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My Lilith

To: alt.magick.tyagi
From: paghat@netscapeSPAM-ME-NOT.net (paghat)
Subject: My Lilith
Date: Sun, 02 Nov 2003 10:37:00 -0800

Very many years ago I became ill with "reactive asthma" though never in my life
until then had I been asthmatic. A family doctor could not figure out the
cause of it. After two months of unebbing respiratory distress, it turned
to pneumonia. If I'd had medical coverage I would've been hospitalized
instantly, but as I had none, the doctor gave me a passle of free
medications, told me to go home, breathe steam, drink liquids,  stay in
bed, "and pray you don't die."  His exact phrase, pray you don't die. I
hope Canadians are grateful they don't have a pay-as-you-go, or drop dead,
medical system.

With medical coverage I might've been sick for a few weeks; as it was, I
was sick for eight months, a relentless illness that for most of that time
left me so weak & bedridden I had to crawl to the bathroom resting in
stages. Sometimes I coughed so hard I broke ribs. The primary relationship
I had at the time came to an end over it; we stayed together until I was
finally well, but by then, the light had gone out, month after month of a
sick hacking bedridden invalid is just not sexy. 

The medications I was given had a caffeine-like effect so I'd go two or
three days at a stretch without sleep, then have cool hallucinations &
mystical insights & visitations, which was the only good part about
getting so sick. In the depth of the night I'd be visited by a Lilith
who'd recite mystical poetry to me, then I'd nod off & have erotic dreams
about (or experiences with) the Lilith. Or I'd sit up in a half-dream
state with pads of papers writing as fast as I could the "lessons" that
were being given to me by the Lilith at the foot of my bed. I was
desperate to write down everything She told me, as I knew like all dreams
I would not otherwise ever be able to remember any of it. After weeks of
her visits & my scribblings, a huge pile of nearly illegible notes had
been thrown on the closet floor off the side of the bed. When months later
I was well, I organized the notes into a text called The Book of Water.

It's surprisingly good, & it started me on a series of kabbalistic
studies, & one rabbi insisted my experience was real, that it was real
even if it wasn't real, that  even if I could explain it without embracing
the supernatural, that didn't stop it from being real. Well, I like that
the rabbi thought it was real, but I can't overlook the fact that sleep
deprivation, powerful prescription drugs, & oxygen deprivation from barely
being able to breathe, would cause ANYone to hallucinate.

 Curiously some of the stuff recited to me turned out to be paraphrases of
wisdom literature as from Ben Sirach, 4th Ezra, Baruch, the Wisdom of
Solomon, even the Book of Job, most of which except Job I could not really
recall ever having read, but I must've read it all & forgotten it, but it
was wiggling around in my subconscious. "Sarah that gives her milk to all
nations and sustains angels is the mirror of Shaddai the Breasted One.
Rejoice, O Mother, with your children, because I will deliver you & all
your children that sleep in the hiding place of the earth," & so on ad
infinitum. I swear I never knew that "Shad" means "Breast"  or that the
usual translation of Shaddai is very questionable & it could indeed mean
Breasted One -- so it'd be very easy to believe I had a real connection to
another world if I was inclined to believe in such stuff; but when people
believe they were kidnapped by flying saucers, I know it's the same thing,
the human imagination & subconscious can really fire up the hallucinating
senses, & I'm just glad my psche dreamed up an illuminating Lilith for me
instead of butt-probing little grey aliens from outer space.

I also found some of the Lilith's lessons as paraphrases from the Holy
Zohar of Saphed, which I most certainly never had read before these
experiences, but that also is explainable as there's a certain uniformity
to this variety of hallucinatory experience that cross cultural boundaries
& can be found in kabbalistic, sufi, saktist, & even catholic mystic
writings pretty similar at all parts of the globe.  I feel that I now know
how the desert mystics had such cool supernatural experiences -- they'd
ruin their health scourging themselves or dehydrating in the sun until
God came to say howdy. Hagar with her angel-encounters in the
desert had gone long without food or water before angels appeared; 
so too St. Mary the Egyptian had experiences following extremist
aescetic practices, or the montanist Maximilla claimed Jesus in the
female form of Sophia did the nasty with her in a bridal tent, though
the Faith she helped to found used psychoactive drugs & booze to
"activate" such prophetic abilities.

That my visitant was a beautiful & helpful demoness is psychologically
sound for my personality, but in the rabbinical explanation, Lilith is the
first rung of Jacob's Ladder, a light-bringer who assists or destroys in
accordance with individual merit & God's will, & is one & the same with
the Divine Shekhinah. And by gum I'd truly love to have those magical
experiences again if I could do it without having to be so damned ill &
sleep-deprivated that I could at any moment drop dead. 

When I finally saw an asthma specialist he told me things I had certainly
learned by then, "Asthma sounds like an unimportant illness to most people
& even general practitioners don't take it seriously enough. People drop
dead from asthma very easily, and you shouldn't have been permitted to go
through this for this long." This doctor tried really hard in my behalf &
at least got me beyond the pneumonia. Skin-prick tests were done that were
inconclusive though it was suggested I was responding to dustmites & mold
& should consider moving to another residence that didn't have carpetting,
not that that was any guarantee to help.

On my own I did figure out what it was. I'd have particularly devastating
attacks after feeding a pet lizard mealworms.  I suddenly got well a week
after the lizard died. I also kept (and still keep) salamanders, but they
eat earthworms & crickets, to which I have no allergic response. 
A couple of times, just to "make sure" of what it was,
I got mealworms for the salamanders even though that's not ideal
food for them, & I would have a severe asthmatic attack immediately. I've
acquired a very great fear of mealworms in consequence of that long
illness, but also a very great fondness for Lilith.

After I learned to avoid mealworms or risk my life, I've never had a
recurrence of such extreme lung distress, but I also had to give up my 
poetically hallucinatory access to Jacob's Ladder.

-paghat the ratgirl

-- 
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
   -from Peter Newell's "Wild Flowers"
See the Garden of Paghat the Ratgirl: http://www.paghat.com/

-- 
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
   -from Peter Newell's "Wild Flowers"
See the Garden of Paghat the Ratgirl: http://www.paghat.com/

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