March Ian Barasch: In illness, you’re suddenly not yourself anymore

In illness, you’re suddenly not yourself anymore. The question is: Are you going to cling in panic to some idealized self that no longer exists? Or are you going to cross the threshold and acknowledge that you’re on a journey, though you don’t know to where? You haven’t chosen it, but now you’re different in some way. This is one reason physical illness shows up as a turning point in so many spiritual biographies or as the catalyst of shamanic initiation. It’s a profound shock to the system. It dislodges you. You look in the mirror, and one of the unfortunate ill stares back. But in a way, you could say that disease also abrades away, painfully, all of these superficial ways in which we judge our worthiness, even life’s worthiness. Our worthiness, as in: “Am I strong, beautiful, competent, undamaged goods?” Or life’s worthiness, as in: “Life is good only when it makes me happy, or aggrandizes me, or favors my enterprise.” But who’s bigger, you or life?

by Marc Ian Barasch

2 thoughts to “March Ian Barasch: In illness, you’re suddenly not yourself anymore”

  1. I tried sending you an email from another prompt, so you may get two notes.

    From looking over your content I can see that we have a lot in common. I am very familiar with both western esoteric studies and ever more so eastern ideas. You can Google me “Michael Erlewine.” I also am on Facebook and try to blog there each day, if I can manage it.

    My email is, phone is 231 796 6532. Like yourself, I welcome a response or even an echo from the blogs I put out there. At this point I am all about Tibetan Buddhism and practice but, as mentioned, am familiar with western psychological description as well, at least to some degree. My equivalent of your site is here:

    Best wishes, Michael Erlewine

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