Heck, the number of suicides every year indicates that either Satan kills people or people's spirits can be severely damaged naturally. I'm more inclined to think that people's minds are fragile than the Satan hypothesis, aren't you?
what? what? what the hell? what the fuck is that? what kind of assumption are making now?
Sorry, I was unclear. I see psychological trauma as a kind of polar opposite of RE effects. Sometimes, people just get in a very bad place mentally, and they often get stuck there long-term. Nervous breakdowns (more accurately, sudden acute onset of certain mental illnesses) are analogous to RE experiences with negative consequences. The only difference between Religious Experiences and the worst night of your life is that RE are positive and nervous breakdowns are negative. There are two possible reasons for nervous breakdowns, either there is a natural cause or there is not. Again, this is the same as RE. Clearly, I don't believe that nervous breakdowns are caused by the "Ground of Un
Being" or some other polar opposite of the Ground of Being(God). You don't believe that either, right?
If the only difference between RE and nervous breakdowns is the direction of the change, then the causes are probably related. Either there's a difference between RE and nervous breakdowns that I do not perceive, or it is likely that they're either both natural or both transcendent experiences. Ugh, sorry about nested clauses in that sentence. I'll go for both natural, but you've got some options. You might disagree that RE and nervous breakdown are analogous. You might believe that mental illness is sometimes caused by divine influences (I doubt that this is your choice). Or you could change your mind about the nature of religious experiences
no that's not true.
the studies that show the distinctions between RE and MI show more differences than just its positive result.
1).Effects indicate that Mystical expereince cannot be reduced to Mental Illness.
Mental illness is usually either treatable or progressive (gets worse), but it is not positive over a long term. Mentally ill people do not gian long lasting postive effects from thier illness that gives them a heightend sense of well being and lasts for long term. Mental illness does not improve the sense of self-actualization or make one a "whole" person. Religious experience does this and mystical expereince or "peak experience" so so all the more. Evidence to document this point is found above under argument III, but more studies can also be sited.[see above, Larson, The Faith Factor, Study search]
2) No relationship Mysticism and Mental Illness.
[Noble, Kathleen D. (1987). ``Psychological Health and the Experience of Transcendence.'' The Counseling Psychologist, 15 (4), 601-614.]
Transpersonal Childhood Experiences of Higher States of Consciousness: Literature Review and Theoretical Integration (unpublished paper 1992) http://www.sawka.com/spiritwatch/cehsc/ipure.htm
"Scientific interest in the mystical experience was broadened with the research on psychoactive drugs. The popular belief was that such drugs mimicked either mystical states and/or schizophrenic ones (reviewed in Lukoff, Zanger & Lu, 1990). Although there is likely some physiological similarity as well as phenomenological recent work has shown clear differences. For instance, Oxman, Rosenberg, Schnurr, Tucker and Gala (1988) analyzed 66 autobiographical accounts of schizophrenia, hallucinogenic drug experiences, and mystical ecstasy as well as 28 control accounts of important personal experiences. They concluded that the: "subjective experiences of schizophrenia, hallucinogenic drug-induced states, and mystical ecstasy are more different from one another than alike" (p. 401).
(Ibid) "Relatedly, Caird (1987) found no relationship between reported mystical experience and neuroticism, psychoticism and lying while Spanos and Moretti (1988) found no relationship between a measure of mystical experience and psychopathology."
a. Trend toward positive view among psychologists.
MYSTICAL OR UNITIVE EXPERIENCE
"Offsetting the clinical literature that views mystical experiences as pathological, many theorists (Bucke, 1961; Hood, 1974, 1976; James, 1961; Jung, 1973; Laski, 1968; Maslow, 1962, 1971; Stace, 1960; Underhill, 1955) have viewed mystical experiences as a sign of health and a powerful agent of transformation."
b. Most clinicians and clinical studies see postive.
"Results of a recent survey (Allman, et al,. 1992) suggest that most clinicians do not view mystical experiences as pathological. Also, studies by several researchers have found that people reporting mystical experiences scored lower on psychopathology scales and higher on measures of psychological well-being than controls (Caird, 1987; Hood, 1976, 1977, 1979; Spanos and Moretti, 1988)".
c. Incidence rate suggests no pathology.
"Numerous studies assessing the incidence of mystical experience (Back and Bourque, 1970; Greeley, 1974, 1987; Hay and Morisy, 1978; Hood, 1974, 1975, 1977; Thomas and Cooper, 1980) all support the conclusion that 30-40% of the population do have such experiences, suggesting that they are normal rather than pathological phenomena. In addition, a recent survey (Allman et al., 1992) has demonstrated that the number of patients who bring mystical experiences into treatment is not insignificant. Psychologists in full-time practice were asked to estimate the percentage of their clients over the past 12 months who had reported a mystical experience. The 285 respondents indicated that of the 20,670 clients seen during the past year, the incidence of mystical experience was 4.5%. This clearly challenges the GAP report on Mysticism, which claims that "mystical experiences are rarely observed in psychotherapeutic practice" (Group for Advancement of Psychiatry, 1976, p. 799).
2) Not the restult of deprivation or fantasy; mystics tend to be successful people.
Council on Spiritual Practices
State of Unitive Consciousness http://www.csp.org/experience/docs/unit ... sness.html
"Furthermore, Greeley found no evidence to support the orthodox belief that frequent mystic experiences or psychic experiences stem from deprivation or psychopathology. His ''mystics'' were generally better educated, more successful economically, and less racist, and they were rated substantially happier on measures of psychological well-being. "
3) Mystisicm offers therapeutic insights.
"...Within the Western model we recognize and define psychosis as a suboptimal state of consciousness that views reality in a distorted way and does not recognize that distortion. It is therefore important to note that from the mystical perspective our usual state fits all the criteria of psychosis, being suboptimal, having a distorted view of reality, yet not recognizing that distortion. Indeed from the ultimate mystical perspective, psychosis can be defined as being trapped in, or attached to, any one state of consciousness, each of which by itself is necessarily limited and only relatively real.'' [-- page 665 ) [Roger Walsh (1980). The consciousness disciplines and the behavioral sciences: Questions of comparison and assessment. American Journal of Psychiatry, 137(6), 663-673.
See Also: Lukoff, David & Francis G. Lu (1988). ``Transpersonal psychology research review: Topic: Mystical experiences.'' Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 20 (2), 161-184. Charles T. Tart, Psi: Scientific Studies of the Psychic Realm, p. 19.