Place of Refuge

Place of Refuge

06 June 2010

fever state

I really wanted to write something here
but I woke up with
a fever.
Aching, coughing, miserable,
the whole nine yards.

I felt really crappy
about the fact
I could barely move without 
until I heard a story about this man
on  National Public Radio's  "This American Life." 
Here's a link to the whole story:

There are at least four stories in this radio program,
but the one that made me think I'd better get my ass out of bed
is called "I've Fallen In Love and I Can't Get Up."

This is a story about Chris Higgins,
who has something called 

I would not like what Chris has.
Narcolepsy, as you probably know, is a neurological disorder
wherein you fall asleep while you're going through your daily life.

Add cataplexy to it, and you lose muscle tone when you receive certain emotional stimuli.
Generally good emotional stimuli.  

So if Chris is gazing at his grandchildren, happy that they're 
beautiful and happy and healthy, he has an attack - ie: he loses all muscle tone and falls
asleep.  In the radio show, he talks about how he goes to his brother's wedding, and instructs people to just lean him against the wall so he looks attentive.  And that's what he did.  There are pictures of him,
propped up against the wall, I guess.  Looking at the pictures, or even just talking
about them will also give him an attack.

The result of this disorder is that the sufferer has to make every attempt
to avoid happy situations.  
This, as you might imagine, makes life very difficult
for his wife.

Love, itself, is debilitating for him.
Now I'm a blogger who sings 
the praises and power of love,
so I felt a deep sadness for Chris Higgins,
and it really kind of woke me up,
and made me think of a thought that I've had
several times over the past six to nine months:

Love, itself, for living creatures,
can be absolutely debilitating. 
Love sickness causes us to
lose our minds,
and the conditions that can occur when you lose the thing you love
can be even worse,
especially if you are a sensitive person.
Having the person or object you love begin to treat you badly
can actually lower your resistance to a number of other illnesses,
and absolutely losing the beloved sometimes changes a person's health
and happiness forever.  It can be incurable.

Despite the fact that I continually
conclude my channelings and ramblings with
the concept that love is the only answer to all our woes,
I also often wonder if,
as long as we live in our earthly avatars,
we might be better off without love.

Consider, for instance,
the psychopath.  I have encountered the idea recently that the 
psychopath might actually be the next stage in
human evolution:
"The goal of evolution is to maximize a specie's chance of survival, and there is evidence to show that the basis of psychopathy is an heritable predisposition to the disorder, a disorder which enhances the psychopathic individual's chance of survival. Therefore, is psychopathy indeed the result of human evolution?"  ( Psychopathy:an Evolutionary Perspective )

After all, it is love, and emotional connections, that will cause a human to go back into a burning building to retrieve a baby, or a dog, or a bird.  Love causes women and men
to stay in destructive relationships; love also produces martyrs.  Consider, for instance,
the case of Jesus Christ and Noor-un-nisa Vilayet Kahn (I've written a bit about her earlier in this blog.)
Love is the primary motive of their martyrdom.  Love and the willing loss of selfhood 
for the sake of the collective human race.

Now, in this day and age,
many people may think that's just plain crazy.

If a species intends to survive, 
it's best off just leaving its emotions at the door.

If this is the case, perhaps Mr. Higgins' Narcolepsy/Cataplexy
actually marks an advancement of the species
which happened in his brain 
during this lifetime.

Now I'm the first to admit that this is a troubling concept,
and that I find the human capacity to love to be
 the thing that makes us divine;
otherwise, we're little more than animals.
But after all, we are only animals - right? 
And as I've argued elsewhere, we were born into our animalistic avatars 
(these bodies)
in order to live on this earth.

I've also contemplated elsewhere the concepts of
the Fall,
the soul
and a bunch of other really heady stuff like that.
In fact, much of this blog is about heady stuff like that
and I'm absolutely stunned and thrilled to see
there are a couple people out there in the world
who have actually returned to this blog and read
more than one of my rambling, channeled entries.
I thank you.

In a few of my entries, I contemplate what happened
when Adam ate that apple.
And here I would like to add another thought to that
when Adam ate that apple
(of course because Eve made him do it)
he became, as the Book of Genesis tells us
more like God.
Being more like God 
is being able to look at the creation
and love it.
Before Adam ate the apple,
I'd venture to suggest,
he and Eve were really nothing but
Happy animals, at that, 
and animals who were given the 
ability to use words,
but animals, nonetheless.

So it is possible that one of the effects of eating
the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge
was the man suddenly had the capacity to look at his mate,
and fall in love.
Love is an emotion that is God-like;
love requires an all-encompassing gaze
and absolute forgiveness, 
which man, in his earthly avatar
and its limited function,
is incapable of doing.

Following this line of thinking,
love is what makes us God-like,
but it is also the thing
that can kill us,
as individuals
and as a species.


In the realm of the undead and undying,
which is where Makropoulos lives,
most human entities 
have something akin to Narcolepsy with Cataplexy.
They can't be happy; they can't love;
they have to maintain a certain level of misery and pain and predatorial lust
in order to survive.

The problem with Makropoulos
is that I was damned by a selfish man
to live forever young,
but I was not wired to not love.
I can love;
I do love;
it is essential to me.
A prerequisite of love is the capacity to be selfless.
I will love you
if I let myself,
like I can read your mind
if I let myself;
I've simply learned how to not let myself do either,
because if I permit myself to do 
one or the other or both,
if I open the barriers I've learned to put up,
the pain and horror of what I encounter
is so horrible and heartbreaking,
I know I will surely go insane.

I won't go on with that; 
read other parts of the blog
if you want to know who Makropoulos is.

Sometimes I look at the young people today.
Either from being in a family where love didn't exist,
or from being subject to loveless media stimuli,
they have learned that loving 
is fatal, and so they don't do it.
Some are just born with the incapacity to love.

Perhaps, as a new generation,
they mark the evolution of humankind,
as well as the guarantee that we will survive as a species.

But if that is true, what of love,
and what of God?

This line of thinking marks the essence of the historical juncture at which we currently live:
we can either work, as a species,
to find a way to maintain the place of love on this earthly realm,
or we can make it a myth, an old magical tale long past its currency
and let the new generations of the loveless assure
the ongoing existence of our species.

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