Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
After the shouted exchange up at the Merkl Gap our situation now looked hopeless. As I made my way back over the snow slope to Gunther I was completely beside myself with desperation and bewilderment, shaking ,and stumbling as I went. I watched myself fall over several times, tearing a hole in my hand with my crampons.
It was almost as if there was a second me up there, as if I was looking down on myself from above. Perhaps I had lost my mind for a moment, lost all contact with reality. I was a split personality viewing myself in the third person, and the thing was - I did not find it at all unusual.
Wild and conflicting emotions plagued me as I stumbled along. What could we do?
I could see no way out now. I knew we were lost, doomed to die. I fell again, rolled down the slope like a bundle of rags, screamed my frustration out, then stood up and suddenly I was calm again.
I can still hear my desperate screams echoing inside my head, even today, but I no longer know why I reacted so savagely. It was as if reason had deserted me, as if all that remained was a body and its animal instincts.
'Now it's you who is crazy’ Gunther said, and from the tone of his voice I concluded that he knew he had been acting crazy himself before.
It snapped me out of my raging confusion; it was like waking from a terrible nightmare.
The source of the experienceMessner, Reinhold
Concepts, symbols and science items
Activities and commonsteps
OverloadsClimbing high mountains
Reinhold Messner – The Naked Mountain