Would you say that modern celebrity spiritual leaders show any sign of madness? Any televangelist, for a start, and how so?
I wondered why Hare Krishnas give out carnations and what does it mean when you accept one? It means I have removed part of their motivation to accost people at random, to my point of view. I also freely accept Jehovah’s Witness publications.
All over the world there are those that walk on the fringe. India gurus. North American shamans. The genius was originally a type of daemon. They were said to guide people to insights they couldn’t have discovered on their own, sometimes even insights the gods didn’t feel humans should have.
The modern celebrity spiritual leaders are focused on what they believe to an extreme? I would say they are very moderate. They invest a great deal of time and energy making their beliefs seem reasonable to others. Their agendas are also often strictly pragmatic. They pass off civil service as spiritual.
Society calls them “crazy” as we equate someone obsessed with being crazy. Well, they have discovered something that a great many psychotic disorders have in common. They involve a heightened degree of activity in the parts of the brain responsible for social awareness. So much of the radical behaviour is some flavor of paranoia. Their brains fill in the blanks with ideas about why they always feel like they are being watched.
So it’s why a lot of times a physical interaction can be overwhelming for them? Even a hug or a handshake? They generate a thousand ideas for why you might possibly want to shake their hand.
Where is the line between psychic and psychotic? The psychic has a grip on their heightened perceptions. The psychotic has a sort of perceptual incontinence. They are non compus mentis, uncomposed minds. In order to use psychic perception productively, or derive any wisdom from it, one also has to be able to maintain some measure of grounding in the day to day world.
Would more psychotics be psychics if trained to control their abilities? Some of them, perhaps, yes.
There is another form or derangement that also shows up in psychosis. I am reading an excellent book right now, and I am steadily surprised at how many of my intuitions are showing up as true in neuroscience. The book is tilted, “Self Comes to Mind” by Antonio Damasio. And the other pathological vector for psychosis is a disorder of the process of self, rather than just a loss of control over one’s own perception. This other type of psychosis would leave an otherwise perceptive, even psychically sensitive individual, unable to do anything constructive.
But on the previous point, those psychotics with an overactive theory of mind I mentioned before, tend to generalize it to include their environment as well. There is even a sensory explanation for why they “hear voices”, also a cognitive one. They have found that schizophrenics don’t connect the separate hearing channels in their brain, so they hear both a higher pitched and a low pitched tone whenever they hear a sound or speech, and if the sound is muffled they will pick up on only one range and not identify it as a familiar voice. Though they don’t really understand what is being said, their mind fills in the blanks.
The other side of this is that there is some alteration in the function of their temporal lobes, just as there is in the form of epilepsy I experienced as a child, and with the irregular metabolism and stress patterns in their brain, the cognitive processes in their right hemisphere instead of merging subconsciously with other processes, wind up manifesting as auditory hallucinations.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.