chapter  10
19 Pages

Autobiographical accounts of a religious psychosis


My experience of psychosis was several years ago. Part of the diffi culty in writing about it these many years later is because I have changed since then. I have found a means of understanding, interpreting and integrating my experience, although back then I had no such means of doing so. When my experience occurred, I had not known of a single human being in the history of the world who had ever had such an experience. I did not know what to call it, so I simply called it ‘The Story’. In the course of my recovery I discovered other names: ‘Dark Night of the Soul’, ‘The Night Sea Journey’, ‘Shamanic/Gnostic Initiation’, ‘Encounter with the Unconscious’, ‘Spiritual Emergency’, ‘Ego Collapse/Ego Death’ and more. I also discovered that in this culture my experience was considered to be one of psychosis or schizophrenia.