by Eastern traditions, and scientific understanding to heavily imply materialism, the predominant worldview in the West, is in itself an idea from the past that you speak of, an ideology we’ve mistaken for true fact, and in actuality, the ground of experience is of consciousness.

      Report comment

      • I never said dreams have untapped potentials.

        I never said dreams are forms of comunication, but perhaps of PROCESSING information we acquired while awake in a way we were not aware of.

        If they were communications they don’t speak to me of synchronicity but the opposite: asynchronicity. And are unilateral, in a dream one cannot comunicate with anyone but oneself, even if it seems it’s possible.

        How?, choreography!. Those ideas from my past force me to act on those ideas to perform a dream, not have one. My dreamy interlocutor would be a character in my dream doing his/her part.

        No comunication there either, mere act, or re-enactment. If it matches it’s because me and my interlocutor put enough pieces acquired from the past to have a convincing match!*.

        We knew enough to make it seem like independently came up together to have a synchronicity “event”, when we didn’t, we played along, convincigly, under false pretenses and understanding.

        Even if we were to awake and compare dreamy notes, all we would have, if aware, is the understanding that we were bamboozled by the ideas from the past into believing we behaved freely.

        One acquired the info in the past, one processed it in the present in an unremembered dream. And then one remembers a part of the dream in the future while awake, giving the false impression of insight, understanding, synchronicity, etc., like a confabulation. And that, I said, is the opposite of synchronicity and understanding.

        And that anchors oneself to the wrong ideas we acquired from the past, it pollutes our clear view of the present, it’s also full of misunderstandings and incomplete rememering and incomplete understanding, very prone to confabulation and false insight and false learning.

        It leads to less, not more understanding of today and the future.

        Knowledge that is “acquired” in dreams that is not clear enough is no knowledge. It’s misleading, particularly if one cannot rememeber the whole dream, mere fragments, and fragments that are semanticaly fuzzy, incomplete and ambiguous. Prone only to create matches in whatever other fuzzy thing one sees in the awake present: like the feeling of understanding something without actually achieving that.

        Like a Deja-Vu, a message from the “spiritual” world when if at all is actually from the bags of bad ideas I spoke and interacted while awake in my past!, from other people and their ideas products: movies, books, myths, legends, motifs, behaviours, etc.

        I reject that form of polluting my present and specialy my future!.

        Those complexes you note I noted are to be rejected, not integrated and specially not understood: I already put forth a case for randomness without any causality. Didn’t I?.

        Can you disprove my random scenario for a bunch of miracles?. No one can, that’s the beauty of my thought experiment.

        What I am saying is that there might be no spiritual dimensions but a bunch of bags of ideas mass-mailing them to whomever gets them: the Alice effect.

        If that’s the spiritual world I say leave me alone and out of it…

        My view is not materialistic, I see you didn’t claimed that, but I am talking of ideas, idealism, not material objects.

        And my form of idealism does have a scientific ground to build my narrative why the spiritual world for me is rejectable: nothing usefull or good will come out of it for me.

        It anchors me TO the past instead of liberating me in the present and future, and it gives me at least one craving that I didn’t had: holding on to the past.

        At least because I would think it has something to say that is not even right, not even correct, it was comunicated obscurely, even obstrusely, coercitively and deceitfully, and I would be seeing my reality as something that it is not: spiritual!.

        That sounds like an oppresive, difficult to escape, way of inducing conformity by recurring to spirituality, at least, “Another control mechanism in the Matrix”. Difficult to escape because of it’s immateriality, and the obfuscation that it’s not spirit, but ideas, not clearly understood, not clearly communicated, and not clearly rememebered.

        Hence elaboration will be impossible, particularly if they are incongrous with one self.

        In said case one can not use one’s insight, one’s life history to come up with a narrative to accept or reject whatever comes out of that sort of analysis. One might even misrememeber or misinterpret who one was!.

        That’s why, perhaps some folks are badly transformed by such spiritual experiences: they lost a part of themselves while trying to conform to another set of bad ideas.

        And I would be interpreting how I think I know wrongly: my sense of “understanding” is explained by unremembered dreams!.

        That’s against the buddhist way I think, an eastern tradition.

        So, I am not speaking of materialism, but of idealism…

        Thanks for your reply, then again, I disagree completely with your point of view, and it is rejectable for me. I would not teach my kid to see the world through those lenses, it can lead to lack of understanding, “madness” and imprisonment in the jails of other peoples wrong, oppresive and harmfull ideas.

        Why think of synchronicity when a bad unremembered dream is more than enough?. We probably have more we can rememeber…

        * There is a way to see those trascendental experiences are full of hot air, don’t try this at home, it can lead to severe anticipatory obsesions. But hey, I had a rough life anyway, so I tried it.

        Think of dreams as acting from a bunch of notes, cards, images, phrases, faces, ideas, etc. One is trying to make a narrative, a dreamy one, with all those elements that SEEM relevant. Some seem so because they are who I am, and others because the world expects and demands I am like they wish…

        Want to be convinced there is no synchronicity and for the most part dreams are staged, beware of anticipatory sufferings and then: anticipate your dreams, change a few things here and there, and the illusion of synchronicity goes away, the more correct perception of choreography is more clearly seen.

        That requires identifying the pivot, the idea transmited to you in subconcious ways while you are awake. A little skepticism of the ideal world around you. That way one knows that piece of crappy idea has meaning for SOMEONE else not for me.

        Again, I don’t recomend anyone to try it, it can lead to bad anticipations and more irrationality, suffering even. But I already tried, had nothing to lose there, and that’s my experience: anticipate, change somethings, see the choreography and notice the lack of synchronicity. Some of my “interolocutors” appeared baffled: they, as characters in my dreams, were doing the same thing: anticipating, ideas gone wild and derailed…

        And if that makes me look like spiritually curious, that is false: I did knew people who behaved like “we” had a dream together. I just wanted for them to leave me alone, I was a kid you know. And that sticked with me, and certainly never made me a believer in spirituality nor synchronicity…

        And that’s the benefit of my spiritual “existence”: I reject all of that, and I think I explained why…

        Report comment

  3. I think this author demonstrates remarkable insight, as experiences like this are very hard to navigate, and even harder to articulate, especially in ways that people who haven’t had such experiences can somehow relate to in some kind of way.

    I agree with his assertion that paranoid psychosis can be the result of repressed emotions, or energies, spiritual and creative, the safe expression of which is almost impossible in a culture obsessed with science, productivity, conformity and more than anything, a meaningless and cruelly selfish propriety — to say nothing of the undercurrent of fear running beneath it all.

    Rene Descartes famous line, “I think therefore I am”, has not led us forward. How can I say this? Because now there’s “psychiatry”.

    Report comment

    • I put forth to you the consideration that those insights, navigations, intuitions, experiences, energies, spiritualities, creations, understandings, perceptions of an “inner” or outer reality could be nothing more than your unrememebered dreams speaking to you…

      No insight, no understanding, no enlightenment, no third eye, no spirituality but the possible fact you dreamt about such issues, you just don’t remember dreaming about it. Like a flashback seen in the world that can’t speak clearly you dreamed this part, this image, this metahore, you just don’t remember.

      And it feels like a hit, like I got something, I understand something, and that is true, one does understand something, just, it was a dream, nothing real, unless one believes dreams speak of another reality. And then, and then, we would have to go back to whatever other people dreamt about and it will never end. No reality to it, no insight to it, no awareness to it, no knowledge from it, but the crappy pappy we all fantasize about… “Come and get me gals!”…paraphrasing…

      And one can end up believe one gets it, when one actually does not get it was a dream I don’t remember.

      Report comment

    • I appreciate the feedback on the way this is articulated. It is challenging, but I’m determined to keep refining the process.

      “I agree with his assertion that paranoid psychosis can be the result of repressed emotions, or energies, spiritual and creative, the safe expression of which is almost impossible in a culture obsessed with science, productivity, conformity and more than anything, a meaningless and cruelly selfish propriety — to say nothing of the undercurrent of fear running beneath it all.”

      Wonderfully put. That mixture of science, productivity, conformity, meaninglessness, fear, all contribute. To drop in another quote, from Jiddu Krishnamurti: “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” Modern culture and civilisation has developed at the expense of soulful expression.

      Report comment

      • “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

        My research into recovery from psychosis led me to the importance of an inclusive relationship(s) as an essential counter to feelings of alienation. While not a whole explanation into Psychosis I maintain this is not needed to effect treatment.

        Successful treatment starts with non judgemental, non alienating listening. The inclusive relationship is then enhanced by mutual activity. Either the subject helps the therapist or the therapist helps the subject. It is essential to remember that the therapist is the one lacking insight .

        Report comment

  4. Thank you very much for this great article and especially for your ability to find the right terms to describe the processes, connections and background.
    It is not easy to explain a Kundalini awakening to other people because it lies outside the experience we have via our senses. But, as an Austrian blogger who writes about Kundalini says: “Kundalini is real.” It is even more difficult to explain very problematic awakenings, because Western people immediately draw the card of “mental illness”.

    Just in these days I was reading about electrosmog. Young physicists who run a website on this subject quoted Nicola Tesla: “If you want to find the secrets of the univers, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibrations”.
    A German physicist, Dieter Broers, said in one of his youtube videos that the care of the pineal gland should be taught at our universities.

    There are now many books about Kundalini. They all describe difficult developments of this energy, especially for Westerners who are not prepared. Much more problematic are the awakenings, which can take years, before a progress is made intellectually, emotionally and energetically.
    In this context it is my oppinion, Kundalini processes can also occur physically, without hallucinations. These people experience highly traumatic states, like we do know from trauma research. Peter Levin, the great trauma researcher, writes in the last chapter of his book „In an Unspoken Voice“ about Trauma and Spirituality, and he writes about Kundalini. The processes in the nervous system are the same, only the base on which they arise is trauma on the one hand and a direct path to “unity consciousness” on the other.

    The time seems ripe to move away from from unhelpfull psychiatry which puts its own big ego in the center of attention, to help to regulate and balance energetically these states of consciousness.

    Report comment

    • I put forth this consideration:

      What if any awakening, enlightnment and “understanding” is nothing more than a flashback to A dream, or a bunch of them you don’t rememeber?.

      What if the mere feeling of “oh, I get it, there is another reality like being awaken”, was enough to trigger that partial memory, like a flashback, of an unremembered dream?.

      What if ALL of those senseles intuitions that feel like connecting to something beyond the real are nothing more than partial memories, flashbacks of unremembered dreams?.

      No more real than me meeting president Obama in a dream before he was a senator?, if I had that dream and had dreamt that I knew then, BEFORE he was a senator, he was to be president and had an undeseverd Nobel piece prize, like many did, would that make MY dreams real?.

      Foretelling?, elightnened?, awaken?. Godly inspired?.

      Let’s get real.

      What if, on top of that, not only ME, knew Malala was to be shot in the head decades before that happened, and some other x, offered to pay me, yes, pay me, and put in me in Pakistan to try to avoid that?. That is, it was not just me me who “knew” that, and spoke clearly enough to leave no doubt WE both knew that?.

      Does that make it real?, trascendental?, understanding?, enlightening?.

      Hell no, not to me. That sounds like a prision and a sentence, not just to me, but to Bo and Malala, figuratively and hypothetically.

      Because to me, although hypothetical as that was, never happened, speaks to me of nothing more than seeing the present and the future through the crazy glasses of ideas from bags of crappy ideas from people in the past.

      So, I reject all that, the future and the present, to me, is better seen with untainted glasses, particularly without ANY superstition.

      And that to me speaks above all, of unremembered dreams, not enlightening, understanding nor awakening. The opposite of that.

      Report comment

        • I thought I tried well enough to explain.

          If you like see my comments above and below. If you have questions and want to ask them, I probably try to answer them.

          And all I put there is from my lived experience and the minimum of dreams, memories and the subconscious.

          No spirituality requred for me to explain my mystical/spiritual so called experiences. None needed…

          Report comment

        • I have another narrative:

          If I were to speak to a spirit, to have a chat with the spirit:

          1.I would be pretending to talk to someone other than my ideas. I would be talking to my idea of the Buddha, not with THE Buddha.

          2.That spirit is going to tell me, at worst something I alredy know even if I don’t rememeber, at best something other human already knew in the past. I can just go and read that stuff, no spirituality required.

          3. A spirit would not know anything other than what other humans knew in the past. Nothing more, spirits as minds are also sets, collections of ideas and they “got” them, assuming they even exist, from the past, from other humans and their ideas in the past. Not from some ethereal reality where all knowledge exists*.

          They can’t even tell you something about the future that another human already knows.

          4.If spirits existed, they would be closed minds: they can’t read the newspapers. They can’t read books, they can’t have sex, they can’t eat nor drink. How are they gonna keep up with the flow of ideas?. At best they would see the world through my eyes, and for that through my memories and imaginations, not even directly!.

          If spirits existed they would be ignorant almost people.

          * How come no spirit has told us how to solve global warming?. How to solve the Riemman hypothesis?. That kind of really insightfull knowledge from the future that could be accessed easily I assume in the spiritual highway.

          How many apocalypses have been predicted by revelation and never happened?.

          They can’t teach anything meaningfull because all they know, if they exist, is from the past, from people in the past, not from other spirits in the past, and those problems are not solved yet, they would not know about them.

          And the problem of conciousness, spirituality, dreams, futurology, the third eye, prophecies, etc., aren’t solved yet EITHER. They would not even be experts in their subject matter: spirituality. Oh, the irony. Imagine an angel in an aparition that does not know the most accepted interpretation of the Bible/old testament?!. That can be easily fooled about the meaning of the scriptures?!.

          And I have live experience for that since I was a kid, early teenager. That’s how I came to believe it’s not worth it: it’s just the bad ideas my commuity and society at larger wanted me to believe: pray to Jesus, the end is nigh, there is an alternate reality to the world, buddhism is the path, sex is sin, envy is sin, communism is evil, social security breeds lazyness, women are less than men, children don’t know what they talk about, respect your elders, do as you are told, never questions a creed, revolution is the only way forward, polititians are crooks, Nixon was a crook, Democrats rule, white skin is superior, there is but one religion, and so forth.

          That list of crappy ideas we were indoctrinated with can easily give rise to mystical dreams and spiritual experiences in search for a meaning they don’t have: they are control mechanisms against one’s clear perception of the present and future and the freedom to act when things are seen more clearly.

          It’s a huge list actually, try to go itemized and probably you’ll see you know a lot of things about things you were not taught nor indoctrinated. I wasn’t religious and knew things about religion a kid should not have known, was I an enlightened one?. Nope, I was perceptive of the ideas people peddled on me, not of an alternate reality to the world. And I liked ideas as I do know, devoted a lot of thinking and reading about them, I still do.

          And that I think is congruous to whom I am still, so my “testimonial” is valid, I have always been like that. I never had an epiphany, I just remembered the ideas the idea peddlers threw at me with their cultural products.

          And when people went into the dessert, into a cave, a retreat in solitude, and came back “enlightenened”, they, respectfully, went there because they had enough of the idea diet and needed to stop eating it until they processed all of that. Only to come up with the useleness of revelations. None of which actually came to pass, mind you, reinforcing those ideas are from the past, not even the present, let alone the future.

          Report comment

    • It does take time to acclimatize to non-sensory realms, and it’s all-too-easy to dismiss or gaslight them into non-existence, because of the materialist approach to what is real and true. When this is validated on a wider scale, then we can look toward proper integration of energetic mastery.

      Are you familiar with Roberto Assagioli? Your description of the process reminds me of his approach to spiritual emergency and gradually integrating on an emotional and intellectual level. That has been my experience, along with learning how to increase my body’s bandwidth. I also wasn’t aware Levine made that distinction in his work on trauma. I spoke with Rev. Dr. John Freese for a podcast episode, he makes a fine synthesis and connection between Somatic Experiencing and Vipassana.

      I yearn for the day the industry rebalances and integrates this wisdom. Thank you for sharing your insight around this topic.

      Report comment

  5. This article popped up on my news feed probably based on an algorithm of things I’ve searched based on the unseen connection between us all. I’m SO excited that this article is out here to show what is going on.it might be 20 more years before it makes its way into mainstream psychology, especially with the way pills are pushed to numb out the energetic sensitivity. All the more I’m so happy we’re having this conversation. We are one. And ALL connected. :)))

    I think that the angel and devil on our shoulder isn’t too far off. There is a spiritual war going on. We see it manifested in actual war on the 3D plane. In the faux separation created by ego.

    An author and psychiatrist, JERRY MARZINSKY, goes into detail in some of his YouTube videos on how schizophrenics are more sensitive and hear or see these energies. He’s ahead of his time and still rings so true with what we should understand today in medicine and the spirit world.

    This article very much resonated with me. Thank you.

    Report comment

    • I’m very happy to hear this, Holly! The shift is happening, and I’m intrigued and excited to see how the approach to such challenging situations will evolve over the coming years. I will check out Jerry Marzinsky’s work, thanks for the recommendation.

      Report comment

  6. I have a set of other narratives to illustrate how some feelings of spiritual nature are nothing of the sort:

    Ecstatic experience of a mystical kind induced by sexual abstinence. They feel like contacting the divinity and the like, but hear me out, it goes unconventional, but illustrative.

    I met at least 4 males that had some sort of idea that they were special and could transmit virility with a special handshake.

    I met one female who was a froteurist that shared that idea. Her family and community apparently too. Those males could not have an erection unless specially handshaked to such effect. Loco stuff.

    Now, one of them sort of elaborated the he knew he gave someone an orgasm because he felt it, small. And somehow he knew him and A woman had dreamy sex and she enjoy it. He felt something upon seeing this beautifull woman and that meant they had dreamy intercourse…

    When asked: and how about the naked women in men’s magazines?, you gave them something too?. Surprisingly the answer was: “Oh, we don’t watch that!, it takes away our powers!.”. Hum, I can see why releasing the abstinence squashes the abstinence feelings that seem small orgams…

    Well, that feeling, that small almost orgasm is what at least males feel when abstinent for a while, nothing more. Many males can relate to that I imagine. There is an Amy scene in the “Big Bang Theory” that can pass as that sort of experience for females, an “orgasmic handshake”. I had one female friend in a similar scenario, but I really appreciated her, it was just for fun, I can imagine what she imagined, and I felt flattered, honestly. Before the scence in said TV show, decades before.

    Now, some religious people do practice pronlongued abstinence, that could come up as mysthical ecstatic experiences, a visitation by the divine, a contact with the divine, colored in sexual imagery as documented and elaborated by people who have studied such mysthical experiences in females.

    Nothing divine there either, nothing spiritual, mere pronlonged and perhaps severe sexual abstinence.

    Those practices demand or require prolongued abstinence and that induces that small or huge orgasmic experience that looks divine, when it is mere abstinence fetished for the divine. A form of fetish for the divine, socially accepted as a divinity experience. An incongruity to me, and I apologize to some believers, of a gross nature to me.

    As a mischievious note: what happened when I “removed” their virility transmited stuff by not believing in it and shaking hands with everyone on sight?. Well, they couldn’t get it up, no real woman wanted to be with someone that off-kilter, one recurred to prostitution to be unfulfilled, tried to marry a few time afterwards. Another got almost a woman pregnant because he couldn’t hold it on/in, perhaps not enough practice?.

    Another looked like he was about to pass away, that was quite a scence in a community of believers of such nonsense, but I had my reasons!. Another, through a friend I suggested he spoke to his girlfriend about his needs, respectfully, because that’s how I understood freedom and romantic partnership were to be handled then. Don’t know what happened to that folk and his current or future girlfriends.

    True stories. i didn’t made them up. So, more personal narratives for me to not believe in spirituality, even if secular, precisely because they are passed as spiritual. And can be explained by common sense, basic science, and clearly disproven when understood as irrational…

    And the kicker is that the ideas that allowed me to elaborate and not feel prey to that irrationality is that the ideas did not come from a spiritual world, but from the world of ideas interpreted from the behaviour of actual, real people in my past. Not the Buddha, not Christ, etc., but from the irrational belief and ideas from people around me who acted like convinced believers in such irrational ideas.

    Just like the irrationality of psychiatry and clinical psychology. I am not taking that in either…

    Report comment

  7. I am schizophrenic. There is a big difference between being bombarded by schizophrenia for decades on an hourly basis and simply having had a brief acute psychosis. So I would like the author to be clarifying whether his way of healing helps him with acute psychosis or actual schizophrenia. Anyone can have an acute psychosis, from drugs, alcohol withdrawal, childhood fevers, hormonal imbalances after birth, sleep disorders, many reasons, but the psychosis goes away. Schizophrenia does not go away. You would not tell a child in a fever that their hallucinations were the building blocks of mystical openness, you would take the dying child to a doctor. Hallucinations are not normal. If a dog started to hallucinate you would not celebrate its psychic courage.
    I percieve online, rightly or wrongly, and it is my opinion only, that at this time and from those who do not have schizophrenia at all, there feels a kind of ‘blame the dumb schizophrenic’ for not thinking their way out of their hellish symptoms. To me it feels like a ‘schizo shaming’ for not meditating enough, or not reading up enough on ‘Masters’ such as Jung or Eckhart Tolle or Krisna or Buddha. I feel like I am blamed for having my illness in that ‘uneducated’ regard, as if I am sullenly just not turning my ongoing torment into fluffy cloud mystical healing, or I feel blamed for not thinking my paranoia is ego splits, as in the old definition of schizophrenia being of ‘spit personality’. Its as if I am suicidal all day because I have not become adept at realising all that is wrong with me is a type of wonderful nonsense. A kind of lie I have stupidly bought into. Schizophrenic suffering becomes something to be ‘worked through’ and presumably if I still have it this signifies a willful malingering on my part, a moaning minnie whining victimhood choice that I can easily throw aside just by leafing through a religion. Then there is the online cure-all notion that I am schizophrenic because I have not done enough therapy. As if I am ‘naughty’ or ‘disobedient’. Along with that may come the notion that I am schizophrenic because I have not found the preciptating trauma yet, or have not gone ‘no contact’ from my loving parent. Or I am schizophenic because I have not realized I am actually on a mystical path and I have not understood that the signs are not signs of illness or madness but are signs of magnifcence. All of these above seem to, in my own opinion, rightly or wrongly, put the blame on me. It feels like a new form of stigmatizing schizophrenics for not working out that they are not schizophrenic but are just idiotically labouring under misconceptions of their excutiating unstoppable hallucinations. Lots of people take drugs to pursue the disolving of self into a carnival of special effects from the drug coshed brain. This has been growing a type of new ‘spiritualty’ that is deemed exciting, fantastical, adventurous, pioneering, healing. The land of hallucinatons becomes a type of hospital people can dip into of a weekend, a healing venue where they no longer ‘have to be’ who oppressive society says they must be. These people may have an acute psychosis and feel that because of that they know all there is to know about schizophrenia. Imagine taking a drug that you never came down from or woke up from, a drug that would give you overwhelming hallucinations every five minutes for years and years. Would you take such a drug? Would you like people telling you how to handle your relentless hallucinations via mysticism?
    Online, elsewhere, it can start to feel a little like the seventeeth century where midwives were preached at to let God deliver babies. Let God handle it. I am not doing God or Oneness correctly so I only have my selfish ego to blame for my awful godforsaken hallucinations. Yeah its all my fault I have schizophrenia. Just like its all my fault if pharmaceuticals dont treat it. I am rumbled as a liar. The heros of the Hearing Voices groups and Soteria houses do not push any agenda but simply listen to the schizophrenic. That’s All. That really helps.
    Look, I am being a bit cantankerous when I should be more agreeable. I just cannot go there with a ‘schizophrenia is a failure to think logically and properly about hallucinations’. I really love your discoveries and willingness to walk into the mystical realm to see if this could help. You are a brilliant writer. I just have an irked response to any simplistic antidote to the nightmares we live in. I spent five years in university attaining a degree qualification in Divinity. I spent ten years researching Spiritualist mediums. I write extensively on mystical matters. I prefer the unseen to the droll predictable reality. Krisnamurati, Osho, Tao, Tolle, Jesus, Alien beings, all sorts of ‘teachers’ have not erased my bad trip. I know they can for many. So I am not against your article. I just think there is a flowery fantasy online of what hard gritty gruelling schizophrenia is like to live with. I take issue with the schooling about ‘ego’. The idea that I am too egocentric to work on a cure for my hellish symptoms is like adding to my illness. I think the notion of blaming the ego for all problems is a short step from blaming the ill for feeling ill. I suspect that most people with schizophrenia have NO ego. Schizophrenia is like being in a prison camp where you are not in control EVER. There is no place to put your little or big ego in a warzone.

    Please do continue with your theories because they are beautiful and will work on a great many. You ARE doing important study.

    Report comment

    • Wow! I want my previous comment removed because I can see that I fell for the trap we are falling for. The trap of thinking that a person with any opposing view is a threat to our own opinion. It is ludicrous to get stuck in a wrestling match when really the world needs more love and therefore the quiet polite support of many diverse opinions. Author I think your writing is wonderful. You have found a mineral seam deep down under a mountain and you are mining it for material you can craft useful ideas out of. You should write a book on the theme of your article. Your path to wellness may not budge my illness but it might revolutionize the understanding of many with their same or different illness. I tend to hurl my dinner dishes across the floor because my suffering is awful, and so I rail against what I feel are naive solutions. That is a good thing. But it is not good to rant at your loving and giving dearest wish to help others. I am sorry to you for my crass outburst. If its any comfort the real Spirits I am in contact with wince and sigh upon seeing me chase the bunny like a greyhound. It was not what you wrote but what my dreading of what discreditors of schizophrenic suffering would gleefully seize upon after reading what you wrote that pained me. But this is going on all over the world right now. Individuals come out with a winning new healing idea but others reading it could use the idea to negate or censor others for needing something more than. Any new healing idea gets picked up by puppets on strings who use its understanding to silence the uniquely different. Thus any healing idea can seem like the eradication of those who cannot get healed in that one way. All over the world people are cursing at eachother for typing up a healing way or a utopian notion that does not include, include, include. But if we are to accept that everyone is different then no healing is ever going to meet with the approval of all eight billion of us. In this time on Earth we are called upon to be the love. That means loving whoever does an article that cannot heal ourself but might heal the writer of it, and heal a great many. The temptation is to spit on easy answers. Often the act of spitting becomes a big healing in itself. Jesus spat. He was not overly keen on tables. But there was less of that action in his life and more the giving way to losing control of destiny. Letting the angry do the spitting. Increasingly I am able to catch myself before I fall into a rant. I become aware of another direction to take my woundedness to. A going within. A doing nothing to change the outside world. The world is as it is.
      Write your book. You have a great gift for describing the semi permeable membranes of states we all slip in and out of.

      Report comment

    • Firstly, if this article has come across in any way as lacking compassion, or suggesting anyone suffering from hallucinations is to blame, then I’ve failed my intention. That last thing I want from sharing these insights is for people to walk away feeling at fault for their suffering; that’s the antithesis of my approach, not least because I’ve felt exactly the same.

      I have not had a diagnosis of schizophrenia, but for additional context, I first experienced psychosis around 12/13 years ago. The “acute” stage lasted for several years with varying intensity, with echoes never fully going away, but becoming manageable. I then experienced an intense relapse which, again, lasted for a period of years. I don’t wish to compare to schizophrenia or imply there is a “way out,” these experiences have been chronic and enduring, including multiple spells of contemplating suicide. I am far from viewing this as a flowery fantasy.

      My intention is to highlight the spiritual/energetic or non-ordinary aspects of these experiences. That includes peers, professionals, and those struggling. Not as a message of miraculous healing. But even an inch of relief here and there is worth it. I can’t talk to its effectiveness for others as of this moment in time, because I’ve not worked with or studied the direct application of these methods other than with myself. But that is my intention in the future, either directly with a PhD or in collaboration with those exploring these fields.

      I hear you on the frustration and what can be implied by the cultural of healing and spirituality, as well as a strange contradiction between both invalidating and romanticising mental illness. Again, I wish to respect the difficulty of these experiences, not to suggest they’re easily overcome. I hesitate to say I’ve “overcome” them, and I’m with you on the frustration towards simplistic antidotes.

      I appreciate your criticisms and kind words, both will help me refine this, so thank you.

      Report comment

      • Thankyou for your (I cannot find the word but its a lovely word, its possibly a word not invented yet). Maybe holding the unholdable.
        I have come from being a well person immersed in too much spirituality, and now trying to “Earth” that spirituality back into reliable solid matter. The table. The laptop. The cup. The spoon. The flute. The shoe. The chair. The bracelet. And allowing these to mean nothing significant or “Earth shattering”. What people crave is “normal”. A fun fare rollercoaster of peak experiences is not where people drag a mattress and slippers, to live. Being so overstimulated is fantastic until it becomes frightening. People need stability as well as risk. Comfort as well as passion. I have noticed a repackaging of schizophrenia as being an existential crisis that could be helped by imbibing rainforest leaves or fasting in a mountain temple, as if its a game. One road sign says go to spiritual awakening, the other road sign says reduce life down to the simple building blocks. Funnily enough these two directions are both necessary. Wonderment, awestruck enlightenment, profound Oneness, that stuff helps life flower, but it needs the rootedness of humdrum reality to derive different sustainance from. Zen masters were most enlightened when they arrived at having nothing more to say. They advised questing novices to chop wood and carry water again and again and again. So boring! And yet beautiful in a whole other way. I guess when I see any article that suggests increasing spiritual awakening I get nervous. But I know that many people who maybe have an easier pathway could find spirituality just what they needed. The old hospitals in my country were like enormous country estates with extensive gardens and mature trees and woodland creatures and streams. Those got sold off to capitalist property developers and the hospitals got left to crumble. I have no interest in the hospitals…but the gardens…as healing places where both directions, of expanding consciousness AND being rooted in the reality of fertile soil and seedling watering and bee hive creating and not overthinking at all…well THAT is good medicine for the shellshocked. I am saying that in the hurry to fix the schizophrenics they could be offered one direction (spiritual expansiveness) at the expense of the other direction (calm rootedness in the field of ordinaryness)….when a blend of both might be best. But I am sure you know all that.

        Report comment

  8. I respect you. I don’t want to cause you further suffering.

    The author does not know what he is talking about.

    I bet he doesn’t even know where the “eastern” religion/philosophy stuff comes from, that he quotes like he does, vaguely.

    He probably has not even read the whole of the Buddhist writings. He probably does not know ancient Tibetan history, ancient Chinese history nor ancient central Asia history.

    He probably has not read carefully what Zoroastrianism is about, how it evolved and what are it’s relationships with Hindu mythology.

    He probably ignores what was the context to that hindu mythology.

    He probably ignores why Jehova has no name. Where that no name came from. How is that related to ancient greek myths about Zeus and where the tartarus myth comes from. How is that related to the fertility myths from ancient Anatolia, for example…

    He probably is way too ignorant of Hebrew mytholgy, etc. Ancient, medieval, modern and contemporaneous.

    That takes years not of sitting hoping some spirit speaks to him, but of reading where all that comes from. One has to be a scholar in ALL of that to say one, these days is a mystic, a spiritual person…

    It takes reading and pondering, reflecting, not mere hoping to be enlightened. Reading panflets does not bring knowledge: in religion and myth one has to go down all the way down to languages that are extinct!.

    And I bet none of the current peddlers of mysticism even gets what the Peackok kindom is about. What is the difference with the Peackock angel of the Yazidis. How does that relate to medieval suffi mysticism and how that illuminates what an opponent in ancient hebrew religion meant.

    How is that related to the sacrificial goat, for instance.

    How that is related to Hassa-Satan and the like of Muslims…

    Nor would they clearly know what the Grog and Maggog means in hebrew myth, in christianity nor in muslim thought. They are that ignorant, because understanding that takes effort and dedication.

    They are probably way too unfamiliar with how that relates to the underworld mythology of mesoamerica, if at all…

    And I bet they don’t even know what the original myths of Aztec mythology came from. Most people know about is that somehow the olmecs had something to do with it: wrong!. Those are zapotec myths!.

    And I can be certain they don’t because much of that knowledge is recent, and they don’t keep up with their readings of that. Simple as that.

    People who speak of spirituality have not done their readings!. I don’t mean “secret” readings, uuuuhh, the occult. No!, I mean what those folks wrote about their beliefs, in clear stone if that were the case, and these peddlers haven’t even read that!. It takes at least reading cuneiform and pali to get a feeling how is that like…

    So, to me, no spirituality peddler does know what he/she talks about.

    To invoke the occult one has to improve on what is clearly visible. To be an “insider” one has to know what is outside…

    In fact!, I bet the author can not even illuminate the down throdden parables of Jesus, extensively analyzed. Which is fairly easy to do for people who actually have done their readings.

    As myth, not as religion, that is dogma, not spirituality.

    As an example: Author, explain to me the three temptations of Christ?. Or, if feeling ambitious: tell me what does Eli, Eli, in his crucifixion meant?. You are on the spiritual road, right?.

    To spice the thing: I bet most people who are not deep into Old Testament stuff don’t know the closest versions of the Pentateuch is actually Samaritan. And I bet not many people ponder why that is the case, since most come from a christian or hebrew tradition…

    Report comment

    • What a feast of knowledge you have! I am impressed at your drive to explore Great Thinkers and Great Mystics and Great Feelers. It reminds me of a deep river full of many different interesting fish and you catching the most extraordinary species of wisdom. It is nice to hear of the peacocks and Yazidis. I think the poor author cannot possibly know everthing and I suppose “wisdom” comes out of the mouths of babes…who have not cluttered their mind with a million arguments. The best sayings of Jesus are the ones nobody can quite fathom out. They become the soothing possibility of love.

      Report comment

    • Huge respect for your process and sharing — I personally see value in your initial comment and later reflections and will keep a copy for myself at least, as I say, it’s a perspective that is welcome and I totally get the initial rejection/fear. Often the intensity of inner experience with mental illness has to be protected, even fought for. Your humility and openness with your process is inspiring, thanks for that.

      I experimented with drugs in my late teens/early 20s. Not DMT or psychedelics like acid/mushrooms etc. but MDMA, cannabis, ketamine. My initial psychotic experience was potentially drug-induced, but that seemed to amplify issues that were already there, as I was already experiencing chronic depression and panic disorder… so it was more like opening pandora’s box! I also started meditation around that time, so it all blends together, and the psychotic experience persisted even while completely sober (I don’t take drugs and haven’t drunk alcohol for over five years).

      Report comment

      • Thank you for your welcoming reply. I appreciate your approach. The question about drugs maybe does matter because since more and more youth are taking drugs there is more likelihood of them being given a schizophrenia diagnosis and the resultant antipsychotics. It is quite difficult to describe the difference between psychosis and a poetic creative way of visualising the surreal or the scary or absurd. A person taking a drug may come to like the person they become whilst stoned…a person who sees life in phantasmogrical ways, not simply dull deadening boring reality. The person liberated by taking a drug comes to prefer the hyper-real world and the amazing magicial or wizard they feel is “the real them”. There can then grow a psychological need within to “affirm” that “real them”. They grow attached to the “expanded version” of who they become on drugs, and seek to tell others that because that “expanded version” is the real them, this explains why society does not want them. There then grows a battle between their “expanded version” and hurtful boring society. Society does not want their supernatural self, which is akin to “the child”.
        If and when society then scorns the person with the “expanded self” by putting their experiences all down to just party drugs or a hyped up imagination, the person may worry about losing “the child”. Somehow they need to put forward to society that their “expanded self” is innate and natural and not sonething they can squash down in a box and forget about. So the rush is on to “legitimate” the “expanded self” as being something they cannot help but be, as if it is like an illness or quirk of unbringing or trauma. It is a long way around dealing with a radical need to simply be the inner child. But because it uses notions like psychosis to validate that radical need, having a diagnosis of psychosis becomes a positive trait. Pursuing the psychosis diagnosis becomes a path to freedom to be as a child.
        But, what can then occur is a push to make psychosis seem possible in anyone, because it is like saying the inner child is permissable in anyone and so nobody should feel “ashamed” to say they have psychosis. Being psychotic becomes a counter culture banner to loft high.
        There is a big difference between having a few hours of psychotic like jitters caused by a drug, and then using psychosis as a path to liberation, as if it is mystically healing to become “inner child”, and bearing the absolute hell of something inescapable like schizophrenia. I say this because a relative takes drugs abundantly and certainly does experience the temporary brain derailment that brings psychosis and paranoia, but they choose to ramp that up. If they had schizophrenia they would want nothing to do with anything that might make it worse. The relative is young and believes they know all about schizophrenia just because they have fleeting feverish senses about reality and unreality. They have no idea! Drug induced psychosis pursues “childlike awe”. Actual schizophrenia batters the inner child to smithereens.
        I get alarmed when there grows a movement to ascribe a psychosis diagnosis to anyone who has lived experience of feeling at varience from stultifying boring reality. The psychotic liberation that infantilizes the weary youth gets deemed doorkeeper to the authentic self. Madness/psychosis is necessary to reach the wounded “inner child”, goes the pamphlet. I say it is great to merge more with one’s inner child, but if we are all told we have to go psychotic to get there, then we may do a disservice to our “inner child’s” need for things like stability, comfort, safety.

        Listen Ricky, I am a bit snippy when I write because I am being set upon by hallucinations even as I write this phrase. I want to reach a place within where my response to anything online is to sagely say nothing. I want to be that me and not this critical me. I am okay when people write about psychosis being mendable, but often these days the word schizophrenia is lumped in there with psychosis, as if they are the same suffering.

        I applaud your fantastically talented writing. Please do more. A book.

        Report comment

LEAVE A REPLY