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This thread is spinning off my "Tarot as a System of Metaphysical Philosophy" thread, where I started a conversation with Mandrake that I took the liberty to transliterate here. As I was asked to go into certain specifics that might break up the original thread which is of a more general kind. That's cool with me. May I ask you why this topic particularly interests you? I shuffled the cards, then fanned them out for the querent to draw the required number by their left hand (the one that connects to the heart or, in more modern terms, to the right cerebral hemisphere) - a very common method. However, especially for therapeutic application, I think it's advantageous that the querent selects the cards by themselves, so they would identify with their message more readily. I then laid them out using whatever spread would seem most appropriate regarding the query. Ranging from the good old Celtic Cross to relationship and decision spreads. If you want me to demonstrate some of my favourite spreads, just ask... This could conceivably be a problem especially for OCD types doing Tarot on their own. It's also typical for excited beginners (at least they get to know the cards fairly quickly this way). If the readings are supervised by a sensible counsellor, this is hardly an issue. Cut to the core of a problem immediately. Much like a well interpreted dream might, but available any time on purpose. I remember that psychiatrist I was collaborating with once looking at one of my spreads, then exclaiming: "This one card here is worth a whole psychotherapy!" Furthermore, he was convinced that Tarot can outline the way for a patient to progress in a straightforward manner. Also, I would highlight that a card image or a certain symbol on it can assume a particular meaning for the querent, which they can take away from the reading and think of when the need arises. Lastly, using Tarot offers a playful approach to psychological problems that is quite in tune with the childlike nature of the unconscious mind which is very receptive to its archetypal symbolism. All the more due to the impression that a spot on revelation based on a seemingly random process leaves. You are very welcome. It's fun for me too to think back to those Golden days... <sighs>
Satya posted a topic in General DiscussionThe question/subject of psychedelics (specifically plants) for mental health was raised on another thread. I thought it was worth creating a separate thread for, for anyone interested, and, to stay on topic re: commemorations for the great funny man Robin Williams. http://thetaobums.com/topic/35932-robin-williams-dead-at-63/page-2 Psilocybin has been shown to be effective in lots of other areas too. Anxiety, depression. I know some of the psychiatrists who were involved in one of the studies around it. One of them was personally injected with it before going into an fMRI scanner. Lots of other psychedelics (not just plants) too. MDMA, DMT, Ayahuasca (specifically, rather than pure DMT), LSD. Generally they seem incredibly useful for psychotherapeutic work as they help break down barriers in minutes that can otherwise take months; they make the mind/self/perception much more malleable, less rigid, which is self evidently beneficial for therapy and internal work (also, of course, this aspect of them means they can be very dangerous in the wrong settings). You've got the biochemical effects which can be beneficial, the psychological effects, and, the spiritual effects. It'd be interesting to see if in the future, like we have many health professionals trained in alternative medicine overtly, or privately, if we'd similarly ever get psychotherapists who are trained in the psychotherapeutic use of psychedelics, AND in shamanistic skills for their spiritual use. They used to be commonly used in psychotherapy settings, and often to good effect too (there'll always be exceptions). This was before one of the most ignorant, costly, dumbest, insidious wars was ever initiated, by nixon, "the war on drugs." All war is bad of course; protective use of force, and self defence are necessary; generally, war, not so much. If you look at the figures of what has been spent on fighting this war, how long it's been going on, and the victims of it - (who range across all demographics and classes, from the abused unregulated worker in the poppy fields, right up to the upper class heroine user who ODs because of un-standardised dosages, mixed drugs and having a stigmatised illness that has to be hidden) - then you'll see that, though it may seem incredibly innocuous, it is in fact one of the most costly wars on many levels. If you haven't heard of it already then MAPS http://www.maps.org is pretty much THE go to organisation for the modern use of psychedelics for health. Ibogaine IS incredibly interesting. I was contemplating taking it, not for addiction, but to help break anxiety patterns/issues. Though, after a bit of research I came across some studies that discussed how some have died after taking it, days later, from subtle minor heart problems that are seemingly un-detectable before. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc0804248 https://wiki.dmt-nexus.me/w/images/d/d8/Fatalities_after_ibogaine_use.pdf http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22458604 If I ever did do it now then I think It'd either be in a clinic where I was monitored for a few days after, as well as during, OR, if I could get the necessary kit myself, and see if any of my friends are trained in life support. This is generally just a response to the quoted post, (and an opening up of the topic), there's a lot of info on it all.
Psychological Issues and Spiritual Practices: Shouldn't Practices Trump Therapy/Medication? (This is taken from a previous thread, but [in addition to another thread] I thought this could do with a thread of it's own [i hope it doesn't seem I'm flooding the forum, searched through but couldn't find a similar discussion.) Any thoughts on how spiritual practices work in general and how this relates to mental health would be much appreciated. Taken from: http://thetaobums.com/topic/34480-looking-into-new-practices-for-mental-health-enlightenment-and-then-perhaps-immortality-;-in-woteva-order-formerly-taoist-systems-of-practice/ I agree with finding help, specifically tailored to the problem at hand. But, in addition, here is some story and some thoughts about mental health and spiritual practice: After an initial year (years ago) of aversion to ANY western method (during my spiritual, put your money where your mouth is phase), I have since been in contact with western medicine doctors, therapists, etc for the past few years. No doubt, CBT and medication do work, and seem to have been the only thing that has worked for the severe anxiety (which will teach me to think in black and white "Only spiritual practices should help blah blah, etc")-(mainly the CBT/I believe [and the science points to] that it results in new neural pathways/neuroplasticity/a change in brain structure). What Do Spiritual Practices Do? This makes me wonder about practices in general. Aren't spiritual practices about clearing out the karma/conditioning/habits/attachment to-or-belief in thought-fear-worry-separation/fear/lies/falseness? This is how I have been taught/come to understand energy practices like Kriya Yoga, Tantra, Yoga, etc, that the spinal breathing is clearing obstructions/conditioning/karma out. And, then, self inquiry/meditative practices seem to be about highlighting Truth/True self, sitting/being with True self/stillness and slowly seeing through thought, undoing reactivity and attachment to thought/feeling, becoming less identified with noise and more with silence/stillness/emptiness/nothingness underneath/behind/between/at the birth of the noise, building new neural pathways perhaps/most likely, and in becoming less identified with noise, less noise arises? What Is a Psychological 'Problem'? All a psychological condition is, is an extreme instance, high on the spectrum, of a trait/phenomena that is present in ALL humans: fear, neurosis, depression, psychosis, etc. We all experience these things, but when one area gets out of balance it's labeled pathological, but it's all just noise, and spiritual practices are surely about clearing out this noise/and or attachment to/belief in noise, no? (this isn't typed argumentatively, in case it comes off that way; I'm genuinely asking myself/pondering all of these issues currently). CBT works. I guess CBT is like a forced kind of self inquiry type thing, that focuses on the specific issue at hand. It is very similar to the lower stages of self inquiry. So Why Not Just Do CBT/Therapy? So, you may ask, if CBT works, then why don't you just do that and then once you're sorted get back on spiritual practices? Well, it worked, (CBT and an SSRI [i hate medication, but I was out of options]) I had about 1 month of being fully 'functional'/back to normal compared to how I was when all of this pathological instance of anxiety started, but then it came back. So, I guess I should just keep up with CBT and stay proactive with that (perhaps set myself a weekly CBT reminder practice for life, like a spiritual practice, to keep tabs on myself) but, it's hard, AND, the fact that the issues came back points to me to a more underlying issue perhaps, maybe? I don't know. I'm sure with pro active CBT for years I would hopefully, eventually restructure/rewire my brain so the issues are non existent, but, again, this is difficult, it's very easy to relapse, and, why can't a spiritual practice also do this? Or, at least they should help right? (these are half rhetorical questions). In addition, CBT, for me anyway, to fully work, I need (or at least feel I need and have in the past needed) the help of a physical therapist, to 'bully me' (I joke, but being almost forced in an agreed way is needed) into doing exposures/the CBT work. Self help materials don't seem to be enough. Hence why a spiritual practice to clear out mental gunk is preferable, as, therapy is expensive, and government/NHS support takes ages (I've been waiting for over a year now for an NHS therapist/psychologist, after seeing one initially and it working my sessions ran out). Again, any thoughts on how spiritual practices work in general and how this relates to mental health would be much appreciated. Thank you