Sunday, June 14, 2009
Great quote via this blog:
"The more you focus on something -- whether that's math or auto racing or football or God -- the more that becomes your reality, the more it becomes written into the neural connections of your brain."
-Andrew Newburg, neuroscientist
Having spent much time beside the bed of a very unwell person recently and many hours in a couple of hospitals, I've had some time for reflection. I've also had lots of times of really being present in the moment - I'm so glad I am able to be that now.
As I sat with my uncle just hours before he died - between when he was last conscious and when we finally died, I found myself using one of the many resources that are deep within me - it was some words from Julien of Norwich "All is well, all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well". I found myself saying it repeatedly in time with my uncles breathing.
On reflection, I remembered another story of someone with a person close to them in the last minutes before they died - praying the Lord's prayer.
These combined experiences have made me ponder - what is it like at these times without deep spiritual resources of some kind that are beyond the cerebral?
As we were organising a funeral for a close family member recently, I had the delight of watching someone engage with the Bible in a way that was fresh, interested and found meaning. As the minister gave her a Bible and opened it to a passage he thought might be a good place to start, she said "no I don't like that" and then looked across the page and noticed another bit and went "what about this, it's so perfect for him; can I start anywhere and finish anywhere; what are these numbers, are they phrases?" It was great watching someone engage and feel like they could find meaning in a book that they obviously have rarely engaged with, at least for themselves.