Tag Archives: Human creations

Denis Wright looking at the world of human beings

Many people do not see that our life is something which is given to us, by a ‘Thing‘ bigger than we can understand or would ever be able to grasp. It is a Spirit which created everything and still allows things to be created. For the beings which can walk around on this earth they may be a fleeting thing.

“whether you reach one year of age, or ten or a hundred years”

knew also terminal cancer patient Denis Wright. He wrote on his blog, which was selected for preservation by the Australian National Library in its Pandora Archive:

Every life is a little spark that flickers briefly, sometimes brightly, and then the spark fades quickly and passes back into an infinity of space and silence. {A Last Message from Denis}

The former historian in Asian studies, comparative religions, movie-maker and “observer of the world as we have changed it” was dealing with a GBM (4) (glioblastoma multiforme): the most aggressive form of brain tumour.

Denis Wright wasn’t meant to live long. He’s had birthdays – 66 of them – but he’s also had plenty of deathdays – the dates he thought he would “cark it”.

At one point the historian from Armidale in country NSW said:

“Every date we’ve estimated so far has been wrong … I’ve embarrassed myself by staying alive.” {A Last Message from Denis}

While he was living on this earth for this brief time he was fully aware that

our bodies are the bearers of who and what we are. They are not us; they’re just the vessels in which our true self resides. We stop sometimes, and try to take stock. We move on, and simply live. We occasionally contemplate the great questions or put them aside as an insoluble puzzle. {A Last Message from Denis}

Mr Wright has not wasted his time by moaning and shutting himself out of this world where there is much suffering. He himself suffered also much, but he wanted to use his pains and agonies to help others. That is the good attitude we should like to see by many more.

On a blog, called My Unwelcome Stranger  he took the courage to write about his experiences. Writing about his troubled health he shared why he would rather call someone than send them a text (it’s too slow to say anything other than “OK”)

But why put myself through 10 minutes of torment on a screen I can’t read anyway when I can just press one button to bring up the number of the person I want to call, and say, “OK”? I could even add, “I love you” in a real voice, as long as I got the right number. What to would be bemused, but not amused, should I leave a voice message for him telling him so when I really thought I was phoning my beloved. {A Last Message from Denis}

Often people let themselves go and in their illness they do not seem to think clear or forget the easy things they could do. though when suffering the toll can be high and people can miss the true importance of small things and worse, of bigger things like a wedding (and that is “the receipt of as many and as expensive a range of gifts as possible,” he joked).

For reasons I still can’t quite figure out in view of the fact that we were going for the record for the longest engagement in history, one which had begun almost last century (millennium even), we abandoned that exercise after a sterling effort of nearly a decade, and opted to get married instead. {A Last Message from Denis}

The last fourteen years of his life he has spent with, and been loved by, and married the one who is to him

the most beautiful, intelligent and caring woman in the world. It’s impossible for me to express the amount of care and time and patience Tracey has given me, with little thought to her own needs. She has always placed mine first. This path we’ve had to share since 2009 has been more difficult than anyone can understand unless you’ve travelled a similar one – and cared as much as she has. She hid her tears from me many times, knowing how much they tore me apart; yet to cry alone and out of sight is one of the saddest things in life. {A Last Message from Denis}

For every person on this earth it is so important who can be around him or her. The close surroundings are the one part of our life we should assure a good connection. It is in those surroundings that people should be able to build up some trust with others and feel the connection with others. It is also in the close surroundings people should be able to come to understand the meaning of love through the presence in their life by others.

It is nice to hear that Dennis Wright could clung himself to life to the end. He wrote:

it’s only because of the joy of sharing life with close family and friends, and my desire to be with them as long as possible. For me, nothing else mattered but those bonds of love and friendship. To allow them to slip away is, by far, the most difficult thing to accept. {A Last Message from Denis}

All of us should find ways to help others around us. We should bring our friendship out of our boundaries and go into our neighbourhood having an eye and a heart for those in need.

When we ourselves have some bad moments let us also remember it is necessary to go looking for a balance heavily in favour of good things over bad in our life. Sometimes we shall have to take time to chose the way of relativism for certain things which happened in our life.

I’m also grateful that I had the chance to reflect on my life and its meaning through the window of terminal illness. That time for reflection isn’t something everyone gets. It’s a window through which things become sharper and more vivid than any other. {A Last Message from Denis}

Let us all learn from the lesson Mr Wright gave:

Whatever endures beyond my body will do so, especially in the form of the consequences of my actions in life, and my only wish is that whatever I’ve taken from the world, I have been able to give something meaningful back. {A Last Message from Denis}

That we may find joy in having been able to give something meaningful back.

+

Useful other readings:

  1. Created to live in relation with God
  2. Cancerous Black Holes
  3. Mourners Celebrate Life Of Inspirational Cancer Teen
The Waiting Room / Breast Cancer Tableau

The Waiting Room / Breast Cancer Tableau (Photo credit: Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library)

  • numerology for Denis Wright (newsnumerology.com)
    Dr Charlie Teo, high-profile Australian neurosurgeon, has said the condition is “impossible” to cure.
  • ‘Exploding’ Cells? Swedish Scientists Discover Potential Cancer Treatment for Glioblastoma Multiforme – The Karolinska Institute in Stockholm reverses cancerous cell growth with Vacquinol-1. (sevenponds.com)
    After a five-day period in which scientists fed Vacquinol-1 to mice with GBM, they found that the substance had increased activity in the cancer cells to the point that they simply “exploded.” “Vacquinols stimulate death by membrane ruffling, cell rounding, massive macropinocytic vacuole accumulation, ATP depletion, and cytoplasmic membrane rupture of [glioblastoma cells],” explained the Karolinska Institute report. Essentially, that means the activity of the mice’s glioblastoma cells was rendered so hyper-active that the cells had no choice but to explode and die. “When cancer cells were filled with a large amount of vacuoles,” says the Institute, “the cell membranes, the outer wall of the cell, collapsed.”
  • Study: Chemotherapy May Lead To Less Peaceful Death (atlanta.cbslocal.com)
    More than half of end-stage cancer patients receive chemotherapy during the last few months of their life, and those who received such treatment were more likely to die in a hospital intensive care unit, hooked to a ventilator, rather than at home as they would have preferred, says a new study.Patients were also less likely to have discussed their end of life wishes with their oncologist compared to other end-stage cancer patients who opted not to continue chemotherapy.Researchers say doctors have a hard time initiating conversations with their patients, especially those dying from metastatic cancer.“There’s a subtle dance that happens between oncologist and patient,” Dr. Alexi Wright, an assistant professor of medicine at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and the study’s lead author, told the Boston Globe. “Where doctors don’t want to broach the subject of dying, especially in younger patients, because it makes those patients think we’re giving up on them.”
  • Terminally ill cancer sufferer Stephen Sutton forced to defend himself over online ‘dupe’ accusations (manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
    Terminally ill cancer sufferer Stephen Sutton has been forced to defend himself against cruel online accusations he ‘duped’ people following his release from hospital.Stephen, who has incurable bowel cancer, has raised more than £3.1 million for the Teenage Cancer Trust after his plight touched the hearts of people around the world.The 19-year-old previously said he was nearing the end but he was discharged from Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital on Friday after doctors gave him the go-ahead to return to his home in Burntwood, Staffordshire.
    +
    on the Mail’s Facebook page Sarah Hill said: “Am I the only one who thinks something is not quite right here? While I hope I am wrong it feels like we are being conned.

    “One minute he tweets saying he is dying and won’t see the next day, then all of a sudden he is being released to go home. As I said, I hope I am wrong but I have a strange feeling about this.”

    Stephen, who on Friday met Prime Minister David Cameron who described him as “inspirational”, felt forced to defend himself.

    In a message he said: “Sorry to disappoint you! So you know, I still have my cancer and it’s incurable, if that makes you feel less ‘duped’ x”

  • Jay Lake (murverse.com)
    The day after the Hugo awards last year, he made a point to talk to me and tell me that he was in charge of caring for/keeping track of the Campbell tiara. He told me that, in addition to me winning the award, he was passing that responsibility to me, since he thought I was passionate enough about the award to make sure the tiara tradition continued. I nearly cried right there.One of the biggest thrills of my life was receiving the Campbell Award from Jay and his daughter, and then getting a picture with them afterward. Jay is well loved and will be missed.lake_campbell
  • 6 Stories That Prove the Mind Has the Power to Heal the Body (thehealersjournal.com)
    My book Mind Over Medicine is full of data scientifically proving that the mind can heal- or harm- the body. But data can be dry, and sometimes what resonates most deeply within our souls are stories. So sit back, grab a cup of tea, and let’s have story time. I’m going to tell you a few true stories that will demonstrate to you how powerfully the mind affects your physiology.
  • Chemotherapy proven to cause death (wakeupcallnews.blogspot.com)
    Chemotherapy is one of the worst forms of cancer treatment there is, primarily because of the horrific chemicals involved, but also because it is simply an agonizing way to kill.According to a newly published study in the British Medical Journal, more than half of end-stage cancer patients are given chemotherapy during the final few months of their life, and those who received such treatment were much more likely to die uncomfortably: in a hospital intensive care unit hooked to a ventilator, rather than at home as they wanted.
  • Saudi opposition reports King Abdullah has terminal lung cancer (worldtribune.com)
    In a statement on April 17, the institute, aligned with the Shi’ite opposition, said Abdullah was “suffering from terminal lung cancer.” The statement said Abdullah, known as a chain smoker, was seen wearing a breathing tube during his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on March 28. The king was also seen with the tube on April 4 when Abdullah returned to Riyad from his retreat in Rawdat Khuraim.
  • Have People Used Baking Soda to Treat Cancer for 10 Cents/Day? (therebel.org)
    The National Cancer Institute  says that cancer treatment costs between $31,500 and $400,000 over several years, depending on the type of cancer one is suffering from. One of the cheapest ways to treat cancer is probably something you’ve never heard of, yet  Dr. Tullio Simoncini  of Rome found a possible treatment that takes around three weeks and costs literally pennies. But his simple, yet revolutionary idea was shunned by the medical industry, even though he was a successful oncologist. Nonetheless, Simoncini has destroyed cancerous tumors with nothing more than sodium bicarbonate, otherwise known as baking soda. Baking soda works by ‘shocking’ cancer cells with alkalinity. The extracellular (interstitial) pH (pHe) of solid tumors is significantly more acidic compared to normal tissues.
  • Wilko Johnson diagnosed with terminal cancer (guardian.co.uk)
    Wilko Johnson has been diagnosed with terminal cancer of the pancreas. The news became public via a story in the Echo, the local paper in Johnson’s hometown of Southend, and spread after local musician and music historian Will Birch tweeted the news, having read it in the Echo.
Enhanced by Zemanta

3 Comments

Filed under Health affairs, Lifestyle

Passover and Liberation Theology

by Jonathan Granoff 

There is a dynamic relationship between identity, community, and grace-awakened values, which, if they are authentic, are universal and without regard to nation, tribe, gender, race, or religion. In other words, God’s love is for all, wisdom is without prejudice, and justice properly wears a blindfold when she weighs deeds. The Passover moment is as an example of how the specific group in which one lives can and should be used to expand one’s circle of compassion. Tribalism is a distortion of God’s grace. The expanded heart alone is capable of knowing a reflection of the Unlimited Heart of God’s love for all.

English: Jewish Community Festival, Downtown P...

Jewish Community Festival, Downtown Park, Bellevue, Washington. “Jew-ish.com” and Seattle Kollel booths. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being Jewish and being part of the Jewish community can be a blessing or a curse. If being part of a community helps develop compassion for others, a sense of being loved, and expands one’s capacity to serve others, then it is surely a blessing to be in such a community. If being anything increases one’s capacity to experience God’s qualities and to share them then that too is a blessing. If being part of anything gives one a sense of arrogance then developing wisdom will be thwarted and authentic understanding of one’s relationship to God as well as one’s fellow human beings will he occluded. Liberation from any identity that separates one from one’s fellow human beings and God is necessary for authentic peace. Commitment to caring for others is a prerequisite for spiritual and psychological growth. Whatever identity one receives from birth or choice will have value based on these principles.

Rights, rituals and practices can deepen one’s sense of gratitude and appreciation for all lives.

For example, Passover can be experienced as liberation theology at its best. It is about social justice, freedom from slavery, crime and punishment, patience and fortitude, courage and God’s grace. It is also about overcoming the Pharaoh of egoism with faith. It is a multilevel source of inspiration for those who participate in its dimensions of family, community, teaching, and eating.

It is for many an affirmation of the intervention in history of God on behalf of a people God protected and to whom He revealed Himself. It can awaken gratitude for being a descendent of those people and not being a slave today. It can create a sense of duty to help free others. It can inspire to uplift us to a clearer awareness of the presence of the sacred. It can help us remember God.

It can create a distorted sense of identity. It can make one think that based on blood one is closer to God than others. One might ask: Is being a Jew a necessary part of being close to God? Only a fool would think so. One might also ask: Does being Jew distance oneself form God. Only a fool would think that. So, if you are a fool, stop reading, otherwise, join me in these reflections.

A heart filled with compassion and a life lived from that place of goodness where the presence of God is remembered will do just fine. So, then the question is what value is there in being part of a community, like a several thousand years history of stories about that community’s relationship with the mystery of life we inadequately call God. It could be good and it could be bad.

Good includes being accountable to people who know and love you. Bad includes thinking that by virtue of being part of that community, or tribe, you are specially blessed and better than anyone else anywhere. Good includes gratitude for the teaching that God is with us and One with all. Bad if that teaching makes one feel different from any of God’s other human creations.

Compassion does not have a boundary of blood, religion, race, caste or gender. It resonates like the circles from a pebble in a pond from the center of the heart where the intention to honor the lives of others and God’s sacred gift awakens when the pebble of that purity descends into the human heart.

So, here are few thoughts for your thinking:

Why do we need a tribe when the message is love and unity with and for all? Is not our God the One God of the one human family and is not the calling of those who accept the calling to love and serve all? Of course, and is that realization not a liberation from the slavery of egoism formed of separation from the overwhelming blessing of the oneness of life’s bounty? The ego mind that identifies with all that we cannot posses forgets what we can really receive, the radiance of the soul.

Crossing over the sea of blood ties into the open space of wisdom:

 

~And This Too~

love without action is

hollow

action without love is

dangerous

love with action

that’s

plenitude

each breath, deep love in action

each thought, deep love in action

each moment, deep love in action

Deep Awake

 where gratitude lives,

 salt changes to sugar

tears of sorrow, sadness and separation

changing to

tears of joy, love and union

a mere whisper of the grace of deep awake,

listen carefully

this whisper is a thunder of healing light

oh may God’s resonance be known.

in love’s way of peace

 

Jonathan Granoff is president of the Global Security Institute and reachable at granoff@gsinstitute.org.

– From Tikkun Special Seder Messages for Passover

+++

  • Queer Passover Seder Helped Me Reclaim Judaism (blogs.forward.com)
    At the time, it didn’t occur to me to be offended or concerned that I was being circled by the cheerleaders and other popular girls who held hands, bowed their heads and prayed for my soul. They were part of “Christian Life” at my high school in Olympia, Washington. I recall several instances when they earnestly attempted to save me from eternal damnation. I didn’t refuse their efforts or consider the implications of their actions. I just wanted to fit in.I grew up Jewish in the Pacific Northwest. But not in a religiously observant family, or a proud intellectual family, or a family of labor organizers who taught me early and often never to cross a picket line. My family was on the fast track to assimilation, and by high school, being Jewish was simply a reminder that I was an outsider.

    By the time I was in my late twenties, I was reeling from a spiritual crisis. A decade of organizing and social change work had left me feeling hopeless and burned out.

  • What Passover Means to Young Adults (ejewishphilanthropy.com)
    Passover is a unique moment. As we learn every year from the hundreds of Birthright Israel alumni who host Seders for their friends through NEXT’s Passover initiative, the holiday provides young adults with a whole new space in which to explore identity, experiment with tradition, and build community.What moves and motivates these young adults to create their own Passover experiences, and what can we learn from their stories? We dug through a trove of qualitative data contained in hosts’ post-Seder surveys to find out. Their stories illuminated important lessons and questions for the entire field of engagement.
  • This Passover (danielswearingen.wordpress.com)
    You tell me to look outside me this Passover, to actualize an infinite need. It seems strange, you asking me for holiness, for blessing a harvest, you of oneness, the lock of my key.
  • RAC Blog: A Fifth Cup ??? Going Beyond What is Required (blogs.rj.org)
    Today, as many of us are busy preparing for Passover, I find myself less occupied by the meticulous aspect of the holiday’s demanded mitzvot, but searching instead for ways to supplement the narrative and to find meaning in a modern context. I commend those who find deep meaning in cleaning out their kitchens and sterilizing their homes, making sure that all leavening ceases at the 18-minute mark and [in the Ashkenazi tradition] nothing that could resemble wheat flour – such as legumes – will be consumed during Passover. However, I would like to offer an additional perspective on Passover by suggesting some meaningful ways to supplement the seder.

    Zionism and living in Israel were the answers to my search for Jewish identity, and to me, Passover became a holiday of peoplehood. The central narrative became the one that we clearly state after we sing Dayenu,that B’khol Dor VaDor: “In every generation we must see ourselves as if we went out from Egypt.” In the traditional Haggadah this statement is followed by a biblical and liturgical reading.

  • The Evolution Of Passover – Past To Present (jewishengagement.wordpress.com)
    Passover (Pesach in Hebrew) is the most widely celebrated Jewish Holiday. It begins on the 15th of the Hebrew month of Nisan and lasts for either seven or eight days depending upon location and religious orientation. In Israel, all sects of Judaism celebrate Passover for seven days with one Seder (Passover ritual feast and in Hebrew means “order”) on the first night, while in the Diaspora (communities outside of Israel), traditional Jews celebrate it for eight days with two Seders held on both the first and second nights. This year Passover will commence at sundown on Monday, April 14th with the first full day celebrated on Tuesday the 15th. Passover is a Biblical Holiday, which commemorates the story of the Exodus—G-d freeing the Israelites from Egyptian slavery and bondage; establishing the Covenant with them as a people not just as individuals as in the past e.g. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and in turn creating the beginning of our sacred history as a Jewish Nation.
  • The Worm Moon- Nisan 14, and Happy Passover (ireport.cnn.com)
    “Passover commences on the 15th of the Hebrew month of Nisan.
    In Judaism, a “day” commences from dusk to dusk, thus the first day of Passover only begins after dusk of the 14th of Nisan and ends at dusk of the 15th day of the month of Nisan.
    +
    Passover is a joyous holiday, celebrating the freedom of the Jewish people.
    http://www.policymic.com/articles/31025/passover-2013-5-things-to-know-about-the-jewish-holiday
  • Taking Passover Back to Its Roots (algemeiner.com)
    the 14th of the Hebrew month of Nissan, they’ll wait for the kids to recite Mah Nishtana, the four questions; pucker up to inhale the bitter herbs; relish the sweet Charoset; dip herbs in salt water; sing rousing renditions of Dayenu and Chad Gadya; and knock back four cups of wine.But none of these rituals are part of the Passover observance of Israel’s Karaite and Samaritan believers, who observe the biblically mandated holiday in quite a different way.
  • Review: Two Messianic Passover Haggadoth (messianic613.wordpress.com)
    There’s no lack of Passover Haggadoth for Messianics. The best known are perhaps The Messianic Passover Haggadah by Barry & Steffi Rubin, and the more recent Vine of David Haggadah published by FFOZ. [1] There are many more, especially in internet editions. Some show a beautiful lay-out and are richly illustrated. There seems to be enough material available for all styles and tastes.

    To our taste, however, the materials offered thus far show many liturgical defects and inconveniences. Despite many serious efforts that have been made we haven’t seen a messianic Haggadah which successfully and convincingly integrates the traditional Jewish and the typical messianic features of the Seder. It is our perception that the difficulty of doing so is often underestimated, and that authors and editors are not sufficiently aware of the decisions involved in such a project, or the halachic and theological problems connected to these decisions.

  • Passover: A Time To Remember (jacksonandrew.com)
    The basis for a Christian interpretation of the first of the Seven Festivals as the decisive component in God’s plan for redemption pivots upon the identification of Jesus with the paschal lamb (Ross 2002, 409). There are, in fact, strong associations between Jesus and the Passover lamb in both the Old and the New Testaments. Centuries before the Crucifixion of Jesus, the prophet Isaiah declared that the when the future Messiah appeared, he would be “led like a lamb to slaughter.” (Isa 53:7). As John the Baptist saw Jesus approaching him he proclaimed: “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Similarly, Peter described Jesus as the spotless Lamb of God (1 Pet 1:18-20). According to Augustine of Hippo, “The true point and purpose of the Jewish Passover . . . was to provide a prophetic pre-enactment of the death of Christ” (Rotelle 1995, 6:186).And not only has Passover been connected to the death of Christ, but also to the Lord’s Supper, which is also obviously a symbolic pre-enactment of Christ’s death as well as an re-enactment celebrated by the Church since that time. After Jesus’ sacrifice, Paul assured the early Christian community at Corinth that they have been saved “for Christ, our Passover lamb has been sacrificed” (1 Cor 5:7). Of course, the context of this passage points to the man who is living in persistent sin and thus not being allowed to receive the Lord’s Supper. Cyprian of Carthage also connected Passover to the Lord’s Supper and to the root, being the unity of the church (Baillie 1953, 129).

     

Enhanced by Zemanta

17 Comments

Filed under Poetry - Poems, Religious affairs