Last week I met up with a friend at Stowe Gardens. It was a beautiful, sunny day. We meet to talk about how things are going with each of us. It could be called co-counselling, but it felt like a good catch-up conversation. Things are going well for both of us. One of the highlights was watching the lambs play and then a stampede of the whole flock at feeding time, with ewes and lambs bleating loudly as they ran!
We talked about near-death experiences, because of the books my friend has been reading. What basis is there for thinking that consciousness is not simply located in the brain? The stories recorded by a Swedish cardiologist included accurate descriptions of surgical procedures told by the patient after recovering from apparent ‘brain death’. Many accounts include identical experiences of ‘journeys’ towards the light, of the whole of life recalled, and yet there was no sign of any brain activity. The consultant linked these phenomena to quantum physics and the brain, and suggested that perhaps consciousness is not located ‘locally’. Is this evidence for Jung’s collective consciousness? I found myself sceptical, but my friend believes!
On the allotment it was time to harvest the first rhubarb – there was loads! Three bags full, which took hours to chop, with some going into the freezer, some to make jam, some for crumble and some to give away! It will not be long before there is more! It is amazing how it grows so quickly from apparently nothing at all. It is the same with the seeds I have sown in pots in the conservatory which have germinated and are thriving. It has been a very pleasant surprise how many have grown.
There have been two meetings this week which have also been pleasant surprises. One was a bible study looking at Paul’s letters to the church in Corinth. As usual there was a wide variety of responses among the group of Friends. My own reaction was, to my surprise of appreciation for Paul’s passionate love for the church folk in Corinth. Clearly the relationship was not always easy, but the letters Paul wrote were full of advice and heartfelt concern. As in this sentence, “For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you.” 2 Corinthians 2:4.
The other meeting was to ‘thresh’ ideas for the future of the local Quaker Meeting. This produced lots of insights, hopes and dreams as well as practical things that could be done. In just three-quarters of an hour it was surprisingly productive.
This week also marked the deadline for two essays, marking the end of term. I wait to see if the marks are a pleasant surprise, or not!