karmic cause of schizophrenia

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tamdrin
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karmic cause of schizophrenia

Post by tamdrin » Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:26 am

I asked Ven Pesala what the karmic cause of schizophrenia was and he said that drug and alchohol use was the cause. In certain situations it could apparently manifest in the same life. Do any of you know or have you seen reference in Buddha's teachings as to what can be the cause of mental illness?

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Viscid
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Re: karmic cause of schizophrenia

Post by Viscid » Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:07 am

Trying to convince yourself that [your?] schizophrenia is due to Karma doesn't sound very healthy.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James

tamdrin
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Re: karmic cause of schizophrenia

Post by tamdrin » Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:29 am

Viscid wrote:Trying to convince yourself that [your?] schizophrenia is due to Karma doesn't sound very healthy.
Everything according to Buddhism has a karmic cause. Including mental or phsyical illness. Suffering is the result of non virtue. Happiness is the root of virtue.. ETc.. If it wasn't caused by karma then what would it have been caused by?

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Ben
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Re: karmic cause of schizophrenia

Post by Ben » Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:42 am

Hi Tamdrin,
tamdrin wrote:
Viscid wrote:Trying to convince yourself that [your?] schizophrenia is due to Karma doesn't sound very healthy.
Everything according to Buddhism has a karmic cause. Including mental or phsyical illness. Suffering is the result of non virtue. Happiness is the root of virtue.. ETc.. If it wasn't caused by karma then what would it have been caused by?
The important thing, Tamdrin, is that if you are suffering from a mental illness is that you seek treatment for it from a qualified medical practitioner. Wondering whether the shiziphrenia is caused by kamma, and the nature of that kamma, becomes acadamic. Some mental illnesses are so acute that it requires medical intervention before we can consider meditative practices. If you do have a mental illness and are not under the guidance of a doctor or psychiatrist, do not delay.
kind regards

Ben
“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

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e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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Re: karmic cause of schizophrenia

Post by tamdrin » Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:50 am

This thread is not neccesarily about me. It is supposed to be a general thread in which the Buddhists teachings which are supposed to derive from the Buddha's omniscience point out the specific causes of various illness' so that people can be treated more than at the surface level. Theoretically everything is caused by karma. If one understands how ce rtan causes brought about certain effects than one can in effect purify those karma's thus preventing present and future illness of all sorts..

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Re: karmic cause of schizophrenia

Post by Jhana4 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:01 am

tamdrin wrote:I asked Ven Pesala what the karmic cause of schizophrenia was and he said that drug and alchohol use was the cause. In certain situations it could apparently manifest in the same life. Do any of you know or have you seen reference in Buddha's teachings as to what can be the cause of mental illness?
The precise working out of the results of Kamma cannot be known
From
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"There are these four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them. Which four?

"The Buddha-range of the Buddhas[1] is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

"The jhana-range of a person in jhana...[2]

"The [precise working out of the] results of kamma...

"Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

"These are the four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them."
Kamma is not the sole cause behind all conditions
From
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling near Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove Monastery, the Squirrel's Feeding Place. There Moliyasivaka the wanderer went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One, "Master Gotama, there are some priests & contemplatives who are of this doctrine, this view: Whatever an individual feels — pleasure, pain, neither-pleasure-nor-pain — is entirely caused by what was done before. Now what does Master Gotama say to that?"

[The Buddha:] "There are cases where some feelings arise based on bile.[1] You yourself should know how some feelings arise based on bile. Even the world is agreed on how some feelings arise based on bile. So any priests & contemplatives who are of the doctrine & view that whatever an individual feels — pleasure, pain, neither-pleasure-nor-pain — is entirely caused by what was done before — slip past what they themselves know, slip past what is agreed on by the world. Therefore I say that those priests & contemplatives are wrong."

"There are cases where some feelings arise based on phlegm... based on internal winds... based on a combination of bodily humors... from the change of the seasons... from uneven[2] care of the body... from harsh treatment... from the result of kamma. You yourself should know how some feelings arise from the result of kamma. Even the world is agreed on how some feelings arise from the result of kamma. So any priests & contemplatives who are of the doctrine & view that whatever an individual feels — pleasure, pain, neither pleasure-nor-pain — is entirely caused by what was done before — slip past what they themselves know, slip past what is agreed on by the world. Therefore I say that those priests & contemplatives are wrong."

When this was said, Moliyasivaka the wanderer said to the Blessed One: "Magnificent, lord! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to point out the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has the Blessed One — through many lines of reasoning — made the Dhamma clear. I go to the Blessed One for refuge, to the Dhamma, & to the community of monks. May the Blessed One remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge from this day forward, for life."
Last edited by Jhana4 on Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

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Ben
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Re: karmic cause of schizophrenia

Post by Ben » Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:07 am

tamdrin wrote:This thread is not neccesarily about me. It is supposed to be a general thread in which the Buddhists teachings which are supposed to derive from the Buddha's omniscience point out the specific causes of various illness' so that people can be treated more than at the surface level. Theoretically everything is caused by karma. If one understands how ce rtan causes brought about certain effects than one can in effect purify those karma's thus preventing present and future illness of all sorts..
Thanks for the clarification. We do get a lot of people with mental illnesses joining DW and asking questions similar to yours.

Not everything is due to kamma.

There is a five-fold cosmic order (five niyamas):

utu-niyama: the caloric order
bija-niyama: the germinal order
kamma-niyama: the moral order
citta-niyama: the psychical order
dhamma-niyama: natural phenomenal sequence.

Only one niyama is the kamma-niyama or moral order.

You may wish to review the following publication:
http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/ledi ... foldniyama" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
kind regards

Ben
“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

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

tamdrin
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Re: karmic cause of schizophrenia

Post by tamdrin » Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:23 am

so the results of karma exactly are unknown.. but they are known to the Buddha. But we are taught, in Buddhism, that virtuous deeds bring happiness, non virtuous bring suffering. That is some knowledge of karma, so I think that Buddhists in fact are supposed to ponder karma in the sense that they must know what virtue is and what non virtue also is. That is knowledge of karma.. Also if the Buddha was omniscient why wouldn't he have pointed out what karma's cause mental illness or retardation so that people could avoid such actions which would produce suffering results... If the Buddha was omniscient seems like he should have been able to tell people while you know if you smoke you may get cancer..

-Everything not being a product of karma is a concept that is new to me. My teacher taught that everything is from past karma (at least that is how I interpreted it)...

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Re: karmic cause of schizophrenia

Post by Alex123 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:54 am

Jhana4 wrote: Kamma is not the sole cause behind all conditions
From
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I understand the sutta to mean is that kamma may not always be the direct and sole cause for illness. It can work through physical medium.

However, the body & intellect is the result of past kamma:
"Now what, monks, is old kamma? The eye is to be seen as old kamma, fabricated & willed, capable of being felt. The ear... The nose... The tongue... The body... The intellect is to be seen as old kamma, fabricated & willed, capable of being felt. This is called old kamma.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
So shizophrenia may be an unwholesome result of past kamma. However with all this said, what is important is "so what do we do about it"?


In general as a rule of thumb results of kamma can be known:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


What we cannot know is the exact working out of all kamma that was done and accumulate for many aeons. The amount of data and its interaction can be too much. But general rules (if you do good kamma, good results will follow. If you do bad kamma, bad results will follow) can and should be known.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Re: karmic cause of schizophrenia

Post by Sylvester » Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:50 am

Hi tamdrin
But we are taught, in Buddhism, that virtuous deeds bring happiness, non virtuous bring suffering.
That is true, but we cannot infer from the above that all contact/phassa giving rise to sukha are due to kusala kamma.

If "one does good deeds", then "one experiences pleasant results", does not translate into -

If "one experiences pleasant results", then that is due to "one having done good deeds".

It's called the Fallacy of Affirming the Consequent.

Sometimes, it is true, but there is no guarantee that it will be in each and every case. Obviously, where it matters most is in the Practice. I think it's good enough to know that if we do practise, we'll get the results, eventually.

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Re: karmic cause of schizophrenia

Post by Sylvester » Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:03 am

Hi Alex
However, the body & intellect is the result of past kamma:
"Now what, monks, is old kamma? The eye is to be seen as old kamma, fabricated & willed, capable of being felt. The ear... The nose... The tongue... The body... The intellect is to be seen as old kamma, fabricated & willed, capable of being felt. This is called old kamma.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... .than.html
That's a good point. What old kamma leads to are the 6 Salayatanas, the result/patient in the 4th Nidana of Dependant Origination. The Salayatanas are immediately conditioned by Nama-Rupa, which revolves around Consciousness.

I think the point about the Sivaka Sutta is that once the Salayatana are "endowed" on a being, it is not always kamma at work that determines the quality of the vedanas that arise with contact being established at any particular Salayatana.

And I agree with you when you say -
But general rules (if you do good kamma, good results will follow. If you do bad kamma, bad results will follow) can and should be known.

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Re: karmic cause of schizophrenia

Post by ground » Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:41 am

Sylvester wrote:If "one does good deeds", then "one experiences pleasant results", does not translate into -

If "one experiences pleasant results", then that is due to "one having done good deeds".
Actually it is the other way round.

If "one experiences pleasant results", then that is due to "one having done good deeds" AND having had wholesome mental motivations and thoughts.

BUT

To infer

If "one does good deeds" AND has wholesome mental motivations and thoughts, then "one experiences pleasant results"

is not valid. Why? Because karmic results are not linear and there exists no inherent relationship and karmic results are subject to increase and decrease and non-linear interactions.

Kind regards

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Re: karmic cause of schizophrenia

Post by ground » Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:47 am

Only the inference of a cause from its effect is a valid inference. But a potential cause giving rise to its potential effect may always be blocked by secondary conditions.

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Re: karmic cause of schizophrenia

Post by Sylvester » Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:30 am

I agree with the qualifications, as that is in line with MN 136. However, I'm not sure if the inference you allow as valid sits well with the Sivaka Sutta, nor in particular section 16 of MN 136, which describes the wrong inference drawn in relation to a person having committed akusala kamma, and yet living it up in the immediate hereafter. The relevant passage ends with -
But since he killed living beings here, taken what is not given, misconducted himself in sexual desires, spoken falsehood, spoken maliciously, spoken harshly, gossiped, was covetous, was ill-willed, and has had wrong view, he will feel the result of that here and now, or in his next rebirth, or in some subsequent existence.
That (and passage 15) seems quite unequivocal in stating that "If akusala kamma, then dukha vedana". Likewise for passages 17 and 18 declaration that "If kusala kamma, then sukha vedana.".

Now, of course, there are suttas that qualify the absoluteness of the underlined text, but as a declared proposition, it is to be verified, and not an inferential proposition that the Buddha proposes we reject.

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Re: karmic cause of schizophrenia

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:45 am

Buddhist Wisdom
Mahāgandhayon Sayādaw
Kamma Always Follows You
Kamma is the deed done with good or bad intention. So long as one has not got rid of ignorance and desire, the consequences of kamma will not fade out. Like the embers covered with ashes, these consequences will flare up when the occasion arises.

Heedless people’s thoughts tend towards evil deeds so the chances of unwholesome consequences always follow them.

Kamma is Not to Blame
People put the blame on kamma. They believe that good fortune will come when kamma is on the rise, and that they will meet failure and misfortune when their kamma is down. They are labouring under this misconception. One should not depend entirely upon one’s kamma; there is a saying, “If one treads on thorns one will still have one’s foot pricked. ”

People blame everything on kamma. The Buddha advised improvement by intelligence and diligence. If people blame kamma they are ignoring the Buddha’s teaching, and simultaneously do a disservice to the nation by their fatalistic view.
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Re: karmic cause of schizophrenia

Post by ground » Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:33 am

Sylvester wrote:That (and passage 15) seems quite unequivocal in stating that "If akusala kamma, then dukha vedana". Likewise for passages 17 and 18 declaration that "If kusala kamma, then sukha vedana.".
Yes and I feel that this is in line with what I said.
Why?
Because if this relation would be "inherently existing", i.e. definitely and always entail the same result then there would be no possibility to counteract potential effects of both akusala and kusala kamma.
Actually there would be no possiblity for liberation because of accumulated kamma since beginningless time.

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Re: karmic cause of schizophrenia

Post by Sylvester » Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:48 am

I don't think it is necessary to introduce any resort to "inherent existence".

Vedana is dependant on phassa. No salayatana means no phassa. Post-nibbana-without-residue there are no salayatanas.

I suppose that is why the Commentaries refer to the old kamma being made "ahosi".

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Re: karmic cause of schizophrenia

Post by Annapurna » Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:02 am

Here is a Dharma talk by Venerable Ledi Sayādaw:


In the Book of the Eights of the Gradual Sayings, the Buddha teaches:

“Monks, drinking intoxicants, if done frequently or habitually, leads to rebirth in hell, rebirth as an animal or as a hungry ghost. At the very least, the result of this evil deed when born as a human being is that one becomes a mad person.”

Taking intoxicants, being unwholesome kamma, has two evil consequences: unfortunate rebirth in the future, and bad consequences in the present life. This means suffering in hell and long term bad effects in the present life. So the effect of taking intoxicants or drugs is quite serious as it leads to the four states of misery: hell, animals, ghosts, and demons.

The present evil effect, among others, is at least becoming mad. Among the consequences of insanity are neurosis, paranoia, schizophrenia, psychosis, etc. So the present results are also serious, just like future evil rebirths.

Why do intoxicants cause rebirth in hell in future lives? The reason is that drinking alcohol and taking drugs promotes fresh evil kamma. Evil kamma leads to hell. Moreover, by these evil deeds, the door of opportunity is open for past evil kammas to give appropriate effects. Thus one suffers in hell. Please note that everyone has done evil deeds in their previous existences so, at present, good deeds should be done.
New Evil Kamma

Taking intoxicants and non-medicinal drugs means making fresh evil kamma because it promotes greed, hatred, and delusion. It also supports wrong views, which urge one to do new evil kammas. It sustains and develops the five hindrances such as lust, anger, dullness, restlessness, and doubt. Intoxicants damage genes and chromosomes. They also burn the mind and consciousness. So taking intoxicants affects the mental realm, which has profound significance. Evil bodily and vocal acts follow as a result of drunkenness. Killing, lying, abusing, etc., are the usual results of taking alcohol.

Drunkards always do bodily, vocal, and mental misdeeds, which are the ten evil kammas. So taking alcohol increases daily the burden of future suffering in hell, and the burden of evil and guilt. There is little doubt that a drunkard will be reborn in one of the lower realms when he dies, since he accumulates evil kamma every day. He is demented in the present life. For countless lives he does other serious unwholesome kamma. So with counteractive kamma of this type, when he dies, he suffers in the lower realms. His burden of evil kamma is heavy. His misbehaviour is serious. So fresh evil deeds appear.
Past Evil Deeds

In past lives one has already done many kinds of evils while wandering in the rounds of existence, as one seldom hears the true Dhamma. These precious chances are very rare. Meeting Noble Ones is very rare, possible only once in a thousand or ten thousand existences. In past lives one did various evils and misdeeds in thought, speech, and deed. Lives of crime, guilt, and evil lead to the realms of suffering. The likelihood of this result is increased by drinking alcohol. The breaking of this moral precept means supporting other past evil deeds that one has already done. Past evil deeds resemble robbers and murderers who stay near a village to commit crimes. Transgression of this precept gives impetus to evil deeds: past, present, or future. So the evil kamma of taking alcohol resembles receivers of stolen goods who live in the village. Robbers get their chance due to the receivers of stolen goods. Villages are destroyed by them.

Likewise, as long as the evil of taking intoxicants remains, there will be chances for the previous evil deeds to mature. People have to take rebirth in various hells when past misdeeds mature. Everyone has also done some good deeds in their past lives, but these good deeds have no chance to mature due to the present evil kamma. If one dies without abandoning this evil, one will not escape from the results of the past evil kamma. Certainly one will suffer in hell. In this sense, drinking alcohol certainly brings about hell in the next life. Because serious past evil kamma take their chance, one reaches Roruva hell.

More here:

http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Ledi/I...ntoxicants.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: karmic cause of schizophrenia

Post by PeterB » Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:37 am

So if we put some of this together we find ;

That the use of intoxicants can lead to hellish states, whether we view this in terms of this life or beyond this life. But that,
The specific causes of any condition in an individual case should not be a cause of conjecture. (Acintita Sutta ) and that
Not all conditions arise from Kamma (Sivaka Sutta ).

We also learn that we should take responsibility for our response to our present condition, even though we do not indulge in conjecture about its cause. In oneself or others.

Taking responsibility in the case of schizophrenia includes seeking proper medical care.

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Re: karmic cause of schizophrenia

Post by Sylvester » Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:58 am

A giant Sadhu! to that.

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