Type 1 Diabetes: A Spiritual Perspective

I am not going to get into an esoteric discussion of religion or spirituality here.  No, that seems to have been going on since the invention of humanity itself.  There is this camp and that camp and there is a growing movement that believes it is all poppy cock.  I am not part of that movement but I am watching it with curiosity and amusement.  What I am going to do is provide you with a sliver of perspective regarding type 1 diabetes.

I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 14 in 1976.  I had not been brought up with any real model of how the world works except that it revolved around me and my immediate family.  I soon came to realize that this model was not very workable and started to explore other possible ways of understanding “how it works.”  In college I studied the great philosophers and the great religions and have continued to study, explore and experiment throughout my life.  I have never been able to buy into any particular way of looking at our existence (like a religion or a cult) and have managed to stay in a low grade fever of existential crisis pretty much all of my life.  The acquisition of Type 1 Diabetes was a shock and it focused my attention on my mortality perhaps quicker than most get to think about it.  However, all of my study and exploration has not been for not.  I have come to a foundational understanding of the human condition that I believe is true and accurate and is supported by the latest science and popular ways of thinking that are expressed in books like “The Secret” and the movie “What the Bleep do we Know.”  I believe that the foundation of spirituality is found in the interplay between Fulfillment and Desire.  Two apparent polar opposites.  Our world is full of polar opposites.  And Fulfillment vs. Desire is the Grand Daddy of them all.   So, how does Type 1 Diabetes relate to this spiritual paradox of fulfillment and desire?  Well, the mechanism in the body that is effectively destroyed via the “catching” of Type 1 Diabetes is a critical one.  In fact, it is a fatal flaw that results in the destruction of the whole organism if it weren’t for injectable insulin.  A closer look at the process that is involved reveals a fatal crash of a system that keeps in balance fulfillment and desire.  The body desires the metabolism of food.  The fulfillment of this desire is made impossible with a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes.  Insulin is the one thing that links the desire to the fulfillment.  Insulin is gone and this destroys the link.  Spirituality focuses on God as Fulfillment and our soul as Desire.  Is God Insulin?  No, God is Life.  So what is the link between us and God.  Some say it is living a life of restriction; of a certain moral code.  Well, when you have Type 1 diabetes you are faced with a choice.  You can take your insulin and hope for the best, you can not take your insulin and die, or you can dive into it with all of your desire and begin to see and have revelation of the infinite desires we have.  Most of them are fulfilled without us even knowing it.  Getting a disease like Type 1 diabetes is now an opportunity, thanks to the invention of injectable insulin to contemplate the desires we have and the fulfillment that has already been manifested.  This thought construct will cultivate an attitude of gratitude and peace that will propel one to realize success in the management of blood sugars.  There is a lesson to be learned with having Type 1 Diabetes.  This I am convinced of.  One final thought.  A great sage once said….”Fulfillment is the seed of Desire.”  Think about this.  Meditate on this.  I will give you a clue to the depth of this perspective.  Fulfillment came first.  In fact, Fulfillment created Desire.

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