REFLECT... КУАДУСЕШЩТ # 33 ::: ОГЛАВЛЕНИЕ
aвтор визуальной работы - ("End of a city") – Рина Клиот
am starting to write this book when the story is not finished yet.
There are many books now written by cancer survivors each telling different story and different methods they used to get better. Even Fran Drescher whose experience differ from other sufferers only by extra worries of being the celebrity and extra money to hire private nurses for round the clock care wrote a book. So, in a way, my story is one of many. Why do I write it? I think that experience I had during all this time of dealing with illness and life as it is and all the people I have met with the same problem and without it is a great tapestry of attitudes and beliefs which direct our lives and give us fears or hope or joy of living. This story is to show us how dependant we are on our vision of the situation and our life.
I am on a gray land right now, at the point where I think I am healthy and doctors and my family think that I am ill. No one can say now who is right. No one can predict what will happened.
It all begun in1993 when I had a benign fibroma operated and taken out from my left breast. I probably did not need to have an operation, but as we all taught to think it is safer to take out any tumour whether malignant or benign I did it. It was an easy operation and I did not stay in the hospital. Rather like dental appointment - you go home as soon as it is done. You feel sore for a while but quickly forget about it.
After that I moved to another country, get married, took part in many exhibitions, bought with my husband a first flat in our life, worked, had a first child in quite an old age. And here, after I stopped breastfeeding, I found another lump in the same breast. It was tasted by cork biopsy and found benign. And now instead of operating it I was placed under regular control where my breast should been checked out every half of year.
Then a new blow strikes - my husband died from cancer in three month and for me “The Great Depression” started. I fell in the black hole. I was permanently tired. I was suicidal and was permanently afraid for my son (who was 1,5 y.o. when my husband died) being left with no parents and no relatives around him. I had a counselling for a year and was sent to psychotherapy which I waited for two years to get. During this time I was told that the lump in my breast disappeared. I started to do some art in my son’s school where they have a parent’s room with different activities for parents. That had really changed my condition and gave some meaning to my life again. When I felt that it is something I can do and want to do I went further and started printmaking and painting which, working as an artist for all my life, I have never done before. From my previous experience I new that when you are low to start to learn something new is a safety jacket.
So, when I finally got a psychotherapist, I was much better emotionally, but still permanently tired. I was lucky to have as a psychotherapist Ellie Baker who I have seen in one of the “Body, Mind and Spirit” Festival where I went to every year since my husband’s death in1998 trying to find a solution to my tiredness, to my unhappiness and my depression. Probably, I should say more about this festival. I was interested in mystique traditions from my very youth but never actually met anyone significant in this area. Back in Russia all this information was prohibited at the time I lived there. And we did not have much choice but to read books translated and typed illegally. When I emigrated first to America and later to England I have never had enough money to develop my interest. Now, when I discovered this festival, I could have had a “taste” of some traditions or practices and see some people who are very famous in their field.
I started with Denise Linn with her workshop on past lives. After this workshop I have bought her tape and started to do these regressions by myself. It was interesting, but I had kind of protection software in my mind. Whenever I would have come to an unpleasant scene, it would switch off the vision. Sometimes I would have a knowledge of what happened, sometimes - not. Here, for example, I have seen a wired fence of a concentration camp and was turned off immediately without knowing what camp it is exactly. Whether it is a russian working camp as I thought at first or german concentration camp which was the case as I found later. Mach later it will proved to be a very strong influence left on me from my latest past life which ended in german concentration camp during the Second World War. In all these regressions I was never involved emotionally and was just like watching the movie. In all these meditations I was changing the bad memories whenever I came across it. I was very doubtful at the beginning as most of western people would, but images I have seen during these regressions were very unexpected and unpredictbl - not the stories I would create myself to feel being interesting and important. And also I thought that it is does not matter if it is happened in reality or not. I decided that if my mind producing these disturbing images then it will do no harm to change them for a happier ones. So, I was working on cleaning my past lives and feeling a bit better, but it was not enough.
On the next festival I have met Coby Zvikler with his EM-power therapy and EM-power disc. Coby Zvikler is a natural born healer who found that he can store energy and information in some metals. That gave him an idea to program small discs of aluminium so that people can use them and heal themself. Again, I was very cautions and doubtful but idea sounded very logical and I decided to give it a try. There are special programs of commands for different problems and I started with a first general wellbeing program. And then I continued with a program called “Healing The Inner Child” which was extremely powerful for me. And again it was good up to some point where I stopped as I could not go any further like being stopped by an invisible wall.
Anyway, even I could not make dramatic changes I was feeling much better and was doing some work and participated in some exhibitions and thought that everything is coming back to normal and I am just getting too fat and too old. I did not pay attention to the fact that my only pleasure was food that I did not move except for the necessary movements to and from my son’s school, that my fears become even stronger and, as it seems, I had much more of them.
Somewhere at this point I decided to get to an art college for an AM and applied for two of them: Royal Academy School and Slade School of Art. Which were the best schools as I thought in art education. I was rejected by both and when I came for their graduation show I did not see any post graduate who was older then 26years old. And here I was turning 49 that year and needing to make a new life for me after my husband death and having absolutely no hope and no future. This 49th birthday was an absolute nightmare. I usually like my birthdays and think that is the best day to be born in ( no offense to all other day’s birthdays).But this 49th was a beginning of the end. I remember thinking when I was 19 or 20 that nobody should live longer then 50 y.o. And these who do not die before that age should kill themself as life in old age does not have any meaning. So, for me being 49 was a threshold to death. Even now, when I write this, two years later, I feel almost sick.
Aha! Got you! - I am still afraid of death. After more then a year of dealing with it. So, what do I do in such cases? I go to my consciousness and ask the wise guy I met there ‘’What is death?” and he answers “It is expansion, widening, freeing oneself” “Why I am afraid of it then?” I ask again and his answer hit me hard - “You are not afraid of death, you are afraid of life. You think that life is a receiving of good things and afraid that when you are old you would not have them (not that I had much in my youth) but life is not just receiving - it is giving, not having, but doing.You feel life only when you are doing something.” Hard to admit but it sounds true. For all my life I was waiting for something good to happen and now I think that have not done anything I could have done in this time.
Returning to the story. Somewhere in May, 2001, when I started working with Ellie Baker, she recommended to me to keep journal. So, now I can have everything at my hand because since May 2001 I faithfully followed that advice. Now when I read it I am shocked how tired and frustrated I was at this time. Every day there was an entree saying: “Extremely tired. Barely alive.” As Ellie Baker told me, it is not surprising for a single mother of a small child to be tired, especially with the fact that I did not sleep a single night until my son was 5y.o. because he woke up a few times at night and checked up on me. But it was more then just physical exhaustion. I was trying to change something in my life - to find way to have some income through real estate or through selling paintings of my late husband but did not have any success. With real estate I was actually frightened to go ahead as September 11 happened and I, as probably everyone, was afraid of the beginning of a new war, and probably I just did not have enough energy. At the same time, I had a couple of bureaucratic problems which I had to deal with for almost a year. And worries about my son, who had problems with speech since his father’s death. And with all this - the background of being permanently alone. My creative work, even though going well and being the only way for me to feel good, did not change the overall picture. I felt trapped, with no way to get out of this hole, with no life, no help, no future. In some entries I say that I want to die as I see it as the only way to have some rest. In there I see death as a sleep. A long one. At that time a bird flew into my room and I was really frightened because in Russia this is a sign that it is going to be a death in this house. I remember that this already happened before and the first time it was my husband who was frightened. I was not then, but I was now.
At that time I started to look for some spiritual contacts. Because, since my husband’s death, I felt suffocated without any spiritual friends. And in situations as mine you need possibility to disconnect with close view at the problems and take a look at life from the other point of view.
The first meeting I had was with people from organisation called “Fellowship of Friends of the Forth Way”. My need for spiritual food was so strong that I went for considerable trouble to ensure it. I let strangers to live in my flat in exchange for babysitting for two evenings a week. That was hard decision for me as I had only two bedroom flat and having someone living in one of them left me in one room and actually in one bed with my son. And that means even less possibilities of having time for myself only. But I was glad of being out of the house. And hoped for intelligent communications and spiritual development.
Fourth Way is a name of spiritual practice developed by Georgy Gurdjieff in the beginning of the 20th century. Gurdjieff travelled intensively on the East and learned with masters of different traditions, living in monasteries and travelling across desert and mountains to meet some dervishes and wise men. He developed his own system which was based on these studies. He classified all practices in groups with one he called a Fakir’s Way - way of development of a man through his physical body, Monk’s Way - way of development through emotional body, Yogy’s Way- development through mental body (in this case he ment radja yoga, as hatha yoga will give you a fakir’s way of development ). His teaching he called The Fourth Way as he said a person needs to develop all three bodies and integrate them in one being. One is his other postulates, if I can use this word, that person has many “I”s and each of this “I”s wants something different. They change each other in absolutely unpredictbl manner and person usually does not notice that even when they wishes contradict each other. Again persons should see it in themselfs and find the way to the real thing in them which Gurdjieff called it “essence”. I am telling all this because as you will see later it is very important in my story. I was very interested in Gurdjieff teaching when I was younger and lived in Russia. At that time In Russia everything was prohibited and we did not have any teachers in this tradition. But, because Gurdjieff after the Revolution left Russia and organised Institute of Man’s Development in France, he was very well known in the West with many followers some of whom were very famous people. His principle disciple was P.D.Ouspensky who wrote number of books with explanations of The Forth Way and Gurdjieff’s method. At later time he separated from Gurdjieff and become a teacher in his own right. One of the students of his students was Robert E. Burton who organised a huge organisation called “Fellowship of Friends of Fourth Way” which spread worldwide with a big centre in California.
So, I started my trial period and was quite happy because I really liked all the people there and expected that things will start moving for me. But in a couple of weeks I was restless as I did not find the intensity of work which I expected from reading Gurdjieff’s and Ouspensky’s books. Also, I was not convinced by they teacher Robert Burton who’s love for excessive luxury subsidised by his students and also quite restricted view on art with singling out just ancient greek art and culture which as I understand supported his sexual interests was the sours of my permanent distress. The way it was accepted by his students reminded me Soviet Russia where all the party members took any leaders’ words without any criticism. But in Russia it was matter of surviving. Here it is just a matter of faith. And I do not want to take things just on faith. I do not know how I would reacted at the situation now after all this time of working with my anger and problems.May be I would be more tolerant because I really liked people there, but then I was not satisfied and I was frustrated for not having my questions answered. So I left. And found another group which worked in tradition of Gurdjieff’s teaching.
This group was more practical with meditations and analysing all student’s experiences and lectures on different aspects of teaching and even personal homework. The problem as I think with this group is that they do not have a teacher. There are leaders there who a more developed then others but they could not be called teachers on they own right. But I liked to be there and I stayed with this group up to the changing events.
The whole of 2001 I was working hard doing printmaking, painting, working on my self with psychotherapist, going to Gurdjieff’s school as I called it, looking after my son, trying to find another property to move to another place and so on. But at some point the tiredness took over. From the middle of December I did not want to do anything and that was very strange to me as I usually pushed myself to do more and more, to be active, to be “normal”. I felt like a blank empty space fall on me. I cancelled my painting classes, and I would come to print making studio (which I still attended thinking that it is more promising), do nothing and I would tell everybody that I, probably, going through late middle life crisis. And I was very surprised that people were very sympathetic and comforting. Then I asked myself why I do not want to do anything, and the answer I’ve got was a bit of a shock. “I will not do anything until something good will happened to me” full stop.
2006-01-03 01:11 pm
Пусть Новый Год даст нам всем только хорошее. Совершенно верю в то, что позитивом можно справиться со всем – только трудно набраться позитива! Так что прежде всего позитива и желаю!!!!
Warm wishes in New Year!!!!
2006-01-03 01:50 pm
И тебя с Новым Годом! Если сопоставить жизнь и фотографию, то увидишь, что хороший позитив получается из хорошего негатива. Делай выводы какие хочешь... Всех благ.
2006-01-04 01:14 pm
Не то чтобы я с этим спорил – но вот цифровая фотография (digital photo) вообще не нуждается в негативе! Может быть, это как бы косвенное указание нам, что пора переходить к чистому (ну, или почти чистому) позитиву?
All the best!
2006-01-06 08:02 pm
Ты прав, конечно, но для етого( не могу найти е обратное) нужно перейти на другой информационный уровень. И давно пора.
2006-01-16 02:18 pm
Дык... перейти, натурально, нелегко, всякая-разная побочная информация крутится и мешает. Но я стараюсь видеть зло как низшую степень добра – в натуре, стараюсь!
2006-01-16 02:40 pm
Привет, Раф, рада, что ты вернулся.
2006-01-16 02:55 pm
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