Monday, March 13, 2017

my health is wiping me out

I think I had a heart attack or two in the past couple hours. First I sleep nearly all day, too fatiguqed to do anything. I didn't exactly sleep. I just lay i bed as weak as a newborn kitten.

When I rose from my last nape, I had the same experience of a difficult experience vomiting. I knew right away I was going to vomit but it was very hard to pull up the puke. And my center f my chest hurt. A lot. Then I googled vomiting, w omen and heart attacks. I know I had a heart attack because back in 1997-98, I had several bouts of graet chaet pain that only went awa after  vmited. I was more naive in those days and it did not occur to me i had had a heart attack. But my sister was living in the area and when she heard mt symptoms, she insisted I gi to the er.

Yup, I was having heart attacks. Gt me a cardiologist named, I kid you not, Candy (candy) Dick. I asked her what t was living going through med school with that name. She sad "what doesn't kill you makes you strong. she preferred t be addressed asa 'candace, so I did, but in my life, I had fun chatting about Candy Dick. Candy had me wear a heart monitor for month and confirmed that i had had multiple heart ttacks.}}I vomited the last time I was in the hospital two weeks ago and my heart stopped beating fr a minute. My current cardiologist caught it.

I am definitely hqving heart episodes now but here is my dilemma. I have an apointment tomorro with my endocrinolgist. My glucose is erratic because the incompetent doc at the hospital refused to give me ANY insulin. I bet I threw up because I had no insulin. I always vomit when i miss insulin, which I never do intentionally.

Today I did my regular insulin. If I go t the Er and they hospitalize me, I woud miss my endocrinologist.

I m unhappy. And uneasy, even frightened.

being deeply loved . . .

Saturday, March 11, 2017

being shunned by my daughter is tearing my heart apart, literally

I was not a good enough mother for my daughter. And I am clear her shunning me these past fifteen years is closely related to my failing heart. I don't mind the heart disease. I don't want to go on living. Knowing my beloved daughter has rejected me since 2001 is all but unbearable. I can feel my heart wasting away, sometimes, as my being keens for her.

Friday, March 10, 2017

I bruise so very easily

When I wrote the title of this post "I bruise so very easily" I was thinking of how easily I bruise physically. Then I remembered I bruise emotionally more than most.  I am so highly sensitive that, the product of an abusive upbringing, I developed a personality disorder. Raised more happily, I might have been a contender!

I've been getting lots of health care attention lately and with lots of people grabbing parts of my body, drawing blood all over (when you get blood draws throughout each day for five days in a hospital, they run out of the easy spots and wherever they draw blood, I get big, dark purple bruises -- at age 63, I still can't believe I can get a dark purple bruise the size of a baseball, or even a softball, without remembering the touch that left the bruise. Usually I know how I got bruised, but not always.

When I was married, to the man who knowingly impregnated me while pretending he wanted to have a child with me and then threw me out of our house and told me not to come back until I got rid of it (that was the end of our marriage, in case you are wondering. . . ).  Man, that was a miserable time. I had one of the really rough pregnancies, losing over 30 pounds while pregnant and vomiting or, and this is much worse, dry heaving most of each day. I was hospitalized three times, twice for a week and once for about ten days, to be fed intravenously. I could not even keep down sips of water and, my doc said, the baby needed nutrition.  I didn't mind being in the hospital, being fed intravenously, because the hospital staff treated me kindly. No one at home treated me kindly. My ex didn't care if I had not left sitting wrapped around a toilet all day, he still expected his dinner to be ready, like a nineteen fifties asshole, whenever he showed up.

In my pregnancy, I knew where every public toilet was. The grocery stores did not have the nice clean, customer restrooms that most have today. They had grungy restrooms for their staff in the back, usually dirty and surrounded by discarded produce and smelly food not yet tossed out. Some of these restrooms were up dark stairs.

But I knew where every single restroom in my world was.

And sometimes, well, sometimes I just pulled over and barfed with my car door open, even when a block from home. There was no waiting on my need to vomit: it came up like a slime creature that had settled in to live in my body (along with my adorable baby).  How many reading this has experienced the hissing of hot vomit steaming its way through the often thick frost cover on roads in the Upper Midwest?  Hot vomit plops on the icy ground cover and fairly quickly kinda sizzles until it gets to the ground, the frost gone, the puke left behind. But that puke would have frozen up quickly.

My ex yelled at me about everything. He, and also my own mother, which hurts to remember, said I was faking my pregnancy sickness. Prince William of England's wife had what I had when she was pregnant, hyperenemesis. When I vomited all the time in 1981 and 1982, my ob/gyn implied it was mental. I was stressed but my vomiting and, the worst part, the endless dry heaving was physical.  When Prince William's wife had her first son and was hospitalized a few times for help, I envied her. I didn't envy her the suffering. I envied that she was supported, that no one implied her vomiting was crazy.

My mother, my own actual mother, actually said to me, and more than once, that she thought I was faking being ill (I could never fake the whole-body wretching of my dry heaves -- it often felt like my internal organs would tear off from the power of those heaves and come up my throat -- and mom, what about the times blood came up, was that just me being dramatic?  Mom said I was jealous of her because she had had difficult pregnancies and I wanted more attention. My mom never vomited. I was around for six of her pregnancies. She never vomited, never had nausea, no dry heaves. Her 'hard' pregnancies involved her body having a hard time holding the babies long enough so the babies would survive. Two of her babies, two of my three sisters, died after very short lives because they were born too soon. My remaining sister survived because mom stayed in bed the whole pregnancy and I waited on her hand and foot. Only me. Waiting on pregnant moms in the nineteen sixties was girl work that my four brothers, good heavens, could not be asked to do it.

I have digressed far afield. I'm writing about bruising. Not my dark, purple bruises of today.

When I was married, my husband hit me regularly. He didn't think it counted as wife beating because he just hit me once or twice, or kick me in the legs (always careful to stay on my thighs so bruises would not show if I wore a dress). He prided himself on throwing what he called 'rubber punches'. He said he was very good at rubber punches and, done right, a rubber punch did not leave a bruise.

But his rubber punches usually left big, dark, black and purple bruises on me that took weeks to fade away. Once, as we drove across IA to visit my family in Chicago, we turned north to go to Ames to visit his uncle and aunt. After driving north a short while, he turned around and resumed heading to Chicago. He was angry because it was warm summer weather and I did not have on long sleeves and a huge bruise showed on one of my arms. Since his uncle was a medical doctor, he fumed, he might suspect Frank had hit me so we couldn't visit. And he was furious with me.

And he fell into a frequent anger ranting at me about how I bruised too easily. That's right. He yelled at me because when he hit me (and hurt me physically and emotionally), I got dark black and purple and large bruises, which could make him look bad. I don't remember that he ever apologized for hitting me. I don't think it ever consciously occurred to him that angrily berating me for bruising too easily when he hit me was another layer of injustice and abuse towards me.

I've been thinking of his rubber punches and my many bruises from them because with all my 'health care' I have dark purple bruises all over only no one hit me. People just stick needles into veins and I don't have many good veins for drawing blood so the less expert vampires poke me again and again. They are only supposed to get two tries, I have learned, but many get embarrassed, don't want to tell their coworkers and so they keep stabbing me. These folks leave the biggest, darkest, blackest bruises.  At least they don't yell at me for bruising too easily.

I used to feel so hopeless, and so pathetic, when my husband beat me and even smaller and more hopeless when he angrily yelled at me for bruising when he 'knew how to throw the perfect rubber punch".  The bruises were my fault, my flaw.

In h.s. I got  a tuberculosis test. Everyone had to return to the nurse a week later so she could see our arm to see if we had tuberculosis. I didn't have tuberculosis but I had a bruise surrounding where she had given me the shot the size of a large softball, all dark, black and purple. She told me I needed more vitamin K and that the best source of vitamin K was alfalfa. In 1968, pre-organic food trends and microgreens, I would have had to go into the country and find farmers who grew alfalfa  It was useless to tell me to eat alfalfa.

I think that tuberculosis test bruise was indicative of the fact that my body does not clot the way most bodies do. Instead of giving me the worthless advice to eat alfalfa, that nurse might have suggested I talk to my doctor about how easily, and deeply, I bruise.

Maybe I should have been on something for my blood not clotting normally all along.

It breaks my heart anew to remember my ex, the father of my ex daughter, beating me and then angrily yelling at me for bruising too much.  I never said anything when he yelled it me. I would have provoked more abuse, physical and verbal. I did longed to point out to him that it didn't seem right that he was yelling at me for how my body responded to his physical assaults. And he said I was the crazy one.

I hired a very nice child psychiatrist who was an expert witness for my custody trial. That doctor said, two minutes into our first meeting "Your husband is gaslighting you. You aren't crazy. He wants you to think you are."  I had never heard the term and I trusted that doctor completely after he explained it to me. In his custody evaluation report, the first line read, a line I will never forget:  "Ms. Fitzpatrick has an exceptionally positive and joyful relationship with her daughter Katie."  And then he wrote better stuff, lauding me in every way he could.

I was not a good enough mother for my daughter. And I am clear her shunning me these past fifteen years is closely related to my faling heart. I don't mind the heart disease. I don't want to go on living. Knowing my beloved daughter has rejected me since 2001 is all but unbearable. I can feel my heart wasting away, sometimes, as my being keens for her.


MESSENGER by Mary Oliver
My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird —
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,
which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Love and Its Meaning in the World

Love and Its Meaning in the World

A Lecture By
Rudolf Steiner
Zurich, 17th December, 1912
GA 143

Lecture given in Zurich, 17th December, 1912. Translated by D. S. O. and E. F. and S. Derry from a shorthand report unrevised by the lecturer. The original text is contained in the volume of the Complete Edition of the works of Rudolf Steiner entitled: Erfahrungen des √úbersinnlichen. Die Wege der Seele zu Christus. (Bibl. No. 143.) The volume contains the texts and notes of fourteen lectures given by Rudolf Steiner in different places during the year 1912.
This English edition of the following lecture is published by permission of the Rudolf Steiner Nachlassverwaltung, Dornach, Switzerland.
Copyright © 1972
This e.Text edition is provided with the cooperation of:
Rudolf Steiner Press

Thanks to an anonymous donation, this lecture has been made available.


The following lecture was given by Rudolf Steiner to an audience familiar with the general background of his anthroposophical teachings. He constantly emphasised the distinction between his written works and reports of lectures which were given as oral communications and were not originally intended for print. It should also be remembered that certain premises were taken for granted when the words were spoken. “These premises,” Rudolf Steiner writes in his autobiography, “include at the very least the anthroposophical knowledge of Man and of the Cosmos in its spiritual essence; also of what may be called ‘anthroposophical history’, told as an outcome of research into the spiritual world.”


The older we grow, the more we begin to love the wisdom revealed by life. In the wisdom revealed by life, man forms the seed of his next life as the spiritual core of his being ripens. But the deeds of love are not deeds which look for compensation in the next life. By everything we do out of love, we pay off debts. The only actions from which we have nothing in the future are those we perform out of true, genuine love. It is because men are subconsciously aware of this that there is so little love in the world. A soul must be very advanced before deeds can be performed from which nothing is to be gained for itself; but then the world profits all the more. Love is the “moral” sun of the world. Interest in the earth's evolution is the necessary antecedent of love. A Spiritual Science without love would be a danger for humanity. Without sense-born love, nothing material comes into the world; without spiritual love, nothing spiritual. Creative forces unfold through love. We owe our existence to deeds of love wrought in the past. To pay off debts through deeds of love is therefore wisdom.
As well as love there are two other powers: might and wisdom. To these two, the concepts of magnitude and enhancement are applicable, but not to love. The all-embracing attribute of the Godhead is therefore not omnipotence, not omniscience, but love. God is supreme love, not supreme might, not supreme wisdom. The Godhead has shared these two with Ahriman and Lucifer. Wisdom and might unfold in the world, but love is a unique, Divine Impulse. The Mystery of Golgotha was fulfilled as a counterweight to the impulses of might and of wisdom. Therefore anyone who knows the mystery of love can be a Christian. Spiritual Science must include this love — otherwise it leads to egoism.
The Mystery of Golgotha is a Deed of the Gods and a concern of the Gods. This Deed cannot be understood out of wisdom but only out of love. Together with selfishness, evil came into the world. It had to be so, because without the evil, man could not lay hold of the good. But through man's conquest of himself the unfolding of love has been made possible. The darkness has enabled the light to come into our ken.


WHEN we say that at the present point of time in his evolution man must learn to understand the Christ Impulse, the thought may well occur: What, then, is the position of one who has never heard of the Christ Impulse, may perhaps never even have heard the name of Christ? Will such a man be deprived of the Christ Impulse because he has not heard the name of Christ? Is it necessary to have some theoretical knowledge of the Christ Impulse in order that Christ's power may flow into the soul? We will clarify our minds about these questions by the following thoughts concerning human life from birth until death.
The human being comes into the world and lives through early childhood in a half-sleeping state. He has gradually to learn to feel himself as an “I”, to find his bearings as an “I”, and his life of soul is constantly enriched by what is received through the “I”. By the time death is approaching, this life of soul is at its richest and ripest. Hence the vital question arises: What of our life of soul when the body falls away? It is a peculiarity of our physical life and of our life of soul that the wealth of our experience and knowledge increases in significance the nearer we approach death; but at the same time certain attributes are lost and replaced by others of an entirely different character. In youth we gather knowledge, pass through experiences, cherish hopes which as a rule can only later be fulfilled. The older we grow, the more do we begin to love the wisdom revealed by life. Love of wisdom is not egoistic, for this love increases in the measure in which we draw near to death; it increases in the measure in which the expectation of gaining something from our wisdom decreases. Our love for this content of our soul steadily increases. In this respect Spiritual Science may actually become a source of temptation, inasmuch as a man may be led to believe that his next life will depend upon the acquisition of wisdom in this present life. The effect of Spiritual Science may be an extension of egoism beyond the bounds of this present life, and therein lies danger. Thus if wrongly understood, Spiritual Science may act as a tempter — this lies in its very nature.
Love of the wisdom acquired from life may be compared with the flowering of a plant when the necessary stage of maturity has been reached. Love arises for something that is contained within ourselves. Men have often made the attempt to sublimate the impulse of love for what is within themselves. In the Mystics, for example, we find evidence of how they strove to transmute the urge of self-love into love of wisdom, and to let this love ray out in beauty. By sinking in contemplation into the depths of their own soul-life they strove to become aware of the Divine Spark within them. But the truth is that the wisdom which man acquires in life is only the means whereby the seed of his next life is unfolded. When a plant has completed its growth through the year, the seed remains. So it is with the wisdom acquired from life. Man passes through the Gate of Death and the spiritual core of being in its process of ripening is the seed of the next life. A man who feels this may become a Mystic and mistake what is only the seed of the next life to be the Divine Spark, the Absolute. This is his interpretation of it because it goes against the grain for a man to acknowledge that this spirit-seed is nothing but his own self. Meister Eckhart, John Tauler, and others, spoke of it as the “God within”, because they knew nothing of reincarnation. If we grasp the meaning of the law of reincarnation we recognise the significance of love in the world, both in a particular and in a general sense. When we speak of karma, we mean that which as cause in the one life has its effect in the next. In terms of cause and effect we cannot, however, speak truly of love; we cannot speak of a deed of love and its eventual compensation. True, if there is a deed, there will be compensation, but this has nothing to do with love. Deeds of love do not look for compensation in the next life.
Suppose, for example, that we work and our work brings gain. It may also be that our work gives us no joy because we do it simply in order to pay off debts, not for actual reward. We can imagine that in this way a man has already spent what he is now earning through his work. He would prefer to have no debts, but as things are, he is obliged to work in order to pay them. Now let us apply this example to our actions in general. By everything we do out of love we pay off debts. From an occult point of view, what is done out of love brings no reward but makes amends for profit already expended. The only actions from which we have nothing in the future are those we perform out of true, genuine love. This truth may well be disquieting and men are lucky in that they know nothing of it in their upper consciousness. But in their subconsciousness all of them know it, and that is why deeds of love are done so unwillingly, why there is so little love in the world. Men feel instinctively that they may expect nothing for their “I” in the future from deeds of love. An advanced stage of development must have been reached before the soul can experience joy in performing deeds of love from which there is nothing to be gained for itself. The impulse for this is not strong in humanity. But occultism can be a source of powerful incentives to deeds of love.
Our egoism gains nothing from deeds of love — but the world all the more. Occultism says: Love is for the world what the sun is for external life. No soul could thrive if love departed from the world. Love is the “moral” sun of the world. Would it not be absurd if a man who delights in the flowers growing in a meadow were to wish that the sun would vanish from the world? Translated into terms of the moral life, this means: Our deep concern must be that an impulse for sound, healthy development shall find its way into the affairs of humanity. To disseminate love over the earth in the greatest measure possible, to promote love on the earth — that and that alone is wisdom.
What do we learn from Spiritual Science? We learn facts concerning the evolution of the earth, we hear of the Spirit of the earth, of the earth's surface and its changing conditions, of the development of the human body and so forth; we learn to understand the nature of the forces working and weaving in the evolutionary process. What does this mean? What does it mean when people do not want to know anything about Spiritual Science? It means that they have no interest for what is reality. For if a man has no desire to know anything about the nature of Old Saturn, Old Sun, Old Moon, then he can know nothing about the Earth. Lack of interest in the world is egoism in its grossest form. Interest in all existence is man's bounden duty. Let us therefore long for and love the sun with its creative power, its love for the well-being of the earth and the souls of men! This interest in the earth's evolution should be the spiritual seed of love for the world. A Spiritual Science without love would be a danger to mankind. But love should not be a matter for preaching; love must and indeed will come into the world through the spreading of knowledge of spiritual truths. Deeds of love and Spiritual Science should be inseparably united.
Love mediated by way of the senses is the wellspring of creative power, of that which is coming into being. Without sense-born love, nothing material would exist in the world; without spiritual love, nothing spiritual can arise in evolution. When we practise love, cultivate love, creative forces pour into the world. Can the intellect be expected to offer reasons for this? The creative forces poured into the world before we ourselves and our intellect came into being. True, as egoists, we can deprive the future of creative forces; but we cannot obliterate the deeds of love and the creative forces of the past. We owe our existence to deeds of love wrought in the past. The strength with which we have been endowed by these deeds of love is the measure of our deep debt to the past, and whatever love we may at any time be able to bring forth is payment of debts owed for our existence. In the light of this knowledge we shall be able to understand the deeds of a man who has reached a high stage of development, for he has still greater debts to pay to the past. He pays his debts through deeds of love, and herein lies his wisdom. The higher the stage of development reached by a man, the more does the impulse of love in him increase in strength; wisdom alone does not suffice.
Let us think of the meaning and effect of love in the world in the following way. Love is always a reminder of debts owed to life in the past, and because we gain nothing for the future by paying off these debts, no profit for ourselves accrues from our deeds of love. We have to leave our deeds of love behind in the world; but they are then a spiritual factor in the how of world-happenings. It is not through our deeds of love but through deeds of a different character that we perfect ourselves; yet the world is richer for our deeds of love. Love is the creative force in the world.
Besides love there are two other powers in the world. How do they compare with love? The one is strength, might; the second is wisdom. In regard to strength or might we can speak of degrees: weaker, stronger, or absolute might — omnipotence. The same applies to wisdom, for there are stages on the path to omniscience. It will not do to speak in the same way of degrees of love. What is universal love, love for all beings? In the case of love we cannot speak of enhancement as we can speak of enhancement of knowledge into omniscience or of might into omnipotence, by virtue of which we attain greater perfection of our own being. Love for a few or for many beings has nothing to do with our own perfecting. Love for everything that lives cannot be compared with omnipotence; the concept of magnitude, or of enhancement, cannot rightly be applied to love. Can the attribute of omnipotence be ascribed to the Divine Being who lives and weaves through the world? Contentions born of feeling must here be silent: were God omnipotent, he would be responsible for everything that happens and there could be no human freedom. If man can be free, then certainly there can be no Divine omnipotence.
Is the Godhead omniscient? As man's highest goal is likeness to God, our striving must be in the direction of omniscience. Is omniscience, then, the supreme treasure? If it is, a vast chasm must forever yawn between man and God. At every moment man would have to be aware of this chasm if God possessed the supreme treasure of omniscience for himself and withheld it from man. The all-encompassing attribute of the Godhead is not omnipotence, neither is it omniscience, but it is love — the attribute in respect of which no enhancement is possible. God is uttermost love, unalloyed love, is born as it were out of love, is the very substance and essence of love. God is pure love, not supreme wisdom, not supreme might. God has retained love for himself but has shared wisdom and might with Lucifer and Ahriman. He has shared wisdom with Lucifer and might with Ahriman, in order that man may become free, in order that under the influence of wisdom he may make progress.
If we try to discover the source of whatever is creative we come to love; love is the ground, the foundation of everything that lives. It is by a different impulse in evolution that beings are led to become wiser and more powerful. Progress is attained through wisdom and strength. Study of the course taken by the evolution of humanity shows us how the development of wisdom and strength is subject to change: there is progressive evolution and then the Christ Impulse which once poured into mankind through the Mystery of Golgotha. Love did not, therefore, come into the world by degrees; love streamed into mankind as a gift of the Godhead, in complete, perfect wholeness. But man can receive the Impulse into himself gradually. The Divine Impulse of love as we need it in earthly life is an Impulse that came once and forever.
True love is not capable of diminution or amplification. Its nature is quite different from that of wisdom and might. Love wakens no expectations for the future; it is payment of debts incurred in the past. And such was the Mystery of Golgotha in the world's evolution. Did the Godhead, then, owe any debt to humanity?
Lucifer's influence brought into humanity a certain element in consequence of which something that man had previously possessed was withdrawn from him. This new element led to a descent, a descent countered by the Mystery of Golgotha which made possible the payment of all debts. The Impulse of Golgotha was not given in order that the sins we have committed in evolution may be removed from us, but in order that what crept into humanity through Lucifer should be given its counterweight.
Let us imagine that there is a man who knows nothing of the name of Christ Jesus, nothing of what is communicated in the Gospels, but that he understands the radical difference between the nature of wisdom and might and that of love. Such a man, even though he knows nothing of the Mystery of Golgotha, is a Christian in the truest sense. A man who knows that love is there for the paying of debts and brings no profit for the future, is a true Christian. To understand the nature of love — that is to be a Christian! Theosophy (see Note 1) alone, Spiritual Science alone, with its teachings of Karma and reincarnation, can make us into great egoists unless the impulse of love, the Christ Impulse, is added; only so can we acquire the power to overcome the egoism that may be generated by Spiritual Science. The balance is established by an understanding of the Christ Impulse. Spiritual Science is given to the world today because it is a necessity for humanity; but in it lies the great danger that — if it is cultivated without the Christ Impulse, without the Impulse of love — men will only increase their egoism, will actually breed egoism that lasts even beyond death. From this the conclusion must not be drawn that we should not cultivate Spiritual Science; rather we must learn to realise that understanding of the essential nature of love is an integral part of it.
What actually came to pass at the Mystery of Golgotha? Jesus of Nazareth was born, lived on as related by the Gospels, and when He was thirty years old the Baptism in the Jordan took place. Thereafter the Christ lived for three years in the body of Jesus of Nazareth and fulfilled the Mystery of Golgotha. Many people think that the Mystery of Golgotha should be regarded in an entirely human aspect, believing as they do that it was an earthly deed, a deed belonging to the realm of the earth. But that is not so. Only from the vantage-point of the higher worlds is it possible to see the Mystery of Golgotha in its true light and how it came to pass on the earth.
Let us think again of the beginning of the evolution of the earth and of man. Man was endowed with certain spiritual powers — and then Lucifer approached him. At this point we can say: The Gods who further the progress of evolution surrendered their omnipotence to Lucifer in order that man might become free. But man sank into matter more deeply than was intended; he slipped away from the Gods of progress, fell more deeply than had been wished. How, then, can the Gods of progress draw man to themselves again? To understand this we must think, not of the earth, but of Gods taking counsel together. It is for the Gods that Christ performs the Deed by which men are drawn back to the Gods. Lucifer's deed was enacted in the super-sensible world; Christ's Deed, too, was enacted in the super-sensible but also in the physical world. This was an achievement beyond the power of any human being. Lucifer's deed was a deed belonging to the super-sensible world. But Christ came down to the earth to perform His Deed here, and men are the onlookers at this Deed. The Mystery of Golgotha is a Deed of the Gods, a concern of the Gods at which men are the onlookers. The door of heaven opens and a Deed of the Gods shines through. This is the one and only Deed on earth that is entirely super-sensible. No wonder, therefore, that those who do not believe in the super-sensible have no belief in the Deed of Christ. The Deed of Christ is a Deed of the Gods, a Deed which they themselves enact. Herein lies the glory and the unique significance of the Mystery of Golgotha and men are invited to be its witnesses. Historical evidence is not to be found. Men have seen the event in its external aspect only; but the Gospels were written from vision of the super-sensible and are therefore easily disavowed by those who have no feeling for super-sensible reality.
The Mystery of Golgotha as an accomplished fact is one of the most sublime of all experiences in the spiritual world. Lucifer's deed belongs to a time when man was still aware of his own participation in the super-sensible world; Christ's Deed was performed in material existence itself — it is both a physical and a spiritual Deed. We can understand the deed of Lucifer through wisdom; understanding of the Mystery of Golgotha is beyond the reach of wisdom alone. Even if all the wisdom of this world is ours, the Deed of Christ may still be beyond our comprehension. Love is essential for any understanding of the Mystery of Golgotha. Only when love streams into wisdom and then again wisdom flows into love will it be possible to grasp the nature and meaning of the Mystery of Golgotha — only when, as he lives on towards death, man unfolds love of wisdom. Love united with wisdom — that is what we need when we pass through the Gate of Death, because without wisdom that is united with love we die in very truth. Philo-sophia, philosophy, is love of wisdom. The ancient wisdom was not philosophy for it was not born through love but through revelation. There is not such a thing as philosophy of the East — but wisdom of the East, yes. Philosophy as love of wisdom came into the world with Christ; there we have the entry of wisdom emanating from the impulse of love which came into the world as the Christ Impulse. The impulse of love must now be carried into effect in wisdom itself.
The ancient wisdom, acquired by the seer through revelation, comes to expression in the sublime words from the original prayer of mankind: Ex Deo Nascimur — Out of God we are born. That is ancient wisdom. Christ who came forth from the realms of spirit has united wisdom with love and this love will overcome egoism. Such is its aim. But it must be offered independently and freely from one being to the other. Hence the beginning of the era of love coincided with that of the era of egoism. The cosmos has its source and origin in love; egoism was the natural and inevitable offshoot of love. Yet with time the Christ Impulse, the impulse of love, will overcome the element of separation that has crept into the world, and man can gradually become a participant in this force of love. In monumental words of Christ we feel love pouring into the hearts of men:
“Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
In like manner does the ancient Rosicrucian saying resound into the love that is wedded with wisdom: In Christo Morimur — In Christ we die.
Through Jehovah, man was predestined for a group-soul existence; love was to penetrate into him gradually by way of blood-relationship; it is through Lucifer that he lives as a personality. Originally, therefore, men were in a state of union, then of separateness as a consequence of the Luciferic principle which promotes selfishness, independence. Together with selfishness, evil came into the world. It had to be so, because without the evil man could not lay hold of the good. When a man gains victory over himself, the unfolding of love is possible. To man in the clutches of increasing egoism Christ brought the impulse for this victory over himself and thereby the power to conquer the evil. The Deeds of Christ bring together again those human beings who were separated through egoism and selfishness. True in the very deepest sense are the words of Christ concerning deeds of love:
“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
The Divine Deed of Love flowed back upon the earthly world; as time goes on, in spite of the forces of physical decay and death, the evolution of mankind will be permeated and imbued with new spiritual life through this Deed — a Deed performed, not out of egoism but solely out of the spirit of love. Per Spiritum Sanctum Reviviscimus — Through the Holy Spirit we live again.
Yet the future of humanity will consist of something besides love. Spiritual perfecting will be for earthly man the goal most worthy of aspiration — (this is described at the beginning of my second Mystery Play, The Soul's Probation) — but nobody who understands what deeds of love truly are will say that his own striving for perfection is selfless. Striving for perfection imparts strength to our being and to our personality. But our value for the world must be seen to lie wholly in deeds of love, not in deeds done for the sake of self-perfecting. Let us be under no illusion about this. When a man is endeavouring to follow Christ by way of love of wisdom, of the wisdom he dedicates to the service of the world only so much takes real effect as is filled with love.
Wisdom steeped in love, which at once furthers the world and leads the world to Christ — this love of wisdom also excludes the lie. For the lie is the direct opposite of the actual facts and those who yield themselves lovingly to the facts are incapable of lying. The lie has its roots in egoism — always and without exception. When, through love, we have found the path to wisdom, we reach wisdom through the increasing power of self-conquest, through selfless love. Thus does man become a free personality. The evil was the sub-soil into which the light of love was able to shine; but it is love that enables us to grasp the meaning and place of evil in the world. The darkness has enabled the light to come into our ken. Only a man who is free in the real sense can become a true Christian.

Note 1:
In connection with the use of the word “Theosophy”, the following passage is quoted from Rudolf Steiner's Introduction to his book Theosophy:

“The highest to which a man is able to look up he calls the ‘Divine’. And in some way or other he must think of his highest destiny as being in connection with this Divinity. Therefore that wisdom which reaches out beyond the sensible and reveals to him his own being, and with it his final goal, may very well be called ‘divine wisdom’, or ‘Theosophy’. To the study of the spiritual processes in human life and in the cosmos, the term Spiritual Science may be given. When, as is the case in this book, one extracts from this Spiritual Science those particular results which have reference to the spiritual core of man's being, then the expression ‘Theosophy’ may be employed to designate this domain, because it has been employed for centuries in that direction.”

my aunt was a nun for 47 years

My godmother, who was 17 at my christening, my mother's younger sister, took her final vows to become a nun the day after my christening. In parts of my chldhood, I had bad dreams that my parents died and i had to go live in a convent with my aunt and a bunch f other nuns. My godfather was my grandpa and in these dreams he had already died.  I would awake from such dreams, then tip toe into my parents' room to be sure they were both still breathing.

My aunt became the head of her order, underwent all the training for priests in her younger years. She believed the church would stop limiting the priesthood to men. She hoped to become a Catholic priest. Then she got a PhD in Spiritual Direction under a program lead by Jean Houston. She met a married Episcopal priest in the program and they fell deeply in love on sight. He was married wtih two, then-young sons and they decided his first duty was to his wife and sons so my aunt, when they finished their doctorates, moved to Guatemala  to work as a missioinary. She had resigned as head of her order and took a job as far away from Bill as she could get.

Jody, my aunt, or Sister Ignata, was heartbroken over losing Bill. One day Bill, the Episcopal priest, showed up unexpectedly in Guatemala and proposed. His wife had decided she was a lesbian and left him so he felt free to marry again. A clean pass for Bill, freeing him up to be with Jody. My aunt left her order, married her priest for he remained and Episcopal priest and she became a grief and dying counselor in a hospital -- she was beyond qualified for the gig.  Her order supported her choice, after praying on it, and went so far as to guarantee her some kind of pension for the forty seven years she had been a nun. Her order had put her through college, her MS in Physics and her PhD in Spiritual Direction. And she had married Jesus, wearing a white gown, when she took her final vows at age 17.

Since she entered the order the day after I was baptized, I easily tracked her age. When she divorced JC to marry Bill, I knew she was then forty seven. My brothers and sister were surprised, when the family talked about Jody's marriage, that I knew exactly how long she had been a nun.  "How do you know she has been a nun for 47 years?" they asked, amazed at my knowledge. "Because I am 47 and she went into the convent when I was a newborn"

I am not in touched with my aunt, who must be 80. She was, my child and adult self often thought, condescending and arrogant. My mom and the other aunt bowed down to her as their spiritual guru and my aunt seemed to expect everyone to bow/defer to her as a spiritial something special. I hated seeing her condescension with my mother, esp. as my mom took her criticism in so deeply -- and I am talking petty shit. An example of my aunt putting down my mom is this:   auntie the then-nun watching mom with six children do all the dishes from a meal Jody had just enjoyed but Jody did not lift a finger, she sat in the kitchen to hang out with mom but did nothing. One day I overheard her telling my mom she had not cleaned the kitchen table well enough as she sat there letting mom wait on her, serving her coffee while mom worked. "Oh Mary Ann, you should not have sunk so low, you should know how to properly clean this table".

I was early teens when I heard that table slap. I never shared it with anyone. But after that, I saw that my aunt the nun was not the holy roller guru my mom and aunt credited her with being. I saw she was just another ordinary human.  I wanted to speak up. to tell my Aunt Jody she had no business lecturing my mom. I wanted to squeak "Why don't you wash the spot you see? Can't you see mom is working?" I said nothing. In truth, mom was putting on a show for her sister the nun. I did all the dishes in that household except when the nun visited. Unknowingly, Jody had insulted my table cleaning, not mom's.

Since she, a Catholic nun for 47 years, espousing a faith that does not believe in divorce and she was after all, married to Christ, I have not seen her.  Not because she had married a man. By the time Jody left the convent, I had left Catholicicsm long, long behind. They live in rural WI and I no longer live in the Midwest. And she and I were never close.

She's human, if she is still alive. She is imperfect as all humans are.

When I was in college, I had dinner at my aunt the nun's place in Chicago,  before her relationship with Bill when she was just a nun. My sister, thirteen years younger, so she was a teenager for that dinner,  was already a fiery feminist, having griped all the way over to Jody's about only men being priests and sis kept demanding "how can the church be meaningful to us if it doesn't allow female priests?" I nudged sis to ask aunt-the-nun but when the evening was almost over and my sister had not asked,   I asked my aunt that nun that day,  how could she remain in the Church as long as it did not permit female priests.

Jody responded with bright cheerfulness, a demeanor that seems very posed in hindsight, and she spoke to us as if we were both preschoolers. In that loud, high-note cheerful tone she said "But you and I, we make up the church. It is up to us to change it. Someday in our lifetimes women will be riests."

Like I said I was in college and I had left the church behind me the day I graduated from my girls' Catholic School. I had contempt for many aspects of the Catholic Church, not just the chick priest prohibition.

I may not have been very fond of my aunt the former nun but she had earned the right to be a priest. She was, for a few years, the only relilgious person serving a poor, inner city Church. She did the entire traiining to be a priest. Not that priests are all that. 

My then teen sister, when Jody said it was up to us to change the church, set up a caterwauling that I had to listen to all the way home. Margaret was furious with the church, in spite of going to an all girls' Catholic h.s.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

friendship by David Whyte

is a mirror to presence and a testament to forgiveness. Friendship not only helps us to see ourselves through another’s eyes, but can be sustained over the years only with someone who has repeatedly forgiven us for our trespasses as we must find it in ourselves to forgive them in turn.
A friend knows our difficulties and shadows and remains in sight, a companion to our vulnerabilities more than our triumphs, when we are under the strange illusion we do not need them. An undercurrent of real friendship is a blessing exactly because its elemental form is rediscovered again and again through understanding and mercy. All friendships of any length are based on a continued, mutual forgiveness. Without tolerance and mercy all friendships die.
In the course of the years a close friendship will always reveal the shadow in the other as much as ourselves, to remain friends we must know the other and their difficulties and even their sins and encourage the best in them, not through critique but through addressing the better part of them, the leading creative edge of their incarnation, thus subtly discouraging what makes them smaller, less generous, less of themselves.
Friendship is the great hidden transmuter of all relationship: it can transform a troubled marriage, make honorable a professional rivalry, make sense of heartbreak and unrequited love and become the newly discovered ground for a mature parent-child relationship.
The dynamic of friendship is almost always underestimated as a constant force in human life: a diminishing circle of friends is the first terrible diagnostic of a life in deep trouble: of overwork, of too much emphasis on a professional identity of forgetting who will be there when our armored personalities run into the inevitable natural disasters and vulnerabilities found in even the most ordinary existence…
Friendship transcends disappearance: an enduring friendship goes on after death, the exchange only transmuted by absence, the relationship advancing and maturing in a silent internal conversational way even after one half of the bond has passed on.
But no matter the medicinal virtues of being a true friend or sustaining a long close relationship with another, the ultimate touchstone of friendship is not improvement, neither of the self nor of the other, the ultimate touchstone is witness, the privilege of having been seen by someone and the equal privilege of being granted the sight of the essence of another, to have walked with them and to have believed in them, and sometimes just to have accompanied them for however brief a span, on a journey impossible to accomplish alone.

from David Whyte's book, Friendship


 I know Steiner was wise and insightful and what it is true what he says in this quote, that love we believe we feel for another is, for the most part, self love. I believe that when I believe I am 'in love' I am giving myself up and my state of rapture is a kind of failure to self love.  I believe Steiner.

And yet, I want a loving life partner. I don't think I will ever have one, esp. now that I am so sick. And I do not want to live out my nasty, brutish, and, I pray, short life that is left alone. See? I am selfish. I want to be loved by another.

The love one person believes he feels toward another is for the most part nothing but self-love. A person supposes that he loves another, but in this love really is loving himself. You see here a source of an antisocial disposition that must be the source also of a terrible self-deception. In other words, a person may suppose that he is giving himself up in an overwhelming love for another person, while he really does not love the other person at all. What he feels as a state of rapture in his own soul in association with the other person, what he experiences within himself by reason of the fact that he is in the presence of the other person, that he makes declarations of love, if you please, to the other person — this is what he really loves. In the whole thing the person loves himself as he kindles this self-love in his social relationship with the other person.
This is an important mystery in human life and it is of enormous importance. This love that a person supposes is real, but that is really only self-love, self-seeking, egoism, masked egoism — and in the great majority of cases the love that plays its role between people and is called love is only masked egoism — is the source of the greatest imaginable and the most widespread antisocial impulses. Through this self-love masked as real love, a person becomes in preeminent degree an antisocial being. He becomes an antisocial being through the fact that he buries himself within, most of all when he is unaware of it, or wishes to know nothing of it.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 186 – The Challenge of the Times: Lecture IV: Social and Antisocial Instincts – Dornach, December 6, 1918

Irish wine

A wine and olive vendor at my Saturday farmers market had signs promoting "Irish wine". Irish wine in CA! Anywhere? I had never heard of Irish wine.

So I asked the guy "Is this auththentic Irish wine? Was it imported from the Old Sod or did you import seeds and grow Irish grapes here?   I never heard of Irish grapes before."

The vendor, wrongly assuming I am not a moron, thought I got the joke of green tinted California wine because St. Patrick's Day is soon so he went along a bit. When he realized my questions were sincere, he said "No, this is California wine. No we did not import seeds for grapes from Ireland. We just added a tiny bit of green to our CA white wine."

Then I got it. Oh! St. Patrick's Day is coming up. It is a green gag, and I mean that literally. The thought of green wine, event just tinted green, makes me feel some gagging.

Geez, does anyone take St. Patrick's Day that seriously?

In my family, a very Irish American family, St. Patrick's Day meant an extra mass if it didn't fall on a Sunday or other Holy Day and corned beef and cabbage. I hated cabbage then. I hate cabbage now. It disagrees with me, actually (i.e. makes me sick).

And green hair. I had white blonde hair as a child. My mom dyed my hair green with food coloring every St. Patrick's Day. For some reason, this made me very very proud! The whole world knew I was Irish that day!  Ha! In my world, the whole world knew I was Irish as soon as they heard my name.

A few boys would tease me about my green hair, esp. when it didn't shampoo out for a couple days of shampooing multiple times. But some girls tried to imitate me. There was only one other white blonde female in the grades near me. Grades far above or below me did not register for me. The girls with brown hair tried but the green food coloring only worked on me because my hair was white.

Dyed green wine. Ugh. I'm more Irish than that.

Friday, March 03, 2017

what dreams may come once it is done?

(from Hamlet, spoken by Hamlet, written by Shakespeare)
To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them. To die—to sleep,
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to: 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there's the rub:
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause—there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th'oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of dispriz'd love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th'unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovere'd country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action.

almost normal

For the first time since I was diagnosed with heart problems (maybe 3 weeks ago -- been sick way longer), I made myself a real, hot meal. Standing up too. For past couple months, I have sat in a desk chair with rolling wheels and rolled up and down my kitchen, unable to stand long enough to prepare a meal or even to make a protein shake. The shakes I can make seated in one spot.

For today's lunch, I had to roll back and forth.

First infused some olive oil with garlic, then put in salmon, then spinach. Braised the spinach, pan-baked the salmon. I only cook the salmon barely so it is nearly raw but not chill. Then lots of lemon squeezed all over. Pink himalayan salt. And I did all of this standing up, meaning I am feeling a bit better. It has been months since I cooked a meal, esp. standing up.

I am very deeply depressed. My life still sucks and its all downhill from here. My heart will get worse, diabetes will takes its toll no matter how careful I am. My dad died from atrial fib and diabetes at age 61. I am 63 so I am living on borrowed time.

And I have been suicidal, seriously considering suicide. I have some new possibilities of method of death. I am mostly spending all my waking time thinking about the choice to take my life. The one thing that holds me back is all the conditioning from my Catholic upbringing that suicide is a sin. Who the fuck knows that? And besides, that same religious training told me God forgives all sins so God would forgive my suicide.

Do I stay or do I go? It might not seem like much but it is the only thing on my mind. So in additin to feelilng too weak to socialize, I have nothing to talk about cause all I am thinking about iswhat order to take the pills, what kind of food I should eat to make sure the meds stay inside me, etc.

But then today there was this surprise impulse to make a real meal. I do love salmon and spinach with lemon. Yum. Not worth a life but tasty.