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Could old religions have started with a schizophrenia persons?

 
 
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 12:57 pm
I've often wondered if ancient religions, and even those in the modern world, are started by people suffering from schizophrenia? Early people lacked the knowledge in health and science and could be convinced that some people were seeing and hearing things that other did not. They were convinced that the unrealized mentally ill people's behaviors were attributed to gods and profits.

Through the centuries, people continued to believe the old stories. Clever, not-schizophrenia people, began to take advantage of the believers to give them wealth and power over them. Such manipulation is rampant throughout the world, especially in the United States and it's bible belt. We've seen tragic evidence of this manipulation over and over again.

More about schizophrenia:

http://www.ehealthmd.com/library/schizophrenia/sch_symptoms.html
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gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 12:59 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
Quote:
I've often wondered if ancient religions, and even those in the modern world, are started by people suffering from schizophrenia?


What we call schizophrenia would apparently have been called normal 4000 years ago. Best and only book on the topic remains Julian Jaynes "Origins of Consciousness". You should have a copy.
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  0  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 01:05 pm
@gungasnake,
I read that book in the 1970s and was fascinated by his theory of a bicameral brain. Voices in two sides of the brain speaking to each other. I've often wondered if schizophrenia people have a recessed gene from the age of bicameral brains that has reappeared in them?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicameralism_%28psychology%29

Fido
 
  0  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 01:47 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:

I read that book in the 1970s and was fascinated by his theory of a bicameral brain. Voices in two sides of the brain speaking to each other. I've often wondered if schizophrenia people have a recessed gene from the age of bicameral brains that has reappeared in them?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicameralism_%28psychology%29


What I expect is that Schizophrenics lose consciousness of the fact that they are not one but two personalities, which should be complementary, but in their cases are not... Jaynes book is dated, but a classic....
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 02:21 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
I've often wondered if ancient religions, and even those in the modern world, are started by people suffering from schizophrenia?

I doubt it.

I think the core influence which results in religious thought (especially in primitive cultures) is the natural tendency of the human mind to anthropomorphize. When the human mind applies human intent and motivation to aspects of the natural world, supernatural beings result almost automatically. Once these ideas are formed, cultures amplify them through other natural human behaviors (like embellished stories and other motivations designed to give power to the individual telling the stories).

People with schizophrenia (and other unusual behaviors) may have reinforced some people's belief simply by providing a fertile ground for people pre-conceived notions to grow, but I don't think schizophrenia is the root cause.

The ideas on Bicameral thought are interesting, but purely speculative. I don't see how anyone could come up with any evidence to support the idea that human thought originated in that form. But we'll probably never know for sure.


fresco
 
  2  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 03:12 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
I doubt whether any psychology student is unfamiliar with the point that some cultures categorize mental or social deviants as "ill", whereas others place them in positions of power and influence as prophets or witch doctors. Mohammed, for example, is thought by many to have suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy, and his writings followed his epileptic episodes.

But Rosborne is correct in that such characters might be the seeds that fall on socially fertile ground, rather than being the primary cause.
0 Replies
 
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 03:14 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
There are several routes this answer could go.

1 Yes
2 No
3 Jesus was the son of God or he was the first sufferer of Theomania
4 Mohamed might have been using a hallucinagen or maybe the cave echoed
5 Joseph Smith was an inland pirate and Moroni was a guy with a map
6 L. Ron Hubbard was playing a practical joke on Hollywood
7 Some or all of them had some sort or real divine experience.

I like to think its the latter. Humans have a need for the divine, and if they cannot find it they sublimate something that isn't divine. The status of something is always elevated in a person's life. It is the core of the existential crisis. What will be divine (or carry the symbolic weight of the divine) in my life. So it makes no real difference if the people who started a religion were crazy or even flat out manipulative charlatans, the results fill a divine void in the hearts and minds of millions, so why denigrate progenitors of such religions, it does no good.

P.S. not trying to imply that you are trashing religious figures specifically.
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 08:50 pm
What this means is that if God wanted to speak to someone today, he should call on a phone, so the recipient of God's message could put the phone on "speaker," so other people could hear the message. Otherwise, people today would say the person was just hearing voices.

A refinement could be that the recipient would first hear a recording, "To hear God in English, push #1."

GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 11:57 pm
@Foofie,
Maybe god sounds like dial up modem
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Aug, 2010 08:17 am
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:

BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
I've often wondered if ancient religions, and even those in the modern world, are started by people suffering from schizophrenia?

I doubt it.

I think the core influence which results in religious thought (especially in primitive cultures) is the natural tendency of the human mind to anthropomorphize. When the human mind applies human intent and motivation to aspects of the natural world, supernatural beings result almost automatically. Once these ideas are formed, cultures amplify them through other natural human behaviors (like embellished stories and other motivations designed to give power to the individual telling the stories).

People with schizophrenia (and other unusual behaviors) may have reinforced some people's belief simply by providing a fertile ground for people pre-conceived notions to grow, but I don't think schizophrenia is the root cause.

The ideas on Bicameral thought are interesting, but purely speculative. I don't see how anyone could come up with any evidence to support the idea that human thought originated in that form. But we'll probably never know for sure.




I think you are wrong... First of all, the precursors of religion are animism and naturalism, last first, I guess.... But the words you use, idea, notion, conceived, that is: concept, all of which is essential to thought, like essence itself is a spiritual quality... If you can imagine a cap of steel, weighing 100, 000 kps, and wish to place that gently atop the pyramid of Cheops, you do it first by thought as the mainipulation of matter through its essence, the idea of it... All things we know, we know through the idea of them, and the original gods were the ideas of material things...So the idea of human thought originating in this form or that is nonsense when thought is form/idea/notion/concept...
What Jahnes was saying and the title of the book says, is the origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind... When ever we think we can be conscious of the weighing of facts against opinion, desires against realities, knowledge against speculation, thought against emotion, and most of us are conscious of these directions of our behavior as conscience, or reason... Because of our organic complexity it is possible for us to be of two minds consciously...Schizophrenics seem, like primitives, seem to locate one phase of consciousness outside of themselves as in the burning bush of Moses, or the god whispering wisdom into the ear of Hammarabi... Those who recognized this attribute as internal to themselves, who did not have to consult a fetish, or enter some dream state to reach a conclusion had the genetic advantage... Those people did not live in their nature as animals do, but above their nature as we do, usually; because there are many throwbacks...
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Aug, 2010 08:27 am
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead wrote:

There are several routes this answer could go.

1 Yes
2 No
3 Jesus was the son of God or he was the first sufferer of Theomania
4 Mohamed might have been using a hallucinagen or maybe the cave echoed
5 Joseph Smith was an inland pirate and Moroni was a guy with a map
6 L. Ron Hubbard was playing a practical joke on Hollywood
7 Some or all of them had some sort or real divine experience.

I like to think its the latter. Humans have a need for the divine, and if they cannot find it they sublimate something that isn't divine. The status of something is always elevated in a person's life. It is the core of the existential crisis. What will be divine (or carry the symbolic weight of the divine) in my life. So it makes no real difference if the people who started a religion were crazy or even flat out manipulative charlatans, the results fill a divine void in the hearts and minds of millions, so why denigrate progenitors of such religions, it does no good.

P.S. not trying to imply that you are trashing religious figures specifically.


We all live in and navigate through spiritual worlds... We have our concepts of reality which are all essences of the things we sense, but we have a vast ocean of moral forms, like justice, or truth, or virtue, or liberty that are totally immaterial, meaning without being... You could not communicate without resort to such moral forms and would likely have nothing to say without reference to them and yet they are competely spiritual, moral, concerned without our consciousness as spiritual being, animus, soul... I would not personally trouble with such insubstantial and illogical wandering of mind were it not for humanity the only show in town... Moral forms are where the action is, but forget about resolution, fact, or logic... They is what they is...
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Aug, 2010 08:30 am
@Foofie,
Foofie wrote:

What this means is that if God wanted to speak to someone today, he should call on a phone, so the recipient of God's message could put the phone on "speaker," so other people could hear the message. Otherwise, people today would say the person was just hearing voices.

A refinement could be that the recipient would first hear a recording, "To hear God in English, push #1."



Socrates had his inner voice and we have ours... It is inevitable in the way we have sliced up the world, which may be the only natural way to slice it, that one side of our nature will always be more God like, while the other remains more animal...
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Aug, 2010 01:03 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
I think you are wrong... First of all, the precursors of religion are animism and naturalism, last first, I guess....

Animism is an obvious result of anthropomorphic expression. As such, it is not a root cause. Naturalism is a philosophy and has a completely different definition.

Anthropomorphism is a predictable and reasonable reaction by the human brain to offer itself possible explanations whenever presented with an unknown. As such, it is very close to instinctual. This doesn't mean however that it can't be overridden by recognizing what is happening.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Sep, 2010 11:25 pm
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:

Fido wrote:
I think you are wrong... First of all, the precursors of religion are animism and naturalism, last first, I guess....

Animism is an obvious result of anthropomorphic expression. As such, it is not a root cause. Naturalism is a philosophy and has a completely different definition.

Anthropomorphism is a predictable and reasonable reaction by the human brain to offer itself possible explanations whenever presented with an unknown. As such, it is very close to instinctual. This doesn't mean however that it can't be overridden by recognizing what is happening.
Quote:

I sort of expect you are wrong... When we consciously consider animals to have human attributes, as when we refer to a dog's happiness or wants or loves then that is anthropomophizing.... When primitives believed that other animals were equal, that deer and fish could communicate, and had spirits as we presumbed of ourselves, then that was animism... Naturalism, as a spiritual level of existence, accepted that all animals and objects in nature had spirits... We have many today who accept that this notion is true, and not because they are to any extent philosophical... If we talk about the essence of this or that, it is the same as most naturalism... All our forms, ideas, and concepts grew out of this spiritual feeling for nature...

We struggle as much today with forms as ever a primitive did; and for the same reason, that the greater our knowledge the greater will be our control...Whether or not there is a God is an immaterial question...People knew God, and wanted to know God for no better reason than to turn God to their purposes... The end result is that we can control almost any nature but our own... And that is my way of saying we have missed the point, because if we could control our nature our needs would be few and our knowledge sufficient, and nature would supply us with abundance... Since we cannot control our nature, nature is seen as the enemy, as something that should be destroy because it cannot be controled...Come to think of it; Schizophrenia must surely be a human disease that only schizophrenics have fully blown and all of us suffer to a degree..
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 08:06 am
@Fido,
FIDA, Amen!

BBB Wink
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 09:39 am
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
I sort of expect you are wrong...

Well, at least you're making progress in the right direction Wink
0 Replies
 
peter jeffrey cobb
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Jan, 2011 01:14 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:

I've often wondered if ancient religions, and even those in the modern world, are started by people suffering from schizophrenia? Early people lacked the knowledge in health and science and could be convinced that some people were seeing and hearing things that other did not. They were convinced that the unrealized mentally ill people's behaviors were attributed to gods and profits.

Through the centuries, people continued to believe the old stories. Clever, not-schizophrenia people, began to take advantage of the believers to give them wealth and power over them. Such manipulation is rampant throughout the world, especially in the United States and it's bible belt. We've seen tragic evidence of this manipulation over and over again.

More about schizophrenia:

http://www.ehealthmd.com/library/schizophrenia/sch_symptoms.html
I have the disease to me wealth and power is not the point of life. And I belive the anwser to the question, in my personal opinion would be yes Smile
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jan, 2011 01:30 am
I read some place that there are 10 000 religions on earth - not counting the ones that do not exist any more. One of them is Christianity, which has something like 30 000 denominations.
The development of many of these denominations are coming from an intellectual standpoint of thoughts. A disagreement about things in the Bible or the denomination.
Would you consider Luther schizophreniac? No and still it is said that he too had a revelation. He was a highly intellectual person.

In modern times we talk openly about our dreams, we dream about our deseaded loved ones. We do not mind to tell others about it. I am sure that in contrary to the Middle Ages we hardly would dare to tell if we had a religious dream, say about angles or about a saint. Where is the border between dreams and revelations?
peter jeffrey cobb
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jan, 2011 10:08 am
@saab,
Well the chinese I belive called the disease 'Two minds". It affects 1% of the world. By no means does it mean someone affected by the disease is not an intelectual person. Well there are plenty of links describing that aspect Smile The point is something that defines logic such as "I am talking to God". Or "I am Gods messenger". Would construde in todays society as someone having delusions. There fore it possible be one of the dignoses of the disease. Let me give you an example. If you search on my topic of my defenition of what God is. Well under my defenition the voices in my head could be consired to be God. Smile I think most people that heard someone saying that in todays society, would say that the person that made that statement is sick. Does that make sense?
saab
 
  2  
Reply Mon 10 Jan, 2011 12:53 pm
@peter jeffrey cobb,
It makes sence.
We often hear about people being possed by evil - that being said also by not religious people. Meaning they are really evil.
On the other hand we modern people would never say in a positiv way: He/she heard God talk. Then we would think something is wrong.
 

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