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Chattering Mind

Here’s an excellent paper written by Gisela Webb, a comparative religion scholar, on the spiritual dimensions and lessons of Alzheimer’s–for sufferer and caretaker.
I have learned from the Alzheimer’s ward the value of realizing that we all are going to die — that, indeed, we are dying — and so long as we are conscious, we are creating our heaven and/or hell, our peace and/or our suffering. The time to get rid of our own baggage (grudges, ego, and emotional wounds), get things in order, and strive toward a state of peace, forgiveness, and “self-forgiveness” is now — before one cannot will to change oneself any further. That stage of Alzheimer’s disease prior to death can be a timeless hell or, perhaps, a place where surrender and a kind of peace can prevail. I have come to believe that there is a kind of threshold crossed in the Alzheimer’s process, where the experience of the Alzheimer’s patient is the crystallization of life’s actions, motivation, intentions, habits of thought, and memories. However, because there seems to be perception/awareness beyond the mind level, of a deeper self — quite perceptible — despite the limitations and distortions of mind and brain caused by the disease, there is the potential, the space, for therapeutic healing…

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