Shamanism and the Evolutionary Origins of Schizophrenia

A place to discuss health and fitness, including healthy diets, etc.
Post Reply
User avatar
Jesse
Posts: 1533
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 6:54 am
Location: Mordor, Middle Earth

Shamanism and the Evolutionary Origins of Schizophrenia

Post by Jesse » Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:12 pm

A great video about mental disorders, and especially schizophrenia. Titled "Shamanism and the Evolutionary Origins of Schizophrenia".

The theory is simply that certain mental disorders present evolutionary advantages to individuals when in certain circumstances when those circumstances are not present, the advantages cease, and the circumstances make the evolutionary changes disadvantageous to the individual.

Such as living in a secular society, where the value of a person is based on their ability to essentially 'work, and socialize, etc".. Schizophrenia has limited advantages in these types of societies outside of being artistic in some fashion, but in many cases the disadvantages become so overwhelming that people with the disorder become completely disabled and unable to function.

However in hunter gather societies, or tribal societies, one example given is that schizophrenia is a very common trait among tribal shamans and healers in almost every culture on earth, which gives many advantages, the main one being creativity. Many shamans also insist their knowledge of plant medicines came from speaking telepathically with plants spirits, etc.

Of course, the western view is simply that they discovered the medicines over time, and the knowledge was passed down through the generations, but there is also evidence that an abnormally large amount of medical knowledge has been collected in many such cultures, way faster than should be possible to be achieved through generational knowledge.

Anyway, it's a very interesting video and is presented by a scientist with a doctorate in psychiatry, who is also a professor.

phpBB [video]
“Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of one's desires, but by the removal of desire” – Epictetus

User avatar
Jesse
Posts: 1533
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 6:54 am
Location: Mordor, Middle Earth

Re: Shamanism and the Evolutionary Origins of Schizophrenia

Post by Jesse » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:27 pm

Another interesting quote I found on this topic:
‘The schizophrenic is drowning in the same waters in which the mystic swims with delight’
“Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of one's desires, but by the removal of desire” – Epictetus

User avatar
Mantrik
Posts: 553
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:55 pm
Contact:

Re: Shamanism and the Evolutionary Origins of Schizophrenia

Post by Mantrik » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:41 pm

The video is a nice plug for his book, which rehashes old ideas.
Nothing to do with shamanism and working with spirits, just atheistic psychiatry trying to cobble together a theory which falls at the first hurdle - because it has nowt to do with shamanism. Odd he thinks he can diagnose shamans by some kind of distant time-warp yet would probably scream 'misconduct' at anyone suggesting he do the same with his modern patients.

The logic that 'sky is blue so all blue things must be sky' is daft. So is (I paraphrase) 'some shamans may possibly have been shcizophrenic so all modern schizophrenics evolved somehow from shamans.' Of course, I rudely twist what he has written, but not as much as he has twisted logic.

He also chucks just about anything vaguely mystical, man, into the pot.........from Dylan and Hendrix to any cultural reference form any continent he think may sex up the assertions. 'Stream of consciousness' writing is what kids do in school, as well as rock gods. Clearly the guy has never spent time with children observing their creativity.

It will probably interest people who also like tales of mind-bending and 'teacher plants' etc. You know, the Carlos Castanets readers.

Next book will probably claim monks all have OCD and all Lamas are autistic.

Read the book reviews on Amazon.com for further details.
http://www.khyung.com

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

User avatar
Jesse
Posts: 1533
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 6:54 am
Location: Mordor, Middle Earth

Re: Shamanism and the Evolutionary Origins of Schizophrenia

Post by Jesse » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:32 pm

You can't expect everyone to fully believe in something that they have no experience of, or wisdom of. He is a rationalist, scientist, and a westerner.

For someone of that background, I believe he did an excellent job. You have to have people like these who are willing to open their minds a little bit and explore alternatives, otherwise, nothing ever changes. You can't expect a full blown miracle, it's baby steps.. They are starting to understand a bit.
When one intelligent person opens the door even a crack, more understanding will follow with continued research, etc. So it shouldn't be dismissed outright. He had much to say about shamanism that was very true, and positive.

I believe it could help many people with such illnesses, as the current treatments are literally just heavy anti-psychotics and a few varieties of therapy which in general are very un-effective for a large portion of those afflicted with such illnesses. They do help some, but not all, and certainly not most.

Think of how much change has happened in just the past 8-10 years or so. They are integrating Meditation techniques into mental health, they are exploring alternative explanations and reasoning. (Like this video.) This is a good thing, just because he doesn't fully share our views, doesn't make him a bad person, or ignorant. In fact, he is very intelligent, he simply is stuck in the belief system he was raised in, he is exploring from within that worldview, and trying to expand his understanding in ways many scientists are not willing to even do. Most reject these types of ideas outright in a purely ideological form of cognitive bias.

Anyway, there are many scientists out there who are much deeper into the topic, and probably are more like minded with you. However, the mainstream mental health community would reject these people outright because they do not present their views, and findings with skepticism, which is the default view in any scientific endeavor. You must prove through peer-reviewed repeatable experimentations, that such and such ideas have value, and that such and such medicines work, etc.

We will get there man. It just takes time.
“Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of one's desires, but by the removal of desire” – Epictetus

User avatar
Jesse
Posts: 1533
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 6:54 am
Location: Mordor, Middle Earth

Re: Shamanism and the Evolutionary Origins of Schizophrenia

Post by Jesse » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:34 pm

'Stream of consciousness' writing is what kids do in school, as well as rock gods.
Come on man, haven't you heard of Jack Kerouac?!
“Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of one's desires, but by the removal of desire” – Epictetus

User avatar
Mantrik
Posts: 553
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:55 pm
Contact:

Re: Shamanism and the Evolutionary Origins of Schizophrenia

Post by Mantrik » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:40 pm

I approach this from shamanism, not psychiatry.

But if he provided statistically significant and peer-reviewed research for his assertions, as his scientific and medical background would demand.....

;)
http://www.khyung.com

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

User avatar
Jesse
Posts: 1533
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 6:54 am
Location: Mordor, Middle Earth

Re: Shamanism and the Evolutionary Origins of Schizophrenia

Post by Jesse » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:42 pm

Mantrik wrote:I approach this from shamanism, not psychiatry.

But if he provided statistically significant and peer-reviewed research for his assertions, as his scientific and medical background would demand.....

;)
If you want others to understand, you have to accept their views, otherwise, it pushes them away. You want people to understand shamanism, as do i. This is a good start don't you think?

Here is one assertion, and I believe it has been featured in peer-reviewed journals.

"There is also evidence that an abnormally large amount of medical knowledge has been collected in many such cultures, way faster than should be possible to be achieved through generational knowledge."

Meaning they are at least open to trying to understand how they gained so much medical knowledge of plants, plant combinations etc.. because simply knowledge passed down through the generations isn't sufficient to account to the sheer amount of knowledge they possess, so what is the alternative reason for this amount of knowledge? :twothumbsup:

One day it may be accepted that spirits exist, I mean, does the common person care? I'd say yes.. look how many people love ghost hunting shows, people want to believe there is 'something' beyond just... 'this'.. Ya know?

I don't remember where in the video he stated this, but it's in there. It's rather long, but if I find him saying it, I'll link the timing for the video.
Last edited by Jesse on Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of one's desires, but by the removal of desire” – Epictetus

User avatar
Mantrik
Posts: 553
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:55 pm
Contact:

Re: Shamanism and the Evolutionary Origins of Schizophrenia

Post by Mantrik » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:45 pm

Jesse wrote:
Mantrik wrote:I approach this from shamanism, not psychiatry.

But if he provided statistically significant and peer-reviewed research for his assertions, as his scientific and medical background would demand.....

;)
If you want others to understand, you have to accept their views, otherwise, it pushes them away. You want people to understand shamanism, as do i. This is a good start don't you think?
No. It is the opposite. It is just part of modern misappropriation for commercial gain which is best ignored.
http://www.khyung.com

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

User avatar
Jesse
Posts: 1533
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 6:54 am
Location: Mordor, Middle Earth

Re: Shamanism and the Evolutionary Origins of Schizophrenia

Post by Jesse » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:49 pm

Mantrik wrote:
Jesse wrote:
Mantrik wrote:I approach this from shamanism, not psychiatry.

But if he provided statistically significant and peer-reviewed research for his assertions, as his scientific and medical background would demand.....

;)
If you want others to understand, you have to accept their views, otherwise, it pushes them away. You want people to understand shamanism, as do i. This is a good start don't you think?
No. It is the opposite. It is just part of modern misappropriation for commercial gain which is best ignored.

No, no, no. This research directly effects the treatments of people with mental health problems! You can't avoid commercialism in our society, that's just the plain truth.. no matter what it is.. how sacred, it will be commercialized and sold for profit... BUT -- that doesn't mean it won't help people at the same time.
“Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of one's desires, but by the removal of desire” – Epictetus

User avatar
Jesse
Posts: 1533
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 6:54 am
Location: Mordor, Middle Earth

Re: Shamanism and the Evolutionary Origins of Schizophrenia

Post by Jesse » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:04 pm

http://www.nytimes.com/1992/01/28/scien ... wanted=all
In the second enterprise, a small California company called Shaman Pharmaceuticals is tapping the expertise of traditional healers -- shamans, or medicine men -- in various parts of the tropics. Shaman, less than two years old, says it already appears to have made its first big "hit."

The company has isolated a compound from a medicinal plant in South America that it says is active against the influenza and herpes viruses. Shaman has filed a patent, and the drug is well into clinical trials. If it or other drugs ultimately generate profits, the company intends to promote conservation of the forests by channeling some of its profits back to the localities whose medicine men provided the key plants.

And another important one:

http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news ... -treatment
They’ve mostly been banned for decades, but in the past 15 years, drugs like LSD, psilocybin (the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms”), and MDMA, also known as ecstasy, have shown promise in treating conditions like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and addiction.

Researchers are also looking at legal but widely abused drugs like ketamine, an anesthetic that also can produce hallucinations. The FDA recently put the ketamine-based drug esketamine on the fast track for approval as a treatment for major depression.
“Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of one's desires, but by the removal of desire” – Epictetus

Fortyeightvows
Posts: 1611
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:37 am

Re: Shamanism and the Evolutionary Origins of Schizophrenia

Post by Fortyeightvows » Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:47 am

Jesse wrote:A great video about mental disorders, and especially schizophrenia. Titled "Shamanism and the Evolutionary Origins of Schizophrenia"
Thanks for sharing, I watched it and really enjoyed it.
If you haven't seen it already, I'm sure you will also be interested in "Shadows and Illuminations". It documents a case study of a man who visits shamans and psychiatrists in an effort to deal with his affliction. Highly recommended!

User avatar
Jesse
Posts: 1533
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 6:54 am
Location: Mordor, Middle Earth

Re: Shamanism and the Evolutionary Origins of Schizophrenia

Post by Jesse » Sat Jun 17, 2017 10:22 pm

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Jesse wrote:A great video about mental disorders, and especially schizophrenia. Titled "Shamanism and the Evolutionary Origins of Schizophrenia"
Thanks for sharing, I watched it and really enjoyed it.
If you haven't seen it already, I'm sure you will also be interested in "Shadows and Illuminations". It documents a case study of a man who visits shamans and psychiatrists in an effort to deal with his affliction. Highly recommended!
I'll check it out, glad you enjoyed the video.
“Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of one's desires, but by the removal of desire” – Epictetus

tingdzin
Posts: 923
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:19 am

Re: Shamanism and the Evolutionary Origins of Schizophrenia

Post by tingdzin » Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:39 am

Jesse, you might want to read "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" (or at the very least check out the Amazon reviews) by Julian Jaynes. He argued decades ago that what we call schizophrenia, as well as what we call shamanism (the two are not the same but are related ) are holdovers from a time when humanity had an entirely different mentality. The author, who was a Princeton psychologist, used information from psychology, psychiatry, ancient Greek linguistics, the Old Testament, etc. in developing his theory. The theory is not junk science or popularization -- the book has never gone out of print in all these years, and others have built upon Jaynes' work (either acknowledging his insights or not), even though the theory is so comprehensive and challenging that it has not been fully accepted by mainstream scholars.

User avatar
CedarTree
Posts: 474
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:13 pm

Re: Shamanism and the Evolutionary Origins of Schizophrenia

Post by CedarTree » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:33 pm

Shamanism is one of those topics I have always wanted to spend some time exploring. Seems like a fascinating area of study.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: smcj and 6 guests