“Most of us go about our daily lives assuming that we all participate in one shared reality. As I have listened to many people’s stories, I have learned that ‘reality’ is not as shared as we may think. Research indicates that 40-80% of people have out-of-the-ordinary experiences at some times in their lives, although talking about it is rare. I commend Mariellen Gilpin for her courage to describe her own unique experiences. We may not all need to name our intense feelings as demons nor deal with our demons as the author does, but she does deal with them. Her story provides a model of someone whose experienced reality is not commonly shared, but who has grown as a person and as a Quaker in close relationship with her Friends meeting. The voices of persons labeled with mental illnesses are voices in our communities that need to be heard.” – Jennifer Elam, Quaker, psychologist, researcher, author of Dancing with God Through the Storm: Mysticism and Mental Illness.
By Jennifer Elam
Pendle Hill Pamphlet #344