Two Prophets; Mentally Ill?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by enlightenment, Mar 16, 2007.

  1. enlightenment

    enlightenment New Member

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    all medical encyclopaedias and psychiatric reference books, schizophrenia is any of a group of psychotic disorders usually characterized by withdrawal from reality, illogical patterns of thinking, delusions, and hallucinations, being accompanied in varying degrees by other emotional, behavioral, or intellectual disturbances. Schizophrenia is associated with dopamine imbalances in the brain and defects of the frontal lobe and is caused by genetic, other biological, and psychosocial factors.

    Just about everything of what is said in the Bible and the Koran about the founders of those two creeds, points in the direction of a biochemical imbalance in their brain. These men showed systemic signs of delusion in their behavior.

    They claimed to have heard heavenly voices, which is a typical symptom of this disease. People with schizophrenia tend to hear, see, feel or smell things that are not there. Just as in a dream, where fantastic events can not be distinguished from real ones. Thus, the hallucination of a voice is perceived in the brain just like a real person talking.

    In present times psychiatrists and psychologists have reported millions of cases of people who claim identical things, consisting of two or more voices conversing with each other. However, nobody else has ever been able to hear the voices. Not the doctors, not the nurses, and not even the family members of the patient. That was exactly the situation for Jesus and Mohammed. Only they heard the voices and it was not because they were the chosen ones. It was simply because the others did not suffer from that neurological disequilibrium.

    Since in modern times religion does not play a powerful role in the lives of people, many of the persons assuring to have heard voices did not claim it came from God. In ancient times when the belief in the divine was omnipresent, everybody assured it came from above.

    Whether in the past or in present times, in all cases the person always clings to these beliefs even after the beliefs are shown to be false. That is a typical symptom and that is what Jesus and Mohammed did. In their times many contested their claims with strong rational arguments but both clung on to their unsubstantiated ideas.

    It is human nature to explain things simplistically and religions excel in simplifying things when trying to explicate any phenomenon. Due to the total absence of scientific information in the ancient times in which those two characters lived, it was inevitable that they and their contemporaries would interpret that situation as a divine calling.

    Illogical patterns of thinking, is another common expression of this mental illness and both men experienced it. The structure of their thoughts was completely detached from reality and there was never an effort to search for correlations or establish causality linkages. These men never substantiated their arguments with statistical evidence or with historical facts, basing everything on anecdotes and so called commands from God.

    Withdrawal from reality and the experiencing of hallucinations are also typical symptoms, and both men were completely delusional. They thought they could walk over water, move mountains, feed the masses, and cure diseases. The truth of the matter is that the historians of the time did not report any of these events. Given the large scale following that these men had in Palestine and in the Arabian Peninsula respectively, it was inevitable that something as huge as the supply of food and medicine to a hungry and ill population would have been recorded in some way. However, nothing was reported.

    What was reported was the violent way in which Mohammed instituted his belief in the peninsula, for he waged war to impose his will.

    What was also reported was the continued misery and sickness of the population of both lands. There were no such miracles as the transformation of uneatable goods into food and wine. Life expectancy was of just eighteen years of age in Palestineand theArabian Peninsula before the coming of Jesus and Mohammed, and during the time they realized their miracles, people continued to die by the droves at the same early age. Nothing improved while they spread their gospel. Not the food supply of the country, not the level of health, not the quality or the quantity of housing, and not even the level of crime or household violence.

    Once they died and rose to Heaven, where they supposedly took better care of their people for they could lobby more directly God, the miserable living conditions of those two territories remained as bad as before. Hundreds of years went by and the people of the region prayed uninterruptedly to the God that Jesus and Mohammed had peddled, but there was still no improvement.

    When life finally started to improve, in the nineteenth and twentieth century, it was not because their prayers were finally answered but because there was an inordinate amount of scientific and technological discoveries.

    The religions that Jesus and Mohammed founded have never delivered concrete benefits to the <st1:place>Middle East</st1:place> or to any other region of the world. There have been numerous unsubstantiated claims, but non that could be quantified in a serious way or that could be classified as progress.

    They on the contrary mislead the world in the wrong direction and in doing that, hindered progress. Over the past two thousand years, the religions they created have systemically restrained the advance of science, which is the only thing that brings wealth to humanity.

    Despite the harm that they have caused, they cannot be blamed for misleading humanity. The reason they cannot be blamed is because they were sick. They were mentally ill and cerebral illnesses are beyond the control of the person that suffers from them. Schizophrenia is due to genetic, biological or adverse psychosocial factors.

    It is not clear whether the cause driving Jesus and Mohammed to behave like they did was genetic, biological, psychosocial, or if it was a mixture of two or more of those factors. Whatever the cause, the fact is that they were both victims of circumstance.

    However, it is almost a certainty that the third factor played an important role. The extreme violence of their times and the deplorable misery of the epoch played a major part, for such atrocious conditions tend to push people into efforts of mental escapism. Just as a child who is regularly beaten and sexually abused tends to seek refuge in a fantastic world of myths and legends, so do adults who are confronted with terrible conditions that seem insurmountable take refuge in a world of fancies.

    The poverty and the violence of the times were indeed insurmountable and it was only until the nineteenth and twentieth century that the <st1:place>Middle East</st1:place> and the rest of the world started to experience some significant improvement in living conditions. In that two-hundred year period, life expectancy in the <st1:place>Middle East</st1:place> went from twenty in 1800 to sixty eight in the year 2000.

    To understand the dangers that schizophrenia can cause when people who suffer from it attain positions of influence in a nation or in the world, it is worth pointing at what the latest research has revealed about the worst war of all times.

    The Second World War was the sole responsibility of Adolph Hitler and new studies show that the Austrian suffered from schizophrenia. In Hitler’s family there was a long history of this disease and in his case the main variable causing it was clearly genetic. However, the psychosocial factors seem to have also played a part for he was brutally beaten by his father, he became orphaned at an early age, lived in dire poverty once his parents died, and experienced the horrid savagery of trench war during the First World War.

    The biochemical imbalance in the brain of Hitler caused the death of fifty million people and left traumatized several generations of Europeans, Jews and others who suffered. History teaches that humanity must not deposit its faith in people with unstable brains, and Jesus and Mohammed were that kind of people. <o:p></o:p>
     
  2. Caimanson

    Caimanson Mind or spirit?

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    It is hard to say for sure, that these great spiritual leaders suffered some kind of mental disorder, but it is definitely a reasonable possibility. The same can be said of many artists, scientists and as you mention secular leaders.
    It is the imbalance that opens many creative possibilities and what some call genius. It seems that geniuses are rarely normal people.

    It is interesting that believing that one is Jesus is a common choice of delusion for those suffering in mental health institutions.

    Some people claim that some meditation practices can also induce temporal/permanent insanity, for example chi kung madness. Is it possible that Mohammed and Jesus were affected by a similar phenomena while praying/meditating?
     
  3. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    This exact article by Charles Sabillon can be found at the American Chronicle.

    Information about Charles Sabillon, and more of his work can be found here.
     
  4. cyberpi

    cyberpi Interfaith Forums

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    enlightenment,
    Were you not the person who defended Geniocracy and other Raelian beliefs in the politics section of this website? Rael the man who directly claims to have met Jesus and the prophets in his lifetime as they visited him as aliens from another planet, and as he claims to have visited their planet. Rael being the man who patterns geniocracy and cloning by the teaching he says he received by those alien Elohim on their planet. Did you drop him as a religion or as a liar?

    I'm not sure of schizophrenia, but I recognize that Mr. Rael both uses the name of Jesus, Mohammud, Buddha, etc... to gain credibility, and yet conflicts deeply with their teaching.
     
  5. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    For balance...

    "Enlightenment" wrote:

    The religions that Jesus and Mohammed founded have never delivered concrete benefits to the <st1:place>Middle East</st1:place> or to any other region of the world. There have been numerous unsubstantiated claims, but non that could be quantified in a serious way or that could be classified as progress.

    They on the contrary mislead the world in the wrong direction and in doing that, hindered progress. Over the past two thousand years, the religions they created have systemically restrained the advance of science, which is the only thing that brings wealth to humanity.

    .......

    My comment:

    I think if you approach the history of Islam and Christainity you do find cultural advances and stability that provided people with institutions of learning and advances in medical science and physical sciences.

    Have there been those who exploited religion to advance themselves or enrich their coffers?

    To be sure there are many examples and negative effects from them but there have been postives as well so a more balanced approach I think would be valuable here.

    - Art
     
  6. enlightenment

    enlightenment New Member

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    I would say that I was the same person who, on another and unrelated thread, offered these thoughts to people.

    I personally remain unconvinced about many parts of it, either way, but hey, there is no harm in exploration, imo.

    I neither embraced him or rejected him as a religous liar.

    I was never a member of the Raelian Movement, however, I would hazard that I am as well placed to really speak of it here, as anyone, and more so some.

    I have never met Rael.

    Cannot vouch for hm.

    Or his sanity.

    Never met Jesus or Moses, or Buddah either.

    Cannot vouch for their sincerity of sanity either, mate.

    I am interested in a LOT of things, and sometimes I will experiment or test them, as I would anything.

    If the test holds up, I will maybe take some value from it.

    If some of it holds up, I will perhaps take that, and reject the rest.

    Does that sound fair enough?

    :)
     
  7. enlightenment

    enlightenment New Member

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    After thought.

    Most prophets seem to have their defining moment while sitting atop a mountain, or such like.

    I have heard the altitude sickness, or a form of it, can lead to hallucinations.

    Thoughts?


    :)
     
  8. Prober

    Prober Give Us This Day...

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    I think being able to see into the future is the product of being able to recognize the repeating patterns that exist in life in very minute detail.

    Unless you're G-d of course.
     
  9. enlightenment

    enlightenment New Member

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    In other words, to see what is in front, look to the past, is that what you are saying?

    :)
     
  10. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    A couple of things:

    The Jesus of the Gospels is, I think, a composite character. There is no convincing evidence that the person portrayed in the Bible ever existed.

    Have you ever read The Doors of Perception, by Aldous Huxley? His idea is that there is a shared human consciousness which he called a "mind at large." We are often told that we humans only use a fraction of our true mental capacity, but Huxley postulated that all information is at all times available to us, it's just that our brains function as a built in limiter to keep us from being overwhelmed. In those terms, schizophrenics are just people whose mental filters are malfunctioning, allowing them access to more information than they can handle. And because the inner voice of our personality is our interface between everything that could be known, and the limited capacity we have to digest useful information, schizophrenics also manifest an overload which results in a compartmentalization of, and multiple assignments of inner voice. That's why they hear "the voices." It's more than one personality assignment can handle, so they break it up into multiple "persons."

    I think that it's possible that ocassionally a person is able to handle the extra information load without completely losing it. We call these people prophets and geniuses. But they're no less whacked than your average schizophrenic, they just have some kind of capacity to hold it together, most of the time anyway, and do something with it.

    Chris
     
  11. enlightenment

    enlightenment New Member

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    Chris

    Thanks for that, very interesting.

    So, in a manner, you could say that those that appear most insane, are potentially, the most sane or spiritually connected, for the want of a better term?

    In other words, are certian mental conditions a 'blessing' that we do not, as yet, appreciate?
     
  12. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    Well, I guess it's a mixed blessing/curse thing. I mean, sane is being able to get up in the morning and go to work, and function in society. It depends on which orientation you have, I suppose. Sane folks have to cultivate a bit of derrangement to "break on through." Schizo's get that for free, but they can't function normally enough to do anything constructive with the "blessing." It's another bloody paradox, man!

    Chris
     
  13. cyberpi

    cyberpi Interfaith Forums

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    Simply pointing out that it would be hard to be a follower of the Raelians and also rail against these religions.

    This comparison with Hitler: WWI was not due to the man, and tensions existed in the country to help fuel the rise of fascism and anti-Jew persecution. The propaganda machine did far more work than Hitler did, along with industry, some talented scientists, and war commanders that sought glory. Censorship played a part. So to say that it was all due to Hitler is giving him far, far too much credit. The system of government that places single minds into positions of power over many should be examined.

    Today people who tend to be schizo, multiple personality, drug addicts, or other mind related illnesses end up with very few followers, depression, shorter lives, placed in medical care, etc... so why is it assumed that people would follow Christ and Mohammud if they were schizo? Was Caesar, Alexander, various Kings of England, France, etc... all schizo? Most of them led wars in their time. The number of wars in history are many. So many wars, and with the wars that followed in the name of Christianity or Mohammed; it is just that... they mostly followed afterwards. Jesus and Mohammud did not personally lead everyone into battle to persecute others. Quite the opposite, but others did in their name.

    Lets just say that the minds of Jesus or Mohammed were somehow Schizo, which really ignores their messages but then what does that say for the state of the 3 billion minds on the planet who claim to be Christian or Muslim? Those who go to church or mosques to pray, pay tithing or zakat, sing hymnals, etc... Are there 3 billion adherents who are likewise schizo? Do the adherents maybe see something different than the author?

    I realize that is a dull counter-argument, but not much in the original argument to work with.
     
  14. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    Great post, I've been saying this for a while, Gods prophets were mentally imbalanced. However, if that’s what it takes for progression in society then be it. I still strongly believe at some core level they were who they said they were.

    Here is something I've been thinking about lately.

    The kingdom of heaven directly overlaps the kingdom of earth. Humans try to fuse them together, prophetic ability is someones effort to bring us revelation. But the price paid for that is erosion of the flesh and mind. This way all humans play a roll in the heavenly kingdom coming and great prophets play big rolls. I think mental illness such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia are symptoms of that erosion. Many of the greats and genius of time that have changed society and civilisation for the better probably suffered from mental problems, I would go as far to say that all religious founders did.
     
  15. Caimanson

    Caimanson Mind or spirit?

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    People with severe mental disorders can function very poorly, as Chris suggests it is only those that manage to hold it together enough that have the potential to become geniuses, or shall we say those that are borderline between sanity and insanity. To have followers you have to be charismatic, function decently and have something new and interesting to say!
    As for the various kings, they didn't offer heaven. And as for all of us, you can say that we are all deluded, mental sanity is matter of degrees, because if you look anyone under the microscope you will find mental disorders in a smaller scale.


    It doesn't mean that everything they said or did was bonkers, in fact a lot of what they said was not entirely new, but borrowed from other traditions. As for the essence of the message, it is either a big delusion that fulfill people's needs or there is something genuine that these religious leaders have managed to tap into. Let's not narrow the discussion to Jesus or Mohammed.
    In my eyes, it is more a case of what they believed about themselves: the last and greatest prophet, God genuinely spoke to them and decreed this or that, this is God's last word, or I am God.
     
  16. Prober

    Prober Give Us This Day...

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    Exactly.
     
  17. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    To me asssigning altitude sickness or schizophrenia to a Prophet amounts to reductionism.

    - Art
     
  18. enlightenment

    enlightenment New Member

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    Good post, and well said.
     
  19. enlightenment

    enlightenment New Member

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    In what way?

    Is it wrong or 'reductionist' to propose that their visions, such as they are, were explained by entirely scientific reasons?

    Why does that make it lesser?

    Is it wrong to explore than to accept myths that are shrouded in being obscure...:confused:
     
  20. Promethium

    Promethium New Member

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    The Quran seems to anticipate the charge of insanity.

    YUSUFALI: And the Unbelievers would almost trip thee up with their eyes when they hear the Message; and they say: "Surely he is possessed!"
    PICKTHAL: And lo! those who disbelieve would fain disconcert thee with their eyes when they hear the Reminder, and they say: Lo! he is indeed mad;
    -Quran 68:51

    But it is nothing less than a Message to all the worlds.
    -Quran 68:52
     

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