Thelmar, E – 23 Experiencing a perfect ecstasy of vitality utterly unreachable and unimaginable by any normal, living human being
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
Throughout my attack of madness, I was conscious of three distinct sets of “pulse.”
The first was when I was alone and no “voices" were speaking to me. That pulse was so slow that I felt almost dead. It was a terrible pulse. While that lasted I was bereft of every spark of vitality.
Then there was the second pulse. This began when the voices began speaking to me. I very much preferred it to the first pulse, as, when it commenced, my vitality began to revive. But it was not a comfortable pulse. When in full swing it resembled exactly a quick, cavalry trot. My sensation, throughout its duration, was very like the extremely uncomfortable one of trotting when one has not learnt to "rise"! Always, at this pulse, my brother Oliver’s "voice" led the “trot."
Then there was the third pulse. This commenced whenever Ray Hall's “voice” spoke with me. No sooner did he join in, than the trot would begin to quicken. Faster and faster would it become, until always Oliver’s “voice " alone (besides Ray Hall's) remained able to keep up with the pace. Then I would say to Ray Hall- "Come! Let us put on the pace until nobody can keep up with us!" Then it felt to me as if the trot quickened and quickened into a canter (delightfully smooth and comfortable), and attained to a gallop (the while my exhilaration increased and increased in intensity, keeping pace with the increase and increase in our speed), and passed on into such a racing- pace that every one, one after another, and Oliver last of all, dropped breathless behind, and I and Ray Hall sped onwards in an ever wilder and wilder rush-panting at our own speed and yet at the same time utterly at ease, just as a tobogganer or motorist might sit utterly at ease and yet breathless from the rapidity of his rush through the air; on and on we sped, laughing, talking, experiencing a perfect ecstasy of vitality utterly unreachable and unimaginable by any normal, living human being.
Words cannot convey to the sane mind one smallest notion of the mad ecstasy of those wild rides!
If madness consisted wholly of such experiences as I have described I experienced whenever Ray Hall and I talked together when none of our "torments" were going on, then I would say:-Give me madness, for choice, for the rest of my life, and shut my body up in a lunatic asylum, or a dungeon, or wherever you please!
Wherever that body lay would be immaterial to me, I should be clean quit of it, transported in ecstasy-not to the calm Nirvana of the Buddhist, nor to the Crystal-sea'd, Angel'- harping Heaven of the Christian, but to the pulsing Heart of Life-to Creation's Central Maelstrom of Vitality and Bliss.
Unfortunately, these experiences were few and far between, and the reduction of them altogether was evidently the aim and object of the doctor- who seemed always to wish to reduce me to the “dead " pulse (probably the only "pulse " during which I was not in a brain fever!), I do not think I had more than two of these rushing rides after I changed rooms; and after I had had Ray Hall shut up in his coffin and had left him alone to die, I naturally had no further experience of them-for I never experienced them except when conversing with Ray Hall.
Without these, and without Ray Hall to talk to me at all-either to make me laugh by his brilliant witticisms or to continue our work on our joint books, serious and comic-I found life shorn of all joy and amusement, and aim and object, and full of nothing but misery and suffering-most incomprehensible misery and suffering. I felt terribly depressed.