---Introduce yourself---

G'day Dahlia

Welcome. I have just now scrolled up the page to discover your entry. I am intrigued by your chronic condition. I came down with GBS. It didn't deliver paranormal experiences - had enough of them before. But it did deliver profoundly transformative experiences.

Haven't seen you on the forum yet.
Hello Michael,

thank you for welcoming me.
I did not yet participate actively in many discussion threads here. But they are having their effects. Currently I am reading "American Cosmic" by Diane Walsh Pasulka which I acquired because of the thread here on Skeptiko.
I am what is called "chemically sensitive", the symptoms of which slowly developed, as I think, by long term exposure to pesticides and heavy metals and because of a partly dysfunctional biotransformation system and possibly some other factors. But I wised up on that, and as long as I am not sprayed (I have been threatened with that), I look like everybody else. :)
You wrote that you were laughed at because of your idea about how you contracted GBS? Being laughed at after coming down with a non-trivial condition seems to have become standard since the advent of "evidence-based medicine". (Or maybe since the advent of that which brought "evidence-based medicine" upon us, the faulty core of which to me is the deliberate discouragement of looking for causes / paths for certain diseases.) What you and The Ethical Skeptic wrote: "Bugger patient accounts" or that testimony is discounted - and for no good reason - I unfortunately know, too.
I do not know for sure that my opening up to certain phenomena was caused by my condition, but I remember that a few years into it, I read an account about a woman who wanted to keep her MS because only with MS she had command of her paranormal abilities. Sorry I can't remember where I read this, maybe Shafica Karagulla or Eileen Garrett or another famous female psychic.
That made me think about whether inflammation or other conditions are enhancing paranormal experiencing. Shafica Karagulla, as I understood, knew a lot about the interplay of substances, certain kinds of matter, with mental states, and I would have loved to talk to her about that.
Before I contracted my condition, I would describe myself as "dull and dumb" regarding knowledge about the body and disease in general. I had been taught that basically, when you are sick, you visit the doctor and soon after you'll be healthy again, just fear cancer, then it will get painful and you'll probably have to die.
When I fell chronically ill, I learned that a disease has to be "acknowledged", that it is possible to have a disease that is "not acknowledged" except in small expert circles (who probably had become experts because they or some relative had come down with it). I was totally flabbergasted that anybody - among them family - would attempt to deny what I said and question my ideas about it. The fact that there were clusters of people experiencing similar things ("Gulf War Syndrome" or "9/11 Syndrome") was somewhat comforting.
The experiences that followed put me in a state in which I found life boring to pointlessness. What kept me interested was a phrase that was, almost in passing, uttered in a conversation with a physiotherapist I knew who mentioned the possibility of mental communication. I had never heard of that before, seemed very difficult to me, even more difficult than ventriloquy. When I researched it, I came across the works of Ingo Swann, later Robert A. Monroe and several others. Then the realizations started - I began remembering paranormal things that happened in my past and also began actively looking for signs of the paranormal, which I found. Never since, I have been in doubt that "we" are so much more than or so different from what many of us are made to believe.
I found your personal introduction above in this thread.
There you wrote that the residue of your GBS has "added a profound spiritual, psychological and philosophical dimension" to your life. If that question can be answered and if you like to answer it - what was it like?

Dahlia
 
There you wrote that the residue of your GBS has "added a profound spiritual, psychological and philosophical dimension" to your life. If that question can be answered and if you like to answer it - what was it like?
Hi Dahlia

I read you post with a deep sense of empathy. I think that acquired illness or disability is transformative in the way a person engages with it - and this is what can trigger psi experiences.

I spent 3 months in ICU paralysed pretty much from the neck down as my own body attacked my nervous system. I spent 7 months in rehab learning tom undo the damage my own body had done to itself and I had to grasp my role in that happening.

In a lot of ways I was like a large baby in the sense that I had to learn to take conscious control over my body again. You could say I was being born again - but not in the Evangelical Christian way. And yet it was a new beginning. I have residual disability that has taken out so much of what used to be normal and effortless.

When I was in hospital there was an attempt to ship me off to a nursing home. A year later I was back at work full-time. That made me mildly militant. That was a decade ago. These days I chair a Disability Employee Network (DEN) in my department, and we are doing deeply transformative work. In fact I said to a colleague today I thought the DEN was a spiritual group because we are driven by values that fit most spiritual peoples' ideals and principles. The adversity that disability brings can draw out extraordinary powerful and positive attributes of character.

Our goal is to change the workplace culture so staff with disability want to stay and works and feel included, with a sense of belonging - and there are no barriers to them being able to work at their best capacity.

Its small beer in the scheme of things. But we are acting locally and envisioning globally. We are part of a bigger thing.

So acquiring a disability has obliged me to focus my attention on the practical side of my sense of my own spirituality - the stuff that was once optional and could be declaimed rather than delivered. Now I am accountable in ways I never was.
 
Hi Michael,

The past 5 days I had to spend without internet (our street is a construction site), sad I couldn't read your post (which I assumed to have arrived in the meantime) earlier. I don't think I can imagine what you had to go through, during your hospital stay and after.

I think that acquired illness or disability is transformative in the way a person engages with it - and this is what can trigger psi experiences.
Yes, and when people become really ill, they are facing death. After having recovered or during illness, they are practically always facing adversity, like indifference, discrimination, disbelief, lack of the right help, lack of time - or simply by the body itself. Painful, exhausting, unsettling. I assume you are right in that this is a way how psi is coming to the fore. Probably there is a connection with forced dissociation. Did you have to consciously experience that attempt to abandon you?

And I can confirm that I changed because of my illness. By not getting some things I badly needed, for example, I learned how it feels not to get them. This I don't want others to experience. But there are still many ways I can improve.

Now I am accountable in ways I never was.
Of course, I do not know what it is you are actually doing in your group, but I noticed that you are formulating many thoughts on different subjects here. It sounds like things have gone from being simply playful to being a real sorcerer, locally or not-locally?
 
Did you have to consciously experience that attempt to abandon you?
Yes. The hospital put it to my family I should be carted off to rot. I was not consulted as if I had no capacity to have a voice. That was insulting. My family did not assent. I made a point going back to the hospital on the 12 month anniversary of my release to pointed engage with those who wanted to sent me to a nursing home. I was back working full time 11 months after that effort. I wrote a letter, to which I had no reply. In essence, it said, very politely - You got that wrong! You bastards!

I was told about the effort while I was in hospital. I asked to meet with the social worker who arranged it, but she avoided me for the rest of her stay. She didn't have the integrity to face me. She was no social worker, just a stooge doing the bidding of management. I don't begrudge her her need for a wage - even people with no integrity have to eat and have a place to sleep.

Of course, I do not know what it is you are actually doing in your group, but I noticed that you are formulating many thoughts on different subjects here. It sounds like things have gone from being simply playful to being a real sorcerer, locally or not-locally?

This serious work now. It didn't start out playful. My return to work was hard. I am passionately committed to transforming my workplace's culture so that it embraces people with disability and affords them equal dignity and access to what they need to work at their best - and to feel they belong in their work environment as equals.
 
Michael, this is horrible.
This is like being dealt with as a thing. I experienced that when my father who had late-stage cancer was to leave the hospital where they had operated him one more time. I wanted a place for him in a hospice and the bureaucrat in charge told me she favored the nursing home. He died a few days later, before the final decision was taken.
Sorry for the misunderstanding, when using the word "playful" I had earlier times on my mind, not at all your workplace.
I really wish that they will hear you and your group and try to feel what you need and what you are talking about. For my teaching job, I was very lucky to find people who were willing to care about my needs by letting me work in suitable rooms.
 
That experience is burned into me, in a good way. I now understand at a visceral level the potential catastrophic consequences arising from misunderstanding and under-estimating the potential of a person arising from ignorance, bias and low expectations. I am grateful that I know that and that this insight informs my work.
 
That experience is burned into me, in a good way. I now understand at a visceral level the potential catastrophic consequences arising from misunderstanding and under-estimating the potential of a person arising from ignorance, bias and low expectations. I am grateful that I know that and that this insight informs my work.
Many workplaces seem to be environments in which people are (kept) very vulnerable, even those who are in a fine condition otherwise - something I find discomforting.
 
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