Friday, July 22, 2011

Experience About a Victim of the Papal Inquisition of the Cathars 1209 A.D. Carcasonne



   As usual, I stopped by the usher of the cinema; I call him the “old Man”. We do not remember one another’s names. No matter. When I leave the screen room I remark about my thoughts about the movie. We share opinions, we laugh. We have good humor together.
  This time I said; it was very good. I am going home now to write about something that happened in the thirteenth century in France!”  Ha laughed. I knew, last time he had remarked that there is nothing new.  For the Pope it was really about politics. For the King of France it was about land. There was no oil at that time!… that one knew of…
  
  My story begins with a trip that my husband and I took to the medieval city of Carcassonne, on the edge of the Pyrenees Mountains, on the border of Spain and France.  My aunt Trude had been there and remarked how beautiful it was. Not quite as original as one would think. A 19th century, architect Viollet le Duc had literally had it reconstructed from the bottom up.  The style was genuine, but the actual stones were not.
  It is situated at t6he apex of a hill. Below was and still is the town, now a rather prosaic town with trees flanked by planted trees that had been cropped almost to a stump. Would they grow back? They probably did this to them every year. Why, I did not know. It certainly lessened the shade in this use the local pay phone once we arrived, to call them. They would send their own cab and get us off at the hotel. No public transportation was allowed in this steep streeted and walled city.
   All was fine and good. We get off the city cab, call the hotel and wait by the pay phone.
  As I recall, I had sat for a long time, but felt very tired. There was a marble stone and I sat on it waiting.
Sleep had been good in Paris, why be depressed.?…. It would leave. But there were tears in my eyes. I wiped them. There was no dust, just sadness.

  History had never quite been my favorite read of choice, but my husband is a historian and with his astounding historical mnemonics, is capable of remembering to the year what had happened in the places that he visits. He must have time warp videos in his brain.
  No, I had seen pictures of the round turrets with cone like roofs, but did not know the history, nor was I interested in it.
  The train took us from Paris to Carcassone. There must have been a change, but I do not remember. It was in the early nineties.
  The ride had been   non descript. We got off the train and Jim knew that we had to call the hotel They told us to get a cab at the station and to call them at the pay phone once we were at the city walls. We did and waited.  There was a large chunk of marble and I sat on it, exhausted, depleted of energy, although the train ride had been good and the night in Paris had been also.
  Tears welled in my eyes. I was annoyed. No reason to feel sad or cry. It was a beautiful warm day and the walled city looked fascinating.
  The car of the Best Western Hotel arrived, loaded the luggage and us, zipped under the city gate and quickly unloaded us at the hotel’s   door. Quite unremarkable, like an American Hotel.
  Checked the passports, got the room key and up the stairs we went. As soon as the door closed I sat on the bed staring at the wall.  I felt totally exhausted, empty, as though any form of interest in life had left me… Hopelessness had invested me and I started crying helplessly… Jim watched but did not know how to react or what to do.
I was spent. One part of me was crying desolately and the other half was watching me wondering what had come over me.
Jim cut the impasse by saying;’  Do you know what happened in this town?’
   I looked at him:  "What does that have to do with me and how I feel now?”… He looked at me in his curious way, then I know that he has a big clue, hidden like an ace up his sleeve.”  It was a long time ago, in the thirteenth century…”

  ‘ Now I was curious and mad at myself for allowing this horrible feeling to take over.’ What happened here?”

“ Two thousand people were run out of town and burned by the Inquisition and the French forces. It was part of the Albigiensan Crusades.
There was nothing I could say.  Ok.”  They were all burned”.  At that point I even felt worse, but was fighting against it.”
   “Look, let’s go out to a restaurant. I am sure you will feel better after you have some food in your stomach. I certainly can eat”.
“ Ok, we go downstairs and ask at the desk where to go.
  The eyes were wiped./ Valuables were put away. The woman at the desk suggested a restaurant a few minutes up the street, on the left side.
We walked there quickly. I was already feeling better and was actually quite hungry.
  It was a local place with nice tourist d├ęcor, tables close to one another. We sat next to the window.I can’t remember what Jim ordered. Whatever it was, it would be good. I just knew it.

  Two glasses were brought immediately followed by a bottle of local red wine. A glass for Jim and one for me. I usually do not drink wine, it makes me sleepy. Jim drank a good part of his. Said that it was good. I took the glass to my lips and swallowed a big gulp. Immediately there was a sharp pain at the apex of my stomach and it descended to my belly. I could hardly move. … Poison?… I looked at Jim? He was drinking some more wine and enjoying it…” Jim, I feel terrible, like I have been stabbed in the stomach…” He looked up from the menu.’ I feel fine”.  What do think     it is?”  I was having quick fantasies of having to go to a local doctor because of an appendicitis attack…. He looked at me, put the menu down in front of him;” I am sure it’s nothing, order some food and you shall feel better.” He ordered some food.
   Rooted to the chair, wild thoughts were racing in my head… what could I do?  What could it be?…Jim was in no hurry and as long as I did not move in any way I could wait. His food came, he enjoyed it. Her finished it. My mind had no fast answer, just anxiety.
  Then I had an epiphany.” Jim, this is the kind of pain that one takes the homeopathic” arsenicum’ for, it is the sharp pain of arsenic poisoning” But I am just fine. I don’t think I am poisoned!
  “ Can you do me a favor? Can you walk me to the hotel that is just a few laps from here? I always carry a few homeopathic remedies in my suitcase, in the lead envelope. Get arsenicum here. I know I had it. I shall go nowhere.’ ‘Ok.”   He left. I waited. He returned with the vial. I popped two sugar globules of 200 mX under my tongue and expected, since I swore it was the correct remedy, that I would shortly be just fine.
  It had appeared to be the correct remedy… Nothing happened…this was not-good at all. I was grasping my belly just holding it tight, afraid to get up. Then another insight alighted into my seared brain.”  There was a herb shop on the other side of the street as we were coming up… why don’t we stop there, they might have something.” “Ok! that sounds like  very good idea..
  I held myself up by grasping the back of the chair, he paid the bill, picked up his rucksack and we slowly reached the herb shop.
  French ones are very well stocked. This one had large metal bins lined up under tourist paraphernalia for tourist. The line of the bins along the wall was very long… Impatiently I had to waint for a flowered dress woman with a French hat to get her   bags filled…” Can’t she see how much pain I am in”?  Obviously not. I was in agony, I even didn’t have the strength to look at the bins and to pick something that may or might have helped me.
  The tarot pack was in my bag. I used it after cognitive choices were are no longer available.” “Jim, I am going to place a car in front of every bin, you know the cards, buy the stuff, which has the highest indicator. Ok?”   He looked at me but knew of my diagnostic methodology. I placed the cards, he walked over them and stopped, looking at me quizzically.   I don’t know about this, but the Tarot picked PIZZA MIX!
   Even now as I am writing about it my mouth is breaking in a laugh… prosaic pizza mix!!!…. Pizza mix!!!…” I stopped laughing and held my even more painful belly.  “BUY PIZZA MIX!”
   He did and I hobbled back to the Hotel. The woman at the desk was worried and offered me tea. I asked her for hot water so that I could put the herbs in it.  They had rosemary and oregano and sage… sounded detoxifying…
   The hot water with the herbs arrived to the room. I sopped it slowly, feeling it’s healing warmth in my abdomen and just lay they’re hoping for a miracle.
   There was no miracle. After 15 minutes I was no better.  Drank more tea. Another 15 minutes passed.  I had visions of the local small time doctor carting me to the hospital.  No.  This could not happen to me. Then another epiphany occurred, and it wasn’t even January! I looked at conservative Jim, good helpful conservative Jim in his leather jacket, beautiful silver buckled belt and fine head cap… “Jim… “ I hesitated, I knew he had never done this before… “, You need to exorcise me.  He almost leaped to his feet:” What?”  Yes, I cannot think of anything else, and I have been feeling weird since I came to this place. “I shall tell you how to do it. I can’t do this…why don’t you do it. Someone has top do it to me, come on.”  Hesitatingly he agreed. “ You have to say, “I command you entities, I command you in the name of Jesus, No, in the name of the father, Jesus and the Holy Ghost.” Then Jim said, “But you are Jewish now.” I replied, “It doesn’t matter, it works anyway” Say, “I command you in the name of the Father, Jesus and the Holy Ghost to leave this woman alone, to depart yourself and go to the light and be at peace. Leave her, Now!” 
   He clenched his lip and face as he always does when in high focus, and started, “ In the name of the father Jesus and Holy Ghost I command you to leave this woman and go to the light.” It was litany, not a command. “Jim, you have to mean business, you have to get them out of me, you have to ORDER them…” and I started screaming it, but my belly hurt when I did this. At the third try he managed to find his imperious self and imperatively ordered them out. I gave a sign and although I had not moved, I know something else had changed. 
    The pain was gone. It had worked. The exorcism that Gregorian priest had been taught in Rome and is  still taught  there does work… I felt elated… now perhaps I could go back to the restaurant and have something to eat. But I had to go to the bathroom first.
Sitting in bed was OK, walking to the bathroom was also Ok. I sat on the stool and IT CAME BACK! …. Frozen, I just sat on the plastic stool after I had peed: what now? Hobbling back to the bed, with a very determine crunch of my face I ordered Jim to exorcise me again and really mean business.
  He did. _  But  “It “was still there.
   OK, I was going to beat this thing.” Jim, I shall go into a hypnotic trance and shall see what comes up from my unconscious. Draw the curtains please.”
  The room was darkened. I have no memory of what I thought and how I stilled my mind, or how much time had passed. I did not process the events intellectually. I had used hypnosis  once before while the dentist was working upon a tooth as I kept staring at a squirrel outside his window, imagining his teeth grinding on a walnut and feeling their sharpness on the wood. It had worked well, there had not been pain. …Are exorcisms related to hypnosis? …
    As I lay on the bed  in a meditative state something else happened. My eyes were closed, my mind was like a dark movie screen waiting for the film to start. It did. I felt the presence (in my mind) of a woman who was running, being herded away and I saw that there was a fetus in her belly and I knew   that she was in pain for herself and her baby…
  I sent her healing energy, enveloped her in light as I had been taught to do with entities, sent her love.” The image of the woman left. I opened my eyes and the pain was gone.
  The next day we went downtown and found a bookstore, although the History of the Cathars was in two volumes written in French I understood enough to know that energetically I had met one of them.
  The next question was: why me” What did I have in common with those people? As it turned out I had a lot in common with them as I shall have a lot in common with the man and the people in another similar experience. I shall talk about this in my next blog.
   On Wikipedia you shall find notes about the history of the Cathars in the region of Languedoc.

Next  Blog: about  Jean de Molay, last Grand Master of the Templar Order .