Depersonalization or Scientific Enlightenment?

There’s a rare and miserable condition called depersonalization disorder (DPD) that takes away the sense of “self” so there’s no “I” causing things – regular things like walking, talking, thinking and deciding.

There’s a loss of the “sense of agency,” a loss of the normal feeling that you’re initiating, executing and controlling your own actions. Patients describe “the suffocating pain of unreality.”

DPD patients show increased prefrontal activation as well as reduced activation in insula/limbic-related areas to aversive, arousing emotional stimuli.”

The DSM IV says they “may feel like an automaton.

An automaton is “a machine that performs a function according to a predetermined set of instructions.”

But why would science considers this a disorder?

If we take scientific materialism to heart, then everything truly is mechanical (reducible to matter and energy). We are automatons. No alternative exists in science.

Sure, Heisenberg’s uncertainty may limit our predictability, or not, but that uncertainty doesn’t make room for anything approaching the self, or consciousness, or the “free will” that most of us seem to experience when it’s time for a cup of coffee.

Hmm. Hang on, I’ll be right back…

OK, I’m back.

Everything that’s not mechanical is an illusion to science.

Illusions are baaad, Umkay?

To the scientific true believer, the problem most people face in seeing the objective mechanical truth is that our brains are so complex they generate false impressions about what we are.

Nature accidentally fooled us into feeling as if we’re conscious and able to think, feel and do things. But it’s a sick joke, we’re told.

When we become scientifically enlightened in government-controlled schools we realize we’re machines. It’s liberating and fun.

The materialistic truth sets us free to follow the call of Science’s meaningless Universe and “Do it like they do on the Discovery Channel.” (Don’t follow that link unless you can tolerate sophomoric sexual vulgarity, Okay?)

Fine, in the illusory (not really existing) minds of most scientists, we’re all the moral equivalent of bananas.

But let’s think about this for a second…

If we’re really soulless machines, then depersonalization disorder conveys an accurate, appropriate mindset.

So why do psychiatrists call it a disorder? They’re scientists, shouldn’t they call it “Scientific Enlightenment?”

“Finally someone feels what scientists can only believe – that the conscious self is an unreal mechanical automaton!”

I’d think Western mental health researchers would not be trying to cure this thing. They should use it to help isolate a drug that destroys humanity’s false illusion of self, then add their chemical to our drinking water along with the wholesome fluoride they trust and adore.

What could possibly go wrong?

The fact is, if you feel (as opposed to merely thinking) that scientific materialism is accurate, then you’ve got a psychiatric disorder that’s ruining your life, not improving it.

That’s backwards. How do we explain it?

Maybe science has made a wrong assumption. Maybe the way humans normally feel about themselves reflects reality not an illusion. When humans lose their natural sense of self, they’ve lost touch with reality, not gained it.

I know that’s a lot for a scientist to imagine. Humans have endless tiny parts. A genetic code gives programmed instructions to our cells. It all looks mechanical, and if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck…

But feeling unreal is horribly debilitating. That fact gently hints that scientific materialism should be displaced by another assumption…

Something to this effect: The mind/soul/spirit/sense of self/ and free will are equally, if not more real and basic to the Universe than matter and energy.

But to get there, we’d also need an assumption like this:

The basic building blocks of reality are derived from a conscious, intelligent Higher Source independent of matter, energy, time and space.

Scientific materialism or genuine personhood?

Either one requires untestable assumptions. Is it really necessary to think of ourselves as machines in order to do good science? I doubt it.

Why not assume something that supports mental health and promotes the way we normally feel? To me, that fits the data and helps humanity.

29 thoughts on “Depersonalization or Scientific Enlightenment?

  1. It must be in the to-do section of the collective consciousness, I asked this question or something very like it of my daughter only a few days ago. She has a PHD psychology and I thought she would know. “Why do the psychology community put-up with this crap?” She gave the predictable answer, that “they would lose their jobs if they complained”. Psychology hangs by a thread to it’s title *scientific* and would be cast-out were it to tell the truth. The mind is neither matter nor a detectable energy and therefore does not exist according to physics.

    Some time ago I used to read the website (now sadly gone) of a shrink who treated students who, it seems, had lost the will to live because of their scientific studies. Any purposeful meaning had been drained from their lives and they were condemned to the hell of the pointlessness of life itself. My own answer to this (and I don’t recommend it to others) is to fight the bastards at their own game. Some time ago I wrote to Stephen Hawking and asked him why there is so much emphasis on time in physics when time is the world’s greatest unknown. I couldn’t believe the answer considering I was invited to ask questions on his website. He said he didn’t have time to answer my question!
    They are all quite mad you know.:)

    • Your comment should be a blog post. You’ve said some important things! 🙂

      Your daughter is right. If she questions the dogma machine, she will lose her job. It’s the sad truth. People in power are afraid of ideas they don’t like. Now more than ever they crush objective thinking, especially in academia.

      I have a real burden for the young people who are depressed (30% at Harvard), and I agree it’s largely, if not almost entirely due to the scientific priesthood that takes control of their spiritual lives when they enter the Ivory Towers.

      Children should be taught that science cannot be trusted in spiritual things because it assumes they don’t exist. Then when they get to school they might not become depressed with the “scientific meaninglessness” of like.

      Making science the ultimate spiritual authority is a strange scam. It’s like putting a color blind person in charge of visual aesthetics.

      Thank you for your great comment! 🙂

      • Thanks for your kind comment. I must have written millions of words on-line, on this very subject over the years. Much of it can be found at my website: please help yourself.

        • Thank you for your research. (Sorry it took me so long to reply.) I really wish that the shrink’s website you mentioned were still around documenting the connection between depression and the fundamentalist / religious aspects of science education. Kids need an inoculation to pseudoscience.

          How difficult is it to see that if you assume the universe is composed entirely of matter and energy (exclusive of mind and God), then proceed to base your realm of experimental study, your experimental design and your interpretation of data on that assumption, you’re going to eventually believe that you’ve proven your assumption (i.e. the absence of mind, spiritual value, meaning, purpose, God). It’s not science. It’s scientific fundamentalism pretending to be unconcerned with spiritual or religious matters. Scientific materialism and reductionism are a depressing scam perpetrated upon young people by well meaning educators who, like the rest of us, were born into this abusively superficial worldview.

          • Thank you for your kindly reply.
            I don’t often use the word god on the Internet because I see it as dragging me into the binary, ‘science V religion’ category. I have no religion, there are other options. I see the universe and its source as conscious entities, universal mind. But having said that, I know there is a strong need for purpose and for some, religion seems to fill the void. Religion, like science is learned by rote and suppresses our innate ability to think for ourselves. Our purpose is to be who we are, to live the life we have been given and suppression of this prime objective causes depression and other mental aberrations.

  2. Woebegone but Hopeful

    I really don’t know if I should be replying, because I have a Class A cold and the facilities associated with eloquence and reasoning may not be working at their best, but the post was so interesting it was impossible to just ‘like’ and leave it at that.
    60+ years on this planet, episode of depression ( of the minor sorts), observing the passage fashionable trends in ways of thinking and encounters with folk who like to make themselves sounded more incisive than their lazy rationales suggests has led me to conclude that there is an excess of narrow-minded ‘gunk’ out there masquerading as Authoritative with an inference that if the reader does not embrace this concept or at least say ‘I see’, then there is something wrong with them. This is as dangerous as exhaust fumes from motor vehicles, in that this proliferation of jarring and unsettling notions pollute and corrode self-esteem and confidence which in most of us are fragile plants.
    Thus we can fall into the trap of being encouraged to over-think a circumstance or situation and find ourselves so unsettled herded into the realms of self-fulfilling prophecies.
    There are of course no easy mantras, or cheery slogans. Our struggles with a sense of perspective in the world have been around for as long as we have been wondering beyond where to find a mate, a safe place and the next meal, because it is a great big Creation we’re living in. AND, if we manage to conquer all the realms of space and figure out to travel in Time; we’ll still not understand our brains and what goes on it them.
    And should someone say to me, ‘Well, that’s all fine. But having said that you owe me an explanation as to how you see things should be for a person C’mon, be fair!”
    I guess I would say:
    “After all is said and done. Take some time to appreciate you are actually an individual of worth and value to the World. It is so, because Life is Life and is part of Creation which in turn is Vibrant,”

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I hope I haven’t added to the “narrow-minded ‘gunk’.” I’ve spent most of my 60 plus years (including 26 years practicing the depressing profession of pathology) being wrong about many important philosophical things. I doubt that’s changed much, though I’m trying.

      I hope you get over your cold soon! Stay hydrated. 🙂

      • Woebegone but Hopeful

        By your contribution I would say you’ve not contributed to ‘gunk’. It’s a term I use for those who insist theirs in the ‘true and only’ way & demean those who questions them irrespective as to whether they are qualified or not.
        Thanks for the advice and wishes
        I am indeed staying hydrated 👍

  3. Synthesis has been reduced to a nice logo instead of being practiced as a way to achieve broader perspectives and explore new possibilities.
    It seems that fear is the supreme ruler, so we choose sides and exile the notion of finding segments of truth at the opposite one…

    Cheers T !

    • Hi Spira! You’re right. Fear has been the dominant emotion of my life – all through school and practice. I couldn’t overcome it until I quit my profession and left the rat race. I should probably seek a synthesis rather than choosing sides in yet another endless conflict – this time between believers in a concrete world and believers in Transcendence. Thanks for pointing that out. I’m still trying to find my sea legs. Your wise help is appreciated immensely.


      • Vice versa captain Talmage!
        ( It seems to me that, in truth, most of us haven’t really learned to deal with our fears; that is until the moment we are obliged to do so. But even then… I know the face of my fear, know the step I have to make yet there is an almost gravitational force still in play… And that is the point where you ( aka a true heartfelt friend) come along and ” … Before we pushed the button…, we looked at each other, grinned and you said, “Balls out, dude. Let’s make this mean something.”

        • That’s our quest. And you’re totally doing it. You’re making it happen with your amazing art. I’m still pulled in three different directions – fiction, spiritual stuff and unexplained phenomena. I’m trying to listen for guidance. I made an unwise choice to do pathology all those years ago. It wasn’t a total wast of time, but a definite mistake. Now I’d like to choose more wisely. Since I took that meditation course (that I quit half way through due to concern over “side effects” which included loss of interest in fiction) I’ve found my interest in my latest story to be diminishing. Maybe it’s just temporary. Your advice is always welcome. More than welcome! 🙂

          • I hear you. Though I never intend to offer advice – I’m just speaking the unfiltered truth of whatever it is me.
            And I believe cause we both do so, that makes our interaction in this quest so valuable
            May your day be bright 🙂

  4. Great post . This was the same thing going through my brain while I was preparing my study on the mystics. The fact is the science tries to objectify things even when they know there is no reference point in the whole universe whom does they perceive .
    Illusion is an illusion in itself

    • Thank you, Charvi. I agree. The so-called “illusion of consciousness” is actually the delusion of science. For each scientist, the conscious mind is the ultimate laboratory measuring device. Everything is filtered through the scientists’ minds. If these minds are truly non-existent and only mirages or illusions, why do scientists trust their thinking? Isn’t it generally a mistake to trust a mirage, say for instance, in the desert?

      Everything makes consistent sense if we assume that our minds are real. This requires that the Universe does not consist merely of matter and energy, but science wants to hang on to this assumption. It seems to me that science is a bit superstitious in this regard.

      Thank you for your comment! 🙂

  5. this for some reason has profoundly made me think hence the novel of a comment thank you for writing it

    I often have felt the sentiment expressed in this article is pretty true but it also feels like a double edge sword because depending on your specif brand of broken(by society standards of a none broken mind), there is just some stuff that goes on in your thought process that lets you see things differently. I feel like people are genuinely threatened by this, because people who are told their minds are perfectly healthy and normal i imagine could have inferior feelings when the person they where also taught has a brain with a malfunction that retards their normal brain power sits in a room with them and thinks of a working solution to problem first.

    I don’t exactly have a definition of mental illness i find accurate, but for me it’s always been a bit like being the world luckiest formula 1 driver who didn’t crash in his first race ever because he wasn’t allowed to train for any type of racing and now that I’m not dead hopefully i can find away to train myself to be able to handle a brain that’s technically the exact opposite of retarded by definition could sometime use a little light retarding when the discipline to handle such high horse horse power is still being developed. perhaps if our education systems wasn’t in the state its in right now i might have fared better in finding discipline training for a scary fast mind.

    western medicine has mostly left me on my own with the exception of times when some doctors thinks I’m having just to bad a day with only half the story because that guys unfortunately been misinformed the patient isn’t worth listening too, which leads me to believe way to much abuse of their own mind altering substance might be going on by the academics supposedly entrusted with find me an answer. Heck I’m not even sure my diagnose is accurate but when your mind can see both sides of that thought at once mine and theirs( the doctors & researchers ) it feels really confusing when people refuse to give any acknowledgement to the actual facts of whats going on, which right now I’m pretty sure in terms of actual solid facts are a) my brains different b) science lacks the understand of the brain to say why accurately enough to have taken some of the cowardly actions it has taken in the past with mentally ill people. C) a is not necessarily the bad thing for all me or anyone knows my brain could be the next step in evolution and if the latter is true we should probably figure out how the prototype works first before we go into mass production and screw ourselves or perhaps even if i am intelligently designed i am due to be scrapped as a failed attempt at trial and error by my maker or makers.

    Which is not all that sad misunderstood or not i did manage to spend a good portion of my adult life studying on my own finding people with the knowledge in specific field of science to ask questions that helped me understood the science papers, in a pissed of attempt to find my own answer as the system failed the crap out of me a who field of medical science has failed the crap out of me and acts like the toddler it is lets face it the field of head shrinking is no chemistry or physics my two favorite fields that are as old as time it’s self. i don’t think i can ever trust those barbarians with my health again but i did come up with something that seems to be working and with a little luck I’ll find the people who society will accept as credible to help me look into this properly on one the condition they understand i did the first ten years of research alone, and I’d like to give it away for free if its proven to effectively help people like me.

    as a patient i hate the DSM because of this “may feel like an automaton.” what kind of dickhead came up with this and who was the dickhead that decided it would be a good idea to validate this dickhead, and then where where their dickhead peers to go hey guys that sounds really f’ing vague and science doesn’t do vague we aren’t religion we don’t deal in platitudes that may or may not help you depending on your brains operating system. it’s enough you want to compulsively reach down your pants and crap in your hand and smear it on the wall as the only commentary you can make because you temporally lost all speech functions because having to process that level of short sighted stupidness has shocked your system but it’s important to let em know what you think of their lack of thinking.

    this travesty has gone on for so long it’s gone circular and their are people on this planet who think earth is flat because they can’t elevate their minds with knowledge and see its really round but not a perfect sphere because gravity is a wave and gravity made this planet form like it did because science has become questionable instead of answering them. wow thanks hopefully that made sense and contributed to the overall point because i think your onto something here. i think it’s also safe to say if the trust of science reverts backwards to where the earth suddenly is flat you’re really lacking even a basic education, but i don’t think that’s their fault i think its science’s fault for not properly doing things because beside doing fun stuff like science you also need to engage the people and let em know what up with their planet which is a lot more difficult than it sounds for most scientist.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your interesting and broad perspective! 🙂 I agree that Western psychiatry and psychology are in the early stages of development as a science and deserve to be questioned carefully rather than treated as the final authority on the human condition. I have more confidence in physics, too, although I’m thinking that the “fringe” thinkers who bring us the concept of “The Electric Universe” probably have some valuable contributions to make and shouldn’t be sidelined by the mainstream. Your comment gives me much to think about. Thank you.

  6. theburningheart

    It’s said that in the Spiritual world things are the reverse of what they are in the material World, sort like in a mirror, where left its right, and furthermore, above its below, for example on the Spiritual plane the Richer you were, the poorest you are in the Spiritual, and consequently if you are enlightened, in the Spiritual, on the material world it means you are suffering from some sickness. Truly fitting! 🙂

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