When the mind pivots | Curio
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When the mind pivots

27 mins | Feb 5, 2022
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What a spiritual high shares with a mental breakdown. What can account for the similarities in transformative experiences, that can foreshadow mental illness but also others lay the foundation for spiritual renewal and a galvanised sense of purpose? And are these really two versions of the same underlying psychological process? Ari Brouwer, a PhD student in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, reveals how spiritual highs and mental breakdowns are both products of the same evolved brain system granting us the power to transform. “Here is a major clue to the parallels between sudden psychotic episodes and religious epiphanies – it’s the mythical idea, endlessly repeated and very hard to shake, that the same struggles that can lead to spiritual breakthrough or heroic deeds also risk destroying an individual or, in other words, triggering mental dysfunction.”
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