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Maybe I should add that my experience with mental illness is not just purely theoretical. I've observed and researched this stuff a lot over many years.

I have a younger brother with whom I was very close who became a paranoid schizophrenic at the typical age of 20 +/-. Prior to the onset of illness he was one of the most stellar individuals I have ever know. Highly intelligent and very quick minded and very social. He'd always say the thing that summed up a situation on many levels and it always had a humorous spin. He was a fantastic guitar player, able to instantly play any style of music and with a flourish that just made people smile and chuckle in amazement. And he was very athletic. He looked like a Greek god. He was a super nice guy in a very cool way. Anyone who met him just immediately liked him.

When the illness struck, it took all that away. His main thing is that he is persecuted by "witches" and "demons". He hears voices and has confused thinking. The illness hit him many years ago (around 1988-89) and at first he did not want to take his med.s because he felt they robbed him of his "powers". As his court appointed guardian I struggled for years to keep him safe. As he suffered over the years he decided that taking the meds was the better option. For the last 15 years he has been living independently and has not been in the hospital, though we have safety nets set up just in case. He is still mentally ill, of course, but it's under control; which is the best one can hope for in these situations.

When the illness first struck, he demonstrated definite frequent and impressive psi ability (his "powers"), but this was also amidst a nasty stew of psychic junk and delusions. In his case, I'd say the tuner receiver model absolutely applies.

My son has combat related PTSD and IMO this is strictly as the medical model says it is.

My thoughts.. Not sure that I see the mind as a filter as such, in that I think science has come a way's and we now understand a lot more about how the brain functions. For example, I read a book on neural systems recently in which scanning showed how infiltration of nerves in the brain from say a visual area to do with color to that of numbers, indicated why people had that form of synesthesia.

So yea any dysfunction with the outlay of nerves, hormone's, neurotransmitters, genetic's, epi-gentic tabbing by the environment., etc all play their part.

I also like how "Seth" suggests that nerve transmission enters the universe, rather than remain contained in our bodies. So we are individual's who form our conscious universe and are influence bu it. Therefore even though we seem succinct, we area substrate of the universe and our atoms interact with our quantum universe. Which is perhaps how ESP, Near death experiences etc are explained.

Schizophrenia is a form of psychosis in which a person has loss of contact with reality. Like any mental illness, their are different types and degrees of affliction. So some people may have a few troubling voices, and other's with the full extent of psychosis and delusions and hallucinations. Medication is certainly important here in controlling psychosis, as those for example with paranoid schizophrenia are a danger to themselves and others. Major tranquillizers are standardly used and unfortunately are highly sedative, and also have a number of side affects. Which is why many who are afflicted tend to opt out of taking them.

Epi-genetic's is coming to the fore now and so many psychotropic drugs will be able to be tailored to a persons genes. So hopefully side effects, constant changes in med's to be effective etc will be prevented.

There is no definitive cause ascertained as yet for schizophrenia and it appears as many mental disorders, a number of factors may play a part. Schizophrenia has long been know to occur in families, dopamine may also play a part too - long-term marijuana users supress the brains dopamine, and so they tend to suffer from depression and some also paranoia resembling schizophrenia - Amanda Bynes? During World War Two a small of pocket of Dutch women were also isolated and became extremely malnourished during their pregnancies. And later showed a high incidence of schizophrenia in their offspring - so low nutrition may have led to altered brain structure and function?

I do feel there may be some cases where the voices heard are spirits, and so those who don't tolerate a belief or understanding of an afterlife may see themselves as mentally ill.

So any of the above, one size never fits all or has the complete answer. Lyn.

Philip K. Dick is a clear example of how in the midst of a psychosis can infiltrate psychic experiences:

Thank you for that description 'No One'. It has made me realise that my bout of clinical depression was more akin to PTSD. While I didn't opt for formal counselling, I did, intuitively, use the healing mechanism you describe.

Excellent comments, no one!

With regard to obsessive thinking patterns, I'm reminded of an analogy used by Bernardo Kastrup in his book "Why Materialism Is Boloney" (yes, that really is the title). He visualizes the mind as a whirlpool in a stream – a knot of energy that is part of a broader current but distinguishable from it. At certain times, a person's thoughts get caught in an especially tight, closed loop, like a dog chasing its own tail. This repetitive circling pattern continues until the person finds a way to break free. Such tight loops might correspond to a particularly strong whirlpool action.

Of course, Kastrup is not saying that *all* of our thoughts are obsessive. In most cases the thoughts circling at the center of the whirlpool are simply the ones that occupy our conscious attention, while other thoughts circling in the periphery are in what we call our" unconscious."

It's an interesting model, and he develops it at length. I'm not sure there's any way to combine it with the filter/tuner model, which I still prefer, at least for now. But Kastrup's approach, which is rooted in philosophical idealism, did make me think.

Any thoughts on this, Michael:

Ps. Hope the link works!

Michael said, “I'm not sure there's any way to combine it with the filter/tuner model”

In Bernardo’s latest blog post he discusses this. The essay finishes with:

“You might now ask: why do I like the 'receiver' or 'filter' metaphor at all, if I am not a dualist? Because it has much intuitive explanatory power, is closer to reality than materialism, and because it is indeed a proper metaphor for my position: if the brain is a kind of 'whirlpool' of mind, a whirlpool does 'filter out' of itself the water molecules that do not fall within its vortex. A process of mental localisation is, in a way, a process of mental 'tuning.' Dualism may ultimately be wrong, but it surely is a more apt metaphor for the true nature of reality than materialism.”

Interesting, Barbara ... Thanks for the link.

Mysticism has nothing to do with mental illness and mental illness has nothing to do with mysticism.

Of course the world is full of those calling themselves mystics but in almost every instance this is not due to mental illness but ego driven status centered behavior.

An operational definition of a true mystic, which is rare, extremely rare, sees the oneness of all that is.

But due to human ignorance a true mystic will be denounced by most as having a mental illness.

Like mediums there are a lot of wanna be mystics.

A little off subject here, found when perusing the net lately and wondered if anyone might be interested.A site to do with lucid dreaming.

That parallel universes suggested by "Seth' some 30 years ago and "Quantum Physics" today, may be closer than we think. Perhaps in altered states of awareness, schizophrenia and lucid dreaming. (Fred Alan Wolf, Ph. D.,
Parallel Universes).

I found some of the dreams of those interviewed quite fascinating and their experiences not only spilled over into real life and taught them ways to overcome problems( something "Seth" suggests is a good thing, including that dreams are more "real" than real life), but also offered perhaps some insight into how the universe was formed.

E.g. This one - Interview with Vlad Ladgman.

Strangely I had an epiphany of sorts when reading it. When he mentions flying, for the first time ever I have memory of doing so in my dreams, and that I do it frequently. I recall I just have to get myself into a sort of state of mind, and then push myself up. Sometimes I go really high in the atmosphere, till I get scared the phenomena will wear off and so i come back down. Weird! Was I meant to suddenly have recall and realize that?

Anyway, just thought people might be interested, I found it quite intriguing. Lyn x.

||An operational definition of a true mystic, which is rare, extremely rare, sees the oneness of all that is.|| -William
I don't think that mystic experiences are really all that rare. What is rare is for someone to be able to have the experience at will or daily. Many people have had an experience of the veil lifting in their lives, but had no control over it. Also, I must say that these kind of experiences can happen with or without psychedelics or meditative practice. Many times it occurs to people when they are a child.

Here's a recent interview with author Peter Russell on how science ignores consciousness, or as he puts it..

"It was really like how had consciousness come into existence in the universe? Why is it just a load of atoms evolving, molecules, you could even predict life – by why should life be conscious? Why was there consciousness in the universe in the first place? That was a question that really got me. The old sort of mind/brain problem. Why does the brain have a mind?"

"For me, it’s that consciousness is not something that’s created by the brain. Clearly the brain creates what we experience. If I am seeing a tree, it’s creating the experience of seeing a tree. If I’m falling in love that corresponds to brain activity. But the actual capacity to be aware I don’t think is created by the brain. I think that is actually a universal characteristic of the whole cosmos. And what has happened with human beings is we have evolved to a state where we are conscious that we are conscious. We are self-aware, but I don’t think awareness comes out of matter. I could almost argue the other way around, that our experience with matter comes out of awareness. And that to me is a complete reversal of the current paradigm. And it’s a hard thing to get across to people, because as you intimate we hold on to our belief systems probably more doggedly than we hold on to anything else. We will change jobs, we will change houses, we will change partners, and we will even change gender these days but changing our fundamental belief system is difficult for those with a religious belief system or a scientific belief system. I think it was – wasn’t Niels Bohr who said, ‘Science changes not because scientists change their mind, but the old ones die out.’

Yea, I think I'm coming to that, i.e. consciousness makes matter. The dream or illusion as "Seth" says, and that the universe is all consciousness. I think he may have got a lot right. Lyn x.

Sorry, meant to add Petra Russell's interview can be viewed on Skeptiko and was posted on May 20th 2014.

Lyn x.

Opps that's Peter Russell who is a physicist by the way. His lecture on Consciousness which he mentions in the interview, is on the internet here..

Lyn x.

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