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PHYSICIAN, HEAL THYSELF!
MEDIEVAL AND MODERN
videos show a four part BBC series, The Century of the Self, by Adam Curtis on
psychiatric manipulation by governments and corporations of
their peoples in both America and England: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2637635365191428174. A similarly devastating critique can be found
in the Guardian's broadcast of Naomi Klein's The
Shock Doctrine: http://books.guardian.co.uk/video/2007/sep/07/naomiklein.
I had myself become increasingly aware of this problem,
coming to America in 1953 when it was under the spell of Sigmund
and Anna Freud and it was of the utmost importance to conform to
'normalcy', then witnessing the explosion wrought by Wilhelm
Reich at Berkeley and elsewhere, myself finding that revolt to
be neither about freedom or happiness. Meanwhile, my father and
my husband had fallen into the Adlerian camp. Years later, I
found Viktor Frankl's
criticism of Freud, for sex, of Adler, for power, to be less
valid than our quest for meaning as creating happiness. Seeing
this series, and being a medievalist, had me ponder on the role
The word 'Psychiatrist'
means the 'healer of the soul'. Christ said, 'Physician, heal thyself!' (Luke 4.23).
A surgeon with an infected wound should not operate on his
patient. Nor should a psychiatrist attempt to heal another's
soul without first having healed her own.
Julian was such a psychiatrist, a
healer of the soul, as for centuries before her had been hermits
in deserts, in graveyards. She was also, from the evidence, a
wounded healer. For Isaiah contradicts Christ, saying 'By his
wounds you shall be healed' (Isaiah 53.5). There needs to be the
healing of one's own wounds to heal those of another. But the
wounded healer shares doubly in the cure, both self and other.
The physician can heal herself through the other.
Julian had first written her serene and splendid theology in a
time of relative peace and freedom in England, when good Queen
Anne of Bohemia, the Emperor's daughter, espoused to Richard II,
reigned, when scholars were respected, when the Gospel was
lived. But between her fiftieth year and her seventieth, England
changed. Henry IV, whom Chaucer calls 'Albion's Conqueror',
usurped and murdered the anointed King, Richard II, then had the
Archbishop of York, Richard le Scrope, beheaded. Together with
the Chancellor of the Realm/Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Arundel, Henry IV ruthlessly
put down the Lollards who espoused the Gospel and its teaching,
instituting a state of political terror in the name of Christ.
'Heretics' were doubly executed as also 'traitors'. Lay people,
and particularly women, were forbidden to teach. Theology was
forbidden to be in English. Particularly translations of the
Bible into our language were not to be tolerated. Only the rote
learning of Latin of the Pater,
the Ave, the Credo, was allowed on pain
of death by burning at the stake. The Church and the King had
seized control. Through programmes of terror. So Julian rewrites
her splendid text, which had translated the Bible directly from
Hebrew into English, before the King James Version, now excising
from it most scriptural references, underlining and enlarging
these Latin words. But in this Short
Text, written it says in 1413, she also crystallizes her
inclusive theology, ending it with the Lollard term, our 'even
Christian', our equal Christian, recalling that time of freedom
and peace. She obeys - and disobeys - in holy disobedience. The
smell of burning flesh from the Lollard pits outside Norwich
would have reached her cell at St Julian's Church. Her own fate
could have been this. A medieval Auschwitz. But she writes.
Though no longer allowed to teach one on one towards the end of
her life, her words now teach down the centuries and across
The Gospel Christ gave is most precious, it is the privilege of
poverty St Clare espoused. Delicate, fragile, tenaciously held,
particularly by the women martyr saints
listed in the Canon of the Mass, 'Felicity,
Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecilia, Anastasia', the Gospel's message, its
'Good News', spelled freedom from the controlling unjust power
of the world, spelled felicity, happiness. The foredoomed
lascivious pagans remarked to each other about the Early
Christians' love for each other and their joy.
The Church, as Christ, is the healer of our souls. But the
Church's soul needs healing from the un-Christian quest for
power and sex to bring about that healing in the souls of its
flock. Birgitta of Sweden, speaking
in the persons of Christ and the Virgin, most particularly spoke
to this concern, John Paul II citing this passage when
proclaiming her Co-Patron of Europe.
Similarly, today, the State can abuse power and infect the
people it should most serve. At the French Revolution, under
Napoleon and in Marxism, the Church is destroyed to punish its
abuse of power, in yet another abuse of power. The State usurps
Both State and Church abuse power where they terrorize their
people, their flock. They usurp the people. Tolstoy notes how
States need enemies for armies and criminals for police, the
army and police really being to protect the State from its own
people. Terror is seen as desirable in order to control. But the
Gospel is the medicine against control and terror. The
Resurrection that follows the Crucifixion. The wounded healer
who heals us when we quest God, not self. When we free ourselves
from power and sex.
Pelagians and Quakers do not believe in Original Sin, invented
by Augustine in his dialectic against the obese British
theologian Pelagius. Yet Augustine observed that sin, that evil,
is the tending to non-being. A contradiction. Similarly the
Gospels are not for hierarchies, a word invented by
Pseudo-Dionysius, who plagiarized that he was the Dionysius who
heard St Paul preach on Mount Areopagus, pretending he had also
witnessed the Crucifixion, but who actually lived several
centuries later. Pseudo-Dionysius was conveniently capitalizing
on Plato's 'Myth of the Metals', the necessary fiction, the lie,
for the Monarchy that is his Republic,
that the king is gold, the nobles silver, the slaves iron,
modelled not on Athenian democracy but upon Sparta's military
slave state oppressing and exploiting its apartheid helots.
Emperors and kings, Popes and bishops, loved his teaching.
Manuscripts proliferated of his writings both in the Greek East
and the Latin West, shaping the Church and the State into
I used to think that people who travelled on buses, because they
were poor, were inferior. Now, when I visit America, I prefer
her buses to her planes. In the airports and on the planes for
the rich, for the powerful, there is loneliness and fear and
humiliation as one takes off one's shoes, is separated from
one's belongings. On the buses there is none of this, instead
friendliness, compassion and profound good sense. If America
rules the world, then it is that strata of her society I would
choose for our kings of gold. One finds that ordinary people
outside of power are inherently good. It is education,
indoctrination, brain washing, shock doctrine, child abuse, that
makes them otherwise. People have to be forced, terrorized, into
evil, into cruelty. Little Spartans of the Ruling Class of
silver were taken from their mothers, brought up in boot camps,
deprived of natural affection, so that they could control their
slaves, their helots. Just so in England little boys of the
Ruling Class of silver are taken from their mothers and deprived
of affection and placed in 'Prep' schools, then 'Public'
schools, to control a now-lost Empire. Julian's word 'Kindness'
actually means 'Natural'. Darwin and the National Geographic have
changed that for us into thinking of Nature as 'red in tooth and
claw', the 'survival of the fittest'. But look at any mammalian
mother nurturing her child, any marsupial, any nest-building
bird. This is Mother Nature.
The abuse of power by Church or State is the 'opiate of the
masses'. Providing a fake religion, a fake politics, a fake war,
a fake heresy. But the love of God and neighbour is that which
heals, which frees. He who heals another, heals himself, she who
frees another, frees herself. We, together, create the City of
God, the Kingdom of Heaven 'tenting' within us.
Boethius, awaiting a most brutal execution as a political
prisoner, on Death Row, created a work to heal us, and in so
doing himself - of his immense misery at the grave miscarriage
of justice. Philosophia comes to him, as will Beatrice to Dante,
and she tells him to get rid of the 'whores of the theatre', the
self-pitying, lust-filled, opiating sonnets he has been writing,
and instead listen to reason, be restored to reason. She laughs
at him. Then tells him of Time and Eternity. Which she describes
as like a medieval Rose Window, on the outside in grey stone and
black-seeming glass, the Wheel of Fortune, grasped at by Kings
who ride to the top, then are inexorably dashed and crushed
beneath it, but which inside is seen to be the great Wheel/Rose
in brilliant colours, the Virgin and Child at the centre, the
twelve Apostles about its edge.
She explains that at the centre is God, on the outside is Man.
At the centre is Eternity, all Time ingathered, at the outside
Time is further and further dispersed and scattered into less
and lesser amounts of Time. At the centre is all Being, at the
outside the tending to non-being. At the centre is all Good, at
the exterior the diminishing and loss of good to evil. At the
centre is Freedom, at the outside increasing bondage. At the
centre is Felicity, at the outside, misery. It is a geometric
theology that shaped medieval architecture and psychiatry. We,
today, are trapped in linear time, an even longer line for
eternity, sensing ourselves to be insignificant, lacking hope.
For too many today the only return to meaning seems to be
snatched at in blowing oneself and others up in a suicide
bombing, like Samson in his blindness at Gaza bringing down the
pillars of the temple. The medieval shape of Time and Eternity,
instead, allows each of us to quest that centre of God, of
Eternity, of Being, of Good, of Freedom, of Felicity. Instead of
tumbling headlong into the slade of despair. When 'hende
Nicholas' in Chaucer's Miller's
Tale feigns madness, the good carpenter John makes all
these arguments to him.
The Gospel is that God is in littleness, not in power, but in a
child, in a woman. The Gospel is that God is in the one who is
despised, feared and rejected, the Samaritan, the leper. Today
the gypsy, the Roma. Julian, like Benedict, says God's Creation
in the presence of the Creator is like a hazelnut lying in the
palm of my hand. But God loves it. And ever shall. The Gospel is
that all persons are our 'even-Christians', God despising
nothing and no one whom he has ever made.
I came across this page of your site http://www.umilta.net/abuse.html
and noticed that you are linking to http://www.trauma-pages.com/
and other resources for individuals afflicted with PTSD. I wanted
to thank you for these efforts – this is a mission I have been
deeply involved in as well. If I may have just a moment of your
time, I wanted to talk to you about an underserved segment among
those with PTSD – and also suggest an addition to your page.
Individuals with PTSD suffer unique challenges with mental
health, addiction and access to treatment.
While there are many unique addiction treatment resources
available, none of them are comprehensive and specifically
tailored to those with PTSD. After research across the resources
available on the web, the Forterus Treatment Center team noticed
the absence of a centralized resource designed to help understand
the basics of mental health, alcohol use and addiction within this
demographic and offer guidance on navigating support systems.
They decided to fill this gap of knowledge. The result is this
This page summarizes available governmental, non-profit and other
resources and makes them easily accessible to those searching for
assistance. It includes dozens of the latest studies and external
resources for the PTSD assistance. We hope that the quality of
this page and the importance of the subject matter merits
inclusion on your page alongside the other resources you have
provided – or elsewhere on your website.
Thank you so much for your time. If you have the chance, please
let me know what we need to do to have this page included as a
resource. If you are not responsible for modifications to this
page, apologies for the miscommunication, and I would greatly
appreciate it if you could point me in the right direction.
UMILTA WEBSITE, OLIVELEAF WEBSITE || UMILTA WEBSITE
|| OLIVELEAF WEBSITE || JULIAN OF
NORWICH, TEXT AND CONTEXTS, WEBSITE || BIRGITTA
OF SWEDEN, REVELATIONES, WEBSITE || CATALOGUE AND
PORTFOLIO (HANDCRAFTS, BOOKS ) || BOOK
REVIEWS || BIBLIOGRAPHY