Are You There ?
Can you Hear Me ?
Years ago, I was having a rough time; felt depressed, and needed someone to talk to. Wanting to keep my struggle private, I went to visit a close friend, Reid Surrett.
Reid was a man who had retired at fifty, remarried and had a new baby. He was ecstatic, full of joy and enthusiasm at the prospect of raising his newborn in a loving family environment.
Unfortunately, Reid caught a bug; a virus, I was told. His immune system defeated the intruder; but, did not stop. It turned on him and destroyed his whole nervous system. When I visited his bedside, he was in what is called a vegetative state, breathing and pumping blood through is veins artificially.
I spoke to my friend as a friend does. The doctor told me that I could talk to him; but, that there was minimal brain function and that he was virtually dead. I continued the one sided conversation, happy at just being present. When I left the hospital, my own problems seemed so tiny and insignificant.
Years later, I met and married an extraordinary lady; just back from living in California, having a PhD and full of new and creative thoughts. She introduced me to a whole lot of unconventional thinking and behaviour. To me, at that time, though thinking of myself as open minded, I could, sometimes, hardly keep from giggling. However, the door to my mind must have been open, a crack; because I dwelt on many of the new ideas to which I was exposed. My own beliefs changed. I became profoundly aware of how little we know about life and the universe, beyond what we address with our five senses.
Last week, doctors reported having communicated with a Canadian man, solely through witnessing his brainwave responses to statements and questions put to him. Everyone had deemed him to be in a vegetative state, effectively dead. The man communicated and reported that he was not in pain.
We know so little. In this context, when I am in meditation, I am saying:
Are you there ?
Can you hear me ?
The answer just might be “Yes”.
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