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Altered States of Consciousness


Related Questions/Objections

Difference between
Reality and Actuality?

Is Enlightenment pathological?

Is Enlightenment necessary?

Difference between ‘nipping in the bud’ and suppressing a Feeling?

Difference between Apperception and
Choiceless Awareness?

The ‘I’ does not really exist

Thoughts create Feelings

Jiddu Krishnamurti
talked about the Actual


Dissociation: The action of dissociating; the condition of being dissociated; disassociation. 2 Psychol. The process or result of breaking up an association of ideas. 3 Psychiatry. A process, or the resulting condition, in which certain concepts or mental processes are separated from the conscious personality; spec. the state of a person suffering from dissociated personality. Oxford Dictionary

How trauma and dissociation are related:

Professionals working in the area of abuse and trauma are quite familiar with dissociative processes. Clients/Patients commonly share in the context of treatment the phenomena of separating their thoughts and emotions from the trauma that they were experiencing and/or had experienced in the past. This separation (dissociation) of one’s thoughts, emotions and even body sensations are commonly seen in traumatic disorders such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In addition, patients who are diagnosed with a dissociative disorder are often discovered to have trauma in their background. The apparent co-existence of trauma and dissociation have led many therapists to note that ‘you can’t have trauma without dissociation and that you can’t have dissociation without trauma’.

There are always exceptions to this noted co-existence of trauma and dissociation, but nevertheless the phenomenon is quite commonly reported to therapists. There has even been discussion within the diagnostic community of possibly having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) listed as a dissociative disorder and thus removed from the DSM-IV category of Anxiety Disorders. © George F. Rhoades, Jr., Ph.D. November 1, 1998, P.O. Box 1164, Pearl City, HI. 96782.

Richard: All the mystics advise dissociation (wherein painful reality is transformed into a bad dream) as being the most effective means to deal with all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides and the such-like. Just as a traumatised victim of an horrific and terrifying event makes the experience unreal in order to cope with the ordeal, all the Gurus and the God-Men, the Masters and the Messiahs, the Avatars and the Saviours and the Saints and the Sages have desperately done precisely this thing (during what is sometimes called ‘the dark night of the soul’). Mystics have been transmogrifying the real world ‘reality’ into an unreal ‘True Reality’ via the epiphenomenal imaginative/intuitive facility born of the psyche (which is formed by the instinctual passions genetically endowed by blind nature for survival purposes) for millennia.

Such dissociation is a psychotic sickness culturally institutionalised into a head-in-the-sand escapist ‘solution’ to all the ills of humankind … hence the divine perpetuation of all the misery and mayhem across the millennia through a belief in karma or samsara or some-such metaphysical reason being the cause of such aberrant behaviour. Mysticism is nothing more and nothing less than a frantic coping-mechanism, institutionalised into a cultural metaphysics over thousands and thousands of years … especially if accompanied by dissociative states such as ‘derealisation’ and ‘alternate personality disorder’ and others. It is also known as ‘disassociation’, or ‘disassociative identity disorder’ and dissociative reactions are attempts to escape from excessive trauma tension and anxiety by separating off parts of personality function from the rest of cognition as an attempt to isolate something that arouses anxiety and gain distance from it.

For example, in everyday life, mild and temporary dissociation, sometimes hard to distinguish from repression and isolation, is a relatively common and normal device used to escape from severe emotional tension and anxiety. Temporary episodes of transient estrangement, depersonalisation and derealisation are often experienced by normal persons when they first feel the initial impact of bad news, for instance. Everything suddenly looks strange and different; things seem unnatural and distant; events can be indistinct and vaporous; often the person feels that they themselves are unreal and everything takes on a dream-like quality. Dissociation becomes abnormal when the once mild or transient expedient becomes too intense, lasts too long, or escapes from a person’s control … and leads to a separation from the surroundings which seriously disturbs object relations. In object estrangement the once familiar world of ordinary objects – the world of people, things and events – seems to have undergone a disturbing and often indescribable change.

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