Custance, John - Wisdom, Madness and Folly - A truly truly special experience
Type of Spiritual Experience
All you need is love
A description of the experience
Wisdom, Madness and Folly - John Custance
It began in the autumn of 1938, when I was just 38 years of age. For some years I had suffered from bouts of nervous depression, and I had had one attack of elation. None of these had been really serious, however; at any rate I had not had to be confined in a Mental Hospital or Asylum. I had been free of trouble for rather more than a year and had settled down in a congenial job.
The first symptoms appeared on Armistice Sunday. I had attended the service which commemorates the gallant dead of the "War to end Wars". It always has an emotional effect upon me, partly because my work has had a good deal to do with the tragic aftermath of that war in Europe. Suddenly I seemed to see like a flash that the sacrifice of those millions of lives had not been in vain, that it was part of a great pattern, the pattern of Divine Purpose.
I felt, too, an inner conviction that I had something to do with that purpose; it seemed that some sort of revelation was being made to me, though at the time I had no clear ideas about what it was.
The whole aspect of the world about me began to change, and I had the excited shivers in the spinal column and tingling of the nerves that always herald my manic phases.
That night I had a vision. It was the only pure hallucination I have ever experienced; though I have had many other visions, they have always taken the form of what are technically known as "illusions".
I woke up about five o'clock to find a strange, rather unearthly light in the room. As my natural drowsiness wore off, the excited feelings of the day before returned and grew more intense. The light grew brighter; I began, I remember, to inhale deep gulps of air, which eased the tension in some way. Then suddenly the vision burst upon me.
How shall I describe it? It was perfectly simple. The great male and female organs of love hung there in mid-air; they seemed infinitely far away from me and infinitely near at the same time. I can see them now, pulsing rhythmically in a circular clockwise motion, each revolution taking approximately the time of a human pulse or heartbeat, as though the vision was associated in some way with the circulation of the blood.
I was not sexually excited; from the first the experience seemed to me to be holy. What I saw was the Power of Love-the name came to me at once-the Power that I knew somehow to have made all universes, past, present and to come, to be utterly infinite, an infinity of infinities, to have conquered the Power of Hate, its opposite, and thus created the sun, the stars, the moon, the planets, the earth, light, life, joy and peace, never-ending.
Surely I must have seen the eternal dance of Love that was Goethe's great vision? The Eternal Feminine draws us ever on, but at the last, and beyond-Time and Space, the opposites are reconciled, the Eternal Masculine and Feminine are united and there is Peace.
In that Peace I felt utterly and completely forgiven ….
The whole of infinity seemed to open up before me, and during the weeks and months that followed I passed through experiences which are virtually indescribable. The complete transformation of “reality" transported me as it were into the Kingdom of Heaven. The ordinary beauties of nature, particularly, I remember, the skies at sunrise and sunset, took on a transcendental loveliness beyond belief. Every morning, quite contrary to my usual sluggish habits, I jumped up to look at them, and when possibly went out to drink in, in a sort of ecstasy, the freshness of the morning air.