Custance, John - Wisdom, Madness and Folly - The gorilla
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Wisdom, Madness and Folly - John Custance
It was towards the end of the last war, in the late autumn of 1944. I was at the time engaged in exacting Intelligence work, involving long hours and much night duty; nervous breakdowns were not uncommon among us. One night, when I had just got home from work, a little patch of damp on the wall opposite my bed took on plainly the shape of a gorilla….
……..as I looked at the visionary gorilla on the wall of my little bedroom, I spoke to her.
"Who are you?" I asked……….
I did not actually hear her voice replying; I have never experienced true auditory hallucinations. Yet she spoke to me quite clearly in my inner consciousness.
"I am the other Eve” she said, "the Harlot Eve who fell. Satan, who is the Serpent in Man, tempted me to my fall, but I rose again. For I am Astarte, I am Ashtaroth, I am the Great Whore of Babylon, yes and Aphrodite of the Greeks and Cleopatra and Helen of Troy, too. Look on me, man, as I really am.”
And as I looked, the gorilla in the patch of damp seemed to take on the shape of a lovely woman. I do not really know whether she was dark or fair, though I have the impression that she was dark, like Rider Haggard's Ayesha in the caves of Kor. At the same time the voice became softer and sweeter.
"P B", she said, using a family nickname, "I am many others too. I am all fallen women since the world began; I wantoned in the groves of Nineveh and Babylon; I danced before the Golden Calf of Bethel and upon the hillside of Greece in the wild worship of the young Dionysus; and as Mary Magdalene I loved the Lord Jesus and for once knew peace. But I know it no longer, for I represent the great Negative path which the world today has neglected and forgotten, so that it is chased to its destruction by all the furies of Hell."
The vision disappeared. I realised that an elated period was coming on, so the next morning I got leave and went home. Within two days I was in hospital with acute mania.
Such was my first meeting with the "anima”. Since then I have seen her in many forms; in mania she is always near me.
The source of the experienceCustance, John
Concepts, symbols and science items
SymbolsBride and bridegroom
Darkness and Light
Masculine and feminine
Yin and Yang