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Observations placeholder

Custance, John - Wisdom, Madness and Folly - You have won the great prize, you know, what are you going to do with it



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Wisdom, Madness and Folly - John Custance

There have been times, ….when other patients have said things to me without any prompting which corresponded in a very remarkable way with what was in my own mind at the time, as though some sort of telepathy was involved. One of the best instances which occurs to me was during my last manic period.

I was overwhelmed at the time with delusions of grandeur, and dreamt one night that I had won a great prize for which the whole world had competed. When I woke up, St Paul’s words were running in my head: “They that run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize" and a flight of ideas on these lines took, as it were, possession of me.

Almost the first patient I met that morning was another manic-depressive who said to me: "You have won the great prize, you know, what are you going to do with it?"

My memory of the incident is quite clear, and I am quite certain that I made no suggestion to the patient in question; in fact he made the remark before I had even spoken to him.

That telepathy is possible and works through the Unconscious is increasingly recognised by psychologists, so a tendency towards telepathic communion by those  who, owing to abnormal mental conditions are under the dominion of the Unconscious is presumably to be expected. Whether any experiments with mental patients have been conducted on these lines I do not know,  but it would be a fruitful field. I would emphasise that the instance I’ve quoted is only one among many. The remark of my fellow patient did not surprise me in the least, though the first time I had an experience of this kind it produced extreme excitement, since it seemed to confirm my ideas.

The source of the experience

Custance, John

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Manic depression