The John J Billings Memorial Lecture was delivered as the Keynote Address at the 2013 Diamond Jubilee Conference of WOOMB Internatnional Ltd by Professor Pilar Vigil Portales, a medical doctor who specializes in Gynecology and Obstetrics and has a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the Catholic University of Chile. Pilar took as her title The Billings’ Journey – a Pilgrimage of Life, Love and Forgiveness. She reminded us that the late Drs John and Lyn Billings looked at LIFE “as a miracle and as a gift”, that they “were able to see that fertility is a gift that enables us to be co-creators of life.” She also spoke of the late Dr James Brown “who looked at the mystery of the ovarian cycle and was able to describe the concept of the continuum” but who said “it cannot be described through measurements and standard deviations”.
Pilar spoke of the essential elements of the ovarian cycle and of the measurements of hormonal levels which define the different phases. She then went on to speak of Dr Erik Odeblad whose “pioneer research … allowed (us) to establish the relevance of cervical mucus for female fertility”. She described the different types of mucus as discovered by Professor Odeblad, their properties and function and then went on to describe his more recent research into mucin molecules which she demonstrated in a lively and engaging manner by the use of handicrafts which had been prepared especially for the presentation by a wonderful friend in Chile.
Professor Vigil Portales concluded this first part of her presentation with the words: “During their pilgrimage, John and Lyn were unrelenting in their search (for) man himself. To find this man requires an estrangement from the exclusively quantifiable. This is where the scientist is called on to realise that true science is the one that is in constant search of truth.”
In the next section of the presentation she talked about LOVE, which is a “yes to belonging” and remarked that “Lyn and John belonged to each other and together they belonged to life. Lyn had a spouse who saw her and was able to care for and respect her feminine nature.”… “Love requires seeing the subject of love. In order to be able to love we need to see ourselves. This is one of the reasons why the Billings Method is about love. It helps us to look at ourselves and to recognize who we are. Spouses can look at each other and discover the beauty in each one of them and in this way give themselves to one another. In giving and receiving we say yes to belonging and in this way we say yes to love.”
The final section of Pilar’s presentation was on FORGIVENESS: “How do we say yes to belonging? By giving. The most difficult form of giving is for-giving.” … “In forgiving, we take the offenses and we give ourselves. This is why forgiveness is the most difficult form of love.” To read Professor Pilar Vigil Portales’ full presentation make sure you get the next edition of the Bulletin of WOOMB International.
She concluded by saying “I would like to say goodbye, thanking you for the gift of your lives in service of others, and encourage your own pilgrimage of life, love and forgiveness, sharing an age-old gesture: Wisdom, embodied by a science in search for truth, Compassion, embodied in a mutual recognition and a reverence that recognises the Divine that resides in each and every one of you.”