The nervous system is, from the yogic perspective, a meeting point between the gross material and the subtle forces. It picks up cues not only from the body and brain of the individual, but also from the world around us. After all, the line between the concretely experienced and the subtle or occult is a question of the degree of sensitivity of our nervous system through which all our senses operate. It is with this background that we can understand some of the issues and illnesses that we see in practice which stand on the borderlands of neurology and psychiatry.
Fits, or seizures, as they are called, are an example of vital forces, generally of a lower order, trying to take possession of a human being. When the nervous system resists, the individual throws up a fit and the brain temporarily shuts down or rather enters the sleep mode. However, if the forces, trying to possess, actually succeed in occupying some part of the mind or body of the individual, then fits may cease and classical psychotic features, leading to regressive, animal like or frankly rakshasic and pisachic behaviours, manifest. The regression may go to the extreme degree of stone-like stage of our development what is known as catatonia. There is the siege of extremely violent, aggressive tamasic or low rajasic energies creating disturbances in thought and feelings such as aggrandisement, feelings that one is God, expansion states in the vital and most of all an eating up of the deeper heart and its finer emotions. A time may come when the soul escapes out and only a body is left to live under the siege of these forces until it dies. There are of course some persons who incarnate these forces and hence embody it in their personality such as hardcore criminals, psychopaths, men like Hitler, Mao and their kind. The one common element in all these is a lack of warmth, an evaporation of the energies of love which are at the core of not only human existence but of all creation.
If you ask me the one true cure is Divine Love which is something that very very few individuals are capable of holding even passingly. Yet even human love has its effect if it can sustain the individual through the dark passage and the dangerous journey. Short of this there is Reason and Will and Hope and Faith which the therapist should try to awaken in the individual. Drugs are often needed since the individual is hardly open to higher things, whereas the drugs can act upon the molecular gates without active resistance from the patient, and block the entry of these forces into the system. Of course, it is only a temporary stopgap arrangement, and unless the consciousness changes, one is likely to experience the invasion again and again if the drugs are stopped. A balanced approach therefore would be to use drugs, and when the forces have been held at bay, engage in a psychotherapy that can eventually open the person to a change in consciousness and to an awakening of love and peace and light and beauty and harmony in the affected. One can also silently expose the individual to these positive forces by creating beauty and harmonious music in his environment. Even smells play a part and one can use this also for holding the forces away, but music and beauty work better.
However it is the best if there is some opening to the Divine Grace and the individual can still take any form of Divine Name. And if the individual does not, then a close person who lives with him can take the Divine Name and call the Divine Grace to help and heal. It takes time but if one has faith and endures then the results are much better than medication alone. This has been my experience with the patients.
Pondicherry, March 12, 2020