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Shamanism and the Evolutionary origins of Schizophrenia - xpatplayer - 07-04-2014 04:14 PM

I came across this video today and found it to be fascinating. For a TLDW, skip to 41:00.





His theory is very fascinating because it can explain the following:

1. Why people join cults. Its an evolutionary response to follow a Shaman, who can unite many different people.

2. Why people are so messed up today. Not just because of a deterioration of inter-sexual relations & family but also because our lives are so damn logical. Intelligent beings cannot thrive in a world of logic - they need supernatural entities to look up to, even if they're someone else's delusions. That may explain why religious people are the most well-adjusted.

We cannot survive with just a sense of logic. It makes us all existential nihilists, something which does not ensure continuation of the species.

3. Why we see so many empirically intelligent people who cannot adjust into the world. We're warriors, shamans and hunters above all else. Industrialization trivializes millions of years of evolution.

4. Why many leaders are not alpha-males in the silverback-gorilla sense. Intelligence is an adaptation to disease and natural disasters. Therefore, it an evolutionary advantage for women to sleep with the most intelligent and well-adjusted men. Also filed under why women like money.

5. Why intelligent & creative people have the most mental issues. Because all the shamans united tribes and created a sense of security and preparedness. You had chieftains and such who looked up to them. This resulted in them becoming the most desirable, since women knew that tribes with shamans were the best for their kids' survival. So they slept with the shamans and had intelligent kids. These genes of intelligence survive today and those with them are more likely to be like their shamanic ancestors. Unfortunately, shamanic intelligence is known as insanity today and many of them are institutionalized. Its why the best musicians have mystic lyrics and a lot of mental issues.

His theory, if paired with the theories presented in Sperm Wars, King Warrior Magician Lover, & the MBTI, makes a lot of illogical situations make perfect sense.


RE: Shamanism and the Evolutionary origins of Schizophrenia - Lizard King - 07-04-2014 05:34 PM

Very interesting indeed.

I skipped to 41:00 for the summary, the theory makes a lot of sense.

What I would ask is: does this explain why women become entranced by egotistical males? Eg: within the new age movement, hippy players(sic?) develop an inflated sense of ego and utilise this to bang susceptible new age girls while portraying themselves as 'holier than thou' etc..


RE: Shamanism and the Evolutionary origins of Schizophrenia - xpatplayer - 07-04-2014 05:53 PM

(07-04-2014 05:34 PM)Trev Wrote:  Very interesting indeed.

I skipped to 41:00 for the summary, the theory makes a lot of sense.

What I would ask is: does this explain why women become entranced by egotistical males? Eg: within the new age movement, hippy players(sic?) develop an inflated sense of ego and utilise this to bang susceptible new age girls while portraying themselves as 'holier than thou' etc..

Possibly. Remember that most new-age girls gave up Christianity when the media started attacking it. They need a new Jesus in their lives and when somebody shows an 'I'm Jesus Bitch!' attitude, they follow him.

Its also why being a asshole alpha is sexually rewarding. Having a delusional sense of self-belief makes her follow you.

Delusion is the key. Irrationality. Women love delusions even more than men. If you simply exhibit a delusional level of self-belief and self-confidence, they will follow you and give you everything.


RE: Shamanism and the Evolutionary origins of Schizophrenia - Ethan Amarante - 07-04-2014 07:15 PM

Cheers for this - I'm listening now. This sort of dovetails with a conversations I was having with a colleague earlier about how some psychological disorders may have been evolutionary advantageous. Those linked to paranoia were top of the list which I actually still believe are more helpful than not for a lot of people, even if they don't see it that way.


RE: Shamanism and the Evolutionary origins of Schizophrenia - germanico - 07-04-2014 09:48 PM

Next datasheet: cult leader game.


RE: Shamanism and the Evolutionary origins of Schizophrenia - xpatplayer - 07-04-2014 10:57 PM

If you really think about it, humans need a greater than life purpose. There needs to be a reason to live. And logic doesn't provide that. No matter what intellectuals & academics may say, humans essentially feed on irrationality.

Working 8 hours a week Monday to Friday with 2 weeks off and a promotion every 3 or 4 years isn't greater than life. Neither is living a hedonistic life. Both cause people to burn out and often find religion.

I used to disagree with certain members' theories that religion is the only thing that really gives people a purpose in life. But now that I think about it, its true. Greatness and aspiration can only be inspired by the irrational and intangible. Think about it. The most devout members of a religion aren't in it for the afterlife or security. They're in it for serving a greater cause. The most inspiring pastors, Imams & rabbis don't preach obedience or niceness, they preach greatness and furthering the tribe.

This serves many evolutionary advantages. Our psychologies are naturally designed to join groups and stay. This ensures survival and as a reward-mechanism, we feel happy with ourselves when we follow religion.


RE: Shamanism and the Evolutionary origins of Schizophrenia - void - 07-05-2014 11:47 AM

Watched the whole video, very informative and educating. Even if this ideas are all theory, they are quite plausible and logical. I often think, that the natural state of a human is "healthy" and only environmental or social circumstances make the person ill or define the person as ill.
Evolutionary, if a significant portion of the members of population where ill under "standard" circumstances, they would be out-reproduced by the healthy ones and in the future the "ill members" would disappear.


RE: Shamanism and the Evolutionary origins of Schizophrenia - Bill - 07-05-2014 12:39 PM

I think in modern times arts and entertainment took the place of religion.


RE: Shamanism and the Evolutionary origins of Schizophrenia - Lizard King - 07-05-2014 01:49 PM

(07-05-2014 12:39 PM)Bill Wrote:  I think in modern times arts and entertainment took the place of religion.
Humans have a desperate need to 'believe in something'.

Religion has been replaced by other belief systems in contemporary Western society. At least religion, despite its flaws, held societies together to some degree.

A lot of people today don't realise they hold on to a belief system based on opinion, feminism being a popular example.


RE: Shamanism and the Evolutionary origins of Schizophrenia - Kvothe - 07-05-2014 03:12 PM

You know what the most interesting thing about evolution is?

As I can say from a subjective perspective, only as a molecular biologist, that in this present time we only see the species that were succesful in the past time. All these lions, elephants and pingvins are late for the show, and they evolved only for the the past. They would be superior if they would lived in some other era than this. Somehow the species are always late and evolution is always going forward, never stopping. Somehow withs humans is the same, but we have "culture" so we can adapt faster.


RE: Shamanism and the Evolutionary origins of Schizophrenia - Goldmund - 07-06-2014 03:20 PM

I'll share this:

I'm a quarter Native American. My grandfather taught me a lot about the culture, habits, beliefs of our people when I was younger. He always reminded me that I would "have to go through a great test before becoming a man". When I was young, I always thought "yeah, grandpa...sure"

In my early 20's I had what most doctors would describe as an intense manic episode.

I was in North Florida at the time and for days, I could feel it building inside me. It was crazy though because I really did have the 'power' to read peoples minds. I was so attuned to every motion of the body, shift of the eye, and energy level of the person that they didn't need to speak and I knew what they were thinking. This grew more and more each day.

On the final day, I knew something intense was going to happen and I drove out to a nature reserve outside of town.

I started hearing voices and having visions (note: I was not on any drugs at all, nor had anything besides alcohol for a year prior). The visions got so intense and my heart started beating faster and faster. I tore off my clothes and sat in the dirt. An animal in the shape of a lion/eagle/snake took hold of my heart and tried to tear it out of my chest. I fought that motherfucker as hard as I could for god knows how long. If I didn't do anything, I am sure I would have had a heart attack. After winning the fight I watched the creature bow and walk away.

It took me days to recover and I didn't tell anyone about what had happened until my younger brother started hearing voices and using crystals to combat them. My personality has always been much more aggressive and reckless than my brother and he didn't handle it. He ended up in a psyche ward for a year and is still being monitored to this day.

Yes, this shit is real, and yes shamans are still active today. I took part in a peyote ceremony, overseered by a shaman, in New Mexico a few years ago and that did more for my self confidence than anything else in my life.

This past February, I took a trip to the Amazon jungle and took part in an ayahuasca ceremony, also with a shaman, and that did more for my self knowledge than anything else in my life.


RE: Shamanism and the Evolutionary origins of Schizophrenia - xpatplayer - 07-06-2014 07:50 PM

^Very fascinating. you don't have to answer this question if you feel its too personal but what was your brother diagnosed with?

Even though I'm agnostic and haven't been a part of any religion for a few years, I read a lot about religion. I sometimes wonder whether there exists a spiritual world, like the ones from tribal legends, and some people (schizophrenics) have the ability to see into that world and some drugs (DMT, psycolibin, LSD) can let you see into that world.


Much of my experience with LSD has been somewhat spiritual. I've been able to empathize with people much more clearly and understand the concept of religious heaven (I may make a thread about that one day). Your experience sounds very similar to some DMT trips I've read about.

I am skeptical, since one cannot prove the existence of the spiritual world. But it is possible that such a world exists and that in our modern, plastic world, we punish those who see it.


RE: Shamanism and the Evolutionary origins of Schizophrenia - Quintus Curtius - 07-06-2014 08:06 PM

Good thread. This has the ring of truth, and it matches my own feelings on this subject.


RE: Shamanism and the Evolutionary origins of Schizophrenia - strengthstudent - 07-07-2014 08:03 AM

This is a great article related to this subject http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/drugs-and-the-meaning-of-life

The thing with psychedelics is that they will work no matter what if you take a sufficient dose. But a psychedelic experience is not something which is exclusively attainable by psychedelic substances - you can have a psychedelic experience any moment but the strength and duration will vary. It seems that the people who are the most inside their head have problems ever experiencing spiritual experiences because these experiences somehow seem to happen when you completely let go(ego death/softening/dissolving). They are slaves to their reason without realizing the limits of rationalism(Richard Dawkins...). Many completely dismiss the idea of a spiritual experience because people cannot properly put them into words(what you can explain = true) and show them empirically. You see, it is almost impossible to describe a taste of something completely extraordinary to someone else if he hasn't tasted it. You can try to describe it by trying to compare it to something he has already tasted, but it is just apples and oranges, and he will only ultimately understand it by tasting it himself. The more alien the "experience", the harder it is to "transfer to someone else".

Fasting, near death experiences, tiredness or illness are some of the ways to get your body and mind to a state where experiencing something beyond your cognitive prison may be easier. Fasting and different rituals like some African tribes sending their young to wilderness to become a man are part of many religious practices. It seems that you either have to get your body so weak(fasting, illness) that your mind(ego) cannot sustain itself and it is easy to let go, or get so intense that adrenaline cuts of your head from your body.

I have experienced http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypnagogia awake. Basically it is very easy for me to see pictures(sometimes very blurry, sometimes very sharp and sometimes color/less) my eyes closed, usually when I am very relaxed or very tired. I have also experienced what they call "satori" in zen - a glimpse of awakening, how I feel is that I experience everything without any focus on one single thing in a slightest way: hearing, seeing, feeling and touching without hearing, seeing, feeling or touching anything specifically. The feeling inside the mind is very similar to the state experienced on heavy psychedelics such as DMT. Also, when I started meditating, it wasn't very difficult to start getting distortions in my vision, and when got really deep, the images inside the head would occur. After searching zen and meditation, it is apparently very common to get these images during a meditating and many call them "demons"(mara) because when you can shut down the language chatter, the mind starts popping up images to keep the mind occupied. The goal would be the complete silence, but it is almost irresistible to not focus on these images because they are so incredibly fascinating turning the meditation into an entertaining process for the mind.

I believe schizophrenia is something "wrong" inside the brain which fortunately allows to percept reality beyond the normally functioning brain. Our brains have evolved only to show enough for us to be able to function & survive in the reality, without having a complete grasp of it

This is what I have found out, I still have a long way and no way to go.


RE: Shamanism and the Evolutionary origins of Schizophrenia - Goldmund - 07-07-2014 10:30 AM

(07-06-2014 07:50 PM)xpatplayer Wrote:  ^Very fascinating. you don't have to answer this question if you feel its too personal but what was your brother diagnosed with?

Schizoaffective disorder.

I have sat in on some of his therapy sessions and told the doctor what I went through, how I handled it, what my grandfather told me (he never was as close to my brother or told him these things) and how I believe it was something bound to have happened, something that needed to happen.

Was always hesitant to share but the doctor was completely reasonable and respected that I got through it on my own.

He said its common for many Native people, and immigrants who come from animistic cultures, to have episodes like this.


RE: Shamanism and the Evolutionary origins of Schizophrenia - The Beast1 - 07-08-2014 03:47 PM

Funny that these spirituality threads are popping up lately.

I had a really intense spiritual moment 2 weeks ago. It all started with me offending this chinese guy with a faux indian accent (yeah right?).

I went to a bible reading for my church and at the end we have a prayer circle where we all pray for each other. I asked for tact and for the opportunity to run my own business.

Well, the next day i had scheduled a free boxing session. I did a lot of interval training and punching.

The next day i came down with a nasty flu. I got some mucinex and sudafed and proceeded to shiver under 3 layers of sheets when the temperature outside was 85 degrees.

The next day i felt fluey, but free. In fact, that entire week was incredible. I could sense auras around people invarying shades of white to black with mine being somewhat grey. I did some power yoga for the first time and the next day i felt even more euphoric.

In that time, i had a vision of a girl i'm friends with appear as my wife and had a moment where when i was with her, i could have sworn i read her thoughts. I struggle at reading her personality anyway, but this was crazy.

And to close it all off, i felt seriously compelled to go to seminary. In a world of a billion choices, this one for some reason became the most illuminated. I didn't feel compelled to write about my spiritual moment in my seminary thread. I'm not sure how to broach such a topic with people.


RE: Shamanism and the Evolutionary origins of Schizophrenia - Zep - 07-08-2014 11:38 PM

I've experienced the things spoken about in this thread.

This woman, a neuroanatomist, had a stroke and describes it at 6:30.
Sounds exactly like a 'trip'. The stroke knocks out her left hemisphere and linear thinking and she's left with what's contained in the right-hemisphere...sounds like 'trip' and various accounts of religious and spiritual experiences...






RE: Shamanism and the Evolutionary origins of Schizophrenia - Giovonny - 07-09-2014 07:28 PM

(07-04-2014 09:48 PM)germanico Wrote:  Next datasheet: cult leader game.

I recently started a cult. I met a girl who said she was into "self improvement". I could tell that she was a little confused and looking for answers about the world.

I told her some basic stuff like:

"listen to your inner voice"
"keep your self talk positive"
"the world is ugly but your life can be beautiful"

We talked a little about "meta-physics" and "spirituality". She ate it up.

I did help her to calm her mind and develop a more empowering outlook. She started saying how she really looked up to me. She is 16 years younger. We banged on the 2nd date. She would do almost anything that I told her. It was fun for about a month. But, just like any relationship with a young girl, it started to get old. She started giving me some drama.

Being a cult leader is a lot like being a pimp, its just not worth all the bullshit and drama of having to be a father figure to a group of young women. It's like being married but instead of 1 wife, you have multiple wives. No thanks!

I don't know how those Mormon guys can put up with it ?!?!?

You really have to have the personality for it.

I didn't care for it. I like to live alone!


RE: Shamanism and the Evolutionary origins of Schizophrenia - SmartAlec - 05-31-2015 04:25 PM

(07-04-2014 04:14 PM)xpatplayer Wrote:  I came across this video today and found it to be fascinating. For a TLDW, skip to 41:00.





His theory is very fascinating because it can explain the following:

1. Why people join cults. Its an evolutionary response to follow a Shaman, who can unite many different people.

2. Why people are so messed up today. Not just because of a deterioration of inter-sexual relations & family but also because our lives are so damn logical. Intelligent beings cannot thrive in a world of logic - they need supernatural entities to look up to, even if they're someone else's delusions. That may explain why religious people are the most well-adjusted.

We cannot survive with just a sense of logic. It makes us all existential nihilists, something which does not ensure continuation of the species.

3. Why we see so many empirically intelligent people who cannot adjust into the world. We're warriors, shamans and hunters above all else. Industrialization trivializes millions of years of evolution.

4. Why many leaders are not alpha-males in the silverback-gorilla sense. Intelligence is an adaptation to disease and natural disasters. Therefore, it an evolutionary advantage for women to sleep with the most intelligent and well-adjusted men. Also filed under why women like money.

5. Why intelligent & creative people have the most mental issues. Because all the shamans united tribes and created a sense of security and preparedness. You had chieftains and such who looked up to them. This resulted in them becoming the most desirable, since women knew that tribes with shamans were the best for their kids' survival. So they slept with the shamans and had intelligent kids. These genes of intelligence survive today and those with them are more likely to be like their shamanic ancestors. Unfortunately, shamanic intelligence is known as insanity today and many of them are institutionalized. Its why the best musicians have mystic lyrics and a lot of mental issues.

His theory, if paired with the theories presented in Sperm Wars, King Warrior Magician Lover, & the MBTI, makes a lot of illogical situations make perfect sense.

I've bookmarked this video and am looking forward to watching it. I'm also intrigued by your explanation of existential nihilism and maladjusted smart people in society. There's a reason that so many Christian theologies portray the Devil as a logician.


RE: Shamanism and the Evolutionary origins of Schizophrenia - youngblazer - 05-31-2015 11:11 PM

Haven't watched the vid but this thread got me thinking about autism. It seems like autism, characterized by the lack of feeling/sensing emotion is almost the very antithesis of the shaman/schizophrenic. Maybe it's some weird evolutionary way of increasing brain power, since these days less emotion/high brain-power is more likely to be a advantageous survival trait.


RE: Shamanism and the Evolutionary origins of Schizophrenia - iknowexactly - 05-31-2015 11:30 PM

(07-04-2014 10:57 PM)xpatplayer Wrote:  If you really think about it, humans need a greater than life purpose. There needs to be a reason to live.

I mostly agree, but "greater than life" and "reason to live" aren't the same.

In my understanding existentialism is the precise means designed to provide meaning for those of us who aren't the religious type.

In existentialism, there's no meaning or morality built into the universe.
i.e., "There is no justice, there's just us."

One has to create their own meaning through their actions.

So to me, songwriting is the most important part, it's what gives meaning to my life.


(07-04-2014 10:57 PM)xpatplayer Wrote:  Working 8 hours a week Monday to Friday with 2 weeks off and a promotion every 3 or 4 years isn't greater than life. Both cause people to burn out and often find religion.


I used to disagree with certain members' theories that religion is the only thing that really gives people a purpose in life. But now that I think about it, its true. we feel happy with ourselves when we follow religion.


What do you mean "we", paleface? lol

Seriously, if you feel happy with religion, go at it. It's more important for people to be happy than for me to be right.

But for me , I wasn't raised religious and it seems simply bizarre, pre-medieval and delusional.

So there's other things for the rest of us.


Julian Jayne's book on Bicameral mind addresses some of the same basic ideas of evolution in perception.


RE: Shamanism and the Evolutionary origins of Schizophrenia - Lucky - 06-01-2015 10:35 AM

I thought this thread was going to be about Bicameralism:

Quote:a hypothesis in psychology that argues that the human mind once assumed a state in which cognitive functions were divided between one part of the brain which appears to be "speaking", and a second part which listens and obeys—a bicameral mind.

Quote:According to Jaynes, ancient people in the bicameral state of mind would have experienced the world in a manner that has some similarities to that of a schizophrenic. Rather than making conscious evaluations in novel or unexpected situations, the person would hallucinate a voice or "god" giving admonitory advice or commands and obey without question: one would not be at all conscious of one's own thought processes per se.

I'll take a look at the video. Looks interesting.