Mystic Psychosis

Mystic Revelation
Binary numbers*, Lorenz attractor plot**, “Universal Man” by 13th century mystic Hildegard of Bingen***

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.

*Binary Numbers

[A] binary number is a number expressed in the binary numeral system, or base-2 numeral system, which represents numeric values using two different symbols: typically 0 (zero) and 1 (one).

**Chaos Theory

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

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).


10 thoughts on “Mystic Psychosis

  1. stockdalewolfe May 28, 2015 / 5:47 pm

    Very interesting and too bad the thoughts came too fast to process. Numbers have great significance for me in terms of being somehow associated with people I love. Just spent a week on Buddhist retreat but feel very at a loss for understanding all of it. I grew up with two flavors of Christianity and then followed Yogananda awhile. Now I have so much to ponder. Maybe some day you can sort out your mystical ideas. String theory supports the Hindu idea of Maya, the dream of waking life. It would be interesting to hear what string theory inspired in you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley May 29, 2015 / 10:46 am

      Honestly, I didn’t do further studies in physics, so I don’t know exactly what it all meant. I just know that there are connections between and among everything. I can feel that connection even if I do not fully understand it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. choff777 May 28, 2015 / 2:47 pm

    Hi Kit,

    Great piece.
    I find the “Mystic Pyschosis” to be super intriguing on so many levels. Isn’t it curious how many mentally ill suffering from a breakdown have spiritual even religious experiences throughout the ages. Are we accessing deep, unfamiliar recesses buried in the mind? Sadly, I have experienced my own personal, ‘direct’ line to Jesus and the Angels, the inexplicable ideas, intuitive visions and feelings I was sharing were 100% authenticated. Interesting, thank you for the insight. And the numbers, I live by the numbers. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley May 28, 2015 / 4:50 pm

      It is bizarre when the experiences are validated by real life experiences, as mine were, too.


  3. cabrogal February 15, 2015 / 1:40 am

    Funny what you say about the binary and chaos theory. I spent 20 years as a contract analyst programmer and studied complexity (chaos) theory for one of my abortive degree courses. But I’ve never had much interest or expertise in poetry.

    For several days following my most significant mystical experience I too was bombarded with a non-volitional internal monologue I could make no sense of. Stream of consciousness poetry that filled my waking hours. I can’t say it seemed entirely external because it often seemed to relate to what I was doing or thinking at the time. But I had no conscious control over it and it didn’t seem to interfere with my usual mental functioning at all – except when something particularly funny or silly in it made me laugh.

    The tap switched off within less than a week but since then I’ve regularly had poems burst apparently fully formed into my head without warning. If I don’t get the chance to write them down quickly they usually disappear just as suddenly and I can’t reproduce them later. This one, for example, arrived in the middle of a counseling session and it was only by interrupting the session and borrowing a pen and notepad that I was able to retain it.

    Funny things, minds. Sometimes you’ve really gotta wonder what they arise from and connect to. I definitely don’t buy the notion that mine is entirely made up of chemicals in my skull.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley February 15, 2015 / 5:42 am

      Great poem about your experience of God. We pray silently. My son, who is a skeptic, years ago as a young child, said silent is best.

      One the one hand, I felt that I was channeling thoughts which I could not process due to their speed. On the other hand, I loved math and computer science and had a facility for math, I studied the Christian mystic saints, and I knew that theology and chaos and string theory were somehow intertwined. In fact, I believe that trigonometry is powerfully religious – or at least powerful.

      I respect content and meaning. I am both bipolar and a mystic.


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