The following public domain images were used:
|David Tenier's Alchemist in his Lab|
|William Fettes Douglas - The Alchemist|
Extract from Doctoring the Mind by Professor Richard Benthall
As the above visual narrative is about alchemy and the desire to use drugs to change the emotions to provide equilibrium to a person's mind, here is a more scientific insight into this theory.
"Origins of the chemic-imbalance explanation for mental illness.
The brain consists of about 100 billion neurones or electronically charged cells, which are connected together in circuits of almost baffling complexity. The computations carried out by these circuits sustain our thoughts, feelings and behaviour. Each neuron consists of three main components: a cell body, a tree-like structure of dendrites that receive stimulation from other neurones, and an axon which projects forwards and stimulates the dendrites of other neurones further along the circuit.
The neurons do not actually touch each other; rater the axon of one neurone comes very close to the dendrite of the next at a special junction, known as a synpase. Each neurone may be connected to thousands of others in this way. When a pre-synaptic neurone fires, it secretes a chemical, known as a neuro-transmitter, into the synaptic cleft.
This binds to a receptor on the next dendrite of the post-synaptic neurone in the circuit, causing it to become electrically excited in turn. Complex biochemical processes are then involved in the re-uptake of the neurotransmitter from the synaptic cleft, so that it is cleared from the synapse in preparation for the next time that the pre-synaptic neurone fires.
When the post-synaptic neurone is stimulated by a neurotransmitter arriving at a receptor, an electrical potential is created inside the cell. These potentials (summed from several firings of the same pre-synaptic neurone, or from a number of pre-synaptic neurones firing at approximately the same time) determine whether the post-synaptic neurone in turn fires, discharging an electrical spike along its axon and releasing its neurotransmitter. It is by interfering with this process that psychiatric drugs affect thinking, emotions and behaviour."
So how does this connect with spirituality?
It is the spirit of a person (his mind/emotion) which produces electrical charges, that's why it is crucial to heal the spirit or soul of a person. Just like the spiritual laws in nature are manifested in the physical laws producing the phenomena of lightning and winds.
Excess drunkenness can also produce psychosis. Alcohol taken in excess, is converted by your body into acetaldehyde, a toxin, causing headaches and nausea (physical symptoms) and white congeners - another toxin - irritating the stomach. This same toxin then affects the brain which in turn effects the minds and emotions. Some people who are drunk are known to become more violent whereas others become giggly and silly.