I have experienced illusions and delusions that had to do with religion. I am not religious, was not religious, and the closest I came was in relation to my psychotic delusions while very depressed.
It is an interesting question, to say the least I think, to ask, "How many miraculous appearances and other traditional evidence for religions can be attributed to delusional states in those who testified for them?"
Could you please give us some examples, both for our edification and so we can better judge whether they are delusions?
Hmmm. Lying is a problem most of us have to deal with, whether it is our own or someone else's. Have you tried to catch yourself before you tell a lie? Maybe if you resolve to stop lying and tell yourself, "Before I say anything, I will ask myself, 'Is this the truth as far as it is necessary to tell it?'" You don't of course have to tell the truth all the time. If one of your friends asks you what you think of her poetry, and it is terrible, you of course aren't required to tell her how bad you think it is. You don't have to lie and praise it to the skies either. (Immanuel Kant, on the other hand, argued that we are obligated to tell the truth all the time no matter what might happen. I subscribe to a more commonsensical approach.)
I have not had much of a problem with my telling lies, by which I mean I have not found myself telling many lies. I lied to a classmate in the last year about why I was late getting somewhere to meet him, but I eventually apologized. Maybe it was only because I thought he knew the truth, but I still apologized. I wonder if I did the right thing.
Are you really telling lies as often as you say you are? Are you being overly critical of yourself? Nobody likes being lied to -- the late philosopher F. W. Nietzsche said that our love of truth comes from fear of harm, and lies do do harm -- and it is usually wrong, most people would say, to tell lies very often. Try to lie as little as you can. Try to stop lying altogether. If you have secrets you don't want to have to tell people about, and these are not things that are currently hurting yourself or others, such as alcohol or drug abuse, domestic violence, self-harming, then don't tell about the secret things. If someone asks you about a secret that isn't hurting anybody (including yourself) and you don't want to tell them, don't tell them or deny it. "Do you pick your nose and eat your boogers?" someone might ask you. If you do, and you don't want to tell them, don't. There is a limit to what people are entitled to know about you. But you probably know this stuff already.
About sex. I don't have any surefire advice for you. But I'll say some things anyway. If you are a heterosexual woman, then I don't understand your question about sex. If you are in a closed relationship and feel it would be cheating to attract the romantic attentions of another woman, then don't do it. At least don't let things get far beyond things like eyelash batting. There is probably a slippery slope that goes from a wink to a roll in the hay.
Most people, male and female, can't stand having a partner "cheat" on them. Can't stand it. Some people die over such things. Think about how it would make your partner feel if you did deliberately attract the attentions of other women while in the relationship.
I am newly married and so will have to deal with temptations myself, I am sure. But I am sure I already have the only woman I want. Ask yourself how you would like your partner to act. Philosopher Immanuel Kant came up with a famous "categorical imperative, "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law." Schoolteachers used to ask things like, "What if everybody acted that way?" when a student did something against the rules. Kant is saying we should act so that it would be OK if everybody acted the way we do. I suppose you could narrow this down to two people, so you'd say, "Act as you would like the other person to act." This sums up nicely both the Golden and Silver rules (attributed to Jesus and Buddha I think), "Do unto others what you would have them do unto you," and "Do not do to others what you would not like them to do to you."
I lost my passion and zeal for life before I was diagnosed and put on meds. After a while, after treatment started, I had my zest for life back. Not drinking allows more zest for life, I think, and I have had a problem with drinking; but after my first hospitalization I quit drinking almost completely. I had lots of joyful moments and really felt a zest for life the summer of 2003, after I had recovered from being on too many meds (I think) and being in the hospital.
I think the latest loss of joie de vivre that I have experienced has been due to a combination of medication, loss of self-confidence due to bipolar's consequences, and medication. Things in my life are going well, but there are still stressors and difficulties, such as a chaotic sleep schedule.
How old are you, EternalDeath? Religiosity, according to one graph I've seen, peaks first around the age of 20 and then falls back to a low level. Then, when people reach about 60, it spikes again. Maybe this is what's happening to you.
As to why it's happening, the reason (besides "that's what happens"), someone who knew you well might be able to guess, but that's about as close as you're likely to come to an answer from a non-expert. As for the experts, take your pick. They're probably all over the place -- except for the widely used "death is knocking on your door and you feel you want your life to have meant something and not to end" argument (for why religiosity peaks a second time around 60). It's such a boring argument that I don't pay any attention to it and look for other, more interesting explanations.
I know this is "necroposting," replying to a post that is so old (and I haven't read the whole thread so I may be missing some things you've already said) but I saw your post and recognized someone struggling with religious belief. I have none, and the closest I ever got was during psychotic periods of depression or mania.
During depression it was awful. I was an unworthy sinner who was going to a place of torment and was going to be dragged there, powerless to resist, by every person I'd ever been disliked at all by. I actually believed I was being cast out of society forever and that I was about to be dragged out of my apartment in the middle of the night wrapped in a bedsheet and ridiculed in the street below before being thrown away.
During mania, it was amazing. With no religious system to view my spiritual experience through I think I got a pretty pure glimpse of what spiritual experience is. I believe it is all brain chemistry, but that doesn't take away from the raw transcendent feeling I got and the hallucinations I had. It was the most important thing in my life up until that time. (Now I'm married and the most important thing in my life is, or probably should be, my new wife.) For years I chased that experience, and I had a couple more similar ones. These times are what it is like to be really high on life. Religious people will probably insist that they were not real spiritual experiences or that they were in fact God touching me. Balderdash! to all that.
I'm sorry to hear of your serious difficulties. I am bipolar and I hope my wife never has to deal with my symptoms getting in the way of our marriage (we haven't been married more than 6 days!) With so little marriage experience under my belt, I'm afraid I can't offer any advice. It is the responsibility of both the bipolar patient and the spouse to work together and separately to understand and combat the negative effects of the disease. I hope I can look at myself if I get out of control or even uncommonly irritable and take a breath and control my body. But it can be very hard to do.
I am not convinced humans have free will. It may make it easier to look back on things (just a little easier -- still, regrets are human) and believe that they couldn't have been otherwise; but right when it's happening I think it would take a very disciplined person to reflect that this is just the way the world is, it can be fought and changed, but it's nobody's fault, ultimately, that strifes (and mass murders and gold medals) come into our lives. There. I'm done being a philosophaster.
I do wish you the best of luck! If you can work it out, then surely I have a fighting chance of keeping my marriage together (no bp problems yet, but the natural course of the illness can throw a person for huge loop).
These are two short videos. They are just text and music, but he tells an interesting story many people on this forum can probably relate to. You may want to turn off the sound. The man has Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings playing the whole time and it is a bit much.
I hope he makes more videos like this because it is ennobling to read about the course of a person's illness, a person who has obtained successful treatment for bipolar disorder and will be less at the mercy of the mood swings and psychotic features of the illness.
Hope you USAans had a happy Independence Day and a great weekend!
I am curious about this ability you say you have, and I want to take advantage of this opportunity to ask you to write a little more about it. What is an example of something in the past or future that you say you have known using this ability?
I expect that if you have told any care providers about this they will be skeptical -- unless they're not MDs. I had a PsyD who turned me towards Kenneth Wilber (not my cup of tea), who says he thinks psychic phenomena are part of a larger spiritual system. He would probably have a place for an ability such as the one you say you have. What have you told your doctors (if any) and what has been their response?
I can understand why you would not want to talk about seeing and hearing things that aren't there when you were surrounded by people who would believe it was demonic. Neither would I!View Thread