Custance, John - Wisdom, Madness and Folly - Unity with the All
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Wisdom, Madness and Folly - John Custance
I come now to the third main feature of the manic state. It is difficult to know just how to designate it, though it is obviously closely allied with the first two features. Perhaps it can best be described as a "breach in the barriers of individuality". What Professor Grensted has called, if I remember rightly, the "sense of estrangement, fencing in a narrowly limited ego" disappears altogether.
The shell which surrounds the ego and so often gets harder with the years is pierced. The experience partakes of the nature of the good-fellowship produced by alcohol; it also constitutes in some degree a regression to a childish faith and confidence in the benevolence, the "akinness" of the surrounding world. The best description I know of it is in some lines of Walt Whitman’s;-
"Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace
and knowledge that pass all the argument of the earth,
And I know that the hand of God is the promise of my own.
And I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own,
And that all the men ever born are also my brothers,'
and the women my sisters and lovers,
And that a kelson of the creation is love."
It is actually a sense of communion, in the first place with God, and in the second place with all mankind, indeed with all creation. It is obviously related to the mystic sense of unity with the All, ……in fact it is probably the same sense.