Monday, September 12, 2011

Barefoot in the parvis

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You see many strange things at the holy places in Jerusalem.

But this is the strangest I've seen at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
A young man in a white garment, with long flowing hair, walking BAREFOOT across the Parvis (the entrance courtyard of the church), entering the doorway to the Ethiopians' chapel.

Do you suppose he has Jerusalem Syndrome?

This is a condition of becoming literally intoxicated by the Holy City.
People (usually tourists) start acting like a prophet or messiah.
Every year dozens are taken to Kfar Shaul psychiatric hospital because of this spontaneous psychosis.

It is fascinating to read about.
Here are articles, the first more poetic, the second more scientific, the last kind of funny:


http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/jersynd.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem_syndrome

http://people.howstuffworks.com/jerusalem-syndrome.htm

http://articles.cnn.com/2010-03-29/living/simpsons.messiah.syndrome_1_jerusalem-syndrome-kfar-shaul-homer-simpson?_s=PM:LIVING

A post for Monday Doorways and Our World Tuesday.
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18 comments:

Louis la Vache said...

Dina - as always, «Louis» appreciates your contribution sto Monday Doorways (and to Sunday Bridges), but most of all, he appreciates the fascinating material you find to post, this one being a case in point!

Jackie said...

Amazing how the 'atmosphere' of a place can have such an effect on people.
The photo has a fascination about it too, the mind can wander and imagine all sorts of things about the retreating figure of the man.

Kay L. Davies said...

A spontaneous psychosis called "Jerusalem Syndrome"! I've never heard of it, but I can imagine susceptible minds being turned by the history and mystery of the location. I can even imagine someone spontaneously barefoot. However, I can't imagine anyone spontaneously having long hair and white clothing.
I must check out those links you provided.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

VP said...

There is plenty of lunatics everywhere, why wouldn't Jerusalem have its fair share? Obviously lunatics there are more interesting and picturesque, I suppose...

ρομπερτ said...

Great picture. And thank you as well very much for these interesting things to read.

I saw a tourist walking barefoot back in Berlin.

Please have a good Tuesday you all.

eileeninmd said...

Great capture. My feet would be hurting, I can not go barefoot. Thanks for sharing your world.

Cloudia said...

I'm SURE I'd be hugely effected to land in the LAND! Let alone Jerusalem!




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crystal said...

Really interesting. I first heard of the syndrome by watching an episode of The X-Files :)

P.N. Subramanian said...

Shalom. The picture of the chapel is mystifying.

Arija said...

I can well understand homing in to the energy of a place and if one is emotionally unstable, such things can lead to psychosis. I have at times 'seen' what happened in a place with a traumatic past and it was so frightening, I never want to go to them again. One was at the penal settlement in Port Arthur, another in Florence.

A really interesting post and thank you for sharing it with Our World.

Kate said...

The syndrome is a perfect example of the complexities of the human mind. I had heard about it years ago during a visit and actually saw "King David!"

Rob and Mandy said...

Yeah right. Saw a few cases during my years as a guide. Specially remember the guy who...was the Messiah. A Japanese Messiah.
But this one... Could it be the real thing??!!?

Oakland Daily Photo said...

Fascinating and well captured. Presumably the delusion would involve the impulse to good and kind acts, unlike in so many other delusional systems.

Spiderdama said...

Ah, it looks like Jesus..
It's probably one of the best places to go barefoot:-)

Genie said...

I have never heard of such a syndrome, but it certainly makes sense. I would say this fellow fits all of the requirements. People like this amaze and confuse me. I cannot figure them out. Love your capture. It brings the whole situation to life. I am going to have to read some of the articles. genie

JM said...

Fantastic capture!

BTW, Dina, have you seen 'Of Gods and Men'? It's a french movie, not Hollywood stuff, and I'm sure you would enjoy it.

Dina said...

Friends, thanks! I so enjoy these comments!

JM, yes, I did see "Of Gods and Men" last December. I wish the whole world would see this movie about the brave and true monks.

Francisca said...

I've had this page up on my browser for days already, waiting for a time to read the links you provide to explain the Jerusalem Syndrome. Fascinating. Really makes me wonder about our psychic makeup. (I also recently saw the movie Of Gods and Men... Very moving, and to me, perplexing.)