Saturday, December 22, 2007

News, Not News

I saw my neurologist yesterday.

There was a lot of head-scratching. He ruled out Lyme disease and metabolic disease. He all but ruled out MS (though a slight percentage of people with MS never have a positive spinal fluid test). He won't completely rule out MS nor neuropathy, nor myopathy. Not yet. Before he refers me to an MS specialist (if we get that far, he wants to do EMG testing on my legs, January 15.

It seems that the Ides are significant this year for me. "Ides" is a reference, of course, to the Roman calendar. The ides generally referred to the middle of a month, equating to the 15th of the month in our calendar. Some of the important tests I've had done have happened on the 15th. Leo died on the 15th. I guess the trend may carry on into 2008, if this scheduled test is any indication.

Not that I believe in fate or any manner of pre-destiny. If I did, I'd just find some way to thumb my nose at fate (and would I know that that was not also predestined?) I was mentioning to my dear husband the other night how much I wish I could have the faith of my childhood back in my life, but it's like putting the genie back in the bottle. I know too much now that refutes what I was told. I can't believe there is some supreme being having fun with us, threatening us with hellfire and damnation if we don't do his bidding. That would make no sense to me at all. I was told that for many years, but eventually, as I matured, I realized that if indeed there is a supreme being, he is far too involved with running the universe to care about each and every hair on our heads. At least that's my take. I guess you could say I have the faith of a skeptic, like Jay Tolson at U.S. News & World Report.

This is why I prefer Buddhism. We are all matter and energy, which science understands, too. Where science leaves off is what happens after we die. If you can't create or destroy energy (the 2nd law of thermodynamics), then how is it that if we are energy and matter, we just cease to be at death? We don't. That energy has to go somewhere, and I believe that it goes on to another life, inhabits another body ready for a soul's force. Yes, there is a certain amount of faith here, but no more faith than is required when science can't yet explain a thing in detail (or when science can't find out why my legs don't want to work sometimes). To prove or disprove my belief, I would have to die and go on.

Or you can look at the Dalai Lama. If you've seen "Seven Years in Tibet" or "Kundun," you'll have some idea of what I'm about to say. The Dalai Lama is a reincarnation of the previous Dalai Lama, the bodhisattva of compassion. The "proof" we have is that when the committee went from home to home in Lhasa, looking for the reincarnation of their leader (after several years ... they had to wait for children born at the time of the 13th Dalai Lama's death to mature to an age at which they could communicate), they found a young boy who correctly identified the items (our of a variety) that were his in his previous life. Ask him to do it now, and he couldn't. Time passes and we become who we are in this life, leaving behind the persona we took on in the previous life.

This all makes more sense to me. Much more. I do miss the music of my childhood churches, but I don't miss sitting there feeling like I had done something wrong - whether or not I had. I don't miss the judgmental nature of the congregation. I don't miss the dogma. I grew up Southern Baptist - about as bible-thumping as they come. I tried Catholicism after I got married. I've been in the Church of God (no thanks!). There isn't a fit for me. I am not meant to be a lamb.

Sorry to be rambling this morning. It's what's on my mind. I've been thinking a lot about my cousin (whom I'm writing a book about) and how she died. If she died by her own hand (as the coroner ruled ... under duress), it was because the church drove her to it. She made the huge mistake of loving someone and getting pregnant at an early age. She was essentially shunned for that. For a long time, the stain was on her. She got married and raised her son. I don't think she killed herself, which is why I'm writing the book. It's a fictionalized version of the story, with all of the names changed to protect the innocent and the guilty alike. I should probably do some work on that right now, in fact, as soon as I get my cup of coffee.

I wish you all a good day.

Peace - D

1 comment:

popecoyote1st said...

Interesting, my friend. Of course you know I'm even more skeptical than you are. ;) This is why I chose Taoism as a way rather than just my own blind path. I don't know if there is a second or subsequent lives. I wouldn't rule it out. I never embraced a faith in my youth though I had two variations thrust at me. I rejected a supreme or personal deity pretty early on and have never found any need for one. In the quantum weirdness that is reality, it is hard to say what happens to souls, if they exist at all other than a biochemical manifestation of our consciousness. Though I am very skeptical, and some would say cynical, I am open minded about things I don't have evidence about and there are some curious snatches of evidence regarding reincarnation or transmigration of consciousness. There is no loss of mass, as had once been reported, at the moment of death, however, and any energy would dissipate over a brief period of time as largely as heat and the chemical reactions of decay.

Anyway - best of luck with your diagnosis and with your quest, wherever it takes you. I don't imagine my perspective changing much as it hasn't significantly in 45 years. I've amassed a lot of data in the meantime, however. ;)

On a side note, I was watching a copy of Frank Zappa's showdown on Crossfire in 1986 talking about the attempts of the Reagan administration to rob us of rights. When quizzed by Novak about his greatest fear, Zappa said that it was the formation (based on the things put in play by the Reaganites, many who are in the Bush Admin) of a fascist fundamentalist dictatorship in the near future. Novak asked if he was serious - he was. I'm still amazed at Frank's perception of politics and trends. I thought it was an overstatement at the time. Now I share his fear. And just because some folks can't get over mythology that has been proven wrong and outdated for over millennia, like all of the myths of those times. The mind wobbles.