While waiting in the car for the AH to get the pizza at Papa Murphey’s the other day(delicious pizza by the way), I checked one of my favorite apps on my iphone. I’m not a big news watcher for several reasons, but the main one is I can’t hear a dang thing with two three year olds around, so I prefer to just read it at my leisure on CNN almost always from my phone. I can do that while the kiddo’s watch their morning cartoons or while waiting in the car.
That’s how I stumbled across the article titled: Homer Simpson isn’t the only would-be “Messiah” in Jerusalem.
I don’t watch the Simpson’s but I have before and I was curious as to how Homer could in any way shape or form be compared to the Messiah. I learned two things from that article. Firstly, I might need to start watching the Simpson’s again because it sounds funny. Secondly, there is such a thing as Jerusalem Syndrome.
n a delusive condition affecting some visitors to Jerusalem in which the sufferer identifies with a major figure from his or her religious background
Source the English Collins Dictionary
As someone who is interested in psychology,(remember I have a degree in behavioral science from a christian university), I found this very interesting and disturbing. It just goes to show you people hear what they want and need to hear, from their deity. It’s not just Christians that this happens to it happens to Jew and Muslims too, all hearing from their God. I can understand how emotional it must be for them visiting such a holy place, how they urgently need and want to feel closer to their God. Now granted quite a few of these people are already emotionally unstable, but there are a handful with no prior emotional issues. Apparently the individual goes through a series of steps.
Jerusalem syndrome as a discrete form, uncompounded by previous mental illness. This describes the best-known type, whereby a previously mentally balanced person becomes psychotic after arriving in Jerusalem. The psychosis is characterized by an intense religious character and typically resolves to full recovery after a few weeks or after being removed from the locality. It shares some features with the diagnostic category of a “brief psychotic episode”, although a distinct pattern of behaviors has been noted:
- Anxiety, agitation, nervousness and tension, plus other unspecified reactions.
- Declaration of the desire to split away from the group or the family and to tour Jerusalem alone. Tourist guides aware of the Jerusalem syndrome and of the significance of such declarations may at this point refer the tourist to an institution for psychiatric evaluation in an attempt to preempt the subsequent stages of the syndrome. If unattended, these stages are usually unavoidable.
- A need to be clean and pure: obsession with taking baths and showers; compulsive fingernail and toenail cutting.
- Preparation, often with the aid of hotel bed-linen, of a long, ankle-length, toga-like gown, which is always white.
- The need to shout psalms or verses from the Bible, or to sing religious hymns or spirituals loudly. Manifestations of this type serve as a warning to hotel personnel and tourist guides, who should then attempt to have the tourist taken for professional treatment. Failing this, the two last stages will develop.
- A procession or march to one of Jerusalem’s holy places.
- Delivery of a sermon in a holy place. The sermon is usually very confusing and based on a plea to humankind to adopt a more wholesome, moral, simple way of life.
Is that not interesting? Strange but interesting.