Contemplation or meditation is about developing the sight of God. It can’t be termed anything else. When we speak of “seeing” as a bodily organ, we are more often alluding to perception or proprioception, discerning the essence of a thing.
When I looked at the sunset in this image , above, I heard the sound of the waves and felt my bare feet in the black volcanic sand. I aimed my camera west at the cascading light of the mountains that surrounded Puerto Vallarta. I also felt culture shock. The image brings back that feeling of thawing from the cold, wet, rain of the west. I drove thousands of kilometres to arrive at the taking of this image that thawed my feelings of shock. When I put on my proprioceptive goggles, I might have discerned some feelings of grief and fear that were in me and in the image. You might relate to that image similarly, sensing my mood at the time or perhaps conjuring up a time when you felt similar feelings.
Vision or being “sighted” has so much less to do with “seeing” than it does with an epistemological event swathed with feelings that are soaked with impressions (feelings, functions and sensations) sourced both from inside and outside our bodies. Reality, as it lives in me, and in you, can be subjective (as in Kantian terms.) We can actually begin to develop an objective science of sight, so to speak, and render those sensed impressions into to a science of spirit: Rudolf Steiner’s epistemology.
In essence, this is the arm of Heilkunst; termed Anthroposophical Science; or the study of man. When we achieve unicity between God and man through our“soul seeing,” we can begin to sort out what is a function of disease and what is health. We can see or more accurately apperceive, discern and diagnose, based on certain qualities of feelings, functions and sensations (the Physician’s response)- trusting more in our inner soul’s function to “see” and apprehend phenomena.
This is why, as Heilkünstlers, we have no issues working with patients by phone. Our organs have been honed over the last twenty years to be able to “see” with all our faculties – not just with our eyes. A change in tone, a sudden in breath, a pause, or even a swallow inserted at the right time will enable us to perceive what we can not see. It feels like a transcendental meditation, adopting the spiritual sight, a departure from ordinary cognition.
In essence, your soul wants my soul to obtain the truth about you, so that you can be whole. It reaches out to me through nuances in symptoms so refined at times that you may not even be consciously aware of them . The soul is entirely intact, and it’s job is to push discrepancies out into our midst so they can be fully apprehended – their meaning sucked clean from the bone and annihilated. For us, this is the functional nature of the “seeing” phenomena for proper discernment.
Rudolf Steiner states, “Just as in the body, eye and ear develop as organs of perception, as senses for bodily processes, so does a man develop in himself soul and spiritual organs of perception through which the soul and spiritual worlds are opened to him. For those who do not have such higher senses, these worlds are dark and silent, just as the bodily world is dark and silent for a being without eyes and ears.”
In this month’s articles, we speak about eyes and the meaning behind the “ocular” block as per Dr. Wilhelm Reich. Why don’t you take a look and see if you can wholly apprehend the phenomena around the meaning behind “pink eye” and why we don’t always use our eyes to “see” – when we are trying to avoid engaging with something in our lives.
Conjunctivitis is an infection of the conjunctiva, the mucous membrane that covers the front of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelids. Conjunctivitis is popularly known as ‘pinkeye’ and can be triggered by a cold or an allergy; but if we dig a little deeper we can discern the other sources of irritation in the eye; for example, the emotional root.
As with every physical symptom, there is an emotional etiology. Pink eye is no exception. A condition is not entirely remedied until it is addressed on the mental sphere, not just on the physical level. The meaning is behind it’s expression or you risk a cyclical reinfection. Those that manifest pink eye symptoms will be suppressing the following state of mind as per Michael J. Lincoln’s book, “Messages From The Body.”
EYE PROBLEMS IN CHILDREN
“I don’t wanna know!” They are harm-alarmed about what is happening in their family. They are afraid of the implications and ramifications, and they are tending to use their imagination to conjure up the worst-case scenario. They are not wanting to see what is going on in the family and in their life, because it’s too overwhelming for them. It occurs when there are chronic or situational stresses happening in their family.
“Right and righteous.” They are engaged in an outraged indignation stance of anger and frustration with the “moral cretins” around them. They are not wanting to see what is happening around them. Underneath all this approach is a deeply disturbing questioning of their self-worth. They are the product of wrong-making and judgmental parenting.
RIGHT: “Outraged.” They have a lot of rage at the state of the world.
LEFT: “Fed up.” They are enraged at how they are being treated by the world.
In Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) and Ida Wegman’s book, “Extending Practical Medicine: Fundamental principles based on the Science of the Spirit Anthroposophy” we learn that the eye actually isn’t “seeing” it is a camera. In fact, the brain isn’t seeing in a pure sense. The eye is truly the mirror of the soul, and it is in the soul that we take images and apperceive consciously that which the eye has captured.
Steiner knew adroitly that real freedom can only be obtained through individual spiritual development, gained through scientific study of the spiritual nature of humanity and the universe. He showed that such a path could inspire many cultural innovations in areas such as education, agriculture, medicine, architecture, science and the arts, which are still relevant and progressing today.
In the book, “Managing Screen Time: Raising Balanced Children in the Digital Age” by Edmond Schoorel: “We learn that when we look at something in everyday life, both eyes focus on a single point. In front of a flat screen this cannot be done. In order to absorb the images, the eyes automatically lose their focus and the optical axes assume a parallel position. This is the cause of the typical TV stare. The intentional look that focuses on something in the real world or on a picture is replaced by a way of looking that is determined by the moving image. It is a look without intention.”
Our own Jeff Korentayer wrote at length on the armoring of the ocular block, as per Dr. Wilhem Reich a German Psychotherapist who went on to suss out how the ocular block plays out in one’s character analysis, in his blog post with the same name here (insert link: http://arcanum.ca/2012/09/03/heilkunst-basics-university-3rd-year-armoring-of-the-ocular-segment/) He describes the ocular block also as having a degree of dissociation, “Emotionally, as I’ve mentioned, there is some degree of dissociation, or lack of contact with life and reality.” Reich termed this “contactlessness.”
Now that we have apprehended the emotional qualities for the condition of “Pink Eye” we can go about treating it using all three jurisdictions of Heilkunst Medicine (insert link here: http://arcanum.ca/faq/what-is-heilkunst/the-three-jurisdictions-of-medical-heilkunst/) First we need to mop up the symptoms, which, we’ll do in a moment below; but first we need to help with regimen which included water intake, proper nutrition and exercise. Dr. Bates developed exercises for the eyes which can help with the dissociative element, hooking the physical back into her soul spiritual connectivity. Here’s a link to an article I wrote awhile back on Dr. Bates’ eye exercises (insert this link here: http://arcanum.ca/2015/10/08/look-ma-no-glasses-how-to-correct-your-vision-dynamically/)
Now for the Homeopathic Remedies and Bach Flower Essences to consider for the ocular block as per our senior Heilkünstler here at Arcanum Wholistic Clinic, Jeff Korentayer: “In terms of remedies to consider, Opium is useful for the aspect of dissociation, when someone seems to be living in another world. Ruta Grav is useful when there is chronic strain to the eyes, such as working long hours staring at a computer screen. Gelsemium can help when there is a tired, droopy appearance to the eyes. The Bach Flower Remedy Clematis may also be useful for that dreamy, disconnection from reality state. Also, Chestnut Bud may be appropriate where an ocular block has prevented someone from gaining insight from their life lessons and end up repeating the same mistakes over and over. The homeopathic remedy Cannabis Indica is also strongly related to this theme of the ocular blockage, in terms of a dissociation or split from reality. The same is true in various ways of all of the ideogenic remedies.”
One of our chief homeopathic remedies specifically used for Pink Eye is Pulsatilla. Now that you have all the knowledge regarding the dissociative nature of the sufferer, take a look at the physical and mental emotional aspects of Pulsatilla in Dr. Clarke’s Materia Medica. Puls is dying for emotional connection and will whine, cry and be beyond needy if her needs aren’t being met. Over time, if they’re denied their primal needs, they will start the psychological process of disassociating to cope. Pink Eye is an emblem for this deeper phenomenon:
Eyes.?Affections in general appearing on the cornea; margins of the eyelids; dim-sightedness, with a sensation as though there were something over the eye which the patient wishes to rub away; amaurosis; cataract.?Pain in eyes as if scratched with a knife.?Burning sensation, pressive pain as if caused by sand; or sharp or shooting pain in eyes, or else boring and incisive pain.?Burning itching in eyes, chiefly in evening (inducing rubbing and scratching).?Inflammation in eyes and margins of lids (and meibomian glands), with redness of the sclerotica and conjunctiva, and copious secretion of (thick) mucus (and nightly agglutination).?Swelling and redness of eyelids.?Trichiasis in eyelid.?Styes, esp. on upper lid.?Crystalline lens clouded and of a greyish color.?Stye with inflammation of sclerotica, and tensive drawing pains on moving the muscles of the face.?Dryness of eyes and lids, esp. during sleep.?Profuse lachrymation, principally in the wind, as well as in open air, in the cold, and in clear, bright daylight.?Acrid and corrosive tears.?Abscess near angle of eye, like a lachrymal fistula (discharging pus on pressing it).?Nocturnal agglutination of lids.?Pupils contracted or dilated.?Amaurosis; paralysis of optic nerve.?Look fixed and stupid.?Dimness of sight, esp. or, getting warm from exercise.?Cloudiness of eyes and loss of sight, sometimes with paleness of face and inclination to vomit; (all objects present a sickly hue).?Loss of sight in twilight, with sensation as if eyes were covered with a band.?Sight confused, as if directed through a mist, or as if caused by something removable by rubbing, principally in open air, in evening, in morning, or on waking.?Incipient cataract.?Diplopia.?Luminous circles before eyes, and diffusion of light of candles.?Great sensibility of eyes to light, which causes lancinating pains (and in sunshine).
Mind.?[This remedy is particularly applicable for complaints which are found to occur in patients of a mild, yielding, or good-natured disposition; also in those who by, their sickness, or naturally, are very easily excited to tears?they are very apt to burst into tears whenever spoken to, or when they attempt to speak, as in giving their symptoms, &c.?Affections of the mind in general; covetous; mistrustful; absent-minded; low-spirited (H. N. G.)] Melancholy with sadness, tears, great uneasiness respecting one’s affairs or about the health; fear of death (tremulous anguish, as if death were near), care and grief.?Involuntary laughter and weeping.?Great anguish and inquietude, mostly in precordial region, sometimes with inclination to commit suicide, palpitation of heart, heat, and necessity to loosen the dress, trembling of hands, and inclination to vomit.?Fits of anxiety, with fear of death, or of an apoplectic attack, with buzzing in ears, shiverings, and convulsive movements of fingers.?Apprehension, anthropophobia, fear of ghosts at night or in evening, with an impulse to hide or to run away, mistrust and suspicion.?Covetousness.?Taciturn madness; with sullen, cold, and wandering air, sighs, often seated with the hands joined, but without uttering any complaint.?Despair of eternal happiness, with continual praying.?Discouragement, indecision, dread of occupation, and obstructed respiration.?Disposition envious, discontented, and covetous, exhibiting itself in a wish to appropriate everything.?Caprice, with desire at one time for one thing, at another time for something else, either being rejected as soon as obtained.?Hysterical laughter after meals.?Hypochondriacal humour and moroseness, < evening, often with repugnance to conversation, great sensitiveness, choleric disposition, cries, and weeping.?Ill-humour, sometimes with a dread of labour, and disgust or contempt for everything.?Inadvertence, precipitation, and absence of mind.?Difficulty in expressing thoughts correctly when speaking, and tendency to omit letters when writing.?Giddiness; patient neither knows where he is nor what he does.?Great flow of very changeful ideas.?Nocturnal raving; violent delirium and loss of consciousness.?Frightful visions.?Weakness of memory.?Fixed ideas.?Stupidity.
The last aspect to be addressed is the family dynamic. Why is the child suffering dissociation? If the parents aren’t able to fill the need for connection in the child, then why? Where have their needs been compromised? What do they need to fully actualize this primal longing to solve their own ocular block?
Connection through the eyes begins at birth. Healthy babes who are born in a serene, relaxed environment without the insult of eye drops will look for their Momma, crawl to the breast up our tummies and latch on to our breast; making eye contact from moments after birth. Skin to skin warmth and the way our Mom returns that look of connection becomes the foundations for a healthy life of ensouled apperception.
We will come to know, in deeper gnostic terms, a safety, love, care, desire, and true container for our healthy unfolding. This is the launch pad for our wholeness and grace, our anchor to our ALL, the wisdom of our philo-sophia from which to explore our world by tiny increment. If Mom turns away with guilt (insert blog on Lachesis here) or she’s overwrought with other responsibilities (insert blog on Sepia here) she will feel unavailable to the baby.
Our job as Doctors of Heilkunst is to plumb the depths of the whole phenomenon, leaving no therapeutic rock unturned. Otherwise we miss a Divine opportunity to resolve the essence of our human suffering. We’re well beyond just throwing an allopathic medicine at the symptoms. We deserve so much more than that.
This month our blog articles are focused on giving birth. Our very good friend and Heilkunst colleague, Lisa Powers, has shared her natural home-birthing story with us and given me permission to share it with you. Perhaps in the photographs you’ll catch glimpses of her homeopathic remedies in easy reach at the side of her bathtub!
On this note, our second blog post is a page extracted right from our book, “The Natural Home Pharmacy for Women” that will provide you (or an expecting woman that you know and care for) with all the homeopathic remedies and practical solutions for a healthy, natural birth. What I love about homeopathic principles is that the state of mind and physical suffering is never separated in wholistic treatment, and birth has so much to do with our mental state of being.
Enjoy this month’s offerings and we’ll be back with more juicy content next month.
I’m not really one for New Year’s resolutions. I don’t even start new protocols on a Monday after I realized years ago that I was setting myself up for failure if starting something new with a bang. My resonance organs dictate a mindfulness in motion that begs me to be accountable to myself each and every day; self-love is a continually evolving gesture of self-honour and self-care.
After sitting for three days a week in clinic I typically feel compelled to go on a mini-pilgrimage, usually this takes form as a good 10-12 km romp into the town or hills where I live… and my step counter will show about 17,000 steps by the end of the day. Jeff and I generally enjoy the same jaunt together on the weekend. During the week, I tend to engage in an hour of something each day; I love swimming, hiking the cobbled streets where we live, taking photographs, and enjoying an hour of yoga twice a week to ensure I’m maintaining upper body strength.
I do not love plank poses, although I do love the way they make me feel when I’m regularly engaged with my practice. A thirty minute daily meditation also is part of my regular regimen. You may ask how I find the time… well, it has taken me twenty years to unhook from a life of obligation and now my health soars, with few supplements, by allowing my spirit to be free of living totally out of obligation. A decade ago, my goal was to craft a life that I no longer felt I needed a vacation from, and this goal has most definitely been achieved!
I will take Vitamin D3 in the winter months only if I’m getting insufficient sunlight, although for the last two years we’ve lived in Mexico in winter, so I don’t bother much with this anymore. If I notice any thyroid challenges, I’ll take kelp and nascent iodine to help on those occasions. I also take zinc periodically, as well as some greens powder (spirulina/chlorella). I drink 2-3 litres of spring water a day which helps to keep me feeling clear, calm, and restored. I’ve always been a very thirsty constitutional type and so drinking a lot, especially in the mornings, really helps to set me right for the remainder of the day.
Mostly I eat quite scantily, fasting a couple days a week for most of the day; as I get into my more “senior” years I find that this approach helps keep my mind and body running optimally. At this high altitude of seven thousand feet above sea level, I sleep hard and soundly given the lower oxygen levels, and seven to eight hours a night without waking is beyond restorative to me. The less I eat, the better I sleep!
Being happy and in love with my partner and my life help a lot. We enjoy great recreation such as attending the orchestra, travelling with friends to a spa or organic farm in the country, or just lying around and reading. Having tea and discussing art, photography, principles or the concepts of Heilkunst enthuse me no end and it’s great that I get to do this with Jeff. I’m also adored, nurtured and well loved on, and kissed thoroughly with intent every day. I wish every human being benefitted from this much loving and fulfillment.
Lastly, I’m rocking what I’m ordained to be. I used to wake with whole poems in my head as a child. I’ve always loved to write and it is a big part of who I am and the vehicle I use to serve others by crafting books in natural medicine and Heilkunst. I’ve also always been profoundly intuitive and so I use these skills to diagnose my patient’s deeper issues, and then use my knowledge and compassion to help them get to where they’d like to go with regard to the resolution of their chronic ills.
Jeff and I both love hearing your monthly impressions as you work through the tangle of your challenges and wins each month. It is a living model of rejuvenation similar to a fever event, when your child speaks for the first time as they shed the Autism diagnosis. You might now be able to imagine what it means when a patient tells us that she has found the love of her life as a result of going through this system of medicine, and that she no longer suffers chronic fatigue because she also let go of that gnarly day job where her creativity was suppressed.
It is our resolution to be healthy enough to continue to support you in the ways that you expect, exacting the healing and curing principles of Heilkunst Medicine to the very best of our abilities. We love serving you and it means so much to us that you keep coming back monthly and also refer your friends and family. Our hearts are filled with purpose and meaning because of you.
When the kids were still at home, we had a couple of systems that worked well as we had two busy practices, both of us were doing post graduate research and we had a farm to also run. Basic stuff had to get done, but I was unwilling to be the sacrificial lady lamb in the equation. Jeff, also, would not allow this to happen to me, either, so we developed some basic systems.
Every week we had a white board on the fridge and the four of us would divvy up the chores to be done that week, listed for each day. We also had laundry folding parties where everyone would meet in the living room, the clean laundry spilt out of the baskets onto the floor and then everyone would help sort by pitching undies, shirts, pants etc. at each other until it all got distributed. Great hand-eye coordination and memory work with this one! Each person had their own basket to fold (or gather) their clean clothes into and then put them away in their drawers or closet.
If the kids needed help, they would ask as we buddied up when one child was smaller and more challenged with the task at hand, but they were generally part of the sorting party by the time they were 4 and running the washer and dryer by 12. Sometimes their clean clothes lived in that basket until they got to the bottom, but it had to be kept in their closet. It was their choice as long as it was “put away.”
The other thing that helped a lot is that we had going was a shared grocery/general shopping list app on our phones divided into categories like “market,” “grocery store” or “hardware store.” If stuff needed to get on the list, like ‘cheese’ the child had to use our phones to load it on there or it wouldn’t get bought. Over time, they both got better at spelling these items … but often either Jeff or I would be standing in the grocery isle laughing ourselves silly as Jordan got good at writing items like, “monkey balls” or “penis pickles.”
When they were in their teens, they had the same shared list on their own phones and then when they drove, they also did the groceries. Yay! We helped to grow them into these shared roles from the time that they were little. They were also taught how to manage bills, make payments, and budget accordingly. Now, we’re showing them how to invest in ways that yield solid returns.
The idea was/is to make it fun, there was always some joking around, and the burden was never all on my shoulders to be the Queen-pin of our domestic operations. We also divvied up the cooking and everyone took a night or two preparing supper for the family. We ate a lot of the same things and our crock pot got a lot of use. Sundays, we’d get some music on, Adie would often bake (her Scottish shortbreads to die for), I’d prepare one meal, Jeff another and Jordan would be designated sous chef or dishwasher. The key was that we worked together at all of it … including mucking out the stalls in the barn. It built a sense of teamwork and belonging. A dull knife and a carrot can keep a toddler busy for quite awhile!
In our practice, we see a lot of women chronically in a Sepia state (the careworn mother) or Cancer state (rescuing others to the exclusion of self) of mind. It is important to activate the health and well-being of our essential selves so as not to default to this program often wrought by our fore-mothers. Trying to work full-time and/or homeschool and then also deal with all of the responsibilities of hearth and home (or farm) can start out as protracted stress and then become, over time, Sepia or Cancer states qualifying you for more aggressive treatments. Is it time to wake from your resignation?
Here’s the original article, by Lisa Wade, that this blog was inspired by ….
Many folks come to us to address a chronic issue; chronic fatigue, chronic headaches, chronic back pain; chronic sciatica, chronic depression, chronic anger, and the list goes on. This is where the journey begins, but it is not where it ends. Once the chronic symptoms are addressed, the patient generally becomes so curious that she wants to know how deep the rabbit hole goes into her psyche.
She wants to not only find out the aetiology for the chronic pain, but she knows intuitively that something lurks beyond the cause, something so rarified that she may have never known it’s purity this lifetime. Once the shocks, blocks and traumas are out of her way, she teases back the curtain to find where the joy resides. She observes this new way of being even though it frightens her.
She realizes her chronic symptoms kept her from knowing this state of being. What now? Over several weeks, she fans her newfound “growledge,” developing inch by inch her courage to know herself in a way that she’s never apprehended before. She cautiously reaches for the joy that resides just beyond her grasp. She pulls back, afraid. What if it’s transitory like all the other times she tried to know her wishes?!
She reaches, again, and it tickles her back. She wonders if anyone is watching, if they can see the Kaos in her. Her pure awe grows in the face of this newly realized essential self. She remembers feeling like this as the tiniest child. She realizes now, that the joy isn’t fleeting, but that the hardest task ahead will be to realize that she deserves it.
#joy #heilkunst #homeopathy #selfknowledge #beyondchronicdisease #beyondchronicsymptoms #hahnemannsaphroism9 #dontmissitall #theall
“circle of friends” by Valentina Powers
Rudolf Steiner, Spiritual Scientist, and founder of Waldorf Education and Anthroposophic Medicine cites that children can’t in fact subsume, in a healthy fashion, reading, writing or mathematical concepts until well after the milk teeth have fallen out. The idea being that if you wake a child too early to intellectual machinations, you damage the fine tuning of their etheric (creativity and absorption) and astral (artistry and inspiration) integration.
In this over-intellectualized and mechanistic epoch in which we live, one of the greatest crimes I see in healthcare is over-intellectualized adults who struggle with accessing all of their organs for knowledge. They’re just not properly integrated! This produces anxiety and neurosis on a large scale as their capacity for trusting their inner guidance system (gnosis) has been tarnished due largely to the tyranny of forced education.
Parents who live in fear that their child won’t be able to compete in this global culture unless they’re bullied into unfolding their egghead processes early on, actually destroy their child’s innate capacities to become lifelong learners, something which ought to be borne as a self-inspired, inside-out gesture. Real knowledge has never been a successful outside-in game and never will be. You’ve heard the maxim, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”
A natural curiosity is the stuff of health. It propels us from the Godhead of our ordination as human beings (not human doings) otherwise as children we’d never ask questions like, “Why is the sky blue?” If this innate desire is squashed, and replaced by government curricula and unproven homework that turns parents into hateful enforcers instead of advocates and protectors, we destroy a child’s delicate intuition.
When will we come to wholly trust, and have faith, that each of us will ask the questions – from an internal fount whose source is beyond our comprehension – that will propel the answers towards us? When will we come to the understanding that as we progress through our spiritual unfolding, our nuanced capacity to know will flow and ebb with each consciousness soul phase we blunder through so that we’re married to the functional purpose that evolution pours through each one of us?
When will we know that the gesture to bully and shove round pegs into intellectually limiting square holes is on its way out and that feminine wisdom is mounting a luminous trail so self-sustaining and rejuvenating that the silos of patriarchy are being revealed, and breaking down at an amazing rate? When will we know that the desire to “know thyself” is so flipping compelling to each one of us that its intrinsic nature is something to be preserved, not browbeaten or terrorized with ridiculous tests.
When will we preserve the essence of our innately curious being-ness as wonder-filled seekers?
When will we know?
While attending University, way back when, I used to board with a great big Irish Catholic family. Actually, there were once seven children at home but when I arrived on the scene to rent a room, only the mother and one daughter were left at home. The young woman and I both attended the University of Toronto at the same College.
When I came downstairs one day the mother, H. (I’ll call her), wearing a surgeon’s mask, was stripping the paint from around the oak window casings with a small blow torch and a paint scraper. She was singing softly to herself. I tried to creep by without disturbing her as she seemed so intent on her task. She called out, “Is that you Allyson?” I replied, “Yes, I’ve come down to make some breakfast.”
I recall commenting on the incredible amount of work she was doing and that it might take a year, or more, for her to strip all the windows in the house, including the stained glass ones, and wasn’t she afraid of burning the wood or torching the glass? She responded that it was therapy for her after the decades of work at Queen’s Park as an assistant to a prominent political member. She was now retired and it seemed stripping windows of their white paint was how she’d decided to best fill her days. At the time, I didn’t understand why a retired person wasn’t out scuba diving or lunching with a whole gaggle of friends.
She continued, saying that she wove her prayers into the vapour from the torch, that they would be carried heavenward with each bubble of paint that she scraped from the sill. During the hotter summer months, she’d often strip the paint for 8-9 hour stretches in her panties and a loose t-shirt. I wondered at this sixty-five year old feminist as if she was a most curious object. Sometimes, I knew that she could feel my eyes on her and I could feel her smile; she’d just continue humming as she worked without saying a word. One time she did ask me if I had issues with feminism, and for three decades after I was mystified by her question.
Late one afternoon, I came home via streetcar along Gerrard St. East, to find on my bed a book entitled, “A Canticle for Leibowitz” by Walter M. Miller, Jr. about a simple shopping list left behind by a monk and how its seemingly benign items like, “Pound pastrami, can kraut, six bagels–bring home for Emma” speaks to the rise and fall of humanity in the face of atrocities like a nuclear holocaust. At the time, I didn’t have a clue why H. would want me to read such a book, however, since she seemed to take an interest in me (I had been orphaned the year prior) I forced myself through its pages. We never spoke about why she gave it to me.
To this day, I still don’t wholly understand the ramifications of what was written on the pages of that book, so I took it on as a gesture of intention, a meditation of sorts. Just as this woman scraped paint day after day, perhaps not wholly understanding why or what her function or purpose was at the time, she was investing her thoughts into the practice. I tried to bring the same gesture to that book, and many other books and practices since.
H. taught me that to be a woman in the 21st century, it is sometimes enough not to will something into existence with a great fury, hell bent on accomplishment. That sometimes, seemingly meaningless, repetitive tasks can allow for the space to contemplate, ruminate and even pray. That sometimes, whispering your hopes and dreams into the whiff of vapour, or exploring the incongruous meaning behind why a person is canonized by patriarchal religion is similarly mysterious.
It is the task of remaining open and receptive, in a state of gratitude for the simple things in life, where laying down the rod of doing in exchange for a state of being is an act of utter courage. It is the meaning of the “mass” portion of Christ-mass. When I look up Mass, I get a whole conglomeration of meanings in Wikipedia that look something like this:
“The English noun mass is derived from Middle Latin missa. The Latin word was adopted in Old English as mæsse (via a Vulgar Latin form *messa), and was sometimes glossed as sendnes (i.e. “a sending, dismission”). The Latin term missa itself was in use by the 6th century. It is most likely derived from the concluding formula Ite, missa est (“Go; the dismissal is made”); missa here is a Late Latin substantive corresponding to classical missio.
Historically, however, there have been other explanations of the noun missa, i.e. as not derived from the formula ite, missa est. Fortescue (1910) cites older, “fanciful” etymological explanations, notably a latinization of Hebrew matzâh (??????) “unleavened bread; oblation”, a derivation favoured in the 16th century by Reuchlin and Luther, or Greek ?????? “initiation”, or even Germanic mese “assembly”.Already Du Cange (1678) reports “various opinions on the origin” of the noun missa “mass”, including the derivation from Hebrew matzah (Missah, id est, oblatio), here attributed to Caesar Baronius. The Hebrew derivation is learned speculation from 16th-century philology; medieval authorities did derive the noun missa from the verb mittere, but not in connection with the formula ite, missa est. Thus, De divinis officiis (9th century) explains the word as a mittendo, quod nos mittat ad Deo (“from ‘sending’, that which sends us towards God”), while Rupert of Deutz (early 12th century) derives it from a “dismissal” of the “enmities which had been between God and men” (inimicitiarum quæ erant inter Deum et homines).”
It is really a tough piece for me to sort through. I don’t fully understand its holy historical references; however, if I am patient enough, some vaporous light may illuminate it if I’m meant to know more. The other day, in a foreign country, where the language is foreign to me, I slipped into a two hundred year old church during mass. I sat in a back pew, closed my eyes in the cool stoney air and felt the wisps of incense wash over my fatigued bones. My camera draped at my side, I closed my eyes and fell into a meditative state as the filthy, homeless person with a ratty beard prayed next to me in Spanish on bended knee.
In the past, when directed by my mentor, Steven Decker, to study Rudolf Steiner until I drifted off to sleep more mystified and confused than ever, I’d become comforted without knowing precisely why I was studying such heady texts. It was like being tussled and tossed about in the washing machine of mystery. While I don’t always know in the moment, I trust that a canticle of meaning will eventually find me during the seemingly most mundane of tasks, a whispered prayer, poem or song received in the corridors of my heart.
I no longer have issues with powerful women. They don’t scare me. H. was right. It took me years to understand that just because I wasn’t counted as a wizened woman in my early twenties due to my weakened, diseased state doesn’t mean that I didn’t have the potential to eventually become one. After thirty years, through the portal of my own health, I learned to breathe many prayers into countless sill windows. Although ongoing, I now feel the answers to my own feminine mystery; a sweet place where I might serve in my ontological confines in this present space and time.
A canticle of seemingly endless lists filled with pastrami and sauerkraut in the face of political holocaust can join together to produce strong, capable and assured women, who whisper prayers for the salvation of self and other into the vapours of time. This unifying presence through family and intention is the Divine feminine ignited.
This year I am thankful for rest, health, verve, ease, strength, quiet, creativity and an inner grace that is ripening. I am grateful for inspiring women, and men, in my life who hold the candle of the mysteries of life in good stead until they’re ready to be wholly illuminated. I am able to fall into meditation, offering prayer-filled alms to the Spanish beggar for he shines the light on what is still my greatest challenge: the quickness with which I judge the sills of time to be too many to make a shred of difference.
“Just as in the body, eye and ear develop as organs of perception, as senses for bodily processes, so does a man develop in himself soul and spiritual organs of perception through which the soul and spiritual worlds are opened to him. For those who do not have such higher senses, these worlds are dark and silent, just as the bodily world is dark and silent for a being without eyes and ears.”
Happy Re-New-al Year to you all!
Contained in your Emotional Support Dropper is a combination of homeopathic remedies we call “NSOL.” These letters stand for Natrum Muriaticum (grief), Staphysagria (anger), Opium (fear) and Lachesis (guilt). Opium is derived from the papaver poppy and, like all homeopathics, it in no way contains any of its crude source by the time we prescribe it. All homeopathic rx from Arcanum Wholistic Clinic are above “Avogadro’s Law” meaning that the rx is so highly diluted that chemical science would categorize it as placebo.
As we know, our medical provings are derived from observing someone who has taken a drug in crude form. For example, we’ve studied those who have taken opiates (known as laudanum several decades ago) for extended periods of time, and patients will share with us the effects of post-surgery painkillers like OxyContin, Percocet and methadone. The most active substance in opium is morphine, named after Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams.
“Opium Den Gallery Xue” by trilbym
A great image that helps to discern the Opium state of mind is that of the Chinese opium den back at the turn of the last century or two, and even earlier to ancient Sumeria where it was considered “the plant of joy.” There have been many rumors that the character Sherlock Holmes was addicted to crude opium and that British author Thomas De Quincey partook, naming it “the celestial drug.” Also, Homer’s Odyssey involved sussing out ‘nepenthe,’ a medicine derived from alcohol and the papaver poppy.
In homeopathic medicine, Opium is the quintessential remedy for curing pervasive fear. Dr. Henry Clarke describes the state of mind in his three-volume set of Materia Medica as at first being very excitable and then succumbing to a dream-like stupor:
Carelessness, or great anxiety and uneasiness.–Inconstancy and fickleness.–Strong tendency to take alarm, and timorous character.–Rash and inconsiderate boldness.–Tranquillity of mind, with agreeable reveries, and forgetfulness of sufferings.–Stupidity and imbecility.–Loss of consciousness.–Great flow of ideas, with gaiety and a disposition to indulge in sublime and profound reflections.–Vivid imagination, exaltation of the mind, increased courage, with stupefaction and dullness.–Very easy comprehension.–Illusions of the imagination.–Mania, with fantastical or fixed ideas; patient believes, contrary to fact, that he is not at home.–Delirium with frightful visions, of mice, scorpions, &c., and with desire to run away.–Mendacity.–Rambling speech.–Loquacious delirium, with open eyes and red face; furious delirium.–Fright with fear; is followed by heat in the head and convulsions.–Grief over insults is followed by convulsions.–Drunkenness with stupor as from smoke on the brain; eyes burning, hot and dry.
About six years ago, we treated a fellow who worked for the local hydro company. He was coming home late one night in his truck, it was foggy, rainy and turning to sleet. In the fresh snow that had accumulated during the day, he noticed the relatively fresh tire tracks of a car that had gone off the road and slid into a ditch down a fairly steep embankment. When he reached the vehicle he found a woman still belted in the front seat; pulling her from the wreckage, he checked for a pulse, called 911 and started CPR. My patient soon realised there was no hope, but continued trying to resuscitate her until the paramedics arrived. When he came to see me, he was in an Opium state and his wife confirmed that he kept having bad dreams and worries of finding others in a similar state at the side of the road. He was still in a state of shock, cycling through fight/flight. He cited that he felt numb to it all.
I’ve served women who have been in an Opium-like state for many years after suffering some form of emotional, physical or sexual abuse. They have trouble with memory, feel somewhat lost and just can’t seem to fully actualize themselves due to this overwhelming pervasive fear and delirium. If you look at the eyes of many women coming from terror-filled countries where rape by oppressors was (and still is) an instrument of terrorized suppression, you will look into their deadened and staring eyes. There is no worse crime for a woman, with death often being preferable.
“Women and children at the health post of the Sam Ouandja refugee camp” by hdptcar
Dr. Clarke describes the eyes of a person in an opium state suffering chronic fear as:
Eyelids hanging, as if paralysed.–Sensation as if eyeballs were too large.–Eyes red, inflamed.–Quivering of eyes and lids.–Eyes half open and are turned upwards.–Staring look.–Swelling of lower lids.–Eyes fixed, half closed, convulsed, prominent, glassy.–Pupils dilated (insensible to light), and immovable.–Pupils contracted.–Cloudiness of sight.–Sensation of dust in eyes.–Scintillations before eyes.
Years ago, one of my patients had served in Afghanistan in the U.S. army (details changed to protect his identity) and was extremely traumatized by the constant threat of landmines which could explode at any moment. He had also witnessed a close friend succumbing to such a catastrophic fate. When he came to work with me, he was smoking a lot of cannabis, and teaching yoga and meditation as this was the only viable thing he’d found to curtail reliving the shocks and terrors of his experience, courtesy of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). He was in such a reverie that he described it as feeling in a stupor 24/7.
“Self portrait trauma scars, Emotional abuse, Mental, sexual, Physical, verbal Domestic Violence Spousal marital rape Trauma PTSD, Self Portrait, Runjanefox, #janefox this is me. #domesticviolence #stopdv #spousalrape #dv #hearmystory” by Jane Fox
When we clear this type of trauma on a patient’s timeline, they will describe many strange dreams as being part of the healing reaction. I’ve had patients say that that mid-month after taking the remedy, at the twelve to fifteen day mark, they’ve had vivid dreams of being abducted by aliens, seeing malevolent spirits, being involved in an horrific accident, feeling a presence in their midst…just to have it all disappear by the twenty-eighth day and be replaced with restored clarity of mind.
“A Dream” by Sepp Schimmer
Humans are not the only beings to suffer such atrocities producing a chronic fear state. Years ago, we rescued a twenty seven year old horse named “Teddy.” He was such an aged Appaloosa that he’d turned completely white, having lost all his characteristic spots. He’d worked all his life in both Western and English barns for children, and was both bit (mouth led) and neck reined (neck led on opposite rein). He wasn’t the horse that we wanted; we were actually buying a young two-year old mare named Baby to train up for my daughter, Adie. The problem was that Teddy and Baby were inseparable and the owner pulled at our heart strings asking that we take both of them. We agreed.
However, shortly after Teddy joined our farm of thirty-six animals, I noticed that he had a persistent film over his eyes, like cobwebs, that I was constantly cleaning out. He also had that characteristic staring-off look with dark congealed tears weeping from the left eye more so than the right. His lids seemed kind of wrinkled over his blue-brown eyes.
I gave old Teddy a drop of Opium 30CH and watched him completely perk up. It was amazing! In fact, Baby proved way too fiery for my daughter so when her horse turned three we hired a trainer for Baby, and Adie learned to ride on Teddy, using the Alexander Technique and no bridle, instead employing just the subtlest of body movements. Teddy learned this whole new approach to riding without a hitch in his elderly step!
My hope is that you have a better idea of what induces an Opium state in yourself or a loved one. I’m going to list a number of events below that we’ve treated in our patients that may be of further assistance as you discern the type of events that can engender a chronic Opium state:
- Car accident, ski accident or any near miss with or without bodily injury
- Bad news like a death in the family or loss of a dear friend
- Shocking event like seeing someone badly injured
- Participating in a war
- Seeing someone raped
- Being raped
- Living in an area with a high rate of crime
- Watching the news
- Being harmed or abused
- Seeing an animal harmed or abused
- Watching a horror film
Folks more likely to be in a chronic Opium state, that we’ve successfully treated:
- Paramedics, firefighters and first responders
- Police officer
- War veteran
- Red Cross volunteer
- Emergency Room nurse or doctor
- Parents who have suffered a stillbirth, especially the mother
- A child prone to nightmares/night terrors
- A parent whose child is diagnosed with autism, cancer, MS or other debilitating condition
- Being diagnosed with a challenging condition
- A victim of war crimes, shootings or bombings
- A person who has survived living in a ghetto with a high rate of crime
- Anyone diagnosed with a debilitating condition
- An individual who has suffered marital abuse