The mystics and persuaders who believe they are sent on earth to be heroes aren’t strictly cuckoo. Instead, as British writer Will Storr explains, they are damaged people who’ve done amazing things. And they’ve done it all, he writes, “as far as I can see, as a result of their struggles with madness. None of them were sectioned. None received, or even sought, psychiatric help. Instead, their storytelling brains wove heroic narratives that explained away the collapse of their identities even as they were taking place. Their confabulations were so credible to them that they metamorphosed into different selves. And then, in their own small ways, they went on to change the world.”
This is possibly one of the best explanations ever of the whole visions-n-voices syndrome.
A redemptive narrative offers the chance of rebirth. If only in one’s mind. But isn’t that the beginning – and the end – of the self?