Faith or Obsession?

Obsession and faith often tend to  share a perverted relationship. Indeed the definition of mental imbalance referred to as “obsession” too often also applies equally to religious “faith” to an alarming degree.

Obsession is defined as a compulsive preoccupation with a fixed idea or compulsive feeling that generates a driving emotion—more often than not with symptoms of anxiety. When unreasonable ideas or emotions infect mental function to the point of preoccupation, extremism becomes the inevitable consequence. The now-archaic understanding was that obsession was the state of being beset or actuated by the devil or evil spirits. On the other hand, hearing voices from a burning bush or from visions that no one else could detect is presented as  being divinely endowed.

Such “faith” is routinely whitewashed as: “A confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness” of an idea, thing, or person. Religious “faith” is therefore presented as a reliance that need not depend on logical proof or material evidence–miracles, to them, are answers, not things that are questionable. “Faith” is also praised for an unquestioning loyalty to man-formulated doctrines and for extending numb trust that “sacred” texts that were written by various unknown mortal beings present the only access into spiritual enlightenment for man. The difference between “faith” and “obsession” thus hinges soley on how an individual’s egomaniacal temperament functions.

Both the words “faith” and “obsession,” in actuality, refer to some form of ego-gratifying conviction that panders to a sense of exclusivity. And any sense of exclusivity always results in mental obstructions. The next step for the faithful or the obessessed is then extremism–a condition that today infects so much of the world.  When “faith” fanatics try to take over worldly politics, history has shown that the end result has always been disaster for the subjugated, and mankind’s potential for truly moral conduct has been rendered impotent.

Recent research into brain activity has revealed that prominent neurological occurances linked with religious impressions are activated and intensified in the limbic system–the part of the brain governing basic activities such as self-preservation, reproduction, and expressions of fear and rage. It has been shown also that the prefrontal system of the brain–the prefrontal cortex and the parietal cortex of the brain–play an influential role in an individual’s religious devotion. Interestinly, persons suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorders are shown to have dysfunctional activity in the same prefrontal systems.

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One Response to “Faith or Obsession?”

  1. You are so interesting! I don’t think I’ve truly read something like that before.
    So wonderful to find another person with some unique thoughts on this issue.
    Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This web site is one thing that’s needed on the web, someone with a bit of originality!

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