Can first insight knowledge heal psychological problems? What do you think?

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Goran Smolcic, modified 11 Years ago.

Can first insight knowledge heal psychological problems? What do you think?

Posts: 8 Join Date: 7/5/10 Recent Posts
Well, you know the question. I am asking this because I have those problems. I hope attaining first insight knowledge would not get things worse.
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Jorge Freddy Martinez, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Can first insight knowledge heal psychological problems? What do you th

Posts: 17 Join Date: 6/25/10 Recent Posts
Hi Goran,

I feel your question is way too broad to get a concise answer, but I'll try to give you my two cents and hopefully it proves helpful to your well-being. Psychological problems are pertain to your human "self"; they relate to the way your human mind handles information, and the problem may be of chemical, behavioral, degenerative nature. Insight practice will allow you to see the true reality of nature, including physical, psychological, aspects of the manifestation you call "yourself". After achieving deep insight into the true nature of those things you will realize that they really have no effect on who you truly are (hence there is a liberation from wrong perception). All the psychological problems will remain, but they would no longer be "your" problems but rather problems of a manifestation that has the three characteristics (impermanence, dissatisfactoriness, and non-self).

Here is a quick example of what I'm saying:

Imagine you have a $100,000 debt you need to pay, and it's causing you a lot of stress because you may lose your home, car, and jeopardize the future of your family, children, etc. You say to yourself "man, I am in big trouble, I'm so stressed because I may lose all these things I work so hard and dearly for, not to mention I am putting my family in a very dangerous situation, what if I lose my job on top of that? what if I get a health problem and I can't provide for them, etc" you can go on and on about all these things that describe what your conceive as "yourself" prior to getting insight into true nature. As you start to gain insight and start to experience the true nature of things, you will not only start noticing that ALL your problems, issues, situations, emotional states, have the very same 3 characteristics, you will get closer start to realize your true nature and thus realizing that none of those issues truly have an effect on you. They still affect your old "you", the one you believed for so long to be who you really are. So let's say you achieve 4th path, and now you are fully awaken, you will still owe $100,00, you may still lose your house, and have your family out in the street. The human being that has manifested and you thought it was you needs to still go ahead and deal with those situations if it wants to solve the problem he/she faces.

I imagine when you refer to "first insight" you are talking about 1st path? you will get a subtle but noticeable change on your life once you have reached it. In my experience, I still have TONS of things to take care of in this world(I mean "I" as the human manifestation, not who I really am), but now I notice that all the problems and issues that surround me do not affect me nearly the same way they used to,

in conclusion, you cannot heal psychological problems with insight, as they belong in the manifest world. You would eventually free yourself from suffering, as you gain insight into the nature of the universe and yourself.

Hope this helps!

Jorge F
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n1kaya ..., modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Can first insight knowledge heal psychological problems? What do you th

Posts: 2 Join Date: 7/8/10 Recent Posts
Jorge Freddy Martinez:

I still have TONS of things to take care of in this world(I mean "I" as the human manifestation, not who I really am)


I hope this doesn't come off as nit picky but I have an objection to what you are implying here.

This human manifestation is "who you really are". It might not be the only thing you are but it's definitely not a second class identity as you seem to be implying. I don't think you're going to find some other self-identity that is any more "real" than his human manifestation. In fact as I understand it all phenomenon share the exact same quantity of selfness.

It's not a matter of "finding out who your real self is" and then going back to babysit the "not-as-real human manifestation". In my opinion that is just trading one delusion for another.

-N1kaya
I came to Dho wanting to know whether meditation could fix various psychological problems I was suffering. That was the only reason I came here.

I got some improvement in my condition by vipassana on fear. The practice seems to have permanently* changed my energy levels (more), my body temperature (cooler) and I also noticed my breath is much smoother, (not that it's of any benefit, i just happened to notice the lumps and gaps in my breath cycle disappeared). So there was definitely a change in a few of my physical symptoms, but not psychological. Then again, if you believe that physical symptoms are outward expressions of the psyche, then maybe my psyche did change. << worthy of further investigation, but please continue to bump this thread to get what wisdom you can from those who have attained stream entry or beyond.

*(inasmuch as they haven't reverted back despite stopping practice).

Much more powerful improvement has come through focus on self-esteem and self-acceptance. I found that when these are strong, people gravitate towards me and opportunities arise much more frequently (magickal with a K don't ya know it emoticon ). It's patchy, but very noticeable.
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Jorge Freddy Martinez, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Can first insight knowledge heal psychological problems? What do you th

Posts: 17 Join Date: 6/25/10 Recent Posts
I can see how my statement might have sounded confussing, n1. What I meant by "really who I am" was the non-local awareness of the interconnected universe. Not only is this "human" real, but so are his/her thoughts, emotions, etc, and so is every single manifestation that has ever been. I was trying to illustrate how there are "human" issues to be resolved, and how enlightenment does not necessarily solve them. I am going to disagree with the statement that "this human being is who you really am" as this illusion starts to disappear (and can clearly be observed during the first stages of insight of the cycles leading to first path attainment. The moment we define ourselves as anything possessing the 3 characteristics we can easily come to the realization that it is not who we truly are (because we would be impermanent, unsatisfied, and observable and hence non-self). This body we call ours, along with everyone else's, and every single material (and even non material things like thoughts, and emotions are not other than simply manifestations of what we really are ( as all they are projections of the interconnected conciousness of the universe into the manifest world). If at any time we fall into the trap of defining ourselves as anything possesing the 3 characteristics we should probably go back and do some deep insight study of that phenomena and try to understand why it cannot be the "I". When fruitions are experienced (after attaning first path, or any other higher path) there is no time, oneness, nothingness, somethingness, duration perspective, space, even experience, and it is during a fruition that we get to truly encounter the very true nation of ourselves, a direct encounter with the ultimate truth.
Hope I was of help!

Jorge F.
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n1kaya .., modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Can first insight knowledge heal psychological problems? What do you th

Posts: 11 Join Date: 7/3/10 Recent Posts
Jorge Freddy Martinez:
I can see how my statement might have sounded confussing, n1. What I meant by "really who I am" was the non-local awareness of the interconnected universe. Not only is this "human" real, but so are his/her thoughts, emotions, etc, and so is every single manifestation that has ever been. I was trying to illustrate how there are "human" issues to be resolved, and how enlightenment does not necessarily solve them.


I think you did a good job with that. I was hoping that by picking on your choice of words I could create a space to explore this topic in a little more detail.

Jorge Freddy Martinez:

The moment we define ourselves as anything possessing the 3 characteristics we can easily come to the realization that it is not who we truly are (because we would be impermanent, unsatisfied, and observable and hence non-self).


When I hear someone posit the existence of a self that is separate from conditioned phenomena to me it sounds like he is coming close to describing a concept the Hindus called atman. If I understand the history correctly Bramin 2500 years ago were trying to teach people how to identify with a "higher", "universal" or "non local" self they called Atman. From what I've gathered Buddha was categorically rejecting the concept of atman and this is probably the main philosophical difference between Hinduism and Buddhism. This is evidenced by the term anatta which is written anatman in Sanskrit and literally translates to no-atman. To me this atman concept sounds almost exactly like the "non local universal awareness self identification" that you refer to above.

Your position is that it is essential to self-identify with something that does not bear the three marks of existence but I interpret the Buddhas teachings to mean the exact opposite. I'm convinced that self-identifying with these three characteristics on every possible level is the heart of Buddha's wisdom teachings. In other words you are nothing but these 3 and really penetrating that fact is what gets this wild ride moving in the right direction. To understand yourself is to understand these three characteristics. You are composed of many layers of mind and body and these three characteristics apply to all of them.

Just because Buddha describes conditioned phenomenon as possessing the quality of "no-self" does not mean he is trying to imply that the unconditioned is "self", "real-self", "higher-self", "true-self", "atman" or any other kind of self.

-N1kaya
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Jorge Freddy Martinez, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Can first insight knowledge heal psychological problems? What do you th

Posts: 17 Join Date: 6/25/10 Recent Posts
I interpret the Buddhas teachings to mean the exact opposite. I'm convinced that self-identifying with these three characteristics on every possible level is the heart of Buddha's wisdom teachings. In other words you are nothing but these 3 and really penetrating that fact is what gets this wild ride moving in the right direction. To understand yourself is to understand these three characteristics. You are composed of many layers of mind and body and these three characteristics apply to all of them.

I have to say that I hadn't thought about it that way before. I have heard arahats in the pasts talking about how all we are is just this selfless non-local awareness that is what's left at the end of the "ride", and instinctively I have felt in agreement with that idea. I guess we will eventually find out the ultimate reality soon enough, 1 path down, 3 to go. :-)


I cant believe this posting got rated so low!!
Thank you for your totally different and radical (but incredibly equaly plausible) view on Buddha's teachings!!

Cheers,

Jorge F.
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Jorge Freddy Martinez, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Can first insight knowledge heal psychological problems? What do you th

Posts: 17 Join Date: 6/25/10 Recent Posts
Sorry for my lack of ability to post :-(
I'll get better in time!
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Jorge Freddy Martinez, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Can first insight knowledge heal psychological problems? What do you th

Posts: 17 Join Date: 6/25/10 Recent Posts
I forgot to talk about your concern about your problems becoming worse. Again, I imagine what you mean by "first insight" is attaining 1st path. If you happen to not have experienced the Arising and Passing phenomena you must be warned that after it, you will fall into the "dark night territory". This stage of insight has the potential to REALLY mess you up psychologically (I mean it in the whole sense of the word). There is dissolution and you do run the risk of amplifying all your psychological issues in an unimaginable way.

you may want to seek professional help dealing with your psychological problems before entering the dark night.

Jorge F
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Jeffrey S, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Can first insight knowledge heal psychological problems? What do you th

Posts: 21 Join Date: 6/28/10 Recent Posts
Yeah. It definitely helps. The clarity you get from doing insight is trumendously helpful. I've done 6 years depresion, phobias, and suicide watches due to a prolonged and twisted Darknight. Darknight will definitely cause what seems like permenent damage, but going thru the cycles will make life seem much better. I can't pinpoint a specific time when my life changed, but I'm much more spontaneously cheerful and helpful (and the fact that I can be spontaneous at all... well, it still blows my mind).

Once you've gotten to at least Equanimity than simple inquiry practices will work wonders for you. I promise.

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