An American couple I met last night told me to write my story down. Matt (a good friend who I may one day travel to India with) noticed me writing with my left hand and said something to the effect of “I didn’t know you are left handed, it that because of your damaged brain?”. Not terribly subtle but I don’t care, to tell you the truth I love talking about it and this is what I told the American couple. So I swigged back my glass of wine and explained: There is a creature living in my brain the size of a clenched fist. It sits on top of my hippocampus, causes memory problems, risk of haemorrhage, which it did quite badly in 2000, and epilepsy.
“The epilepsy”, I explained, “is interesting, and although the whole thing is very dangerous, it also has some surprising advantages that I wouldn’t be without.” I didn’t explain what, it was late and we were being chucked out of the venue. “You must write a book! Or write a blog they said”, and I had to admit that I did write a blog about it for a while, and I enjoyed writing it, but then I got all self-conscious about what other people might think so stopped.
Well, I’m getting on now and really I can’t be arsed what people think so much anymore. Time is a problem, and the difficulty in finding appropriate words – due to the alien creature in the brain – but Im going to write a bit more blog about it and other things that come up. Yes I’m writing all about me, it is terribly narcissistic, but then I am so why pretend otherwise? I am Miss Roberts after all.
Temporal lobe epilepsy does not make me see god, as some of the text books say, it just makes me experience an overwhelming, beautiful and painful vision which is religious. I call it a vision because that is what it is. The few times in my life I have had tablets that could completely get rid of this I have suffered depression. If you are curious about some of the experiences they are written in the Spletzer Martin story which is on this blog, a fictional story but only just. I’ll write about it more, I am obsessed.
Till recently this has just been visions and occasional hallucinations, they don’t make any sense, but over the last year I have been meditating and this seems to make sense out of the visions, though they are still difficult to explain.
In 2000 I was very very ill indeed from the haemorrhage. I spent quite a bit of time in hospital and in hospital I remember thinking that I might as well believe in a god or gods because doing so made me feel a lot happier and a lot less frightened. Since I can remember I have had voices in my head. Sometimes good, sometime bad, sometimes overtaking. There is one particular voice that is very caring and if I listen to it things seem to be alright in the end.
At the time, in hospital, I didn’t know which gods to believe in so I picked the christian God to start with. But my folks are very anti-christianity, and christian worshippers have been quite cruel to my family. My Dad took up acupuncture long before it was popular and some of the local christians in the area we lived regarded this as evil. Becoming a born again christian is about the most disapproved of thing I could do as far as my parents are concerned.
But I am a seeker.
I did try some milder forms, went to Quaker meetings for a while. I liked the hour just sitting there in silence, but didn’t much like the conversations afterwards which seemed almost business orientated.
I joined Krishna meetings for a while, as an alternative to Christianity, but during one event I dropped the sacred book onto the floor which was frowned upon. I left out of embarrassment and never returned.
I joined various Buddhist groups but none of these stuck. Too many rules and no place for visions.
So what next? Science is just too cold, when you are lying in a hospital bed thinking you might die, knowing that humans have invented sliced bread, the bomb and the catheter that has just packed up on you, really does not help. When I was young I remember being taught that there was no life at the bottom of the ocean. Humans at that time hadn’t visited the bottom of the ocean much, but science confirmed that the bottom of the ocean was empty. Now humans have been to the bottom of the ocean and discover it is teaming with life. This has made me rather dubious about sciences claim that there are no aliens or gods. Just because we haven’t experienced something doesn’t mean it don’t exist. And I do experience something.
Yes I have held guru’s, teachers, and boyfriends in God-like status for brief periods, but they always prove to be a let down. They are only human. Bowie did quite well for a bit because he could somehow feel close yet was always at a distance, but then some of his later songs were really missing the point.
Last year I started a book about trees, I’m still writing it. I discovered I didn’t really know that much about trees and considering my day job is teaching botanical illustration I decided to find out more. One night as part of my investigations I found myself in a graveyard under an oak tree. I was on my own, locked in, sleeping between graves and the tree and I felt completely safe. Completely protected.
Now the Oak tree is a very beautiful tree, sacred to the Druids apparently, and Jupiter’s sacred tree. Jupiter is the Old Roman god, very much to do with protection. He is a good God to have on your side. Perhaps he is on my side.
Bastet (Bast, Basant) is an old Egyptian cat goddess. She is also a protective goddess. My flat is in Besant Court, when I arrived here the last tenant had left their cat behind. She is lovely. On the day my 20 year old washing machine dramatically exploded I asked her to help (the goddess, not my cat), I now have a new reasonably cheap washing machine that means my clothes dry quicker and no longer stink of mould!
So why, why I ask you, should I not worship these gods if it makes me happy? I have made a small alter in my front room and make little offerings to them. I light a candle, put down my Islamic rug, and meditate in front of the alter. Yes it is a shoddy hap-dash of gods from different times, places, and cultures, I even put a bit of voodoo in for good measure, but it seems to work and most importantly sits well with the my visions, and they are of course the absolute unfathomable truth.