Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Eternal Peace or endorphin release, or God, religion, afterlife, the divine

Well it has been a really long time since I blogged.  The summer is officially gone by us as we just finished labor day.  It is coming up on two years sincee I fell off a scooter and broke my face in 4-5 places. I have ringing in my ear and a tumor called an acoustic neuroma, which Mayo clinic can do nothing about except watch it and charge me lots of money that my insurance won't totally cover to pay for staging it once a year. It is on my cochlea which is sort of the end of the eight cranial nerve the other end connects up to your brain.
Also loosing my hearing in that ear. Because of location that won't operate. More later on this.
Not too much new on the AD front. Australian study and Mayo looking at a bunch of blood markers, a whole panel of tests to try and identify Alzheimer's in people before it becomes clinically apparent and obvious.  So earlier recognition is where it is at. Testing and findingg it before it becomes apparent, maybe years before. No clear treatments emerging. 
So this summer I went to a Benedictine Monastery for a few days in St. Leo Florida mostly to pray for healing for my ear. I ended up praying for my enemies and people I can't stand. My ear did not get cured but me stress level went down considerably.
I also ran my first 5k marathon this summer, ironically with the exception of the cancer in my ear, I am in probably the best shape of my life at nearly 50 years old.
I had a bit of a spiritual moment.  I was with my son and a climbing friend. We climbed the South Sister in the Cascades in Central Oregon. The summit is about 10,500 feet or so. We started at 5AM and completed the summit about 12 noon. Note that this is a climb I never completed in 1994 when I was 33 years old. I started out to late in the day on that one. Now at almost 50 I completed the climb.
On the way down we rested a few times. At one point, I sat down then layed back. The sun shined on my face and warmed me on the side of the mountain.  I said aloud, "this is what it must feel like to be dead." I didn't mean it in a bad way, but it upset the friend my son and I were climbing with. He said, "don't talk like that." What I meant what I felt so incredibly at peace, I wished for nothing, felt no stress or worry, just the beautiful sunshine warming me. It was so incredibly comfortable. I corrected my self and said, "No I mean this is what heaven must be like." I felt really peaceful and loved and even connected to God. Nothing hurt, I can't remember my ear ringing or throbbing, just peace.
This happened a couplee weeks before I went to the monastery.
It is unusual to have an experience like this. One could say I was exhausted from climbing for 8 hours and it was cold and brutal winds at the top of the mountain but on the way down it was sunny and nice. Perhaps it was endogenous opioid release,  a similar feeling a person may get from taking opiates.
On the other hand it simply could have been God and a peaceful loving content and fulfilled feeling.
You see how I struggle between the science and the spiritual. 
At any rate I was lucky to have this moment, this time where I felt close to God.
After loosing my parents at an early age, a lot of life has been filled with a certain stress, sometimes an anguish, (read the book) like everyone I have my struggles. As a doctor and a psychiatrist, a lot of my life is surrounded by the worst pain and evilness known to mankind and the terrible things that human do to one another and how it affects them. So if I get a moment on the side of a volcano and it is complete with human fulfillment I have to take it as a sign from God. I wish I had more of those signs, but we take what we are given. It was a good thing, perhaps a divine thing.

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Talking about the book with the Lake Superior wind....... a calm day