Spirituality VS psychopathy ....

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  • One thing I've always found interesting is the way in which we view the world around us, opinion can be a really powerful thing so it's something I feel it's important we come to ourselves, through our own experiences rather than accepting part and parcel from books/media and the people around us.
    It can't be ignored that there's a wealth of things out there that affect our opinions though, and that we often buy into those without thinking.
    I was reading through the DSM-IV classification system last night and realised that there are some remarkable similarities between "psychological disorder" and "spiritual experience" ... what some people define as wierd and run away from, other people call wise and actively seek. What makes the difference?


    For me (in my own opinion) the difference lies in actively applying thought and logic to spiritual experience - I don't accept anything as real until I've found evidence to back up the belief. Without any supporting evidence there's no reason to believe anything but "I'm losing my marbles here".
    Once I've found that, I'm fairly comfortable with the belief.
    However, having quantified your beliefs to yourself doesn't make them acceptable to the rest of the world - it's not impossible for spiritual practice to land people in a room with rubber walls if it passes beyond what society considers to be "normal".


    So, what do you define as normal? Where do you draw the line?
    Is the dictionary definition of abnormality as widely accepted as we're led to believe, or is it still an issue of personal opinion?


    I'd be very interested in hearing your thoughts on this one ...

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


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • Quote from Chegzy

    i dont think there is such thing as normal, just average


    What would you define as average?


    I was reading a study on people who see the dead, and in this country a good 50% or so report seeing their relatives or sensing their presence after death.
    It wouldn't be defined as normal or average though, because it's not widely known ... so I think what I'm wondering is what we/you base the idea of average on.

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


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • really i think average is just annother word for normal
    Average is the majority of the population with their views and beliefs
    A person who has had some sort of spiritual experice is not ab-normal, just a minority
    Although i think as you said above, that 50% of people have had felt some sort of spirit near them, the statistic could be wrong
    Some people are feeling loss and want their relatives to be near them, although theyve probably passed on to whatever is next, if anything.
    Other people may have had a "spiritual experience" just never accepted or aknowledged it

  • Actually this is a really tricky subject.
    Like what i was saying in my flyology about my experience on saturday. I didnt exactly walk into the vets and say oooo an entity attaked my pets did i?
    This is gna take some thinking

  • Yup, it's a hard one to answer - on any issue. I guess that's what makes it such an interesting question though!

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


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • psychopathy? Thought this thread was going to be about something very different :whistle:

    In psychology normal can be defined in several different ways. Mostly by defining abnormality and saying anything that doesn't fit that is normal.

    Statistical infrequency - abnormal. (Majority = normal). This means having/having had mania is abnormal. Having or having had depression (in the west) is normal.

    Is the easiest to understand. After that it gets complex, goes into categories and such. Basically I don't have a problem with being abnormal, most people are :p :wall:

  • Quote from Alasdair

    In psychology normal can be defined in several different ways. Mostly by defining abnormality and saying anything that doesn't fit that is normal.


    Abnormality is relative though, and more a concept that a definition ...

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


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • I work as a mental health social worker so this is tricky ground but as a bit of an anti-psychiatry movement supporter I see it as this. A psychological disorder is a label that a group of proffessionals stick on someone who believes something they dont. Simple as. Its all contextual, for example if my client believes his/her God/dess talks to him/her in church/temple s/he is blessed. If the God/dess talks to him/her in Tesco it is psychotic delusions and needs medicating. Shit but thats how it works. Most of my clients have a spiritual component to what is defined as their Schizophrenia or schizo-affective disorder. My only concern is when these beliefs cause them distress or make them hurt other people. Saying that, George shit for brains Bush has hurt people in the name of his god and they made him the most powerful man in the world. Go figure. You cant "prove" your spirituality is true so its always open to challenge and if that challenge comes from the psychiatric services you can end up well screwed if you're unlucky. Look at the history of the origins of psychiatry if you wanna scare yourself cause most of this is made up. Honestly.
    Stay away from the men in white coats, except me cause I'm a cute and friendly subversive. But then I would say that. Yaahaahaa!!!

  • If you flout the obvious norms within your society and offer threat at the same time you would usually attract attention of authority. If you offer no threat then it matters not.

    The spiritual experience I am sure would be psycopathic, but at the same time I don't believe that degenerates the experience, the moment did exist.

    The belief of the mushroom cult, and the inherent psychotic experiences would, I argue, also back this up.

    (Not 100% about some of that terminology, hope you get my drift) :)

  • Quote from Firinne


    I was reading through the DSM-IV classification system last night and realised that there are some remarkable similarities between "psychological disorder" and "spiritual experience" ...


    I've always found it fascinating how much "spiritual experience" resembles that which can be explained according to recognised psychological phenomena. For instance, transcendental visions can be induced by exposure to certain electromagnetic fields... Religious visions and divine revelation distinctly resemble what we would now recognise to be psychotic hallucinations, schizophrenia, mania or seizures etc rather than spiritual phenomena. Now we understand more about the way our minds work, it seems reasonable to attempt to explain much spiritual experience according to known phenomena:)


    That's three phenomas in one paragraph:wiggle:

  • Quote from showmet

    Now we understand more about the way our minds work, it seems reasonable to attempt to explain much spiritual experience according to known phenomena:)



    Ah, but.

    God works in mysterious ways. :)

  • Quote from Dapablo

    Ah, but.

    God works in mysterious ways. :)



    That'll be the planting prehistoric fossils on earth just to test our faith that the world is really only 7,000 years old? :insane: Very mysterious!:D

  • Quote from showmet

    That'll be the planting prehistoric fossils on earth just to test our faith that the world is really only 7,000 years old? :insane: Very mysterious!:D



    You been watching american TV again, you should know better, disapointed in you. :(

  • You see now the problem here as I see it is that you all seem to be seperating spirituality from psychology. This is an area that I have chosen to do a lot of research into as I think it is absolutely facinating. Firstly one must look at the routes of western psychology. Now, i am tempted to ignore Freud and jump straight into talking about Carl Jung, but I wont as I think it is important that although, Jung in my opinion was working at a far more advanced level, Freud did get some stuff right and also massively influenced Jung.

    I theorise that we can find the routes of all western psychology in Shamanism. We know that Jung was fasinated by Shamanism and as a Shaman I can tell you that pretty much every theory he had corresponds with a Shamanic belief. I sugest that psychology is merely the westernisation of Shamanism. I say astral voyage/journey, they say psychosynthesis, I say altered state of mind, they say controlled psychosos. The only problem is that in Shamanisms transition into psychology its got a bit messed up.

    I don't claim my ability to enter into an altered state of mind and to travel into other worlds to be anything other than psychosis, the problem here is the negative conotations that psychosis creates. There is really no difference though. The study of the mind does not disprove or rationalise spirituality, it just re-defines it, and unfortunately this is poorly done in most cases, with negative out comes.

    Did that make sense? It does to me, i'm not sure how well i articulated that though.

  • Quote from Fagin_The_Pagan


    Did that make sense? It does to me, i'm not sure how well i articulated that though.



    The Holy man is the Mad man. Something lurking at the back of my brain says this was a commonality in ancient cultures. Your statement sounds sense to me. God is replaced by science, so all the old terminology has been replaced.

  • Quote from Dapablo

    If you flout the obvious norms within your society and offer threat at the same time you would usually attract attention of authority. If you offer no threat then it matters not.


    Yup, there's so many varying levels of what people consider threatening or what makes them uncomfortable though - I know a few people who go silent and are instantly uncomfortable when I pick up the phone and say "hi, so and so" (they know I don't have caller display) yet with others anything short of dancing naked and juggling aubergines wouldn't even raise an eyebrow.
    I wonder what it is that decides the strength of reaction we make to anything considered beyond the norm ... is it anything that threatens us/our mindset, anything that could exercise power over us, anything that reveals us as more/less than we portray ourselves to be, or simply anything we don't understand?
    I think it can be any or all of the above, but what influences that for each individual? I have no idea ....

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


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • Quote from Fagin_The_Pagan


    I theorise that we can find the routes of all western psychology in Shamanism. We know that Jung was fasinated by Shamanism and as a Shaman I can tell you that pretty much every theory he had corresponds with a Shamanic belief. I sugest that psychology is merely the westernisation of Shamanism. I say astral voyage/journey, they say psychosynthesis, I say altered state of mind, they say controlled psychosos. The only problem is that in Shamanisms transition into psychology its got a bit messed up.


    Totally agree with you there :)


    Have you read Robert Ryan's "Shamanism & the psychology of Jung" by any chance?

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


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • Quote

    theorise that we can find the routes of all western psychology in Shamanism. We know that Jung was fasinated by Shamanism and as a Shaman I can tell you that pretty much every theory he had corresponds with a Shamanic belief. I sugest that psychology is merely the westernisation of Shamanism. I say astral voyage/journey, they say psychosynthesis, I say altered state of mind, they say controlled psychosos. The only problem is that in Shamanisms transition into psychology its got a bit messed up.


    I don't claim my ability to enter into an altered state of mind and to travel into other worlds to be anything other than psychosis, the problem here is the negative conotations that psychosis creates. There is really no difference though. The study of the mind does not disprove or rationalise spirituality, it just re-defines it, and unfortunately this is poorly done in most cases, with negative out comes.


    Did that make sense? It does to me, i'm not sure how well i articulated that though.



    Yeah that makes total sense to me :thumbup:

  • I think it's important to tell Christians that Jesus was schizophrenic in every way but the label. They always take offence though:(

  • On the flip side I also think its important to tell anyone thinking of taking recreational drugs that the desired effect is known as psychosis to psychiatrists.


    Psychosis is such a scary word. Failed genetic experiments in films always produce "psychotics". But psychosis is the world in which all spiritual journeys are taken.

  • The thing about an absolute non-linear spiritual experience is that the very subjective nature of our reality means that as soon as we attempt to describe that experience using our limited vocabularies (not saying that anyone is stupid, just that no words are adequate) we begin to sound odd to any people who have not directly had a similar experience. To the Eastern philosophy the level of Absolute Mind (Nirvana etc.) is the only true concioussness and all others are just an illusion. To the Western scientist Ego is everything and all else pointless escapism. Thanks to people such as Karl Jung and Ken Wilbur these barriers are breaking down and soon we will see true synthesis in the healing world.

    Incidentally, I am a shaman, having been through my own 'insanity' and coming out self-healed and literally re-born.

    'Physician, heal thyself'

    Love, Light and Subjective Sanity to you all
    DTJ

  • Quote from Rincewind

    On the flip side I also think its important to tell anyone thinking of taking recreational drugs that the desired effect is known as psychosis to psychiatrists.


    Psychosis is such a scary word. Failed genetic experiments in films always produce "psychotics". But psychosis is the world in which all spiritual journeys are taken.


    I think there's a line between genuine spiritual experience and psychosis though, watching people in the throes of actual drug induced psychosis rather than just tripping shows you the real difference and brings home why we do need to be able to draw a line somewhere.


    Yeah, guess how I spent the first few hours of New Years day :rolleyes:

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


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • Hi all,
    Hope you don’t mind me joining in….
    In the pagan world hearing voices, seeing fae folk or spirits is regarded as a gift…almost the norm…in the ‘muggle’ world…{do hate using a potter phrase, but hey, it comes in useful:o }…your family may well have you committed…there are a fair few folk who have claimed that dabbling in ‘occult matters’ has sent them off the rails…but I’m of the view that they were probably ‘troubled’ to begin with.. Paganism has its fair share of the mentally unbalanced, but so do most of the mainstream religions…it’s similar to the debate over legalising cannabis…we hear ‘ooh no, it can send you insane’…but the bottom line is if you have the schizophrenic gene floating around your body many similar substances could and will trigger it.. you can‘t blame cannabis itself…likewise a certain aspect of whatever spirituality you belong to…for example :trying to unlock your spirit and take a journey into the ether/astral... may trigger a psychotic episode simply because you have tripped the switch inside you that controls your mental health.
    We in the west have become so used to psycho babble and regard psychiatry as a norm…that we forget that the practioners are following only mere theories…maybe we have suppressed our emotions and spirit so much that now the natural reaction to any overwhelming emotion or situation is to say ‘you need to medicate that person’ or ‘you need to talk it through with a psychiatrist‘. Freud has got so much to bloody answer for !

  • I totally agree, even displaying emotion is considered outside the norm these days and intense emotion is often likely to have you offered medication.
    I think anger/hurt etc ... are all natural parts of dealing with life, it can't always be sunshine and flowers and we need to learn to accept the rough with the smooth instead of reaching for some way to dismiss those feelings.


    Where would the world be if all the great artists/poets etc ... had simply swallowed some prozac?

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


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • Exactly. Anti-depressants are an easy way out, without which people used to find more creative ways to fix themselves, or at least express it.


    Yeah, there's probably a difference between psychosis and a trip, but I dunno if psychiatrists would admit it. Maybe the difference is that in a trip you know the reason you're seeing/hearing/experiencing these things is because you've just dropped acid or whatever. Without that reason, without the knowledge that it'll be gone in a bit, it's all a bit more scary.

  • Definitely, I've seen someone drop enough acid to go into a full blown psychotic episode and they had no idea it wasn't real - as far as they were concerned they were on Mars and we weren't there.
    At least when you come down you know it's a trip though, with shamanic experiences and things like that you're left wondering if you're going mad for a fair while until you work it out.

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


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • So, what do you define as normal? Where do you draw the line?
    Is the dictionary definition of abnormality as widely accepted as we're led to believe, or is it still an issue of personal opinion?



    spirituality is a search for answers..its not a way to catorgrise one human being from another..
    im more spiritual than you so im a better person


    every teaching tells us that just live your life thats the most spirtual existance
    we all cant sit on a mountain in tibet depriving ourselves off all desires


    normal is to exist within the boundries set by god..
    ill keep stating this
    god is a old ethopian word for the mind of the tribe
    the universal tribe we know deal with worldwide has learned to accept things as normal that hundreds of years ago would be very abnormal
    there are still people that exist in places we and no one else in the tribe understands
    these are the poeple i would class as not normal
    but who knows one of these people may lead us in new direction one day
    or they may have been the leaders in the past..
    todays locked up psychopath may have been the reason we survived as a human race eons ago
    or may survive in the future


    or another way to put it may be normal people achieve nothing at all

  • Normal has nothing to do with average or the idea of thinking or believing what most people think or believe. Normal is a set of 'safe' conditions imposed on society by those who are in a position to make that imposition with the intention of suppressing any behaviour which could threaten to 'rock the boat', ie upset the balance of power in society.
    As such I believe it is our duty to at least question what is considered to be normality. Not so many years ago unmarried mothers were commited to asylums for transgressing the bounds of 'normality' imposed by the church...
    Screw the status quo!