The Healing of the Spirit
Hoping for hope
Date: 7/6/2007 1:12:32 PM ( 15 y ) ... viewed 2284 times
Since I was diagnosed with kidney disease (2005) I feel as if I’ve aged 20 years, in the last two.
One of the biggest challenges, I find, (to aging, that is) is to not let myself fall into cynicism and despair.
All of us have probably noticed that this seems to occur for some. As they age, their dreams unrealised,
their youth and vitality in the past, a human being can find themselves with a bitter taste in their mouth, and
quite often this can lead to the deterioration of a positive, enthusiastic attitude towards life, in general.
Facing the fact of one’s mortality is something we all have to do, sooner or later, with the exception of victims
of war or sudden, accidental death. Some of us are more practiced (and also fortunate) in being able to
put it off for as long as possible.
As long as one is reasonably healthy, with no pressing health concerns, chronic illness or terminal disease,
it is fairly easy to stay in a safe, sane and stable state of mind. But, when a chronic illness develops,
or a terminal disease becomes one’s experience, one can no longer escape the reality of what we all face; the eventuality of our death.
Nothing damages the spirit more than a diagnosis of a chronic illness. One can do all the right things,
exercise, eat healthy, meditate, get the right amount of sleep, do good works and share joy and love
with any and everyone they meet. But when one faces the possibility of a shortened life because of
a sudden illness, one can’t help but wonder what they did ‘wrong.’ What are they being ‘punished’ for?
What is the point to life? And, how can there be a God who allows such unfairness?
When the future holds nothing but deterioration and death, one’s sense of hope becomes diminished,
considerably. Instead of planning and anticipating brightness and success, life is reduced to hours
and minutes. One hopes for a better day or that they will have more energy and less pain in the next hour,
Friends vanish and family shrinks. A sense of isolation sets in. Isolation from society, from ‘purpose,’
from Self, at least, the ‘self’ that you perceived yourself to be. Priorities change drastically.
What used to be so important and vital is now meaningless and insignificant. What was once meaningless
and insignificant now becomes important and vital.
The world changes beyond all possibilities of one’s imagination.
The sense of time changes, as well. One can spend literally hours, staring into empty space or the darkness,
at night, when sleep becomes a stranger.
Regardless of the losses, and in spite of the lack of meaning and purpose, one still seeks to understand,
to find meaning and purpose.
It seems that the quest of all humans is very similar, throughout time and from culture to culture.
Since the beginning of consciousness, we have sought some measure of control, one way, or another.
Even before consciousness, it appears that all life forms exhibit the same motivation.
The means one employs to obtain this sense of control varies, from person to person, of course.
But all beings desire control. Control over their environment. Control over others.
This is part and parcel of the all-pervasive need to find security, to survive and thrive in the world.
When suffering becomes part of one’s journey, if they remain conscious enough, through the suffering,
they come to see that this sense of control that some attain is truly and most definitely
an illusion. Perhaps, it is the most common illusion of all. For try as we will, gain what
we can, acquire and collect valuables, property and admiration. No one escapes the passage of time,
the certainty of deterioration. The inevitability of death.
Still, one cannot help but ask the question; ‘why’? ‘Why is there such a thing as suffering’?
Does it have a reason, a purpose?
As with all of the big questions in life, we can only guess, assume, formulate opinions
and develop beliefs based on those opinions. What else can we do?
Perhaps our spirits grow weary, complacent, bored and tired of the eternal timelessness
of the higher levels. As the spirit grows weary, it weakens and becomes dense, more and more,
Until it becomes so dense that it descends to the lower, physical plane of matter,
where pain and suffering become a distinct possibility, due to the solidity of gross matter.
This also makes it possible, and likely, that the spirit will learn just how good it is to exist
on the higher levels, where physical pain and suffering have no hold.
Perhaps the different levels of pain and suffering we can experience in the physical
are directly proportional to the degree of complacency and boredom that the spirit
has come to.
Physical suffering heals the spirit.
When hope has vanished and all one can hope for is the hope of finding hope,
this is an attractive possibility.
In Hope and Love
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