Welcome to the first in an occasional series where I specifically seek your feedback. I want to learn, you can guide my thoughts in ways I haven’t considered. Please respond in the comments and tell me what you think, even if it’s “I don’t know”.
[Edit: A good friend told me she wants to comment, but is "not a philosopher or theologian". That tells me I've pitched this too high- I'm sorry. As with all comments here, I don't expect you to be profound. I'm just happy to hear from you, even if it's "Hi, what a crappy post. You suck, but I can't think of anything to say."
So if you like, just read the first bit and skip the rest.]
Today, I’m sick. Nothing serious, but our topic will lead into a short series about pain, suffering and spirituality; surely a challenge for any path. (Here’s number two in the series.) Atheists have it easy of course, they can just say, “The world sucks, it proves there’s no benevolence in the universe, and that’s all there is to it”. Or do you atheists have something more to offer when we suffer?
What does sickness tell you– if anything– about the transcendent world? How does it affect you: Your meditation, your prayer life, your practice? What is the meaning of life for those who cannot function at the same level as others?
To get your thoughts going, read on. Or just ignore, and go straight to the comments.
Consider Mental illness,
What we call schizophrenic is, as Joseph Campbell has discussed, called (positively) visionary or mystical in shamanic cultures, hence is valued, not feared or sedated with chemicals.
Shamanic illnesses are no different or ‘special’ than the illnesses of ‘normal’ people. Disease all comes from the same source, shamanic or not. Shamanic healers don’t piece by piece heal, they heal as a whole.
I’m mentally disabled myself, I’ve struggled with depression at times for most of my adult life. Or consider the last time you were laid under by a severe cold:
The LORD will sustain him on his sick-bed and restore him from his bed of illness.
I said, O LORD, have mercy on me; heal me, for I have sinned against you.
What can we learn about the meaning of life from permanent disability?
The criteria of transcendence and transfiguration also apply to the spiritual development of disabled people, in each case relative to the characteristics of the body which is disabled, transcended, and transfigured. This enables us to conceive of a multiplicity of known and lived human worlds.
This has two advantages. First, the plurality of the human worlds enables us to construct a spirituality of disability which is not based upon a theory of deficiency. As long as disabilities are mainly understood as lacking something, their intrinsic character will be overlooked, and they will be understood as mere exclusions from the big world.
~ from A Spirituality of Disability
What is the meaning of life for those who cannot function at the same level as others? Do you know someone who’s suffered from chronic illness? Where is g0d in all of this?
Please leave your feedback in the comments. This is YOUR chance to share
Morbid Angel | Blessed Are The Sick