Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Little About The Book and Down Syndrome

A Natural Choice

It may be normal, darling, but I’d rather be natural.

Truman Capote wrote that thought in his book, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The difference between normal and natural could be a matter of debate, but physical life is measured in normal not naturals, especially when it comes to human expression.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention one in every thirty-three babies is born with some sort of birth defect. The CDC also reports 1 in every 691 babies is born with Down syndrome. That means almost 7,000 babies are born every year with Trisomy 21, and we label them Down syndrome babies.

Over 350,000 people in the Unites States are living with Down syndrome and since they don’t fit into the norm we call ‘acceptable’ we label them disabled. Disabled means a lot of things. Webster’s dictionary defines it as a condition that weakens and destroys or it renders people legally incapable. The World English Dictionary defines it as lacking one or more physical powers that allows people to walk or coordinate movements as well as perform certain functions that require average mental performance.

The word disabled automatically sends a red flag up the pole of awareness in the minds of some folks. People are judged for what they can’t do rather than what they are capable of doing. Disabled people are put in a box of sympathy and wrapped with a bow of pity. Our sensitive emotions overrule natural common sense. We isolate them and build walls around them that only innately sensitive and natural people penetrate.

People living with different physical challenges are feared; we are not educated to understand why these brave souls chose to experience physical life in a truly unique way. Just like the masses, which we call normal, they are connected to a non-physical stream of consciousness that every religion describes in a plethora of ways. But, that connection becomes distorted by our egos that separate the self from the inner self.

In that natural inner stream there are no words that describe choices made by individual consciousness. There is only an assortment of connected aspects of consciousness that have the desire to express their awareness physically. When that awareness is manifested physically, we experience it in the massive explosion of unique forms that cover the surface of the planet.

All we have to do is look around us at this natural expression and we become aware that our consciousness is more than we believe it is. Some experts are discovering that Down syndrome, and other physical challenges are subjective choices, and those choices are manifested objectively.

Other scholars believe that children and adults living with Down syndrome or other disabilities come into this physical world to teach us something we forgot about ourselves when the ego took control and said we are a ‘normal,’ and a separated consciousness. Everyone who spends time around a person living with Down syndrome and other challenges experiences an aspect of innate knowing that is hard to ignore. That knowing is natural and it is dipped in complete love.

But, why would a person choose to live with Down syndrome or other issues in a world that offers material luxuries to those that conform mentally and physically to our judgmental systems? The answer may lie in what Quantum physics is unraveling in this world of multiverses. We all may live separate but connected lives in more than one reality at a time, although that fact is hard to swallow when our ridged beliefs about religion and science are reinforced by our own ignorance.

Physicists explain that we actually do live in more than one reality at a time, and in each of those realities we appear and act differently. We are able and generally do communicate with these other selves, but we are trained to ignore the messages since we believe there is only one of us experiencing physical life.

The notion that children and adults living with Down syndrome and other disabilities may be closer and more connected to these counterparts and realities is gaining credence in the distorted world of normal. When disabled children and adults tune out the normal world they may be communicating with those counterparts with a portion of the mind that may not be registering in the normal brain since it’s overloaded with the desire for physical worth.

Some researchers believe that people living with disabilities are much more aware of their multiplicity, but can’t express it physically. They do however express that fact by their actions. There is a bubble of love surrounding disabled children and adults, and every time we interact with them tiny bubbles of that love permeate our own separatism so we can sense the connection we have with them and with all form of consciousness.

The nature of the self is like the nature of all other forms of consciousness. The self is non-physical energy before it becomes physical. Disabled humans don’t move as far away from that energy, but normal people do.

The New Zealand author Vincent O’Sullivan in his story, The Next Room summed up our normal actions this way:

If you’re different from the rest of the flock, they bite you.

What we fail to realize is we’re disabling another aspect of our self when we label another member of our flock as incapable. In more ways than one, they are much more capable than we remember, and innately more competent than our normal inflated egos.

My book, Living Behind The Beauty Shop is about a Middle Tennessee boy who understands that greater reality where the psyche is able to communicate with the self that is experiencing other dimensions. The boy, Mase Russell, is living with Down syndrome. He is considered disabled in our normal reality, but he is far more enabled and connected than we are to that stream of consciousness that flows through all of us. He is able to communicate with other aspects of the self while dreaming, and he accepts his dream experiences as real. He is even able to remember those experiences and express them in his own way. His family begins to sense that his disability is a challenging gift not a sentence of suffering.

His family is like any other family. They experience the typical dramas that we all create in our waking reality. His grandfather, Warren Russell is a wealthy business man that lives on his family’s 1000 acre farm in Leipers Fork, Tennessee. The farm was a land grant given to his triple great-grandfather after the American Revolution. Warren and his wife Claire considered the farm their right of passage until they both experienced a near-death experience on a trip to Florida in their Cessna. After the accident, Warren decides to donate 500 acres to a non-profit foundation he formed called Perception Farms. Perception Farms becomes a self-sufficient community off the grid that gives the homeless a fresh start.

His daughter Cindy realizes that she’s gay after she marries her college sweetheart. She returns home from California and finds an ex-nun, who is now called Margie, at one of Perception Farm’s fundraisers. Margie discovered her true sexuality when she was in the convent. They become partners and decide to have a child using the sperm of their friend Alan Sutton, a well educated and athletic individual who works in the shoe business. Baby Mase is born with DS and the story follows his life and the experiences of the family as he becomes an accomplished poet and artist.

Years later, Mase finds Mischa Eddington who is another Down syndrome artist, in a local college art class, and they develop a close relationship. Together they watch members of the family experience the pains of getting older. They offer the family another perspective about that aging process. The family realizes that Mase and Mischa chose to be born with Down syndrome in order to help them as well as the others that are familiar with them see that there are no boundaries or limits in physical life unless we put them there through our beliefs and perceptions. They show us that other realities are just as real as our waking reality.

When we consider the fact that consciousness does not have a beginning or an end in the non-physical world we can better understand that the people we call disabled are actually teachers who choose to experience life in extraordinary ways. They teach us that putting limits, judgments, and sterilized beliefs in action is the art of separating one aspect of the self from other elements of the psyche.

When that happens, we find ourselves living in the beauty shop of life, which is filled with exterior self serving nothingness. Mase and Mischa live behind the beauty shop of life and they try to share and explain that aspect of life through their thoughts and deeds. They appreciate life as they know it and the life that all of us believe is only available through death. They show us that all there is, in this physical world, is the now and the eternal love that surrounds it.


Janet Riehl said...


Your book 'Living Behind the Beauty Shop" is a wonderful contribution for the worlds of Down's Syndrome and the homeless.

A friend of mine with spina bifida and I often talked about the issues you raise in this post.

Thank you!

Janet Riehl

Hal said...

Thank you Janet. I appreciate your thoughts.