psychology vs soul

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Omid

psychology vs soul

Postby Omid » Tue Feb 24, 2004 2:23 pm

Is there psychological reasons and factors for spiritual problems and sicknesses? One thought comes to mind is a big ego. The two are no doubt linked, that is to say that the other effects the other but which is stronger? The soul is immortal but the mind and brain are not. I have been running around in my own head regarding this matter for about 9 months :roll: . right after I had a mental breakdown I was thinking and saying some very wierd things...maybe some of you remember. I thought I was the Bab. But what I am still amazed is that only by praying and reading the writtings and being around the friends was I able to come back to reality. I still get headaches and I know I should go see a Dr. some insights would be very helpful too

brettz9
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Re: psychology vs soul

Postby brettz9 » Thu Feb 26, 2004 4:31 pm

Dear Omid,

Omid wrote:Is there psychological reasons and factors for spiritual problems and sicknesses?


I think it is clear that they interact as you say, though Bahá'u'lláh indicates that any problems affecting the body or mind are not actually damaging the spirit (though it is presumably part of its experience).

Omid wrote:One thought comes to mind is a big ego. The two are no doubt linked, that is to say that the other effects the other but which is stronger? The soul is immortal but the mind and brain are not. I have been running around in my own head regarding this matter for about 9 months :roll: . right after I had a mental breakdown I was thinking and saying some very wierd things...maybe some of you remember. I thought I was the Bab. But what I am still amazed is that only by praying and reading the writtings and being around the friends was I able to come back to reality. I still get headaches and I know I should go see a Dr. some insights would be very helpful too


I don't think there is any way we can come to a solid conclusion on this. We should know that any ailments affecting our bodies or minds are not due to defects of our spirits (except to the degree that a person may have negligently caused or worsened their own condition). On the contrary, it is stated that those with disabilities and such may be specially blessed. Sometimes, it is clear that ailments of whatever type may get the better of us, but we should also not ignore the power of prayer and engagement in spiritual activities and service for improving mental as well as physical health (except those activities which would not be wise or permitted for a person in such a condition to do, such as if their condition would prevent them from being mentally stable enough to attend Feasts without erupting into an outburst of some kind, etc.). However, this does not preclude the wisdom or even necessity of seeking medical help (and resting from too many services!):

"As regards your seeing a psychiatrist: There is no objection to your trying this form of treatment if your physician recommends it, and any intelligent doctor would never be prejudiced against the Faith through the difficulties incurred by a patient due to illness.

"There is no object in over-taxing your will power and strength by forcing yourself to do things for the Cause. You should let your mind rest in the thought of the infinite love, mercy and forgiveness of Baha'u'llah, and cease to fret about whether you are or are not doing your share until you fully recover your health--and evidently you already are on the road to recovery!"

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, March 26, 1945; quoted in Lights of Guidance, no. 951)

and...

"As Baha'u'llah has urged us to avail ourselves of the help of good physicians Baha'is are certainly not only free to turn to psychiatry for assistance but should, when advisable, do so. This does not mean psychiatrists are always wise or always right, it means we are free to avail ourselves of the best medicine has to offer us."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the British Isles, June 15, 1950; quoted in Lights of Guidance, no. 957)

Take care,
Brett


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