1. Not a Ghost of A Chance -- An Alzheimer's Out of the Box Moment
2. Keeping The Love Alive: Crossing Dimensions
A third article screams for inclusion:
3. Who Are We? Experiments Suggest You're Not Who You Think
(Click on any one of the three articles to go to archive to read it)
I have discussed this before. Here I go again. Something weird happens in the head as Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) wends its destructive way in our brains. As pathways are lost the functions provided by those pathways seem to be lost too. However, functions can be recovered, particularly while in the early stages of AD. The professionals speculate on the brains ability to form new pathways, generate new tissue, and otherwise supplement the circuitry between a call for a function and the learned ability stored in the brain bank which needs a function to answer the call.
It is being observed, at only a theoretical level, that the talents of the right brain, our creative side, start showing a capacity for talents not otherwise manifested by the brain’s function before the onset of AD. My own experience is one. I find myself thoroughly enjoying and doing digital art passably. Artistic ability, such as, ability to draw, to blend color, express mood and creatively express it in picture and other creative forms, are talents I am now able to use. These did not exist with me before AD.
After reading Jill Taylor’s book, My Stroke of Insight, I realized perhaps the AD Afflicted experience is in some ways like the experiences Jill writes about, particularly as it regards her loss. The difference with Jill is she suffered a stroke that all at once damaged her left brain obliterating all of her functions from that part of her brain.
In our lifetime we train from birth to death to operate out internal computer which is a function of the left brain. It keeps, collates, store and offers retrieval of all the data our senses accumulate in life. It is with this ability we operate successfully in living day to day.
In the east, the Orient, we see more utilization of right brain abilities then in the west. We see it in Taoism, Confucism, Hinduism, Buddhism and a variety of other philosophical traditions. Yoga, acupuncture, the practice of faith healing, and psychic surgery in the Philippines, Shamanistic practices are used throughout more primeval cultures with varying success all fit in to the categories of right brain talent that can be utilized by us.
These are all examples of “More than Meets the Eye.” Just as the medical practice debunks the practice of homeopathy, the latter is in fact effective. In the west we have this way of hive mentality. “We do it this way. Therefore, our way is the only right way!”
“Necessity is the Mother of Invention” so say the technocrats in our culture. This aphorism is aptly applied to our brains in dysfunction. By necessity new talents emerge when the brain must find another way.
This leads to the first of the three articles I have posted. In “Not a Ghost”, Bob DeMarco at Alzheimer’s Reading Room speaks of his mother’s ability to dredge up the words of a song from here distant past. She did this by hearing the tune and automatically singing along, with complete lyrical recollection as well as singing in tune.
It seems, Bob’s mother Dotty was able to do this without relying on her normal retrieving ability, it just happened. There are accounts of other AD afflicted, in mid and later stages, able to sing pitch perfect with full retrieval of the lyrics, something they could not do otherwise. What is this? Probably it is that creative side that gave that person the talent to sing in the first place and provides a creative memory function.
The second article a little more in point. It talks about watching the angels. Do angels exist, can they be seen, can other ethereal creatures be seen, ghosts? Is there life after death; are there others dimensions; alternative or parallel universes? Is there transcendent power able to be utilized by prayer, devotion, meditation, seeking the higher power described in AA or the myriad other ways of mankind?
I am reading an excellent book written by Deepak Chopra How to Know God: The Soul's Journey Into the Mystery of Mysteries. In part of it the author spends time dealing with paranormal and other inexplicable events that to the author seem real. He explains them from the basis of man tapping his natural ability to transcend that finite part of him to utilize this ability. Examples range the spectrum from the miracles of Jesus and the Prophets, Prescience, Fortune Tellers, Occult Practices, and simple down to earth intuition.
Martin Buber, the noted Jewish Existentialist, notes the child having memories from before birth, from before conception, from being one with the Cosmos. He notes an infant’s ability to see above and beyond the concrete of material objects.
In the second article the author speaks of the old people at the Jewish Service in the Assisted Living Home who during service seemed able to see that angels. She goes on to say that heretofore the only ones noted able to see the angels were small children.
Does AD restore the sight of the mystical Third Eye?
The last of the three is that of Robert Lanza who speaks of “Biocentrism.” Wikipedia describes biocentrism as the belief that all forms of life are equally valuable and humanity is not the center of existence. Biocentrism has been contrasted to anthropocentrism, which is the belief that human beings and human society are, or should be, the central focus of existence. Lanza goes deeper in his book Biocentrism in which among other points he talks of the spiritual existence which we have and how this transcends our material consequence.
There is more than meets the eye in this world. Most of us never look at it much less ever notice it. One of the benefits I see in AD is it has forced me to explore new ways to think and function in this world of ours.
Thank God for that!