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thank you for another interesting diary. Taylor's experience reminded my of a interview with Ram Dass, former Richard Alpert - talking about how he experienced his stroke. Unfortunately it was in a magazine and I can't find the article anymore. The best I could find so far with google is the follwing:

Conscious Choice: Ram Dass: Slower Mind, Deeper Wisdom

VL: In your latest book Still Here, you say that you are happier since your stroke in 1997. Why is this?

RD: It's a comfortable role. The wheelchair gives me a great seat every place I go. I'm dealing with the fact that my body is old. The stroke brought me to my appreciation for this place of existence. I had always been busy living in other spiritual planes and never really acknowledged my body. But the stroke said, "It's time."

VL: Didn't you have your stroke right when you had finished the first draft of your manuscript for Still Here?

RD: That's right. I thought my leg had collapsed underneath me just because I was thinking about what it means to be an old person. Somehow I thought my mind had created the whole experience for me. Of course I didn't realize that the stroke had happened. I couldn't quite distinguish which reality the collapsing leg had happened in.

VL: Were you afraid at all?

RD: No.

VL: How has having a stroke altered your perception of life?

RD: It brings the notion of illness down to size. Because I had a stroke, control of the muscles in my arm has gone. So if you look at me as a man who's had a stroke, that's one perception. But if you look at me as a soul, that is a completely different perception.

But I can say that the stroke has brought me closer to my guru. At first, when I came to and people told me I was a stroke victim, I thought that my guru must have gone out to lunch. Then I started talking to him about my feeling that he had abandoned me and found that those conversations increased my faith. He had been giving me faith all the time, but I wasn't experiencing it. Ironically, the experience of faith is reliant on your faith. What occurred to me is that I didn't have the faith to be able to handle the stroke. As I went deeper and deeper and deeper into my faith, I came out to a place where the stroke doesn't matter.

by Fran on Sun Mar 23rd, 2008 at 03:15:40 AM EST
Found another one:

Stroke of Wisdom

Lying there in the dark, I wondered why what I'd written seemed so incomplete, not quite rounded, grounded, or whole. I tried to imagine what life would be like if I were very old -- not an active person of sixty-five, traveling the world incessantly as a teacher and speaker, caught up in my public role -- but as someone of ninety, say, with failing sight and failing limbs. I fantasized how that old man would think, how he'd move and speak and hear, what desires he might have as he slowly surveyed the world. I was trying to feel my way into oldness. I was thoroughly enjoying this fantasy when the phone rang. In the process of my fantasy, I'd noticed that my leg seemed to have fallen asleep. As I got up to answer the phone, my leg gave way under me and I fell to the floor. In my mind, the fall was still part of my "old-man fantasy." I didn't realize that my leg was no longer working because I'd had a stroke.
by Fran on Sun Mar 23rd, 2008 at 03:37:52 AM EST
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Bob's visits to Tanzania suddenly came to mind.  That the kids need to believe in something, to have some model of the world they can attach hopes to and get some chance of having them realised--positive reinforcement....but it seems that humans can positively reinforce to negative models, accept that life is X, Y, Z as proposed by the model and then live within the possible pleasures and pains of the model...

I dunno, they're just words.  For me, "faith" is an obstacle course while "belief" is a (de)motivating force--that faith is not a force, it's a mindset, a belief...that the right thought pattern will change the external reality; while belief--can generate that world view, but it also generates others, I'm thinking of the...eight basic scripts.

I'm fumbling around--it's just the word "faith"--is one of those ET ALARM words, so I thought I'd pull it out and...say what I thought about it.  Hope that's okay!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sun Mar 23rd, 2008 at 08:10:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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