Spirituality ... Garden as Metaphor

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Spirituality ... Garden as Metaphor

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Wed May 31, 2017 4:40 am

"Common daily experience and reason lead to certain conclusions about God."
Words borrowed from Phyllo ... dropped at my feet by the Holy Spirit???

My recent common daily experiences involve helping my wife with her vegetable garden. She farms 2-3 acres ... mostly by hand ... and her garden is not one contiguous plot of ground ... rather several disjointed plots ... a remnant of the land reforms in China about 70 years ago, where each rural household was given enough land to feed their family.

My wife literally dragged me into her enterprise, yet the more I participated the more I understand my life and life in general. My initial reluctance has morphed into enthusiastic participation. The following thoughts are the fruit of my gardening efforts.

Anyone who works to create a garden has an investment in the outcome ... whether it be the asthetic beauty of a flower garden or the enjoyment of nutritious vegetables fresh from the garden. Initially, with no personal investment in the outcome of my wife's gardening enterprise ... the work was difficult and unpleasant. Currently, and quite by accident, interest, enthusiasm and excitment have surfaced.

Creating a garden has 4 stages:

1) Cultivate the soil.

2) Plant the seeds, seedlings.

3) Nurture the emerging plants.

4) Protect the growing plants.



1) Cultivate the soil.


Some machinery was used to cultivate my wife's garden plots yet enough was done by hand to learn that this stage is bloody hard work. Ditto for individuals engaged in promoting spirituality within the human family.

2) Plant the seeds, seedlings

Again some machinery was used ... planting the winter wheat ... though much of the work was done by hand. Certainly, after the seeds are planted, there is an overwhelming expectation that they will all germinate and sprout. I learned this is not always the case ... ditto for scattering spiritual thoughts (seeds). Observing her peanut seeds germinate and sprout was particularly informative and exciting.

The peanut seed seems to create a white 'stem' (for lack of a better word) that pushes down into the earth or ... perhaps simply creates an anchor ... that serves to push the peanut to the surface. For many of the seedlings the peanut seed breaks through the surface of the earth ... intact. The peanut seed later opens ... exposing it's two independent halves ... the colour changes to green and leaves start sprouting from the base of where the peanut split into it's two halves. For me, absolutely fascinating ... the only plant I know of that pushes the seed to the surface before sprouting leaves.

The peanut seed ... the genesis of it's symbiotic relationship with the soil occurs in the ground ... in the dark ... unseen ... dancing alone with the soil. Reminds me of the book "Dark Night of the Soul" by St John of the Cross. According to St John the genesis of our symbiotic relationship with God starts in the dark ... in the unknown ... the unseen ... some part of our being is dancing with God and we're not consciously aware of the dance.

"On a dark night, Kindled in love with yearnings -- oh, happy chance! --
Í went forth without being observed. My house being now at rest.
In darkness and secure, By the secret ladder, disguised -- oh, happy chance!--
In darkness and in concealment, My house being now at rest.
In the happy night, In secret, when none saw me."

The peanut seed now on the surface of the soil splits into it's two halves ... exposing each half to the sun. The sun joins the dance the peanut seed is having with the soil ... the peanut seed turns green ... and tiny leaves begin to sprout. The sun ... the light ... is an integral partner in the growth of the seed plant. Perhaps answers why the sun ... the light ... figures so prominently in many world religions.

The corn plants ... it's not over until the fat lady sings. Her young corn plants started to whither ... the first leaves had been eaten off by bugs. People ... like the young unhealthy corn shoots ... are full of holes ... a portion of our being has been eaten or chewed off. Not to worry ... there is something within our being that has the power to overcome these 'attacks' and we can grow into a healthy productive life.

3) Nurture the emerging plants

As if on cue ... nature withheld it's life giving rain. We have had very little rain in the past month or so ... the soil is like a dust bowl The young unhealthy plants seemed to be crying out ... water ... water ... water ... please! The seeds that have yet to germinate and sprout seem to be uttering the same plea.

Shortly after this observation I experienced a gut-wrenching feeling of angst. On reflection I understood my feelings to be rooted in how much we take food for granted. For most of the people in the world food security is a trip to the local supermarket. This wasn't always the case ... and today's supermarkets may not always exist.

Reflected on the feast still celebrated in the West ... Thanksgiving. I felt ... at a much deeper level ... the underlying intentions of the first instances of celebrating Thanksgiving Day. The feast is a relic of the past with no significance today. Western people might better celebrate a Zuckerberg proclamation ... since he embodies what almost all people in the world aspire to achieve. Namely ... fortune and fame ... and by association the power that comes in it's wake.

I better understand why more than one billion Chinese people work so hard every day ... it's in their jeans. Their ancestors survived generation after generation of hardship(s) ... and that impressive survival was largely the fruit of hard physical labour.

Creating a garden requires constant nurturing ... ditto for the individual attempting to promote spirituality.

4) Protect the growing plants.

Seems protection is an integral component of all life ... certainly personal security is dear to the hearts of all humans. How is this manifested in our gardens. All gardens have unwanted guests ... Mr and Mrs Weed and family! It's a mystery that the Weed family ... left unattended ... will outgrow and smother to death all cultivated flowers and vegetables. Pulling the weed family out of our gardens is a difficult and never ending task.

What are some examples of the Weed family in our spiritual life ...

"Distraction is perhaps the most powerful narcotic on the planet. Simply put, what this means is that our daily communion, the manna that sustains us, is distraction – television, game-shows, sporting-events, sit-coms, talk-shows, entertainment-news, scandals reported in the daily papers, pop music, movies, theatre, and the like. Not that these are bad. What’s bad is that they eventually anesthetize us: We watch the late-night comedians on TV, scotch in hand, laugh as they spoof the day’s events, let the tensions of the day subside, and sleep pretty well. Not bad, not bad at all, except we do it again the next night and the night after and onwards ever after, slowly numbing ourselves to the deeper issues of meaning, pain, justice, self-sacrifice, love, death."
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

Thomas Kempis 1380-1471
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Re: Spirituality ... Garden as Metaphor

Postby Prismatic567 » Wed May 31, 2017 8:48 am

"Chop Wood, Carry Water"
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: Spirituality ... Garden as Metaphor

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Wed May 31, 2017 10:59 am

Prismatic567 wrote:"Chop Wood, Carry Water"


an enigmatic community of words ...

The feeling of drawing water and the feeling of chopping wood can translate into a continuous sense of the effect of the field of gravity as reciprocal activity is generated; this is summarized by Yuanwu as follows:

When you arrive at last at towering up like a wall miles high, you will finally know that there aren’t so many things.

(Zen Letters, Teachings of Yuanwu; trans. by Cleary & Cleary, page 83, ©1994 by J. C. Cleary and Thomas Cleary)
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

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Re: Spirituality ... Garden as Metaphor

Postby Shepherdess » Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:28 pm

“The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in one dewdrop on the grass.”
Dogen


“No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place.”
- Zen Proverb


Now THAT is spirituality!
"It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure."
Joseph Campbell

"In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel nothing can befall me in life, - no disgrace, no calamity, (leaving me my eyes,) which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground, - my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, - all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

"No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof. What everybody echoes or in silence passes by as true today may turn out to be falsehood tomorrow, mere smoke of opinion, which some had trusted for a cloud that would sprinkle fertilizing rain on their fields."
Thoreau
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Re: Spirituality ... Garden as Metaphor

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:25 am

Shepherdess wrote:“The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in one dewdrop on the grass.”
Dogen


“No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place.”
- Zen Proverb


Now THAT is spirituality!


Certainly aesthetically attractive words ... maybe even poetic ... though doesn't the notion of spirituality refer to a personal experience?

Perhaps I experienced spirituality yesterday ... than again ... perhaps my experience was simply a manifestation of a psychological disorder(s). :)

Nature speaks to us through it's beauty ... the rose flower ... the rose scent. Nature also speaks to us through it's suffering.

We have had an unusually hot dry summer so far. My wife's young corn and peanut plants are visibly suffering ... some are dying.

Yesterday, my efforts to give some of them a drink of water was ... at least for me ... quite interesting. While watering them I mentally reviewed my motives:

1) No investment in the outcome. My wife's gardening enterprise has no financial objectives. The cost of the motorized donkey cart, water tank, water pump and portable battery far exceed the value of even bumper crops.

2) No previous affinity for gardening or plants in general. My wife literally dragged me into helping her with her farming enterprise.

3) Lots of competition for my limited time and energy ... why choose the watering task?

While watering these young plants some rather strange words popped into my head ... "If you can't do it with love and tenderness ... don't bother" The plants speaking to me?

Imagine if the human family adopted such a paradigm ... virtually all human activity would come to a screeching halt!
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

Thomas Kempis 1380-1471
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Re: Spirituality ... Garden as Metaphor

Postby Prismatic567 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:18 am

pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:Certainly aesthetically attractive words ... maybe even poetic ... though doesn't the notion of spirituality refer to a personal experience?

Perhaps I experienced spirituality yesterday ... than again ... perhaps my experience was simply a manifestation of a psychological disorder(s). :)
This is why it is very helpful to update oneself with the neural mechanics underlying a spiritual experience. Then one will know whether one's experience is more likely to be a psychological disorder(s), brain damage or a genuine 'spiritual' experience.

My stroke of insight | Jill Bolte Taylor
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyyjU8fzEYU

Jill Bolte a neuroscientist experienced one of the highest levels of spiritual experience any one could possibly experience. Then she realized as a neuroscientist she was suffering from a very severe stroke which could have killed her. She detailed the exact part of her damaged brain. Obviously Jill's experience and illness is not recommended for any one to copy to get similar experience which may not be repeatable. Scientist at least are informed the damaged part in some way contributed to the spiritual experience.

Neural wise, many people who have aged tend to suffer hallucination naturally, i.e. Charles Bonnet Syndrome due to the atrophy of certain inhibitors neurons.
https://www.macularsociety.org/visual-hallucinations

Nature speaks to us through it's beauty ... the rose flower ... the rose scent. Nature also speaks to us through it's suffering.

We have had an unusually hot dry summer so far. My wife's young corn and peanut plants are visibly suffering ... some are dying.

Yesterday, my efforts to give some of them a drink of water was ... at least for me ... quite interesting. While watering them I mentally reviewed my motives:

1) No investment in the outcome. My wife's gardening enterprise has no financial objectives. The cost of the motorized donkey cart, water tank, water pump and portable battery far exceed the value of even bumper crops.

2) No previous affinity for gardening or plants in general. My wife literally dragged me into helping her with her farming enterprise.

3) Lots of competition for my limited time and energy ... why choose the watering task?

While watering these young plants some rather strange words popped into my head ... "If you can't do it with love and tenderness ... don't bother" The plants speaking to me?

Imagine if the human family adopted such a paradigm ... virtually all human activity would come to a screeching halt!
Some people treat plants with affection. It works in someway.
However to approach gardening and farming with a high dose of mindful, even pulling weeds can induce a spiritual experience.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: Spirituality ... Garden as Metaphor

Postby Shepherdess » Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:42 pm

pilgrim-seeker_tom

The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in one dewdrop on the grass.”
Dogen


“No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place.”
- Zen Proverb


Now THAT is spirituality!



Certainly aesthetically attractive words ... maybe even poetic ... though doesn't the notion of spirituality refer to a personal experience?


What would you gather to be the personal experience hidden beneath those words, PST?
What you may be forgetting though is that we don't all share the same experience in a spiritual and meaningful way.
One man's meat is another man's poison.


Perhaps I experienced spirituality yesterday ... than again ... perhaps my experience was simply a manifestation of a psychological disorder(s). :)


Well, perhaps your experience was but mine was a transcendent one and a learning one.
As for the second part, this is true in certain people. Joan of Arc was eventually found to be schizophrenic, if I'm not mistaken.
You would have to reflect on your own personal experience. I think that our beliefs play a large part in what happens in the brain and vica versa.




Nature speaks to us through it's beauty ... the rose flower ... the rose scent. Nature also speaks to us through it's suffering.


I don't think that nature suffers though I may be wrong. Nature remains neutral. What we experience is our own projections. Nature is a great and wonderful mirror revealing us to ourselves.

We have had an unusually hot dry summer so far. My wife's young corn and peanut plants are visibly suffering ... some are dying.


But do you feel that, aside from humans an animals, the plant kingdom actually suffers like humans do? How would that happen? Do they have a brain?



While watering these young plants some rather strange words popped into my head ... "If you can't do it with love and tenderness ... don't bother" The plants speaking to me?
[/quote]

I doubt very much that the plants told you "don't bother". They need water, they need all kinds of nourishment. Perhaps even speaking to them in a loving way. Either way, they will grow with logical reason and mindfulness. Perhaps tending to the plants even though at times you might not want to, can teach you to tend to yourself in a loving, logical way.
"It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure."
Joseph Campbell

"In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel nothing can befall me in life, - no disgrace, no calamity, (leaving me my eyes,) which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground, - my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, - all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

"No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof. What everybody echoes or in silence passes by as true today may turn out to be falsehood tomorrow, mere smoke of opinion, which some had trusted for a cloud that would sprinkle fertilizing rain on their fields."
Thoreau
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Re: Spirituality ... Garden as Metaphor

Postby Mowk » Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:04 am

Hey +Tom,

I can be cryptic. Metaphor, sort of works that way by it's nature. I personally ain't that cryptic. But what I don't know sort of comes out that way, it seems, if as default. Go figure. I don't admit to knowing much at all.

Sort of have counted upon any shared spirit bridging the gap. Not bridged? Story of may life.

Sorry, the "soap box" you are on does not distinguish, yet it should.

Still cryptic huh? Story of my life.

All the best to you and yours.
my goal in life is to die and no one notices.
in other words; to live as audaciously as possible while drawing the least attention. Or at best something vaguely similar.
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Re: Spirituality ... Garden as Metaphor

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:26 pm

Shepherdess ... your comments feel genuine.

Confucius taught me ... it's OK to suggest a direction to look in ... to tell people what to 'see' should they look in the direction suggested is the epitome of arrogance.

You piqued my affection for Joan of Arc ... she is one of my spirit guides. I suppose the label 'schizophrenic' was inevitable ... can't imagine the anx if the spin doctors judged her behaviour to be 'normal'.

Maybe Joan of Arc will visit you and confirm her mental condition. :)
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

Thomas Kempis 1380-1471
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Re: Spirituality ... Garden as Metaphor

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:34 pm

Mowk wrote:Hey +Tom,

I can be cryptic. Metaphor, sort of works that way by it's nature. I personally ain't that cryptic. But what I don't know sort of comes out that way, it seems, if as default. Go figure. I don't admit to knowing much at all.

Sort of have counted upon any shared spirit bridging the gap. Not bridged? Story of may life.

Sorry, the "soap box" you are on does not distinguish, yet it should.

Still cryptic huh? Story of my life.

All the best to you and yours.


Hi Mowk

Being a soap box orator in an empty arena suits me fine :) Perhaps sharing 'stuff' on ILP somehow amplifies the thoughts and I trust the source to relay them where ever. :)

All leaders lose their "individuation" when people start to pay attention to what they have to say.

Today's summer solstice ... a good day to be amicable ... happy gardening. :)
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

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Re: Spirituality ... Garden as Metaphor

Postby Shepherdess » Wed Jun 21, 2017 2:33 pm

pilgrim-seeker_tom



Confucius taught me ... it's OK to suggest a direction to look in ... to tell people what to 'see' should they look in the direction suggested is the epitome of arrogance.


Yes, as for the first part, I too think that that would be okay, if the person was looking for some kind of guidance. Suggestions are fine.

As for the second part of that, I won't assume but were you actually calling me arrogant? Do you think that I was trying to tell you what to see? I couldn't quite glean where the second part came from.


You piqued my affection for Joan of Arc ..[/she is one of my spirit guides.quote].
Glad to hear it. :mrgreen:


I suppose the label 'schizophrenic' was inevitable ... can't imagine the anx if the spin doctors judged her behaviour to be 'normal'.


Do you think that that label was/is unwarranted? Vincent Van Gogh was eventually labeled bi-polar. Do you think that that label *fits*?
What I find fascinating about Joan is that she was able to accomplish what she did with her/despite her schizophrenia. I don't understand the part it played. I personally believe that, for her, she believed that she did "hear" voices and was visited by angels, but for me she was hallucinating - it was part of the symptoms of her disease.


Maybe Joan of Arc will visit you and confirm her mental condition.


I doubt that very much. I don't even know if there is consciousness after death. But if there is, there are a few others who I would prefer to visit me first though I probably would think that I was hallucinating.
We come to believe what we "need" to believe - for whatever reason.
"It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure."
Joseph Campbell

"In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel nothing can befall me in life, - no disgrace, no calamity, (leaving me my eyes,) which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground, - my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, - all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

"No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof. What everybody echoes or in silence passes by as true today may turn out to be falsehood tomorrow, mere smoke of opinion, which some had trusted for a cloud that would sprinkle fertilizing rain on their fields."
Thoreau
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Re: Spirituality ... Garden as Metaphor

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:50 pm

Shepherdess wrote:pilgrim-seeker_tom
Confucius taught me ... it's OK to suggest a direction to look in ... to tell people what to 'see' should they look in the direction suggested is the epitome of arrogance.


Yes, as for the first part, I too think that that would be okay, if the person was looking for some kind of guidance. Suggestions are fine.

As for the second part of that, I won't assume but were you actually calling me arrogant? Do you think that I was trying to tell you what to see? I couldn't quite glean where the second part came from.


On the contrary ... I was avoiding personal arrogance and grandiose vanity by refusing to support what "I see". Confucius insisted ... with his followers ... if your personal experiences do not confirm my words ... ignore my words!


You piqued my affection for Joan of Arc ..[/she is one of my spirit guides.quote].
Glad to hear it. :mrgreen:


Your comments suggest Joan of Arc is trying to get your attention. :D


I suppose the label 'schizophrenic' was inevitable ... can't imagine the anx if the spin doctors judged her behaviour to be 'normal'.

Do you think that that label was/is unwarranted? Vincent Van Gogh was eventually labeled bi-polar. Do you think that that label *fits*?


Labels are the fruit of the Western "either/or" paradigm ... one is normal ... or one is not. The much rarer paradigm ... "and/both" is much more accurate ... who's to say ... with any degree of certainty ... that one can be both "normal" and "not normal". There is a spiritual component to what is labelled "mental illness" ... though ... this 'spiritual component' can not be placed in a vial and analyzed. Yet! :)

What I find fascinating about Joan is that she was able to accomplish what she did with her/despite her schizophrenia. I don't understand the part it played. I personally believe that, for her, she believed that she did "hear" voices and was visited by angels, but for me she was hallucinating - it was part of the symptoms of her disease.


Are you suggesting Joan was both normal and schizophrenic?

Maybe Joan of Arc will visit you and confirm her mental condition.

I doubt that very much. I don't even know if there is consciousness after death. But if there is, there are a few others who I would prefer to visit me first though I probably would think that I was hallucinating.


She ... Joan of Arc may be sitting on your shoulder whispering in your ear ... there's a reason we find ourselves attracted to certain historical personalities. If yes ... you have some very interesting ... and difficult ... challenges ahead of you. :)

We come to believe what we "need" to believe - for whatever reason.


Perhaps we come to believe what we should believe ... who's to know ... with any degree of certainty?
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

Thomas Kempis 1380-1471
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Re: Spirituality ... Garden as Metaphor

Postby Sanguinus » Thu Jun 22, 2017 12:19 pm

The divine garden bespeaks an immortal yes to life beyond the suffering of man, beyond the law, beyond all that which would issue stagnation and death.
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Re: Spirituality ... Garden as Metaphor

Postby Shepherdess » Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:30 pm

pilgrim-seeker_tom

As for the second part of that, I won't assume but were you actually calling me arrogant? Do you think that I was trying to tell you what to see? I couldn't quite glean where the second part came from.

On the contrary ... I was avoiding personal arrogance and grandiose vanity by refusing to support what "I see". Confucius insisted ... with his followers ... if your personal experiences do not confirm my words ... ignore my words!


I find nothing wrong with supporting what you see ~ in other words, sharing it, discussing it.
As for the last, after reflection, if one's personal experiences are not the same, then ignoring would be ok. :evilfun:


You piqued my affection for Joan of Arc ..[/she is one of my spirit guides.quote].

Glad to hear it. :mrgreen:

Your comments suggest Joan of Arc is trying to get your attention. :D


My comment was ONLY in response to her being one of your spirit guides.
Why is that? Are you a warrior of a kind?
I don't see her as trying to get my attention at all.

One who I always admired, who has not been canonized, was always Fr. Damien of Molokai, the leper priest. I've admired him since I read his biography. As a matter of fact, I named my daughter after him, female version of course.

These people may not, in actuality, exist after death but we can still admire their life.


Labels are the fruit of the Western "either/or" paradigm ... one is normal ... or one is not. The much rarer paradigm ... "and/both" is much more accurate ... who's to say ... with any degree of certainty ... that one can be both "normal" and "not normal". :)


But there are times when labels are necessary, for medical and psychological purposes. I don't like when people are labeled for other reasons though.

There is a spiritual component to what is labelled "mental illness" ... though ... this 'spiritual component' can not be placed in a vial and analyzed. Yet!


How are you using the word "spiritual" within this context. What do mean by this?


What I find fascinating about Joan is that she was able to accomplish what she did with her/despite her schizophrenia. I don't understand the part it played. I personally believe that, for her, she believed that she did "hear" voices and was visited by angels, but for me she was hallucinating - it was part of the symptoms of her disease.

Are you suggesting Joan was both normal and schizophrenic?


I think that people with mental illnesses, depending on how mentally ill they are, can at times be also normal, have normal lucid moments.
I just don't understand the interplay between the two dynamics. Did her schizophrenia help to influence what she accomplished?? Some might they that her voices were *real*. I don't personally believe so but it's fascinating how her illness led to her succeeding - unless it really wasn't schizophrenia but something else. I can't know much about her in this way.



She ... Joan of Arc may be sitting on your shoulder whispering in your ear ... there's a reason we find ourselves attracted to certain historical personalities. If yes ... you have some very interesting ... and difficult ... challenges ahead of you. :)


I don't think so. You are the one attracted to her spirituality. I never think of her at all.
But I do agree with what you said ~ that there are reasons that we are attracted to hist. person. But she is not one of them. You are reading what you want to be reading into this Tom but I understand since you greatly admire her. You're a fan.

But I have admired certain individuals like again Fr. Damien, Albert Schweitzer, Keats, many poets, Humphrey Davy, Shakespeare, Martin Luther King, Da Vinci, Muhammed Ali, Mother Teresa, Francis of Assisi, Rumi, et cetera...
"It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure."
Joseph Campbell

"In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel nothing can befall me in life, - no disgrace, no calamity, (leaving me my eyes,) which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground, - my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, - all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

"No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof. What everybody echoes or in silence passes by as true today may turn out to be falsehood tomorrow, mere smoke of opinion, which some had trusted for a cloud that would sprinkle fertilizing rain on their fields."
Thoreau
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Re: Spirituality ... Garden as Metaphor

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:32 pm

Shepperdess ... your posts have a friendly and open-minded feel to them ... a rare treat here on ILP.

The words have been written ... now we simply have to wait patiently for personal experience to validate them ... or not. :)

There is a spiritual component to what is labelled "mental illness" ... though ... this 'spiritual component' can not be placed in a vial and analyzed. Yet!

How are you using the word "spiritual" within this context. What do mean by this?


The underlying intentions of the word "normal" are elastic human constructs ... a cursory glance at history confirms that culture(for lack of a better word) ... ergo: normalcy ... travels. How so?

We know and understand the "external" aspects of culture travel. Borrowing a phrase from Arc ... we could put what we know in a small paper cup. Begs the question ... What don't we know about how culture travels? Lots! :)

St Augustine expressed the above notion eloquently about 1,600 years ago:

”Woe to you, torrent of human custom! Who can stand against you?”


Note that Augustine personalizes the notion of "torrent of human custom" ... moving it beyond abstract thought ... ergo: ... a living entity.

We simply can't know and speculation is futile.

People often use the word "spiritual" to express the "unknown" ... works for me. :)
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

Thomas Kempis 1380-1471
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pilgrim-seeker_tom
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