I am very hesitant to tell this story. It may seem that I have no problem sharing my personal stories. This is a story I don’t know how to talk about. I know there are those who share this story, but this is my version:
I want to try to describe what my first encounter with ‘insanity’ was like.
I put that in quotes because I think that mania can partially be a spiritual experience as well as a complete breakdown. In my view it can be both simultaneously.
Let’s start from the very begining a very good place to start. I was 24. This was before I was diagnosed as Bipolar or Manic Depressive.
I was lying in bed. I had had my first panic attacks ever. I had taken Klonopin the night before. I was lying there and I heard a voice in my head. I didn’t hear any sound in my ears, it was just in my head. It said: “Wake up.” So I did.
“Go to the window and look outside.” I felt compelled to listen to this voice, so I got up and walked over the cream colored carpet and stared out the window. It was a sunny beautiful summer day. No one was outside, but the grass was as green as ever.
“What do you see?” the voice asked me.
“I see the sky and the green green grass and the neighbors house,”I replied silently in my head.
“You are in Heaven,” the voice said. I looked around again, this time more closely.
“But everything is the same,” I responded.
“Exactly,” the voice said.
I didn’t really get it. I was confused. Am I still in a house, with my family? I looked all around the room, nothing had changed. The walls were still white, nothing had moved. Except one thing, me: I was completely relaxed and at peace. I was suffering from panic attacks and extreme anxiety the night before. It was all gone. I felt free.
I don’t remember if the voice said anything to help me understand what was going on, but finally the voice came back.
“You are god,” it said.
For a moment I felt the complete universe inside me. There I was, there god was, in the trees, in the blue blue sky, in the green green grass. There I was, in everything. I was everything and everything was me. For a few moments I was at complete peace.
Then the voice went away, as suddenly as it came. nina came back on earth, as quickly as she had risen to heaven. The anxiety came back, it was almost worse. What am I supposed to do now? I thought. “Am I supposed to tell my family that I am god?” I silently asked. I pictured myself as a big huge fat man…then I looked in the mirror, with my long hair and flushed cheeks.
I started to freak the fuck out. I went in the shower and cried violently. I didn’t go to work, I couldn’t go to work. I had to speak to someone, but no one was going to understand. I was scared, scared of myself, scared of the world. How could I explain this to them? To be continued…
OK let’s stop for a second here. I’m an English instructor, what is really happening in this story? Let’s analyze it, let’s write a paper on it. What does it mean to hear a voice in your head? In clinical terms it means you have a mental illness. And I do.
Could god have been communicating with me? That is a matter of opinion. Yes, I think god was talking to me. I have to tell you something, I don’t feel comfortable sharing this with the entire world wide web. But something is compelling me to tell this story. Now how can I be crazy and be talking to god? I don’t know how crazy works, but I’ll tell you this. A lot of people who are in psychiatric wards think some spiritual being is talking to them. Let’s hypothetically say that spiritual beings, including god, can communicate with people. Why do these people go crazy?
In my humble opinion the human mind and body is not ready for this. It shocks the system and creates havoc. It creates what you call insanity. It creates physical symptoms, mental symptoms and can be deadly. Mental illness is real. So is this, whatever you want to call it.
I think I was enlightened for a moment. Now you may ask, do I think I’m an enlightened person? Yes and no, more no than yes. I think enlightenment comes and goes. There are times when I feel like I’m channeling a source. There are times I’m more human than you are, all I want is a glass of wine, some chocolate cake and a good laugh. Sometimes I’m exceptionally miserable. We call this depression. I think the depression is when I forget my essential nature is pure love. It is also depression in the clinical and medical sense and that is why I take anti-depresents.
Just because I think it’s a spiritual condition to be manic and depressed does not mean at all that I’m suggesting that anyone, including me, ever get off of their medication. I will tell you, maybe in the future, what happened to me when I got off of my meds. Let me repeat that: I’m not telling you to get off you your meds. You can still have enlightenment with your meds. It is a lie and a myth that medication stops source from entering you. Maybe man made medicines, but god is in man, so god made medicines, so we could handle our spiritual states. So we could sanely find peace.
At first I did not tell a single soul about this experience. How could I, I thought? They would lock me up, they would not understand.
This voice said I was in Heaven. Most of us think Heaven is a place far away in the sky. In my religion, Sikhism, we believe Heaven and Hell are on Earth. We believe there is a place where god resides in the universe that is the ‘real’ Heaven, and we don’t believe there is a place called in Hell in this universe. We think that Heaven and Hell can both be experienced on Earth.
For a moment there, i thought i was in heaven. heaven with a little h. the earth heaven. my mind felt pure love. i loved that grass that i was looking at and the sky and myself in the mirror. i loved that god i was talking too.
Now you might ask, so do I think I am god? No. I think you are god.
I think that each one of us is a god, has god inside us, and in our true selves we are the entire universe. I think of myself more of a goddess than I think of myself as a god. I am a very flawed person. I can be mean, egotistical and angry. I’m not god. I repeat this, so no one goes away thinking that I think I’m god: I am not god in the traditional sense that we think of god. I am simply her daughter.
The voice I heard had no gender. However after I was done with my little experience, I thought of it as male because the world has jaded me so much into thinking god has a gender. After many years of dealing with this ‘condition’ it has occurred to me that it is about time that a woman be telling this kind of story. Men have been telling these kind of stories for ages.
I would like to make a disclaimer: This is my individual experience only. I am certified as mentally ill. However, not every mentally ill person or bipolar person has had similar experiences. Some people do not have a spiritual experience when they first discover they have a disease. Often times the experiences they have are very negative and related to suicide etc. Just because I had this experience does not mean I’m special. I happen to think everyone is special and that god is communicating in some form with everyone. The way I believe god communicates with most people is through intuition, thought and experience.
(I have to have a caveat for those who don’t believe in god. For you this is all my imagination and I have a chemical imbalance and that is as far as it goes. I’m OK with that because I do have a chemical imbalance. In my eyes the chemical imbalance caused a spiritual balance. In your eyes I was having a delusion. I respect an atheist’s opinion because you are questioning authority, the greatest authority: religion and god.)
If you do believe in god, you might think this is real or you may think it is a severe hallucination. Either way, it is my experience.
When is the last time you thought the universe or god might be giving you a sign? This sign could be in the next song you hear, in the next article you read, the next commerical on T.V., in the next word you hear someone utter…