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What is Madness?

A

Apotheosis

Guest
- It's the Question that We should All be Asking.

The question of 'What is madness?' - Spiritual Emergence & Spiritual Emergency - is a very interesting one.

A very good Blog on the subject -

http://spiritualemergency.blogspot.com/

The Stormy Search for the Self -

http://www.creativespirit.net/learners/counseling/docu35.htm

Spiritual Crisis Network -

http://www.spiritualcrisisnetwork.org.uk/

David Lukoff -

http://www.spiritualcompetency.com/jhpseart.html

That is a very small selection of some of the ideas & Links to information on this subject. It's a subject that I've looked into in considerable depth.

The 'modern' tradition of such ideas I would think could start with Carl Jung.

John Weir Perry has written some very interesting books on the subject as well -

http://www.global-vision.org/papers/JWP.pdf

How do we approach these things rationally?

I would think that things need to be separated out - How much of an experience is Biological/physiological? - How much is emotional/psychological? - How much is trans-personal/Spiritual? - How much is pathological? How much is meaningful & could be considered as spiritual awakening?

I don't think that the answers to such questions are clear cut. A number of practitioners in the MH field have assumed that pure madness simply does not exist -

Carl Jung - Madness as the overwhelming of the conscious mind by the content of the unconscious - 'Ego Death'. Healing Crisis.

John Weir Perry - Psychosis as Natural Healing Mechanism.

R.D. Laing - Psychosis & madness as the only sane reaction to an insane World; & a natural process that needs to be supported & worked through. The 'Mad' are Super Sane.

Thomas Szasz - 'Mental Illness' is a Myth & does not exist.

Wikipedia has an interesting entry on the subject as well -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-psychiatry

What conclusions can we reach?

On balance - that each experience & individual is unique. That any condition that involves altered states has multiple & complex causality factors & highly complex aetiology. That people are complex & individual beings; with many aspect to who they are. Someone labelled with a 'severe mental illness' - also has a spiritual, emotional, & inner life that is separate & different to 'madness' - their condition simply being but one part of who they are - & Not what defines them (however severe the condition). No one is wholly mad or wholly sane - we all exist on a spectrum of the two.

Maybe it just doesn't help to label or to define such experiences? maybe such things are best left undefined; & people & 'things' are allowed to just 'be'.

I am of the strong opinion that there is something very profound & meaningful in the experiences that are commonly labelled as 'madness'; & considered by many to be mere nonsense. Ironically & sadly - it usually isn't until someone experiences such states that they have much of an idea of what they are like. It may of course turn out that such experiences are just madness? But I would expect that the truth of it is more colourful & not quite as simple as that.
 
S

Seeker

Guest
Apothesis,
Hello and thanks for your post. I was listening to some video the other day, stated that religion is an attempt to comfort humanity and to give them hope that truth and justice will triumph in the end. Gosh, I hope that we're not all being played, here. The book of revelations, you're given a choice to take the mark or to die, which will leave only them. Head on (apocalypse). Isn't it strange how all of the middle east are determined to set things in motion? World War III as their messiah's "red carpet".
Anyways, the links you posted sound interesting; and I may look into it. I've always had a problem with reading other's work, being that I always see them as tainted, possessed, and/or inflamed with idols, speaking lies, deceit, grand illusions, distraction. I see this in everything I read.
I ran across this Jewish Video Yesterday which might interest you. She does come across with some good info/topics, but she's "inflamed with idols", religious demons (much misconception/deceit). How do you deal with all of that? Ever see it in immediate family? I do; all the time; and I've come to the conclusion to just keep my mouth shut, play dead. Only problem there, is that silence only stirs them worst (predators, tyranny).
Anyone else out there who sees things somewhat similar? Extremely rare, for sure.
Regards,
Seeker

Video TITLE: "GET REAL"


Video 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBjrxiw_egM
Video 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBA9cYmg8hY
 
A

Apotheosis

Guest
anthonynelson said:
The madness websites were quite well written and very informative. But spirituality is a very boring issue to get into!!
I would have thought that it was subjective & dependant on what you get from it? I find most of what the majority of the hairless talking apes are doing on this planet; & most of popular 'culture' to be incredibly boring!!! Most people don't want to do the work that such approaches entail - hence the fact that such approaches are not mainstream & that they exist & always have existed as esoteric & occult subjects.

Esoteric = For the Few.

Occult = Hidden.
 
T

tral sans

Guest
Some good links there although there was so much in them I have only just started looking. Madness to me is just a word. Its a label. Some people use it against things they don't understand in others. Some people use it against things they don't understand in themselves. It is not a bad word. 'You are Mad' or 'I am mad' expresses not understanding behaviour that does not follow what you would expect to be happening at that place and time in others or yourself. It is out of normal. But not bad. Different. Strange. Following associations other people would not follow. We are all prisoners of our own minds but our minds can be straight prisons or strange prisons.
 
A

Apotheosis

Guest
Madness to me is just a word. Its a label. Some people use it against things they don't understand in others. Some people use it against things they don't understand in themselves. It is not a bad word. 'You are Mad' or 'I am mad' expresses not understanding behaviour that does not follow what you would expect to be happening at that place and time in others or yourself. It is out of normal. But not bad. Different. Strange. Following associations other people would not follow. We are all prisoners of our own minds but our minds can be straight prisons or strange prisons.
Yes - all very true.
 
M

maximent

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2010
Messages
56
To me madness is difficult to define. I would define it as not being adaptive, not having good coping skills in life, a persistent state of unhappiness/mental ease, and not having a good appraisal of reality.

I've never thought that non-conformity is a symptom of mental illness. This is my mind depends on the level of non-conformity. Somebody wearing different clothing to me is no big thing, but being naked in public perhaps. A person could be highly conformist, but still be depressed, self-harm or be addicted to drugs.
 
A

Apotheosis

Guest
I've never thought that non-conformity is a symptom of mental illness.
It wasn't that long ago that single unwed mothers were sent to spend their remaining lifetimes in Asylums. There are many other examples too.
 
M

maximent

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2010
Messages
56
but single-motherhood is common now, so not really non-conformity as such. I think many mental health issues are simply the beliefs of psychiatrists or the society of the patient. It's not researched or studied really.
 
A

Apotheosis

Guest
I think many mental health issues are simply the beliefs of psychiatrists or the society of the patient. It's not researched or studied really.
It is & has been researched & studied - it's just that these things/aspects of MH are denied & ignored over the paradigm of the Bio-Medical Model.
 
M

maximent

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2010
Messages
56
I disagree, it's just belief.
 
A

Apotheosis

Guest
I disagree, it's just belief.
I don't understand what you mean? Upbringing, stress & trauma, inter-personal relationships, psychological & emotional pain, social & economic issues & circumstances is belief?

Could you explain further please? What is just belief?
 
M

maximent

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2010
Messages
56
Yes, it's all belief.
 
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