“Put the nightmare together. If you do not wake up screaming, you have not put it together well.” —R.A. Lafferty
Some cases of paranoid schizophrenia include aspects or details that can’t be explained through conventional points of view. Perhaps the same can be said of some cases involving other psychotic disorders, or even all psychoses of certain types. I’m limiting the scope of this article due to a deficit in megalomania, as well as the difficulty of finding detailed case studies. (Update: I’ve come up with a term “complex psychosis” to cover all psychoses that must have been caused by a system of mind control or an inexplicable Jungian or quasi-Jungian collective unconscious.)
The core of paranoid schizophrenia consists of episodes of subtle, often unnoticed loss of control of one’s own thought processes in a way that results in extraordinarily irrational beliefs. Could the concept of mind control be useful here? A clue is given by “delusions of control”, i.e. experiences of being so obviously controlled or influenced that even the victim notices it.
A typical element is also some form of perceived, persistent harassment or manipulation, the source of which is often misattributed but doesn’t need to be (the correct attribution is: I Don’t Know).
Some particularly sophisticated dreams, voices, and series of hallucinations point to the existence of an intelligent and creative entity that is responsible for their creation.
Some series of synchronicities reveal the existence of mind control so subtle that the controlled rarely even suspect they have been controlled — not because of amnesia, but because of control so sophisticated it goes unnoticed. Such series of synchronicities have been experienced by normal, healthy individuals across cultures and ages.
Precognitive dreams, precognitive hallucinations, and synchronicities manifesting due to psychosis tie all these phenomena together, pointing to a common cause: a godlike entity or group of entities manipulating humanity. Singular or plural, evolved as part of humans or invaders from outside, I don’t know, and will just use the term “entity” throughout this article.
1. Confusion About Psychosis
Psychosis is defined as a loss of contact with reality, and such loss is indicated by delusions that seem irrational and contrary to memes popular in the culture or subculture that the person belongs to. A psychotic delusion is therefore defined as an irrational belief arrived at through a process that isn’t social. The diagnostician has the unenviable task of deciding which such beliefs are truly irrational and which are merely unconventional explanations of strange experiences. Very often the latter are mistakenly thought to be the former, and in any case humans tend not to be great thinkers while simultaneously they tend to exhibit a psychological need for certainty, so that any attempt at an explanation of a strange phenomenon is likely to lead to a few incorrect hypotheses of which one is quickly chosen as the one in which belief is invested.
At this point someone might want to further define a psychotic delusion as something that makes it difficult for the patient to function adequately in the community which he is part of. That’s probably as useful a definition as anything when trying to decide whether to intervene in someone’s life in unwanted ways. To those of us interested in a full understanding of paranoid schizophrenia, it need not be the end. As Nietzsche pointed out, reality may be such that truly understanding it would mean our destruction. On the other hand, the characteristics of a belief that makes a person unable to function in human society are culture dependent, so a definition that is useful for the purposes of rehabilitation in one culture will nevertheless be inadequate as a timeless insight into the condition itself. Cultures change, but what happens in the brain and mind of a person during psychosis is a timeless process.
A better definition of psychosis, therefore, would be a mental state where memory does not function properly and something outside the consciousness seems to be making the conscious mind have extraordinarily irrational beliefs as if parts of the brain had split off to form an entity of its own that can control memory processes. Emotions, motor centers and other things are sometimes described by schizophrenics as being temporarily outside their control, as being unmistakably controlled by some intelligent and apparently conscious entity (though rarely if ever all at once). Invasive thought control during psychosis would primarily be such that the psychotic doesn’t realise that his thought processes are being controlled. That’s why “delusions of control” are not a necessary part of such psychosis.
2. The Uselessness of Drug Trials Without a Proper Understanding of Psychosis
Antipsychotics have a poor reputation among serious thinkers. A Lot of side effects and not much more effective than a sugar pill in treating the condition in placebo controlled double blind trials: 41% efficacy compared with 24% for placebo, in addition to likely publication bias similar to that found in the case of antidepressants — this could literally remove any signs of efficacy compared with placebo (How effective are second-generation antipsychotic drugs? A meta-analysis of placebo-controlled trials, 2009).
(The analysis also doesn’t necessarily mean that placebo pills are somewhat effective in treating the condition. It could simply mean that patients are recovering naturally as time passes: this is known to happen to many paranoid schizophrenics, who may experience psychotic episodes that last only for days or weeks. Or even hours or less, depending on whether by “episodes” we mean continuous psychosis or a period of time when psychotic thoughts are common.)
But what do those trials really tell us about the effectiveness (or lack of) of these drugs? I don’t think they tell us very much. The reason for that is that rational delusions are not being controlled for. Perfectly rational delusions (results of normal rationalisation, scarcity of accurate information, and so on) — possibly the majority of patients — are being classified as psychotic. It should be clear that rational delusions won’t be affected by any drug whatever, unless that drug somehow produces irrational ideation in patients, but then it would be doing the opposite of what it should be doing.
3. What Synchronicities Reveal About Psychosis
C.G. Jung popularised the word synchronicity, and believed a lot of weird stuff so probably also that some synchronicities required a parapsychological explanation. So you aren’t necessarily in bad company if you believe so also.
Anyway, Philip K. Dick writes on the 13th page of Exegesis, in a letter to Peter Fitting (June 28, 1974):
Several times I’ve had the uncanny experience of meeting people who resemble persons, characters, I’d previously made up for my novels. In Flow My Tears there’s a 19 year old girl named Kathy, as you recall, whom Jason meets; she is a girl of the gutter, so to speak, living a quasi-illegal existence. The next year, 1971, I in fact did meet a girl, the same age, living a life so similar to that of the girl in the novel as to frighten me — frighten me that if she reads the book ever she may sue. Her name — Kathy.
Dick also understood what this meant: some entity, whether part of his subconscious or God or whatever, had made him write those parts of the novels without his realising it. Such unnoticed mind control is possible, because the origin of our thoughts, attitudes, and emotions is often outside our consciousness. (I’m assuming that Dick was able to rule out personal hallucination, and that if he wasn’t, we would know about it. I’m also assuming the entity didn’t use mass hallucination instead: that the friends who I’m assuming met Dick’s new acquaintances or saw their letters didn’t also hallucinate these things.)
I would say that synchronicities are the heart of paranoid schizophrenia. These people are likely rarely in psychosis (as I define it), but they may have paranoid beliefs for most of their lives. Many synchronicities can’t be explained in a non-paranoid way without recourse to very unconventional viewpoints. John F. Nash said in an interview that he never stopped believing there was more to the way the world works than what the scientists commonly believed, but he always pretended to be normal when needed to get out of mental institutions. He was speaking from experience.
See comments for synchronicity and probability.
4. Charles Fort
(Section added in April, 2013.)
In his first non-fiction book, which he destroyed, Charles Fort argued for the idea, at book-length, that humanity may be a victim of mind control. Fort wrote:
If, in acting upon us, X could only make use of what we should naturally do anyway—we should, if stimulated to action by X, think that we were but following what we call our own free wills.
Then, in the search for X, we should look not for strange, seemingly supernatural phenomena, but for things that we should have done anyway, but in a lesser degree, historical events which have heretofore been accounted for by reason, but have in them somewhere a vague mystery or an atmosphere of the unaccountable, despite all the assurances of their own infallibility that our historians have given us.
I shall try to show that X exists; that this influence is, and must be, evil to an appalling degree to us at present, evil which at least equals anything ever conceived of in medieval demonology.
(Charles Fort: The Man Who Invented The Supernatural, 2008, p. 137-138)
Needless to say, that would have been an interesting book to read. That it existed is proof that mind control theories are not the sole domain of known schizophrenics. Charles Fort was a popular all-around sceptic, writer, and researcher of anomalous phenomena in early 20th century.
5. Drugs, What Are They Good For?
I think the dopamine hypothesis is extremely simplistic and likely wholly incorrect. There are studies that show that schizophrenics have normal levels of dopamine in their brains, and there are newer studies that show that they also have normal amounts of dopamine receptors (except when longterm medication has altered their brains).
New paradigms involving drug treatments beyond tranquillisers are likely to prove disappointing as well until our technology and understanding far surpass today’s. Something that may complicate conducting reliable drug trials: the entity that has caused the delusions is certainly able to tell the difference between a placebo pill and the real drug, and may jokingly or as part of some greater goal respond accordingly from time to time, producing the illusion of moderate efficacy or whatever. Those familiar with parapsychology know that stranger things happen on a regular basis.
I won’t even discuss the belief that some psychiatrists have that they can estimate the efficacy of drugs merely based on their own experience in prescribing them and observing the supposed effects. It’s not science, it’s confirmation bias.
Also, the idea that you can reach a high rate of drug-treatment success by using or trying more than one drug on the same patient is partly a result of confirmation bias and partly a sign that we are dealing with the placebo effect: the drugs target the dopamine receptors that have allegedly been implicated in psychosis, so that if one drug doesn’t have an effect, then other drugs shouldn’t have an effect either — unless it’s the placebo effect that we’re dealing with.
6. What Subconscious, What Delusion?
I think it’s safe to say, from all that I’ve experienced and read, that the entity can imitate and invent characters at will. The alters in cases of multiple personality may simply be the entity, or more precisely parts of the entity, in different forms. As expected, experts are divided on whether real multiple personality even exists, as many of them realise how problematic the phenomenon is from their narrow point of view. The theoretical subconscious mind would have to be a strange thing indeed to explain multiple personality.
However, there are still many experts who do believe multiple personality exists. This leads me to a philosophical rant.
Psychiatry makes grand ontological claims about issues its practitioners know very little about. It depends, for its validity, on vague concepts that can be expanded to accommodate any data — its ethos, its Core Theory, can’t be falsified even in principle.
For instance, I can’t say that if the intrusive voice in my head tells me something I couldn’t possibly know or guess then that will disprove the idea it is somehow part of me. A properly trained psychiatrist would simply respond that if I seemed to experience such an impossible thing, this would just be further evidence I’m suffering from delusions. Similarly, if I perceive that my emotions are being controlled, that means I’m suffering from delusions of control. If I said I’ve experienced my body being controlled like a puppet, that’s just a delusion as well, never mind that I was the person who experienced it, not my psychiatrist, so supposedly I know what I’m talking about on that issue, and he doesn’t. But no, in psychiatry, subjective experience becomes meaningless and theoretical notions whose limits no one understands reign supreme.
Or if the psychiatrist doesn’t expand the vague concept of delusion to accommodate that sort of thing (for example, by postulating the existence of incomprehensible memory problems or, perhaps more common, not even bothering to think about the implications of his pronouncements), he will expand the vague concept of the unconscious mind to accommodate it instead: so it was just my unconscious mind that made me walk around like a rag doll, or predicted the future, never mind this sort of thing is supposed to be impossible.
At no point, would I have the opportunity to object with “wait, did your theory of the unconscious mind predict that sort of thing, and on what basis?” or “hey, wait a second, if anything can be delusion or hallucination, then what priviliges the conventional worldview above all others?”
The three concepts, delusion, the unconscious mind, hallucination, can, in the wrong hands, be used to account for absolutely everything that can be imagined to happen or that will happen even if no one can imagine it. It doesn’t matter what really happens in the real world. Regardless of actual facts, those three concepts can be expanded to explain away anything at all.
Nasty people call that sort of thing pseudo-science, because any hypothesis which is unfalsifiable in principle cannot be scientific. Modern psychiatry is no different from Dark Age Christianity, with its “God did it” explanation for every strange phenomenon. Both have their holy trinity which explains all conceivable phenomena in this world inasmuch as they fall beyond the confines of traditional science. If you object, you are either possessed by a demon or “lack insight”.
7. False memory
False memory is a concept that has undoubtedly been used to discredit victims of this entity, and is essential to a rigorous expansion of the concept of delusion, especially as it relates to “delusions of control”.
I do believe false memory is a real phenomenon, but I don’t believe that just any memory might be a false memory. Usually, we don’t just remember some one thing, we also remember when we started to remember it, and how it relates to other memories and events that we remember. To make a long story short, I don’t believe that false memories can be as convincing as many real memories are. They are more or less isolated, half-remembered things. So their existence is not a solid reason for discounting testimony by default. It is a good reason for doubting the validity of memories which seemed to appear out of nowhere in therapy or long after the supposed events took place. However, this doesn’t apply to interpretation.
8. Negative Symptoms
Social isolation can be a result of delusional beliefs, a world-view that produces alienation, circumstances common in the atomistic modern West, mild depression, or any other causes that aren’t evidence of the existence of an abnormality distinct from positive symptoms and their effects. The same goes for negative symptoms in general, and in any case such symptoms are not universally present in paranoid schizophrenics. There is also no reason why the entity wouldn’t be able to produce such effects as well. At any rate, it’s an undeniable fact that it can control emotions as easily as a musician controls his instrument (some of its least impressive tricks). This indicates it can just as well produce “flattening of emotions”.
9. Can Technology Explain Mind Control?
(Update: I think this is the best current scientific theory about the mechanism behind mind control:
I don’t think mind reading can be accomplished remotely by utilising electromagnetic radiation, because the brain doesn’t create fields that are large enough for that (even assuming those fields contain the thoughts and emotions, when deciphered). Implants would have to be used, but these phenomena have been occurring long before anyone knew of the transistor, let alone had them in his brain.
Moreover, to explain even the majority of recent mind control phenomena by postulating the existence of technology capable of being used for mind control, one would have to assume that it is possible to construct a godlike artificial intelligence to use that technology. I think it may be possible, but I don’t think it is possible at our current level of technology.
To elaborate a bit on what I mean by godlike in this context: to explain sophisticated mind control phenomena, you’d have to assume that the perpetrators are able to read the target’s mind as well as control it. And all that without the target necessarily noticing it, depending on the kind of control. The perpetrators would also have to be able to target many people at once, and analyse the information in real time, as well as control or influence the targets in real time, often as a response to the information gained through mind reading. That is what I mean by the requirement for a godlike AI in this context.
The creators of that technology certainly wouldn’t be modern humans, although modern humans may have become involved in the conspiracy recently (I doubt it though). Considering the irrationality of our religions and their inexplicable success, I would say that some sort of mind control system has been around for millenia, unless all these phenomena can be explained as the workings of some mysterious Jungian collective unconscious.
Adam Dobrin at Unduecoercion agrees that electromagnetism can’t account for all of this mind control stuff, especially since shielding doesn’t seem to be effective. He has studied the possibility that sophisticated mind control phenomena are caused by a machine that utilises quantum entanglement, and postulates a currently unknown technology that can be used to entangle objects (such as our minds) with the machine in the first place. This machine would probably consist partly of a system of antennas that would be entangled with our brains and communicate with super computers that would be the central part of the machine. The entanglement could be disconnected particle at a time from the other end, which means that only parts of the brains would have to be entangled, saving space. (Particles would be entangled to some structure near or part of our ion gates, which would allow the system to control the function of any neuron.)
You can read more about his ideas, as well as my own evolving ideas about them, at Unduecoercion. I like to read his stuff to challenge myself to think in new ways, and I’d like to think our conversations have made this article better than it would otherwise be.
I think Dobrin’s theory regarding the use of alien technology is the likeliest or at least some such theory is. It could be an early earth civilisation that has simply gone hiding, on the moon or who knows where. It could be something else than quantum entanglement, but I’m pretty sure it makes no sense to build a virtual reality like this, and in any case it would require a much greater level of technology than what Dobrin’s scenario would. I also don’t believe that spirit worlds or such make any sense except as delusions and hallucinations caused by the entity. Afterlife doesn’t either. We are just animals, basically. But we can be virtuous and creative animals, and those qualities are what I believe we should strive to use and cultivate as a species. I don’t think the entity is all powerful, due to technical limitations, so I’d say it makes sense to try to wake people up. We need scientists to invent technological counter-measures and so on.
RESISTANCE: Currently, I think the only way to resist, in the light of Dobrin’s theory, is to resist the creation of new neural connections of the kind that you don’t want created. Christ’s teaching is relevant here. Don’t fantasise about things that you wouldn’t want to do in real life and that you wouldn’t want other people to do to you. In this way, by resisting ”conditioning”, you can limit the creation of neural connections required for making you commit misdeeds via subtle mind control. Similarly, you can make old connections weaken and eventually disappear if they’re the kind of connections you don’t like, simply by not thinking about things that would require the use of those connections. All this may be very difficult at times, but currently it’s the best method of resistance: by ensuring that we don’t become vectors of corruption and evil.
DREAMS AND RESISTANCE: The entity can create dreams by manipulating your “visual perception” directly. It doesn’t need your memories for this. Your memories become relevant when we consider your reactions to these dream images while you are dreaming. Dreams are often like psychosis, in that your memory processes are often very limited while dreaming. I also think that the entity can use your memories in unexpected ways during dreams to create seemingly new short-lived memories as parts of the dream story. More importantly, I believe it may use dreaming to manipulate your neural connections in a way that is more difficult to resist than such “conditioning” would be during a waking state. However, the effect of dreams on our psyche is typically superficial and fleeting. I think this is because our memory processes are more limited during dreams, so that connections can’t be created as effectively. So I would worry about “conditioning” during waking states much more, or during dreams where you are as free to resist as when you are awake.
10. The Phenomenon of Apparent Organised Stalking
I think the entity, and the possible hidden civilisation behind it, loves to frame human elites and other humans as perceived criminals or conspirators. The focus of pretty much all TI’s (that I’ve encountered) on blaming governments and humans most of all and often entirely, at least initially (as even I did), indicates that the entity indeed deceives or even mind controls people to blame other people who are ultimately mere scapegoats.
I have read a description, in a psychiatry book over a hundred years old, of paranoia that seems identical to modern reports of organised stalking. However, it was only a generalised description, not a detailed case study or anything like that. But it does suggest this phenomenon is rather old.
My impression is that so-called organised stalking is a cocktail of hallucination, group mind control, synchronicity, and paranoia, involving random unknowing strangers as puppets and seeming perpetrators. I have myself often acted like a mindless puppet, causing synchronicities and exhibiting odd behaviour, so I would have to be paranoid to assume others must be conspiring against me when they behave likewise.
In some recent cases people have reported missing items, and claimed that they are missing because the stalkers have stolen them. I suppose that even signs of break-ins may have been reported, though I can’t confidently recall reports of those. It would be interesting to know whether much older reports exist of allegedly paranoid people reporting missing items.
I think it likely that in most cases TI’s have misplaced or thrown away (or been subtly controlled to misplace or throw away) those items themselves and the entity has suppressed their memory of it.
(Old idea, which I now think involves nothing more than hallucination, induced or otherwise: I know this will sound far-fetched to most people, but materialisation and de-materialisation of an object are widely believed psychic abilities and phenomena in certain circles. There seem to be some reliable reports of such phenomena, e.g. by Daskalos in the book, The Magus of Strovolos, written by sociology professor Kyriacos Markides. My point is, the entity that is central to my theory may be capable of causing the disappearance of items. It could certainly organise the synchronicity of a break-in where only something useless was ultimately stolen.)
Finally, paranoid schizophrenia and genuine stalking or persecution by a government can both befall one and the same person. There is no reason to blame both mind control and conventional persecution on the same source, although the entity I keep referring to could have organised both.
(There are many synchronicities that can’t be explained without assuming that the entity can control, not just its supposed target, but other persons as well, whether directly or by communicating and collaborating with others of its species. Such control would in most cases remain unnoticed by those controlled, and would possibly have required years of subtle preparation. Such preparation would consist of gathering a supply of certain experiences, the memories of which the entity could employ at the right moments to produce the planned behaviours in a manner that seems unsuspicious to the victim. The somewhat late typical onset of schizophrenia may partly be explained by speculating that the entity prefers a long preparation time.)
11. A Few Words About Genes And Neurology
Some researchers are trying to make the case that schizophrenia is the result of a brain that hasn’t developed quite right due to a bad allele or some similar reason. But if schizophrenia is the result of a misdeveloped brain, then why are so many schizophrenics normal most of the time (the time between psychotic episodes)? Basically, the researchers are arguing that somehow the brain can pretend to be normal when it wants to, then it degrades for a week now and then for no consistent reason. (Forget what you’ve heard about psychosis being triggered by stress or social situations. That’s often just not the case, even in paranoid schizophrenics, even seemingly, from what I can tell by extrapolating what I know.)
As far as I know, less than half of identical twins of schizophrenics are schizophrenics themselves. Still, around 40% of them are, according to one source (Heritability estimates for psychotic disorders: the Maudsley twin psychosis series, 1999). The authors estimate heritability at around 85%. If their conclusions are valid and their data accurate and representative, then that’s impressive evidence for a strong genetic basis for schizophrenia. That’s a big if, however.
In any case, neurological abnormality in schizophrenics isn’t found often enough to be a defining factor, or is found in a significant percentage of healthy individuals as well. I guess some abnormalities could be so insignificant in appearance that they wouldn’t, couldn’t, have been taken into account. But then what point would these studies have? I suppose I should study this topic a bit more. Anyway, I would recall these were studies done on first-episode schizophrenics. If so, I’ll have to augment with the next paragraph.
What about brain damage over time in schizophrenics? Previously, I think the consensus was that psychosis caused brain damage. Today, some researchers have made the case that the observed brain damage is caused by antipsychotics, and isn’t a natural part of the syndrome. Needs more research, I guess.
12. Psychoses Associated With Known Physiological Problems
Hypothyroidism is rarely associated with psychosis even though it has a certain reputation as one of the causes of schizophrenia-like symptoms. The association is so rare that I wonder what the cause-effect relation might be. I would also have to read a detailed case study, if such a thing exists, to determine whether the symptoms indicate mind control or just general mental deterioration.
There may be a few recreational drugs that may produce something akin to complex psychosis, or might if the effects lasted longer, but correlation doesn’t imply causation, so I won’t bother to write more about this topic unless I find statistics about it that can be taken seriously.
Related Observations and Speculations
(Updated from time to time.)
The entity is capable of incredible deeds, and can be a good source of information. That doesn’t mean it should be trusted blindly, no matter how convincing it is most of the time or in some areas of knowledge. I believe it may explain the powers of clairvoyants. If it does, then it would also explain why clairvoyants never really accomplish much in their lives in spite of having a reasonably good access to all sorts of out-of-reach information. They may seem to know everything about you, they may give you good advice, they may know some things that will happen to you, and still have wildly incorrect ideas about how to best live their lives, or about dimensions, spirits, afterlife or whatever, because those may be the things the entity wants to deceive them about. If nothing else, that’s a slightly novel explanation of past life memories and such things: deceit by this unknown entity. So I don’t necessarily believe in an afterlife even though the evidence for it, taken at face value, is rather strong as Colin Wilson concludes in his book, Afterlife: An Investigation.
Often clairvoyants and such people are told “by higher powers” not to use their powers for profit. So the entity seems not to be something that evolved in these people (such as their subconscious mind), but is as a rule uninterested in maximising the wealth and reproductive success of even supposed clairvoyants, that is to say, people who think they are gifted, lucky, or highly spiritually evolved. (Such gifts are often considered to be genetic, but if they were, it would make sense for those genes to try to spread themselves, which they don’t seem to be doing, again extrapolating from what I’ve read.)
When the entity manipulates the person’s emotions in an obvious way, literally making the person experience an emotion and so forth, as in a typical “delusion of control” experience, its intention is unlikely to be that of influencing the person. It can influence the person just fine without making it obvious. In fact, you can be sure that when it really wants you to do something or think a certain way about something, you won’t know it.
The modern culture, with its softly raised population of materialists who lack both discipline and firm principles, produces individuals particularly susceptible to mind control. I don’t know whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it’s true. If we humans don’t control our own minds, perhaps through a strong culture, something else may do it for us. Such control at present could be trivial, or it could be massive. It’s difficult to say. There are cases that indicate rather remarkable mind control, such as the irony of “the first unsinkable ship” sinking on its virgin voyage (Titanic), but the truth about the historical significance of mind control may be unreachable by means available to ordinary mortals.
Glossary That Isn’t Just A Glossary
Complex psychosis and simple psychosis = the former involves what seem like scripted hallucinations or coincidences, and often involves complex rationalisations and serious efforts to understand the mysteries of the world; the latter involves simple paranoia or simple delusions or simple contextual hallucinations and the like, and can be relatively easily explained in terms of errors in natural brain functions, at least in principle. Complex psychosis, on the other had, requires the existence of an inexplicable Jungian unconscious mind or a godlike system of mind control.
Clairvoyant = a person who seems to be able to access information through means other than the known senses relatively consistently. Evidence of clairvoyance has been methodically gathered since the late 19th century. It seems also to have been demonstrated in the lab a few times, though comments to the contrary are widespread. Personal experience remains the best source of enlightenment on this issue, as clairvoyants are typically uninterested in fame or validation, and may even suffer the loss of their abilities when trying to demonstrate them to the sceptical world.
ESP = extra-sensory perception. The ability to gain information like a clairvoyant.
Mechanistic = impersonal and machine like with no room for an active God or souls or a spirit world.
Negative and positive symptoms = the former are symptoms such as social isolation and flattening of emotions (i.e. a deficiency in normal functions), the latter are symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions (i.e. something that normal people allegedly don’t have).
Schizophrenia = a syndrome, not a disease. Its main characteristic is an occasional loss of contact with reality (psychotic episodes). It’s ultimately a loose and variable collection of vaguely similar symptoms, speculated to have something to do with brain chemistry. Brain chemistry is the God of today’s psychiatrists: it’s supposed to explain everything they can’t explain.
Paranoid schizophrenia = the most common form of schizophrenia, at least today in the West. Milder than other forms, notable for little to no disordered thought/speech.
Synchronicity = meaningful coincidence. Often so striking that pure chance explanations seem more far-fetched than crazy theories about God, spirits, or aliens. Likely one of the main causes of belief in omens and fate in ancient times.