by Ernst Senkowski
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C-16 PSYCHOPATHOLOGY AND PSYCHIATRY
Little attention is paid to the fact that the states of consciousness vary constantly also under ‘normal circumstances’, maybe between emotional, rational, concentrated, inattentive, and so on (‘soft coordinates’ JAHN/DUNNE). Mediumistic trances and trance-like states differ substantially from the waking consciousness of Western man . The onset of often trance(-like) states escapes the conscious control of the persons concerned; they spontaneously ‘fall’ into a trance anywhen and ‘produce’ somatic automatisms and/or paranormal phenomena in their surrounding. They may learn, sooner or later, to prevent such altered states, or to initiate such voluntarily themselves, or to let them be initiated by some other person. As long as the inner and outer burdens associated with these remain tolerable, and the experiences can be meaningfully integrated (also) within a sympathetic environment, there is no need for psychiatric help. If or when the limits of tolerability or bearableness are reached or exceeded, then the medical faculty is called upon to attend to the problem. But once the relative psychic stability that characterizes every ‘normal’ person has broken down, healing endeavours are not successful in every case, despite of the use of modern psychopharmaceuticals – whose selection and dosage are one of the consultant doctor’s most difficult tasks; in such cases (attempted) suicide cannot always be avoided. In contrast with the summary, poorly defined diagnosis of ‘schizophrenia’, BENDER coined the term ‘mediumistic psychosis’ for this complex of symptoms, and worked extensively on this subject. To STAUDENMAIER we owe a classical experience that had a tragical end.
 It is a grave mistake made by historical researchers, in particular by those dealing with prehistoric times, to assume that the structures of consciousnesses of the human beings of the (distant) past were similar to ours, or even identical (GEBSER).
Psychiatry and psychotherapy are obviously passing through a crisis. Psychoanalysis, designated as an imposition already in the past, and often continued for any wanted time without success, was attacked once more during the World Congress for Psychotherapy held in Hamburg in 1994. On a general scale, and under the pharmaceutical industry’s pressure, seems to intensify once again ‘the dogmatic claim that biochemistry determines the human, and the whole psychotherapeutical approach is nothing else than superstitiousness’ (WATZLAWICK in an interview).
Because of the one-sided materialist academic education, school psychiatrists are only able to interpret trance-mediumistic states as particular forms of (partly) automomous, split personalities . In the spirit(ual)istic view of wider range, a more or less complete take-over of the psychosomatic control of the medium by TE(s) is assumed, with the medium then serving as a channel for the transmission of TI, or as an ‘instrument’ (not in the technical sense!) for mediumistic communication to take place. In the holistic information space the diametrical aspects may well become squared: because if (beyond space and time!) ‘multidimensionality’ constitutes a characteristic of mankind, the discrepancies appear only as an apparent consequence of the respective initial basis, and they dissolve in an adequate definition of the ‘person’ (or ‘personality’). Via HOMES (F-38.12.4), BENDER questions the existence of a homogeneous personality core at all and, in contrast to this, in his present situation recognizes only variable combinations of partial structures.
 One should clearly realize that every person who ‘reflects’, i.e. looks at or considers his own actions or emotions, is already ‘dissociated’; in other words, this kind of being ‘split’ is quite ‘normal’; see the ‘neo-dissociationists’ (HILGARD). TEs frequently stress that their attempts to contact us require them to split themselves (see RICHET, F-37.3).
In case personality changes are valued as negative, representatives of many religions, in the West predominantly those of the Christian churches, and several spiritists, speak of ‘possession’, in less serious cases of being surrounded by ,evil’ (diabolical, satanic, demonic) spirits, whose characteristics include all kinds of paranormal ‘supernatural’ abilities. ‘Exorcism’, as an attempt to ‘drive out’ these spirits and heal the affected person, presumes the existence of such spirits, which in the past was generally accepted without problems, which today however is questioned or analysed. In recent times, the dangers involved with a suggestive influencing of a patient are more clearly recognized: within socio-culturally determined conceptions regarding belief, the patient, like a mirror, can reflect the convictions and expectations of the exorcist, and consequently create the as such non-existent ‘demons’; see, e.g., the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying’. Not least because of the unfortunate ending of the case of Anneliese MICHEL, theologians and psychiatrists seem to show more readiness to discuss the subject (v. DUSEN, GOODMAN, MISCHO, NAEGELI, RESCH, SCHAFFRATH). Greater truth content may be ascribed to an interpretation of ‘possession’ that assumes more or less ‘earth-bound deceased’ persons as originators. WICKLAND’s experiences offer a good example for it. The decrease of activities of the residues uncoupled during the ascent to higher-entelechial spheres (HEIM) should also be considered. Moreover, true ‘split personalities’ in the academic sense should not to be ruled out, even though there is no binding definition of the notion ‘personality’. Finally shall also be indicated those strange personality transformations which crop up in the research into reincarnation, or when persons are ‘led back into earlier lives’, which, however, do not necessarily have to be interpreted in the usual sense, or which seem to run counter this simple interpretation, f.i. when a deceased - of whom an ‘other side’ informs that he has reincarnated already - makes ‘personal’ contact from the Beyond; see BENDER in F-38.12.4. An extremely special case ‘soul exchange by lightning-stroke’ is described by DELACOUR (p. 221): during a thunderstorm the psychic structures of two living persons were irreversibly exchanged. Taking all aspects into account, it has to be assumed that part of the occupants of psychiatric clinics, as victims of an inhuman system, are not adequately treated (SZASZ).
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Independently of the various views and the terminology favoured in each respective case, pathological states of consciousness have to be mentioned here because there always exists the danger of slipping down, also when experimenting in ITC. Regrettably, this fact is often suppressed by solicitous organizers and heads of VOT groups, or it is minimized with an indication to already previously existant ‘instability’ of the ‘victim of the accident’. Apart from the fact that psychic stability always can be only relative, and in extreme circumstances even would be in contradiction with life, nobody is able to predict how he or any other person will react in a severe stress situation. The author himself has an experience of seven weeks of mediumistic psychosis, which he was able to overcome without psychiatric assistance. Later he obtained knowledge of a multitude of similar cases engendered by VOT experiments, and not all of them found a happy end, or found it not earlier than after long periods of hospitalization (DREISS; the case ‘Muenchen’ (Munich) in NOVOTNY vol. IV, p. 81/87). HEINTSCHEL on this subject (p. 150/153): ‘None of the many procedures for making contact with those in the Beyond can be guaranteed to be harmless. This is also true for VOT, which are often deemed harmless.’ .
 After all, one would not advise a layman to work on a high-voltage installation! Even an expert must provide for sufficient ‘insulation’ if he cannot switch the installation off. Overmore, there is an important difference: electric voltages are invisible but at least measurable, not so pyschic tensions!
Two sources of danger have to be distinguished. The first is based on a psycho-physical connection, which in parapsychology is used when employing the “Ganzfeldmethode” (Ganz field method) (HONORTON) in order to induce extrasensory perception (ESP). The intense absorption in noise while trying to hear voices, may open the PSI blockout and call up inner voices which then, since appearing as autonomous, cannot be brought to silence and may produce lasting psychic stress through lack of sleep, nonsensical or absurd commands, threats, etc., whose consequences are unforeseeable (LANG, SENKOWSKI).
In the course of the last years, the number of persons hearing inner voices seems to have increased. Since psychiatrists can remedy the situation only to a limited extent through the prescription of psycho-pharmaeuticals, many affected have joined in self-help groups where they exchange their respective experiences and learn to handle the phenomenon.
The second source of danger lies in wait in form of the above mentioned lability. Because of views inherent in our environment, and those acquired by education, ‘conversations with the dead’ in our culture are for many people entirely unbelievable, and even eerie . The intimate, direct experience of a convincing, emotionally charged contact can disturb the mental balance even of people who are considered, or consider themselves as ‘stable’.
 This is not necessarily true for members of other religious communities (f.i., asiatic ones).
When such stresses occur, like in situations involving spook, all experiments shall be halted immediately, in order to give time for the experiences to be processed. There is no sense in having fear. Whoever is ‘creating’ or ‘playing’ the ‘voice beings’ that often appear to be threatening, be it the affected person’s ‘own subconsciousness’, or be it ‘earthbound deads’, properly speaking they are ‘laughable dwarfs’, inflated to gigantic shadows by fear, and by attempts to ‘fight’ them directly. One should make oneself aware of the situation, not pay attention to any disturbing element contained, and attempt to regain control. It would also be wrong to be wrapped up in oneself for fear of being taken for ‘mad’. Instead, the affected should share his experiences with trustworthy and broad-minded, sympathetic fellow-men. In extreme cases, treatment with psychopharmaceutical agents under a doctor’s supervision is called for, and even unavoidable in order to close the ‘reducing valve’ again. Generally, a lasting normal condition is regained after having carefully reduced medication to zero, and passed some eventual shorter and less intense ‘relapses’. According to the spiritualistic perspective, there exist other possibilities, as can be read in WICKLAND’s work. Although, not every ‘medium’ is likely to possess the abilities and insights enabling him/her to lend his/her assistance successfully.
As is the case with all radical human events, here too, it is a matter of working through and integrating the events, and of simultaneously expanding one’s scope of experiences. On the basis of the new knowledge, later may arise the conviction that absolutely normal occurrences have furthered the development of one’s personality. In rather rare cases, a possibly extremely oppressing phase will prove to have been a transition period leading to genuine mediumistic contacts with ‘higher levels of existence’.
MAURINA (p. 453): ‘Who touches the edge of eternity is enlightened; who gets too close to it, is burnt.’ Interpreted in a most general way, all border-line experiences can be interpreted as a consequence of the metamorphosis of humanity repeatedly mentioned by TEs.
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