Daily Archives: February 8, 2013

Daily Post Challenge: Reincarnation

I’ve journeyed through all kinds of religions.  As a teenager I hung out with Mescalero Apache shamans in New Mexico, and got to go to a peyote meeting where the group energy was channeled to help somebody in trouble.  When I finally went to college, I took courses in Anthropology with a professor who had learned witchcraft in Africa, and proved it by murdering chickens and divining the future from their guts on the floor of the classroom.  As a graduate student in Anthropology, I learned about lots and lots of religions that believed in reincarnation.

But it wasn’t until the year 2000 that I began to look into my own native religion: Judaism.  Jews are famous for being Buddhists, Hindus, anything but Jews.  And I was no different.

My motivation for exploring the religious beliefs behind my genetic heritage was simple.  Because of a confluence of influences, I lost everything I owned.  My health took a dive.  My 16 year old son was living on the streets, eating out of dumpsters, just as I had done when I was his age.  Life sucked.

A friend turned me on to a book of the Apocrypha: Christian mystical writings that didn’t make it into the Bible.  I started wondering, wow, if the New Testament is this cool, what is the Old Testament like?  So I started reading it, and came up with not much knowledge but loads of questions.  Naturally, I turned to the Internet, and typed this into Google:  ”What is the meaning of life?”

The top of the search results lead me to the Meaningful Life Center, run by Rabbi Simon Jacobsen.  It would take more words than I have here to explain what is contained in there.  It’s everything Jewish, both traditional and mystical.  I went straight to the mystical.  There I discovered that Judaism teaches that we are sent into this life, these bodies, in order to fix things.  These things can be blemishes on our souls because of misdeeds in previous lives, or they can be blemishes on the collective soul (which is another topic), or they can be fixings of specific events that are destined to happen in this life, or in the world at large.

I have spent the past 13 years in further study of Jewish mysticism and concepts of reincarnation, and how I can personally work on fixing myself and my little part of the world.

Then I went to India, as a result of an event that I do not believe was random.  It was 2010, and I was very ill with something that was eluding the diagnostic prowess of Western physicians.  I have a passing familiarity and great respect for Ayurvedic medicine, so I researched the most reputable Ayurvedic hospitals in India, and one of them happened to fit my time frame and pocket book, so off I went to Tamil Nadu.

On the day that I arrived, the physician in charge was out on maternity leave, or paternity leave, I guess, since his wife had just had a baby.  The doctor who was filling in was Dr. Sundar Raman.  The moment I saw him I burst into tears.  I knew that he was somehow related to me, from a previous life.  Unlike a Western doctor, he jumped up and ran around to my side of the desk and held me while I cried.

I stayed at the Ayurvedic hospital for ten weeks, undergoing intensive treatments.  And every day, Dr. Sundar came to my cottage and we studied together for three hours.  He is a Brahmin priest.  We studied the correspondences between the Hindu Vedas (the scholarly tracts behind the religion) and the mystical backbone of the Torah, which is the parallel system of the Hebrews.  We drew diagrams and studied passages from both disciplines.

I learned that in Hinduism, the understanding of reincarnation is that we are engaged in a process of purification of the soul.  With every incarnation, we should strive to live as clean and true a life as possible, with the aim of ascending through the layers of unreality and misdeeds that are inherent in the human condition, and eventually reaching a pure state, finally merging with the Cosmic Consciousness.

And what about illness?  Where does that fit in?  Illness, says Dr. Sundar, is a pathway to salvation.  If we pay true attention to the message of illness, and realize that it is a process of cleansing from sins committed in previous lives, we can use it as a springboard to ascending in consciousness and leaving the Karmic Wheel.

I was shocked at this, and very excited, because this is exactly what Judaism says about the purification process, and the ability of illness and misfortune to cleanse and actually benefit us, even though the process can be very unpleasant.

On difficult days, I try to remember what Dr. Sundar says: Illness is the key to salvation.  And I fervently hope that in the merit of my suffering and the good deeds that I try to do, I don’t have to have a next life; and that if I do, it could be easier than this one.

Gazing at the Moon

I can not imagine a night, to look upon the moon as it gazes over the land That I will have to fight And I fear it comes too soon [...]

Not Much Today

I’m just doing my best to fend off the cold/flu/whatever that’s going around, and musing on the ways my brain finds to get at me. I’m still doing fine on the whole — it’s just the occasional little thing that causes severe anxiety spikes that (thankfully) pass fairly quickly. Past that, I’m pleased the week has flown past, and that slacking is in my near future.

I hope everyone else is having a decent day.


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Pressure cooked

The stress has started to take a toll and I am coming apart bit by bit. People are starting to notice. I have been acting strangely. Apathetic, distant, aloof, disinterested. My mind is elsewhere. Of course, no one has a clue it’s just the standard issue meltdown that accompanies any long stretch functionality in my bipolar trek.  They don’t WANT to know. I am so sick of self absorbed people and their denial. Their way of deflecting any unpleasant talk by either ignoring what you say or pointing out who has it even worse. Often when you’ve said nothing at all about how you are feeling, as if they sense you’re down and just want to kick you in the head while you’re at foot level.

Hell, the other day my mom looked at me and said, “I know it’s hard on you raising Spook alone but think of your sister’s friend, she has THREE she’s raising alone and her boyfriend just beat her up and kicked them all out!”

Did I miss the memo on misery being a contest?

The  biggest thing right now is R. I don’t want to be at the shop anymore. He has nothing for me to do, and I am not sitting there forty hours a week, freezing my ass off, just to surf the internet and keep him from having to face what a pathetic husk his existence really is. Does that sound bitter? Because it’s not meant to be, it’s how I see it. He drinks 7 nights a week and would rather have the company of his ex gf than his wife who supposedly makes him so happy. He bitches that he is broke when she makes three times what he does but pays less than an 8 th of their bills. He worries incessantly about going out of business and blames his drinking on that.He can’t be alone for five minutes without thinking he is gonna die. I find it asinine and pathetic.

And it’s getting harder to not just say so.

He called both my phones last night. In a stroke of passive aggressive genius I answered neither. He left me a text saying he needed me. Blah blah blah. His “need” is starting to crush me. What he needs me to do at the shop for the entire week could be done in a single 45 minute stretch. He needs someone there to keep him company and while that might have been flattering at first, it’s annoying now. I have better things to do, even if it’s sitting at home cleaning out a closet. I cannot stand people who can’t be alone. If you’re that uncomfortable with your own company that you absolutely must have someone near you at all times, then you have more psychological issues than I ever could.

I just feel so fucking pissed off and stressed out, like if I don’t get a break from him, from his crap, from his expectations, I am going to go ballistic. Seriously, why won’t he hear me when I say over and over, “There’s no need for me to be there unless you have something for me to do the entire day.” Why does he just blow me off? And why am I, quite possibly the posterchild for self assertiveness, letting myself be emotionally manipulated by him?

Maybe because I lack the social skills to assert myself in a way that does not burn bridges. I usually let it build up and build up and then…it’s open mouth, insert both feet, and socks time.

See, this would have been something useful for that useless counselor to have worked on with me, trying to figure out healthy ways to assert myself in such situations.

One more part of the whole mental illness cycle. I have often had good shrinks but lousy counselors, lousy shrinks but good counselors, so rarely both at the same time. Kind of hard to truly get better in a constant state like that.

I want soo badly to ask for another therapist.

But there are only 2 others and I’d still have to see sunshine spewer in the hallways, aiming her angry cow stares at me instead of others. I get this gut feeling she’s very mean and very petty. (What kind of therapist laughs at a client when they’re admitting an honest feeling?)

It’s all a bucket of suck and I seem to be getting  crushed under it all.




Hope and Stuff

Monday started out full of anxiety and worry, plus three appointments: the PNP (psychiatric nurse practitioner), Hippie Dude (therapist), and …

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