Are Spiritual Awakenings Actually Psychotic Episode's? - Page 3

Are Spiritual Awakenings Actually Psychotic Episode's?

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This is a discussion on Are Spiritual Awakenings Actually Psychotic Episode's? within the General Psychology forums, part of the Topics of Interest category; Originally Posted by Convex Sure Okay, so the part about the illusory self I understand more. For me, when I ...

  1. #21

    Quote Originally Posted by Convex View Post
    Okay, so the part about the illusory self I understand more. For me, when I had a mystical experience it was more of a feeling. At the time that I had my experience, I was 8 years old, I had bad adhd and wasn't very introspective. Therefore I didn't think deeply about it. It was more of a feeling. When I was in my twenties is when I started interpreting, learning about my experience, and developing theories. I did this through learning in college, thinking, and reading. One book I recommend you read to learn about mystical experiences is Aldus Huxley's "The Doors of Perception", even though it is a mystical experience caused by a drug so it might be different from non drug induced mystical experiences. That's when I developed a reasoning for my experience I had as a child.

    This is my interpretation, roughly. The illusory self is a recognition that the self is a construct. When people are born up until the start learning things, they have no concept of the self. They just exist, eat, sleep, and perceive what little they can. Once they start to recognize that they are a separate thing, perhaps through a combination hearing their name called, reacting to other people, interacting with their environment, etc.. they develop a self. This self is a sense of separateness. Once the self develops, then one can learn about myself through interaction with their environment. They can learn if they are good or bad, sleepy or active, etc. based on feedback from parents.

    An awakening, shows one that this concept of the self, this separateness is an illusion. The self is just a "thing" used to make sense of the world and one self, but the real truth is the way things were at the beginning, before the self was formed, and before one started to make sense of the world and gave it meaning with language. I forgot to mention this in my two responses to your post, in addition to the illusory self and in my tentative interpretation, knowledge is also illusory. This is because the true nature of reality is just perceptions without meaning. In order to make sense of the world people give meaning to the meaningless. Before this happens, the way we see the world as just a mess of perceptions, is the ultimate reality. So in some interpretations, an awakening through a mystical experiences might support nihilism, if one were to ignore their feelings.

    As for the connectedness part, that is something that I know less about. It kind of is just a feeling and realization that one gets when they have a spiritual awakening, perhaps by seeing all forms of life is similar, seeing them all as forms of consciousness, and then generalizing this to everything, even plants and rocks. Or maybe because all things are just perceptions, so they are all seen as the same, and this sameness is equated with the self. So one sees the self as similar to ones outside world of perceptions, consciousnesses, or whatever you want to call it, and then concludes that everything is connected, that life is about sameness and differentness is illusory; this relates to what I said above about the ultimate reality is the way we see things before we developed a self and language to make sense of our world. I guess by recognizing that everything and everyone is the same, and that the self is illusory, one is lead to have empathy and compassion for others because we are all consciousness, all equal, and if you don't perceive one as having a self the one would start to become selfless and care about others.

  2. #22


    Also, the part of my explanation of mystical experiences where I mention that the mystical experience might support in some interpretations nihilism, is part of the reason why I believe in nihilism and also believe in morality. We were discussing that in the thread about how to be a happy nihilist. It's like your mind(thinking function)thinks and says that it's all subjective and meaningless, but your heart(feeling function) feels and says that there is morality. I combined them so I believe in nihilism, but I also believe in morality. I might even be convinced that morality is objective.

  3. #23

    This topic cannot go anywhere if the psychotics are allowed to answer.
    Eren Jaegerbomb and Forest Nymph thanked this post.

  4. #24

    So, are all paranormal experiences mystical?

    What makes an experience mystical? I wouldn't equate any of my paranormal experiences to enlightenment, just experiences I can't explain with current physics/biology knowledge.
    Whippit and Eren Jaegerbomb thanked this post.

  5. #25

    Schizophrenic voices differ depending on culture and can even give positive voices in some:
    So, in tribal culture ,especially, one may have some sort of spiritual experience from the psychosis itself though this would be unlikely in the West. There's another concept in psychology known which is commonly referred to as "ah ha moment" whereby one comes to a sudden realization. Such moments are believed to occurred due to new connections being made among multiple neurons in a quick manner so as to allow for a point of view to be taken by the brain. Spiritual awakenings may, then, also be caused by an extreme ah ha moment where was entire view of the world is momentarily shifted.
    Mary Christmas and Forest Nymph thanked this post.

  6. #26

    Quote Originally Posted by Aridela View Post
    What makes an experience mystical?
    There's actually a 30 item revised "Mystical Experience Questionnaire" (MEQ30), though it was originally developed to evaluate the effects of psilocybin (this is from the Johns Hopkins study).

    Here's the revised version:

    The Revised Mystical Experience Questionnaire (MEQ30)

    Instructions: Looking back on the entirety of your session, please rate the degree
    to which at any time during that session you experienced the following
    phenomena. Answer each question according to your feelings, thoughts, and
    experiences at the time of the session. In making each of your ratings, use the
    following scale:

    0 – none; not at all
    1 – so slight cannot decide
    2 – slight
    3 – moderate
    4 – strong (equivalent in degree to any other strong experience)
    5 – extreme (more than any other time in my life and stronger than 4)

    ______ 1. Loss of your usual sense of time.
    ______ 2. Experience of amazement.
    ______ 3. Sense that the experience cannot be described adequately in words.
    ______ 4. Gain of insightful knowledge experienced at an intuitive level.
    ______ 5. Feeling that you experienced eternity or infinity.
    ______ 6. Experience of oneness or unity with objects and/or persons perceived
    in your surroundings.
    ______ 7. Loss of your usual sense of space.
    ______ 8. Feelings of tenderness and gentleness.
    ______ 9. Certainty of encounter with ultimate reality (in the sense of being able
    to “know” and “see” what is really real at some point during your
    ______ 10. Feeling that you could not do justice to your experience by describing
    it in words.
    ______ 11. Loss of usual awareness of where you were.
    ______ 12. Feelings of peace and tranquility.
    ______ 13. Sense of being “outside of” time, beyond past and future.
    ______ 14. Freedom from the limitations of your personal self and feeling a unity
    or bond with what was felt to be greater than your personal self.
    ______ 15. Sense of being at a spiritual height.
    ______ 16. Experience of pure being and pure awareness (beyond the world of
    sense impressions).
    ______ 17. Experience of ecstasy.
    ______ 18. Experience of the insight that “all is One”.
    ______ 19. Being in a realm with no space boundaries.
    ______ 20. Experience of oneness in relation to an “inner world” within.
    ______ 21. Sense of reverence.
    ______ 22. Experience of timelessness.
    ______ 23. You are convinced now, as you look back on your experience, that in
    it you encountered ultimate reality (i.e., that you “knew” and “saw”
    what was really real).
    ______ 24. Feeling that you experienced something profoundly sacred and holy.
    ______ 25. Awareness of the life or living presence in all things.
    ______ 26. Experience of the fusion of your personal self into a larger whole.
    ______ 27. Sense of awe or awesomeness.
    ______ 28. Experience of unity with ultimate reality.
    ______ 29. Feeling that it would be difficult to communicate your own experience
    to others who have not had similar experiences.
    ______ 30. Feelings of joy.

    Scoring Instructions for the MEQ30

    Factor scores are computed by calculating the average response to the following items:

    - Mystical: 4, 5, 6, 9, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28

    - Positive mood: 2, 8, 12, 17, 27, 30

    - Transcendence of time and space: 1, 7, 11, 13, 19, 22

    - Ineffability: 3, 10, 29

    The MEQ30-total score is computed by taking the average response to all items.
    Last edited by Asd456; 06-22-2019 at 12:36 PM.
    Mary Christmas and Aridela thanked this post.

  7. #27

    Quote Originally Posted by IDontThinkSo View Post
    This topic cannot go anywhere if the psychotics are allowed to answer.
    I disagree
    Information can be gleaned from what people say, who says it, why they say it and also how they say it.
    Also from what people don't say, too.
    I'm interested in all perspectives.
    Veggie, Paulie, Kazuma Ikezawa and 1 others thanked this post.

  8. #28

    Love is all that exists. We are all connected to it because we are it. Within that frame, which is objective and has many rules, we and other parts and pieces of it, play out what we refer to as reality. When I say play, that play is only identified by one thing, ... free will. It is free will, the burden of choice, that defines all of reality. There is literally nothing else.

    But intrinsic to reality (not as design but as perfect pattern, the only one that can be), is this eternal connection. You cannot be made to unbelong. You belong. Consciousness being all there is at some point, love, connects everything.


    Desire amid love is the emotion that allows us to imagine. What are imaginations? Are there real? Are they reality? It seems to be part of the objective rules that they are not. But when we say that they are not, what we really mean is that they are not tangible, that they have no presence. This means they are not in and of themselves inflicted with the burden of choice. Unicorns are figments of our imaginations, and they can only ever form intents we give them. The intent belongs to us.

    That which is real though. I think unicorns are real. I know they are. Because imaginations are real. But imaginations are just OUR intents.

    So there is confusing terminology. They are real. But they have no tangible presence as entities that suffer the burden of choice.


    Spiritual awakenings are mostly a change in the desire of the person having them. This new desire, often involves a new dedication to form better intents. It cannot escape either a relationship to fear, that is ... awareness. Awakenings imply awareness (that is new). My favorite simple analogy for this effect is tuning a radio in to a station's signal. The awakening is BOTH a desire to tune the dial properly and the recognition finally of a signal that was THERE ALL ALONG.

    Love is a law of the universe. It may seem that we invent some new understanding. But we do not. At best we discover it, we finally glean some further understanding of it. This is the process of earning wisdom. There is nothing else that can ever be earned, despite our incorrect usage of that word. If you earn something you merit it. It cannot be taken from you. Just like you cannot be made to unbelong, you cannot lose your wisdom. Once you are aware of a moral, it is impossible to go back. Even if you deny truth, you suffer, because you know it is truth. That is to say, you wish to deny that it is true, perversely. Facing morality and meaning is quite hard sometimes.

    Spiritual awakenings would most often be characterized as involving new wisdom. Still, there are cheap versions of this as with other things. Anything that supplants love itself as the ultimate meaning, window-dressing of any kind, masks like religious dogma, drugs as a gateway rather than experience, ... are crutches. As such they cheapen the earning of wisdom.
    Eren Jaegerbomb and IOI thanked this post.

  9. #29

    I'm pretty sure I had a psychotic break a while ago. I came out of it staring at the wall, chewing on my cheeks, asking what happened. My face was swollen for about a week afterwards, so I must have been doing it for a while. I vaguely remember feeling like I was underwater. I was an insomniac at the time and I was fasting a lot, but I wasn't on any substances ...well, other than drinking a lot of red wine during that period. I had a really bizarre hallucination beforehand and saw some things associated with something that happened a couple years later, coming through the television. It hadn't happened prior and it hasn't happened since though. I have lucid dreaming experiences just about every night, and I've had strange things happen in that twilight stage before and after - sleep paralysis, seeing shadows, feeling things in my bed that aren't there - but this was different than any of that. I was awake and conscious. It was different than experiences I've had high too.

    It really shook up what I perceived to be reality. I dealt with some paranoid thoughts, like wondering if I'd secretly died that night, and had somehow been transported to another dimension or afterlife - but I recognized it as disordered thinking, and so also worried that I was becoming a schizophrenic. I was at the age that it develops in women on average. I was deemed fine in a psych evaluation though - it was likely brought on by my (lack of) diet and the insomnia. They pretty much just gave me drugs for anxiety and to help me sleep. I didn't take them for long, I wanted to get a hold on my thoughts through more of an immersion therapy. I just let myself go to some very strange and solipsistic places in my mind, and got more controlled at the navigation.

    I'd always had an active imagination, but things... idk, they left the realm of the theoretical. Something seemingly impossible had happened - whether it could be given a medical label or not - so who knows what's going on. It was kind of like I was always in that heightened place that you go to after watching a horror movie or something. You know that a serial killer probably isn't waiting for you behind the shower curtain but it really *feels* like he could be. It wasn't all bad or scary though, I really felt the ability to believe good things too. So life basically began to feel like a smorgasbord of beliefs, and I do have the option to just... pick. And do I want to believe in what's more likely to keep me connected to love and other people or not? But, yea. It did feel like a sort of enlightenment to fully feel the freedom to choose that. "Crazy" is on the table. There might be consequences for taking it, but it's there, and I don't have to be afraid of it either. So is the ability to think whatever I please. And maybe there's nothing enlightened about that to some people, but to me it felt like liberation. I've always wanted to have a firm grasp on objective reality. Life became less like a mystery to solve, and more like a playground to explore.

    A spiritual awakening to me seems like anything that would open the world to you. Before there were certain doors in my mind with signs like - "Crazy town: keep out" lol, or that were locked, but now the lights are on and the doors are open. Is that enlightenment, or is enlightenment actually some definitive spiritual experience achieved in a particular way? And if it is, is a literal break from our physical reality even some sort of requirement in getting there?

    Anyway, I don't think it's the break that would define a spiritual awakening, even if one were present, but rather it's impact on you.
    mimesis, series0 and AnneM thanked this post.

  10. #30

    Quote Originally Posted by Kazuma Ikezawa View Post
    We were discussing that in the thread about how to be a happy nihilist. It's like your mind(thinking function)thinks and says that it's all subjective and meaningless, but your heart(feeling function) feels and says that there is morality. I combined them so I believe in nihilism, but I also believe in morality. I might even be convinced that morality is objective.
    I've come to something similar, in that meaning originates in the heart. But then what when... what it wants goes against what's been deemed morally objective? Are you operating from the illusory self if you deny yourself what the heart wants? Isn't identifying with "good" similar to identifying with "John" ultimately?

    Or are you saying that ultimately you think all of our hearts lead us down the same path and to the same experience of truth if we tap in and listen? Would that still be defined as morality though?

    Interested :) I was someone who cared a lot about moral objectivity and connectivity, so for me, I found freedom in realizing - hey. I really can just make moment to moment decisions without fear. Maybe I'm this archetype one day, this one the next, their morals differ, and... that's fine, depending on my aims and what I've deemed as their worth.
    Kazuma Ikezawa and AnneM thanked this post.

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