Timeout: “The Smoke of Their Torment”

(Sirje) #61

Good point. Lest we give ourselves more credit than we deserve, even today, we manage our lives with a lot of symbolism that really has not much actual necessity. Weddings, graduations, funerals etc. have symbolic importance to us, to the point we feel the tasks and events we live through are somehow incomplete without the ceremony. We seem to need to act out our commitments in some visibly concrete way. That’s actually to be expected as we live in a physical world that is also symbolic in a way. Science tells us all matter we live with is 99.9999% empty space. The firm foundations under high-rise buildings sit on force fields with almost no matter occupying the space. We can’t live with these realities, so we live in an almost make-believe world of solid stuff…It’s the solid stuff that becomes important to us; likewise, we feel the need to shake hands; bow our heads; baptize with water; eat a cracker and drink juice to the point that we ignore what lies behind all this is something else entirely.


Is this true, too, for multi-personalities such as portrayed in the book, Sybil?

(Elmer Cupino) #64

Shirley Ardell Mason, AKA “Sybil” was a devout Seventh-day Adventist whose psychiatrist Dr. Wilbur “manipulated” to come up with a sensational story. How Ms Mason blindly developed “perfect obedience” escapes me. Think LGT?

No medications would have altered Sybil’s mental structures. Her treatment would have responded to psychotherapists, the likes of Dr. Tichy @GeorgeTichy Kim @cincerity or Patti @pattigrant


Now there’s an interesting subject. Post an article expanding on that Elmer?

(Sirje) #66

Actually, I read an article that claims different parts of the brain seem to be able to communicate without the nerve pathways being involved. This has implications…

(Roman) #67

When contemplating on the question whether God is going to burn people, including children, alive at the end of time, it may be useful to read the story on David and Absalom. The Bible gives several clues for us to understand that this story doesn’t just describe what happened between this particular father-son pair. David in this story is a type of God Himself, while Absalom represents satan. The most important part of this story, in the context of the question whether God is going to burn people alive, is its ending, specifically David’s reaction to the news about his son being killed. “Then the king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept. And as he went, he said thus: ‘O my son Absalom-my son, my son Absalom-if only I had died in your place! O Absalom my son, my son.” 2 Sam. 18,33 When contemplating on whether God is going to burn people alive, you should remember that if it was only possible, God would have died in their place.

(Elmer Cupino) #68

Among psychiatric diagnoses, schizophrenia, bipolar I disorder and major depressive disorders are notoriously known for have psychotic features that involve divine beings. These disorders have a response rate of greater than 50% to pharmacotherapy interventions. Alcohol and illicit drug use can also involve complaints of divine beings and these disorders respond to pharmacotherapy. There is however a set of individuals who no matter what will not respond to medications and these are those who have personality traits or personality disorders having ego-syntonic beliefs of divine beings.

There are a number of ways cells communicate with each other. Some communicate by pathways, some through neurotransmitters that cross the synapse and attach to receptors to complete their communication.


Perhaps our church, the seminary, or a graduate school could hold a symposium on this topic and invite research presentations as well on this issue.

This is a fascinating part of your article. Is God bringing humans into judgment, vice versa, or both? In the cosmic controversy view, the “Can God Be Trusted?” view, it’s those from the universe who are judging both man and God. How is this scriptural?

And how does it connect to the centrality of the cross?

Who, besides you, studies this and offers research and scholarly comment? Is The Moral Influence Theory uniquely a strand in Adventism’s history? As I understand it, this theory goes so far as to say even though it might cost Jesus the loss of every human, He would still display to the rest of the universe His proof via the cosmic controversy.

How can that be? How does the “Can God Be Trusted?” theory stand, when the cross shows (not just via metaphor) the extent that God would go to save humanity?

Also, how does the smoke of human flesh smell to the nostrils of the cosmic universe? It says God is a just God?

(Frankmer7) #70

Really makes one wonder about what getting hit with a rock in the head resulting in severe childhood brain trauma, and what working in a hat business and being exposed continually to mercury while growing up did to shape said individual’s encounters with angel guides, and her experiences of multitudes of visions and fragrances smelled during them. Makes one think, doesn’t it?



SLA/AUC classmate Delbert Hodder weighed in on this issue in 1981 when, as a pediatrician with a special interest in pediatric neurology, he wrote in Evangelica (a magazine now defunct) that Ellen White’s visions were “consistent with what is now known as partial-complex or psychomotor seizures.” Four years later Molleurus Couperus, a retired dermatologist, made a similar allegation in an article in Adventist Currents when he said that Ellen White’s visions were due to “temporal lobe epilepsy.”

(Frankmer7) #72

This also doesn’t take into account the zeitgeist of the second great awakening in the US northeast. Ecstatic and visionary experiences were the order of the day with many who claimed such from the Lord. EGW was in the midst of that culture of religious fervor and near hysteria, along with the brain issues that she had experienced. She and the time were ripe.



Deserves repeating…

(reliquum) #74

I suggest her condition could have been prevented by being attended by a healthy psychiatrist!! And perhaps a little theological truth from her faith community, and a little healthy community within her church…

(Steve Mga) #75

Sirje –
It’s the solid stuff – shaking hands [in friendship or concluding a “deal”], bowing
our heads [eyes closed] in prayer, baptize with water [all the way under?? or OK
just pour water over the hair??], eat a cracker, piece of bread and drink some
purple grape juice [new??? old-with alcohol??] all are symbols of a reality to us.
It took me a while in my Sunday church to feel I prayed when I followed prayers
typed on a page with my eyes open and someone or I read them. Now I do devotions
with the Book of Common Prayer and feel blessed. I have even learned to sing
evening prayers and the Psalms. I have noticed persons all
the way under water and those with wet hair feel the same ecstasy.
With the bread and wine I believe it is a symbol of the words – ‘Behold who you are, become what you have received.’ And helps to carry these words with one as I
leave church. [No one says these in the SDA]. [actually, I feel I am missing
something in SDA communion ceremonies.]

PS-- An unchurched friend of mine [who’s grandmother taught him 23rd Psalm]
became baptized about 10 years ago. I brought him to St. Francis. Went through
2 sets of Confirmation Studies with him. Requested baptism and was. Now an
Episcopalian. Told me recently at a Baptism, that he can feel the SAME emotion
when he attends someone else’s Baptism. And almost makes him want to shed
tears. [He does know a number of my SDA friends. Used to go singing at a
nursing home with me Sab. afternoons until the group quit. He still asks about
several of them, and they about him. But he is gay, and on the back of the
bulletin #17 says, “God condemns homosexuality”, so would NOT be a GOOD
CHOICE for him. So he has to love God and celebrate that love elsewhere.]

(Johnny Carson) #76

Amen and Amen!

Add to the above that little gem from EGW in The Great Controversy that says

The wicked receive their recompense in the earth. They “shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts.” Some are destroyed as in a moment, while others suffer many days.

Some God, eh? No thanks!

(Kim Green) #77

To the extent that the blow to the head (brain injury) caused so much pain and invalidism…it shouldn’t be a stretch to believe that it could have caused all sorts of malfunctions.

I worked with a lot of clients years ago that due to seizures could see “color”, “smell”, etc. It is typical of pre-seizure activity to have what is called an “aura” in which the individual alone could only see, hear, smell, or have other apparently “extra-sensory” phenomena.

Sometimes, individuals experience extraordinary urges to “flee” with no particular destination in mind. Other individuals become rooted in place exhibiting certain mannerisms. In most cases they have incredible strength and are not easily deterred from what they are doing. Once I tried to communicate with someone who I did not know experienced “absence” seizures that lasted for more than 3-5 minutes. I believe that a train could have hit the person during the seizure and they would not have voluntarily moved!

Many seizure sufferers aren’t aware that they were in a seizure state when they come out of it. Though, some do know when they experience tiredness and disorientation afterwards. I find it all very interesting that brain injuries can cause so many different things. I know that it may not be so “interesting” to the person affected when it causes disability and loss, however.

(Steve Mga) #78

John – when Chemically God could just have their Protons, Neutrons, Electrons
separate and go POOF!! in a splash of light.
Dis-integrate as one Jewish word translation in a Psalm says of God’s enemies.
Ever since I have seen that “word” in that way, I wonder if the Christian world
has the Wrong Message it has been promoting for these many, many hundreds
of years.
And the end of the GC continues with that picture.
And we teach that to our children when we encourage them to read the last
number of chapters in Great Controversy

(Steve Mga) #79

Kim, Elmer, George –
Over the past several years we hear more and more of Seizure activity NOT
being controlled with present medications [chemicals] available in pharmacies.
But finding that an oil in an “illegal” plant does manage a number of Brain
disorders. Hopefully, it will one day be available in pharmacies.
For not only Seizures, but Parkinson, and others. Of COURSE, the US
Gov’t will only allow it IF it receives its share of Taxes on it.

(Kim Green) #80

What continues to fascinate me about this time period that it was also the start of the LDS church (Joseph Smith) and Spiritualism (Fox Sisters) all within a circumference of about 100 miles!

Joseph Smith was having some dozzies of “revelation”…kinda reminds me of Scientology and its made up science fiction “religion”.

(Kim Green) #81

Yes…that little “weed” can work wonders for some children. I know of one such child that benefited enormously when the other usual medications weren’t quite successful.