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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Prayer

If I've been ignoring people's comments of late (publishing them and hoping to get back to them later) I apologize. My father has experienced a downturn in his health and my son will be flying to Ohio on Thursday to stay with his aunt for 2 weeks. I should get my ass over to the lab and let them draw my blood because my white cell count has been high for no real raisin for several months now, but I always end up unable to sleep decently in the morning and then I fall asleep and by the time I wake up the lab is closed. (I work nights, for those who don't know.)
I will explain things a bit regarding my father's health, for those that don't know the background of the situation.
Some of us age better than others. My mother is in quite good health. She just turned 69. She had a hip replacement 2 years ago and has mild osteoarthritis in some of her joints but all of her systems are "go."
My father, on the other hand, is 72 and looks like he's 92 and in poor health. His cardiovascular system is bad: he has atrial fibrillation. His arterial condition is bad: he has atherosclerosis. He has spinal stenosis. He had several smaller strokes before the large one that left him handicapped, although no-one caught them. These strokes are destroying his cognitive abilities. He still knows who everyone is but, for instance, can't remember the name of the town that I've lived in for the past 7 years. He is getting progressively worse and while I know that nothing can be done to make him better, it's hard to watch. I was brought up believing that when someone is hurt or ill, we pray for them. This is a pleasant idea in theory. But once I started seeing all the problems with the religion I was brought up with (Catholic) I began to shy away from it.
I don't mean to make it sound like I think prayer is stupid. Some people are comfortable with it and Larry Dossey, a medical doctor, has written several books on the helpful healing energies generated by prayer. This isn't prayer associated with any particular religion, just prayer with intent. I studied Dossey's theories while I was attending a Unitarian church. My problem with Unitarian churches is that it seems like from the perspective of a lot of today's Unitarians, if you have spiritual beliefs you are treated like an uncivilized, back-asswards bumpkin. I'm not an atheist either, so I guess I just can't win.
The late Rev. Joe Willis, who was the instructor of the courses, was not an atheist, he just believed in a more natural kind of "god" which was a creative energy and the energy of life. He wrote a book called Finding Faith in the Face of Doubt and it is worth reading.
I can't get down with the god that I grew up with. (Yaweh) I have trouble with that dude. Seems like he wants everyone's adulation and just isn't a very nice guy. Although who knows, maybe he's gotten some bad press due to the people who blindly worship him. Interestingly enough, Yaweh is actually a war god. So he's really good at smiting people. Not so good at the compassion thing, perhaps.
I think things go better for me when I turn to some sort of higher power, though. I feel at sea when I try to go with a cut and dry atheist kind of belief system, which doesn't work for me, although in the long run I actually believe that all things are scientific and a part of nature. Some of them simply can't be proven by science as we know it at this time. Ghosts, for instance, and higher types of spirits such as nature spirits and angels. Which may be the same thing, angels being a different kind of nature spirit associated with the etheric realm. Deities in this sense are also natural. They were referred to by the late metaphysician Al Manning as energy transmitter spirits. While Al went way out in left field on occasion and one of his former wives who is also a metaphysical practitioner, said that she was sure he was dealing with spirits but was fairly certain they weren't actually deities, I like his description of powerful energy transmitter spirits and I like to give credit where credit is due.
When I am in tune with these energy transmitter personalities, I tend to feel less alone and adrift. Usually I petition Tara, a Hindu mother goddess. She is kind and compassionate. I know that petitioning such a being does not mean that I will magically, like rubbing Alladin's lamp, get what I want. I don't think my father can be miraculously cured, for instance. Or I suppose he could, but it may not be in his best interest and it isn't likely to happen. However, petitioning or invoking these higher beings does help me feel at peace.
I think the best thing for my father would be to be at peace too, whatever that means in his case. So I ask for his suffering to cease. That may mean that he must leave his body. This would be difficult for me to deal with but on a logical level, what my mother said applies. It's like it isn't really him any more. It's as if he has been taken away and a sick, miserable, frightened old man has been left in his place. He's really not old enough to be falling apart like this, but for whatever reason, he is. So I ask Tara for compassion.
Death is not the end of the soul, it is the end of the body and a gateway to another level for the soul. This is my belief.
Blessings to all who read this.
Lily and friends

2 comments:

nacht uil said...

Interesting article! I wish you all the strength you need, and that your father will find peace.

mago said...

The hard part is to see, understand and watch the detoriation until one finally wishes it to end. It is no good to wish death to someone (and I am sure that we are not allowed to take life away), but there is a point when the suffering gets unbearable for the one who is suffering. The focus should always be on the person who is actually ill. Past a certain point, when really nothing else is working when the reaper is just an inch away, then wish him a good death. Before this point everything else is to be done.
Hope Tara helps you.