Anecdotal Sketch of Modern Medicine

The emotion bank of your body is monitored by a chemical called Serotonin, which can be manipulated and altered by nearly every component of your life, from the food you eat to the colors you wear. Recent studies have focused on these small clues to explore the idea that emotions are completely, one hundred percent dominated by exterior, mundane components. This means that, since emotions are not abstractly volitional or as some like to think, spiritual, then they can also be ruled by medicine. This has been tested on such conditions as ADD and has proven that changing emotions is as simple as putting a Band-Aid on a cut.

Given these facts, we can examine how this plays into the rest of the body. According to modern psychological and psychiatric studies, the human emotions or moods directly effect the health of the entire human body. And these moods are effected and often caused by vitamin deficiencies, making them unavoidable. For example, “violent inclinations or feelings are caused by a lack of Vitamins D and C, as well as Magnesium and Iron.”1

This means, consequently, that if people study the main factors in their mood swings and take the corresponding natural remedies, the world will gradually progress into a utopian society lacking negative emotions. Psychologist William Glasser believes that if we learn to take advantage of what “Mother Nature has given to us, life might be unbelievably joyful.” Psychiatrist David Burns even more optimistically observes that, “using medicine will free you from fears, phobias, panic attacks, nervousness, anger, self-defeat, and improve your health all around.” The key is to understand that the emotions are not a result of people’s volitional responses, but a consequent of nerves, environment, and diet, all of which can be controlled with modern medicine. As soon as people believe this simple truth, then we will have found the antidote for hate, crime, and violence, and the key to a peaceful life and society.

On Petting Trees

“Touching a tree is no different from touching any other living thing, in fact, even better. Why is it better? Because if you scratch a dog’s head, for example, you indeed feel something warm and vibrant, but beneath that there’s always a tremor of agitation. Perhaps dinnertime is coming soon, or not soon enough; perhaps he’s longing for you or just recalling a bad dream. Do you see? Dogs, like people, have too many thoughts, too many requirements. Neither dog nor man can attain peace and happiness by himself alone.
Trees are different. From the moment it sprouts until the day it dies, a tree stays fixed in the same spot. Its roots are nearer than anything else to the heart of the earth, and its crown is nearer to the sky. Sap courses through it from top to bottom, from bottom to top. It expands and contracts according to the daylight. It waits for rain, it waits for sun, it waits for one season and then another, it waits for death. Not one of the things that enable it to live depends on its will. It exists and that’s all. Now do you see why trees are so good to stroke? Because they stand so staunchly, because their breathing is so slow and so serene and so very deep.”
-susanna tamaro

Friendship: In English

The last post was me sorting. What I know right now is this: I am overwhelmed with Friendship in my life. In my early years there were friendships that were built for eternity and everything in between. But as youth faded I became lonely for the first time, as every friendship ran shallower than those early ones, and faster – more transitory all together. But as I take a moment’s pause now I see true Friendship in many faces – more than I ever could have asked for. Three in particular that have become part of me, our beings are now inextricable from one another. They are unexpected to most, comic to some. They have arisen without invitation nor expectation, but their roots have wound and bound me.

And now I am leaving this place. I know that transplanting Friendships is much more difficult than the rarest plant, and more painful. I know the roots remain, the seeds, the flower, but that our ground will no longer be shared brings tears of sorrow. I find myself desiring winter, so we can all freeze in this moment – but alas, the sun in shining out my window, beckoning autumnal change.

So, in English: I am scrambling for each and every moment here, to encase memories in impenetrable timelessness. And I am sorrowful. For the first time in my life, it hurts to leave.

our sad *cheers*

Friendship: the optional love

C.S. Lewis outlined Friendship as that love which is not necessary to the biological functions of humanity. Without Eros none of us would have been begotten and without Affection none of us would have been reared; but we can live and breed without Friendship. The former two can be felt tugging at your guts and fluttering in your diaphragm. But in Friendship – in that luminous, tranquil, rational world of relationships freely chosen – you got away from all that. This alone, of all the loves, seemed to raise you to the level of gods or angels. (An example to show the innate difference of perspective here would be that lovers are normally depicted in the mind’s eye as being face to face, absorbed in each other; Friends are side by side, absorbed in some common interest.)

I sometimes wonder if Lewis would say that there is inherent value in Friendship because of (not in spite of) the fact that it is not :necessary” to human existence in the way the other loves are. Being entirely volitional, Friendship can become a thing unto itself, serving those who enter into it either to heaven or hell – which are real but not tangible.

Friendship: In English


The last post was me sorting. What I know right now is this: I am overwhelmed with Friendship in my life. In my early years there were friendships that were built for eternity and everything in between. But as youth faded I became lonely for the first time, as every friendship ran shallower than those early ones, and faster – more transitory all together. But as I take a moment’s pause now I see true Friendship in many faces – more than I ever could have asked for. Three in particular that have become part of me, our beings are now inextricable from one another. They are unexpected to most, comic to some. They have arisen without invitation nor expectation, but their roots have wound and bound me.

And now I am leaving this place. I know that transplanting Friendships is much more difficult than the rarest plant, and more painful. I know the roots remain, the seeds, the flower, but that our ground will no longer be shared brings tears of sorrow. I find myself desiring winter, so we can all freeze in this moment – but alas, the sun in shining out my window, beckoning autumnal change.

So, in English: I am scrambling for each and every moment here, to encase memories in impenetrable timelessness. And I am sorrowful. For the first time in my life, it hurts to leave.

Love and Reason

“Charity, as we have seen, is the soul’s natural light, and was created by the Author of Nature for seeing God. There are two eyes to this spiritual vision, forever straining to see the light which is God, and their names are Love and Reason….And when I say that these two help each other, I mean that reason instructs love, and love enlightens reason. Reason merges into the affectivity of love, and love consents to be limited by reason. Then it is that they can achieve great things.”
-William of St Thierry (emphasis mine)

Life in Faith

“The ideal is faith incorporated into our whole life and refashioning it by its influence. It is the shining of faith into a soul which has gradually been made capable of penetrating the mysteries of faith by its attempt to yield itself to what Scripture calls the ‘obedience of faith’. By a lively understanding-that is, the understanding of a heart attuned to the heart of God who speaks to it-the soul will thereby discover living truths, or better still, a single living truth, in what at the beginning seemed a mere conglomeration of enigmas.”
– Bouyer, The Cistercian Heritage

The Place Imperturbable

With brambles and thorns my soul was overtaken. They crept in over time, slowly vining their way up through the soil of my heart, choking out one virtue at a time as I became a sin collector. Two weeks ago I stopped and looked at the garden of my life, and found that I could no longer distinguish the thorns from the flowers, that I was in a field of my own making yet unrecognizable to my once-enlightened eyes. There I stood, not knowing where to step or what to do. The skies of my life had been so overcast that the light of the Immortal seemed fragmented through clouded layers of earth and flesh. The din of my folly had deafened the ear of my heart.

Then that Light which captures blinded eyes with sight shone upon my soul, my heart, my mind, my being. Calling out as in the days of Eden for me to show myself, to be exposed so that I might be clothed again. I found myself kneeling before my King and Judge, rays of light through stained glass rested a rainbow of hope and promise upon my head as the Table was laid. “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give thee rest.” Rest which leads to Restoration and a Remembrance of the Divine.

And I returned to that Place Imperturbable. That place where love cannot be forsaken unless it first forsakes. I remembered the Trinity. I remembered my holy family – Father, Mother, Brothers and Sisters. I remembered my calling and my cross. Just like Israel was told to remember, so I remember. The words of the Shema even now ring in my ears. I have heard and now I must go forth to battle for the Lord is my God.

Christ has weeded and sifted me this week. He has gently but firmly put my hands back on the plow, and by His grace I will not look back, that I might be fit for the Kingdom of God (Luke 9:62).

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Invisible people

See what is invisible and you will see what to write. It is the invisible people I want to live with. The ones that we walk past everday, the ones we sometimes become. The ones in books who live only in someones mind’s eye.

– Bobby Long via John Travolta

Kolkata 7

“Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, the God or our salvation!
Our God is the God of salvation.” Ps 68:19

In the humid heat of a pollution-smothered sun I walked through the streets of Calcutta for the last time. Someone wrote an elegy to Calcutta while walking down these same streets: “this historic city may be among the most unpleasant environments on the face of the earth: the masses of people, the choking pollution, the clogged drains, the cramped bustees, the jumble of carts, the beggars and crippled children, the fetid piles of refuse being picked over by emaciated mothers in soiled saris, flea-bitten pariah dogs, and wildly cawing crows”. And that was only in his introduction. Calcutta has drawn the attention of many: Mark Twain said it was “enough to make the brass doorknob mushy”, Winston Churchill said he would “always be glad to have seen it but it would be unnecessary for [him] ever to see it again”, Rudyard Kipling called it “the city of dreadful night”, and Bengal’s first Governor called it “the most wicked place in the universe.”

While it is comforting to know that so many leave Calcutta with the same feelings of repugnance as I have, I would be grievously remiss to overlook the overarching and intertwining goodness of God in my work there. To claim the promises of God found in Scripture on behalf of the widows, orphans, destitute, and forsaken in Calcutta brings a hope that is not often written about. So while I still do not know the depth nor breadth of God’s purposes for taking me to Calcutta, I can praise Him for the work which He has accomplished there, and share with you so that you might join in giving thanks to our gracious God and Father. All of the ministry houses are called Asha Neketon, once again meaning “Shelter of Hope”:

Asha Neketon Sodpor: This was the first trade school/ministry house that we opened, and now has 15 women involved making scarves, handbags, tablecloths/runners, handkerchiefs, and greeting cards. This is going to be the foundational ministry house, so I spent most of my time with the women there, teaching and preparing them to teach others after my departure. There are four women who will continue to be trained by the pastor and his wife so that they can begin other schools around the city.

Asha Neketon Village: There are three women working for us in the village now, one of them is particularly skilled and masterful in her work, so we have asked her to come to the city and teach at the other schools for a few weeks. God is raising up leaders from within all of the schools, which is quite a blessing.

Asha Neketon Street: We could not get this sorted out entirely before I left, but we have the location and women chosen to be involved. When two leaders have been trained from AN Sodpor they will go to the Street program and begin teaching there. This will hopefully transpire within six months time.

Asha Neketon Slum: One that I have not mentioned yet, located in the slums of South Kolkata, where a tailoring school has been started with 8 women. They come and learn how to tailor clothes, particularly clothes for school uniforms, and then sell them to local schools. In the upcoming months this will hopefully be expanded to include the making of the other items as well.

God has done amazing things during my time in Kolkata, and I look forward to seeing Him complete His purposes, whatever they might be. I had gone with the intention of starting one trade school, and watched as He prepared the way to have four opened. This was just one of the ways I was reminded that He accomplishes beyond what we could ever imagine!

I have now had some time in the UK recovering, reflecting, and relaxing. I am pursuing some different leads on places to sell the goods that the women are making, and will continue speaking to churches and organizations about the work being done in Kolkata. I will also be spending some time in Ireland debriefing with a dear friend and missionary, which I am very much looking forward to.

Prayer petitions:
Finding a market for the items and lining them up with the Maity’s
That through my presentations churches might be challenged and encouraged by the state of believer’s in Kolkata
For my debriefing and reflection time

Thank you for your essential part in this ministry. I anticipate one more Update after I return to follow up with the fruition of these prayer requests.

In the peace of the Lord,
Nicole de Martimprey