The Four Assumptive Worlds of Psychopathology III B- The World of Distorted/Inaccurate Views of Reality
The Body and the World
The creation is described for the sake of those who are curious (though the traditions are very clear that the mystery cannot be figured out with a mind). There are many variations, yet the common ground is the component nature of this apparent reality. Below are some examples of components that constitute matter:
1. Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth
2. Sattva (noble qualities), Rajas (outward action-oriented qualities), Tamas (passivity and negative qualities)
3. Wood, Earth, Water, Fire, and Metal
4. Vata (air and space), Pitta (fire and water), and Kapha (water and earth)
Let us take Ayurveda as an example, originating from the vedic traditions and dating back more than at least 2500 years. In Ayurveda, (meaning the science of well-being/longevity of senses, mind, body and soul) the human body (sareeram) and mind (‘manas’ is mind and ‘manasavikara’ is mental disease) are under focus. The science indicates that the foetus grows from the five elements (space, air, fire, water and earth) and the subtle mind starts to form from the fifth month onwards. The diagnosis of any illness in body/mind, is based on the finding that the various elements that constitute the well-being are Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Their imbalance causes diseases and the role of a practioner is to help the ‘patient’ regain their balance through multiple modalities including lifestyle, diet and medicine.
Causes of Mental Illness
In eastern traditions, specially Ayurveda, among many causes negative emotions that affect the mind are considered to affect the body causing illness. Fear, grief and anger for example affect the mind and then the body. Consuming food with a poised mind and with appreciation is considered important. Mind is considered a subtle manifestation whereas the body is a gross manifestation. Hence the mind influences the body and impacts the physical well-being. The illness in the body impacts the mind as well. Other causes of mental disorders are conflicted living, unwholesome interests, poisoned food, worms, uncontrollable passion/desire/fear and so on.