Part of the Retrocausal Engineering sequence
(Epistemic status: Unsure, but it seems to fit a pattern that includes me and several of my friends – this might be a mental framework thing)
Psychosis is how your mind resolves paradox.
The time after stream entry is one of a lot more mental power than one is used to – it can be hard to reconcile this, especially when one has bad habits in their life that rely on distortion of reality and lies to oneself. When a life of delusion has much more mental strength, it’s inevitable one would be standing on the line between sanity and a psychotic break. Fortunately, that same power can be used to close Pandora’s box as it is opening.
In our dealings with others and the world, there can be a lot of pain and suffering. One way of resolving this is by lying to ourselves and changing how we see reality – in my case, I have behaved in ways that have caused pain to those closest to me, and when given feedback that this was happening, distorted my understanding of the situation such that I wasn’t actually wrong. You can also deny the world is the way that it is and insulate yourself from painful realities – this works out fine if you’re lucky and don’t have to face the consequences of avoidance. However, the fall off that particular cliff tends to be very rough if you aren’t looking out for it.
Psychosis is a very interesting phenomena – your world becomes more and more wrong. Visual hallucinations, auditory hallucinations – the world becomes more and more as if you are just by default on drugs. For the most part, I haven’t actually experienced this, but I have been at the brink. Where it wasn’t certain whether I would make it through with my sanity or if I would break. In my case, I had a decision to make at the brink – whether I would hold onto a stubborn view of reality that allowed me to be right, or admit fault in a situation and consider how to improve. The world was flickering and fluxing in ways that felt really uncomfortable before I turned around and decided to face it. Accept that I was wrong, and move on. The world instantly became a lot more normal and stable and sleeping was much easier after resolving the conflict. The cause became obvious in retrospect – my mind does not allow self dishonesty to the level that I would have needed to sustain the protection from ego injury.
I have heard others experience this in a way that felt like pressure – being forced to believe things that go against their experience due to the risk of being hurt if they didn’t believe those things, and having their world correspondingly be less stable, with spikes in instability occurring when the belief is forced on them. In a reasonable external environment, resolution of psychosis can occur through varying types of acceptance or reframing of one’s experience – in less reasonable environments, I would expect a catatonia of sorts.
One can trade their sanity for power, but this approach has quite a few costs, and without a ground to return to, one can get lost for a very long time. It might be fun to play with frames of magic, time travel, and reality warping, but in the end, most of these are an API for intuitive skills built by experience – and psychosis is how your brain keeps you honest. It is a shattering of that API until you can be trusted to use it again – a rude awakening to the ways you are pushing against your limits (either with relationships or other resources) recklessly.
Overall, paradox is in fact something that our minds track, and they do not appreciate being used as instruments to perpetuate it. The more you do weird things, the weirder your world becomes – should you ever find yourself with something that looks like powers, be very very careful with how you use them – these are extensions of your representation of reality, and a betrayal of that reality is a betrayal of the mind. Avoid paradox unless necessary, and be sure to process the paradox one way or another if you must induce any.