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Dr Navneet Johri - Spirituality and Mental Health

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Presentation by Dr Navneet Johri - Spirituality and Mental Health. Presented at the Western Australian Mental Health Conference 2019.

Published in: Healthcare
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Dr Navneet Johri - Spirituality and Mental Health

  1. 1. Spirituality and Mental Health Dr. Navneet Johri Senior Clinical Lecturer UWA-MBBS, DPM, MD, FRANZCP Consultant Psychiatrist 1) Bibra Lake Specialist Centre- private practice & 2) Headspace Early Psychosis Joondalup 20th November 2019 WAAMH Conference
  2. 2. Spirituality is (and) Mental Health ✤ Spirituality is regarded as an essential mental health and wellbeing dimension by WHO-QOL definition
  3. 3. 3 parts to this talk 1. Evidence (it’s scope) and definitions of spirituality 2. Objective vs Subjective (lessons from and for basic sciences) 3. Introduction to Advait (Non Dual) Philosophy
  4. 4. 1. Evidence (it’s scope) and definitions of spirituality
  5. 5. Scope of Evidence Traditional Sciences ✤ Seemingly Objective: If I see it, you should also see it (replicability) ✤ Our search for truth (basic physics, chemistry and biology) is an external search. ✤ Assumption that we will find something outside ourselves Spiritual domain ✤ Everything that happens is internal- our private internal world ✤ Includes first person experience (thoughts, feelings, desires intentions, tendencies) ✤ Evidence: I can see it within myself and you can too Misleading Entities  Only I can experience it and no one else  OR you can experience it too, but only after death (heavens)  This could still be true but clearly there is no evidence Evidence within Spiritual Framework is possible
  6. 6. “Contemporary medicine is perhaps best characterised by as technomedicine, a mood boggling outcome of Spencerian tradition, rushing onwards and upward to a Utopia where health is understood purely in terms of biology, tamed through technological intervention and maintained by responsible individuals. In techno medicine the questions related to moral and spiritual side of individual are considered merely as frills of culture and have no place in an economically driven scientific regime” –Margaret Lock
  7. 7. Spirituality: Some Definitions ✤ The Special Interest Group of RCP ✤ The essentially human, personal and interpersonal dimension, which integrates and transcends the cultural, religious, psychological, social and emotional aspects of the person, or, more specifically, concerned with soul or spirit. ✤ Royal College of Psychiatrist 2006 ✤ In healthcare, spirituality is identified with experiencing a deep-seated sense of meaning and purpose in life, together with a sense of belonging. It is about acceptance, integration and wholeness.
  8. 8. Spirituality: Definition contd.. ✤ In every human being there seems to be a spiritual dimension, ✤ a quality that goes beyond religious affiliation, that strives for inspiration, reverence, awe, meaning and purpose, even in those who do not believe in God ✤ The spiritual dimension tries to be in harmony with the universe, strives for answers about the infinite, and comes essentially into focus in times of emotional stress, physical and mental illness, loss, bereavement and death. Murray & Zentner, 1989)
  9. 9. “We join spokes together in a wheel, But it is the centre hole, That makes the wagon move. We shape clay into a pot, But it is the emptiness inside, That holds whatever we want. We hammer wood for house, But it is the inner space That makes it livable We work with being, But non being is what we use” Tao Te Ching English translation by Stephen Mitchell
  10. 10. 2. Objective vs Subjective (lessons from and for basic sciences)
  11. 11. We cannot claim that Consciousness (you the self) arises from Matter
  12. 12. “Hard problem of Consciousness” ✤ The nature of consciousness seems to be unique among scientific puzzles. ✤ Not only do neuroscientists have no fundamental explanation for how it arises from physical states of the brain, we are not even sure whether we ever will. ✤ Astronomers wonder what dark matter is, geologists seek the origins of life, and biologists try to understand cancer—all difficult problems, of course, yet at least we have some idea of how to go about investigating them and rough conceptions of what their solutions could look like. ✤ Our first-person experience, on the other hand, lies beyond the traditional methods of science. ✤ Philosopher David Chalmers: coined this term- ‘hard problem of consciousness’
  13. 13. Or “The hard problem of Matter?” ✤ Consciousness is not uniquely troublesome. ✤ Gottfried Leibniz and Immanuel Kant, philosophers of science have struggled with a lesser known, but equally hard, problem of matter. ✤ What is physical matter in and of itself, behind the mathematical structure described by physics? ✤ This problem, too, seems to lie beyond the traditional methods of science, because all we can observe is what matter does, not what it is in itself— the “software” of the universe but not its ultimate “hardware.” ✤ On the surface, these problems seem entirely separate. But a closer look reveals that they might be deeply connected.
  14. 14. “there is a strong parallelism between concepts of reality, Brahman and Shunyata in the eastern religious scriptures and modern physics. These scriptures describe Brahman as the universal cosmic consciousness. It is manifested in some form in every object of the universe. ”
  15. 15. Does Religion offer any benefits? Koenig et al, 2001; Huguelet & Koenig, 2009). Faith expressed through religious affiliation &/or other forms of spiritual identification • Wellbeing • Illness prevention • Health recovery • Ability to cope Positive correlation 100 Studies
  16. 16. ✤ Research has also not shown that lack of spiritual/religious inclination results in disease
  17. 17. 3. Introduction to Advait (Non Dual) Philosophy
  18. 18. Are you an object in front of the lenses of your own perception? -Mooji (Adwaitin Master) Or, are you a subject behind the 5 perceptual lenses + thoughts (“mind”)? Or Both? Or Beyond?
  19. 19. ✤ Once, if this can be convincingly sorted out, humans (individuals) and society, will live an infinitely peaceful existence; and a lot of unknown, in terms of basic sciences and medical sciences will be solved! (It’s a bold claim!) ✤ “This”: the person constantly seeking answers and asking questions- most quintessential questions to most mundane..is an object in front of a BASIC sense of AWARENESS..
  20. 20. Case Scenario
  21. 21. Spiritual Therapy- a novel modality of psychotherapy 1. Symposium presented at RANZCP Annual Congress Auckland May 2018 & 2. World Psychiatric Congress Melbourne Feb 2018
  22. 22. Spiritual Therapy App (iOS store)
  23. 23. Email interests or queries/fe Navneet.johri@blsc.

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