(Note: This is part 2 of this series, a link to part 1 has been appended below.)
In this present era, we are step by step witnessing the spread of various mental disorders etc. This outbreak is happening most drastically in those so-called first-world nations.
Around the globe, and especially in the materialistic communities, many medical professionals and psychologists are under the impression that all such mental disorders fall within the realm of brain diseases. Thus whether one has brain cancer or clinical depression, western medical specialists are treating all mental disorders as brain diseases, using traditional allopathic medicines. This is their standard approach. (1)
But brain diseases and psyschic diseases are not the same. In the first letter of this series, this topic has been discussed at length and here following are further thoughts on this distinction between brain diseases and psychic diseases.
HOW THEY GROW IN HUMAN MIND
So then how do psychic diseases occur? Often times people harbour thoughts which are figments of their imagination or which are untrue ideas. People can think that there is a ghost in their house; people can think that everyone hates them; people can think that they are better than everyone else; or, people can be afraid of the dark etc. And when any of these types of ideas dominate one's thinking and flood the objectivated mind, then that results in a psychic disease.
Here Baba explains further how such psychic diseases like superiority complexes and inferiority complexes develop.
Ananda Marga philosophy states, "A defect in the objectivated mind may also cause inferiority complex or superiority complex. When the objectivated mind becomes large enough to pamper one's ego, one develops a superiority complex. One starts considering oneself to be superior to others in points of knowledge, the capacity to act, organizational calibre and other qualities of leadership, and unnecessarily slights others. Such a person expects preferential treatment, VIP status, and unquestioning obedience. If by accident their ego is hurt even slightly, they become violently angry. This is another kind of mania." (2)
And here below Baba describes another type of psychic disease.
Ananda Marga philosophy states, "Moreover, because of problems in the objectivated mind, people suffer from various psychic complexes. For example, there are those who are inclined to think that no one, neither their friends and relatives nor even their domestic animals, cares to think of them. They unnecessarily think that everyone deliberately avoids them, dislikes them, or ignores them, and therefore they become disappointed, dejected, and dispirited. Life loses all its charm and attraction for them, and they may even commit suicide. This type of mania is called melancholia." (3)
So whenever anyone's mental plate gets polluted and deformed due to such type of faulty ideas then we say there is a defect in their objectivated mind. And when those ideas enter the objectivated mind in an uncontrolled manner & people become obsessed with that idea, then we say it is a psychic disease.
So a psychic disease occurs when one is fully consumed by a particular defective thought process such as 'everybody hates them', or 'there is a ghost in the house'.
Once again all psychic diseases stem from a defect in the objectivated mind. And through constant thinking about those faulty ideas, day after day, then a particular psychic disease develops.
But if it happens just once then we cannot call it a psychic disease. For example, if after playing a good game of cricket Shyam then thinks that he is 'king of the world' for an hour or two but then he returns to his normal state, then we cannot say that Shyam was suffering from a psychic disease.
Only when those defective thoughts happen on a continual basis can we say it is a psychic disease. When those fabricated ideas pollute the objectivated mind ceaselessly then that is the stage when it becomes a psychic disease.
As mentioned above, there are various kinds of psychic diseases such as inferiority complex, superiority complex, phobias, manias, depression, etc. Unfortunately now according to material science, everything is treated as a brain disease and they do not recognise the existence of psychic diseases.
For that reason if someone is suffering from depression western doctors & psychologists prescribe some type of strong allopathic medicine for that patient. Because those doctors think the patient is suffering from a defect in the brain, when in fact that patient is suffering from a defect in their thinking - not a defect in the biological structure of their brain. So that patient does not actually need allopathic medicine or drugs per se. Rather what they need is a change in their thought process. That is the proper treatment.
Unfortunately though, in countless cases, material science addresses psychic diseases as brain diseases. That is why some doctors prescribe medications to a grieving widow or they will prescribe other medicines to a child who is afraid of dying. But this is not the proper way because such persons do not have an organic problem in the brain - just they suffer from defects in their objectivated mind., i.e. in their way of thinking.
At present, the manifestation of psychic diseases is growing exponentially due to the fast-paced, imbalanced way of life. Everyone is feeling tension and stress and harbouring defective ideas in the mind like 'I am shelterless', 'nobody loves me', 'I am inferior', 'nobody cares about me', 'everyone hates me', 'I am ugly', 'I am alone' etc. This type of defective thinking creates depression and other types of psychic diseases.
By this way psychic disease has become rampant t yet all such patients are all being treated as if they have brain disease. And they are given various steroids or drugs in order to treat the problem. But that only makes the situation worse.
SADHANA IS THE SOLUTION TO PSYCHIC DISEASES
So for the situation to be remedied, allopathic medical science has to accept the existence of mind and then treat ailments related with the objectivated mind as psychic diseases - not brain diseases. And the main treatment for psychic diseases is sadhana. That is beyond the arena of present day medical science. They think that belongs to theology. But Baba guides us that sadhana is alone is the proper treatment for psychic diseases.
Sadguru Baba says, "Most psychic diseases, if not all, grow out of the defective control over the objectivated mind. If one is alert, any trouble can be avoided. Those who regularly practise Iishvara pran'idha'na or dhya'na (meditation) can remain free from these diseases, as their minds will remain in a balanced state. One of the numerous benefits of sa'dhana' is that it keeps the mind free from psychic disease and encourages the natural growth of the mind." (4)
The culminating idea is that we should be clear on the difference between brain disease and psychic disease and such ailments should be treated accordingly. And as Baba describes above, psychic diseases are best treated through sadhana and spiritual practice.
So it is our dharmic duty to propagate sadhana to save this situation because with the development of science, psychic diseases are spreading more and more, especially amongst our younger generations. With them it is becoming rampant.
Psychic diseases are far more prevalent in areas dominated 'modern materialistic living’.
So as Ananda Margiis we should be vigilant and remember that sadhana alone is the remedy: We must propagate sadhana in order to build up a healthy humanity.
Baba has graciously blessed us with a human framework - such that one can perfect themselves through sadhana.
Ananda Marga ideology states, "The entire universe has the grace of Brahma, but human beings enjoy greater grace. They are endowed with the privilege of practising sa'dhana'." (5)
in his service
We should also remember that tandava is the only exercise for the brain and this will help in both curing and preventing the onset of brain disease. About this, the medical community should conduct research. And soon this is going to happen because already the medical community is pouring money to investigate how yoga asanas help prevent and cure diseases. So the day is not far when it will become known that tandava is a great exercise for the brain.
PSYCHIC DISEASE OR BRAIN DISEASE
Baba describes how criminals may suffer from either (a) a mix between brain disease and psychic disease or (b) exclusively from a psychic disease.
[A] Here below Baba guides us how in-born criminals suffer from both because brain disease and psychic disease.
Ananda Marga philosophy states, "Psychologists cannot treat the mental diseases which inflict born criminals all alone; the cooperation of physicians and sociologists is essential. Psychologists will diagnose the mental disease and explain its origins, and they will also play a role in helping cure it as far as possible. Doctors will be responsible for curing the disease through medicine or surgery, insofar as it is caused by physiological abnormalities. Then sociologists will have to arrange for the social rehabilitation of the criminal after he or she has recovered." (6)
With inborn criminals, the problem is two fold. They have defects in their objectivated mind which makes it a psychic disease. Plus there is often a faulty development in the formation of the brain organ, which makes it a brain disease as well.
[B] And here below in this next example Baba discusses how some criminals - i.e. criminal by snap volition - suffer from kleptomania which is exclusively a psychic disease.
Ananda Marga philosophy guides us, "Another type of crime occurs occasionally. This is a temporary criminal urge, a special type of mental disease which suddenly appears in a certain type of environment and again subsides after a short time. Kleptomania is an example of this kind of mental disease. After committing a crime kleptomaniacs feel ashamed and are anxious to return the property that they have stolen to the owner. They have sudden fantasies about stealing, abducting people, becoming drunk or indulging in decadent activities. But analysis shows that they do not in fact have the slightest personal interest in such things." (7)
By Baba's grace, by ideating on Him we can overcome all defects and become pure and pristine - physically, psychically, and spiritually.
Ananda Marga philosophy teaches us, "In Brahma, the Entity who liberates one from all mundane ailments and the cycle of rebirth, lies the total cessation of all afflictions, the freedom from all ailments. He is the only dependable panacea for microcosmic distortions and imperfections; there is none other than Him - Na'nyah pantha' vidyate ayana'ya." (8)
1. Excerpt from part 1
2. 'Faculty of Knowledge-3'
3. 'Faculty of Knowledge-3'
4. 'Faculty of Knowledge-3'
5. Subhasita Samgraha - 1
6. Human Society - 1
7. Human Society - 1, '87 Edn, p.80
8. Ananda Marga Ideology in a Nutshell - 6