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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

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