One of the things you won’t be seeing here is much authoritative opinion. My stance on spiritual matters these days is that we don’t know much of anything. The one thing I do know is that love is the grease by which the cogs in our machine operate, knocking off rusty bits that otherwise might clog up the whole works.
One verse of the Bible I have been following is John 14:26. I love the book of John, by the way. It’s a mystical love letter. At any rate, here it is:
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
Here’s the thing. The Holy Spirit doesn’t always teach you things that other people will agree with. He doesn’t teach things that make you feel safe and secure in your established belief system. He doesn’t teach anything that will make you fit in. At least this has been my experience.
Speaking of fitting in, I’m lonely a lot. I don’t know many people whose hobby it is to endlessly philosophize and try to figure things out. In fact, it often drives my husband crazy, as he wishes I’d keep my feet a little closer to the ground.
Back to the Holy Spirit. I asked God a couple of years ago to show me the truth. I asked and asked and asked. Jesus says that if you seek you will find. So when I started getting answers to my questions — answers that have been unexpected — I had to take them in stride and not reject them because they didn’t fit with my existing belief system.
Things that have been pointed out to me lately include the idea that God has revealed Himself to everyone everywhere through the Tao Te Ching, the Bhagavad Gita, the Torah and many other sources, including Jesus of course! We see through a glass darkly, so the constructs of the stories are not the same, but the root of them is. The message is that we connect ourselves with God through love.
The dreams are another thing. And a couple of weeks ago, I had a vision/hallucination of a techno-scroll with lots of symbols endlessly scrolling by. I don’t know the meaning of all these things, but I’m thinking it is like a puzzle that will eventually be put together. One thing that is certain is that attending my local church is not going to help me very much with all of this. Not to say that being part of a community would not be beneficial — just probably not in this particular manner.
I think it would be easy to say I am simply losing my mind. The thing is, I am perfectly functional and otherwise rational. I hold down a job, cook a mean meatloaf and somehow manage to keep a fairly clean house. Of course, what “losing your mind” means is that you no longer hold the same beliefs as the people around you when it comes to reality. So by East Texas standards, I’m insane, but in Austin or Portland, Oregon, I’d get a clean bill of mental health.
I’ve become fairly comfortable with uncertainty, though. Perhaps that’s the key — not freaking out because my experiences don’t align with a lot of other people’s.
On another note, I feel like I’ve “figured out” schizophrenia, at least a little bit. I was reading about DMT, a natural substance produced by all living things that when released endogenously or deliberately injected, causes not only hallucinations, but hallucinations on the order of people being fully convinced they are not hallucinating, but experiencing another reality entirely.
I was reading accounts of DMT trips, and I was struck by how similar they were — not only to each other, but to experiences my son with the schiz diagnosis has had. For example, it is not uncommon for people to experience living an entire lifetime in an alternate reality while on a 15 minute DMT trip. People see elves, futuristic machines and have conversations with entities who reappear from trip to trip — even those who do not know it is common to experience those things while on DMT.
I started thinking that perhaps people with schizophrenia have more DMT in the brain than most people. I researched this and found out it is indeed the case!
I’m thinking we are all finely tuned by our brain chemicals to experience this particular reality. If our brain chemicals get out of whack via drugs or a state such as schiz, parts of another reality that are on another “frequency” might start breaking through.
Say consensual reality is the frequency of 98.8. When our bodies are functioning normally, ie. we are not on drugs or otherwise seeking to create an “other reality” experience, we are “tuned” to that frequency and experience reality as we know it.
However, if things are out of whack somehow, instead of being tuned to 98.8, we might be tuned to 99.0. In that case, like a car radio that picks up two stations at the same time — creating a mishmash of classic rock and country — things that we pick up from a different frequency (reality) might start breaking through. An insane person who cannot function at all in our society might be tuned to 103.2.
There are different ways to “tune” our bodies to a different reality. Doing hallucinogenic drugs or plant medicines, having a fever, fasting or otherwise putting the body under extreme stress — all of these things can cause another reality to break through. I’ve read that during times of fasting, stress and the physical death of the body, blood levels of DMT rise. Make sense?
These are not “safe” things to believe. Some people will fight tooth and nail to preserve their working definition of reality. I don’t blame them. It can be scary to consider that everything we’ve thought was real may be as flimsy of a construct as a decaying leaf.
And where does God come into all this? Well, He is there all the time. We don’t have to put him into a box. And we should realize, that in the words of a C.S. Lewis, he is not a “safe lion.”
*Disclaimer: I’ve never ever done a hallucinogenic drug.