Friday, May 23, 2008

Epilepsy and Access to the Divine

In many cultures, the condition westerners call epilepsy is considered to be a sign of a person's special spiritual capacity. Here is an article with links to video of a woman who has had a seizure filmed. Controversial because of its graphic nature, the video is clearly of great interest, as the site is presently slowed down, I presume from all the hits the site's getting....For me the video speaks to the courage of people to share pain in order to help others. It also speaks to me of pain and trauma that some society's have interpreted as special gifts from the Divine. A life of faith is no cakewalk.

One of the most powerful books I've read on the subject is Anne Fadiman's The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down which documents the cultural divide between a Hmong family whose infant child is epileptic (and considers the condition a sign of the child's future as a shaman) and the Fresno medical community who tried to treat her.

4 comments:

escapegoat said...

The woman in the video, Christine, is one of my best friends. And she is most certainly divine! I have seen her spread her energy for goodness on more than one occasion. Truly an honour to be her friend, even with moments of, frankly, pant-loading fright when she goes on a seizure trip, wondering if she'll come back.

Searching Soul (a.k.a Darleen Pryds) said...

Thanks so much for sharing this.

Dark said...

This blog actually stuck a sharp chord with me.From the age of 13 till about 27 I was afflicted (or gifted with)idiopathic grand mal seizures.I was fortunate enough to have been graced by God with very understanding parents as well as an intense curiosity (which caused me to read anything, both medical and historical on my condition. In conjunction with my neurologist I helped start a support group for young adults (ages 15-22)with epilepsy. I was deepl saddened hearing many of the stories they told about being treated as outcasts and "freaks", sometimes by their own families. I told them it was important to remember that people such as Julius Caesar (and perhaps Joan of Arc and St. Paul) may have suffered from epilepsy. I have prayed that those words hopefully made a difference in someone's life.

Searching Soul (a.k.a Darleen Pryds) said...

Thanks for your comment, Dark.