Yesterday, I was reading an email from Lisa, a woman I have gotten to know through my blog. She has been diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), which is very similar to Parkinson’s, but much more aggressive.
Thinking about her situation, I have to admit, I have been befuddled by the array of neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s, Parkinsonism, Dystonia, MSA, Essential Tremor, ALS, MS, Alzheimer’s. etc, etc, etc, for which science and the medical community know little about the cause and nothing about the cure. It’s similar to the array of cancers (breast, prostate, lung, brain, stomach, colon, rectal, bone, skin, etc) and Autism Spectrum Disorders (autism, Asperger’s, Rhett’s, etc). Even flues and the ‘simple’ cold (if it’s so simple, why haven’t the science and med folks figured it out).
Each of these conditions has its own associations, fundraising efforts, research initiatives and medical treatments. When viewed from the 40 thousand foot level we must look like a bunch of dogs chasing our tails. Millions of people all over the world trying to figure it out … actually, each trying to figure out one tiny piece of the puzzle!
But what struck me most about the neurological disorders, particularly as it relates to their growth in occurrence, and even more particularly, when I think about my own possible future, is the demand this is going to create and the burden this is going to have on caregivers. It’s going to be enormous … likely, more than enough to bankrupt our healthcare systems!
That’s when it occurred to me that Parkinson’s has a higher spiritual purpose, and that is, to ‘inspire’ us to change our focus. You see, the human race, as a whole, is obsessed with money, power and fame. We all want to be rich (check out the lottery counters if you don’t believe this assertion) and this is driving our values and thus, our behaviours, which are counterproductive to living in peace and harmony. Not only do we act inappropriately in our relentless quest for wealth, we’re not happy unless we’re wearing the latest fashions, playing with the latest gadgets and have a garage full of toys. We care little that millions of people are struggling to make ends meet, as long as we are continuing to accumulate more than enough … way more, in fact! We truly are obsessed!
I actually witnessed this care giving phenomenon firsthand with my own parents … and they weren’t even remotely obsessed with money. My mom was diagnosed with ALS and for the last two years of her life, my father was her 24/7 caregiver. He had little time for anything else.
I believe in God (not the God-view that says ‘he’ is a supreme being who exists separate from us, but rather a universal intelligence that permeates all that exists … think of a chess game where the pieces move themselves based on your thoughts) and I think this God is trying to get our attention. I think God wants us to stop being so greedy and start being more loving and caring and compassionate. I think God wants us to stop focusing on accumulating wealth and start taking better care of ourselves and the planet. And so, our society is experiencing an enormous growth in a confounding assortment of debilitating conditions, that will offer us no choice but to change.
Whether you agree with my theory or not, I hope you do agree that at the very least more love and compassion couldn’t hurt!
Although my epiphany, if you want to call it thus, may not bring you solace (if you are experiencing a health condition), perhaps you can derive some level of comfort in the knowledge (or idea) that we could be considered warriors in the flow of life. We are the front-line soldiers walking point into the face of the uncertain in a divine effort to bring change. For me, it helps immensely to believe there is purpose for my condition!
Have an awesomely purposeful day!
PS … If you think my theory is a crock of baloney, check out the documentary Zeitgeist Addendum on Netflix.
If you found this post meaningful, you might also enjoy, Autism: A Spiritual Perspective.