Synasthaesia : Seeing The World A Different Way

I have been thoroughly sickened and immensely saddened  by the tone of some of the blogsites that have attacked people who have disagreed with the Anglican Ordinariate. I have become inured to attacks by atheists but when some of these vitriolic and abusive attacks have been malicious and have come from Catholic priests it really chills the soul.
I have been praying my way through this to find some new way of dealing with it, to find a place within it that has peace written on it instead of anger; that anger includes my own because it seems to me that there is a deep thread of misogyny running through many of the responses I have seen. 

UPDATE: The editorial in the Observer agrees with this perspective to the story
"It is only institutional religion that continues to regard women as second-class citizens. If Catholicism believes that recruiting a handful of renegade Anglicans who share its institutional misogyny will buttress its position it is mistaken."
 "Many British Catholics who want no part of these power politics are left despairing."
 Actually they say only 1% of us are in despair.... but if you get this sort of criticism it is hardly surprising that many just choose to keep quiet.

When Pius X died, the conclave of 1914 elected Benedict XV, who immediately issued an encyclical calling on Catholics ‘to appease dissension and strife" so that "no one should consider himself entitled to affix on those who merely do not agree with his ideas the stigma of disloyalty to faith.’
‘There is no need of adding any qualifying terms to the profession of Catholicism’ he concluded. ‘It is quite enough for each one to proclaim 'Christian is my name and Catholic my surname’ 

David Gibson, “Who Is a Real Catholic?” The Washington Post, Sunday, May 17, 2009 

“There are many people which the Church has but God does not have; and there are many people which God has which the Church does not have.”
St. Augustine (paraphrased) ca 4th century.

Thomas Merton said: “We are consoled and strengthened by being hopeless together. We don’t need specific outcomes – we need each other.”

In this video  Neuroscientist Professor Vilayanur Ramachandran outlines the fascinating functions of mirror neurons. Only recently discovered, these neurons allow us to learn complex social behaviours, some of which formed the foundations of human civilization. 
Towards the end of this 7 minute video is the most fascinating part for me and I urge you to watch it if only for this part : what he amusingly calls "Ghandi or empathy neurons ".We could all do with more of these !

V.S. Ramachandran is a neurologist best known for his work in the fields of behavioural neurology and psychophysics. He is currently the Director of the Centre for Brain and Cognition, Professor in the Psychology Department and Neurosciences Program at the University of California, San Diego, and Adjunct Professor of Biology at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.
The following words are reported to have been found on the wall of Mother Teresa's Children's Home, Shishu Bhavan, in Calcutta and/or on a wall of her home. They are now closely linked with her.
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you a
nd them anyway.
Now for a creative break away from all this :

 Synaesthesia  put simply is where a stimulus of one cognitive pathway automatically stimulates a very different one; it is eight times more common in artists and poets and creative people. I've often wondered what this experience must be like.

The video below shows the experience of a "seeing sound " form of  synaesthesia - quite beautiful.

It reminds me of the value of  individuals who experience the world in a very different way from my own and allows me to see in ordinary every day things something outside of my own experience.

Click here for a link to an explanation of the various forms of synaesthesia and if you fancy a longer treat here is a very entertaining video which looks at synaesthesia in mystical traditions.

It is a talk that brings together science and spirituality. 

Music :  Hope for The Hopeless 
by A Fine Frenzy

Lyrics :
Hope For The Hopeless
Stitch in your knitted brow
And you don’t know how
You’re gonna get it out
Crushed under heavy chest
Trying to catch your breath
But it always beats you by a step, all right now
Making the best of it
Playing the hand you get
You’re not alone in this
There’s hope for the hopeless
There’s hope for the hopeless
There’s hope
Cold in a summer breeze
Yeah, you’re shivering
On your bended knee
Still, when you’re heart is sore
And the heavens pour
Like a willow bending with the storm, you’ll make it
Running against the wind
Playing the cards you get
Something is bound to give
There’s hope for the hopeless
There’s hope for the hopeless
There’s hope
There’s hope
There’s hope

Love Thy Will Be Done
by Martika


Anonymous said...

Wonderful thoughts Phil. Perhaps we should do research on the behavior of animals when they feel threatened, if you know what I mean. And then we wonder...I think it was Ghandi who said something like, 'it Christians just acted like Christians, they would need to teach it' I know that's a really loose paraphrase but it speaks volumes, don't you think? We are comforted to know who is really in control of all of this...

Philomena Ewing said...

I think you mean't "they wouldn't need to teach it" ?!
I was intrigued by your thoughts on the animal side of things- fascinating.
Yes, I agree that the last couple of days have really asked me to surrender my own will to God because I really can't handle some of the shenanigans going on at the moment.

claire said...

Ah, Phil, what an extraordinarily rich post, with so much here to discover and deepen.

I have been keeping away from the Church news -- and political news in a way as well. I find them toxic. Only one part of reality, one dimension. They are not good for my soul; they rob me of my energy.

My husband has always been intrigued by my way of not seeing ads on tv. My mind automatically turns off when they come on. I think my mind is doing the same with much of the unnecessary ugliness carried in the media.

A huge hug to you, sister. A great job done here, once again!

Philomena Ewing said...

Thanks Claire,
I know we have differing views on the type of things to post on sometimes and the fact that you support me always despite our different stances is a sign of vitality !! It has not been easy to post and yes, it drains me too but I felt it was needed.
Thanks for the lovely comments- much appreciated