Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Abnormality vs. Possession

Abnormality vs.  Possession
I just happened to watch the movie “Exorcism of Emilie Rose” right now. The movie was made in the year 2008, and is apparently based on a true story.
This movie made me think of a number of things, and as I write this I still have a plenty of questions on my mind.
·        Does anything like spirits exist?
·        Do people really get possessed?
·        What is the difference between the exorcist rights which are performed and the medicines which are given to clinically abnormal patients for treatment?
·        How do, if yes, merely chanting helps the person get free from the spirit that possesses him/ her?

This movie reminded me of the comparison I had drawn between clinical therapy, psychiatry and the exorcist rights that would be performed at Balaji, Rajasthan. A place well known for freeing people from the ‘sankat’ that possesses them in addition to there being a temple of Lord Hanuman.

This movie, to me, indeed seemed very convincing as far as the existence of ‘dark forces’ is concerned. But Philosphy makes me question not to believe anything on the basis of ‘just’ what I have seen. Well surely this was not a face to face interaction of mine with a spirit or a person who is possessed that I can take it further; but what I think, after watching documentaries telecasted at Discovery of people narrating true stories of their encounters with spirits or eerie events surely there is a possibility of the existence of spirits.
Of course to help ourselves from any kind of harm, we use the defense of denial so as to soothe that part of the brain which gets threatened after hearing such stories.

As I heard a senior of mine at my college share with me the events that would take place at
the Balaji temple (note: just heard) I had goosebumps as I tried imagining the atmosphere there. She told me that the sufferer would be brought by his family members and at times it would take years to free him from the ‘sankat’. As the rights would be performed, the clothing, the hair (in case of a women) would be freed, so that nothing would entangle the person, and then the rights would be performed.

It would be fair enough to say that no matter where science has reached today, surely some studies do seem to have been done which do indicate how exorcism leads the person to get free vs. a medical psychiatric treatment.

As I watched the movie, I had words like ‘catatonic rigidity’ and ‘auditory hallucinations’ going in my mind as the prosecutor lawyer uttered them. But the way Emilie’s behavior was portrayed in the movie, it in no way seemed that she was suffering from any kind of mental abnormality.  

I’m sure as you read this; you’ll find a lot of loose ends in this prose. Yes, I admit it myself, for they are my spontaneous thoughts.

What I wonder is, that a year back as I read about Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), earlier known as Multiple Personality Disorder, I also watched the movie ‘Three faces of Eve’ and ‘Sybil’ in addition to reading Sydney Sheldon’s book ‘Tell Me Your Dreams’ .

Now my point is, I totally freaked out simple as ‘I read and saw’ about DID. Of what I have come to learn, it is a mental abnormality. What about a case of possession? Where not only the victim but his/her whole family undergoes the trauma, the shock of their family member’s suffering? Where the ‘dark forces’ refuse to leave your presence? How would one live in such an atmosphere?

I’ll leave you as I leave myself to ponder over these questions, perhaps some things just ‘come to us’ making us change in ways we never imagined! What do you think?


Anonymous said...

possessions can never be healed clinically, its a proven fact as its not an abnormality. Your worries and guesses are correct and being a psychology professor it does force you to think such instances, cases, studies.
Dark force do exist, why, where, when it takes control of human body is beyond our imagination.(as per my readings) they are performed not only in India but even in so called advance countries by some people with malicious intention.

Unknown said...

Hi Akriti,
I read your blog with much interest even though I donot agree with most of the things that you have mentioned. They maybe true, but I am just a NON believer. What I believe in, EVIL is nothing but the inhuman thoughts that occur in a human mind!
I will like to tell u abt sumthin,
theres a persom I knew, whose sister got sick, she was taken to the hospital, she didn't talk to any1, niether did she respond to anythin!
She was mentally unwell, no1 knows what exactly was wrong with her. Her parents thought shes been possessed. So they took her to people who perform exorcism. They hit her with a broom. Hit her mercilessly, even though she was bleeding. They told her family that she will get unconsious when the 'ghost' or whatever spirit had possessed her! She DID faint. But never got up.
She was beaten to death! Is that exorcism? Is that how a sick person is cured? I would rather believe in taking care of the person and trying to know the cause of her sickness!
I agree with you that this movie DOES leave us with questions. But exorcism thats shown is NOT how its done in reality. I was too not aware about this unless I seen this happening to someone quiet close.
A huge apology if you found anything rude, but I hope you understand. No hard feelings Akriti, your a great writer :)
Takecare and keep writing.

Unknown said...

Hi! Well,I believe in spirits. There are probably some dimensions which is rarely seen by the human eye. I had once observed a student back then in high school. She was possessed for merely 2 hours i think. But what had struck me is that before it happened, we were at a prayer gathering and suddenly she was possessed. The crap scared me to hell. Anyways, you should watch paranormal 1 and 2. It also gives you auditory hallucinations. :)

Aakriti said...

Dear Khush: Hey apologies ok?? what u shared was ur point of view..n m in no way hurt at all..I totally respect wht u listen.I think dear there is a misunderstanding. From what u just shared, I personally think that if at all one feels that a person is actin in an unusual and a bizzare fashion, then surely the first thing is to take him to a psychiatrist or a psychologist. Taking a person directly to those who do jhaad phoonk is to be considered another option..u knw?? As for the ppl staying in rural India is concerned, surely they have their own beliefs. And yeah..I really do not know if I believe in all these things(spirits) or not..unless I experience them personally.

Aakriti said...

@ Joross: Well..u did happen to experience it quite closely..U knw I used to think spirits stay away from prayer gatherings or churches...but I guess they have enough power to overcome prayers as well..and well Paranormal activity:p...dude..??That'll be shit scary. I remembr watching its trailer and that was enuf to freak me out:P

Aakriti said...

@ A: Well yeah...exorcism rituals are not only happng in India but in many other countries as well..and I do agree with u wen u say that we have no clue of the existence or the presence of the dark forces unless we start feeling really creepy all of a sudden..thnks for reading:)

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