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Are we possessed?

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Apotheosis

Guest
http://bipolarblast.wordpress.com/2009/10/04/possession/

by Paul Levy

C. G. Jung, the great doctor of the soul and one of the most inspired psychologists of the twentieth century, had incredible insight into what is currently playing out, both individually and collectively, in our modern-day world. He writes, “If, for a moment, we look at mankind as one individual, we see that it is like a man carried away by unconscious powers.” We are a species carried away — “possessed” by — and acting out, the unconscious. Jung elaborates, “Possession, though old-fashioned, has by no means become obsolete; only the name has changed. Formerly they spoke of ‘evil spirits,’ now we call them ‘neurosis’ or ‘unconscious complexes.’” To condescendingly think that we, as modern-day, rational people, are too sophisticated to believe in something as primitive as demons is to have fallen under the spell of the very evil spirits we are imagining are nonexistent. What the ancients call demons are a psychic phenomena which compel us to act out behaviors contrary to our best intentions. To quote Jung, “…the psychic conditions which breed demons are as actively at work as ever. The demons have not really disappeared but have merely taken on another form: they have become unconscious psychic forces.”

“Possession,” according to Jung is “a primordial psychic phenomenon” that “denotes a peculiar state of mind characterized by the fact that certain psychic contents, the so-called complexes, take over the control of the total personality in place of the ego, at least temporarily, to such a degree that the free will of the ego is suspended.” Though the possessed might imagine they have free will, their freedom is an illusion. They are unwittingly being used as an instrument for some “other” energy or force to incarnate and express itself through them. Having complexes is not necessarily pathological, as everyone has them. What is pathological, however, is thinking we don’t have complexes, which is the precondition that makes us most vulnerable to possession. Jung clarifies, “Everyone knows nowadays that people ‘have complexes.’ What is not so well known, though far more important theoretically, is that complexes can have us.” The more complexes we have, the more we are possessed. We don’t need to get rid of our complexes, rather, we need to become consciously aware of them. What is important is what we do with our complexes.

Complexes are the psychic agencies which flavor and determine our psychological view of the world. To quote Jung, “The via regia [royal road] to the unconscious, however, is not the dream…but the complex, which is the author of dreams and of symptoms.” Thematically organized (such as the power-complex, savior-complex, mother-complex, inferiority complex, etc.), the complexes are the vehicles that flesh out the rich repository of contents of the underlying archetypes, giving the formless archetypes a specifically human face. Complexes are the living elemental units of the psyche, acting like the focal or nodal points of psychic life, in which the energy charge of the various archetypes of the collective unconscious are concentrated. An emotionally-charged complex acts like the epicenter of a magnetic field, attracting and potentially assimilating into itself everything that has any resonance, relevance or is related to itself in any way. This inner process can be seen as it en-acts itself in the outer world when we come in contact with someone who has an activated complex and we find ourselves drafted into their process, picking up a role in their psyche. This is an outer reflection of how a complex can attract, co-opt and subsume other parts of the environment, both inner and outer, into itself. Complexes, when split-off from consciousness, can potentially engulf and possess the whole personality.

Read the rest here
 
schiz01

schiz01

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Intersting read ...thanks for posting
I always knew the whole world was mentally ill
 
A

Apotheosis

Guest
Intersting read ...thanks for posting
I always knew the whole world was mentally ill
Glad that you found it interesting; & that you got something from it.

Yes - the World is Insane. Shame that so few see it.
 
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dlzoidberg

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Well, let's face it. Everyone is mad but me! :p
 
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dreambuggieII

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and me - I'm totally f****ed up. although breathing is pretty clever.
 
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mizunderstood

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I have often thought that people with mentall illness such as schizophrenia may be possessed. I suppose there is no way of proving it and its a good way of describing it to I supose because sometimes thats how it feels. Im sure the devil was trying to possess me the other week. Thankfully I faught him off with drugs and just ended up suicidal instead. The son of a bitch....Its all his fault! At least Im back to "Normal" whatever that is! Personally I would hate to be normal. I'll find a balance one day.lol. x
 
guggy

guggy

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I personally think there is a strong link between hallucinations and religion, to the point that what today is considered a problem might have been revered a long time ago, when people formed tribes, and someone with psychotic symptoms might have been considered as someone in touch with the spirits.
 
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IntrospectionFtw!

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id stay away from jung if your mentally ill during my last episode i managed to stumble accross his boarderline complex theory and i somehow managed to convince myself that word for word that was what i was going through.

as for demons intresting theory bit too spaced out on meds to understand it fully
everytime i have a episode i always get extremely religious, which people would prolly see as a mark of insanity buts its actually in a weird way a very sane reaction to what your going through i think anyway...
 
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rasselas

Guest
intriguing

I've encountered these theories before, yet it's refreshing and rewarding to return to them with an older mind, and I thank you for that apotheosis.

Someone said that this revealed that we are all insane (it's a mad, mad, mad, mad world...) I think that notion, while for some peculiar reason satisfying, almost a desired conclusion, it nevertheless diverts from the crux, as I see it.

Let me be so bold as to suggest that it isn't the case that we are all insane, including those that are branded through the cruel twists of fate, as 'officially' insane.

No, no - quite the contrary. It's because we are 'incomplete'. And by that I mean everyone. Including the deadand the unborn. We all have this imaginary and unspoken or even unacknowledged faith in the fact that the human race is complete and that it is only a matter of degrees - that is, some are more complete than others. When I say 'complete' I don't mean in the sense of we aren't changing psychologically physically etc on a personal level. Or even that our social and political structures are somehow in stasis. Obviously all these things are in flux, always will be, always have been.

Instead I mean it in a very, how should I put it, in a very Christian or even Abrahamic or even a Platonic sense of the human as an absolute form of creation, as some unceasing constant within universal truth.

Of course, once you see it written down you know immediately (at least I hope you do!) that that is poppycock. Humans are not complete. That's an illusion. In fact, none of so-called God's work is complete....

However, we live by that imaginary belief, and it it through that virtual reality that we negotiate real reality. And this is how we determine who is sane, who is not sane; what is a sane reaction, what is not a sane reaction; what is a sane experience, what is not; what is a sane thought or sensory experience, what is not.... because the terms of external reference may change (social structure, paradigms, theories etc) but THE constant is this assumption that somehow, throughout all time, all human-time, the human is complete, especially since the industrial revolution!

The supernatural is as Jung elucidates so well, culturally determined. But it does not go away. It did not cease influencing or impacting on human beings in the Age of Reason and into our current Age of Cynicism. And while it will manifest at one time and in one culture as a incarnate devil, or a spirit, and in another as a neuroses or psychoses, that is only a change in cultural determinism - it isn't a change in the actual thing unto itself.

So, it begs the question, what is this thing that works through us, with it's presence, it's non-presence, with it's tricks and twists? What is this force that is changing, subtly, sometimes brutally, the very nature, the very being of the 'human' and which is yet denied by the human, either outright denial ("we live by emprical truth") or metaphorical denial ("it is Satan")?

I can only offer one answer which may be unsatisyfing or seem like a cop out to some:

it's the thing-in-itself, within which we are not autonomous, within which there is no separation, there is no distinctiveness - it is the entirety of the universe - it is everything, the ever-changingness if you like, and we are within it, we are IT!

:confused:
 
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Apotheosis

Guest
it's the thing-in-itself, within which we are not autonomous, within which there is no separation, there is no distinctiveness - it is the entirety of the universe - it is everything, the ever-changingness if you like, and we are within it, we are IT!

:confused:
Thanks for you thoughts. I like to term 'it' the human condition.

Are you familiar with the ghost in the Machine?

There are some interesting ideas there -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFIRNrfxqAY
 
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rasselas

Guest
aha!

I have this dreadful gnostic undertone at times to my theorising, coupled with the standard existential sadness and terror that inevitably arises when you pull back the scab of accepted reality, even just a little.

I read koestler's famous work when I was a teenager, I don't remember much now, and should re-read, but I suppose everything rubs off on you in some way or other.

Yes, I agree, dualism is largely pap and Descrates, we should never forget, was really reconciling faith with reason. I suppose that's why these days his logic seems so, well, illogical and self-referential, like a snake consuming its own tail.

This notion of illness though - I have a problem with it, not because I find it impossible to accept what's in front of my eye - I, me, you, everyone, are ultimately a glorious, cahotic mess of a species accelerating to self-destruction - it's that as well as a gnostic, and an existentialist... I'm a socialist. So I can't accept that the huan drive to self-destruction is some kind of primitive drive of violence - it's globalisation. To me it's way too pessimistic to think that human beings cannot adapt to an different system of economic and social structure that is by necessity far more equable and longtermist than the current (in many ways childish) free market greed-fest.

The judeo-christian-muslim triad have us believing that we were all born into sin! What folly! But, it cannot be ignored. And again, we are not born into sin, nor are we born with a notion of our sinfulness or the primacy of these old, old ideas - they are given to us. They do not stem from a primitive brain.

So, again, I do not accept that the current chaos is wholly or largely explainable through animal or primitive drives out of control.

What is a healthy disease-free person, from a psychological point of view?

I go back again to my previous dirge (which I accept wasn't explained too well)...


first off, we are the thing we like to think we are in - it is only within thye confines of our constructed reality (or human condition) that it appears that we are distinct, autonomous, and only connect with our environment through the in/out of our senses. We put stuff in, we plop and swish and belch it back out. This next bit you know already but I'll state it for the benefit maybe of others...

human reality is not THE reality, it is not real reality. It is a constructed, pseudo-reality. So when we think, say, of this perfect wonderful completely healthy human being (psychologically etc) what are we thinking of, to which person are we referring.

Well, since no such human can does or possibly can ever exist we must use our imaginations, we must become creative.

so christians have jesus-god

buddhists have siddharta gautama

zoarastrians have zarathustra etc etc

all basically mythologised/imaginary super beings of perfection

they don't exist but we measure ourselves against them

throughout time people have waged (usually a holy) war against the 'sickness' of the human. always they are measuring against an imaginary ideal. these are indeed potentially apocalyptic times. and so we say how sick and ill we are. a quick glance at history like i say and you soon see it has never been much different. maybe it is different now in the sense that we can instinctively feel, we can anticipate, that the time of peace is ending, that a time of chaos is approaching, that great swathes of humans will be culled.

but, i also try not to be anthropic in my musing... humans, despite our relative sophistication, are subject to the same natural environment as all other creatures on this planet... and when any creature rises above a sustainable level of success... what happens?
 
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rasselas

Guest
addendum

so to return to your original question:

yes and no!
 
A

Apotheosis

Guest
I have this dreadful gnostic undertone at times to my theorising, coupled with the standard existential sadness and terror that inevitably arises when you pull back the scab of accepted reality, even just a little.
I see that you have also turned your brains inside out, as I have, trying to decipher what everything could be about.

An interesting post. I assume that you are familiar with the Zeitgeist's? -

http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/

I would also tend to agree with you about the evils of man not necessarily being intrinsic to our human condition. I think it far too simplistic to put everything down to a faulty nature, or to say that we are all insane & disordered; although from one perspective of course everyone is to some degree.

When we look at things from a far more holistic perspective - & as things being as a whole; & not separate at all. When we see that we are intimately connected to & with environment, social systems, inter-personal relationships, experience, other aspects of being & reality ect ect ect. Then a far different picture emerges - as you know.
We have the natural world, from which we are born & evolved, as well as the 'man made' world; that has been created from the human mind, as well as I would say 'the Spirit World'. There is a synergy & an interplay between all 3 - just as on a personal level, we could loosely see things in terms of the physical, mental (psychological), & the Spiritual.

I do think that the human condition - the physical aspect, our biological state - the operatus mandi of the physical brain - is one which is hard-wired to operate on Fear, & as a reaction; anger, largely due to the way we have evolved. In this regard I agree with Arthur Koestler to a degree. The angle I have to it, is that we have souls, or a spirit - that depending on age, experience, & advancement, is able to overcome to a certain degree the basic programming & hardware of the human brain it is melded to. 'We' can react differently. There is a solution in this regard. I know this idea is far too much for most people.

Going back to environment - in a very general way. Then of course a drastic & fundamental change in environmental, political, socio-economic, technological, political, & other factors - has a massive impact on the way that individuals behave. Imagine a World that has solved the problems of food production, energy, & basic living condition needs - so no one needs to work, all are fed, & there is an abundance for everyone - through technological/automated means. Imagine a World that didn't need, & had no monetary system of any kind, that had no centralised forms of government, imagine no religions, no borders, & a system of society that was based entirely on proper education, genuine self development, proper & sustainable resource management, with environmental harmony & balance. & a true Freedom, as much as it is possible to be.

Is such a society possible? I always hear people respond to this with bleating about human nature - but as you say - human nature is not the real problem here. Not as far as I can see anyway. Without getting into the real reasons as to why I think that the Earth is like the way that it is (as we would be getting into talk on Aliens, esoteric'ism & the metaphysical); it would appear, I would think, that eventually we will have such a society as I described above. Most likely in a couple of thousand years; & probably not as a technologically advanced one; but as something like as we started off; but without the violence & struggle - a spiritually aware species.

Thoughts & comments welcome.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GAHFrLAxzM
 
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