Nemo – “Ennead I” by Plotinus (7)‏

Date: Sun, 3 Mar 2013 21:45:49 +0000
To: Richibi’s Weblog
Subject: [New comment] “Ennead I” by Plotinus.

To apply Plotinus’ theory of memory to Alzheimer, and answer your earlier question. The disease damaged the first component of memory, i.e., our memory storage facility, but it leaves the second and third components intact, where “we” are most active. People afflicted with Alzheimer are no less human than the rest, because they still have their thoughts, emotions, desires, judgment and will.

To use analogy, I’d liken living with Alzheimer to walking on the beach. Our memory is like the footprints we leave in the sand, which are constantly washed away by the waves, but the lack of footprints doesn’t prevent us from continue walking/living

I have no doubt that there is a soul, a human
entity, behind even a vegetative living being,
Nemo, let me tell you a story, I worked for
years in a palliative care unit as a volunteer
after the death of my beloved, who had died
there in one of their first units in the late 80s,
it was my way of saying thank you
a woman there lay in extremis, making no
sense of the fray that stirred ceaselessly
about her, her family distraught over her
perilous state fussing and worrying,
helpless and trying to find nevertheless
purpose midst unfamiliar and stressful
feelings, awash in their stray, unsettled, 
their senior member, an actual pastor,
asked if I would sit by their mother’s side
while they all took a necessary break for
lunch, of course I immediately acceded,
that’s what I was there for    
gently I sat by her side, I had found
solace in a particular Oriental esoteric
faith meanwhile for my own debilitating
anguish, which had bequeathed me a
chant that would settle often and with
reverence my most aggrieved moments,
little by little it had rendered
acknowledgment, resolve, and, dare I
say, even grace, to my distress 
I began to murmur this chant as I lay my
hand upon her arm, she all aflutter from
her chronic delirium trying to find,
hopelessly it appeared, a place to settle,
I could only with my touch console
somewhat, I wistfully imagined
in my monotone I continued to issue
the palliative vowel sounds, surrounding
them with as much compassion and
gentle harmony as I could muster,
knowing that these must reach the soul,
something I had been discovering from
my own fraught experience
her body began to settle, there was no
question of reaching her mind, any kind
of intelligible conversation, but you do
that also with a very young child, and like
a very young child she continued to
to my chant, which had been like a river
flowing, constant and murmuring, finding
the most soothing paths of a trickling 
rhythm, she began to harmonize
row, row, row, your boat, she began
to sing, haltingly of course, at first
tentatively, but then with more and
more, though ever reliant, confidence
I believe that God had been talking 
there to all of us, I turned to see the
family standing in the doorway, still
and hushed
where, Nemo, does that leave philosophy
therefore Proust