Vector8 Journals

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Not All Suffering Is

Sometimes suffering is the time it takes for the human level of experience of the “Below” to link in with what has already been achieved as the Spirit level in the “Above”. This is a story that happened to me two weekends ago when I found myself in the casualty department of the local hospital (Kingston, in England) and the insight I received about the health service.

I wasn't feeling well and my appetite was waning. I was quickly losing weight and it got to a point when I couldn't eat or even drink water and whatever went in promptly came out. I became incontinent. I was in pretty rough shape. I prayed of course for healing and I was told by inner guidance that I was already healed but my body wasn't registering this information. After two days I called a friend in the middle of the night to help uplift me with prayers and called the ambulance.

When the paramedic saw me he asked whether I was bulimic/anorexic, I said no. He said I looked like an athlete. "Have you been doing a lot of running?" I raised my head and gave him a withered look. “I guess you won’t be doing any running in the near future,” he said. Since I hadn’t seen a doctor in years he offered to take me to the local casualty department. On the way to the hospital the paramedic said he was really puzzled by my condition. “You look really healthy,” he said. “Your skin tone looks radiant.” He pinched my skin and proceeded to give me a lecture on the difference between a dehydrated skin and a normal one and my skin was pronounced healthy. Of course I understood what he was saying. Naturally I knew that Spirit had been sustaining me and the paramedic was obviously seeing the real Me beyond the material body. "Yes, I know what you mean," I said to him. “But would you mind passing me a bowl or something, I think I’m going to be sick.”

We arrived at the hospital and while I waited I prayed frantically to be seen as soon as possible. Casualty was quite empty at that time of day. This department did not have the sickly smell of disinfectant nor were the walls painted pale green; they were light orange which gives life to the place. It appeared as if they were very much into colour therapy. After speaking to the resident nurse, she took samples for their tests and then led my swaying body to rest in one of the cubicles. “I’m going to put you in cubicle number 8,” she said.

Now the number 8 has a huge significance for me. The infinity symbol is which as you can see looks like 8 lying on its side, which represents “As Above, So Below” or “In earth as it is heaven.” The 8 level of consciousness is of perfection, bringing heaven on earth, or those who live in eternity. (Is it possible that the reason why David Blaine fasted for 44 days over the Thames recently was because of the 8 symbol which he called “Above the Below.” I'll let you decide). So being in cubicle 8 was my perfect haven. I crawled into bed and had a rest. I suddenly had a feeling I was finally at one with the healing I had received days before. I asked for some water and it stayed down, the first time in 24 hours. Yup, I was healed all right. I knew there had to be another reason why I was in casualty, something I had to learn. I decided I would remain in a state of non-judgment after all: "There's nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so."

The nurse came in later to give me a cocktail of drugs. I knew I didn’t need them but I wasn’t about to protest, so I swallowed them. The nurse fed me some more drugs intravenously and told me to rest. I was having none of that, I went for a walk round the wards, talking to the manager and a few of the nurses about spiritual healing. The doctor who had examined me earlier couldn’t believe I was the same patient who had staggered in an hour earlier, now swaggering about as if I owned the place. I sat next to my neighbour who had fallen and hurt himself but was now all stitched up, ready to go, and waiting for a taxi.

Let me backtrack for a while. Earlier during that week I’d read an article in a newspaper about a character in Othello. I remember saying to myself that one of these days I must get myself the complete works of Shakespeare and study some of his other works apart from the ones I had studied at school which at the time had given me little pleasure.

Back in the hospital I noticed my neighbour was reading a book. I asked him what he was reading. “The Complete Works of Shakespeare.” We spoke for a few minutes then the nurse called me back to my bed as she wanted to connect me to the drip. I asked my new friend if he could sit beside me and keep me company. He offered to read to me. The first sonnet he read me was: “Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,…” We talked about his favourite plays. I quoted part of the monologue by Mark Anthony from "Julius Caesar" which I had had to memorise: “Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears...the evil that men do lives after them, the good is often interred with their bones...” He was very impressed. We grinned at each other. My new friend's name was Anthony. He was so good at reading and he said he'd always wanted to be an actor but it was too late now. Now and again he called out to a passing nurse or doctor to see if they were interested in Shakespeare. He got varied responses: a few no's; a yes but not now; and from my nurse a look of terror in her eyes as she fled to the other side of the ward. (Forsooth, the lady doth yet suffer Post Traumatic Shakespearean Disorder!) Tony said that in his previous career before he retired he met many people who were very good at playing these characters from Shakespeare's plays.

"Did you work in the theatre?" I said.

"I wish. No, I was a psychiatrist nurse," he said. "They were my patients."

He got up to have a stretch and complained of his aches and pains.

"You know something Tony," I said. "There's the real You who is never sick or touched by the human drama." Good advice from the woman whose hand is connected to a drip machine! But he did understand because he told me he is an artist and he designs cards which he sends out to friends and family. He knew about this Perfect Self who inspires and actually expresses through him and he said he'd think about connecting full time.

Tony said he was a frequent visitor to the hospital because he's always falling partly due to the drugs he takes for diabetes and partly because he loves drinking. Right now he had a half-moon black scar around his eyes which he said made him look like a panda. The last time he fell, his eyes were covered with black circles. It was the evening of Hallowe'en. Someone rang the bell. His neighbour was doing the "trick or treats" rounds with his daughter, who was dressed up as a witch with a long pointy hat, and a black gown. When the girl saw Tony she clung to her father. "Daddy that man is scaring me!"

"It's OK love," her father said. "Don't you recognise him, it's our neighbour Tony."

I was laughing so hard the drip bag was shaking violently beside me.

"What Hallowe'en character were you trying to be, Dracula or something?" I said wiping the tears from my eyes.

"An owl of course," he smiled. "I should have said to the little girl 'Whooo are yhoooo?'"

I thought it was such a funny story and he's an excellent raconteur, and he should write it down. He gave me permission to write it so I hope I'm doing his stories justice.

Finally I said goodbye to my new friend. With his book of Shakespeare aloft he saluted me and said "be lucky!" and he limped out of the ward. There’s someone I will always remember as a lover of the arts, beauty, filled with so much joy, life and fun.

Later, while I was waiting for a taxi to take me home, another male patient came in accompanied by a woman. While the nurses administered to him, she sat in a chair across my cubicle which I had open and as she had a book I asked her what she was reading. She was reading a sci-fi book I wasn't familiar with. She came and stood beside my bed. It seemed she wanted to talk. The patient was her father who had also fallen and hurt himself but she lives with him and as she was home at the time she called the ambulance. She was bothered about his condition and how she was going to cope in the future. I could sense her love and concern and that what she needed was reassurance. I let her unload. Half of the time she remained in a pensive mood and I stayed in stillness to assist in any way I could. After about 15 minutes she went back to her father's cubicle.

On my way home I spoke to the cab driver who said to me that his daughter had suffered the same symptoms I had experienced and she had also been rushed to the hospital. He thought there was some kind of bug going round, which I may have picked up.

The whole hospital saga had two lessons for me. The first is an ongoing one about not seeing myself as having a material body. The paramedic had seen right through my material sense to the Self, that is invisible. Reminds me of what Paul wrote "call things which be not [spiritual identity] as though they were." It's interesting that a few days later I regained my normal body weight for about a week or so and then the weight fell right off. I realised that it is a lesson for me to stop seeing myself as a material sense: tall/short; fat/thin; male/female; black/white; etc which means you will attract all manner of beliefs or illnesses if you have a material sense of self. It would seem that I had picked up on the belief of a bug and this had manifested as those material symptoms; the hospital had found my blood and urine samples to be normal. My real body is Spiritual which is unconditioned i.e. knows nothing of sickness/health; hunger/thirst; gender, sexuality, race etc. It simply is Spirit and knows only perfection. This is a lesson I continue to learn.

The second and bigger picture lesson is how we can all uplift each other wherever we are. My friend uplifted me; the paramedic saw me for the fit athlete that I am who had no place riding in an ambulance; Tony uplifting me with his stories and vice versa; I uplifted the woman who was concerned about her father; the nurses and doctors uplifted and so it goes on... Because the medical system has become so pluralised, people seeking out alternative or complementary care elsewhere, the conventional health service has been left to "get on with it". Actually they are doing the best they can with their view of reality. Love is everywhere present and it was a reminder for me to lift up all manner of medical techniques into the Light. All practitioners in whatever field they're working, whatever their beliefs are working to eradicate the suffering of humanity and what affects one, affects the whole. It is time to stop seeing the medical institution as evil, "pumping drugs into people" but seeing the good it does in the only way they know how. My lesson is to love all and not judge any techniques as good or bad. In other words to spiritualise all levels of health care. Then will the above and below become one.


(November 2003)