At the age of thirty, I had a psychotic breakdown with racing mystic and religious thoughts. Flying through my mind at a speed making it impossible to understand or process the content, I had simultaneous streaming thoughts in binary*, about chaos theory**, and about Christian mystic saints***.
At the time, I could observe the thoughts and wonder as to their meaning. I remember thinking, “Wow, if only I could record these thoughts and try to decipher their meaning later when I’m able to think clearly. I’m no computer, so I have no idea what, if anything, the zeroes and ones mean.”
It felt like I was simply channeling knowledge, that somehow I had tapped into a vein of mystical wisdom, but had no way of knowing whether the thoughts were wise or whether they were nonsense.
I was familiar with the Christian mystics, having studied them and identifying with their experiences. At only the most rudimentary level, I was also familiar with the work of physicists and theologians linking chaos theory with theology. I knew the ones and zeroes represented binary code, but had no way of reading or unlocking the code.
The theory was summarized by Edward Lorenz as follows:
Chaos: When the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future.
Christian mysticism refers to the development of mystical practices and theory within Christianity. It has often been connected to mystical theology, especially in the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions.
The attributes and means by which Christian mysticism is studied and practiced are varied and range from ecstatic visions of the soul’s mystical union with God to simple prayerful contemplation of Holy Scripture (i.e., Lectio Divina).