Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Angels in God's realm

I just don't have much motivation these days. It's way too hot. I drag myself into work early and leave early as the office isn't air conditioned. When I get home Chris and I drive down to the lake and jump in. We paddle around for a while before driving home and preparing a light meal.

Progress report on Chris: We are in a holding pattern. Chris does lots of volunteer work, such as working at the soup kitchen once a month on Saturday morning. He likes to cook and the food looks good on a plate. He is precise, punctual, thorough, and you can be sure if you ask him to do something, he will do the job well. Last Sunday he filled in for me as an usher at church. His once a week voice lessons are over for the summer and will resume again in Sept. He's reading lots of intellectually challenging books. He also reads the Bible everyday. He is very slowly reducing one of his two meds. But, to speak with him and to observe him from a distance, there is a lag. If you ask him a question, there is a long pause before he answers, if he chooses to answer at all. If you watch him from a distance, you can see that he is hesitant. I used to think this was due the drugs, but I can't blame the drugs for this one. I consider it the physical manifestation of his internal doubts.

Chris has been seeing an occupational therapist for a year now since he left the psych hospital after his relapse. I am trying to be patient with the fact that he seems to be dragging in the area of getting some kind of training, something that will regularly occupy his days. Ian and I have given up on the idea that he will be heading back to university, at least we don't see this happening, if it happens at all, until he is 28 or even 30. We have decided to be philosophical about this because we are determined to be low Expressed Emotion, to give him time to knit together who he is, to come up with his own blueprint. He is being helped in this regard with the sessions with the sound therapist that he undergoes on a regular basis. It takes a long time to go from zero to cruising speed when it comes to personality development.

Still, it would be nice if he got going and had something to occupy his days. He has been talking about a three month computer technician course at a local trades school. I notice that despite professing enthusiasm for this, he manages not to make enrolment a top priority, therefore I am not sure if he will be starting in August or not. Ian and I will be away and it will be up to Chris whether he makes this happen. I feel something in him is holding him back.

Dr. Stern has introduced a new possible and surprising direction for Chris based on the last Constellation that Ian and I undertook where she had been groping to find the right words for his non-earthbound personality characteristics. She feels, in her words, it is "being like a good host for a group of people which might correspond, on a concrete level, to a professional activity in the hotel or tourism business." She recalls his interest in "cooking for the family, for being useful for people, e.g. being helpful for members in the church community, for being a senior student at his college who welcomed first year students, his appeal for high standard places like Grand Hotels, his appeal for being very well dressed, and his interest in learning foreign languages."

On a spiritual calling level Dr. Stern's use of the word "host" is very interesting. Recall that Jung felt that addiction to alcohol (spirits) is a spiritual quest. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia:

The function of the angelic host is expressed by the word "assistance" (Job 1:6; 2:1), and our Lord refers to it as their perpetual occupation (Matthew 18:10). More than once we are told of seven angels whose special function it is thus to "stand before God's throne" (Tobit 12:15; Revelation 8:2-5). The same thought may be intended by "the angel of His presence" (Isaiah 63:9) an expression which also occurs in the pseudo-epigraphical "Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs.

But these glimpses of life beyond the veil are only occasional. The angels of the Bible generally appear in the role of God's messengers to mankind. They are His instruments by whom He communicates His will to men, and in Jacob's vision they are depicted as ascending and descending the ladder which stretches from earth to heaven while the Eternal Father gazes upon the wanderer below.

When it comes to occupation, Ian and I are still getting used to this possible role for Chris. At first we felt that his always being with us, always wanting to help, never asking anything of himself, was a sign of dependency, but I can see now that there is another way of looking at this, in line with my growing understanding that "schizophrenia" is communication of the highest sort.


  1. I would be happy to eat anything Chris cooked.

  2. Diner à deux, Adelaide? He makes dynamite lentils with French mustard and cream. His terrine is to die for.


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