Oliver Sacks - Bus conductor and angelic voices
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Oliver Sacks – Hallucinations
Kenneth Dewhurst and A. W. Beard, in a 1970 paper, provided several examples of [religious experiences during seizure]. One related to a bus conductor who had an ecstatic seizure while collecting fares:
He was suddenly overcome with a feeling of bliss. He felt he was literally in Heaven. He collected the fares correctly, telling his passengers at the same time how pleased he was to be in Heaven. . . . He remained in this state of exaltation, hearing divine and angelic voices, for two days. Afterwards he was able to recall these experiences and he continued to believe in their validity. . . . During the next two years, there was no change in his personality; he did not express any peculiar notions but remained religious. . . . Three years later, following three seizures on three successive days, he became elated again. He stated that his mind had "cleared." . . . During this episode he lost his faith.
He now no longer believed in heaven and hell, in an after life, or in the divinity of christ. This second conversion – to atheism - carried the same excitement and revelatory quality as the original religious conversion.