In 1997 I was experiencing strong thoughts/imaginations/visions/deja vu symptoms (but no hallucinations and no voices) which I could not figure out the causes of and I took them to be sparks of God’s work on my mind to guide me in my life. I had a very strong devotion-based theistic upbringing and these experiences therefore made perfect sense that such a God as was described to us in Hinduism as permeating everything and everybody was planting thoughts in my mind. But I was also a scientist and therefore always keen to know if these experiences were real or imagined. I therefore I tried hard all I could to develop a one-to-one communications-based relationship with this perceived God. It ended in repeated failures. So my thoughts and imaginations must have been the result of some kind of a mental illness that was observed to run in my family, and indeed when I (and my wife subsequently) referred myself to the doctor for my behaviour was seen as grossly erratic I was diagnosed as having ‘persistent delusional disorder’ by the psychiatrist. Eight years later I believe now that it was the correct diagnosis. Strong theism based on faith is the result of mental illness brought about by nuances of the mind. I am lucky that I saw the doctors and that the diagnosis was made early so that I have a real world event to guide my subsequent activities and scientific analyses of my mind.
From July to early December my posts reflect a relapse into theism because I was susceptible to drawing this conclusion all along and the conclusion was not really warranted by the facts underlying my experiences of life. It remains to be seen if I will have any further lapses into theism before my life is over. I will report it here.
31 May 2013 Update: On 21 March 2013, I changed my mind and realised that there is a Personal God. This was realised through a combination of rationalising events that took place in my life https://satyaadvaita.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/dr-shantanu-panigrahi-has-swung-back-to-a-belief-in-a-personal-god-on-21-march-2013/, renewed deja vu-type experiences and further positive sightings of ’7′ at critical times from my advaita clock checking habit. It has been a roller coaster ride over 15 years of search but I am a theist who today sees no reason to change his mind that God is watching and has made things happen for me.