How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy-Toxoplasma consciousnesses

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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gavesako
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How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy-Toxoplasma consciousnesses

Postby gavesako » Wed May 22, 2013 12:30 pm

Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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BubbaBuddhist
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Re: How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy-Toxoplasma consciousnes

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Wed May 22, 2013 3:47 pm

Thank you for that Venerable. It is the most interesting thing I've read in a very long time. :anjali:

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kirk5a
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Re: How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy-Toxoplasma consciousnes

Postby kirk5a » Wed May 22, 2013 3:56 pm

Thank you Bhante. Weird and somewhat disturbing. I have had a cat for years, as well as most of my childhood. :spy:

It all reminds me of a book by Madeleine L'Engle called A Wind in the Door. I was quite fascinated by it when it was read aloud by my 5th grade teacher. Various kinds of fantastical beings cruising around the human body, engaged in some sort of very important drama. Reading the summary on Wikipedia, I see it says "Meg learns that the galaxy is threatened by beings called Echthroi, who seek to erase the entire universe by un-Naming things." A curious notion, from the Buddhist perspective. :smile:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Wind_in_the_Door
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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Re: How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy-Toxoplasma consciousnes

Postby binocular » Wed May 22, 2013 4:11 pm


PeterB
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Re: How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy-Toxoplasma consciousnes

Postby PeterB » Wed May 22, 2013 6:48 pm

I will not address the possible parallels with Buddhist concepts , but the possibility of a vector which is partially responsible for schizophrenia and other major disorders is potentially highly significant.
It is accepted by much of mainstream psychiatry that the schizophrenias have a number of causes, and that to all intents and purposes they can be thought of physical conditions.
Should it prove to be the case that parasitism is a major causative factor in this group of conditions...and the evidence is growing..it will be the cause of changes in the approaches to the management of the condition as radical as was the discovery of the bacteriological cause of stomach ulcers.
It is one more factor that indicates that " mental " illnesses are no such thing.
They are in fact of two kinds..physical conditions that effect mental functioning on the one hand, and faulty learning on the other.

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David N. Snyder
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Re: How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy-Toxoplasma consciousnes

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed May 22, 2013 7:07 pm

Re: the cat issue

IIRC from reading about Toxoplasma when my wife was pregnant, the cat primarily gets the parasite from eating infected mice or rats outside. If you have a house cat that doesn't go out, your chances should be minimal to nil of getting this -- at least I hope so.
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purple planet
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Re: How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy-Toxoplasma consciousnes

Postby purple planet » Wed May 22, 2013 8:32 pm

the cat thing is known to me for a long time and it is crazy and very intersting - but what the monk said is crazy even more -

what do you think of it ?

what im not sure i understood right : i understood that there are no defilement just other conciseness - did i understand correctly ? or is the monk saying that the defilement are made of conciseness
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance

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Kim OHara
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Re: How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy-Toxoplasma consciousnes

Postby Kim OHara » Thu May 23, 2013 1:14 am

Fascinating (and somewhat disturbing) article, Bhante - thank you.
I am inclined to think the parallels in the dhamma talk are basically coincidental. Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo seems to be using the multiple animals/consciousnesses mostly as a metaphor and where is does use them literally the science is a bit wobbly ... :thinking:

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Feathers
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Re: How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy-Toxoplasma consciousnes

Postby Feathers » Thu May 23, 2013 3:55 am

So "crazy cat lady" is a medical condition now? :rolleye:
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Kim OHara
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Re: How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy-Toxoplasma consciousnes

Postby Kim OHara » Thu May 23, 2013 5:12 am


Feathers
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Re: How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy-Toxoplasma consciousnes

Postby Feathers » Thu May 23, 2013 6:00 am

Aww man I was looking forward to having the perfect excuse :tongue:
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Reductor
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Re: How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy-Toxoplasma consciousnes

Postby Reductor » Thu May 23, 2013 6:19 am

That is very disturbing. :thinking:

binocular
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Re: How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy-Toxoplasma consciousnes

Postby binocular » Thu May 23, 2013 7:11 am


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Re: How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy-Toxoplasma consciousnes

Postby Kim OHara » Thu May 23, 2013 10:17 am


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Dan74
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Re: How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy-Toxoplasma consciousnes

Postby Dan74 » Thu May 23, 2013 1:37 pm

I am generally very cautious with such findings. If they really have the dopamine increase due to the parasites worked out, that's serious, but if this is a hypothesis relying on statistics, then I am more doubtful. Since as many as one in three people in many populations are suspected to be carriers of toxoplasma parasites, it is easy to match it to all sorts of things.
_/|\_

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Re: How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy-Toxoplasma consciousnes

Postby binocular » Thu May 23, 2013 4:04 pm


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Dan74
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Re: How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy-Toxoplasma consciousnes

Postby Dan74 » Thu May 23, 2013 4:15 pm

It's odd that they imply that schizophrenia started when cats became adopted as pets. I think this is a very big call and very hard to believe. It would be very easy to correlate cat ownership with schizophrenia, as long as cat ownership implies a higher risk of toxoplasmosis, which is most likely does.

On the other hand it may be the old "correlation does not imply causation" adage - perhaps people with mental illness like cats?
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Re: How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy-Toxoplasma consciousnes

Postby PeterB » Fri May 24, 2013 8:19 am

There is no suggestion in the research of a simple causative principle Dan. Toxoplasmosis is providing a useful line of inquiry with reference to one causative factor...others include a genetic predisposition and cultural/environmental factors. There is evidence that some carriers of the parasites have brain plaques of a type not seen in other conditions.
The likelihood that the schizophrenias have a physiological dimension and probable cause has been known for many years..Toxoplasmosis may help to explain some cases to some degree. And if so, this offers hope to tens of thousands who are currently being treated by psychotherapies which do not show positive results for the majority of those with major psychoses, or by controlling the symptoms with heavy sedatives.
Incidentally there is no suggestion in the original research that it necessary to own a pet cat to get the infected with the parasite. Making a historical link is speculative because until relatively recently there was no description of the group of conditions we now call schizophrenia.

If some kind of link is established I think we can expect to see efforts made to find a satisfactory way to control the parasites in the feline population in a more radical and thorough way than is now the case...

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Re: How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy-Toxoplasma consciousnes

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri May 24, 2013 4:51 pm

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