I suffer from hallucinations. Since I have started using magic to ward off spirits, they have decreased massively. Is this just a placebo effect, or a sign that there is more going on then mental illness?
This is an awesome question, thank you for sharing it.
Take what you like, leave what you don't.
Hallucinations are medically defined as psychosis. Anybody can experience psychosis in their lives. People who chronically experience it and lose touch with reality are considered schizophrenic, and are generally genetically predisposition to experience that.
From a medical perspective, recovery is a tripod that requires:
Medical support. This may include prescriptions.
Personal supports. This includes family, friends, spiritual or religious supports.
Purpose. We want to have goals and have meaning to our existence.
In the middle is hope. Yup, we need hope for recovery.
Considering there is a segregation between medicine and spirituality in first world countries, there is still more to explore and understand in context of the positive effects of spirituality on a medical condition. We have also defined physical a link between psychosis and spirituality. The same part of the brain that is inhibited by anti-psychotics is also activated by psychoactive drugs that are generally used for spiritual ceremonies (DMT, Peyote, Mushrooms, etc). The only thing that differs hallucinations from these psychoactive drugs from psychosis patients is perspective. Psychosis patients don't generally require the drugs to achieve the effect, but do suffer from stigma associated with mental health. We are still actively studying psychosis, because we have no clue about it. Look into the NAPLS study if you're interested in the study being conducted presently. We have no clue why some people develop conditions that cause a patient to lose touch with reality, and why some people recover after a psychotic episode.
Keep in mind the last lobotomy performed on a mental health patient in Alberta, Canada was 1974. This means it's only been 44 years since we were actively utilizing demoralizing medical practices to “fix" mental health patients. Current mental health recovery plans utilize support, but sociologically it does take time to see the stigma and puritan mind set seperated from science.
Also, don't discount placebo effects. It could be written as “intention + action = results". Many health care professionals implore patients to utilize hope and a positive mindset.
Now, from a Metaphysical Sciences perspective, there could definitely be more going on that we do not have the science and technology to study or understand. Science is limited by technology. Technology is limited by logic and financial advantages. Is it financially advantageous or logical to create the technology to study magic? No, not really to be honest. Will our scientific theories that may regard magic be tested without the needed technology? No. You can't conduct scientific studies without equipment that will measure the results.
We also understand that :
You create your own reality.
What you focus on you give power to.
Does using magic help you function? Are you a productive and positive person? If you answered yes, than own it. There are many people who practice pagan rituals, that give them hope and a purpose. Just try to stay anchored to reality someway when you spend a lot of time in your mind thinking about the intangible.
The definition of mental illness is always changing, regardless if the larger population acknowledge it. We don't actually understand psychosis as much as people like to think.
Placebo effect = intention + action. Own it. It's awesome.
Our understanding of life (theories) is limited by scientific studies, which are limited by technology, which is limited by finances. If someone can't make money or save money by investigating something, it won't happen. Cash is king.
My advice: own what makes you feel better. Just be kind to others. It's free, sprinkle it on everything.
Why is it pointless to ask “Does God exist?
Hopefully you get some solid understanding from the answers.
It's actually not pointless to ask if God exists, in fact it's a fundamental part of history. When we study different cultures, they generally have a specific understanding of God. There are 3 defined ways to view God from a Metaphysical Sciences perspective: monotheistic, polytheistic, and pantheistic.
Monotheistic religions include Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. These believe there is one God. Considering Christianity is the most popular religion in the world, we are most familiar with this definition.
Polytheistic religions believe there are multiple Gods. These generally include Pagan sects such as Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, and countless other religions. The Ancient Egyptian religion is also classified as polytheistic.
Pantheism believes that God is an omnipresent energy and is not anthropomorphic. We find these beliefs in Buddhism (among other religions) and are generally more found in Asia or Eastern cultures.
That being said, not every religion is one or the other. We can find polytheistic beliefs that also tie into pantheism. In shamanism, there are deities who represent a facet of God, but do not completely represent God.
It's also cool to know that most religions and spiritual philosophies follow similar rules, but have a different way of communicating it. The most common rule you'll find is the golden rule.
In Philosophy (the study of the intangible), there is the study of Metaphysical Sciences, where you'll find the study of Spirituality. Metaphysics is all theories. We create theories, so hopefully, one day we're able to either prove or disprove them utilizing technological advancement and logic (which is also a branch of philosophy). Religion, on the other hand, lands in the realm of theology. Theology is doctrine written to explain spirituality, it is a tool to create a stronger personal relationship to God. There isn't one religion that's going to benefit every person in the world spirituality, and some people may just require a theological community to gain spiritual empowerment. Spirituality is a personal thing, we have various religions, philosophies, and spiritual understandings because we have various personalities, belief structures, and cognitive capabilities. You have the power to define your spirituality however it may benefit you.
There's also the understanding that (1) you create your own reality and (2) what you focus on you give power to. If you or someone else doesn't believe in God, own it. If you or someone else thinks it's pointless to ponder the existence of God, don't ponder it. There's nothing wrong with atheism. Atheism is a tangible understanding of existence that generally doesn't give credence to theories that are not scientifically proven by experiments that create results proven by logic to be scientifically accurate.
We can't prove nor disprove God, as there have been countless theories and we don't have the technology nor collective cognitive capability to know how to understand this topic. My advice: believe what you want, just make sure those beliefs offer kindness to yourself and
others. Kindness is free, sprinkle it on everything.
Is God Cruel? Why do we overlook this?
This is an awesome question, thank you for asking it.
If you follow a panthetic understanding of God, which means they are everything and nothing, I wouldn't consider it to be cruel. In pantheism, there is the idea that there is a piece of God in everything on this planet (or Universe, or wherever our imagination may lead science and technology). Every species survives in order to evolve. In humanity, the general point of parenting is for the next generation to function better than the last. Life is about evolving. The cool thing about evolution, is there needs to be struggle in order to find growth. Stagnation can be considered comfortable, but does not support learning new skills or strength. A common mantra in mental health is “there is no comfort in the growth zone and no growth in comfort zone.”
Buddhism is well known for saying “suffering is mandatory, punishment is optional.” If we apply struggling to suffering, there is a parallel of the necessity of it to be a better version of ourselves (to evolve emotionally, mentally, or physically). Punishment is when we practice unhealthy mental habits that revolve around something we are struggling with, whether it be conscious or not.
Understanding that most religions, philosophies, or spiritual themes revolve around the golden rule (treat people with kindness), it's important to see that most conversations that involve God are from a stand point of empathy. Empathy is not just a new age term, but is a medical term as well. Studies have shown that empathy is related to the gene G allele (GG), and some of us are genetically predispositioned to function more empathetically. This can also be a learned trait, so anyone who is not genetically dispositioned may learn, if they choose to do so. There is a zone in our brains which is triggered by empathy. This zone acts contrary to the reptilian part of our brain, which is responsible for our instinctual reaction to survive when addressed with the unknown. I like to call this the fear centre, as it activates the adrenal system, which is also linked to anxiety disorders when it is chronically over stimulated. In a fun way this ties in with the saying “there is no fear in faith, and no faith in fear,” from a biological perspective.
The crazy part about this, is that we generally live in environments that nurture narcissistic or self serving behavior in terms of promoting oneself professionally. There are clear ties to high ranking business people and cluster b personality disorders that inhibit empathy. This shows that in usual business standards, in terms of evolving professionally, generally encourage one to suppress empathy. Recognizing that career had been one of the top priorities for most people, they most likely minimized empathetic growth to succeed. There are some professions that this a logical strength, taking into consideration that empathetic individuals are more likely to experience burn out, but it had created a perpetual pattern of the extremely empathetic to not experience similar standard success compared to the un-empathetic.
Is God cruel? No. We are evolving out of a system that actively suppresses the growth of empathy in an individual. In a panthetic view, how do we confirm or disprove that God is not evolving through every facet possible, which includes everything and nothing?
Are people cruel? I truly believe we all have the potential to be cruel, regardless if that was ‘God's plan' or not. We're social animals, we're generally wired to want to be part of the group. The only problem is there is an emphasis on material or societal success that is generally contrary to empathy. Thus, the more empathetic may potentially understand this as cruelty.
Why do we over look this? Because it's comfortable to be part of society. There's no growth in the comfort zone, and no comfort in the growth zone. Some of us don't want to “rock the boat". Some of us lack the mental faculties to address large topics such as these. There also isn't any “quick fixes” for a situation like this. The best thing to do is treat life with compassion, especially yourself.
There's also a huge debate involving the correlation between intelligence and depression. Intelligence is sometimes confused with obedience, but they are not one in the same. Some of the most brilliant minds in history were described as non-conformists in one way or another. How can they create something new by doing the same thing as everyone else? Obedience is often praised, intelligence that challenges societal standards is often punished. What is the motivation to challenge general societal practices, if it may lead to punishment of some kind?
My advice: focusing on the cruelty you may witness or experience is a variation of punishment. You're going to struggle, we all do, just don't create a period of depression due to seeing something you can't single handedly change. Spread some kindness, starting with yourself. It's free.