When Wilson Van Dusen wrote, The Presence of Spirits in Madness he was Chief Psychologist at Mendocino State Hospital in California where he worked among the mentally ill for 17 years. In his spare time, he had discovered a way of getting an unusually accurate detailed picture of the inner experience of hallucinations. Unfortunately, the press of other administrative responsibilities took him away from this fascinating area towards the design of national programs, especially in drug abuse treatment. He now lives the life of a busy scholar. He describes himself as primarily a phenomenologist, one concerned to discover and describe the real nature of human experience, as was Swedenborg.
WILSON VAN DUSEN is a self-taught student of Swedenborg’s works. In some ways he considers this an advantage because he does not come to them with the biases of those in any of the major groups of followers, but rather has had to work out their meaning in his own life. His being a clinical psychologist, a mystic, and a student of all the major religions has also helped. It gives to his understanding of Swedenborg a startling freshness. He is a recognized expert on Emanuel Swedenborg. He holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and worked 20 years among the mentally ill where he developed self-help communities.
Reprinted courtesy of the Swedenborg Foundation, NY, NY. 10010
An English translation can be found on the Swedenborg Scientific Association website.