With comments by S. Ivanov-Galvinsh. www.IHHRC.org
The work of a well-known Italian physician and philosopher speaks of an inevitable companion of a person's spiritual growth - all sorts of possible nervous diseases that accompany this process. Preventive measures and methods of treatment, mainly of a psychotherapeutic nature, are indicated. The article is of interest to everyone whose interest in spiritual problems develops into practical work on self-improvement.
Roberto Assagioli (1888 - 1974) is widely known in Europe as a physician-philosopher, the creator of a technique of personality reconstruction, which he called
"psychosynthesis". A number of principles of psychosynthesis are set forth in our published work. The starting point for Assagioli is the desire to penetrate into the spiritual center of a person, into that area that is designated by religious and Eastern philosophical doctrines as the higher Self of human individuality, as the Superconsciousness. Not taking into account the supraconscious and spiritual aspects that psychology left before philosophy and religion created a painful gap, and often a conflict, between different approaches to human nature. Sigmund Freud tried to overcome this gap, but his healing and then philosophical concepts reduced human nature to the subconscious, to sexual complexes. Jung, Fromm and Assagioli, relying on the Vedantic tradition, were able to enrich the European science of man with more fruitful approaches.
Roberto Assagioli drew his ideas of psychosynthesis not only from Vedanta texts. In 1940, arrested by the fascist authorities of Italy, he spent about a month in solitary confinement and subsequently told his friends that it was an interesting and valuable experience that gave him the opportunity to conduct a series of special psycho-spiritual exercises. Assagioli used his forced retreat in 1943 just as effectively, when he was hiding from the Mussolini regime in remote mountain villages.
In the work "Spiritual Development and Nervous Disorders" a problem is raised which, from all points of view, is of great importance today. And not only for spiritual people, but precisely for the mass consciousness, because the knowledge about energy that has poured onto Earth has made the need for spiritual advancement a categorical imperative for every person without exception.
Perhaps for this reason, certain points that Assagioli has only outlined are worth emphasizing. For example, the author only briefly speaks about the inadmissibility of artificial forcing of spiritual development. In the conditions of the current spiritual revival, along with permissiveness, the costs associated with this process sometimes take on the character of a real disaster. Hundreds of "institutes", schools, societies and circles, led by local and foreign "gurus", train gullible people to discover psychic abilities. At the same time, the psyche of applicants is mercilessly deformed. More than once I had to observe visitors to such courses who ended up in psychiatric hospitals. Many have almost no chance to return to normal life. As a specialist in group psychotherapy, as a suggestologist, as a yoga specialist who has lived and practiced for years in monasteries, I never tire of being surprised at the naivety of European people going to unknown "gurus" for an appointment or for a tantric seminar on yoga. Or be treated for people with obvious mental and physical disabilities.
Over the decades of organizing the visits of masters of yoga, qigong, any serious teachings, I have not met a single teacher who alone, unaccompanied, would go to Europe to conduct classes. They are in demand at home and are very busy. We have been scheduling teachers' visits for several years and we ask them to come here before they agree.
There is another subtlety of the issue, about local teachers. Those who went to Tebet, India, .... to the masters, learned and returned. Even if a person stays for a week or a year, he may not be a specialist. Without knowledge of the language of a native speaker, without a high-quality translation by a skilled specialist, without many years of practice, it is impossible to harmoniously transform one's own mind and start regeneration processes. Receiving initiations, wearing cassocks and amazing clothes, beads and other symbols, is not a result.
The experience of the TRANSMISSION LINE has been proving this for thousands of years.
There is a saying - A spoon in the soup can be periodically throughout life, but not to know the taste of the soup!
The words of Buddha Shakyamuni that wearing monastic robes and chanting mantras is not yet a sign of an enlightened mind says a lot. Therefore, beware of false prophets in monastic robes !!!
There is an evaluation criterion. A person became harmonious as a result of these practices.
In Ayurveda there is such a rule that before treating other people, the doctor must cure himself!
The healer and master must go through the path of healing and learn the experience of the tradition of previous masters on their own experience.
Assagioli is only a doctor, his specialty is the treatment of nervous diseases resulting from spiritual promotion of people. But the phrase illness and spiritual growth seems to look strange - why such growth, if it is accompanied by illness? Indeed, the majority of nervous diseases arise not as a result of spiritual ascent, but as a result of its curvature. Assagioli does not say how difficult and long-term "psycho-synthetic" treatment is, meanwhile, elementary prevention makes it possible to avoid very many psychological traps. And above all, the categorical non-admission of the forcible intrusion of anyone and anything into the human psychosphere. Extrasensory perception is not a goal at all, but a companion of spiritual growth - controlled or dangerously uncontrolled, if our aspirations are connected with the desire for superpowers not for the benefit of all living beings. If we do not know the traps and there is no teacher who watches over us. All serious schools have proven methods of preparing the body and mind for practices. They are clearly spelled out.
Without completing them and not getting the result, you will not be told anything about the next stage in any serious school.
The traps and substitutions of one world for another are considered by Assagioli in some detail, but there is one important problem that he does not touch on at all or touches on it only in general energy terms. This is the Master's problem. It is the Teacher who helps us overcome many dangers on the way, especially at the first steps. This is a safety technique for us and the protection of others.
A teacher is an experienced master, one who has already passed this path on his own experience!!! And most importantly, he sees and knows how to do it in practice.
He can always give the right advice and keeps track of the stages of our progress on the path.
With these few remarks, the work of Roberto Assagioli can be recommended to the general reader.
The spiritual development of man is a long process; this is a journey through wonderful countries, rich not only in amazing events, but also in obstacles and dangers. It is associated with the processes of deep moral purification, complete transformation, the awakening of many previously unused abilities, the growth of consciousness to a previously unthinkable level, its expansion to new internal spaces. Therefore, it is not surprising that such important changes go through various critical stages, which are often associated with nervous, emotional and mental disorders. In normal clinical observation, they are easily confused with disorders that originate from quite different causes. Meanwhile, the disorders we are talking about have a very special meaning, they require a different assessment and treatment. These spiritual disorders are becoming more and more common these days. There are more and more people who consciously or unconsciously experience internal spiritual stress. In addition, the spiritual development of modern man, due to his greater versatility, and especially due to the resistance caused by his critical mind, has become a more difficult and complex internal process than in former times. Therefore, it is advisable to give an overview of the nervous and mental disorders that may occur at various stages of spiritual development, and show the most effective methods for overcoming them.
On the path to achieving full spiritual consciousness, a person can go through five critical stages: crises preceding spiritual awakening; crises caused by spiritual awakening; downturns following spiritual awakening; crises at the stage of spiritual awakening and, finally, the "dark night of the soul". Let's consider them in order.
No suffering, no need for teachings!
Crises preceding spiritual awakening. In order to correctly assess the meaning of strange inner experiences that are the harbingers of spiritual awakening, we will say a few words about the psyche of the average person. It seems to be carried by the course of life. He accepts life as it comes, without asking questions about its meaning, value and purpose. For a person with a low level of spiritual development, everything comes down to the fulfillment of personal desires, for example, he strives for wealth, satisfaction of his desires and ambition. A person whose spiritual level is somewhat higher subordinates his personal inclinations to the fulfillment of those family and civic duties, respect for which is inherent in his upbringing. At the same time, he does not think about where these duties come from, how they relate to each other, etc. He may consider himself a believer, but his religiosity will be superficial and stereotypical. To live with a clear conscience, it is enough for him to formally fulfill the prescriptions of his church and participate in established rites. In short, the ordinary person relies without hesitation on the unconditional reality of everyday life. He clings tightly to earthly goods, which have a positive value for him. Thus, earthly existence is practically an end in itself for him. Even if he believes at the same time in a future paradise, his faith is purely theoretical and academic. Yeah and get in this "paradise" he will seek as late as possible.
Nevertheless, it can happen, and it does happen from time to time, that this "ordinary" person undergoes a sudden transformation in his soul life which takes him by surprise and frightens him. Sometimes this transformation comes as a result of many disappointments, and often a strong emotional shock, for example, due to the loss of a loved one. However, sometimes it proceeds without external causes: in the midst of complete well-being and the goodwill of fate, indefinite anxiety arises, a feeling of dissatisfaction and inner emptiness. A person suffers from the absence of something indefinite, something that he himself can neither name nor describe. Gradually comes a feeling of unreality, the vanity of everyday life. Personal interests, which until now have occupied a person and completely filled him, seem to fade and lose their importance and value. New questions come to the fore: a person begins to reflect on the meaning of life, on the causes of phenomena that were previously taken for granted - he reflects on the origins of his own and others' suffering, on the justification of human inequality, on the origin and purpose of human existence.
At this stage, misunderstandings are not uncommon. Many, not understanding the meaning of this new state of mind, consider it as a heap of whims and morbid fantasies, because it is very painful, they try in every possible way to suppress it. Fearful of "going crazy," they do everything they can to re-immerse themselves in the concrete reality that they think threatens to elude them. In the course of this struggle, some, with redoubled zeal, throw themselves into the maelstrom of life and eagerly seek new activities, excitements and sensations. Sometimes in this way they manage to muffle their anxiety, but almost never manage to get rid of it completely. It, this anxiety, wanders in the depths of their being, dissolves the foundations of everyday life, and after some time, sometimes even after several years, breaks out to the surface of consciousness with renewed vigor. Now this anxiety becomes even more painful, the inner emptiness even more unbearable. A person feels destroyed, everything that his former life consisted of seems to be a dream, falls off like an empty shell. At the same time, a new meaning has not yet appeared, and sometimes a person not only does not know anything about it, but does not even suspect the possibility of its existence.
Often a moral crisis is added to this suffering, ethical consciousness awakens and deepens, a person is tormented by a heavy sense of guilt and repentance for his past deeds. He judges himself severely and falls into utter despondency.
That is why, in Buddhism, one of the first preliminary practices is meditation and reflection on the value of human life.
Naturally, in this state, suicidal thoughts easily appear, the cessation of one's physical existence seems to be a logical resolution of the inner collapse.
Note that this is only a general scheme of the flow of such experiences. In fact, various individual characteristics are possible here: some do not experience the acute stage at all,6 others find themselves in it quite suddenly, without preliminary stages, for others obsessive philosophical doubts dominate, for others the moral crisis plays the main role. These manifestations of a spiritual break are very similar to certain symptoms in neurasthenia or psychasthenia. In particular, one of the symptoms of psychasthenia is nothing more than a loss of functioning in reality, another is depersonalization. The similarity of a spiritual crisis with these diseases is further enhanced by the fact that it causes the same physical symptoms: exhaustion, nervous tension, insomnia, digestive and circulatory disorders.
Crises caused by spiritual awakening. The establishment of a connection between the personality and the soul, the accompanying flows of light, joy and active power bring a wonderful state of liberation. Inner struggles, sufferings, neuroses and physical upheavals can suddenly disappear, and often with such amazing speed that it becomes obvious that they do not come from material causes, but from mental suffering. In such cases, spiritual awakening is healing in the fullest sense of the word.
However, awakening does not always happen so simply and harmoniously. It can itself cause difficulties, frustrations and deviations. This applies to those people whose mind is not quite balanced, whose emotional life is excessively exalted, the nervous system is too tender or sensitive to painlessly withstand a sharp increase in spiritual energies.
When the mind is too weak or unprepared to bear spiritual light, or when a person is prone to arrogance and self-centeredness, inner events can be misunderstood. There is a so-called displacement of levels, the transfer of the relative to the absolute, the sphere of the personal - to the spiritual world. Thus, spiritual power can lead to swelling of the personal self. A few years ago I had the opportunity to observe a typical extreme teach this kind at Wancon Psychiatric Hospital. One of its inhabitants, a handsome old man, calmly and stubbornly asserted that he was the Lord God. Around this conviction, he wove a fabric of fantastic ideas about the heavenly armies that he commanded, about the great deeds he accomplished, and so on. In all other respects, he was an excellent and most amiable person, always ready to serve doctors and patients. His mind was very clear and attentive. He was so conscientious that he was made an apothecary's assistant. The apothecary entrusted him with the key to the pharmacy and the preparation of medicines, and there was not the slightest trouble from this, except for the disappearance of sugar, which he took from stocks to please some patients. From the usual medical point of view, our patient should have been diagnosed as a simple case of megalomania, a paranoid illness. But in reality, all these formulations are only descriptive, introducing into some kind of clinical framework. We do not learn from them anything definite about the nature, about the true causes of this disorder. And it is important for us to know whether there are deeper psychological motives behind the patient's ideas. We know that the perception of the reality of the spirit and its inner unity with the human soul evokes in the person who experiences this a sense of inner greatness, growth, and involvement in the Divine nature. In the religious teachings of all times we find numerous testimonies of this. The Bible says briefly and clearly: "Do you know that you are gods?" Blessed Augustine says: "When a man's soul loves, it becomes like that which loves." When she loves earthly things, she becomes earthly, but when she loves God, does she not become God?
The complete identity of man - the spirit in its pure being - with the highest spirit is most strongly expressed in the philosophy of Vedanta. No matter how we perceive this relationship between the individual and the universal - as a complete identity in essence or as a similarity, as participation or as a unity - both in theory and in practice, we must be clearly aware of the immense distance between the spirit in its pure being and ordinary personality. The first is the basis, or center, or ...........(individuality?), the second is our little "I", our everyday consciousness. The neglect of this distinction leads to absurd and dangerous consequences. This is what makes it possible to understand the mental disorder of the patient described above and other, not so extreme forms of self-exaltation and self-deification. The painful delusion of those who fall prey to such illusions is that they attribute to their transient self the qualities and abilities of a higher spirit. We are talking about a mixture of relative and absolute reality, personal and metaphysical levels. Such an understanding of certain cases of megalomania can provide valuable guidance for their treatment. Namely: it is absolutely useless to prove to the patient that he is wrong, that he is mistaken, to ridicule him. This can only cause irritation and excite him.
Another course of action is preferable: to recognize the reality contained in his ideas, and then, with all patience, try to explain to the patient his delusions.
In other cases, the awakening of the soul and its accompanying sudden inner enlightenment can cause emotional overload, which will manifest violently and erratically, in the form of screaming, crying, singing and excited actions.
Some strong natures, as a result of the upliftment caused by spiritual awakening, may declare themselves prophets or reformers. They lead movements, founding sects, characterized by fanaticism and the desire to convert everyone to their faith.
For some people of a high level, but too strong, as a result of the experienced revelation of the transcendental and divine side of their own spirit, a claim arises for complete and literal identity with their spiritual part. In fact, such identity can be achieved only as a result of a long and difficult path of transformation and rebirth of the personality. Therefore, their claim cannot be satisfied - hence the depressive states up to despair and impulses to self-destruction. In some suitably predisposed people, inner awakening may be accompanied by various paranormal phenomena. They have visions of higher angelic beings, hear voices, or experience an automatic urge to write. The meaning of these messages may vary. In each case, a sober verification and analysis is needed without deliberate rejection, but also without prior piety, which may inspire the unusual source of their information. Particular care should be taken with messages that contain direct orders and require blind obedience, as well as those in which the perceiver of information is extolled - true spiritual teachers never resort to such means.
It should be noted that no matter how true and significant such messages are, they are always harmful to health, because they can greatly upset the balance this feeling and reason.
Downturns following spiritual awakening. Some time after a spiritual awakening, a slump usually occurs. We have already said that the harmonious process of spiritual awakening causes a feeling of joy, enlightenment of the mind, awareness of the meaning and purpose of being. Many doubts are dispelled and many questions are resolved, there is a feeling of inner confidence. All this is accompanied by an experience of unity, beauty and sanctity of life: the awakened soul pours out a stream of love for all people and for every creature.
Indeed, there is nothing more joyful to the heart and more comforting than contact with an awakened one who is in such a state of grace. It seems that his former personality with its sharp corners and unpleasant sides has disappeared, and a new person is smiling at us, full of sympathy, the desire to bring joy and be useful to others, to share with them the received spiritual treasures that he cannot embrace alone.
This state of joy may last more or less long, but it certainly comes to an end. The everyday personality, with its deep foundation, has only temporarily left the surface, it seems to have fallen asleep, but it has not disappeared and has not been completely transformed. In addition, the flow of spiritual light and love, like everything else in the world, is rhythmic and cyclical. Therefore, sooner or later, the tide follows the tide.
The experience of the departure of grace is very painful, and in some cases it entails great decline and serious disorders. The base instincts awaken again and assert themselves with renewed vigor. All the "garbage", absorbed by the flow, again floats to the surface.
Meanwhile, the process of awakening has already refined the ethical consciousness, strengthened the striving for perfection, a person judges himself more strictly, more ruthlessly, it may seem to him that he has fallen deeper than before. This delusion is reinforced by the fact that previously deeply hidden inclinations and inclinations come to the surface: high spiritual aspirations, manifesting a challenge to these forces, awakened them and extracted them from the unconscious.
The decline can go so far that a person begins to deny the spiritual significance of his inner experience. Doubt and self-humiliation reign in his inner world, he succumbs to the temptation to consider everything that has happened to him an illusion, fantasy, sentimental "fairy tales". He can become bitter and sarcastic, ridicule himself and others cynically, renounce his ideals and aspirations. But despite all efforts, he is no longer free to return to his former state. The beauty and wonder of what he experienced remains in him and is not forgotten. He can no longer just live a petty everyday life, he is tormented and haunted by divine longing. In general, the reaction is extremely painful, with bouts of despair and thoughts of suicide.
Such overreactions are overcome by a clear understanding of what is happening, and thereby an awareness of the only way to overcome difficulties. This is where the person needs outside help.
He must be helped to realize that the state of grace cannot last forever and that the subsequent reaction is natural and inevitable. The wonderful state he experienced was like taking off to the peaks illuminated by the sun, from which the whole picture of the world is visible. But every flight comes to an end sooner or later. We again return to the plain and then slowly, step by step, we overcome a steep climb leading to the top. And the realization that the experienced descent or "fall" is a natural process through which all of us must go through, comforts and encourages the wanderer, helping to gather strength to begin a confident ascent.
Crises at the stage of spiritual transformation. The aforementioned rise actually consists in a complete transformation and rebirth of the personality. This is a long and complex process, including various phases: the phase of active sensation in order to remove obstacles to the flow of spiritual forces; phases of development of internal abilities, previously hidden or weakly expressed; phases during which the person must silently and meekly let the spirit work with him, courageously and patiently enduring the inevitable suffering. This is a time full of change, when light and darkness, joy and pain replace each other. It is not uncommon for a person's strengths at this stage to be so absorbed in difficult and sometimes painful inner events that he does not cope well with the various demands of external personal life. An outside observer assessing such a person from the point of view of his normality and practical effectiveness will most likely come to the conclusion that he has, as it were, become "worse", "worth" less than before. Thus, the internal problems of a spiritually developing person are aggravated by misunderstanding and unfair assessments of family, friends, and even doctors. More than once he hears disapproving remarks about the detrimental effect of spiritual aspirations and ideals that deprive a person of his virtues in practical life. Such judgments often cause deep depression, mental confusion and despondency.
This test, like the others, must be overcome. It teaches you how to deal with oh sensitivity and helps to develop firmness and independence of judgment. Therefore, one should not resist such a test, but patiently accept it. If relatives understand the state of a person in this situation, they can provide him with important help, save him from unnecessary suffering. We are talking only about a certain transitional period, when a person left the previous state, but has not yet reached a new one. So the caterpillar that turns into a butterfly must go through the stage of chrysalis, the stage of helplessness and unconsciousness.
Unlike a caterpillar, a person is deprived of that security and silence in which a butterfly goes through its metamorphosis. He must, especially in our time, remain in his place and, to the best of his ability, fulfill his duty to the family and society, professional duties - as if nothing special was happening in his inner world. The task given to him is very difficult. It can be compared to the problem faced by English engineers who had to rebuild the London station building without interrupting the movement of trains for one hour.
It is not surprising that such a difficult task sometimes causes such nervous and mental disorders as exhaustion, insomnia, depression, irritability, which in turn, due to the close interaction of spirit and body, can lead to various physical symptoms. To help in such a situation, it is necessary first of all to recognize the true cause of the disease and provide the patient with the correct psychotherapeutic assistance, otherwise purely physical treatment and medication will only alleviate the trouble, but will not affect the mental and spiritual roots of the disease. Sometimes these disorders come from overload - from excessive efforts aimed at hastening spiritual development. The result of such efforts is not transformation, but the displacement of the lower components, the aggravation of the internal struggle with the corresponding nervous and mental overstrain. Those who strive too zealously for perfection must constantly remember that the work of their inner rebirth is carried out by the spirit and spiritual energies. Their own personal task is to call these forces to themselves through inner self-denial, meditation and the right state of the soul, to strive to eliminate what can interfere with the free influence of the spirit. In addition, they only have to wait with patience and confidence for the unfolding of spiritual action in the soul.
Another, in a sense, opposite difficulty is to cope with a particularly powerful flow of spiritual power. This precious energy can easily be wasted in an excess of feelings and excessive feverish activity. In some cases, on the contrary, this energy is too restrained, accumulated, insufficiently realized in activity, so that in the end its pressure also gives rise to internal disorders. So, a strong electric current melts the conductor, causing a short circuit. Thus, one should learn to intelligently manage the flow of spiritual energies; without wasting, use them in fruitful internal and external activities.
Dark night of the soul. When the process of transformation reaches its climax, the decisive, last stage of it is often accompanied by intense suffering and inner darkness. Christian mystics called this state "the dark night of the soul." Outwardly, it resembles a disease that psychiatrists call depressive psychosis or melancholia. Its signs: a state of severe depression up to despair; a pronounced sense of one's own unworthiness; acute self-condemnation - completely hopeless and damned; depressing feeling of mental paralysis, loss of willpower and self-control, resistance and inhibition in relation to any action. Some of these symptoms may appear in a less pronounced form in earlier stages, without, however, reaching the intensity of the "dark night of the soul."
This peculiar and fruitful experience, whatever it may seem, is not generated by a purely morbid condition. It has spiritual causes and deep spiritual meaning.
This so-called "mystical crucifixion" or "mystical death" is followed by a victorious resurrection, and with it suffering and disease end. It brings with it a complete recovery and rewards for everything experienced.
The chosen theme forced us to deal almost exclusively with the negative and unusual aspects of inner development. This does not mean at all that people on the path of spiritual growth experience nervous breakdowns more often than others. We note the following. Firstly, for many, spiritual development proceeds more harmoniously than in the cases described, internal difficulties are overcome, and a person passes from stage to stage without nervous reactions and without any special physical ailments. Secondly, nervous and mental disorders in ordinary people are often more severe and more difficult to treat than those that have spiritual causes. The disorders of ordinary people are often associated with strong conflicts of passions between themselves, or conflicts of unconscious drives with a conscious personality, or they are generated by someone else counteracting their own selfish demands or desires. Ordinary people can be more difficult to treat, because their higher aspects are too weakly developed and there is little to rely on to convince them to submit themselves to that self-discipline that will restore inner harmony and health.
Thirdly, the sufferings and illnesses of those who follow the path of spiritual growth, no matter how severe forms they sometimes take, in reality are only temporary reactions, as if "waste" of the organic process of growth leading to internal rebirth. Therefore, they often disappear on their own when the crisis that caused them passes, or are relatively easy to eliminate with the right treatment. Fourth. The suffering caused by the ebb of the spiritual wave is more than compensated not only by periods of tide and inner uplift, but also by faith in a significant and lofty goal for which the inner journey takes place. The foresight of victory is a very great motivating force and consolation, an inexhaustible source of courage. We must arouse this image in ourselves as brightly and often as possible, and help our companions in this. For this is perhaps the best help we can give. We must strive as expressively as possible to imagine the goodness of the victorious and liberated soul, which consciously partakes in the wisdom, power and love of Divine life, to see with the inner eye the realization on earth of the Kingdom of God in His glory, the perfection that is the picture of liberated humanity, a newborn creation, full of divine joy. Such visions enabled great mystics and saints to endure inner sufferings and physical torment with a smile, they inspired the words of St. Francis of Assisi: "In anticipation of bliss - any torment is a pleasure ..."
Let us now descend from these heights for some time into the valley where people "work in the sweat of their brows." If you look at the problem from the point of view of medicine and psychology, you should understand one important issue. We have already said that although the disorders that accompany crises of spiritual development resemble certain diseases, and sometimes are even indistinguishable from them, in fact their causes and meaning are completely different and in a certain sense even opposite. Accordingly, their treatment should be different. The nervous symptoms of ordinary patients are, as a rule, regressive in nature, since these patients are incapable of that internal and external adaptation, which is required by the normal development of the personality. Thus, some fail to free themselves from emotional dependence on their parents, and they remain in this state of childish dependence on their parents or those who represent them, at least symbolically. Sometimes patients lack their own good will to cope with the difficulties of ordinary family or social life. Without realizing it, they seek release from their duties in their flight into illness. In other cases, the cause of the disease is emotional trauma, such as disappointment or loss; being unable to accept the situation, the person reacts to it with illness.
In all the above cases, we are talking about a conflict between the conscious personality and the lower impulses, which, working in the sphere of the unconscious, begin to partially prevail over the forces of consciousness. The suffering caused by the course of spiritual development, on the contrary, is clearly progressive in nature. This is a consequence of the tension associated with the growth or struggle between the personality and the energies coming from above.
Thus, these two types of disease should be treated in very real ways. In ailments of the first kind, the doctor must help the patient to return to the state of a normal person. To do this, he needs to free the patient from repressions and prohibitions, feelings of fear and dependence, excessive egocentrism and false assessments, a distorted view of reality. Its task is to bring a person to an objective and reasonable vision of a normal life, to a full awareness of his own duties and the rights of other people. Immature and conflicting factors must be developed and brought into harmony, thus realizing a successful personal psychosynthesis.
As for the second group of ailments, the task of internal harmonization - treatment - is that the new spiritual energies have been assimilated by the already established normal personality, that is, we are talking about spiritual psychosynthesis around a higher inner center.
Obviously, the methods of treatment suitable for patients of the first group are unsuitable and even sometimes harmful for the patient of the second type. A doctor who does not understand the problems of the latter, who does not even know about the possibilities of spiritual development or who denies it, can intensify rather than alleviate difficulties. Such a doctor is able to devalue or ridicule the patient's still uncertain spiritual aspirations, considering them as empty fantasies or, at best, as pure sublimation. With its help, the patient will come to the conclusion that the best thing for him is to tighten his personal defenses and completely ignore the voice of the soul. But from this his condition will only worsen, the struggle will intensify, release - slow down.
On the contrary, a doctor who himself is on the path of spiritual development, or at least aware of spiritual reality, can be of great help to our patient. At a time when a person is still in the stage of dissatisfaction, anxiety, unconscious aspirations, having lost interest in everyday life, but not having an idea of \u200b\u200ba higher reality, while he is looking for relief not at all where it is possible, and is lost in dead ends, this time, revealing the true cause of his suffering can help find the right way out in the awakening of the soul. And this will be the essence of the treatment.
It is very important for a person who is at the second stage of the spiritual path, feeling happy in the spiritual light, in an atmosphere of blissful flights to unconscious heights, to reveal the nature and goals of his experiences, to warn about their temporality, about the vicissitudes of his future wanderings. Then our wanderer will not be taken by surprise by the state of recession, will not be disappointed, will not be in the grip of the doubts and despondency that accompany the recession. If such a warning did not arrive in time and a person needs treatment during the period of a depressive reaction, then it is important to convince him that this state of his is temporary, and he will definitely get out of it.
At the fourth stage, when a person falls into a "pit" on the path of ascent, the work of helping is especially difficult. In general, it is divided into the following tasks. First, to explain to the patient the meaning of his inner experience and how to behave in this situation; secondly, to show how a person can control deep drives without forcing them into the sphere of the unconscious; thirdly, to help in the transformation and use of one's own mental energies; fourthly, to teach him to master the flow of spiritual energies entering his consciousness and use it; fifthly, to exercise guidance and cooperation in recreating the patient's personality, that is, in his own psychosynthesis.
During the period of the “dark night of the soul”, help is especially difficult because the person is, as it were, in a dense fog, he is immersed in his sufferings, and the light of the spirit does not reach his consciousness. The only thing that can be done is to tirelessly repeat that his condition is only temporary and not permanent, since it is the certainty of the latter that plunges the patient into deep despair. We also recommend persistently suggesting to him that these torments, no matter how heavy they may be, are of such spiritual value, contain the germ of such high happiness that the time will come when he will bless them. In this way we will help the patient to endure suffering with humility and humility.
It should be noted that the psychological and spiritual remedies described do not in any way exclude physical treatment, provided that it alleviates suffering. Especially valuable are those means that support the healing forces of nature: a healthy diet, relaxation exercises, contact with natural elements, a suitable rhythm of various types of physical and mental activity.
In some cases, treatment is difficult because the patient has a shift in progressive and regressive disorders. These are cases of uneven and disharmonious internal development. Such people can reach a high spiritual level with one part of their personality, and remain slaves of childish dependence or unconscious "complexes" with the other. However, it can be said that upon careful analysis, problems of a regressive kind are found in the majority of those who follow the spiritual path and in almost all the so-called "normal" people. However, usually regressive or progressive manifestations of the disease strongly predominate. However, the possibility that the symptoms of both groups are combined in an ailment must always be reckoned with, each individual disorder must be investigated and interpreted in order to understand its true cause and find a suitable treatment.
From the foregoing, it is obvious that in order to effectively help with nervous and mental disorders that arise in the course of spiritual development, knowledge and experience of two levels are needed: a doctor who specializes in nervous diseases and psychotherapy, and a serious researcher of spiritual paths, and even better - a wanderer on these ways. In our time, one or the other experience is rarely combined in one person. But as more and more people are in need of such healers, those who are capable of such work must prepare themselves for it.
The treatment could also go very far thanks to the appropriate training of staff able to carry out all the details of the treatment. Finally, it is important that the public, the public at least in general terms, be aware of the basic relationships between neuropsychic and spiritual crises. Then the family could help the patient and the doctor, and not create additional difficulties with their ignorance, prejudice and resistance. If we were able to provide such training for doctors, staff, the public, then this would eliminate a lot of unnecessary suffering, and many wanderers on the path of the spirit would more easily achieve their lofty goal: to connect with divine.