On Alzheimer’s and Being Together

WHEN: November 5, 2015 Afternoon Open Mic

Questioners at two different meetings ask John about being with a loved one who is in mental decline. What’s happening, and how can we still meet and be together?

November 5, 2015 New York USA

Q: My father died of Alzheimer’s. There was a beautiful simplicity in our relationship towards the end, but where he was going, why and how were all confusing to me. Could you address mental decline and this journey towards being? He had no sense of being or meaning; he just melted away and it seemed so inhuman.

John: When you degenerate from within your own brain, you don’t degenerate, but you lose your capacity to communicate and to function. What really becomes manifest in you as awareness when you degenerate from within your brain or your body is your orientation as awareness. What becomes manifest is what you’re being. 

When someone’s in that kind of decline, all of the coverings are removed and you see what’s really there of what they have been and what they are being.

Q: It’s true: we did have some amazing being-to-being communication. As I get older, the thought of ‘losing it’ scares me too, so it’s comforting to remember this. Thank you.

John: When someone degenerates in their mental capacity there’s going to be either a softening or a hardening. Whichever way awareness is actually moving is going to really show, because the capacity to cover what’s there is removed. 

In that way, it’s also similar to returning to being like a very small child. When there’s a hardening within a very small child, there isn’t anything that covers it. It comes straight out as it is, and when there’s a softening there isn’t anything that covers it. The beauty of it, the delicacy of it, comes straight out as it is.

****

June 1, 2019 Moen, Denmark 

Q:  My mother has Alzheimer’s and in many ways is ‘gone’ into her world. My dad is taking care of her. I’m soon going to visit them for a while. Apart from really enjoying being with them, is there anything else I need to do while I’m with them?

John: While you’re with her, leave alone being her daughter. She keeps forgetting. Instead, go right into being her love. She’ll relate to that without any need of memory.

Q: My father is very shy. He’s a really good man and it’s a little difficult just to relate on a deeper level with him. I’m guessing it’s just okay to be with him as is. Do you have any other recommendations?

John: Be with him as is but don’t relate to him as is. Relate to him directly, despite what is. Enjoy being with him regardless of what his self is like, so you’re seeing right through everything into the real, and that’s all you’re relating to. You’re enjoying the real.

It’s like enjoying being with someone without any mind to the clothing they wear. It doesn’t matter what they wear: you’re not distracted by this kind of clothing or that kind of clothing.

 

 

 

 

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