Some science behind the scenes
One class of people who are able – usually involuntarily – to gain access to the spiritual world on an almost regular basis is the so called ‘mentally ill’ – manic depressives, schizophrenics, epileptics, savants, autistic and so on. We can add to this a whole range of people with dementia, Parkinson’s disease, migraine sufferers, the blind, the deaf, those with tinnitus, those with anosmia, and more.
Some of these people are classified as ‘mentally ill’ or ‘psychotic’ because they hallucinate and are given drugs or shock treatment or any number of other truly awful ‘treatments’ to rid themselves of this abnormality. I even came across an instance in researching love making as a mechanism of spiritual experience of , heaven help us, doctors who think ‘deep love’ is also a disease and needs to be treated!
I really do think we need to rethink our attitude here.
These people are not ill in the conventional sense of the term. They don’t have a virus or some nasty germ. They don’t have cancer or similar life threatening diseases.
They are just different, and in most cases are extraordinarily gifted. We should be trying to help them get over any distress caused by the gifts they have been given, but we should not be trying to remove the gift. We should be valuing them not trying to treat them.
They have been gifted whether they wanted it or not with a wide open door to the spiritual world.
I have not made many strong personal statements on this website [although there are plenty of opinionated ones!] , but this is one area I do have strong views about.
Although these people may be convinced by doctors that their condition is some kind of a ‘curse’ because they are not ‘normal’, I think they should be nurtured, cared for, valued and helped to use the gift they have been given in a constructive and positive way for them and for wider mankind. They are special, very special.
Rene Descartes – Key Philosophical Writings
I am here seated by the fire, attired in a dressing gown, having this paper in my hands and other similar matters. And how could I deny that these hands and this body are mine, were it not perhaps that I compare myself to certain persons, devoid of sense, whose cerebella are so troubled and clouded...... that they constantly assure us that … they are clothed in purple when they are really without covering, or who imagine that they have an earthenware head or are nothing but pumpkins or are made of glass.. But they are mad, and I should not be any the less insane were I to follow examples so extravagant.
At the same time I must remember that... in my dreams representing to myself the same thing or even less probable things, than do those who are insane in their waking moments. How often has it happened to me that in the night I dreamt that I found myself in this particular place, that was dressed and seated by the fire, whilst in reality I was lying undressed in bed
From a Zimbabwean newspaper
While transporting mental patients from Harare to Bulawayo , the bus Driver stopped at a roadside shebeen (beerhall) for a few beers. When he got back to his vehicle, he found it empty, with the 20 patients nowhere to be seen.
Realizing the trouble he was in if the truth were uncovered, he halted his bus at the next bus stop and offered lifts to those in the queue. Letting 20 people board, he then shut the doors and drove straight to the Bulawayo mental hospital, where he hastily handed over his 'charges', warning the nurses that they were particularly excitable.
Staff removed the furious passengers; it was three days later that suspicions were roused by the consistency of stories from the 20.
As for the real patients: nothing more has been heard of them and they have apparently blended comfortably back into Zimbabwean society