Thelmar, E – 21 Neither his words, his presence, nor his reasonings ever penetrated to my consciousness at all
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The Maniac – A Realistic Study of Madness from the Maniac’s Point of View – E Thelmar
The doctor has since remarked to me that when I had insane ideas in my head, and he reasoned with me about them- as he did daily- and told me that were nonsense, I should have accepted his word and reasoning, and been convinced my horrors were nonsense and non-existent.
What he seems quite unable to grasp is that neither his words, his presence, nor his reasonings ever penetrated to my consciousness at all!
I never argued with him, never divulged any of my sufferings to him, never told him one of my "horrors," never even myself imagined some of the horrors I have since learnt my lips told him, never held any conversation whatever with him except exactly what I will narrate.
Therefore, the actual facts of madness being what I have above stated, any doctor who expects from a lunatic patient what that doctor's remark shows he expected from me is more unreasonable than any lunatic!
Even were a lunatic conscious of the doctor's arguments on any point, it surely would be unreasonable of that lunatic to accept the word of another person contrary to the evidence of every one of his own senses-which is the evidence lunatics have as to the reality of all they are experiencing.................
I have been told since, by the doctor, that the nurses complained to him that I used to refuse to swallow the food that was put into my mouth, that I would spit it out of my mouth. It is quite possible I may have done so. I might have done anything during all these days, and I should not have been irresponsible for my actions-that is quite the wrong expression to make use of with regard to maniacs. The actual fact is this: Maniacs are, a very great part of the time, wholly unconscious of their actions.......
.........one of the most vitally important [aspects]of my narrative [is] the extreme danger that exists in accepting any statements made by lunatics when they are in an "unconscious" condition (and doctors evidently cannot tell at all when lunatics are really "conscious” or really “unconscious "), and of regarding as " lucid intervals " periods during which, in reality, the patient may be absolutely "unconscious" - showing what great caution is necessary in the estimation of "consciousness " and in the acceptance of statements. Otherwise, cruel injustice is done to perfectly guiltless persons.-