RE: [bn-study] Theosophy and Schitzophrenia
Nov 02, 2004 10:22 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck
Nov 2 2004
I believe some lf the phenomena of schitzophrenia are analogous to
Those named in the past "obsession."
Here is an article on this subject. It may suggest some ways of looking at
the matter psychologically.
A CASE OF OBSESSION
[Extracts from an Article by H. P. Blavatsky.]
[ U L T -- H P B Articles II 486; THEOSOPHIST, May 1880 ]
THE particulars of the case of "obsession," alluded to in the April number
of this magazine, are given in the following letter from a respectable
English medical man who is in attendance upon the victim:--
“I take the liberty of addressing you in the cause of humanity, with the
intention of exciting your sympathies and obtaining all the aid in your
power to afford, in a case of "control." You will understand that the
gentleman is being made a medium against his wish, through having attended a
few séances for the purpose of witnessing "materialization."
Ever since, he has been more or less subject to a series of persecutions by
the "controlling" spirit and, in spite of every effort of his to throw off
the influence, he has been made to suffer most shamefully and painfully in
very many ways and under most trying and aggravating circumstances,
especially by his thoughts being forced into forbidden channels without
external causes being present--the bodily functions overruled, even being
caused to bite his tongue and cheeks severely whilst eating, &c., and
subjected to every species of petty annoyances which will serve as a means
for the "control" (unknown) to sustain and establish the connection. The
details are in their most painful features not such as I can write to you;
but if there be any means known to you whereby the influence can be
diverted, and it is thought necessary to be more particular in my
description of this case, I will send you all the information I possess. “
So little is known in India of the latest and most startling phase of
Western mediumistic phenomena--"materialization,"--that a few words of
explanation are needed to make this case understood.
Briefly, then, for several years, in the presence of certain mediums in
America and Europe, there have been seen, often under good test conditions,
apparitions of the dead, which in every respect seem like living human
beings. They walk about, write messages to present and absent friends, speak
audibly in the languages familiar to them in life, even though the medium
may be unacquainted with them, and are dressed in the garb they wore when
Many cases of fraudulent personation of the dead have been detected,
pretended mediums have sometimes gone on for years deceiving the credulous,
and real ones, whose psychical powers have been apparently proved beyond
doubt, have been caught playing tricks in some evil hour when they have
yielded to either the love of money or notoriety. Still, making every
allowance for all these, there is a residuum of veritable cases of the
materialization, or the making visible, tangible and audible of portrait
figures of dead people.
These wonderful phenomena have been variously regarded by investigators.
Most Spiritualists have looked upon them as the most precious proofs of the
soul-survival; while Theosophists, acquainted with the views of the ancient
Theurgists, and the still more ancient Aryan philosophers, have viewed them
as at best misleading deceptions of the senses, fraught with danger to the
physical and moral natures of both medium and spectator--if the latter
chances to be susceptible to certain psychical influences.
These students of Occultism have noticed that the mediums for
materializations have too often been ruined in health by the drain upon
their systems, and wrecked in morals. They have over and again warned the
Spiritualistic public that mediumship was a most dangerous gift, one only to
be tolerated under great precautions. And for this they have received much
abuse and few thanks. Still one's duty must be done at every cost, and the
case now before us affords a valuable text for one more bit of friendly
We need not stop to discuss the question whether the so-called materialized
forms above described are or are not those of the deceased they look like.
That may be held in reserve until the bottom facts of Oriental psychical
science are better understood. Nor need we argue as to whether there has
ever been an authentic materialization.
The London experiences of Mr. William Crookes, F.R.S., and the American ones
of Colonel Olcott, both so widely known and of so convincing a character,
give us a sufficient basis of fact to argue upon. We assume the reality of
materializations, and shall take the instance cited by the English physician
as a subject for diagnosis.
The patient then is described as having been "controlled" since attending
"circles" where there were materializations, and as having become the
bond-slave of some evil powers which force him to say and do painful and
even disgusting things, despite his resistance.
Why is this? How can a man be compelled to so act against his will? What is
Three brief questions these are, but most difficult to explain to an
uninitiated public. The laws of Obsession can only be well understood by him
who has sounded the depths of Indian philosophy.
The only clue to the secret, which the West possesses, is contained in that
most beneficent science, Magnetism or Mesmerism. That does teach the
existence of a vital fluid within and about the human being; the fact of
different human polarities; and the possibility of one person projecting
this fluid or force at will, to and upon another person differently
Baron Reichenbach's theory of Odyle or Odic force shows us the existence of
this same fluid in the mineral and vegetable as well as the animal kingdoms.
To complete the chain of evidence, Buchanan's discovery of the
psychometrical faculty in man enables us to prove, by the help of this
faculty, that a subtle influence is exerted by people upon the houses and
even the localities they live in, the paper they write upon, the clothing
they wear, the portion of the Universal Ether (the Aryan Akása) they exist
in--and that this is a permanent influence, perceptible even at the most
distant epochs from the time when the individual lived and exerted this
influence. In one word, we may say that the discoveries of Western science
corroborate most fully the hints thrown out by Greek sages and the more
defined theories of certain Indian philosophers.
Indians and Buddhists believe alike that thought and deed are both material,
that they survive, that the evil desires and the good ones of a man environ
him in a world of his own making, that these desires and thoughts take on
shapes that become real to him after death, and that Moksha [Liberation] in
the one case, and Nirvana, in the other, cannot be attained until the
disembodied soul has passed quite through this shadow-world of the haunting
thoughts, and become divested of the last spot of its earthly taint.
The progress of Western discovery in this direction has been and must ever
be very gradual. From the phenomena of gross to those of more sublimated
matter, and thence on towards the mysteries of spirit is the hard road made
necessary by the precepts of Aristotle. Western Science first ascertained
that [ 1. ] our outcoming breath is charged with carbonic acid and, in
excess, becomes fatal to human life; then, [ 2. ] that certain dangerous
diseases are passed from person to person in the sporules thrown off into
the air from the sick body; then, [ 3. ] that man projects upon every body
and every thing he encounters a magnetic aura, peculiar to himself; and,
finally, [ 4. ] the physical disturbance set up in the Ether in the process
of thought-evolution is now postulated.
Another step in advance will be [ 5. ] to realize the magical creative power
of the human mind, and the fact that [ 6. ] moral taint is just as
transmissible as physical. The "influence" of bad companions will then be
understood to imply a degrading personal magnetism, more subtle than the
impressions conveyed to the eye or the ear by the sights and sounds of a
vicious company. The latter may be repelled by resolutely avoiding to see or
hear what is bad; but the former enwraps the sensitive and penetrates his
very being if he but stop where the moral poison is floating in the air.
Gregory's "Animal Magnetism," Reichenbach's "Researches," and Denton's "Soul
of Things" will make much of this plain to the Western inquirer, though
neither of those authors traces the connection of his favourite branch of
science with the parent-stock--Indian Psychology.
Keeping the present case in view, we see a man highly susceptible to
magnetic impressions, ignorant of the nature of the "materializations" and,
therefore, unable to protect himself against bad influences, brought in
contact with promiscuous circles where the impressionable medium has long
been the unwitting nucleus of evil magnetisms, his system, saturated with
the emanations of the surviving thoughts and desires of those who are living
and those who are dead.
The reader is referred to an interesting paper by Judge Gadgil of Baroda
(see our December number), on "Hindu Ideas about Communion with the Dead,"
for a plain exposition of this question of earth-tied souls, or Pisachas.
"It is considered," says that writer, "that in this state, the soul, being
deprived of the means of enjoyment of sensual pleasures through its own
physical body, is perpetually tormented by hunger, appetite and other bodily
desires, and can have only vicarious enjoyment by entering into the living
physical bodies of others, or by absorbing the subtlest essences of
libations and oblations offered for their own sake." [Shraddha and Pinda --
see Thst, Vol. III, p. 119-20]
What is there to surprise us in the fact that a negatively polarized man, a
man of a susceptible temperament, being suddenly brought into a current of
foul emanations from some vicious person, perhaps still living or perhaps
dead, absorbs the insidious poison as rapidly as quicklime does moisture,
until he is saturated with it? Thus, a susceptible body will absorb the
virus of small-pox, or cholera, or typhus, and we need only recall this to
draw the analogy which Occult Science affirms to be warranted.
Near the Earth's surface there hangs over us--to use a convenient simile--a
steamy moral fog, composed of the undispersed exhalations of human vice and
passion. This fog penetrates the sensitive to the very soul's core; his
psychic self absorbs it as the sponge does water, or as fresh milk effluvia.
It benumbs his moral sense, spurs his baser instincts into activity,
overpowers his good resolutions. As the fumes of a wine-vault make the
brain reel, or as the choke-damp stifles one’s breath in a mine, so this
heavy cloud of immoral influences carries away the sensitive beyond the
limits of self-control, and he becomes “obsessed,” like our English patient.
What remedy is there to suggest? Does not our very diagnosis indicate that?
The sensitive must have his sensitiveness destroyed; the negative polarity
must be changed to a positive; he must become active instead of passive.
He can be helped by a magnetizer who understands the nature of the
obsession, and who is morally pure and physically healthy; it must be a
powerful magnetizer, a man of commanding will-force.
But the fight for freedom will, after all, have to be fought by the patient
himself. His will-power must be aroused. He must expel the poison from his
system. Inch by inch he must win back the lost ground. He must realise
that it is a question of life or death, salvation or ruin, and strive for
victory, like one who makes a last and heroic effort to save his life. His
diet must be of the simplest, he must neither eat animal food, nor touch any
stimulant, nor put himself in any company where there is the smallest chance
for unclean thoughts to be provoked. He should be alone as little as
possible, but his companions should be carefully chosen. He should take
exercise and be much in the open air; use wood-fire, instead of coals.
Every indication that the bad influence was still working within him should
be taken as a challenge to control his thoughts and compel them to dwell
upon pure, elevating, spiritual things, at every hazard and with a
determination to suffer anything rather than give way. If this man can have
such a spirit infused into him, and his physician can secure the benevolent
help of a strong healthy magnetizer of pure character, he may be saved. A
case almost exactly like this one, except that the patient was a lady, came
under our notice in America; the same advice as the above was given and
followed, and the obsessing “devil” was driven out and has been kept out
ever since. -- H. P. Blavatsky
THEOSOPHIST, May 1880
THEOSOPHICAL GLOSSARY p. 378-9 -- “Anganta Yene”; 364;
ISIS UNVEILED I 487-8, 355,
I U I 276, 351-6, 363-5, 374, 459-60, 490; II 16, 589
INSANITY I U II 7, 589
LUCIFER, III, p. 131-3
THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT Vol. 15, p. 55; 24 p. 94;
MODERN PANARION p. 60, 79-80, 150 (top)
MADAN I U I p. 495-6
SUCCUBI / INCUBI H. P. Blavatsky Articles, Vol. II, p. 167
INCUBI THEOSOPHICAL GLOSSARY p. 154; 336;
PISACHAS THEOSOPHICAL GLOSSARY p. 254, 364,
MAHATMA LETTERS p. 103, 109 (suicides), 110;
THEOSOPHY, Vol. I 425-6; II 425;
RAJA-YOGA pp 78-9, 82
VIDHYADHARA THEOSOPHICAL GLOSSARY . p. 364;
H P B Articles, Vol. II p., 486, 242 [THEOSOPHIST May 1880]
DWELLERS IN PSYCHIC STATES.DOC
NOTE: This is a technical explanation in regard to the 7 states of
consciousness and dwellers therein.
DWELLERS IN PSYCHIC STATES.
7 CLASSES OF DWELLERS IN SUBJECTIVE SPHERES
."Between the Kama-Loka and the Rupa-Loka there is a locality, the dwelling
of 'Mara' (Death)...(lokas are not heavens but localities [planes of
consciousness] or abodes)...Devas [are divided] into two classes -- and
called them the "Rupa-devas" and the "Arupa-devas" (the "form"-- or
objective, and the [arupa] or, "formless" or subjective Dhyan
Chohans;...the same for this class of "men,"...All these are:
1. "Rupa-devas" -- [ Dhyan Chohans, having forms; ]
2. "Arupa-Devas" [ " " having no forms; ] Ex-men.
3. "Pisachas" -- (two principled) ghosts. (see p. 110 described)
4. "Mara-rupas" -- Doomed to death (3 principled).
5. Asuras -- Elementals--having human form ]
6. Beasts -- " 2nd class--animal Elementals] Future men.
7. Rakshasas (Demons) Souls or Astral Forms of sorcerers;
men who have reached the apex of knowledge in the forbidden art.
Dead or alive they have, so to say cheated nature; but it is only
temporary--until our planet goes into obscuration, after which they have
nolens volens to be annihilated.
It is these seven groups that form the principal divisions of the Dwellers
of the subjective world around us." M L p. 107
KAMA-LOKA -- RUPA-LOKA AND ARUPA-LOKA
"The speculations of the Western mind have hitherto scarcely ever depicted
any higher future life than that of the Kama and Rupa lokas, or the lower,
...beings are divided into 3 classes of—
(1) Kama-wachera, or those who are still under the dominion of the passions
(2) Rupa-wachera, or those who have progressed to a higher stage, but still
retain vestiges of their old form in Rupa loka; and
(3) Arupa lokas of the highest Devachan.
All depends on the degree of the monad's spirituality and aspirations. The
astral body of the 4th principle--called Kama, because inseparable from
Kama loka, the monad has to work itself free of the still finer yet equally
potent attractions of its Manas before it ever reaches in its series of
Devachanic states, the upper-Arupa regions. Therefore there are various
degrees of Devachanees.
In those of the Arupa lokas the entities are as subjective and truly "not
even as material as that ethereal body-shadow--the Mayavirupa." And yet
even there, we affirm there is still "actual companionship." But only very
few reach there skipping the lower degrees. There are those Devachanees,
men of the highest moral caliber and goodness when on earth, who, owing to
their sympathy for old intellectual researches and especially for unfinished
mental work, are for centuries in the Rupa-lokas in a strict Devachanic
isolation--literally so, since men and loved relatives have all vanished out
of sight before this intense and purely spiritual passion for intellectual
pursuit. For an example of the study-bound...condition, take the mental
state of the dying Berzelius...despair that his work should be interrupted
This is Tanha (Hindu: Trishna) or an unsatisfied yearning [for earthly
life] which must exhaust itself before the entity can move on to the purely
A provision is made for every case, and in each case it is created by the
dying man's last, uppermost desire. The scholar who has mainly lived under
the influence of manas [Mind], and for the pleasure of developing his
highest physical intelligence, kept absorbed in the mysteries of the
material universe, will still be magnetically held by his mental attractions
to scholars and their work, influencing and being influenced by them
subjectively--(though in a manner quite different from that known in
seance-rooms and by mediums), until the energy exhausts itself and Buddhi
[wisdom] becomes the only regnant influence.
The same rule applies to all the activities, whether of passion or
sentiment, which entangle the traveling monad (the Individuality --
[Atma-Buddhi-Manas]) in the relationships of any given birth. The
disincarnate must consecutively mount each ring of the ladder of being
upward from the earthly subjective to the absolutely subjective.
And when this limited Nirvanic state of Devachan is attained, the entity
enjoys it, and its vivid though spiritual realities, until that phase of
Karma is satisfied and the physical attraction to the next earth-life
According to the Esoteric Doctrine this evolution is not viewed as the
extinguishment of individual consciousness but its infinite expansion.
The entity is not obliterated, but united with the universal entity, and its
consciousness becomes able not merely to recall the scenes of one of its
earth-evolved Personalities, but each of the entire series around the Kalpa,
and then those of every other Personality. In short from being finite it
becomes infinite consciousness...
The record of those relationships imperishably endures in the Akasa, and
they can always be reviewed, when, in any birth, the being evolves his
latent spiritual powers to the "4th stage of Dhyana;"...when the personal
links--magnetic or psychic, as one may prefer to call them--binding the
Devachanee to other entities of that next previous life, whether relatives,
friends, or family, are worn out, he is free to move on in his cyclic path.
[Example: The accounts of the earlier incarnations of the Buddha. The
Were this obliteration of personal ties not a fact, each being would be
traveling around the Kalpa entangled in the meshes of his past relationships
with his myriad fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, wives, etc., etc., of
his numberless births: a jumble indeed! ..." Theos Articles. &
Notes p. 32-4
A story illustratng the nature of the influence from the inner
planes of consciousness
One night after attaining to some humility of spirit, I feel quietly asleep
with the white moonlight falling over the floor, and dreamed that I met the
old man again as when alive, and that he asked me if I had yet seen the
:No,” said I in the dream, “I had forgotten it,” awakening then at sound of
my own voice.
Looking up, I saw in the moonlight a figure of one I had not seen in any of
the temples. This being gazed at me with clear, cold eyes, and afar off
sounded what I supposed its voice.
“Come with me.”
Rising from the bed I went out into the night, following this laconic guide.
The moon was full, high in her course, and all the place was full of her
radiance. In the distance the walls of the temple nearest the diamond
mountain appeared self-luminous. To that the guide walked, and we reached
the door now standing wide open. As I came to the threshold, suddenly the
lonely, grey, wandering eye of my old dead friend and co-disciple floated
past looking deep into my own, and I read its expression as if it would say,
“The picture-gallery is here.”
We entered, and, although some priests were there, no one seemed to notice
me. Through the court, across a hall, down a long corridor we went, and then
into a wide and high roofless place with but one door. Only the stars in
heaven adorned the space above, while streams of more than moonlight poured
into it from the diamond, so that there were no shadows nor any need for
lights. As the noiseless door swung softly shut behind us, sad music
floated down in one spot, but was quickly swallowed in the light.
“Examine with care, but touch not and fear nothing,” said my taciturn
companion. With these words he turned and left me alone.
But how could I say I was alone ! The place was full of faces. They were
ranged up and down the long hall; near the floor, above it; higher, on the
walls; in the air; everywhere except in one aisle; but not a single one
moved from its place, yet each was seemingly alive. And at intervals
strange watchful creatures of the elemental world moved about from place to
place. Were they watching me or the faces? Now I felt they had me in view,
for sudden glances out of the corners of their eyes shot my way; but in a
moments something happened showing they guarded or watched the faces.
I was standing looking at the face of an old friend about my own age who had
been sent to another part of the island, and it filled me with sadness
unaccountably. One of the curious elemental creatures moved silently up
near it. In amazement I strained my eyes, for the picture of my friend was
apparently discoloring. Its expression altered every moment. It turned
from white to grey and yellow, and back to grey, and the suddenly if grew
all black as if with rapid decomposition.(*) Then again that same sad
music, I had heard on entering floated past me, while the blackness of the
face seemed to cast a shadow, but not for long. The elemental pounced upon
the blackened face, now soulless, tore it in pieces and by some process
unknown to itself dissipated the atoms and restored the brightness of the
spot. But alas ! my of friend’s picture was gone, and I felt within me a
heavy, almost unbearable gloom as of despair.
[(*) FN: Compare with Mr. Judge’s “Culture of Concentration” article, where
the several vices are described. -- W. Q. J Articles Vol. I, p. 319.]
As I grew accustomed to the surroundings, my senses perceived every now and
then sweet but low musical sounds that appeared to emanate from or around
these faces. So, selecting one, I stood in front of it and watched. It was
bright and pure. Its eyes looked into mine with the half-intelligence of a
dream. Yet it grew now and then a little brighter, and as that that
happened I heard the gentle music. This convinced me that the changes in
expression were connected with the music.
But fearing I would be called away, I began to carefully scan the
collection, and found that all my co-disciples were represented there, as
well as hundreds whom I had never seen, and every priest high or low whom I
had observed about the island. Yet the same saddening music every now and
then reminded me of the scene of the blacking of my friend’s picture. I
knew it meant others blackened and were being destroyed by the watchful
elementals who I could vaguely perceive were pouncing upon something
whenever those notes sounded. They were like the wails of angels when they
see another mortal going to moral suicide.
Dimly after a while there grew upon me an explanation of this gallery. Here
were the living pictures of every student or priest of the order founded by
the Adepts of the Diamond Mountain. These vitalized pictures were connected
by invisible cords with the character of those they represented, and like a
telegraph instrument they instantly recorded the exact state of the
disciple’s mind; when he made a complete failure, they grew black and were
destroyed; when he progressed in spiritual life, their degrees of
brightness or beauty showed his exact standing.
As these conclusions were reached, louder and stronger musical tones filled
the hall. Directly before me was a beautiful, peaceful face; its
brilliance outshone the light around, and I knew that some unseen
brother--how far or near was unknown to me--had reached some height or
advancement that corresponded to such tones.
Just then my guide reentered; I found I was near the door; it was open;
and together we passed out, retracing the same course by which we had
entered. Once outside the setting of the moon showed how long I had been in
the gallery. The silence of my guide prevented speech, and he returned with
me to the room I had left. There he stood looking at me, and once more I
heard as it were from afar his voice in inquiry, as if he said but
Into my mind came the question, “How are those faces made ?” From all
about him, but not from his lips, came the answer,
“You cannot understand. They are not the persons, and yet they are made from
their minds and bodies.”
“Was I right in the idea that they were connected with those they pictured
by invisible cords along which the person’s condition was carried?”
“Yes, perfectly. And they never err. From day to day they change for
better or worse. Once the disciple has entered this path his picture forms
there; and we need no spies, no officious fellow disciples to prefer
charges, no reports, no machinery. Everything registers itself. We have but
to inspect the images to know just how the disciple gets on or goes back.”
“And those curious elementals,” thought I, “do they feed on the blackened
“They are our scavengers. They gather up and dissipate the decomposed and
deleterious atoms that formed the image before it grows black--no longer fit
for such good company.”
“And the music--did it come from the images?”
“Ah, boy, you have much to learn. It came from them, but it belongs alsoto
every other soul. It is the vibration of the disciple’s thoughts and
spiritual life; it is the music of his good deeds and his brotherly love.”
Then came to me a dreadful thought, “How can one--if at all--restore his
image once it has blackened in the gallery?”
But my guide was no longer there. A faint rustling sound was all--and three
deep notes as if upon a large bronze bell.
Sent: Monday, November 01, 2004 6:12 PM
Subject: [bn-study] Theosophy and Schitzophrenia
I have just finished watching a Brilliant Mind, and I was wondering what
Theosophy says about Schitzophrenia. What is the phenomena? Can other
spiritual entities jump in to our mind? Is it merely a fabrication of the
thinker? or do these entities exist in real time? As theosophy says that
there is nothing outside of the all.
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