What if someone is suffering from mental illness and experiences episodes of delusions?
How would this affect their ability to discern what is reality and what is not? How would this affect someone’s practice.
We all have an idea of what we believe sanity is, however with delusions is seems the mind has turned against the individual/practitioner.
I’ll give you an example:
A person is experiencing feelings of doom and gloom and paranoia. They believe to see an entity in front of them, and believe that their food is poisoned. They cleanse their house everyday and in fear, and remove any spirit attachments that they perceive to have. Many come into this house and say they don’t see or feel anything. Is this all in their heads?
And do they then go on to create unwanted realities?
Example 2: (maybe less common as this applies to the elderly, however this is just for the sake of exploring a concept)
Someone who has dementia. They believe that their son that lives with them and cares for them has stolen their wallet when in fact they have misplaced it. They say they are absolutely certain.
How will their judgement or impaired capacity affect their life? Is this too all in their heads? Or is this similar to delusions as such as some experience delirium?
Belief doesn’t create realities, unless some higher authorities enforce a fiction by the means of laws and force, in such case things would be a lie anyway, but they would be so rooted in everyday life that they would be treated as truth.
I see that you have had a good experience with Christianity. Time ago I met some Mormons who were really into the church because what people here call “magic” they call it “miracles”. Whatever that moves the energy does the work, however, there is something that is really hard to explain, that is similar that what happens with praying: there is a difference between effective praying and talking alone in your room. There is also a difference between a chaos magick operation that uses a belief to move energy, and just believing that God will do something.
Our minds create a simulation of external reality which we all inhabit. Belief impacts this simulation and directly affects the reality we perceive. However, it does not affect the shared reality that others perceive which intersects with our own internal simulation.
Isolation has long been considered necessary for spiritual progress because it enables the individual to live in their simulated reality free from any conflict with the shared reality of others.
In your example of dementia, the person is living in their own reality, and butting up against the shared reality. However, unlike those who live in an internal simulation of spiritual Ascension such as mystics and magicians, those with dementia cannot reconcile the conflicts between their internal simulation and that of those around them.
It is the same with mental illness. The person is living in their own internal simulation of reality but lack the ability to reconcile it with the shared reality of other beings.
Both dementia and mental illness lack control over their internal simulations of reality. No matter what beliefs a person with mental illness or dementia has, they are at the mercy of the world they are creating, whereas a magician or mystic is not.
Belief is the paradigm through which you view the world.
Reality can be defined as objective – material, consensus reality – or subjective – someone’s inner reality, based on their belief.
If someone suffers a mental illness, their belief in their delusion feeds into their subjective reality. To them it is a real, lived experience. The same can be said for magickal acts or supernatural experiences that are experienced subjectively by practitioners of magic. What makes it pathological is the inability to change the person in question’s belief. As long as they continue to believe that they are cursed and that nothing will ever cleanse them, this will continue to be their reality and they will live in fear, in effect “creating” their own reality where they are cursed. Would this affect consensus reality? Perhaps – say if you were a priest, who was trying to bless the person in question; their persistent belief that they are unable to be helped would likely prevent you providing them any kind of help.
The same thing stands in the second example. Their reality is that their son stole their wallet. This does not reconcile with material/consensus/objective reality, but the person with this belief lives as though it is true. It does not retroactively change the past and make it so that their son stole their wallet. But it makes the person live in a world of mistrust and resentment.
In each case, the person’s belief will cause them to see signs or patterns in the material world which confirm their subjective, lived reality. This is likely to draw more misfortune to them, as their mind is attuned to see patterns that feed into their belief.