Are you a Who or a What?
Questions and Answers.
QUESTION: Are mystics psychotic?
ANSWER: A neuroscientist called Persinger suggested in the late 1980’s that the mystic experiences of Reality are psychotic incidents, mentally created if I understand him rightly. So far as I know there hasn’t been any research of significance on the theory. However, Dr Persinger did help develop an electronic helmet which he said reproduced the presence of God.*
Q: Does it?
A: I doubt there’s any mystic experience in history that would claim to be able to invoke any god, certainly not by physical means.
By the way, the use of the culturally and socially ambivalent word God suggests the good doctor has not had the personal mystical experience of Reality himself, nor read the literature on it that goes back 8,000 years if the dating of the Yoga Visistha epic is anything to go by.
Scientists of today, physicists, metaphysicists, psychologists, even theologians and philosophers seem far more receptive to the fundamentals of the phenomena of mystic experience than to any suggestion of psychoticism.
There seems to be a growing awareness of scientific experiment versus mystical experience. Scientists now appear to be on the brink of realising humans might not be the centre of existence, that only mystical experience explains anything of the ultimate reality of which humans are only a part.
Anyway, much of this is not known by the general public. What’s your interest?
Q. To be honest I’m not interested, It’s science fiction to me. I just heard someone discussing you.
A. Sounds like a dismissive discussion! (laughs). How about you? Are you happy with who you are? Do you have any interest in what you are?
Q. What I am? What do you mean, what I am?
A. Sorry, didn’t mean to pry … If you don’t know it doesn’t matter …
Q. No! What do you mean by that, by what I am? Isn’t that rather rude? Aren’t you just supposed to explain, teach, or something?
A. Some mystics are inclined to teach I think, but no, I’m not a teaching mystic – not a priest, monk, guru, prophet or master.
In buddhism, there’s a tradition of the enlightened staying behind to teach.** Other enlightened buddhists don’t teach. They’re called to continue their pilgrimage without human distractions, to what buddhists call Nirvana. If I was a buddhist I would be the latter I think. Anyway, spiritual Reality is caught, not taught. It is counterproductive for you to be “taught” what is only eventually available to you when you are ready and only Ultimate Reality knows that. You’re in good hands. All is well.
But if you have spiritual questions that my experiences might help in developing yours I will always be available.
However, while you’re still a Who not a What you won’t have any spiritual questions to ask yet.
By the way, I’m not being rude. Humans often take facts as insults. I’m being far more serious than that.
* Read More: For more information, see our post where philosopher and author Douglas Lockhart discusses psychoticism and mysticism. Dr Nicki Crowley also discusses the subject from a psychological point of view in Are Mystics Psychotic? Part II. For even more on this subject, check out the PSYCHIATRY category of this blog.
** A pratyekabuddha, or paccekabuddha, is the so-called “silent buddha” who does not try to share his realization with the world. Pratyekabuddhas are said to achieve enlightenment on their own, without the use of teachers or guides, by “dependent origination”, (spontaneous rebirth?). Traditionally, Paccekabuddhas give moral teachings but not enlightenment. (See unedited descriptions in Wikipedia).