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Offlinemanna_man
High onlife.....andcrack

Registered: 06/10/03
Posts: 481
Loc: Vancouver
Last seen: 11 years, 10 months
meditation induced psychosis?
    #1632627 - 06/14/03 04:06 AM (14 years, 3 months ago)

Has anyone ever heard of this occuring? A few months ago, a friend of a friend of mine embarked on a journey into the self: 2 weeks of constant meditation in the mountains(no drugs). Upon his return, he recounted his experience to me and claimed to have "gone insane". He described feelings of intense paranoia and anxiety, and said that he isolated himself in his house for 3 days to recuperate. He eventually recovered after a few days .I told my uncle about this (who is quite experienced in meditation) and told me that unless one is under the supervision of a "zen master", then intense meditative practice should not be attempted. I don't know shit about meditation, but my question is this....
Is enlightenment actually unnatainable?(sp) Does the mind have some sort of defense mechanism to prevent the revelation of "the ultimate truth"?
I have read several trip reports where the individual had "reached the doorway into the ultimate truth, yet something prevented them from opening the door."





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Offlinesomebodyelse
In_Is_Out

Registered: 06/12/03
Posts: 296
Last seen: 14 years, 2 months
Re: meditation induced psychosis? [Re: manna_man]
    #1632647 - 06/14/03 04:37 AM (14 years, 3 months ago)

I read about something like that, except framed differently. Excuse the chinese whisper effect, but the gist is correct to how I read it.

There was an anthropologist in Africa studying remote tribes who had never been in contact with civilizations other than their own. An experiment or survey gathering technique required the anthropologist to take volunteers out of their village for a number of days - presumably to take them somewhere else, rather than just to see what would happen. Because what did happen was unexpected: after 3 or 4 days out of their village, the volunteers would go insane. Once they rejoined their village, sanity returned.

The anthropologist concluded that this was the result of some sort of group mind effect. The commentator I read who was quoting this academic research (it's called the objective journalist voice, kids) compared the group mind effect evidenced in ant colonies, or in groups of starlings, to the cells in the body (communicating via chemicals, just like the ants) . In other words, he said, the group mind is simply a "system", where a "system" is defined as being the whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

What made me think of this while reading your friend's experience is probably obvious, but just so you don't read me wrong I'll put it in black and white. Perhaps your friend exhibited the same behaviour as the villagers; i.e. it isn't the meditation per se that caused his break with the consensus, but rather the isolation. If you aren't ready to think outside of the "group", you may well think you are "insane" when suddenly the "group " is no longer part of your consciousness.

Make sense?


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OfflineMitchnast
Trial by Madness
Male User Gallery Arcade Champion: Mahjong

Registered: 10/28/99
Posts: 8,572
Loc: Okanagan
Last seen: 7 days, 13 hours
Re: meditation induced psychosis? [Re: manna_man]
    #1632648 - 06/14/03 04:38 AM (14 years, 3 months ago)

sounds like his trying to make it look like he did something universally important and suffered for it.
you know, the old unwitting hero schtick.
but then thats just what it looks like to me and im not reading into it with very much empathy.


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OfflineGrav
 User Gallery

Registered: 02/06/02
Posts: 4,454
Last seen: 4 years, 8 months
Re: meditation induced psychosis? [Re: Mitchnast]
    #1632726 - 06/14/03 06:26 AM (14 years, 3 months ago)

what do you mean, Mitch?


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InvisibleRebelSteve33
Amateur Mycologist
Male

Registered: 05/28/02
Posts: 3,774
Loc: Arizona
Re: meditation induced psychosis? [Re: manna_man]
    #1632893 - 06/14/03 11:47 AM (14 years, 3 months ago)

I've heard of this before in my sociology class. It is not the meditation which induces insanity, though, it is the isolation. "Vision quests" are good examples of this. Humans are social creatures by nature and social contact is truly a necessity for our survival and sanity, just like food, water, and shelter.

My professor gave me an article on the effects of extreme social isolation. I'll see if I can find it somewhere, and I'll post if there's anything worth mentioning.


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Namaste.


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