Sunday, September 20, 2009

Imagination & Visionaries Part Three

Bernadette, a poor peasant girl, was a good Catholic and when the "Lady" appeared she instantly took out her rosary and knelt before her. The "Lady" nodded approval and took up her own rosary that hung over her right arm. Bernadette found her own arm was paralyzed when she lifted her hand to her forehead to begin her rosary, and could only start after the Lady or BVM had crossed herself. As Patrick Harpur points out in Daimonic Reality, the effect of being paralyzed completely or only a part of the body is a frequent effect of "daimonic" or otherwordly experiences: "There are several elements in classic BVM visions which show continuity with earlier pagan traditions and overlap with other non-Christian visions. Apparitions of the Virgin often take place in association with water-curiously, there is frequently rain about-and more particularly with springs. During her ninth visit at the grotto, Bernadette was told by the Lady to "drink from the fountain and bathe in it." There was no such thing; but, undaunted, the girl began to scratch at the ground, and sure enough, a pool formed, later overflowing to become the famous healing waters of Lourdes."

A bit later in Daimonic Reality Harpur talks about some elemental themes to these sightings: "In this respect the BVM shows an affinity with the classical nymphs who haunt, or better perhaps, represent the spirit of a spring or stream. Tribal societies acknowledge such nature spirits, and they live on, Christianized, in the shrines which are dedicated to the Virgin Mary at sacred springs and holy wells all over Catholic Europe. Similarly, pagan cultures have always held that certain trees are sacred, inhabited by a female numen and so we might expect Christian versions, Virgin Marys, to appear in connection with particular trees." The most famous BVM or Marian encounter in history took place near a tree. The date was 13 May 1917 and the place was Cova da Iria near Fatima, Portugal. From Daimonic Reality: ...three children were tending sheep...when a brilliant flash of light appeared out of a clear blue sky. Fearing a storm, they began to gather up their sheep and head for shelter when a second flash of light rooted them to the spot. Above the branches of a small holm oak tree there appeared "the most beautiful lady they had ever seen." She was "all in white," more brilliant than the sun, shedding rays of light." The BVM in this case told them to return every month to the same spot. The fame of Fatima grew and on 13 August there were 18,000 people at the site. A clap of thunder was followed by a bright flash of light. A white mist then began forming around the tree. It stayed for a few minutes, then rose and vanished. The clouds in the sky turned crimson red, and then changed to pink, yellow and blue, "colored light like a rainbow on the ground; clouds around the sun relflecting different colors on the people."

Richard Grossinger in Waiting for the Martian Express, describes some more of the events: "The witnesses saw 'falling flowers,' the famous phenomenon of 'angel hair' so consistently reported after the passage of a UFO, and sometimes interpreted as an ionization effect. One man, Manuel Pedro Marto, reported seeing clearly a luminous globe spinning through the clouds..." At subsequent visitations through October 13, the crowd gradually swelled to seventy thousand; there were flashes of light, a sudden end to heavy rain, rainbow-colored disks that doused the throng in lights, sweet aromas, spontaneous healings, the manifestation of a "Lady" who introduced herself as the Angel of Peace, then the delivery of a communique to be read in 1960. Vallee adds: "A man whose word I trust received an interesting report from one of the Pope's secretaries, who introduced the highest men in the Church into the prescence of John XXIII for the opening of the secret part of the Fatima prophecy in 1960. Although the solemn event took place behind closed doors, the secretary had the opportunity to see the cardinals as the left the Pope's office; they had a look of deep horror on their faces. He got up from behind his desk and tried to speak to one of them whom he knew intimately, but the prelate gently pushed him aside and walked on with the expression of someone who has seen a ghost." To be continued...


X. Dell said...

I'm wondering if you have heard of the late Dr. R.D. Laing, a Scottish psychiatrist (MD) who developed a theory of mental illness that characterizes it as a transformative experience, a repair, of sorts, for psychic or societal injuries as they occur.

Devin said...

You know Xdell I have been meaning to go to the link about him ever since you mentioned him on a previous post-I am writing down to do it now-if my 40s are any indicattion of what my memory will be like I am gonna be down to zero memory in 10 years time!! I have written down to look him up and thanks again for commenting and the heads up-I hope other folks see this also-best to you as always!!