Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I have never done this before on the blog or the DAJ Online, but I am asking those of you who believe in the power of prayer to pray for a friend’s son who is in intensive care in Winston-Salem, NC suffering from a head injury. The last report I had he still had not regained consciousness. Thank you in advance for your prayers and concern.
I have a friend who has created another world which is rather complex. He named it Goosville. One of the meanings of goo is excessive sentimentality. He has spent a lot of time alone and in that world over the years. One of the things I like about the world he has created is that the animals there speak the same language as humans. That would certainly be helpful with my wife’s two cats. The most important thing about this world is he does not seem to think he controls all the people or animals in it. Now if I created a world everyone in it would do as I wanted them to. I think we could all learn from my friend’s created world into which he retreats when our collective world either ignores him or he can no longer deal with it. He is not the puppeteer even in his own created world.
Recently a letter Albert Einstein wrote to a philosopher sold at an auction for $404,000.00. It was a letter about his views of God and the Bible among other things. He called the Bible “pretty childish” and said the problem of God “is too vast for our limited minds.”
At times it seems like I am moving slowly towards 60 and at others it seems like I am speeding towards it. All I am sure of is that this November I have to stay far away from my older sister because she does crazy things to people on their 60th birthdays. Have I learned anything about this problem of God in these 60 years?
Maybe a couple of things.
First, I agree that God “is too vast for our limited minds”, but the story does not end there because I believe we have souls and that it is thru faith not logic that we learn to know our Creator.
Secondly, like my friend in the world he created, I think our Creator is not a puppeteer which means Einstein and all before him and you and all after you have the free will to decide for yourselves what you believe about the Creator.
Even those of us with mental illnesses have the need and right to be in community with folks who hold the same beliefs and opinions we do. When I started my research in 1988 on faith communities and folks with mental illnesses and their families, I was advised not to discuss religion with people with mental illness because it might encourage their delusional system.
On my most psychotic day living on the street I may not have been able to discuss the finer points of Systematic Theology, but I could have understood a piece of food and a hug as being love.
I loved an article I found in The New York Times the other day. It says I may not simply be getting forgetful as my brain grows older, but wiser.
“Some brains do deteriorate with age. Alzheimer’s disease, for example, strikes 13 percent of Americans 65 and older. But for most aging adults, the authors say, much of what occurs is a gradually widening focus of attention that makes it more difficult to latch onto just one fact, like a name or a telephone number. Although that can be frustrating, it is often useful.”
“It may be that distractibility is not, in fact, a bad thing,” said Shelley H. Carson, a psychology researcher at Harvard whose work was cited in the book. “It may increase the amount of information available to the conscious mind.”
But the best part is yet to come.
“Jacqui Smith, a professor of psychology and research professor at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, who was not involved in the current research, said there was a word for what results when the mind is able to assimilate data and put it in its proper place — wisdom.
“These findings are all very consistent with the context we’re building for what wisdom is,” she said. “If older people are taking in more information from a situation, and they’re then able to combine it with their comparatively greater store of general knowledge, they’re going to have a nice advantage.”

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