Youve found the truth? You know the answers? You are the one to bring us out of our self inflicted turmoil? Oh... nope... your just being pretentious and one sided. No outward goal will get met with you around. Officer straight on the scene making sure everyone paints within the lines. Your possibilities are as limited as your reach. Im done beating this dead horse.
You don't really know anything about me Sammy. If you are taking this personally then I am sorry for that. We were just attempting to discuss something that could have been productive. I was not aware that I was prohibiting you from achieving an "outward goal" by my presence.
Fantastic claims require fantastic proofs.
Brandt Self-proclaimed haberdasher and conservator of the dark mysteries.
Wheres your proofs about your claims of me? Wheres your reason for this discussion? I have made myself nothing but plain and patient in my "goal" of explanaining my thoughts. Ive even taken your suggestions and tried to accomidate your side. What I know of you is what ive read and that is how I see you. I have actualy left my preconcieved notions of people out of meeting someone new. I have actualy given the benefit of a doubt regardless thier intent, have you? The only way this thread will be posted again by me is on this subject and only because it doesnt pertain to the original. You may not have noticed you crossed a line but I did.
What claims would those be? Why would you bother to post again on this thread if it wasn't on this subject? If you feel that I have crossed a line I will need you to explain it to me if you would be so kind. I have disagreed with your notion that strong feelings or perception is reality. If that has hurt your feelings there is nothing that I can do about that.
Brandt Self-proclaimed haberdasher and conservator of the dark mysteries.
So on occasion you do appreciate evidence? Wish the attachment in, think it there and it will be.
I would ask that you think or believe that piece of art into my living room. I won't think or believe about gravity in your living room. Then we can discuss objective reality.
I am absolutely certain that your drawing is not going to come to life. Very certain. That has been my point, the lack of reality (not imagination or wishful thinking).
Really? You knew this was not my observations.
We are back to man being god.
I honestly have NO idea where this came from.
Look up the word "subjective." It refers to something in the mind not in the world.
We were discussing the fine points of that deffinition.
Either you are unaware that people die and the universe continues or we are not using the same definition of reality.
Again no idea where this came from.
If perspective or belief could determine reality one could point a .357 directly at your heart and pull the trigger and you could believe the bullet away.
Again same argument different Object, wich I have been more then privy too. Im only halfway done with page 3 and starting to get bored. Maybe you should re-read the thread to grasp the overall air of this, as I have several times.
Just for fun here are mine.
Perhaps some need to be old and fighting for breathe before they realize thier fighting themselves to be here. At any rate I am allready aware that my body sometimes wants things that are good and sometimes wants things that are bad. I fight for that control even though its minimal. Im still not sure where "ghost in the machine" and "blank slate" came from never mentioned those either. Only thing close is a exercise I do when im starting a fresh idea ill picture a blank type of canvas to start it out. Maybe its just me but it seems like brandt is fighting someone in his brain that isnt me but is convinced is like me, but according to him that kind of thing doesnt happen HAHA.
We were "discussing" untill you recomended I seek psychiatric help (not very classy). When you start waving a red cloth at a bull it will eventualy get mad and charge... the difference is im not aiming for the blanket.
I do not seek out for friction and BTW you did say I am certainly not at war with myself but this isn't about me or you is it. If you are fighting thoughts perhaps you should take that up with an advisor or therapist of some sort. Personaly I dont care at all, but the act did still happen.
Btw I never said I knew your beliefs:
Sammy, I would not be so quick to decide what my personal beliefs are. I am actually very religious and I am involved in a few initiatic orders that are spiritual in nature.
My exact words were,
I realize you havnt involved yourself as initiative toward the religious aspect, its just a good example for me to use.
Because I was using examples for comparison.
With all due respect you wouldnt have a living room without imagination.
Not the worste statement but im running out of things ive said that might be taken as bad.
Im not posting again on the subject of the thread because I have said my thoughts surrounding the statements, if you dont like them then dont read things that say "I think" or "might" cause obviousely you cant handle it. This threads original goal was smothered into the ground because I felt like you could use an explanation. I see where my wrong turn was made.
I cant even believe im doing this, but I guess since its not my words...
Ever had the feeling that your partner has the power to read your mind? Well you may not be imagining it. Scientists have found that some couples are so in tune that their brains begin to work in sync. In research that points to the existence of a ‘sixth sense’, the team found identical patterns of brain activity in volunteers who had become so close they were ‘physiologically aligned’. That means they had reached a state in which their nervous systems were ticking over in harmony, helping them to know each other’s thoughts and emotions. The extraordinary findings emerged from an analysis of brain activity in patients and counsellors in therapy sessions. The researchers involved believe it also sheds light on the behaviour of couples, close friends or family members. Psychologists have long known that some couples learn to think like each other – allowing them to ‘know’ what their partner is thinking or about to say. But the new study goes further by looking into the activity of the nervous system. Dr Trisha Stratford, of Sydney’s University of Technology, studied the brains and heartbeats of 30 volunteers during counselling sessions. She identified a crucial moment when the counsellor and patient’s brains started to work in sync in an ‘altered state’. She said: ‘When this happens we can read each other’s brains and bodies at a deeper level – a sixth sense.’ During the ‘altered state’, the part of each person’s brain that controls the nervous system began to beat together
Despite decades of attempts to pigeonhole them, shamans simply do not slip neatly into traditional psychiatric categories. Much has been made of the initiation crisis, and yet what is most important is not the crisis itself but what comes out of it. For the shaman "is not only a sick man" said Eliade, "he is a sick man who has been cured, who has succeeded in curing himself."(Eliade, 1964) From this perspective "shamanism is not a disease but being healed from disease."(Ackerknecht, 1943) In fact, shamans are often the most functional members of their community, and according to Eliade "show proof of a more than normal nervous constitution."(Eliade, 1964) They can display remarkable energy and stamina, unusual levels of concentration, high intelligence, leadership skills, and a grasp of complex myths and rituals.(Eliade, 1964; Reichel-Dolmataoff, 1987; Rogers, 1982) What can we make of this curious combination of initial disturbance and subsequent health? Are there any data and diagnoses that can encompass both the initial disturbance and the subsequent recovery? DISTURBANCE AS DEVELOPMENT The answer is clearly yes. Shamans are not alone in becoming better after a psychological disturbance. Over 2,000 years ago Socrates declared that "our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness, provided the madness is given us by divine gift." (Lukoff, 1985) More recently the eminent psychiatrist Karl Menninger observed that "some patients have a mental illness and then they get weller! I mean they get better than they ever were....This is an extraordinary and little realized truth."(Lukoff, 1985) Fortunately, it is becoming better recognized. Responses to stress can span a spectrum from regression to growth. This spectrum extends from pathological regression (at the negative extreme) to resilience (continued normal functioning) and even to posttraumatic growth (also known as stress-related growth, positive adaptation, and thriving).(Linley & Joseph, 2005)
Likewise, some psychological disturbances can function as growth experiences that somehow result in greater psychological or spiritual wellbeing. These disturbances shed new light on shamanic initiation crises. The general process is one of temporary psychological disturbance followed by resolution and repair to a new and higher level of functioning. What seemed at the time to be purely a crisis of disturbance and disease can now be seen as a stage of development and growth. Each of the many names given to such crises illuminates a different facet of the process. These names include "positive disintegration," "regenerative processes," "renewal," "creative illness" and "resilience."(Dabrowski, 1964; Ellenberger, 1970; Flach, 1988; Pelleteir & Garfield, 1976; Perry, 1986) Some psychological crises include mystical or transpersonal experiences. These have been described as "mystical experiences with psychotic features," "divine illnesses," "metanoiac voyages," "visionary states," "spiritual emergencies" and "transpersonal crises."(Grof & Grof, 1986; Grof & Grof, 1990; Grof & Grof, 1989; Laing, 1972; Lukoff, 1985) What these names make clear is that psychological disturbances may sometimes be followed by significant growth. Consequently, we can now recognize some psychological disturbances as developmental crises. Developmental Crises Developmental crises are periods of psychological stress that accompany turning points in our lives. They may be marked by considerable psychological turmoil, sometimes even of life threatening proportions. These transitions can occur spontaneously, as in adolescent and mid-life crises, or can be induced by growth-accelerating techniques such as psychotherapy and meditation. These crises occur because psychological growth rarely proceeds smoothly. Rather, growth is usually marked by transition periods of confusion and questioning, or in extreme cases, disorganization and despair. The twin lions that guard the gates of Eastern temples are said to represent confusion and paradox, and anyone who seeks wisdom must be willing to pass through both. Even clarity can become a trap. We cling to an old familiar understanding of ourselves and the world because it saves us from having to face the ever-changing novelty and uncertainty of life. We cling to the familiar, not knowing that mystery is a necessary prelude to the dawning of wisdom. As Castaneda succinctly put it, clarity "dispels fear, but also blinds" and the person who holds fast to it no longer learns.(Castaneda, 1969) If these crises are successfully negotiated, then the turmoil may turn out to be the means by which constricting, outdated life patterns are cast off. Old beliefs and goals may be released, and new more life-affirming modes adopted. In short, psychological pain and confusion can be symptoms of either disease or development. Developmental crises can occur spontaneously as a result of inner forces that compel growth whether the individual wants it or not. The mind is designed to grow, and the drive powering that growth has been variously described as an actualizing tendency (Carl Rogers), individuation urge (Carl Jung), holotropism (Stan Grof), equilibration (Jean Piaget) or eros (Ken Wilber). The result is a dynamic tension between these forces of growth and the seductiveness of stagnation, between the pull of transcendence and the inertia of the familiar. The Jungian psychiatrist, John Perry observed that: spirit [is] constantly striving for release from its entrapment in routine or conventional mental structures. Spiritual work is the attempt to liberate this dynamic energy, which must break free of its suffocation in old forms…. if this work of releasing spirit becomes imperative but is not undertaken voluntarily with knowledge of the goal and with considerable effort, then the psyche is apt to take over and overwhelm the conscious personality…. The individuating psyche abhors stasis as nature abhors a vacuum.(Perry, 1986) In other words, the psyche may be unwilling to risk the unhappiness that Abraham Maslow warned against when he said "if you deliberately plan to be less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you will be deeply unhappy for the rest of your life."(Maslow, 1971) Rather than tolerate stagnation, the psyche may willfully create crises that force development.(Perry, 1986) Such is the case with shamans. Many are not at all pleased by the prospect of their new profession, and resist the initial signs with all their might. According to Devereux, "Among the Sedang Moi, a person who receives the 'call' may even drink his own urine, in the hope that this act will so depreciate him in the sight of his divine sponsors that they will take back the power they had given him."(Devereux, 2001) However, resistance is no easy matter, and many tribal myths hold that the person who resists the call will sicken, go mad, or die. When the forces of growth overwhelm the forces of inertia then a developmental transition or crisis occurs. The symptoms of this crisis vary depending upon the individual's personality and maturity, and can range from regressive pathology at one extreme to transpersonal or spiritual concerns at the other.(Wilber, Engler, & Brown, in press) These transpersonal crises, which are also called spiritual emergencies or spiritual emergences(Grof & Grof, 1986; Grof & Grof, 1990; Grof & Grof, 1989) seem close to, and helpful in understanding, some shamanic initiation crises. THE VARIETIES OF SPIRITUAL EMERGENCIES Although they have been described for centuries as complications of spiritual practices, the careful study of spiritual emergencies has only just begun. Varieties particularly relevant to shamanism and its initiation crises include "mystical experiences with psychotic features," "shamanic journeys," "possession," "renewal," "kundalini" and "psychic opening." Mystical experience with psychotic features and "psychotic disorder with mystical features" are terms used to describe psychoses in which significant mystical experiences occur.(Lukoff, 1985) The episodes are usually short lived and have a better prognosis than other psychoses. This curious combination of mystical and psychotic is consistent with the bizarre behavior and mystical experiences of some shamanic crises. Shamanic journey emergencies echo themes commonly encountered in both shamanic initiations and journeys. As Christina and Stan Grof observe: Transpersonal crises of this type bear a deep resemblance to what the anthropologists have described as the shamanic or initiatory illness….In the experiences of individuals whose transpersonal crises have strong shamanic features, there is great emphasis on physical suffering and encounter with death followed by rebirth and elements of ascent or magical flight. They also typically sense a special connection with the elements of nature and experience communication with animals or animal spirits. It is also not unusual to feel an upsurge of extraordinary powers and impulses to heal….Like the initiatory crisis, the transpersonal episodes of a shamanic type, if properly supported, can lead to good adjustment and superior functioning.(Grof & Grof, 1986) The striking similarity of these contemporary crises to classic shamanic experiences suggests that initiatory crises reflect a deep psychological process, not limited to particular cultures or times. This process seems capable of exploding from the depths of the psyche in contemporary Westerners surrounded by cars and computers as well as in ancient shamans in tepees and igloos. Clearly some deep, perhaps archetypal, pattern is being played out here, and the Grof's therefore conclude that "Individuals whose spiritual crises follows this pattern are thus involved in an ancient process that touches the deepest foundations of the psyche."(Grof & Grof, 1986) We may therefore have much to learn from ancient shamanic wisdom about the appropriate handling of these crises. Experiences of possession have been described throughout history and can constitute a major feature of shamanic crises. Individuals experience being taken over by inner forces or beings beyond their control. Sometimes these forces feel so alien and malevolent as to seem literally demonic, and victims may fear that they are engaged in a desperate battle for their life and sanity. So dramatic are these experiences that even some contemporary psychiatrists, most notably Scot Peck, have concluded that demonic forces are to blame.(Peck, 1983) However, most health professionals assume that possession is an expression of powerful psychological dynamics that can be treated therapeutically. Indeed, Christina and Stan Grof claim that "with good support, experiences of this kind can be extremely liberating and therapeutic."(Grof & Grof, 1986) John Perry described the renewal process as an experience of destruction followed by regeneration. Individuals undergoing it are overwhelmed by images in which they see both themselves and the world being destroyed. Yet this destruction is not the end but a prelude to rebirth and regeneration. Out of the images of ruin comes a sense of personal renewal and world regeneration. Images of death and rebirth are of course common in the shamanic crisis. This renewal process may entail considerable stress and even reach psychotic proportions. Psychiatrists rarely distinguish this particular process from other psychoses and usually suppress them all with drugs. However John Perry claims: if a person undergoing this turmoil is given love, understanding and encouragement, the spiritual crisis soon resolves itself without the need for interruption by suppressive medication. The most fragmented "thought disorder" can become quite coherent and orderly within a short time if someone is present to respond to it with compassion. Such a relationship is far better than a tranquilizer in most instances.(Perry, 1986) The fundamental change in this "renewal process" is thought to be a dissolution of the old self-image and its replacement with a new more appropriate one. Kundalini awakening has been most fully described in the yogic tradition of India, where kundalini is the creative energy of the universe. Humans partake of this energy, but it usually lies dormant and unrecognized. Under the prodding of spiritual practice, or occasionally spontaneously, the kundalini can be aroused and unleash enormous, even overwhelming, physical and psychological energy. The result is a complex array of intense physical, psychological, and spiritual experiences that can be ecstatic or terrifying. These can manifest physically as tremors and spasms, or psychologically as intense emotions, agitation, energy, lights and vivid imagery. Kundalini could account for the unusual symptoms and intense agitation of some shamanic crises. Kundalini crises are now occurring more frequently in the West as more people begin intensive meditative and yogic practices. The last type of spiritual emergency is that of psychic opening. Here individuals feel they have suddenly become capable, sometimes quite against their will, of one or more psychic abilities. These can include out-of-body experiences, visions, and mediumship or channeling—all common experiences among shamans. Such people may encounter significant difficulties, feel overwhelmed, and fear for their sanity. We will explore the question of the validity of psychic phenomena in a later chapter. These are the forms of spiritual emergency most relevant to shamanic initiation crises. An important implication is that there may be several kinds of shamanic crises, and future descriptions and diagnoses will need to be more nuanced. DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT Clearly spiritual practices and awakenings (to use religious terms), can revive and exacerbate unresolved conflicts. This is not necessarily bad since the process can bring to the surface issues and difficulties requiring attention, and result in considerable healing and personality integration.(Grof & Grof, 1990) Two major of diagnostic errors can be made. One is reductionistic: to fail to recognize a spiritual emergency and reduce it to pure pathology. The other is "elevationistic:" to overlook a pathological process such as schizophrenia and elevate it to a spiritual emergency. The task is complicated by the existence of hybrid forms in which both mystical and pathological experiences coexist.(Lukoff, 1985) If correctly diagnosed and appropriately supported, then spiritual emergencies can be valuable growth experiences; hence their other name of "spiritual emergences." Several factors are helpful. The first is a trusting relationship where the patient feels cared for and safe. The second is a positive attitude in which the patient expects that the process will prove valuable and healing.(McGashan & Carpenter, 1981) Third, opening to and talking about the experience can be helpful, and can be facilitated by psychotherapy.(Grof & Grof, 1989) Shamans discovered these principles long ago. Their crises involve symptoms and behaviors that appear bizarre, even pathological. However, the outcome may be positive when the shaman-to-be is recognized as such by the tribe, and then receives culturally appropriate support, guidance, and "therapy." This support includes a relationship with an experienced shaman, a positive reinterpretation of the disturbance as part of a shamanic awakening, and practices that enable the novice to work with the emerging experiences. With this assistance, the initiate may not only recover but may emerge stronger and able to help others. In short, shamanic crises and contemporary spiritual emergencies seem to be related, difficult, but potentially valuable maturation crises. Shamanic cultures have long provided the types of support that contemporary therapists are now rediscovering. Reference List Ackerknecht, E. (1943). Psychopathology, primitive medicine, and primitive culture. Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 14, 30-67. Barrett, W. (1962). Irrational man: A study in existential philosophy. New York: Doubleday/Anchor. Castaneda, C. (1969). The teachings of Don Juan: A Yagui way of knowledge. New York: Ballantine. Dabrowski, K. (1964). Positive disintegration. Boston: Little Brown. Devereux, G. (1956/2001). The Shaman is mentally deranged. In J.Narby & F.Huxley (Eds.), Shamans through time: 500 years on the path of knowledge (pp. 119-120). New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin. (Original work published 1956). Eliade, M. (1964). Shamanism: Archaic techniques of ecstasy (W.Trask, Trans.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Ellenberger, H. (1970). The discovery of the unconscious. New York: Basic Books. Flach, F. (1988). Resiliance. New York: Ballantine. Grof, C. & Grof, S. (1986). Spiritual emergency: The understanding and treatment of transpersonal crises. ReVision, 8(2), 7-20. Grof, C. & Grof, S. (1990). The stormy search for self: Understanding spiritual emergence. Los Angeles: J. Tarcher. Grof, S. & Grof, C. (Eds.). (1989). Spiritual emergency: When personal transformation becomes a crisis. Los Angeles: J. Tarcher. Laing, R. (1972). Metanoia: Some experiences at Kingsley Hall, London. In H.Ruitenbeck (Ed.), Going crazy (pp. 11-21). New York: Bantam. Linley, P. & Joseph, S. (2005). The human capacity for growth through adversity. American Psychologist, 60(3), 262-264. Lukoff, D. (1985). The diagnosis of mystical experiences with psychotic features. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 17, 123-153. Maslow, A. (1971). The farther reaches of human nature. New York: Viking. McGashan, T. & Carpenter, W. (1981). Does attitude toward psychosis relate to outcome? American Journal of Psychiatry, 138, 797-801. Peck, M. S. (1983). People of the lie: The hope for healing human evil. New York: Simon & Schuster. Pelleteir, K. & Garfield, C. (1976). Consciousness: East and West. New York: Harper and Row.
Thanks for that. I think we tripped over each others' posts. I was refering to the mind reading article.
It is well known that happiness comes from a state referred to as "flow." This state is regarded as being deeply engaged in an activity. Note that the engagement does not have to be positive or negative, just consuming.
Shamanism and its various manifestations can produce a psychologically balanced person. Superstitutions and beliefs don't necessarily make one crazy or unbalanced. Who was it that said "that which does not kill us makes us stronger." This being the case the crisis of initiation in some of the shamanic traditions produces a difficult crisis (psychological and sometimes physical as well). Those that are able to overcome this crisis are clearly stronger and were most likely quite strong and possessed of abilities or talents that aided them in overcoming the crisis.
Nothing there that can't really be described. It is one of the most interesting topics in psychology.
Brandt Self-proclaimed haberdasher and conservator of the dark mysteries.
This is my problem, science and psychology found the process that happens to create the result/experience. This does not lesten that experience to the practicer however. Objective and subjective work together. We can guess how planets got where they are and why atmospheres do what they do, but it doesnt make the northern lights less bright. We are subjected by our sights to objectify the reality, so it can simply "make sense" to us. Does knowing why shamans do what they do suddenly allow you to attain thier wisdom and physical prowess, or does that take time to learn and grow into?
There is no way that an experience is made less by understanding the mechanism by which the event happens. If anything it should make the experience even richer. We know quite a bit about how babies form, develop, and are born into the world. That doesn't make babies less cool.
There is nothing cold and lifeless about wanting to understand and going about the process of coming to understand any particular experience, process, or mechanism. We should just be open to that.
Visions for example after taking certain drugs. Turns out the gods or spirits or whatever are most likely hallucinations caused by the chemical reactions in the body when using the drug. That is the most likely explanation. It is very unlikely that gods or spirits come arunnin everytime someone eats certain mushrooms.
Does that make a difference in the therapeutic sense? No. Does it make a difference if we are discussing the existence of gods or spirits while using the "visions" caused by the drug as evidence? Yes it does make a huge difference.
Brandt Self-proclaimed haberdasher and conservator of the dark mysteries.
There is no way that an experience is made less by understanding the mechanism by which the event happens.
Turns out the gods or spirits or whatever are most likely hallucinations caused by the chemical reactions in the body when using the drug.
Where as this is how you explain it, the experience itself to that person was lifechanging and usualy for the better. You placed a distinction on what that is and that influenced your perception on the experience.
That is the most likely explanation. It is very unlikely that gods or spirits come arunnin everytime someone eats certain mushrooms.
What is suggested is that certain drugs allow you to experience things that would be happening regardless if your seeing it or not. Much like how the wind blows but unless your in it to feal it there is no way to know for sure, although there is a really cool new camera that can view air flows (hope I didnt distract from that point HAHA).
Does it make a difference if we are discussing the existence of gods or spirits while using the "visions" caused by the drug as evidence?
I havnt been discussing the outcome of eating or smoking plants. There is plenty of accounts of religious experiences not induced by drugs. Infact nowdays most religions support no such thing. What tells me there might be something to it is that people like "shamans" or just people in tribes describe similair accounts and events. Within themselves globaly without any form of communication. I do think that the drugs confuse the truth your searching for making certain parts of reason grow unbalanced. This is why I think the middle ground is where this topic should be meet, The subject regarding the object will result in a connection of understanding. The understanding is what drives us to change the world and make us who we are, same today as 2000 years ago. We have been breaking down our existence so that we can not just explain it, but understand it.
"Wrong," please describe why it is wrong to understand something. Surely you are not suggesting that we should remain ignorant. Knowing what is happening does not mitigate the impact of an experience. It can make it more productive.
No you did not discuss drugs. I did, I used it as an example. Since there is some commonality amongst these experiences cross-culturally it is likely there is a common biological mechanism that is the source of that experience. That takes nothing from the experience. It just is what it is.
Perception of a deity doesn't make the deity real. Hallucinations or misinterpretations of information can lead to faulty reasoning.
Brandt Self-proclaimed haberdasher and conservator of the dark mysteries.
I did. "Where as this is how you explain it, the experience itself to that person was lifechanging and usualy for the better. You placed a distinction on what that is and that influenced your perception on the experience. " and I used "Turns out the gods or spirits or whatever are most likely hallucinations caused by the chemical reactions in the body when using the drug." as an example of you doing that.
If you want to benefit from the emotion I would suggest it. When fealings are involoved your suppossed to leave everything out, because its the persons problem your focusing on. Why would someone want to confide in someone else who obviousely has no fealing toward the outcome of the situation, but is just calling out the mechanisms. People want to know, see, hear, and smell the attention they are getting, and I personaly think everyone deserves it from everyone else. We are all guilty of being selfish, the question is what have we done to rectify that?