A common delusion among people with schizophrenia is that they have somehow been ordained by God to carry a message or to do something important.
They believe they are either prophets, angels or God himself.
In this thinking they are subsumed with the idea that they have been chosen for a higher purpose and have been given these visions and voices to lead them on a path of righteousness.
Many times they will focus on religious messages, scripture or iconography as a means to find direction for their ‘mission”.
I am no stranger to this set of beliefs.
In 2006 I took an impromptu trip to the United Nations believing I was a prophet and was meant to share a message of peace and balance with the world.
I had become increasingly involved with angelic and religious lore spending hours on the internet searching out information on angel numbers, mysticism, biblical conspiracies and aliens in religious symbolism.
I believed that information was being hidden from the world and that all of these things I was learning about were deeply connected in some way, and that if I could find a universal truth I could share it with the world.
I don’t know why religion seems to correspond so well with delusions and paranoia, but this phenomenon is well documented throughout history with the existence of witch doctors, oracles and other special “chosen ones” who were believed to have had a direct line to the gods within their belief structure.
I don’t know if there’s any truth to those beliefs but I do know that in lieu of suffering with hallucinations and the voices in my head, I would rather take my meds and be as stable as I can be.
I would rather be as grounded in the reality we’ve all agreed on as I possibly can.
I think the elusive nature of religion, that is, being wholly unsure if what we believe is actually real (not knowing if god, or heaven, or hell is real) leaves a lot of fertile ground for us to place our own singular (sometimes wildly misinformed) beliefs on and around.
Religion is open to a lot of misguided interpretation because no one can truly be sure that our beliefs are real.
That lends itself nicely to psychosis and I think it’s why religious concepts are so prevalent in psychosis.
The fact is, we all want to believe in something, we all want to wrap the mysteries of the universe up in some pretty little box and make them easily digestible, because frankly, the immensity of it is incredibly frightening and overwhelming.
None of us truly knows what’s real in this universe and we’re lying to ourselves if we say we do.