Mental Illness? or - Salvation                                                               Copyright ©2014 Hazel Gay

Hazel Gay's To Heal the Broken-Hearted (Chronicle of a woman's 18 year journey through "mental illness" to healing, wholeness and transformation.)
Chapter 18 All quotes used with written permission.

September 1987
      My basic understanding of the difference in Newtonian physics and quantum physics is: For the last 300 years our culture has accepted Newton’s machine model of the universe and that included the human body.  A closed system, a machine can be taken apart since it is constructed of parts and breakdowns can usually be traced to a single cause since machines function according to LINEAR CHAINS OF CAUSE AND EFFECT.  Quantum physics does not see most of  the universe as a machine but sees it as open organisms, such as the planet earth and the human body, organisms with an inherent tendency to heal itself, that grow in NONLINEAR INTERCONNECTEDNESS that can’t be taken apart without destroying it.  That means that the usual attempts of biomedical science that sees the human as a closed system is problematic.  This is especially important in the so-called “biomedical model” BELIEF of “mental illness.
     Inherent tendency to heal itself – This also fits in with Lovelock’s Gaia theory.  What I’m trying to describe may be “consciousness” of a kind of “instinctual” behavior like what he talks about in his theory about species doing things to correct imbalances that literally save the world.   His name is interesting – Lovelock  A very apt term as I understand his theory – and for describing the world I experience during altered states.
     From the first time I read about unified field theory, nonlinear interrelatedness, “the web of life,” a perception of the universe in something besides subject/object cleavage, something besides a Cartesian split (I think therefore I am) and Newtonian machines, I RECOGNIZED it at what might be called a feeling level.  Understanding these “theories” hasn’t come entirely by learning them intellectually, then assimilating them.  They were already in existence in me in an elementary sense though I would never have been able to put it into words.  It leads to integrated experience.
      When I taught at OSD, ’69-70, two teachers and I took our classes to the “Nature Center.”  To get to the BUILDING of the “Nature Center” we had to go through the WOODS of the “Nature Center” for about a mile on a winding path.  The other teachers and their children apparently kept a well delineated objective firmly in mind, that man-made building inside of which they would learn about “nature” from the words written and said about the objects from nature imprisoned there in the glass cases for they never veered from the appointed course.  They never slowed their pace for a second or lifted their eyes from the path and the teachers never shut their mouths long enough to see, smell or feel ANYTHING of all that NATURE they were in the midst of.  My ten kids and I were the tag-alongs, even the “troublemakers” to such objective oriented teachers as we brought up the rear, and way in the rear by the time we got to the building “Nature Center,” for between the 11 of us I don’t think we missed a single hue of a leaf, or feather on a bird, or shadow on  a rock, or shift in the breeze, or movement of a blade of grass, or gnaw marks on a branch.  (But could we pass an objective test?)
       At the zoo in 1970, another teacher and I were watching the elephants with our children.  One adult elephant was rocking back and forth, shifting its weight from the left legs to the right legs.  After a few minutes of watching this, I turned to the other teacher and though I had never heard of such a thing, said, “That elephant’s schizophrenic.  If it’s not, I OUGHT to be.  It’s been taken out of its natural environment and put in that pen.  It’s a wonder to me that more of them don’t act like that!”  Two weeks later that teacher brought me a clipping from the Daily Oklahoman with an article about an elephant at the zoo being diagnosed schizophrenic because all it did was stand and rock back and forth.
       Quantum theory reinstates the OBSERVER at the center of the stage.  (I told Jess, “I have not saved THE world but I have saved MY world.”) 
        According to new science, we are a “knot of energy” that comes together from a totally, diffuse state.  Consciousness produces perception of the brain, matter, time, space, the physical world – US.  If that’s so then our very SURVIVAL as authentic consciousness in the physical world depends on recognition by  consciousness, including other consciousness besides our own.
      I describe the recurring feeling of “gathering me up from all over” beginning in 1971.  In 1975 I described it as the “me” I was gathering up from the environment was more in a form like gas or fluid would be, not chunks.  Energy?
     Again, in 1980 I described the feeling of gathering me up:  “I don’t think I’ve ever felt like so much of me was all in one place!”  
      At the end of the novel Altered States by Paddy Chayefsky, when the man seems to be diffusing back into primal energy, his wife brings him back into physical existence by telling him she loves him, making him REAL – to  someone else.
      If consciousness creates the appearance of being, then the lack of perception and recognition of the REAL ME by another consciousness is part of the cause of ontological insecurity and indeed, is a valid threat to the existence of that REAL ME,  since we can’t see our real self, we can only feel it.  I am not brought into full conscious being.  Did my father loving ME those first three years affect this?
     Adults create a human in the same way the sun “creates” plants, by “drawing forth” innate potential.  One becomes “real,” physical and mental – from physical touch by others establishing one’s physical existence and boundaries, by people choosing to regard one’s REAL feelings and thoughts as REAL, confirming them, accepting them, not negating or  ignoring them.  In Wilder’s “Our Town” the daughter’s ghost tells the mother, “Mama, look at me, really look at ME!”
     We need recognition, validation, reflection of our spirit, our self to become fully human.  It is a potential, waiting, to be lit by another human consciousness.
     Analyzing my feelings about being looked at by Jess in that “special way,” I realized some of the immediate results were an acute recognition of where I am, more awareness of my surroundings, bringing the environment sharply into focus, more figure-ground differentiation.
     Then it becomes a matter of finding ways of seeing one’s reflection, since I will never be able to directly see my “I.”
     Jess gave me my reflection in many ways, many he was unaware of till he read my book.  My scrapbook of articles reflected MY feelings.  I saw heavy duty reflection when we made the album.  Responses to my peace letters gave me reflection of my thinking.  This book has been giving me reflection for many years.  I recognized my reflection in quantum theory.  Symbolism helps tell me who I am, gives me physical reflection of the inner me.
     During psychosis EVERYTHING is potential reflection, showing me WHO I AM.  Did that little spark of LIFE, SPIRIT, basically say, “Enough is enough, I’m ‘starving’ to death!”  Do we have a built-in survival mechanism, like overload protectors on motors, for the HUMAN SPIRIT? Maybe during psychosis some of us get close enough to THE flame to get our little sputtering spark rekindled.

(“SPARK OF LIFE” Oct. 2018.  Research is showing actual visible spark at the moment of conception.)

     There’s insidious stress caused by going against one’s conscience, against one’s “nature,” one’s “soul” or “spirit,” against the deep unified principles at the base of our existence, stress that causes chemical changes – “bio-chemical imbalance” – a very popular term nowadays.  And why do we go against our “nature?”  For the most part we have not gotten adequate reflection of that nature; we allow the result of the lack of that reflection – fear – to permit the collective to be the determiner of our actions, beliefs and feelings, something it can’t do.  The collective doesn’t have access to the primal secrets locked in the personal DNA.
     But too many people in positions of influence are still looking for THEIR reflection, trying to put the world they perceive into US, saying, “You don’t have any reason to feel that way,” “It’s just your imagination,” “That’s nonsense,” “I know what’s best for you,” whether it’s mother or psychiatrist, saying over and over and over, “YOU ARE NOT REAL!” (Actually, trying to take God’s place!)
     Peace in the world will come only by FIRST allowing the INDIVIDUAL to listen to his own uncontaminated voices, to find HIS place in the sun – not what his family says his place is – by allowing the INDIVIDUAL inner peace. So he’s not still trying to force the world to give him his reflection; he’s not threatened by differences; he knows he’s part of the “bigger” picture – that father, mother, teacher, world cannot impose, dictate or legislate peace in/on the individual simply because they have no way of knowing what will bring peace to them; that as concerned as mother or doctor may be, they cannot “grant” peace; they cannot “do” anything to one to cause peace; they can only ALLOW one peace by loving one enough to allow one’s BEING existence.  Nobody in their right mind could or would have told me that if I went crazy once in a while and wrote about it all for 11 years that I’d find “the peace that passeth understanding.”


     The most fundamental aspect of Einstein’s theory of relativity is its denial of the existence of absolute space and absolute time.  It’s pick a frame of reference to which the events of the universe can be related.  Any frame of reference will be equally valid and we simply choose the frame that is most convenient; events are then “relative” to that arbitrarily chosen point of reference.
     It seems most of my life I’ve had the ability (or curse!) to see many things from a different angle.  People don’t have time for all that nonsense.  When I was in 7th grade we were given our first “objective” achievement tests, where you read the statement and select the correct answer.   On some I could see the possibility of more than one correct answer depending on which way I looked at the question.
     When my oldest daughter was 15 she told me about the difficulty she had sometimes in making decisions.
     “I can look at it one way and see how one answer fits but then I can see it from another side and that answer doesn’t fit, another one does, then all the answers seem right and it’s hard for me to decide.”

     As a species are we just now reaching a level of consciousness and/or lingual development that we can start developing a vocabulary, a method of communication about this new perception of the world besides through artistic expression?  Science, being language based, was cut off from unity so have they really discovered anything NEW? 
     Language and our perception of reality are inextricably tangled up.  What happens when there is no adequate vocabulary for experience?  If it happens it must not be “normal” because one doesn’t hear anybody talking about it.  I suspect I’ve labeled some experiences “crazy” because I’d never heard of them before.  Though I have gotten beyond “crazy” I still don’t know the names for some of my experiences.  I suspect if I had known the labels for some of them, it would have scared the hell out of me   .
     My mother taught my oldest daughter a form of self-hypnosis many years ago, even though my mother has never even heard of that term.  Along with many other things, she did it naturally.  I could make a list of things like that as long as my arm.
    When I went to the doctor in ’71 and said, “Now I think I’m somebody in the Bible, I’m schizophrenic, do something,” at NO TIME did I think I was somebody in the Bible but I knew he wouldn’t take the time necessary for me to try to explain the difference in that statement and my experience.  I knew I had to try to communicate with him in a very limited amount of time and in OUR language, and my ignorance, without writing a book, that was the closest I could get!

     During an episode in ’76 while looking for my “something,” I walked down to a pond by the road and sat down.  Sitting there, wondering where this unkown “IT” was, I noticed a barn across the road, immediately thought, “It’s in the barn” followed by “It’s in the bairn.”  I looked it up.  Meaning “child,” “barn” was found in Middle English, Old Norse and Old High German, the spelling “bairn” being Scottish.  Now I know I was indeed looking for “something” – in the “child.” 
(Many years later I found out I have 35% Scottish DNA.)
     New methods have had to be developed for assessing the intelligence of the deaf, especially the congenitally deaf, since “intelligence tests” have tended to measure the ability to work in language.  Even in my limited experience it has not been uncommon to find a deaf child misdiagnosed mentally challenged.  They will be found in every program for the mentally challenged.  One can be VERY intelligent but if there are no words, no language in which to express this intelligence, it may be incommunicable, unobservable.
(Makes me think of 11 year old student I had, minimal hearing loss, diagnosed slightly challenged intellectually, she could not work very simple addition and subtraction problems.  As I watched her it seemed to me she didn’t know where to start. Confronted with the whole, it was overwhelming.  Wondering if it was broken down into steps would help, I made little slips of paper with the problem and folded them so she would see only one step at a time.   She would unfold once, see 2, pick 2 crayons from the pile and place them on her desk.  Unfold again, see +1, add 1 crayon to the other two, unfold once more, see the blank box following the =, count how many she had and write it in.  She learned how to add and subtract.)
     Back to the previous paragraph:   In the very same way, the “schizophrenic” may well be having an experience of integration, transformation, and goal seeking but because he cannot express it in the WORDS of a  (scientific) DIVISION IMPOSING language, it is considered “pathological,” “chaotic,” “senseless,” there not having been any tests devised that can adequately assess any integration and /or transformation of a higher order.
     There’s a connection between what I call the alinguistic mode and being able to do things “naturally,” going with he flow instead of trying to control.  Like standing and balancing myself on two bath scales – I had never tried it before but I knew what it FELT like to do it.  My scene design professor asked if I had studied drafting.  Huh?  He said I must have natural talent with a T-square for I used it like I had studied drafting.  It was the first time I’d ever had one in my hand.
      If you have to stop and think about how to get out of the way of a punch, you’re going to get hit.  It had better be automatic –  alinguistic!    While watching the movie “Karate Kid” for the first time with the grandchildren, the grandson I’d lived with for five years was 8 years old at the time and in reference to the old man said, “He sounds like Grandma.”

     From time to time I’ve had to dare to look closely at perhaps my most vague, ineffable, but real, persistent burden, the “Saving the world” theme.  As I worked a little more on the details of my story plot, some thoughts that had been shadows in my mind off and on for years seemed to take on more clarity, started resting comfortably in my stomach or thereabouts. Now if I can explain it.
    Can “save the world” be another way of saying, “make/create” the world for if the creation has ceased, we’re into death and decay, only more “creation” can “save” it.  If we’re a knot of primal type energy in a holographic universe, we have in the very core of our beings the secrets of the universe and it becomes a matter of “tuning in” to “body knowledge,” to a more comprehensive system, to access those secrets in some way.
     Today’s science saying consciousness creates the appearance of reality gives scientific basis for the “feeling” of “savior/co-creator” of the world since we are/have consciousness that is “creating.”  Maybe it’s time for us to acknowledge the part we’re already playing in “Creation,” take responsibility for it – GROW UP!
     There is a belief in the Jewish mystical tradition that God created man because He needed a partner in creation.  Henri Bergson believed that the process of evolution was God’s way of creating creators.
     “We are collaborators in creation.”  Teilhard de Chardin
     To discover my part in “saving/making” the world is a most individual thing; I have to follow INNER FEELINGS (that may come from our DNA.) In doing my part in “saving/making” the world, I find ME.  A better way of saying it might be – in finding ME, I’m doing my part in “saving” the world.

 Perhaps it’s not a matter of it it’s a “big” part I feel more of “savior” feeling and if it’s a “small” part I don’t feel much of “savior” feeling, but that the feeling of “savior/maker” can be just as strong to the one with a “small” part as to the one with a “big” part – that “big” or “small” IT CALLS FOR ALL I’VE GOT!  (Which is a pretty big deal to the one giving all they’ve got!)  If it’s in an alingual part of me where this “purpose” comes from, then our words are inadequate in expressing it; the words come out simply as “savior of the world” and nobody tries to get past those WORDS.  (I thought of this when I read an article by Rabbi David Cooper, “Contemplative Judaism,”   in The Quest, Winter, 1995.)
     “From a contemplative’s perspective, I see the Torah as advice in attaining what I’ll call messianic consciousness…the level of consciousness that is more directly in communion with the divine.”

     We can bow down to a power greater than our rational intellect and ego and assimilate it or we can drug our feelings; keep them under our and society’s ego control and at bay, helping sabotage the development of a more complete consciousness in the human species?”  Might I be correct in saying – We are drugging “God?”
     At the beginning of this book, I tell about the feeling of “connection” I experienced after reading the passage in John where the woman poured the oils on Jesus’ feet and dried them with her hair. At that time I’d never heard of archetypes.   His feet – what he stood on the ground with….
     What happened to “And God created man in his own image?” That’s another one we take right up to “creator” and back off. But remember, if we have CHOICE we are creators; we are creating a reality; we are creating a world.  Looks to me like we’re scared to death!  Another way of saying we’re afraid of being totally ALIVE?
     It also says God rested on the seventh day of creation.  Maybe that’s what we’ve been living through – the seventh day of creation.  While God was resting the children just about wrecked the house!
     Maybe it’s time for the Eighth Day of Creation.

     TOGETHER we’re the “creators of the world” the “saviors of the world,” indeed at this point we must be the saviors of humanity for humanity is in danger of losing its soul by becoming a machine.  By the time Descartes and Newton were through “we” had turned our feelings off and saw our reflection in the universe, an unfeeling machine, lacking innate capacity for renewal.  Are we brave enough, trusting enough, ontologically secure enough to allow ourselves to FEEL again, to see with joy our reflection in the mysterious organic LIFE of the universe, LIFE still waiting our awareness – Something we may have to call “magic” because of our present stage of consciousness and limiting filters. 
     Does the idea/feeling of “co-creator” of the world sometimes have to reach atomic bomb strength to blast its way out through our Super-Glued cultural programming?  What would happen if the idea of each person being “savior/creator of the world was COMMON?  What will happen once all the intelligent, rational, stubborn people have began to assimilate a more comprehensive reality (a WHoly Spirit?) into their experience, allow it to come through them and direct their conscious participation in the harmonic interpretation/creation of the universe, taking one more step up the ladder into being fully human – as CO-CREATORS.  The POTENTIAl of this “Force,” this “magic” is awe inspiring!
     Perhaps we would awaken once more in wide-eyed wonder – to the morning of the eighth day of creation – and start cleaning up the mess we made in Eden.

     My oldest daughter was 30 years old last month.  Both sets of her grandparents have the same given names.  With her middle and maiden name, she is physical manifestation of an alias I invented at church camp when I was 15.  I can’t forget a “dream” she had when her son was born.  (During the Caesarean her heart stopped, she had to be revived.) When after seeing herself lying on the table, going through a tunnel and seeing a light, an old man told her he secret of life and said, “You know the secret of life when you’re born and when you die.  Sometimes you remember in the middle of your life but if you do, you die.”
     Recently, she has expressed concern about something happening to me.  Though she can’t remember the specific words of the secret of life the old man told her, she says some of the things I’m saying are getting too close to it.
     Not long ago she dreamed a man had a gigantic diamond.  He told her she couldn’t have it but she could hold it in her hand.  When he laid it in her hand it shattered.  She asked if she could have a couple of pieces; he said yes.

October, 1987
I’m now on the board of dirctors for the Mental Health Association of Oregon, involved in the orgainization of a state-wide advocacy group and am in a small group of people involved in putting together a list of grievances to Dammasch State Hospital by the Oregon Advocacy Center. We meet with the new head of the State Department of Human Resources and he suggested we work directly with the new admiistrator of Dammasch on a consistent basis.

Sometime during this period a man I didn’t know called me on the phone and told me he was with a group that was gathering writing of Oregon mental health patients for sort of an archival collection. I didn’t question it and sent him everything I had written up to that point. At the time I didn’t think much about it so didn’t make notes of the details. I have no idea where that writing went.

November 7, 1987
     This morning my five year old grandson said, “I had a weird dream last night.  I dreamed I felt God’s body.”
     “What did it feel like?” I asked.
     “It felt funny, not like I thought it would”
     “How did you know it was God?”
     “I don’t know.  I just knew.  I didn’t see God, all I saw was a box but I wasn’t touching that.”
     “Did it feel good?  Can you tell me what it felt like?”
     “It didn’t feel like anything I’d ever felt before.”
     “ It didn’t feel like anything you ever felt before?  So you don’t have the words to tell about it?”
     Looking up at me with an angelic child’s face as he impatiently reached up to hug me he said, “No – but you do.”

      Like Gandhi going to the sea where the salt was free for the taking, I went to a more comprehensive reality – where the healing was free for the taking.
     After I had written that I started realizing, no, it wasn’t free.  IT COST THE HIGHEST PRICE, the surrender of that part of me I thought would never be touched, that part of me I thought of as ultimately “mine.”


Clinging impotently to their bio-chemical and genetic theories while being deaf to the sound of the machine age creaking to a halt, the authorities in this country for which a father so willingly gave up his life, refuse to recognize that his very act of self-sacrifice started a little girl down the tumultuous road of her life leading to “mental illness.”  Pedantically, they maintain the daughter he died to defend from the Nazis, men trying to make a perfect species has something WRONG with her they have to correct, even if it kills her, when she reacts traumatically to the physical, mental and spiritual rape perpetrated upon her being in that hero’s very homeland.  And now the authorities in this homeland, in THEIR efforts to make a perfect species, want to permanently rid his descendants of their genetic “imperfections,” possibly eradicating once and for all, a life-saving, experiential potential of self-reorganization of the human mind that can rescue them from the locked goose step “Heil APA” machine parade.
     Like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, I refused to bow down to any god but the God of Abraham – Androgynized.

(This was a stage of my process.  I would eventually leave it behind for the most part.  I later discovered I have 1% Eastern Jewish DNA.)