Delusion disorder can be cured

Delusion disorder is rooted in the awareness that the separated self-concept is nothing and effort to make it seem especially important and powerful. The attempt to live as if the unreal is real gives deluded people more headaches than it gives normal folks who are also trying to make their ordinary self-concepts real. The solution to the problem is to accept the truth that the human self-concept is just that, a concept, not a reality. The human self-concept must, therefore, be changed; first, to a loving self that loves everyone and eventually allowed to disappear, and we regain awareness of our undefended real self, which is eternal unified life, in religious language, unified spirit self.

(First Draft)

DELUSION DISORDER CAN BE CURED

Ozodi Osuji

     Psychosis has two sides to it, the presence of bizarre delusions and hallucinations.

     Schizophrenia is a psychosis (mental disorder); there are five types of schizophrenia, disorganized type (the guy walking down the street talking to no one that we can see), paranoid type (the guy who believes that the rest of the world wants to kill him so he hides from people), catatonic type (the guy who withdraws from the rest of the world and talks to no one, is mute), undifferentiated type (it is difficult to decide whether it is disorganized or paranoid type) and residual type (this type is usually found in schizophrenics who have taken medications and now seem normal but if you pay attention to them you will notice their illogical thought process,  ward salad and confabulations). Most schizophrenics exhibit bizarre delusions, such as being in Los Angeles talking to you and telling you that he is in London talking to the queen of England; they also tend to have either auditory or visual hallucination.

     Folks with Bipolar Affective Disorder (their mood tends to swing from up to down, from mania to depression); in manic phase they tend to have delusional features in addition to their euphoric state of mind (talk rapidly, a mile a minute, laugh to themselves in response to internal stimuli, and feel grandiose), they may tell you that they are the richest man on earth, the brightest man on earth,  or take on the persona of another person, such  as tell you that he is John Lennon of the Beatles, meaning that he wished to be as good in music as the Beatles John Lennon.  There are hallucinations in Bipolar affective disorder.

      There are no hallucinations in delusion disorder and paranoid personality disorder; moreover, the delusions in delusion disorder, aka paranoia tend to be understandable, they are what we all can imagine ourselves wishing, such as a mixed race Black American denying his black side  and claiming to be an Arab; such a person is ashamed of his black side because in the USA to be black is to be seen as inferior and he does not want to be seen as an inferior person hence denies his mixed racial reality and claims a false racial reality. A healthy mixed race African America tells you that he is of mixed race and is not ashamed or proud of one side of his racial mixture.

    Besides the deluded person’s wish to be who he is not, and behaving as if he is a superior person, he tends to seem normal in behavior; he is found in all professions, including medicine, law, engineering, military, politics etc.

    Delusion disorder (as defined by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 2013) is rooted in the desire to become powerful, important, and perfect, to be more than one finds one as.

     The deluded person knows that he is like all other persons, ordinary, not powerful, and not perfect but something in him desires to be the opposite of who we all are; he wants to be powerful, important, significant, and perfect; he wants to seem better than other people. Whereas he begins in childhood by merely wishing to be better than other children, that wish soon becomes a belief that he is better than other people.

     Generally, this disorder begins in childhood when the child’s inherited body pose a lot of problems for him; a variety of biological and medical disorders may be involved in the etiology of delusion but they have not been determined yet; what happens is that the child feels physically irritated, arched and pained and does not like his body; he rejects his body and uses his mind and imagination to wish for a better body and that segues to not liking his self and creation of a mentally ideal and perfect self and identification with that false, Ideal self.

     In her book, Neurosis and Human Growth, Karen Horney (1950) talked about how the neurotic child rejects his real self and identifies with an imaginary ideal self that neither he nor other people are. Horney has a sociological approach to the origin of neurosis; she believed that the neurotic to be child felt rejected by his parents and wants to be an ideal person that he believes that his significant others would accept.

     The pursuit of the ideal self becomes a long-lasting pursuit. Once pursued the child uses the imaginary standards of the ideal self to judge his or herself and judge other people and since no human being can ever be ideal, and perfect, he rejects his real self and other people’s real selves and keeps on seeking the imaginary ideal self (the ideal, perfect self is often projected to religion and the person seeks his religion’s ideal self, a fantasy self).

     I tend to accept the biological genesis of mental disorders hence gravitate to Alfred Adler’s explanation of the etiology of neurosis.

     Delusion disorder and paranoid personality disorders are neuroses; neurotics have not completely lost touch with reality but want to change it and make it perfect whereas psychotics have lost touch with reality and live in their own world, their fantasy world.

      in Alfred Adler’s definition (in his book the Neurotic Constitution, 1921), the neurotic (in this instance, the deluded person) desires to be superior to other people. Superiority is a compensatory response to one’s underlying sense of inferiority; the deluded person feels inadequate, inferior, and powerless but covers those negative feelings up with a false sense of superiority. He compulsively wants to seem superior to people or else he feels anxious. He thinks that his significant others, society, and if he is religious, ministers and God would accept him only if he is an ideal and perfect self and fears people and God seeing him as imperfect, hence rejecting him.

      Because there is anxiety, fear involved in delusion disorder, it is a neurosis or personality disorder, although it may be attached to psychoses, such as schizophrenia, paranoid type, mania with delusion and even depression with delusional features.

     What is objective in Adler’s etiological considerations of neurosis is that he believed that such children were born with biological issues that make them feel inferior and they then use their minds to convince themselves that they are superior selves; they are using delusion of superiority to escape from their reality of having problematic bodies. Delusion disorder is attempted escape from one’s reality, such as a Black woman who wants to escape from her reality as a second-class person in racist USA by denying that she is Black. Her Blackness is genetic, she cannot deny it.

      Since the ideal self is a mere desire and is not a biologically factual self, the deluded person is afraid of not becoming his desired superior, important, powerful and significant self (he wants to be the most intelligent person on earth, the most beautiful self, the most handsome man, the wealthiest person, and the best in every human endeavor).

      The deluded person lives with tremendous anxiety and fear; his anxiety is reduced when he convinces himself that he is his desired imaginary, powerful self; when the phenomenon goes from mere wishes to belief it goes from neurosis to psychosis.

      The deluded person is a fearful and cowardly person. It is cowardly to deny one’s real self and try becoming a different self; courage lies in accepting one’s imperfect real self and not being ashamed of it; being who you are is mentally healthy, but if you insist on being who you are not, a different, powerful self, the smartest person in the world that you are not, you are disturbing your inner peace and you are not mentally healthy.

    Delusion disorder is belief in what is not true as true; people around the deluded person know that what she believes about herself is not true but instead of giving such beliefs up, she tries to convince people that she is correct in her beliefs about herself  and people wrong in their perception of her; her beliefs are not true because truth is shared by all of us; truth is a social construct, or unknown; truth is not in sole possession of one person.

     If one has a systematized belief that one is especially important and better than other people, is God and the people around one knows   that one is not God, or better than them, one has delusion disorder, grandiose type.

    Delusion is a mental phenomenon; it is thinking that says that one is powerful and perfect; although the origin of delusional thinking may be rooted in genetics, in body disorder, the fact is that in the here and now world, what we perceive is deluded thinking. Therein lies hope for the deluded person to be cured because what is the product of his disordered thinking can be corrected; he can think in a mentally healthy manner.

     Mental health thinking lies in accepting one’s real self as it is, never perfect and never powerful, just a mix of good and not so good qualities; human beings are not perfect gods; gods are their imaginary perfect selves, their wished-for selves that they project to what they call gods and then worship the gods of their creation.

       People created gods in their images and then denied what they did and claim that God created them in his image.

     This does not mean that there is no God; it means that we have not demonstrated the existence of God; Gnosticism’s idea of God as oneself that is simultaneously all of us, however, appeals to pure reason (see Helen Schucman’s modern Gnosticism, in her book, A course in miracles, 1976).

THE FIVE TYPES OF DELUSION DISORDER

    There are five basic types of delusion disorder: grandiose, persecutory, jealous, erotomaniac, and somatic and a mix of those five types.

GRANDIOSE TYPE

      In grandiose type one feels better than other people and has an unshakeable sense of having enormous power, importance, and knowledge that one does not have. One does not listen to other people’s idea of knowledge and insists that one knows more than all people and, as such, they should kowtow to one’s often silly knowledge. Convinced that they know more than all other people, such children drop out of school; they are poorly educated and still go about fancying themselves as all knowing. Their all knowingness is pretended; it is a mask over their underlying ignorance and sense of inadequacy.

PERSECUTORY TYPE

    In persecutory type one feels that other people are out to get one, harm one and one does not trust people; one is suspicious, defensive and scans one’s environment looking for attackers and accusing people of trying to harm one when they have no such wishes. Those one accused of doing something harmful to one feel angry at one and may then do something harmful to one; this is called the self-fulfilling prophecy of paranoia; what the paranoid person fears, he stimulates, and it happens to him, and he uses it to justify his earlier belief that people, and the world are hostile towards him.

JEALOUS TYPE

      In jealous type one does not trust one’s partner (wife, husband, girlfriend, or boyfriend) and accuse them of cheating on one when, in fact, that is not the case; one misinterprets other people’s innocuous behaviors as evidence of cheating on one, and one may physically or verbally attack the partner; much of domestic violence is rooted in this type of delusion disorder (many husbands beat up, even kill their wives from false belief that they are  having affairs with other men; many wives accuse their husbands of having extra marital affairs when they are not doing so; these accusations create tension in households).

EROTOMANIC TYPE

      In erotomaniac type one feels that a famous person is in love with one or is married to one, such as believe that a famous actor is in love with one when that is not true; one may believe that one is the wife of Jesus Christ (such belief makes the deluded person feel important hence gratifying her wish for grandeur to cover her underlying sense of unimportance and inferiority).

SOMATIC TYPE

     In somatic type one claims to have a medical disorder and goes from doctor-to-doctor seeking treatment; medical doctors do not see evidence of one having a medical issue. In my experience with deluded people, they have an unknown medical issue that contemporary medical science has not figured out; the physical sickness is not only in their heads.

MIXED TYPE

  In mixed type more than one of the five types of delusion is in one.

PARANOID PERSONALITY DISORDER

      In paranoid personality disorder, the individual has a behavior pattern of defensiveness; he sees people as not trustworthy and doubts that they can serve his interests, hence he is suspicious of people’s intention. He desires to be treated as an especially important person and fears been belittled, degraded, humiliated, laughed at and criticized. He tries not to do what people would see as imperfect, hence criticize it.

     He is argumentative and wants to win all arguments, to prove that he is a superior person, and have other people lose to prove that they are inferior to him.

     He is very litigious and takes folks to court, libel suits, to prove that they consciously maligned his character. He is guarded and scans his world expecting to see people who will harm him and often attributes false intentions to other people and those become angry at him hence paranoid self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Paranoid people tend to have rigid and inflexible affects; they are seldom relaxed; their physical appearance is tense, like soldiers at warfronts, expecting attack and defending themselves.

     Paranoid people are often hyperrational and subject everything to pure reason but lack emotional identification with other people hence people avoid them, and they live alone.

     They tend to do well in vocations where distrust of people is a premium, such as police, secret service, customs and immigration, lawyers, judges, prosecutors, prison guards (these professions also offer him the sense of having power over other people hence gratify his desire for power, a fiction, for no human being really has power).

SCHIZOPHRENIA, PARANOID TYPE; MANIA         WITH DELUSIONAL FEATURES

      At the beginning of this paper, I talked about the nature of psychosis. Psychosis, aka mental disorder is characterized by the presence of bizarre delusions and hallucinations. There is a type of schizophrenia that has paranoid features; most bipolar affective disorders have delusional features; in brain injuries, also called organic mental disorders, we often see delusional features.

     Delusion is a feature of many medical and psychological disorders. It is doubtful that there is a human being without some delusions.

     Indeed, Helen Schucman, a clinical psychologist turned spiritual psychologist, in her book, A course in miracles, claims that to live on earth is to be deluded and that to see other people is to hallucinate; according to her, this is because there are no other people and things in forms for us to see; our true selves, she said, is formless unified spirit and are not perceptual; all seeing is false; the universe itself  does not exist but is a picture in our hallucinating minds.

DELUSION DISORDER IS ANOTHER NAME FOR PARANOIA

      Delusion disorder and paranoia are the same disorder. The term paranoia is of Greek origin; it means trying to be who one is not, a grandiose person.

      The paranoid/deluded person has intact mental processes, except in the areas he refuses to accept reality and obfuscates it; because most of his logical processes are intact, he can hold down jobs; indeed, many heads of states are/were deluded.

     Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin are deluded paranoids; Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin were deluded (all four of them also had narcissistic, sociopathic, and paranoid personality disorders).

ETIOLOGY OF DELUSIONS

       Delusion disorder, also called paranoia, begins in childhood; the specific medical and or biological causal factors have not been identified but there is a medical factor(s) involved in the phenomenon; some yet unknown biological disorder made the child feel inordinately inferior and he rejects his real self and embarks on seeking a false, important ideal self, a superior self.

DELUSION DISORDER GIVES PEOPLE MEANING, ALBEIT INSANE MEANING

      Delusion disorder serves an existential function for the individual. He or she acutely perceives that as he is he is inadequate and that he could be snuffed out of existence by many natural forces, including volcanos, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tornados, bacteria, virus, fungi etc.; feeling vulnerable to these dangers to his existence, he uses his mind and imagination  to create and posit a false, powerful self that protects him; he wishes to be a false powerful self that could protect him from natural disasters, and  keep him alive.

       The pursuit of the powerful self is an effort to have a magical wand with which one protects one. Moreover, the individual feels that as he is, he is nothing, which is true, because we are all nothing, and covers it, masks it, veils that awareness with false superiority and power.

     The deluded person is engaged in an existential struggle, as we all do; he exaggerates what all human beings do; he is trying to make his vulnerable self-seem to have the ability to defeat the onslaught of nature on human beings.

      He identifies with powerful people in society because he wants to be like them and hates the weak because he sees the weak as powerless and not able to do anything to protect themselves or improve their lives.

      Delusion disorder and paranoia is a futile effort to make human life worthwhile, important, and powerful and eradicate the awareness that one has that to be human is to be nothing and to be powerless (we are food being cooked for bacteria and worms to eat).

     All human beings have traces of delusion and paranoia; those traits are exaggerated in some perrons, persons who, for some reasons, feel more acutely inferior and inadequate; some inherited medical disorders tend to make some children feel extremely inferior and they respond with compensatory superiority and proceed to believe that they are superior when, in fact, they are not superior selves.

     Because superiority and delusion is really an ego defense mechanism it must not be tested; thus, the passive type paranoid person does not compete in society least she fails and be shown to not be god, so she avoids social competition and on the sidelines of society feels better than other people; some become extremely competitive and want to win at all competitions and feel devastated when they lose at the games of life.

DELUSION CAN BE HEALED

     The cure for delusion disorder and paranoia is to accept the self that one knows one as, not powerful, not important, not the smartest person on earth, to accept the self as nothing.

      The individual must accept the self before the desire to be powerful kicked in. He must accept nothingness and meaninglessness.

      To be a human being is to be nothing; objectively, human beings live meaningless and purposeless existence; they live for, may be, a hundred years, and die and their bodies decay and smell like feces and or are eaten by worms that in turn are eaten by bacteria.

      The desire for a better self must be given up and one must accept that the human self in body, the ego is inherently nothing important; all sense of importance is imaginary.

     Indeed, our universe is meaningless and nothing; it came out in a speck of light, 13.8 billion years ago; that light transformed to quarks, protons, neutrons, electrons; unified those as atoms and differentiated atoms to elements and combined elements to molecules and used those to form things, including our bodies, plants, animals, planets, stars, galaxies. In the trillion years in the future all things will die; all galaxies will over expand, and stars die from heat loss; planets die, everything decays back to light, to the nothingness we came from. This means that we live in a meaningless universe speeding to a meaningless end.

      When one has given up the obsessive-compulsive desire for a big, important, and powerful self-one should keep quiet and not use one’s thinking, mind to produce other attributes of who one should be. There should be no wish for one to be this or that big person.

      Give up all desires and wishes as to who one should be. One must totally do what Buddhists do, empty one’s mind of all desire to be who one is not. When the human mind is emptied of the desire to be this or that imaginary person, one attains no ego self-feeling, and feels calm and peaceful.

COGNITIVE BEHAVIOR THERAPY, CBT

     There are many ways of trying to heal mental disorders. In the contemporary West, a mix of pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy are employed in efforts to heal the human mind (mind is not a tangible thing; mind is simply thinking, mentation, cognition; thinking can be healthy or unhealthy; when thinking is healthy one is calm, peaceful, and lacking in anxiety; when mind is neurotic, one’s thinking is filled with anxiety and fear).

     Although no one has identified the biological causation of delusion disorder, some psychiatrists give deluded persons medications (since they are anxious, they are often given anti-anxiety and anti-depression medications and or anti-psychotic medications).

     In addition to medications, talk based psychotherapy is attempted on deluded people. In the West, psychotherapists, these days, mostly employ Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck’s Cognitive Behavior Therapy, CBT, in trying to heal the deluded person.

     This therapy is really a philosophy; it is rooted in Epictetus philosophy that it is not what is happening out there in the environment that makes one feel angry, anxious, sad, or paranoid or any other mental upset; it is all dependent on how one interprets what is happening out there.

     One can see an event as devastating and feel sad; one can also shrug off that event and not feel sad; one can fear harm and death and feel anxious, or one can accept harm and death as inevitable in life and not feel anxious about them. One can respond to other people’s unfair treatment of one with anger or one can choose not to allow what other people do to make one angry.

     Many therapists teach their clients, and for our present purpose, deluded clients, cognitive behavior therapy. They teach them to interpret differently the events of life so as not to be angry, sad, anxious, or paranoid; they teach them to relinquish their desire for grandiose self-concepts because that is not who they are; they teach them to stop distrusting other people; whereas a few people are evil and wicked, most people are not dangerous.

     Cognitive Behavior Therapy, of all Western therapies, tends to have some therapeutic value, but does not cure anyone of his or her mental disorders.

       I find Buddhism and Gnosticism a better approach to healing mental disorders. I have written extensively on my approach to therapy, and on Buddhism and Gnosticism, in this paper I will briefly summarize Buddhism.

BUDDHISM IS A WAY OF CURING DELUSION DISORDER

      Twenty-five hundred years ago, Gautama Buddha, a Hindu in northern India, taught his followers that to be:

  • a human being is to suffer
  • that suffering is rooted in desire
  • that to overcome suffering we must give up desire
  • and that we must live compassionate and loving existence.

     Those are  the Four Noble Truths that Buddha posited; he also posited the Eight Nobel Paths to achieving them; the eight paths are the same as the Christian ten commandments: love other people as you love you, do unto other people as you want them to do to you; be compassionate towards other people; respect all people to be respected by them; do not steal; do not kill any one; do not say bad things about people, and so on.

 TRANSCEND THE SEPARATED EGO SELF CONCEPT SO AS TO GAIN PEACE

      Buddha was a profound philosopher, psychologist, and religionist. He recognized that to be a human being is to have desired to have a separated self-concept housed in body. What it means to be a human being is to have a separated self-concept.

      I have a self-concept and you have a separated self-concept. Each of us feels separate from each other and from nature. Each of us perceives the environment as impersonal and sometimes hostile to us and we defend ourselves.

     But are we separated from nature? Consider that without the sun’s light energy we would not even exist. We are inherently connected to the sun and to the entire universe (see Ozodi Osuji, Connected lives, 2021).

     Separation from nature is a fiction. Yet we seek separation and defend our separated selves.

     Buddha wants people to recognize that the desire for separated self is the fundamental human error. We are unified with all people and things, but we seek separation from all people and things. The desire for a separated self is the root cause of our suffering.

     We desire money, wealth, power, and other things to make sure that our separated selves in bodies are provided for and survive.

      If we desire separated selves and defend them with the various ego defense mechanisms that psychoanalysts have identified (repression, suppression, denial, dissociation, displacement, projection, rationalization, sublimation, reaction-formation, dreaming, fantasy, anger, shame, pride, guilt, fear, anxiety, minimization, avoidance and so on) we are trapped. We defend our bodies with food, medications, clothes, shelter, and other means.

     Simply put, we, human beings live to defend our separated selves and bodies; indeed, we often enslave ourselves to doing meaningless, back breaking jobs to earn a living for our bodies, bodies that will die and decay; considering the end of our bodies it does not make sense doing painful work to support them.

      In doing what defends and protects our separated selves and bodies we suffer. Buddha asks us to stop desiring separated selves, selves that in the totality of things do not exist and are mere illusions.

     Here is a quick test, who were your ancestors one thousand years ago? I bet that you do not know, and they are forgotten, as you, too, will be forgotten by future generations.

    Your body will die and decay and become part of nature that it always is. Our bodies are composed of  carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper, zinc, sodium, phosphor, altogether of sixty-four elements held together by chemical bonds; our bodies are molecules  and when we die the elements in those molecules separate from each other and decay to their constituent parts of electrons, protons and neutrons and over billions of years those decay to quarks and ultimately to light energy; we are made of light that came out during the Big Bang, 13.8 billion years ago,  and will return to light when the universe dies and all elements decay.

MEDITATION

     In addition to giving his followers a very realistic philosophy that to live is to suffer, Buddha taught his followers to meditate, daily; by that he meant that every day they should, for a few minutes, sit quietly and calm their minds, and stop all ego wishes. They are told to get rid of all ego thinking, to empty their minds of the ego and its desires and keep quiet.

       If one can make one’s mind silent for just thirty minutes, without any thoughts in it, one’s mind is made calm and peaceful.

     A peaceful mind contributes to a healthy body.

     Buddha taught that if the human mind is made to give up all desires and simply keep quiet that reality may dawn on that mind by itself.

      It is not for us to tell reality what it is but if we stop telling reality what it is and keep quiet, by itself reality dawns on our minds.

     Buddha called this experience Nirvana, Zen Buddhism calls it Satori, Hinduism calls it Samadhi, Christian Mysticism calls it the union of the father, God and his son as one shared self.

       Those who have experienced it say that it is an experience of oneness with all beings, a sense that life, at the nonmaterial, spiritual level, is one and eternal, peaceful and perfect.

    I have not had the unitive experience and will not dwell on it. I will, however, dwell on what I have experienced.

     I have momentarily given up all self-concepts of who I think that I am. In meditation, I occasionally give up all self-concepts, all ideas that I think that I am.

      When the self-concept, the human separated ego self, is removed from one’s mind and is not defended with the various ego defense mechanisms one feels like one has no self; fear initially takes over one’s mind because of the sense of oblivion; but eventually one feels peaceful in the knowledge that the self-concept is a mere puff of smoke and does not exist.

     Our ego selves are illusory selves; we do not know who  our real selves are; Buddhism and Gnosticism, Taoism, Hinduism, and Zen say that our real self is a unified formless self; they say that our real self can be analogized as like a wave of spiritual light and each of us is a particle of that wave of light; as physics teaches us, wave and particles of light are one.

     God is the wave of spiritual light; each of us is a son of God, a particle of that wave of God’s light; wave and particles, God and sons are one shared self.

      The self-concept is a mask with which we cover a deeper self that we do not know what it is. Gnostic religions, such as Helen Schucman’s A course in miracles, say that the real self is the son of God, a part of the whole self.

     I am not going to go into sectarian debates in this paper. All I know from my personal experience is that when I give up whatever self-concept I made for me I attain an inner sense of peace.

       From that experience I deduce that one should have no separated ego self; although having no separated self is initially scary but it gives one peace of mind and body.

      After momentarily experiencing no ego, thereafter the ego rushes in with other concepts of who it thinks that I am and asks me to believe them, and ego chattering resumes and I disturb my inner peace.

     It is a constant struggle to remove the separated self-concept and live in the inner peace that results when the false self, the separated self-concept is jettisoned.

DISCUSSION

     When the deluded person jettisons his exaggerated self-concept and lives as if he has no self-concept and is just a part of life in body, he tends to become normal, even healthy.

      The cure for delusion disorder, and all other mental and personality disorders, is to do what Buddha asked us to do, extinguish our desire for ego separated selves and live from what we might call a universal self and its universal mind.

     To have a separated self-concept and self-image is to be mentally sick; to return to the awareness that all people share one formless, unified self is mental health.

      Since all people share oneself, the rational thing to do is to love all people to love one’s whole self (seen in seeming other people), and to forgive and correct our mistakes.

CONCLUSION

      One must stop defending a fictional, false, imaginary, grandiose separated self-concept; this is the cure for delusion disorder and for all mental disorders; when we do so we know mental and physical peace

      The desire to understand the self can become so preoccupying that one hardly does other things; in fact, one would stop trying to make a living for one’s self and for one’s family; understanding the ego becomes an end.

      One cannot fully understand the ego and must do what one can with the little understanding that one has. The ego does not exist, it is an illusion that seems to exist and wants us to talk about it ad infinitum. Talking about it makes it seem to exist. Therefore, stop gratifying its wish that you perpetually talk about it and stop talking about it.

    Get rid of the ego, give up your ego self-concept and self-image and live as if there is no ego self-concept; do what serves social interest in the here and now, and that is good enough.

      I have solved the problem I see in some members of my people, the problem of pursuing endless goals that they hope would make them seem particularly important in their eyes and in the eyes of other people. The solution to the problem is the understanding that the self that they want to make to seem important does not exist, is an illusion that seems real but is not real.

     The separated self-concept is a puff of smoke; it is nothing that seems like something that one ought to be seeking and making it seem important; it is an illusion.

    The universe itself is an illusion; the entire material universe of space, time, and matter are illusions; they seem real but when you think about them, through classical and new physics, Einstein’s general relativity theory, and quantum mechanics, you realize that they seem to exist momentarily; in the long run the universe will decay to the nothingness from whence it came, fourteen billion years ago. Everything is temporary, transient, and ephemeral.

     One must accept this reality and give up the wish to change one, change other people, change the world, and make them seem better and perfect, because a situation where it all ends up as photons of light, there is really nothing to be permanently improved.

     Along with Hinduism, I believe that this world must be a dream of sorts. It seems a worthwhile dream but a deep understanding of it shows that it is nothing; it is, therefore, an insane dream.

    One must be insane to want to be in this world. One must be insane to want to marry and have children and bring them to come live a nothing existence that seems an important existence. Children who come to this world must be motivated by insanity; they must be insane to have their own children.

      When the individual is no longer insane, mad, crazy, lunatic, from comprehending the nothingness of being then he no longer desires children and material things; he simply wants to live out the rest of his life in peace.

    Please notice that Krishna, Jesus Christ, Gautama Buddha, and most spiritually awakened, enlightened, and illuminated people did not marry and did not have children; they recognized that the world is a dream and did not take it seriously; they did not over value their egos and bodies; they simply flowed with life and lived peacefully and happily.

     This is what deluded and paranoid people, and all human beings need to do, recognize the nothingness of the self-concept, and the self-image, and stop trying to make them seem important because nothingness cannot become important.

     We must give up our egos and flow with life without attachment to self-and the wealth, power, intelligence, and the other things that seem to make the self-important.

    The paranoid and deluded person must give up what hitherto motivated him because he had assumed that the self is worth making important. The self is nothing.

     That which is nothing can neither be made big nor small; it can be seen for what it is, nothing, and let go. Helen Schucman, in her book, A course in miracles made these points excellently, albeit poetically.

REFERENCES

Adler, Alfred (1921). The Neurotic Constitution. New York: Moffat and Yardley.

American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (2013). Washington DC: American Psychiatric Press.

Beck, Aaron (1991). Cognitive Therapy of Personality Disorders. New York: Guilford Press.

Ellis, Albert (1975). Rational Emotional Therapy. New York: Springs Press.

Horney, Karen (1950). Neurosis and Human Growth. New York: Norton.

Meisner, William (1978). The Paranoid Process. New York: Aronson.

Osuji, Ozodi (2021). Connected Lives. Las Vegas, Nevada: Rushmore Press.

Schucman, Helen (1976). A course in miracles. Mill Valley, California: Foundation for Inner Peace.

Shapiro, David (1978). Autonomy and the Rigid Character. New York: Basic Books.

Swanson, David et al (1970). The Paranoid. Boston: Little Brown and Company.

There are many books on Hinduism, Buddhism, Zen, Gnosticism, Taoism, Christian Mysticism; take your pick. I find Evelyn Underhill’s book, Mysticism a good summary of approaches that try to describe what Richard Burke called Cosmic consciousness; William James, in his book, Varieties of Religious experience also helps us understand the phenomenon of unitive experience that Gautama Buddha allegedly experienced.

Ozodi Osuji

June 19, 2022

You can reach Dr Osuji @

ozodiosuji@gmail.com

 (907) 310-8176

He would appreciate feedback from you to enable him to improve this paper.

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