"Speak to me not of miracles, for I have seen bad men turned good, and that is enough miracle for me." Please note that I am a lifer in prison, communicating here through the kindness of another. I think I may have something to offer this discussion, but you will have to bear with my seizure-born hypergraphia as I speak well above my amateur station in neurological matters. Please correct also any of my foolish misperceptions, for I want to learn. I am just such a person spoke of in the article, experiencing spontaneous or self-induced ecstatic auras, often so intense they seem beyond mortal endurance. I am here seeking greater understanding and ideally a pathway to dialogue with those who live with or around the phenomenon. Although inter-ictally I try (less and less effectively) to maintain a scepticism concerning the supernatural, in an aura I feel certain that an all-powerful benevolent force has locked me in firm embrace (seized me!) and filled the universe with what mid-millennium Christian ecstatic saints termed Incendium Amoris, the "fire of love". At that point I have lost all boundaries, all identity, and been dissolved into a timeless and infinite state of warmly humming oneness and sympathy with all-that-is. All infirmities, dissonances, questions and concerns are resolved as if they never existed. And this is just the quieter aspects of the ecstasies, for there is much of an extremely scintillating nature as well.
More germane to the research in question, however, is the intense combined qualia of heat and love in my auras, for aren't both mediated by the insular cortex? Also supporting their research conclusions is that I have childhood-onset hydrocephalus, which assumedly has compressed the very same brain structures Picard and Craig bring into question. My previous existence was a stark contrast to the present, for most of my life was spent in an agonized mental state, leading ultimately to prison. Three long decades later came the application of anti-epileptic meds and a yoga that targets the vagus and other cranial nerves with afferent influence dampened seizure activity to a Goldilocks "just-right" perfection, and the doors to heaven were opened to me.
Dr. Oliver Sacks for one has mentioned the potential of this particularly felicitous medication effect, and also said certain "compensations" can even arise spontaneously in a few fortunate neurological patients. Well, I've won the lottery! Interestingly, prior to treatment I had very strong metallic auras in the area of my nasal septum, which I've read indicates activity in the mesial temporal lobes, thereby impacting the amygdala and hippocampus, critical to emotion and memory. No wonder I suffered so greatly and still have a shattered memory. After treatment began, the metallic smell/taste became much weaker and I was for intents and purposes "born again".
I certainly could never have anticipated this stunning development in my life, but even if it is due solely to aberrant brain activity, I wouldn't willingly seek to rid myself of the touch of God. It feels more real than real, and has had an immensely positive influence on me, making me a good and happy person, and completely free inside. If God that be (and it certainly feels so) then it is That which I serve, regardless of what my "rational" half may think. Epilepsy be da---d, ecstasies and the beliefs they engender should be judged on their fruits, not their roots, and this reconciles any conflict that might otherwise exist in my silly bicameral brain. (And no, I don't believe that the ability to hold two mutually-exclusive ideas in the mind simultaneously is necessarily a mark of intelligence.
How might an indigent inmate get a copy of the paper discussed? Assuming you could tolerate me poking around, is anyone willing to help me learn how to use this website to further my struggle for self-understanding and improvement? I also have Tourette's and Asperger's to contend with, well, pretty much the whole spectrum of co-morbids typically associated with hydrocephalus, and the prison doesn't help at all.