Esoteric Online

Hello there!

So I've thought to bring something up, that seems very difficult to find much conversation on.  At least in the publishing world that is.  

What impact, if any, do people believe that mental illness has upon esoteric practices?

Does the treatment of said illness through the use of medications have any effect, positive or negative, upon said practices?

Then again, how is it that that mental illness is often considered to be a gateway to the spiritual in some Native American cultures as well as other non-Western cultures?  

I'm simply asking the questions here, and I welcome others to contribute their ideas and opinions to this discussion : )

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Hi CleverRaven,

   I'm majoring in psychology and I find this question really interesting and I can give you some legitimate answers. We have the Israel Regardies of the world and then we have the Aleister Crowleys of the world. Esoteric practices like the qabalah etc. place emphasis on sanity. So I think it is important to keep a sound mind. In the psychology and psychiatric "world" we dont use the term "mental illness". The word Disorder is often used.

Things like hallucinations both auditory and visual are considered normal especially during ceremony or after a persons death. So a psychologist wouldn't check a box so to speak and say someone is schizo.

Interestingly enough there are positive symptoms and negative symptoms to schizophrenia!

In my opinion you need a sound mind in order to practice esoteric practices or atleast be looking to have a sound mind.

In psychology in general there are alot of fine lines and most of them are associated with time frames as well as circumstances. whether they be religious, adjustment or chronic.

If a person takes on a magical name for their high magic practices does that mean they have dissociative identity disorder? NOPE

or if someone hears a voice during ritual or prayer it doesn't imply a mental disorder. Esoteric practices walk a fine line the deeper they go especially when it comes to the development of psychic abilities.

When it comes to medication having an impact on esoteric practices....It all depends on the medication, dosage and if there doctor is really doing right by them. If the medication is un fact balancing the person out then things should go off without a hitch. BUT if that isnt the case I could see it having a negative impact on esoteric practices.

Abnormal psychology always differs from culture to culture. If one culture says it is normal to hear voices etc. then it is considered normal to the psychologist unless it is maladaptive to the person IE. hurting oneself.

I hope I was helpful

Ken

Let's begin by taking note of the word "esoteric". It is usually meant to mean "advanced" access or knowlege. Because of the amount of training and experience which is required it is doubtful that the man or woman thus engaged would have any psycological disorder. Rather they would be quite stable and mature (in a spiritual sense). These people never have a need to see a doctor.

In matters of spriutal practices it is necessary that we be properly prepared. The average person limits these to praying and light meditating. No problems there. In the normal progression of things there are strict requirements for training beyond which the doors to experience remain closed. There are good reasons for this. It is possible to bypass these requirements however. There are many who promise high level experiences for the unwary. A good way to identify these folks is that they will want money for their services. Avoid these people. That is one way to bypass the doors. Probably you are aware of the dangers of excessive drink or drugs so I will not mention them here. A third way is that sometimes, for unknown reasons, a person will be born with an ability to exist in both the spirit world and the physical one at the same time. Sometimes they bounce back and forth.

Yes there is a quite viable spiritual universe which both exists independently of and informs (supports) the physical one that we know so well. It is where we came from and where we will return after death. Someday science will discover the truth in this. Someday. We all have the natural ability to interface with this greater existence. Consider the human brain. In addition to what is known to science this organ also provides us access to the spiritual worlds. Think in terms of radio receiving and transmitting. Science has already identified areas in the brain that, when supressed by the use of medicines, stop such things as illusive visions and voices and all that. This is the proper method to close doors which are not supposed to be open in the first place. What is not yet understood yet however, because of prejudices, is that those small parts of the brain have a distince purpose. So what is happening here?

We all have the ability to exist in two worlds. Consider the mind. There are two major components. The lower everyday mind is the product of the brain through genetics and live experiences. The higher mind is quite different. Here is the realm of abstract, intuitive thinking. Here, too, is where the little voice of conscience comes from. This is not of the physical brain. The higher mind exists independently of the body. It is of our soul. The role of the brain is to allow necessary connections between the two. Indeed the major difference between man and lower animals is this one distince ability. So the human being is capable of thinking and visualizing as a result. That is as it should be.

You mention mental illness and ask what a connection might be to esoteric practices. Mental illness (mental disorders) have little effect on the world of spirit. It's the other way 'round. Mental disorders may be simply due to phsical damage or malformation in some part of the brain but If a man should be too aware, too open to spirit experiences he will also often be thought to be mentally ill. Meds might be prescribed. The area of the brain which is acting up will be supressed. Good.

The practice of knowingly, consciously participating in spiritual activities other than those we might find in a worship service in church should necessarily be limited to those who have no inclination towards negative effects. So what of native Americans?

It is common for aboriginal peoples to be engaged in spiritual practices. They often, however, have misconceptions. They have a way of getting things backwards. They might associate spirituality with mental illness but if they do they are forgetting something important. The man or woman who is able in these areas will not have any inclination towards the side effects which we sometimes call mental illnesses. The person who is fully prepared, trained properly, will never get off balance. He/she will never show up in a doctor's office seeking help. This is something to consider.

Seeking knowledge is a good thing. May I ask you to listen to everyone but be very slow to accept what is presented. Many people have a few experiences then sit and write a book as though they are suddenly experts. Learn to make your own judgements and decisions. Be slow to believe what you read. Do not take what I say without subjecting it to reason. Does a thing "ring true"? Then perhaps it is. Do not hesitate to see a doctor if you think you need to. The spiritual and the physical universes do exist. The best thing, most of the time, is for us to stay in the physical one. Be patient. Be wary. Concentrate on living and let the dreaming be of the ordinary kind.
Firstly, I work for a respected law firm and I'm seemingly 'normal' to the world at large. That said, I'm a deep thinker, and a paranoid one at that. Years smoking skunk in my youth did its damage on my grey matter....or did it?

Psychosis of that I'm sure I have, though when I approached a doctor about my paranoia he said the fact I was aware I was paranoid meant I am still rational.

I did an online test, and was somewhat fascinated to learn I'm what you might call border line autistic, though with none of the down side. I like repatition and so you can see why I'm drawn to ritual practices.

For a time I experimented with crystals on chakras, and when you open your crown chakra if you're not 'spiritually prepared' as in hind sight I wasn't, you basically go under, big time!

Kundalini is a very powerful energy, and I'm sure this is what led to my intense deep thinking, but to outsiders they would have noticed I was acting a bit odd, or wired. Was this mental illness? Well, I think it would be diagnosed so, perhaps if someone else was unable to articulate their feelings with the same clarity to a professional.

I do think one does have to almost hypothetically 'crash' out of the dream world the press and media perpetuate. This crash can be intense and mentally very taxing.

When you come through, for me you emerge a more capable spiritual being. As if you were a caterpillar waiting to become a butterfly.

I've always been spiritual but list my way for a number of years, but I truly believe I am on the right path, and despite everything I think I'm normal, its the masses who are 'mad!'

They're spiritually impotent.

Best wishes.

Cyrima Virgillis | soul urge 11 22
I'm schizo-affective

In 1999 I was diagnosed with BiPolar disorder. I suffered from a lot of mania for about 7 years and think it is how you access the sub conscious mind. In face I think the mind or human brain is the tree of life spoken of in the Bible. When outside the skull it looks just like a tree. Notice in the Bible many seek the MIND of Christ. And around his mind is a CROWN OF THORNS. Those thorns look an aweful lot like a freeze frame of the flaming sword spinning everywhich way to guard the way to the tree of life. And Christ says of himself I am the WAY, the truth and the LIFE. Jesus is also said to be the WORD in John 1 and the MIND is the temple of words. So much to say but gotta go. 

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