By Peter Hylton
Key Themes: Mental Health, Psychosis, Novel, Spirituality
As Tom Macmillan leaves the hospital ward where he has reconstructed his sanity he falls headlong into and out of reality as he encounters the phantom of God sent insane, by an insane world. Tom begins to question his very soul. Slowly he begins to understand the depth and scale of what this visitor has in store for him.
As the world’s economy comes crashing down in the year 2008, he finds sanctuary in the words of the ghostly angel, Ella, who guides Tom through enlightenment. Still these two must seek the lights of eternity. As their choices and actions may yet decide the fates of the world.
About the Author
Born and raised in the small town of Whitby, North Yorkshire, Peter Hylton was one of four children. He joined us in August 1979 and his misspent youth was given over to nightclubs and rock and roll. He spent 3 years at the University of Sunderland where he developed his talents in the visual arts until moving to Nottingham where he followed his passion for reading into a job as a librarian.
Peter had always suffered from bipolar, often swinging from inert lows to creative highs, and after a two year stretch of a depression ending in months of insomnia he developed psychosis in his mid twenties.
His interests in consciousness, psychology and spirituality helped him recover and prosper again, alongside the help of his mental health team, friends, family and the peers he meet in the mental health system of Nottingham. Inspired by the help of his peers and beginning to get involved with charity work peter helped put together a successful bid for NHS funds and won a job as a Peer Support worker, which he held until recently. Peter is an avid fan of music in all its forms, and for some years was a DJ in Nottingham. Though this brought him no fame he still loves to spin his vinyl collection, which grows steadily. Peter has had some poetry published, though the Eternalist is his first novel, and work is ongoing upon further publications, he lives and works in Nottingham.
This is the distress of madness the dull thud of abuse it acquires. Tom’s voices have not always been this way but lately they have taken a turn for the worse. He had struggled through his first episode whilst still working. Tom has not been to work this week.
Everything that he does, he does so for a particular task, and once that task is completed, then he forgets everything and has to start again from zero. Tom understands this, in that he claims to have no reserve knowledge, no provisional knowledge.
He insists that whenever one does something, it is also a question of moving on from it, getting out of or beyond it. When one enters psychosis, for instance, remaining "in" psychosis is also to get out of psychosis. This does not mean to do something else, but to get out while remaining within.
Yet the psychosis has not been dismissed, quite the opposite, it is brought closer and infinitely so: embedded in the joining of spirit and body where the imagination is born. Paradoxically doctors of the sixteenth century freed of the demonic, only those things which were inanimate; they place the demonic in the immediate environs of the soul, at the contact surface of the body.
Opposing the psychoanalytical concept of the unconscious as a theatre, with its constant representation of Hamlet and Oedipus, he sees the unconscious as a factory, as production. The unconscious produces, like a factory, exactly the opposite of the psychoanalytical vision.
As he walks his body is vibrating, humming, warping every sense pulsing, his very mind palpates. He grasps at his inner self pulling upon strings which jerk his limbs into a paranoid marching gait.
A pressure drags him down literally, it feels the weight of the world is upon his shoulders and every step is a flight from some unauthentic guilt. It seems he has made the object of his self not to be himself.
This dark. Tom has capitulated to a false guilt and blame where he cannot find one thread of reason. So he walks and every single sight strikes him deeper as his body is a void, disinfected and eager to please.
The terms of the dichotomy do not changed for Tom. The same elements are accepted and the same refused (movement in space, birth of monsters, operations at a distance, discovery of objects in the body). Something has changed in the relationship between the recognised and the rejected: this relationship in now established on the level of possibilities of the deviation of the body, or rather in the margins of the game which surrounds the exercise of the soul and the body. The real place of transgression has become fantasy and all forms of the unreal.
In the entire course of the development of which we have just marked out a few stages, is the mark of madness, a mark upon time, and for a long time afterwards, the point at which transgression exploded.
Everything is linked in Tom’s perception, each individual object has meaning and he is wired into a language that forms via their interaction. Implicit and automatic each glance flows from object to object and where normally they would go unnoticed, out there, self-evident, now they are syllables in a chain. However the language of Tom’s perception is a swift and creative act and he feels a power in it that draws him onward.
This symbolic fluidity has drawn Tom across town. There is now a flow from outside to inside, across different scales and distance, where neither is fixed but rather in constant exchange.
He is however, unaware of anymore, just where he belongs and without catching on to it he is forming his own chain of command. An unparalleled expansion frees him of the rapid cycling, in and out of despair then Tom enters upon a plateau of consistency.
As he focuses in on himself, he finds the words ‘Strange but the man who made the song was blind’ this sets of an association in Tom, as every time he closed his eyes he thought of the night sky, where the sparks he sees with eyes open do not stop as he closes his eyes for peace. So, he looks up at the sky, which was clear, like cold water. The words that come to mind are these- ‘now I have considered it I find nothing strange.’ He rubs water from his eyes and still the stars shine. “Light”. So he shifts his attention to the moon. ‘The sun and the moon must seem as one beam.’
He thinks quietly for a moment stood looking up at the moon in anticipation. ‘If I triumph,’ he thinks. ‘I must make men mad.’ And all about the pressure still flows indeed it is as if rivers run their course through his body as it touches the void and quivers their upon the borderland.
The moon shines down upon him, he gave himself in that misty light. Looking down at his feet he sees sparks flitter about him in flurries dancing like in a snow globe. Horizon lines swing around him, he stands in the centre of spinning disks of golden light. About the pressure grips him and he wobbles like a top.
This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 25 October, 2012.