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Does brain fog reduce the spiritual sense?

Discussion in 'Spirituality and ME/CFS' started by Hip, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. Mr. Cat

    Mr. Cat Senior Member

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    Nice pictures! For me, forests increase the spiritual sense! I have some redwoods not far from my home that I should probably go visit.
    Dreambirdie likes this.
  2. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    There is something very uplifting (in many ways) about being inside a cathedral ring of redwoods. I understand why our pagan ancestors worshiped trees.

    "Tree worship (dendrolatry) refers to the tendency of many societies throughout history to worship or otherwise mythologize trees. Trees have played an important role in many of the world's mythologiesand religions, and have been given deep and sacred meanings throughout the ages. Human beings, observing the growth and death of trees, the elasticity of their branches, the sensitivity and the annual decay and revival of their foliage, see them as powerful symbols of growth, decay and resurrection. The most ancient cross-cultural symbolic representation of the universe's construction is the world tree.
    The image of the Tree of life is also a favourite in many mythologies. Various forms of trees of life also appear in folklore, culture and fiction, often relating to immortality or fertility. These often hold cultural and religious significance to the peoples for whom they appear. For them, it may also strongly be connected with the motif of the world tree."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree_worship
    L'engle likes this.
  3. Tristen

    Tristen Senior Member

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    Beautiful! Looks like highway 1 up the Mendo coast. Used to spend lots of time out there...really miss it. Glad you had such a happy birthday.....:balloons: The pic of the redwoods was taken on the Prairie Creek-Fern Canyon trail just north of Orick, and just a short ways from home.
  4. Yocheved

    Yocheved Spoonless In Seattle

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    I'm Orthodox Jewish, and I find my connection to G-d growing more and more every day. I find it hard to focus on the text of the prayers, so I tend to pray more from the heart. I find myself thanking G-d for things in life that so many people take for granted, praying for the welfare of others, seeing the life lessons in being ill and forced to slow down.

    I find reading the Book of Job to be extremely comforting, as well as the book of Psalms.

    There are times that I find observing the holidays to be draining, but I thank G-d that I'm not a man, so I don't have as many daily commitments and obligations.
  5. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Actually, it's further south than that--Santa Cruz County, but just as beautiful. I've been to Mendocino, so I know what you're talking about. That part of the California coast is gorgeous.

    And you live in the very wet rain forest area of CA, far north, past Eureka. I've never been there, but who knows, maybe one day I will venture up to the Lost Coast. The redwoods are pretty spectacular there, big and old and powerful.

    Nature is definitely one of my favorite in-roads to spiritual experience. We're very lucky to live on such a beautiful stretch of the planet. Many inspirations to be had.
  6. Tristen

    Tristen Senior Member

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    Hi DB, I thought your pics probably were farther south and yes, just as beautiful. I can feel the soft warm wind of that coastal area now. So serene. From this north end, I used to go down highway 1 and cut across inland at the town of Meno and spend 3 days/nights at Orr hot springs. 3 is just perfect. Used to go every month if I could. It's been a long time now due to the heat intolerance I had back when. I may do ok with that now and have recently been thinking on going maybe later this spring.

    I consider Arcata to be my home. Yea, somewhat of a rainforest. Redwoods love it. I completely agree with you on nature and spirituality, especially in the old growth forests. Lot of Native American energy here as well. Also lot of creativity and art. I too love the beach, but second to the forest. The beach may even be better for me currently since I can go there and just sit and meditate with the waves while laying in the sun. I tried to upload a pic I have of College Cove at Trinidad but it won't let me, too big and I can't figure out how to shrink it.

    Well, if ever you do decide to get up here, I would like to meet ya, and maybe even show ya some of our area. Lunch at the least. :)

    All the best,

    T
    Dreambirdie likes this.
  7. Hell...Hath...No...Fury..

    Hell...Hath...No...Fury.. Senior Member

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    I love this description :) i sometimes think a simulated emulation is a lot safer for our health. I think my personality was too large for my physical body to handle so i've been put on a leash. While irritating, maybe it was necessary :)
    Dreambirdie likes this.
  8. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    OMG! that is so funny! I think I know exactly what you mean. But I definitely have no desire or willingness for a leash of any kind.
  9. gretac

    gretac

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    LOL! I love it! May I borrow that?!
    I've recently had 2 contrasting experiences:
    An acquaintance asked what I'm doing these days. I responded "Living." He: "But what do you do?" Me: "Really, just living." He: "But what are you doing?" He just couldn't let it go!
    The other: met the leader of an enlightenment intensive workshop/healing center, who asked the same thing: "What do you do in [hometown]?" Me: "Not much." He: "Ah, you're one of those lucky ones!"

    (It would be a great thread: How do you answer the "what do you do?" question? Maybe there's a thread already...)
    ahimsa likes this.
  10. Tristen

    Tristen Senior Member

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    I love this. I was pretty much bigger than life in many ways too. Some was good, some kinda self destructive. The very first doc I saw who understood me/cfs (as much as could be 15 years ago), said to me...... "the universe has upped the anti on you".
  11. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Hi gretac--Hehehe! :rofl::p Thank you. And sure, feel free to borrow it.

    "What do you DO?" can be an annoying question. I think "Living" is a great answer. It's nice and brief and honest. So I will borrow that from you. ;) How strange that that acquaintance of yours couldn't handle hearing this. I suppose he's like most people, who want to hear only those things that affirm their reality, and their own doing-ness. Any answer that contradicts the beliefs of a do-er will make him/her/them uncomfortable. Too bad for them.
    ahimsa likes this.
  12. gretac

    gretac

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    Hi, Dreambirdie!
    Yeah, I think we're so programmed to build our identities around what we do/produce/accomplish, that it can be a challenge (to us and to others!) to reframe meaning in terms of the intrinsic value of just being. I like it, though: maybe our purpose as CFIDS-ers is to provide a balancing antidote in our doing-heavy cultures! Like the monks and hermits whose sole purpose was to meditate and pray for the world v. changing the world through direct actions... ... ...
    just some of what I'm "working" on coming to terms with these days
  13. rosie26

    rosie26 Senior Member

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    Hip

    Yes, you are right, there is a decrease in spiritual awareness, everything is slowed down in ME in your thinking.

    I don't even think about my family as much as I used too or friends. Everything is processed differently/slowly by the brain.
    I used to be able to carry everything around in my head, appointment times, birthdays coming up, the few things I need to get from supermarket that I missed getting in the main order. Now it is impossible. Sometimes I get a fright and come to a standstill, thinking I'm sure there was something important I had to do today and I am standing there trying to go through my mind what it was. I have to write everything down as it is just too much. I have pad paper with scribbles on everywhere in the house. Yes our brains are certainly not functioning properly.
    roxie60 and Wayne like this.
  14. roxie60

    roxie60 Senior Member

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    This decrease in spiritual awareness upsets me more than the bad memory or confused thinking. It feels like I have lost that mystical connection to a higher power. This is odd really, because when you face an illness like ME/CFS, you'd hope that your spiritual energies would increase, in order to give comfort and help you deal with everything.

    Yes Yes Yes, sadly yes
    SilverbladeTE likes this.
  15. aussie777

    aussie777

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    I completely agree with the loss of spiritual sense and awareness. Being only in my early 20's it scares me even more. I have lost that intimate connection with all those close to me, and feel as though I must rebuild my life and reevaluate my life goals, beliefs, and values. Comprehending philosophies I used to live by are just too far fetched for me to understand. Spirituality has always brought a sense of being and and reason to be alive, but without it, there is a deep emptiness in my life now.

    But, what can you do. Life goes on...
    rosie26 likes this.
  16. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Senior Member

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    Y'all are admirably articulate and deeply soulful -- for a crew lamenting about feeling cut off from the divine. My hat's off to you. What a great conversation here.

    I love that video, Dreambirdie, about the plankton skeletons -- and now I know why your avatar seemed so familiar to me! My dad had sent me the Red Book a year or two ago.

    I'm deeply grateful for the spiritual work I did early on because there is just no way I would have survived some of the last 20 months. Mr. Cat talked about being in the body vs. dissociation and I think also was the one who made the point about there always being an internal faculty or witness/observer. No matter how bad things got, as one of my teachers often said, there was always a space to rest between the breaths. Especially the long nights of unremitting nausea and wolverines clawing at my stomach lining. just being with the breath seemed to move me through the hours until sleep.

    Hip that was a great question "what was that antioxidant you took" I didn't see a response but was curious myself what it could have been.

    Without wading into the theological debates above, I will say that at every stage of my own explorations, I always found myself resonating with the mystic tradition of the faiths I was studying. Not going to make a statement about the commonality of all mystic experience or such, but Eckhart sounds a lot like Dogen in part because once you reach the limits of language to convey realization, there's really not a lot left but poetry and/or statements that seem so contradictory as to confound (kind of the point).

    Hip and everyone who has felt this loss of connection, aside from hoping and praying daily for your full recovery to vibrant health, I wish for you any inkling -- waking or sleeping -- to help assuage that hunger, feed that desire for connection to your spiritual source.
    Dreambirdie and Bob like this.
  17. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

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    I periodically lose my sense of connection (sometimes for years), but it always comes back. In the unconnected times I gravitate more towards light spiritual reading, like reincarnation stories, angels and such. When I'm connected, it's easy to meditate in silence so I do that.

    I'm very uncomfortable when I lack spiritual connection, so I try to keep the idea of it alive through what I read. Sort of fake it till you make it.
    Sparrowhawk likes this.
  18. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Hi Sparrowhawk. Yes, you got it right. My avatar is Jung's drawing of Philemon, the guiding spirit in his confrontation with the unconscious. Jung's Red Book is awesome, isn't it. I've had it since it first came out in 2010, but haven't read the whole thing yet. It's too intense for me to try to take in as a whole, so I just read passages, and savor them.

    Jung has been a big inspiration for me since I was in high school. I read all of the Collected Works by the time I was in my mid-twenties, as well as everything I could find by ML von Franz, and much of Hillman, Mircea Eliade and Joseph Campbell. These are the writings I return to when I need to re-remember the bigger picture of my life. There is so much in them, that I can read them over and over and be re-inspired each time.

    In case you haven't read it, here's a great article on the publishing of the Red Book, and what it took to get it into print and public circulation. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/20/magazine/20jung-t.html?_r=3&scp=1&sq=jung's red book&st=cse&

    I hear you. It can be difficult to find that center of consciousness when symptoms become overwhelming, but knowing that it's there is a comfort and relief.
    Sparrowhawk and Bob like this.
  19. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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  20. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Thanks for you positive thoughts, Sparrowhawk.

    I am still hoping that I will come across some fix for this loss of spiritual energy or mind state.

    Within many faiths there is an understanding that certain substances (typically herbs) can increase the depth of the mind's spiritual state and perspective. For example, frankincense (the incense burnt in churches) is known to increase the spiritual state. So since such substances act by altering the chemistry of the brain, it is clear that whatever the spiritual state might be, and whatever transcendental attributes it may have, the spiritual state is affected by the mundane level of neurochemistry. So I'd like to know what aberration of neurochemistry reduced my spiritual state to a tiny fraction of what it once was. Such neurochemical knowledge might offer a way to address this situation.

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