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Observations placeholder

Custance, John - Wisdom, Madness and Folly - Mind over Matter



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Wisdom, Madness and Folly - John Custance

The great emotional forces, whose power seems to be almost unlimited, have charge of the personality.  Reason, to use the Platonic metaphor, no longer controls the chariot; the horses of passion and instinct have run away. The immense enjoyment that they have in doing so governs one's whole being.

All brakes or clogs or checks on the whole functioning of the psycho-physical mechanism are removed; the channels of instinct are freed;  the libido can flow where it will.

That is, I suppose, the reason for the intense sense of well-being, which is physical as well as mental, and not wholly illusory. My digestive system functions particularly well, without the slightest trace of constipation or diarrhoea, and I have an inordinate appetite. Metabolism is rapid. I can stand cold without difficulty or discomfort; an inner warmth seems to pervade me. I can, for example, walk about naked out of doors on quite cold nights-to throw off my clothes is incidentaily a strong impulse and presumably symbolises the freedom from restraint which is a feature of the whole condition. My skin seems peculiarly resistant; I have walked barefooted on stony and thorny ground, squeezed myself naked through furze fences and so on without suffering discomfort.

Perhaps this is akin to the strange feats of fire walkers or dancing Dervishes. It certainly seems to show the influence of mind over matter. I fear nothing-freedom from fear is another notable symptom-so nothing seems to hurt me.

The source of the experience

Custance, John

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Manic depression