Custance, John - Wisdom, Madness and Folly - On the depressive phase
Type of Spiritual Experience
The depressive phase of manic depression is equivalent to the shamanic 'dive' the difference being that it is involuntary. In going 'down' the vibrational levels to find what is in memory and also in your hidden perceptions you inevitably come across 'demons' all of which are yours, but many of which could have been inflicted on you by others.
Shamanic cultures use the experience to purge themselves of any learnt functions and learnt facts [the demons] that inhibit their growth. Thus as long as you believe that it is possible to expunge the demons, this can be turned from a terrible negative phase into a positive one from which one emerges 'cleansed'.
Shamanic 'diving' requires enormous courage and indeed those with manic depression require much the same. By going down the vibrational levels one is in effect distancing oneself more and more from one's Higher spirit and the levels of love and Light, hence the complete sense of isolation one feels and lack of love for oneself. The composer, however, carries on working to help, most of what you receive is in the form of visions.
For details of Expunging demons see the Common steps section
A description of the experience
Wisdom, Madness and Folly - John Custance
I lay in my bed in the ward of the Hospital dominated above all by an over powering sense of fear. At first I did not know exactly what it was I feared, except of course that my mind, which I strove as hard as I could to keep blank, would insist on working around .. ordinary, human fears…. Wisely, no attempt was made to get me up, and I lay as motionless as I could, covering my head as a rule with the bedclothes, partly to shut out the sights and sounds of the ward and partly as a sort of instinctive reaction…..
Anyway, there I lay for some days, only putting my head outside the clothes to eat my food, take my drugs, and for absolutely necessary purposes. Gradually, however, the sounds if not the sights of the ward forced themselves in on my consciousness.
In the bed opposite me there lay, also in a state of extreme misery and dejection, a patient …. He moaned unceasingly; I could not help hearing what he said. He only said two words, at least I never remember hearing him say anything else. Those words were, “no hope, no hope, no hope,” ceaselessly repeated in a hollow moan. I soon learnt his name; it began with the fatal syllable Bar.
I was barred, my mind began to repeat to me, barred from hope, there was no hope for me. The obvious association soon followed. I do not know much Italian, but I had once made an attempt to read parts of Dante’s Inferno in the original… So that was where I was going was it?….
I did in fact make three attempts at suicide, the most serious of which was when I tore myself from my attendant and threw myself in front of a car, with my poor wife, who was visiting me, looking on