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Suffering and spirituality

Discussion in 'Spirituality and ME/CFS' started by Nielk, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. Lou

    Lou Senior Member

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    Hi Carrigon,

    Please simply ignore me if I'm prodding into something too personal. The other two experiences, were they before the one you described? Were they positive as well? I don't know if you're familiar with Kenneth Ring's scientific studies(and books) on NDE's, but he is terrific. His latest one in particular, although for the life of me can't recall at the moment its title.
  2. Carrigon

    Carrigon Senior Member

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    The other two were after this one. Neutral to good experiences. But I really think it's different for everyone. I have heard people describe their own versions of hells, I've heard people who have seen the white light and all that. People see different things. Some people see their dead relatives. My grandmother swore all the people she knew who were dead were visiting her right before she died. She told everyone that they would come visit her. She could see and hear them. Of course, the idiots on staff there said she was hallucinating, but seriously, I believed her. If you were going to hallucinate, wouldn't it be about something else? The things she said were very specific. She even said a boy she used to date from like the 1920's came to see her, and he had probably been dead about that many years.

    I've seen alot of things in this life that have no scientific explanation. I've been doing card readings with tarot and chinese astrology since I was eleven years old. I had a 98 percent accuracy when I did them for people in college. I could tell you if you were going to have an accident and exactly what part of your body would be injured. I used to freak my classmates out doing that. I stopped giving readings because the bad things could never be avoided. They always came true. It didn't matter how much I warned someone. It would happen. And I found I really was mostly seeing bad things. And when you do that long enough, it can depress the hell out of you. I no longer give any readings. I just do my own now. Nothing that is seen in the readings can be changed or avoided, but it kind of gives me a heads up. I can tell when I will have company or a phone call. Or it will tell me other little things like if I'm going to run into someone I know when I'm out. But it's more of a general "soon" timeframe. Soon usually being within three weeks time.

    Since my mother died, I frequently get that someone who has passed on is trying to contact me or is around me when I do my card readings. I never had that prior to her death. Now, it's there alot. It's just frustrating because that's all I know. I don't know if it's her, but think it is. I don't know what is being said to me. All I get is that someone is there.
  3. Lou

    Lou Senior Member

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    Thanks, Carrigon.

    Yes, AnnieKim, I would think the purpose/meaning of the story is as you say, however my comment only referred to the disciple's question. Can definitely relate to the brainfog, must have had plenty of it for relating 'no real failures, or hardships' prior to me/cfs. Makes me now want to quote Elaine from Seinfield sitcom, 'That's redicuRous'. I meant, for me, career-wise, but in rereading it sounds too general. Have had plenty of failures, heartache after, AND before running up against this disease.
  4. Ember

    Ember Senior Member

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    As Lou points out, the reply rules out any idea that the man was born with bad karma. The man was born blind, so if he were to blame, that would suggest errors in a past life.

    Through the concept of karma, eastern traditions can blame illness on the ill, and some newer teachings similarly claim that we create our own reality. That thought is empowering for some. I know a woman who had severe ME who believes that she began to heal the moment she realized that she had caused her own illness and began to change.

    But blaming ME on the failings of those who are sick can also be terribly cruel, especially when it comes from the well-meaning well. An illness that regularly punishes normal effort is enough to break the human spirit on its own, without the added burden of self-blame. The fact that brain fog robs the sickest of even the comfort of their spiritual practices seems to point beyond mercy.

    Nevertheless, the spiritually inclined are often quicker to ask about the role of the ill in their illness than they are to ask about the role for the well. I was naked, and you clothed me; sick, and you visited me isn't always an appealing teaching. Neither perhaps is the Dalai Lama's My religion is kindness.

    If humility and compassion are hallmarks of truth, maybe the sick are gifts in disguise. Maybe our suffering isn't even primarily about us. As Milton wrote, They also serve who only stand and wait.
  5. anniekim

    anniekim Senior Member

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    Lou, ah yes, see what you were saying now - why do the disciples even ask that question, interesting....

    Ember, found your comment that people don't ask what is the role for well people when faced with illness in others, very interesting... that perhaps the sick are gifts..... I am thinking how it says in the bible God works for good in all things....
  6. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Past Lives

    Hi All,

    I've been in sort of a down cycle, and haven't had a chance to read this thread very closely. I've appreciated some of the interesting points that have been made however. Neilk, responding to first post, I think life offers us unending opportunities to unfold spiritually, in different directions. In fact, I would say just about every every situation offers this.

    The first thing that came to mind as to what my illness has taught me, is I feel Ive gotten much better at being clear on my main priorities. However, I sometimes wonder what insights Ive learned from this illness, and what Ive learned from a natural maturation process as I get older. In this regard, I think I could have achieved the same thing without having this illness.

    Ive read (and believe) that good health can be a real asset in our own spiritual journey. I would tend to agree with this, and so I often have this incentive in mind regarding my own health endeavors. So in short, yes, illness can help us gain certain insights, but I dont think it's some kind of prerequisite. Personally, I think I could do much better for myself and those around me if I had better health. So I relentless strive to achieve it.

    Lou, I took note of what you took note of. Ive long been a believer in reincarnation, and have many friends on the same spiritual path as I am who accept it as a matter of course. Many of us have used various techniques offered by this path to access some of our own past lives. Its been interesting to hear from others in small discussion groups describe their past life recalls, and how they have given them insights into their current life and situations. For anybody interested in some of these techniques, I would recommend the following book:

    Past Lives, Dreams and Soul Travel


    I feel this book gives some good insights as to when a dream might actually be a past life recall, or whether a dream is actually one of the beginning stages of Soul travel. Not for everybody, but might an interesting read for somebody open to a bit of spiritual exploration.

    Thanks everybody for your contributions on this thread. I hope to read them more closely at some point.

    Best, Wayne
  7. Ember

    Ember Senior Member

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    In case it's of interest or comfort, here's a link to Milton's sonnet on his own blindness. (It's in keeping with the patience of Job.)

    http://www.sonnets.org/milton.htm
  8. Tristen

    Tristen Senior Member

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    My life has been a journey from my head to my heart
  9. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Congratulations! :thumbsup::Retro smile:
  10. Tristen

    Tristen Senior Member

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    I'm not sure congratulations are in order since it's a journey, not a destination.
  11. Nielk

    Nielk

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    I am uplifted and very interested in all your replies.
    There is a lot to learn here from everybody's experiences.
    By the way, reincarnation, is not only a Christian concept, In Judaism, we also believe in reincarnation.
    The Kabbalah (mysticall Jewish philosophy) stated that souls are born into this world for a certain purpose.
    There are different levels of refinement of the soul. With each step achieved the soul gets elevated to a higher level.
    If a person dies and did not achieve it's purpose, it might be sent down in a different body to have the opportunity
    to achieve what it couldn't before. In that case, it might explain a lot of what might seem to us as "unfair" like children born sick. It could be a reincarnation of a soul who just had to go through this experience to gain a higher level.
    I am very intrigued by this subject in general but, also because of something that happened to me personally.
    My mother died at a very young age of heart failure. She was sick for a few years and when she died, I was pregnant with a baby boy. He was born with a rare heart defect and struggled with the disease which had no cure, He passed when he was 13 months old. I am convinced that it was my mother's soul incarnated. As painful a that experience was for me, I was consoled by the fact that I believed that this soul was elevated and achieved it's purpose.
  12. kurt

    kurt Senior Member

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    Just want to say this is a fascinating thread. I have wondered whether other ME/CFS patients have stumbled on the NDE literature and found something that resonated. Definitely the NDE lit has helped me put my spiritual life back together after the years of spiritual malaise. The suffering really can damage one's spirituality. Ironically it is the evidence-based worldview that ME has led to the realization that NDE literature can be viewed as evidence, many data points. That plus experiences while very sick have convinced me there is more to our lives than just the body we inhabit.

    Probably the most profound NDE I have read is by Nanci Danison, she has written several books. Also Dannion Brinkly, and of course the books by Dr Raymond Moody. There is also an NDE Yahoo group that is very active.

    Another writer who has helped with my own spirituality is Eckart Toll, although his approach might be more in the domain of meditation than spirituality, still his approach to 'living in the now' really seems to help.
    Nielk likes this.
  13. PNR2008

    PNR2008 Senior Member

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    This is going to make me sound very weird and negative put I'll take the chance. Has anyone here read or heard about "victim souls".
  14. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Hi PNR,

    I just did a quick google search, and found the following on Wikipedia:

    I'm not sure what kind of reply you were hoping for, but I think the above two people were quite likely the victims of some kind of psychic prank. I have major doubts that Christ or Jesus would ever ask people to become victims. Just doesn't make any sense to me.

    As your question possibly relates to this thread, I would never, as someone with ME, want to categorize myself as being a victim. It just strikes me as an being an incredibly self-defeating attitude to carry around. And I believe the attitudes we hold eventually causes certain things to show up in our lives.

    Best, Wayne
  15. anniekim

    anniekim Senior Member

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    Hi nielk, Christianity does not believe in the concept of reincarnation. Not wanting to sound rude saying this, just wanted to clarify

    Thank you for sharing the story of your mum and child. I am sorry for your loss
    Nielk likes this.
  16. Nielk

    Nielk

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    I apologies. It's my ignorance. I came to that impression by reading previous posts here but, I guess I misunderstood it.
  17. Ember

    Ember Senior Member

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    The information you've shared on Kabbalah has made me wonder if Christianity might be silent on the issue. I find interfaith dialogue so enriching! Always more to learn....
  18. Nielk

    Nielk

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    Hi Kurt,

    Thanks for your informative post. I think in a way. because us patients have more still time in our lives or because being constantly reminded about the frailty of life that some of us are more interested in such topics.
    A few years ago I read a very interesting book titled: :"any Lives, Many Masters: The True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient, and the Past-Life Therapy That Changed Both Their Lives" by Brian L. Weiss.

    From Publishers Weekly
    In 1980, Weiss, head of the psychiatry department at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, began treating Catherine, a 27-year-old woman plagued by anxiety, depression and phobias. When Weiss turned to hypnosis to help Catherine remember repressed childhood traumas, what emerged were the patient's descriptions of a dozen or so of her hitherto unknown 86 past lives, as well as philosophical messages channeled from "Master Spirits." Catherine's anxieties and phobias soon disappeared, says Weiss, and she was able to end therapy. The previously nonspiritual, scientific Weiss, awed by Catherine's and the masters' revelations, has written this book to share his new-found knowledge about "immortality and the true meaning of life." Whether or not one believes in reincarnation and channeling, Weiss's book will disappoint. Catherine's descriptions of her past lives are not particularly compelling or insightful. Moreover, the teachings of the Master Spirits ("We are not to kill. . . . Only God can punish," "Charity, hope, faith, love . . . we must all know these things," and "Our body is just a vehicle for us while we're here. It is our soul and our spirit that last forever"), while admirable and comforting, are little more than restatements of traditional religious values.

    I'm sure others have read this book. It is very fascinating!
  19. Tristen

    Tristen Senior Member

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    Purely out of curiosity, I thought that Christianity didn't believe in reincarnation in the common use of the term where a soul does multiple rebirths into different bodies. But wouldn't Christianity consider "Risen from the dead" a reincarnation? Respectful curiosity only.

    I have my personal beliefs about reincarnation, and the one aspect of it which I feel safe enough to share is my belief that "death" is just an illusion. I do not die, my body does.
  20. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

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    Hi, Tristen.

    As I understand Christianity, it is in agreement with you here. In Christianity, death is not an extinction; it is a separation. That is, in physical death the soul is separated from the body, but the soul does not cease to exist. The Bible also speaks of a "second death," which I understand is the unfortunate situation of some, in which the soul is separated from God, i.e., consigned to Hell for eternity. Again, the soul does not cease to exist, but no longer has the benefit of communion with God. In Christianity, belief in Jesus as the Savior prevents this "second death" for the individual.

    Rich

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