Several years ago my mother passed away of Alzheimer’s after suffering with the disease for more than ten years. The doctors have many theories as to what causes Alzheimer’s but aside from recognizing the general characteristics or symptoms of the disease, with the most common being memory loss. They know little about what the cause is and there is no medical cure at this time.
I am going to share a dream with you that my brother told me shortly after Mom died, after which I will present a little about what we presently know about Alzheimer’s which apparently isn’t much, as it is winning and we are not.
I will talk a little bit about how we as humans work and what the three main systems are that make up who we are. The most revealing aspect of this article will be included there. Three new characters will also appear prior to the close of this article and I will close it with the interpretation of the dream.
My brother shared with me shortly after our Mother’s death that he dreamt that he had gone looking for her out of concern because he had not seen her for a while. He says that while he waited for her outside a gate he thought that he saw her in the distance but there was a herd of elk in front of her intentionally obstructing his view of her as she attempted to get out. He says that finally she was able to get around the elk and through the gate.
Once exiting the gate, he says that she turned to her right and entered onto and climbed some stairs. Now I will come back to this dream and the likely meaning of it after I develop my theory about what causes Alzheimer’s.
Where did the name, Alzheimer’s come from
Sometimes called Alzheimer disease or Alzheimer’s the origin of the term dates back to 1906 when Dr. Alois Alzheimer, a German physician presented a case history before a medical meeting about a 51-year-old female who suffered from a rare brain disorder.
What is Alzheimer’s
Wikipedia says that Alzheimer’s accounts for 60% to 70% of cases of dementia. It is a Neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and gets worse over time. The disease and its cause is poorly understood with professionals hypothesizing such factors as genetics, head injuries, depression, hypertension, plaques and tangles in the brain and several other possible causes that run the gambit. The diagnosis processes include such things as medical imaging and blood tests.
A most interesting observation of note
One extremely interesting observation is that individuals who maintain active lifestyles and engage in activities that demands exercising of the brain have a lower incidence of Alzheimer. It appears that this is across the board and points to a need for strenuous medical mandates for maturing people to become active participants in brain challenging activities such as playing board games, playing musical instruments and learning a second language. Diet and regular social interactions are also mentioned in the Wikipedia piece.
The process or stages of Alzheimer’s include pre-dementia, early, moderate and advanced memory loss. The patient goes from occasionally forgetting things to progressing to becoming completely dependent on caregivers and being unable to perform any task. They become bedridden and unable to feed themselves. They lose bodily functions and eventually die.
The three of us and a look at how we work
The bible tells us that we (humans) are tripartite individuals. You will find this in the book of Genesis chapter two, initially where we are told that “the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul”. You see, the dust is what we now see as our bodies, the breath given is what we (many of us) now know to be our human spirits and the joining of the two caused us to become individuals commonly referred to as souls or perhaps, persons. So, while we see ourselves as individuals, the truth is that we are actually three-in-one creations (sounds familiar, huh); spirit, soul and body. The body, while generally directed by the mind (the mind is an attribute of the soul) seems to have a mind all its own and one that is bent on its own destruction; see Romans 8:13. Our soul is that place in us where volition (our will) resides. Other attributes of the soul are thought to be the mind, the intellect and others.
Contemporary secular society (and dictionary.com) portrays the soul and the spirit as being pretty much the same and refers to it (them) as the immaterial part of man. It gives several options as definitions. I found definitions for spirit and soul in more than one dictionary to be disturbing in terms of its content.
I reiterate, as per the bible, we are tripartite beings. We are spirit, we have a soul and we live in a body. Here is another scripture; 1 Thessalonians 5:23 “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The concept of the spirit of man is disturbingly neglected in the secular world and probably to a great extent even in the church. Contemporary professionals (psychologist and psychiatrist etc.) commonly referred to the spirit of man as The Subconscious Mind.
More about The Subconscious Mind – so who is this guy and how does he work
The term The Subconscious Mind was coined about 150 years ago when the psychologists, psychiatrists and the like needed a name for this system that obviously transcended or undergirded the easily contacted conscious mind. Napoleon Hill in his book, THINK AND GROW RICH says this about The Subconscious Mind; “The subconscious mind consists of a field of consciousness, in which every impulse of thought that reaches the objective mind through any of the five senses, is classified and recorded, and from which thoughts may be recalled or withdrawn as a letter may be taken from a filing cabinet”.
He goes on to say that “plans, thoughts or purposes may be voluntarily planted into the subconscious mind and that the subconscious mind works day and night and sometimes draws upon the forces of Infinite Intelligence for power with which it transmutes one’s desires into their physical equivalent and always through the most practical media available”.
As I previously mentioned, the subconscious mind as we have been taught is a name that the mind and behavior professionals gave a human system that they didn’t fully understand but whose presence is obvious. They have determined that this system is a vast reservoir of all memory and that it stores everything that one is exposed to from all stimuli and by all the senses. It is like a great motor working day and night, sorting information. It is constantly building and creating based on the information that it has received causing ones’ thoughts, verbal commands and imagination to become manifest. It essentially evaluates all the information that it receives, whether it be by default because we didn’t bother to check (evaluate) the information at the gate (the mind) or by auto-suggestion which is basically self-programing.
Brian Tracey says this about The Subconscious Mind: “Your conscious mind commands and your subconscious mind obeys. Your subconscious mind is an unquestioning servant that works day and night to make your behavior fits a pattern consistent with your emotionalized thoughts, hopes, and desires. Your subconscious mind grows either flowers or weeds in the garden of your life, whichever you plant by the mental equivalents you create. Your subconscious mind has what is called a homeostatic impulse. It keeps your body temperature at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, just as it keeps you breathing regularly and keeps your heart beating at a certain rate. Through your autonomic nervous system, it maintains a balance among the hundreds of chemicals in your billions of cells so that your entire physical machine functions in complete harmony most of the time. Your subconscious mind also practices homeostasis in your mental realm, by keeping you thinking and acting in a manner consistent with what you have done and said in the past. All your habits of thinking and acting are stored in your subconscious mind. It has memorized all your comfort zones and it works to keep you in them.”
Watch Nee (who is in my opinion is the greatest known authority on the spirit of man aside from the bible itself) says this in his book The Spiritual Man; “Spirit, Soul and Body The ordinary concept of the constitution of human beings is dualistic-soul and body. According to this concept soul is the invisible inner spiritual part, while body is the visible outer corporal part. Though there is some truth to this, it is nevertheless inaccurate. Such an opinion comes from fallen man, not from God; apart from God’s revelation, no concept is dependable. That the body is man’s outward sheath is undoubtedly correct, but the Bible never confuses spirit and soul as though they are the same. Not only are they different in terms; their very natures differ from each other. The Word of God does not divide man into the two parts of soul and body. It treats man, rather, as tripartite-spirit, soul and body. 1 Thessalonians 5.23 reads: “May the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This verse precisely shows that the whole man is divided into three parts. The Apostle Paul refers here to the complete sanctification of believers, “sanctify you wholly.” According to the Apostle, how is a person wholly sanctified? By his spirit and soul and body being kept. From this we can easily understand that the whole person comprises these three parts. This verse also makes a distinction between spirit and soul; otherwise, Paul would have said simply “your soul.” Since God has distinguished the human spirit from the human soul, we conclude that man is composed of not two, but three, parts: spirit, soul and body.”
Finally Regarding The So Called Subconscious Mind
Clearly what has been referred to as The Subconscious Mind is in actuality The Spirit of Man. Watchman Nee says many, many words about the spirit. I do feel lead to point out that he speaks about three important attributes of the spirit, namely intuition (spiritual sensing), conscience (preforms the task of correcting and reprimanding us) and communion. Communion speaks to the human spirit and the Spirit of God interacting with each other.
The Promised Three New Characters Revealed
As I close this article, I suppose that what I wish to impress upon those reading it is the importance of understanding that there are three components to our make up as humans and that we should recognize who they are and how we must manage them. The most important part (person) of our makeup is our human spirit and do understand that that is who he is and not the so called subconscious mind. He is that part of us who communes/interacts with God (The Holy Spirit actually our second character). The final character that is important to note in the presentation is the devil. The bible tell us that he comes but to steal, kill and destroy. I believe that he has targeted many folks to destroy and kill via Alzheimer disease.
What Causes Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s is a disconnect between the conscious mind (brain) and the spirit of man (the seat of his memory). This disconnect happens when the interaction between the mind and the spirit breaks down. Such a breakdown is likely to occur where one has limited day to day thought provoking activity. The spirit relies on the mind for ongoing assignments and absent these assignments the communication connection is damaged. The resulting passiveness of the mind gives the devil an excellent opportunity to further corrupt the relationship between the soul and spirit. Watchman Nee says this; “The mind suffers the onslaughts of the powers of darkness more than any other organ of the whole man. We should realize that satanic spirits are directing special attention to our minds and are attacking them unrelentingly-as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning”.
What’s The Answer
Exercising of the mind, just as one exercise his body appears to be one common sense action. Feeding to the mind a diet of positive and active mental food is yet another strategy. The bible tells us to think on things that are just, pure, lovely, honest, true, of good report, things of virtue and things that are praise worthy. Further, the bible tells us to judge every thought; this is an extremely important point. Daily biblically based recitals, I think, is an excellent idea. There is one bible verse that says that God has given us a sound mind.
Consciously resisting negative thoughts is recommended. Think of your mind as having an open door and that someone should be there at all times to only let in that which is good. All else should be turned away.
About that dream
The elk in the dream represents the devil and the obstructed state of mom represents the disconnect between where she was (behind the gate) and where she wanted to be (out of the gate). The eventual exiting out of the gate and up the stairs represents her passing away and ascending into heaven. Death is currently the only cure for Alzheimer’s.