Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Holy Spirit, Mental Illness Linked


Some get it. Some don't.

Paul of Tarsus was hung over and had been smoking opium when he was overcome with it. Jesus of Nazareth was tempted by it in the desert after fasting. Joseph Smith was 18, drunkenly praying that God would forgive him for sins of debauchery when he got it. Wovoka witnessed a solar eclipse on peyote that compelled a generation of Ghost Dancers.

Metanoia, visions, angels, the Holy Spirit--God's work on Earth, Right?

Maybe it's all in your head.

NPR's religion correspondent, Barbara Bradley Hagerty, went looking for the "God Spot," that place in the human brain that receives the Holy Spirit then compiled her results in a book she called The Fingerprints of God where she describes Temporal Lobe Epilepsy with a scientist's fascination in exquisite detail.

In July of 1997, two and a half years after my younger sister was killed in a car/bicycle accident (she was on the bike), I was drowning my sorrows at Orman Dam.

The full moon nuzzled Bear Butte as a thunderstorm erupting on the western horizon directed the remnants of sunset at the Hills; slashes of fire, then blood splashed the mirror in the south. My sister, out there dancing with Terry Peak in that crescendo of existence-or-not-epiphania said to me, “I am Living Rock, I am Water. All Life begins here.”

So hey! Call me crazy. I got it, too!

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