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Can an Ariya suffer from mental disease? - Dhamma Wheel

Can an Ariya suffer from mental disease?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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pilgrim
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Can an Ariya suffer from mental disease?

Postby pilgrim » Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:25 am

Undoubtedly, ariyas suffer from physical ailments. But some physical ailments like chemical imbalances or trauma to the brain may also have psychological symptoms. Does that mean ariyas can also suffer from psychological sicknesses?

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lyndon taylor
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Re: Can an Ariya suffer from mental disease?

Postby lyndon taylor » Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:12 am

Well I'm probably not an Arya, but I do have a mental illness,and I think a mental illness is just like any other disability, diabetes, being paralysed in a wheelchair, having heart disease etc etc, They are all something physically wrong with how the body works, I don't see how any of these situations should stop one from reaching or coming close to enlightenment. Of course mentally ill people might be more likely to be deluded into thinking they are enlightened when they are not. But if you read the history books,all kinds of religious saints were mistaken for crazy or had their crazy periods, Ramakrishnan is one I remember reading about. Lots of Tibetan saints did some crazy things. As a mentally Ill person, we have to struggle with people treating us differently; "less than normal" when in reality mentally people actually can and might have abilities normal people do not, especially in their spirituality. So put all your predjudices aside and treat people as equally able to grow, whether they actually do grow or not.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

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cooran
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Re: Can an Ariya suffer from mental disease?

Postby cooran » Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:14 am

Hello pilgrim,

You may find this article of interest:

Mental Health in Classical Buddhist Psychology
http://www.atpweb.org/jtparchive/trps-07-75-02-176.pdf

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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lyndon taylor
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Re: Can an Ariya suffer from mental disease?

Postby lyndon taylor » Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:26 am

18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

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gavesako
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Re: Can an Ariya suffer from mental disease?

Postby gavesako » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:47 am

Interesting reading precisely about this topic:

"Hysteria and the Holy Life"

http://thebahiyablog.blogspot.co.uk/201 ... -life.html

:rolleye:
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

- Theravada texts
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binocular
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Re: Can an Ariya suffer from mental disease?

Postby binocular » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:53 am


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Zenainder
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Re: Can an Ariya suffer from mental disease?

Postby Zenainder » Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:09 pm

Mental illness from a western theory is neurological and chemically related, however these are conditions and manifestations of ignorance. My wife is studying psychology and we have a super relationship, so we often engage in conversation regarding psychology. She shared with me research regarding serial murderers and they did find a gene and neurological schema that was common, however not everyone with this "disorder" resulted as cold, mass murderer. They did not know exactly why, but admitted upbringing (loving vs unloving) as a potential factor in "activating" this gene. This seems to me to be a shining example of dependent origination.

I do not have all of the research or answers, but after observing and listening to my wife who is afflicted with a mental disorder. I am convinced that it is still conditionary and the missing piece is khamma and desire. We are all addicts, desire keeps us here, we just tend to label mental illness as a complete imbalance of desire and unwholesome objects that are grasped. Much of the mental illnesses have a strong concept of self-preservation, serious identity issues (again self), and drastic unskillful coping mechanisms that are uncommon to how "normal" people cope.

To answer the question, a stream-winner or arahant, are still made of the same mental make-up as we are the only defining difference is they are liberated to the degree of the attainment. So yes, they may have them, however the sense of self and identity is gone, so I seriously doubt it is an affliction that it is for someone who is not on the path.

These are my thoughts, anyways.
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Dan74
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Re: Can an Ariya suffer from mental disease?

Postby Dan74 » Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:39 pm

_/|\_

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Ben
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Re: Can an Ariya suffer from mental disease?

Postby Ben » Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:57 pm

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

Bakmoon
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Re: Can an Ariya suffer from mental disease?

Postby Bakmoon » Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:33 pm

I don't see any particular reason why a mentally ill person couldn't be an Ariya. It doesn't seem to be incompatible with any of the traditional descriptions of an Ariya in the Canon itself, so I would say that yes, it is possible.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

binocular
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Re: Can an Ariya suffer from mental disease?

Postby binocular » Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:00 pm


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retrofuturist
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Re: Can an Ariya suffer from mental disease?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:37 pm

Greetings,

To turn the question on its head somewhat - Would becoming an ariya cure mental disease? Would having a mental disease prevent someone from becoming ariya?

Whilst I don't see the issue addressed in the suttas, my inclination would be to suggest the answer to both of those questions is "no".

I think bakmoon is correct.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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lyndon taylor
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Re: Can an Ariya suffer from mental disease?

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:59 pm

I would hardly think Mental Illness is any more a function of being "ignorant" than being "normal" is a form of ignorance. The Buddha taught that what we consider "normal" is in and of its self a state of delusion, and not realness. To say all Mentally Ill people by nature have a harder time perceiving the true nature of reality, than "normal' people would be a bit ridiculous, as the mentally ill are often more spiritual and open to alternative wisdoms than "normal" people.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

binocular
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Re: Can an Ariya suffer from mental disease?

Postby binocular » Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:47 am


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Ben
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Re: Can an Ariya suffer from mental disease?

Postby Ben » Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:14 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

binocular
Posts: 3391
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Can an Ariya suffer from mental disease?

Postby binocular » Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:50 am


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Ben
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Re: Can an Ariya suffer from mental disease?

Postby Ben » Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:57 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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lyndon taylor
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Re: Can an Ariya suffer from mental disease?

Postby lyndon taylor » Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:26 am

18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

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Ben
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Re: Can an Ariya suffer from mental disease?

Postby Ben » Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:29 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

User avatar
lyndon taylor
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Re: Can an Ariya suffer from mental disease?

Postby lyndon taylor » Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:52 am

18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/


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