Disclaimer: This is my own theory about the subject based on my own experiences. It’s in no way meant to be a factual dissertation of this subject.
Lately, I’ve talked to a few people who have loved ones who have had psychosis or who have come into contact with people who have gone through a psychosis before. I myself have had some experiences with psychosis, or people in psychosis, so I thought this was a topic deserving of its own post. Firstly, I think that the diagnosis of schizophrenia (or the spectrum of mental illness related to schizophrenia) is a bit reductive, as many people who I know who were diagnosed with such are the most grounded, rational human beings I know 90 percent of the time and usually psychotic episodes are spurred by extreme life circumstances: not eating or sleeping, alcohol/ drug use, etc. Some people break down if they don’t eat or sleep for 48 hours, others go insane. So the line between wellness and sickness is blurry at most.
That being said, I do feel there are some people who have an ability communicate easily with other realms without barriers, and this is not necessarily a bad thing. As a society, we tend to treat mental health and the scientific paradigm as a be-all and end-all (see: Reductionism); ie. to think, “This person has schizophrenia, so they are going to be out on the streets and unable to function”. If we have a disorder, we are with that disorder for life. But life is fluid and the mind is far from static, especially with diseases that center about the mutation of perceptions and sensations. One can have a talent to tune into another dimension, but if one cannot manage it, it’s easy to lose track of reality and go psychotic.
However, what happens a lot of the time is that someone with latent ‘psychic’ abilities (I use this word very gingerly, because I really think being ‘psychic’ can be defined as the ability to tune into the finer points in our reality; to pick up the signals that others are not sensitive enough to tune into) is not taught how to manage it. As a result, energy parasites, to borrow Colin Wilson’s term- parasites of the soul (that sounds so obtuse, but bear with me here)- tend to latch onto them and this spurs psychotic episodes. As such, I don’t really think it’s demonic influences or dark entities directly that spontaneously cause psychosis, although they are an effect of it, so much as parasites that feed on ‘dark matter’ (and schizophrenics are very tasty fodder!) that cause psychosis. Some people get psychic flus and go insane. That’s sort of how it is in many circumstances.
Under a traditional framework, shamanism was passed down through the generations and the patterns of shamanic initiation often mirror psychosis, including sensory/ physical deprivation. One goes through the process of initiation to be ripped apart in order to be born anew. Only in the case of shamans, they have an elder to guide them. Likewise, schizophrenia and the like is often inherited through the generations. However, we do not have the tools for those who have that predisposition for it to be ‘wakened’ in a safe way. As we know, mental illness is often triggered by exterior circumstances, rather than something that someone is immediately born into.
When you go psychotic, you tend to be in a hyper-attuned state with the universe. You get more direct feedback when you send thoughts out. Often, what you ask gets manifested immediately: accelerated Law of Attraction if you will (although I think LoA is bullshit and this is more a case of the primal rule of “like attracts like” and “thought creates reality”). You also often get a lot of seeming ‘superpowers’: understanding and speaking foreign languages spontaneously, that kind of thing. However, the parasites here also distort how you see reality, so you don’t exactly have the grounding to be able to manifest what you want because you are out of touch with yourself. You are in a state of possession wherein your mental processes have been completely hijacked by another entity (or usually many other entities). This can be likened to demonic possession, although I feel that the mind, in this case, is just in a state of disarray with itself. Oftentimes, parasitic entities or mischievous entities attach onto the person to ‘have fun’. I’ve also seen this happen before, and it definitely blurs the line between what the person really is and who they are in psychosis. Scientifically speaking (and science has not been very successful at untangling the nature of this type of illness yet), the brain’s different sectors have been mutated into a different state. Spiritually, I feel like it is almost as if parasites have latched onto the energy body and are distorting the feedback, the sensory input we get from exterior reality.
When one returns from psychosis, however, they tend to come back with an incredible sense of grounding. This again, is anecdotal experience. One realizes how one’s mind can be distorted by internal/external stimuli almost like an impressionistic nightmare in which fears take tangible form and raid the person’s waking life. Think of it like this. If a regular person faces their own shadows in real life by encountering the same pattern again and again, a psychotic person literally encounters their own shadows as though they were tangible demons (paranoias, delusions, etc). When one has integrated the lessons that come from a psychotic episode, one can move on to perhaps learn how to manifest one’s thoughts without the distorting aspects of the psychotic episode. However, you are also stripped from your former ‘superhero’ powers: you are back in square zero like a regular person and you have to learn how to identify your own limitations and beliefs that stop you from creating the reality you desire.
Now, to the subject of contagion, I do feel that some energetic parasites / entities are contagious. Let’s take the example of cult groups and gurus. Why is it that cults tend to consist of highly unstable, depressed people in emotionally volatile states? Why is it that cults tend to use food/ sleep deprivation as a means for followers to ‘get closer’ to the truth? I do not think this is coincidence or an innocent connection, but a way cult leaders use of manipulating the masses to be more susceptible to cult programming. And out of a percentage of these people, some of them can be triggered into psychosis. That’s also highly dangerous, I feel, and another subject worth exploring. Not all cult leaders are conscious of what they are doing, however. A lot of them are operating from primal desires and the drive of ego for satisfaction (this is partially why so many cult leaders have narcissistic pathologies): two elements that also very attractive to these energetic parasites. (see: How yoga can turn a jerk into an even bigger jerk).
I wrote this post more to gather together some of the ideas I have about psychosis, entity-attachment, shamanism and how cult pathologies are relevant to this discussion. If you guys have any experiences with any of the above or if you disagree on any of the points I made, please write it down in the comments. I am aware that- particularly with the case of psychosis- experiences vary on a case by case basis. As such, I’m quite interested in hearing what you have to say on this subject matter.