Intimations of the Great Unlearning: Interreligious Spirituality and the Demise of Consciousness Which is Alzheimer's
CrossCurrents, October 2001
Gisela Goodrich T. Webb, Ph.D.
Department of Religion
It was, in fact, in the experience of being a primary caretaker of my "Alzheimer's mother" that I developed a curiosity, not only about the nature of Alzheimer's disease, but about what the process of Alzheimer's decline might tell us about the nature of the mind and personhood, the relationship between brain and consciousness, the relationship of mind, body, and soul/spirit, and, finally, the kinds of knowledge, experience, and communication that are available to the Alzheimer's patient in different phases of the disease. Of equal importance has been the question of what kind of knowledge is mirrored back to us, the caretakers, about ourselves that will help us to grow intellectually and spiritually through this process of death.