The Four Assumptive Worlds of Psychopathology III B- The World of Distorted/Inaccurate Views of Reality
In some texts, for some psychotic conditions and where the illness leads to violence, measures like calming the patient with assurances and words of religious and moral import are prescribed. It is also possible that a shock be provided by announcing a loss, or creating awe or wonderment, or even threatening physical torture sometimes to discipline the patient before the treatment. Some of these are from more than 500CE and hence due consideration may be given in the interpretation of these recommendations and their relevance today.
We would like to highlight again that Ayurveda, is only one of the many traditions from the east. Most of them share a common understanding about life and living though. Ayurveda itself has many variations in its practice and hence it is not fair to generalise it nor use its principles as an indicator for eastern practices. Yet, they point towards the nature of the paradigm on which the practices are built. When the body, mind and the world are apparent reality, why not have fun with many variations and enjoy the diversity of perspectives, without having to judge one as right? Even the assertions of right and wrong belong the play of the apparent, like in a dream!
Contemporary developments in the eastern traditions have contributed to adding and refining to the practices of healing mental illnesses. There is a view that all mental disease originates in a lack of clarity (sattva) within the mind and the primary goal of healing is the cultivation of sattva through proper lifestyle and through all five senses including spending more time in nature, meditation practices, and yoga. Some recommend staying away from the media and eating a sattvic diet, focusing on proper breathing and following a values/principles centred life style.
Accepting eastern practices will need a shift in paradigm (Kuhn, Zilboorg) compared to the western thinking. This shift is not far away considering the advances in the field of quantum physics, quantum mechanics, epigenetics and similar fields. Quoting Bergquist, “the mystery of life” need to be accepted as unknowable with the mind and not labelled as ‘emergence’. Eastern thought is founded on the conviction of this unknowability and hence the original ideas of healing were designed to manage the apparent life, just so that we can function adequately on our way to face what is real. Healing was not meant to feed an industry or promise beauty, comfort or longevity to a temporal body/mind. Those who were ‘at the table’ (from Bergquist) valued knowledge and truth more than anything else. Currently, the eastern systems are being influenced by the demand for anti-aging, aesthetics, body image, healthy living and hyped-up image of a spiritual life. The monks are dead and gone, the surgery is done by the politicians and research by the industrialists. The good news is that there is a possibility for a convergence and what could emerge would benefit the whole in ways we never imagined possible.