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what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path?

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what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path? Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii 11/28/13 8:05 AM
RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path (D Z) Dhru Val 11/28/13 9:03 AM
RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path Pål S. 11/30/13 3:58 AM
RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path triple think 11/28/13 9:55 AM
RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path Psi 11/28/13 10:34 AM
RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path triple think 11/28/13 3:04 PM
RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path Tom Tom 12/4/13 5:00 PM
RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path triple think 11/29/13 1:47 AM
RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path T DC 11/28/13 11:27 PM
RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii 11/29/13 10:46 AM
RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path Tom Tom 11/29/13 8:08 PM
RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii 11/29/13 11:02 AM
RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path Dream Walker 11/30/13 1:15 AM
RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii 11/30/13 5:23 AM
RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path triple think 12/5/13 1:06 PM
RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path (D Z) Dhru Val 12/9/13 6:56 PM
Hey guys. Sorry if this question has come up before. One for the medical people.
I was wondering what western diagnosis psychological condition? psychosis? is closest to MCTB 4th path aka perceptual non-duality.

I am not talking about far out psychadelic-like experiences, which may occur on the way, I mean the stable, settled mctb 4th path condition.

I guess there must symptoms like:

no thoughts or actions appearing to be one's own
no belief in ability to control one's actions
inability to believe in own identity
inability to perceive differences between sensations relating to self and other

which occur to people with "mental illness" and are confusing or debilatiting for them. Sorts of schizophrenia? So I am wondering if there are documented cases of people who have somehow acheived 4th path, or elements of it, and been diagnosed as "mad"...

does that make sense?

RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path
Answer
11/28/13 9:03 AM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
There are mental illnesses that are somewhat close in terms of described symptoms.

But these are all perceived by the sufferer as having a negative impact on well being. And are risk factors for depression, anxiety etc.

The key difference is that none of them are associated with markedly improved wellbeing. So I suspect the mechanism is markedly different. Either that or maybe its more like a pre-path dark night. Not sure.

That said, I think Depersonalization Disorder / Derealization Disorder is most similar.

Here are some people describing Deperseonalization in their own words...

http://www.dpselfhelp.com/forum/index.php?/topic/268-what-is-dpdr-like-for-you/

Sounds almost like dukkha nanas type stuff, rather than 4th.

RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path
Answer
11/28/13 9:55 AM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii:
Hey guys. Sorry if this question has come up before. One for the medical people.
I was wondering what western diagnosis psychological condition? psychosis? is closest to MCTB 4th path aka perceptual non-duality.
I'm not a practicing clinical or therapeutic Psychologist or Psychiatrist but I do think my state is more or less the same as what Daniel reports so on that basis and on the basis of my extensive studies of Psychology and Psychiatry I would say that the two models cover some similar symptoms in very different contexts but should by no means be any basis for comparisons. By taking a more traditional approach to comparisons such as a Classical Theravada Model as opposed to the existing Psychological Models, the former is more concerned with the developments related to typical people who might thereby become exceptional people whereas the other is more concerned more specifically with typical or atypically dysfunctional or diseased people. These two orientations influence the respective findings sufficiently that useful conclusions are difficult if not impossible to draw based on any comparisons undertaken so far. Apples vs. dry cleaning solutions.

RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path
Answer
11/28/13 10:34 AM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
Sanity

Maybe the mental condition closest to 4th path is called sanity. Seeing things as they are. Knowing thoughts arise based on causes and conditions and not believing in the delusion that there is a little homonculus behind the eyes that is often referred to in undiagnosed mass delusion as a self. But maybe I am mispoken, I too fall for the personal trap now and again. Of course there there is always a "self concept" that can be used on the relative level, even the Buddha used this. In this way the "self concept" is like a mental tool in the ole mental toolbox to be used, same as any other conceptual tool, maybe like, language , algebra, artwork, But one would not say Algebra is a self, even if it is made of concepts just like the self is made of concepts.

Apologies, the thoughts ran astray from the topic presented.

Anyway Peace,

Bryan

RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path
Answer
11/28/13 3:04 PM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
Paweł K:
Experiences of Anatta (no-self) are fine or even great if you work for them and treat them as attainments. If they just happens on their own without any context then they are horrible and traumatizing.
Is this your experience or the result of double blind or otherwise thorough and well monitored studies? Just saying the mythologizing tendencies are often a bit extreme...

trippee

RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path
Answer
12/4/13 5:00 PM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
Depersonalization is when the "watcher" is outside the body and is not the realization that there is actually no watcher. It is not the same thing as 4th path though it can include the experience of agencylessness since the person perceives themselves to be outside of themselves watching themselves do things without any input on their part.

Derealization is when the visual aspects of reality start to look unreal or "cartoonish" (like feeling like you're in an episode of the Simpsons).

There is no clinical western "mental illness" diagnosis that shares all the features of 4th path. Mania and A&P can occur together or causally activate one another and the same could be said for schizophrenia and siddhi phenomena. This is similar to psychedelics occurring together with A&P/insight phenomena / causally activating the other or psychedelics occurring with schizophrenia symptoms / causally activating the other.

RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path
Answer
11/29/13 1:47 AM as a reply to Tom Tom.
Would second Tom Tom on the above as always most possible for a 0 - worldling and as observable as qualities and conditions for people who are complete as 1 or 2, should be almost completely attenuated for a completed 2 and anything dysfunctional beyond physical damage, dysfunction or impairment should be well gone close to completing 3. In the 4 conditions I can't see why it would matter what was happening on those levels, one should be able to tolerate pretty much being hosed down with petrol and set on fire and not flinch - also a very well documented and a well known form of protest in buddhist cultures for quite a long time. A "Take this Demons!", sort of a thing. So there will be variance from early to late conditions, developmentally and then there is simply whatever either comes to attention or is considered irrelevant in any case for where the path work is at.
Hope this is helpful.

remains
-triplethink

p.s. Also would similarly second the immediately following post from T DC, as of time of this last posting.

The path should always reveal more until it reveals All.

So there should be less impairment directly linked to less ignorance, less delusion and less dysfunctional cognition, utterance, and activity.

The demonic stuff in contrast always represents a loss, all there is an increase of in net is insatiable desire. The rest of the forms and functions are always predominantly impaired. In human terms. Not saying there aren't other factors in the mix that can make for extremely powerful and scary kinds of human beings. There is, but as for performance, not in any 'good' ways.

On the other end there is always growth and maturation through divine and transcendent processes which can be quite wild at times but in terms of path work ends up at 4 fully attenuated to the resting state or void. Should be painless by the end of 4th path, hard to comprehend short of there but essentially it is close to totally painless in any significant senses and beyond that almost anything is tolerable.

Even the last Buddha states he is getting sick of the body by 80 years. I'm pretty sick of it, but hey, at best I put ol' terra firma at 2500 years, maximally, away from entering a fixed and dominant hell condition overall. So this whole shstball is going down more than a half step soon, for all practical intents, etc.. Known put forecasts mention a brief landing and beach head from there and then it is head out and this ship burns, for a dhamma long long time. So it goes, universally, which is good to know. Probably a good 30 billion years until the MahaBrahmic multi-universal outbreath starts to implode again, plenty of time for more ups and downs more locally but no recorded projections out beyond 2500 years pertain before an interminably unpleasant period on this rock. Or whatever it is by then... So... never mind Sol dying. Not pertinent.

Considering the current external conditions, related internal compounding in relation to this and the future outlook; even if it drives you nuts, getting to 3 would be a minimal task to work at until then with all due energy and concern.

Anyone who is still a 0 with a gravitic, fixated and entangled condition is going to be beyond even the remotest of hopes at that point barring a sea change in the individuated kamma which would be a potential reaching 0 as well or this would not be the case. That is the real and present danger at this point and always immanent for any 0. Sounds superstitious? Whatever, it's your mass, if you want to discount the most sage warnings we have got. For tens of millennium already. There is only appropriately directed prayers beyond this and so if even the path work looks superstitious...etc.....good luck, see ya, ain't gonna be ya.

Its worth engaging the path work, even if you suffer considerable mental anguish to make it to 1, this is at a minimum simply a general precaution.

No one is going to get there torturing themselves entirely but no 0 can tolerate even minimal relative discomfort comparatively anyhow apart from the long standing bodhisattas, and the asurasattas so if someone has the correct orientation it shouldn't even then be considered worthless suffering or so it would appear.

Meritorious volition is often linked to added pain, so there are always variables but I began this with the generally observably principles and the exceptions are highly variant and I don't ever want to speak for the demonic constituents anyways, maybe they like the pain, maybe for them it is candy. It Looks that way from here, totally upside down, all the way down.

If you see and know rightly you see sukkha as such and dukkha as such and not the reverse. One can perceive that the contrary percepts are available but qualities and conditions remain clearly assignable. They are clearly assignable and multiple symbolic representations and reasoning are always conceivable, even if you know and tolerate an opposition.
Beyond that, no minimum recommendations are really helpful beyond the immediate and subsequent causes and conditions and dealing with it.

good luck or far better hopes which are more substantive than that for sure
-triplethink

RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path
Answer
11/28/13 11:27 PM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
Just curious, why do you ask?

Personally, I think it's tough to compare 4th path and a mental illness. Mental illnesses or negative states listed above such as de-realization/ depersonalization or schizophrenia have more to do with being overcome or overwhelmed by mental phenomena rather than overcoming it, as is done in realization.

At 4th path you see the non-reality, or non-solidity of thought, you see the empty nature of what previously seemed solid and fixed. Thus you have given up belief in the solidity of your conceptions, and you view the world in a manner less clouded by preconception.

From a normal unenlightened, not mentally ill, mind state or awareness, realization such as 4th path and mental illness are moving in opposite directions. For instance, if floating in space it your baseline state, realization would mean moving upwards, while mental illness would mean moving down.

I would be curious to hear about the cases you speak of in which realization caused a mental breakdown of sorts, but I doubt that this happens that much.

Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii:


I guess there must symptoms like:

1. no thoughts or actions appearing to be one's own
2. no belief in ability to control one's actions
3. inability to believe in own identity
4. inability to perceive differences between sensations relating to self and other


So here you are referring to what happens at 4th path, eh? Here is my take (as a post-4th pather) on what you have written, for the sake of clarification.
1. Kind-of. You see that you are not your thoughts, and this includes thoughts about actions, but you are still acting nonetheless. This goes with 2.; by all means you are still able to control your own actions and are fully aware of this, you are just not fixed on a solid conceptual image of yourself doing these actions. Actions are more pure, they are done, life is lived, in absence of a belief or fantasy about who you are and what you're doing. You just do things.

3. Inability to believe in one's identity is different from seeing that identity to be empty of solid, inherent reality. I am fully aware of being here right now, I'm just not having a massive conceptual train of though in my head about it. I'm just here.

4. Inability to perceive differences between self and other is not a result of attainment. Losing your self doesn't mean you lose anything, such as logical faculties of mind. This is something which people no doubt have a lot of misplaced fear about. Attainment, doing away with ego, doesn't mean you lose anything. All your 'self' is is just fleeting thought which you have confusedly bought into as being real. What you lose is confusion. In fact you lose nothing, you just right your perception. Confusion is really the only negative thing we have, and that's what we lose on the path. No sanity is lost!!!

RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path
Answer
11/29/13 10:46 AM as a reply to T DC.
Thanks D Z
That thread on DP DR was very interesting, pretty close to what I was looking for! In spiritual terms it would certainly seem like a lot of people on the thread have had realisations of the emptiness of self, or emptiness of the sense field /other people, and then the 'ego' energy has settled into an anxiety-laden-identification pattern with "something being wrong with them".

T DC - why am I asking this question?
Basically I was having a conversation with a buddhist practitioner who didn't believe in enlightenment in the 4th path, non-dual perception sense. Anyway they were talking very defensively along the line of "it's so subjective, you just cannot define or talk about it in any way", which at a totally ultimate level is true, but my response was, enlightenment is as real as a diagnosable medical mental condition like schizophrenia or the stuff described in "The Man who mistook his Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sachs,(an amazing book about case studies of people whose perception becomes messed up in many very interesting ways), and therefore it can be worth talking about or comparing 'case notes' of what the "condition" is like.

Which led me to think, hey, it must happen to people and if they don't know what it is, or deal with it well, it would scare them and then get diagnosed as a mental illness. And the quotes from people on the DP/DR forum seem to indicate this.

Tom tom
I don't know what DP and DR are, exactly, in medical terms, but it does seem like people on that forum (who may or may not have diagnosed, "official" DP/DR) have had big anatta and emptiness insights, and are suffering because of them.

very interesting stuff! thanks all

T DC:
Just curious, why do you ask?

Personally, I think it's tough to compare 4th path and a mental illness. Mental illnesses or negative states listed above such as de-realization/ depersonalization or schizophrenia have more to do with being overcome or overwhelmed by mental phenomena rather than overcoming it, as is done in realization.

At 4th path you see the non-reality, or non-solidity of thought, you see the empty nature of what previously seemed solid and fixed. Thus you have given up belief in the solidity of your conceptions, and you view the world in a manner less clouded by preconception.

From a normal unenlightened, not mentally ill, mind state or awareness, realization such as 4th path and mental illness are moving in opposite directions. For instance, if floating in space it your baseline state, realization would mean moving upwards, while mental illness would mean moving down.

I would be curious to hear about the cases you speak of in which realization caused a mental breakdown of sorts, but I doubt that this happens that much.

Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii:


I guess there must symptoms like:

1. no thoughts or actions appearing to be one's own
2. no belief in ability to control one's actions
3. inability to believe in own identity
4. inability to perceive differences between sensations relating to self and other


So here you are referring to what happens at 4th path, eh? Here is my take (as a post-4th pather) on what you have written, for the sake of clarification.
1. Kind-of. You see that you are not your thoughts, and this includes thoughts about actions, but you are still acting nonetheless. This goes with 2.; by all means you are still able to control your own actions and are fully aware of this, you are just not fixed on a solid conceptual image of yourself doing these actions. Actions are more pure, they are done, life is lived, in absence of a belief or fantasy about who you are and what you're doing. You just do things.

3. Inability to believe in one's identity is different from seeing that identity to be empty of solid, inherent reality. I am fully aware of being here right now, I'm just not having a massive conceptual train of though in my head about it. I'm just here.

4. Inability to perceive differences between self and other is not a result of attainment. Losing your self doesn't mean you lose anything, such as logical faculties of mind. This is something which people no doubt have a lot of misplaced fear about. Attainment, doing away with ego, doesn't mean you lose anything. All your 'self' is is just fleeting thought which you have confusedly bought into as being real. What you lose is confusion. In fact you lose nothing, you just right your perception. Confusion is really the only negative thing we have, and that's what we lose on the path. No sanity is lost!!!

RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path
Answer
11/29/13 11:02 AM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
Hi J and T DC,

I agree with what both of you are saying. I wrote those symptoms quite sloppily.

Basically I was just highlighting that at 4th path, the illusion that there is a single controlling personal agency that is YOU, that controls your actions, isn't really totally believable anymore, in the way that a regular person believes it. This could appear frightening if it came on suddenly, in a person that was already a bit scared and had no explanation or context for it.

My language in describing the other symptoms was poor, but TDC has clarified them quite well.

To clarify, I am not making any value judgements on 4th path, or saying anyone is mad. I consider myself to have done mctb 4th path, and I think it is very nice, pleasant, profoundly liberating, and definitely not mad, in fact, as someone else wrote, much saner.

J .:
acheived 4th path, or elements of it, and been diagnosed as "mad"...


4th path brings peace, it does not bring pyschosis. In fact, after the path, your mind is better armed to fight pyschosis.

At points during the path you may see or feel these things “
no thoughts or actions appearing to be one's own
no belief in ability to control one's actions
inability to believe in own identity
inability to perceive differences between sensations relating to self and other
no thoughts or actions appearing to be one's own
no belief in ability to control one's actions
inability to believe in own identity
inability to perceive differences between sensations relating to self and other


They are all events (or observations you might make along the path, they are not the constant state. When the dust settles, after deep progress, you return to feeling normal.

RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path
Answer
11/29/13 8:08 PM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
Tom tomI don't know what DP and DR are, exactly, in medical terms, but it does seem like people on that forum (who may or may not have diagnosed, "official" DP/DR) have had big anatta and emptiness insights, and are suffering because of them. [/[//


I would think that most people who have meditated have experienced "the watcher" outside the body (depersonalization) at some point or another (as insight meditation is an attempt to "paint the illusory watcher into a corner," so to speak). Having the watcher move around to "abnormal" places is likely to lead to some questioning of its nature or existence (as in reality there is no watcher). It would not be surprising to find that people who habitually experience depersonalization would have some degree of insight into anatta and agencylessness. Scientific studies could be done on this..

RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path
Answer
11/30/13 1:15 AM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.

RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path
Answer
11/30/13 3:58 AM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
Imagine that you're looking at a familiar room with familiar people. One day you realize that there is something "fuzzy" about the boundaries/outlines of everything you see.

Soon you begin to see the movie projectors above the ceiling. You see rays of colored lights being beamed to every object in the room. You follow the trails.

Soon you get it.

Every single thing that you have ever seen is nothing but a projection of light. A virtual reality. A lie.

Smoke.

Mirrors.

Dust in rays of light that form images.

As you walk towards the objects, people and existence that you had believed all your life, they start to vanish. You realize they were nothing but ghost images ("wisps" as Dreamer says).

Then you realize the big one.

You are nothing either.

But vague dusty light rays. And as you think of that, you begin to fade.

The only way to NOT fade (you believe) is to not "know" this anymore.

So you spend the rest of your days trying to NOT know. to NOT think. Trying to not let yourself disappear into utter oblivion.

See, not only is your BODY an illusion, your Self is an illusion. There is no core. Whatever you once thought of when you said your own name is gone. There is no one in there. And never was.

Then you realize that even oblivion is a facade.

Nothing. Is.

And you spend the rest of your days in silent abject horror.

THAT, my dear, is Depersonalization. At its deepest.

And I lived with it for years. It is not insanity and it is not "truth"

But nobody IN that state can believe it isn't.
It is a hideous fantasy of self-annihilation.

Peace,
Janine

p.s. now don't keep re-reading this description in hopes of "grasping" it, etc. It will just give you more "Jeeeeheebies". There is no way to MASTER a fantasy of annihilation. Elsewhere. Other. Stop walking INTO the smoke.

This one looks like straight-forward DN to me as opposed to depersonalization, Tom Toms description is more on point to my view.

I also remember trying to "not know" for a long time, but apparently it was better to 'face the music'. After reading others experiences and investigating for my self I noticed that insight is not horrible but horror can be a reaction to insight.

I would assume most humans at some point in their life reflects like the quote above (perhaps not that exaggerated), it does seem like a logical line of ego development. Which begs the question: why is this such a taboo? I think I'll have to agree with Daniel when he says there are a lot of undiagnosed 'dark nighters' out there.

To get back on topic it would be interesting to hear from a psychiatrist on what training, if any, they receive on mystical experiences. There certainly can be an overlap between mental illness and mysticism, and a professional should be expected to differentiate the two.

RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path
Answer
11/30/13 5:23 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
wow thanks DW that's exactly what I was looking for!

Shinzen seems to have the same view as me, DP/DR can be exactly the same insight as 'enlightenment' insights (he calls it enlightenment's evil twin), but in one case, it is liberating and fulfilling and, in the DP/DR case it is terrifying and debilitating.

Dream Walker:

RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path
Answer
12/5/13 1:06 PM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
Final diagnostic calculus for MCTB 01234 = none

Can't fault the man he's practically a SAINT..?/ \...| (U=3<>4).

RE: what mental condition / "illness" is closest to MCTB 4th path
Answer
12/9/13 6:56 PM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
Just thought this was relevant here...

Buddhist view of optimal mental health by Alan Wallace

Alan Wallace is very knowledgable and experienced in meditation, and does a lot of work in the scientific field as well.

I really like his view that where as psychiatry is basically looking for anything that is below normal functioning, it ignores states of mind that are exceptionally functional and happy.

And he offers an alternative framework in the video.