Buddhism and Psychology (all anwerers welcome, especially Monks, Buddhists and Psychologists)?

Many people have had the incredibly unfortunate experience of facing a sudden and immense trauma that forced their minds eye into the now and only the now. For weeks they exist in terror, on a knife-edge of readiness, but always in the immediate now. Most relevant to this question is that they experienced a dissociation from reality and a destruction of their identity as an individual: derealization and depersonalization.

It is therefore known that it is possible to lose virtually all sense of self-identity and to live entirely in the know.

As I understand the thinking on Dissociation in Psychology literature this is a temporary neurological alteration in brain activity that is designed around the fight, flight or freeze response; which is of course linked to primal survival.

I however wish to assess this condition in a philosophical framework from the buddhist perspective.

The Question: Do Buddhist Monks actively seek out to experience a dissociated state and term this state to be a very high-level meditative state?

I know that there are many Buddhist books, knowledge, teaching, which is forbidden to the general public due to its potential to do harm for those that have not readied themselves for the experience. Knowing this, my question seems even more feasible.

3 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Meditating in places that provoke fear is a traditional practise in Buddhism, e.g. charnal grounds and wilderness. One of the most famous of these practises is called Chö in Tibetan.

    Chö (literally 'cutting'), also known as the accumulation of the kusulu, is a practise, based on the prajnaparamita, involving a visualisation in which the physical body is offered as food to various guests, including hungry ghosts and wild beasts, the purpose of which is to destroy or 'cut' the four maras and especially one’s own ego-clinging. Chö was introduced to Tibet by the Indian master Padampa Sangye and his Tibetan disciple, the yogini Machik Labdrön.

    The four maras (demons) in this tradition are

    1. the tangible mara, refers to external phenomena, whether things or other beings who do us harm.

    2. the intangible mara, refers to the three poisons - anger, desire, and ignorance.

    3. the mara of exultation, refers is attachment to such things as inner spiritual experiences.

    4. the mara of conceit, is the root of all demons - it is clinging to a self.

    If you would like more information on Chö please see http://www.rinpoche.com/teachings/chod.htm

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  • 7 years ago

    derealization and depersonalization

    I've never studied such phenomenon before. i would like to answer out of guess only.

    based on your description, i think it's like someone is being obsessed with the event that gave them the trauma. I don't think it's about now (maybe somehow like that) because the patient is not aware of his/her reality but the trauma. Remembering the trauma or being attached by this suffering is caused by "self view" - I suffer, I got attach etc. Because of that self-view, self-delusion, we are easily moved by fearful or painful events. This is what Buddhism comes in as the cure.

    For your question: Do Buddhist Monks actively seek out to experience a dissociated state and term this state to be a very high-level meditative state?

    That is not the case. But quite similar - without trauma but understanding of body and mind (how they are/ the way they really are). This is hard to explain. Only if one practices, one can understand them. There have been monks who have attained higher knowledge and they lead in the teaching of Buddhism.

    Hopefully i made it.

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  • I have DID and no thinking person would want to do that to themselves on purpose.

    It is NOT a philosophy, it is a serious mental illness which happens to some people under a lot of abuse, isolation, and trauma. I've been multiple since childhood and it ain't fun. It is extremely terrifying! I've learnt to deal with it by getting the right kind of diagnosis and therapy.

    Doesn't matter what your religion or philosophy is: You do NOT want this!

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