Kidney failure

September 7, 2012

An extended-family member was hospitalized for kidney failure the other night.  The episode is turning out to contain resonances of so many past stories I know that I start thinking about what it represents for me metaphorically.

When the kidneys are not cleansing the blood, toxins build up, confusion is a symptom.  Makes me wonder what the equivalent of a kidney in our spiritual lives might be.

I think spiritually the cleansing mechanism is more like a charcoal filter in a water pitcher or the dilution of grape juice with water, as my mother used to serve it to us kids.

If we can’t process our emotions and discharge or dissipate or otherwise redress them, they build up, and we do become confused.  I think we dilute them and cleanse ourselves through mixing in cleaner, healthier energy.  I do that through working on being open through walking and praying;  sleeping is another way I think we interface more openly with the universe.

I only have one kidney (born that way) and it’s big.  The doctor who diagnosed it when I was about thirty joked with me that that means I can’t be a live donor.  Which is interesting, because some of my spiritual work has been helping others cleanse their spiritual systems through my own.  (Sometimes it seems to me that “on earth” is at least sometimes actually an inversion of “as it is in heaven,” — maybe this is an example of that, I don’t know.  In astronomy as I studied it in an elementary survey course, a mathematical inverted square relationship was a major theme.  Maybe that’s related to what I’m noticing here. )

I guess I like to think that in my spiritual work I can help someone have their own kidney without sacrificing mine.  Whether this is done through my helping them locate theirs, repair theirs, or develop a new one in much the same way Harold does in those Purple Crayon stories, I’m not sure.  I think it’s most hard for me when I’ve helped them start the process but won’t be able to enjoy the results myself in this lifetime — but that only underscores that I am only a conduit and that what I do contribute must be offered as a gift (regardless of how the recipient frames the interaction).  After all, I have my own lessons, too, to learn from the experience.

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6 Responses to “Kidney failure”

  1. Jeff in New Jersey Says:

    Hello, Diana.

    Odd that you seem puzzled by the “inverse square law” so relevant to Astronomy. It has nothing to do with astronomy or celestial phenomena as such, but is prominent because astronomical phenomena are “clean” of masking influences.

    There is nothing puzzling or mystical about it : it comes solely from the geometrical properties of three-dimensional space. In four-dimensional space should it exist, there might well be an “inverse cube” law.

    Our sun loses about four-hundred tons of matter each second through solar radiation in all directions. The total amount of radiation remains the same, but intensity diminishes with distance. By what rule ?

    Think of an imaginary sphere twelve inches in diameter. The volume would be one-sixth Pi times diameter cubed and the surface area Pi times diameter squared, or 144 square inches time Pi. Contrast this with a sphere 36 inches in diameter. By the same formula, the surface area would be Pi times 1296 square inches, exactly nine times the surface of the smaller sphere. So you would need nine times as much paint to cover the larger sphere, and a tiny light in the center would be nine times weaker at the surface of a sphere only three times larger in diameter. That is where the “inverse square” law comes from.

    As to re-incarnation, which you have mentioned in other musings, I think it is factually established that by some means unknown, children are sometimes found to have the memories of deceased adults. Usually these memories are not retained, but fade quickly, like our memories of dreams.

    Ordinary human thought would take these cases as evidence of reincarnation, but I say it is not so, any more than photographs of a ghost prove “return of the dead.” The photographic image is only that — an image produced in some unknown manner. Ghosts are rarely seen more than two years after death. And when seen, ghosts are invariably clothed ! Can anyone believe that rotting cotton in some grave, or cotton burned during cremation, could be magically reconstituted or “live again ?”

    Occasionally the child’s “former life” memories are vivid and do persist. There was a case like this in India some decades ago. The little girl really believed she was Ludgi who had lived in the village of Muttra. The real Ludgi died in childbirth. When taken to Muttra, the girl remembered all the houses and families as they were before Ludgi’s death, and recognized even Ludgi’s children, except the one that caused her to die.

    In 1952, when the girl had grown and was working in a minor government job, she said to an interviewer that while she still had Ludgi’s memories, she had adjusted to her own contemporary reality and actual life.

    The two women might have been similar in intelligence and personality traits, but such differences are genetically determined and could not be transmitted with mere memories, which do not constitute the identity of the person. For example, if a child were born with the memories of some great artist, it is most unlikely he or she would show exceptional artistic talent.

    So much for your belief in reincarnation, assuming you have that. But maybe more than memories can be transmitted in this unknown way, and that would raise the possibility of “multiple personality” cases having such an origin. Or hidden, inexplicable personality traits, good or evil, seeming to have no ascertainable origin.

    As in the case of Theodore Bundy who died in the Florida electric chair. I believe him when he said he was (at a young age) “shocked at what he had done” after first attacking some woman (who got away). Later he “adjusted” to these strange hidden inclinations, and committed more than a hundred murders, under strong impulse to act, but (according to him) obtaining no satisfaction from it.

    What kind of used laptop have you recently acquired ? Compaq used to make some good ones, but they are now merged with Hewlett-Packard.

    • Diana Moses Says:

      I learned a lot from this — thanks. My laptop is an HP.

      I wonder if people who have memories from “past lives” are also good at picking up other (living) people’s emotional lint, because that would suggest to me that we are exchanging energy packets with people past and present. I don’t see why we should assume we can’t engage with the past, if time is not a constraint in all dimensions; maybe you can explain the physics of when time is and isn’t a constraint? Please let me know if I’m being annoying by trying to pick your brain (there’s got to be a nicer term for that).

      • Jeff in New Jersey Says:

        Not at all, Diana. Fear not to annoy me. I live alone and have no friends, so communication with a thoughtful mind is stimulating. Neither am I in the best of health right now, as recovery from major spinal surgery can be prolonged and difficult.

        The only thing that does trouble me a little is the rather public nature of our communication. You have the womanly gift of “sharing yourself mentally,” which is not so common in men. I think you must have my e-mail address. If you could give me a private one, I might feel less “inhibited” as men are sometimes prone to be !

        As to your points, it may well be true that children who have other people’s memories may indeed be psychically sensitive. A person who is so may become so accustomed to it that acceptance of knowledge from this source may come to be second nature, and attributed to mere “intuition.”

        Some have claimed that Adolf Hitler had at least some psychic gifts with glimpses into the future. But this is always imperfect even for those who have as much of this “talent” as is ever seen. There is no reason to disbelieve Hitler’s report of an event in World War One: He was sitting with his comrades eating an ordinary meal when he experienced a sudden and overpowering desire to get up and move some distance, which he did. Shortly after a British shell landed and killed all he had been sitting with. Young Hitler’s own egocentric interpretation was that this was evidence he had been “chosen by God” to be the ultimate leader of Germany. It merely meant he was sensitive to the “shadows” sometimes cast by impending events. I doubt whether an artillery shell moving through the air could “cast a shadow,” but not all of his comrades may have died instantly, and their extreme emotion upon being killed could have done so, or somehow led to bursts of psychic energy.

        I have never had a personal psychic experience but my sister once did. She was in college more than 800 miles away when our mother was fatally injured in an automobile accident. I was less than fifty miles away and felt nothing. My sister, always in perfect health, experienced sudden and inexplicable distress, which her friends remarked upon. She saw a visual image of the passenger side of the family automobile. It is to me an important aspect of the credibility of this report that she knew only that one of her parents had been seriously hurt, but not which one. Had she imagined this after the fact, she would have identified her mother. Yet so convinced was she that she went immediately to her dorm room, packed her personal things, and waited for the phone call she assumed would come. It did from a family friend and arrangements were made to fly her to the desert hospital where our mother lay dying.

        Nothing is yet known of the mechanism by which such information is transmitted, yet it is believed that over long distances, ordinary electromagnetic waves can be ruled out. Not only does the human brain produce not enough power for this, but known psychic sensitives report that sitting in a “Faraday Cage” (which blocks electromagnetic radiation) appears to make them even more sensitive through elimination of “random noise.”

        As to the physics of time, I might disappoint you some. Einstein’s theories considered time to be movement in a fourth dimension, and this made his equations come out right, but my own philosophic view (should I have ability to form one) is that Parmenides of Elea was correct in his supposition that the passage of time is a subjective illusion stemming from the nature of consciousness, and that “ultimate reality” is timeless. Parmenides was a contemporary of Socrates, and is ranked with Pythagoras as having been among the great ancient thinkers. He and Socrates met when Parmenides was about sixty and Socrates quite young and just beginning to think and speak of abstract matters. Parmenides recognized Socrates’ philosophic ability but told him he would need much study to arrive at truth.

        I have concluded that surprisingly, Einstein’s theory of relativity actually confirms the thesis of Parmenides. There are many fundamental contradictions in the predictions of Relativity, but these disappear when we accept Parmenides’ thesis. To name only one, imagine two spaceships, one approaching from the North of our solar system and the other from the South, each moving by our measurements at two-thirds’ light speed relative to us. It would seem obvious that relative to each other, they must be “closing” at one and one half times the speed of light. Yet because time “appears to slow down” for them, no measurement or communication they could make would show closing speed greater than that of light. Their measurements would show they are approaching at slightly less than light speed.

        I say that time would need to be a part of subjective experience if it could slow down for some observers, but not others observing the same things. “Objectively real” time would be the same for all.

        This concept inevitably leads to a deterministic conclusion — that the past entirely determines the present and the present entirely the future. But it is important to remember that this is true only for the Universe as a whole, with “universe” defined as a totality of that within which any information may be exhanged. If even the tiniest amount of information can “leak in from another universe,” then that is part of the total deterministic system.

        Some think that determinism does away with what we call “freedom of the will,” but I disagree. Saint Augustine gave the best answer to the “fatalist fallacy,” so common in Islamic culture.

        But space-time begins to constrain my thought-forms !

        Do you hold any definite views on determinism and Freedom of the Will ?

  2. Diana Moses Says:

    A neighbor of mine once said something to me about how we live in a “free will universe” and remember thinking, “We do?” And it got me thinking that maybe there’s a difference between my personal relationship with free will and how free will operates more usually in our world.

    • Jeff in New Jersey Says:

      I do not think so, Diana.

      It is true that practical or “de facto” freedom of the will is less than when we are children, but as people mature in terms of knowledge and experience, their effective control over their lives and their environment becomes much greater. A plan of systematic thought for increasing one’s effective range of choices might well be devised.

      Meditation does not always need to be directed toward spiritual ends. Concentrated and planned thought, directed toward one’s practical environment and various future possibilities relating thereto, can indeed increase any thoughful human’s “power” over himself and his fortunes. A person might devise several “checklists” of questions to ask when a particular point or topic is within the “hard thinking” orbit. Hard thinking requires concentrated consideration from several different viewpoints, so that the unconscious part of your mind (thoughts and sentiments just below the surface and so easily responding to association) will work in your favor.

      I use one of my old laptops to keep a secret diary (deeply encrypted) which holds both thoughts and events from day to day. It is surprising how much effective intelligence can be improved by re-reading and re-considering recent events. I see implications and probable attitudes of others that eluded me in the press of the moment. A crude analogy would be what merely pencil and paper can do for what otherwise would be mental arithmetic. Vast improvement !

      It may be true that in your own life, “bad” events of low probability (like the premature death of your husband) have left you with a sense of helplessness against fortune. If so, this would remind me of Saint Augustine and the fatalist fallacy. Suppose the Saint were with us today and someone complained of the “bad luck” of some personal misfortune, like loss of a job. He would answer with the question, “Did your ‘fate’ control all the things that led up to this event, like an indifferent or routinist attitude, or carelessness in your work, or insufficient initiative with unfamiliar job problems ? Was it your ‘fate’ that you never acquired the skills needed for transition to a different and better job, should there be need for this ?”

      As Machiavelli remarked in “The Prince” fortune can be unpredictable, yet there are means of withstanding ill-fortune. His example was that of building dikes to avert flood damage, even though the actual flood would be “of fortune” and unpredictable. The point is there will either be a flood or there will not, and the dikes will suit either case.

      Your little case histories of people you relied upon who later proved unreliable are illustrative. Perhaps there was no way you could have predicted unreliability in a particular case, or even in general for the particular person. Yet experienced people learn to do monitoring, double-checking, and “not putting all their eggs in one basket.”

      I have always believed that “freedom” is a form of power. Thus by increasing the range and effectiveness of our powers of decision, we increase our freedom to bring about what we do will.

      And this is true even if everything that will ever happen to you until the day of your death has, in a sense, “already happened.”

      • Diana Moses Says:

        Maybe, having experienced what I have experienced, I see free will as one of those pungent and expensive spices that should be used sparingly.

        I like what you wrote, I just think it applies to a certain kind of life, not to every kind of life.


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