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Helen Keller, 1880-1968

Author, Lecturer

Helen Keller in 1904

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.
Helen Keller


Helen Adams Keller was born on June 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Her father was a retired Confederate Army captain and editor of the local newspaper. Although born with her senses of sight and hearing, in 1882 Helen was stricken by an unknown illness, possibly meningitis or scarlet fever, which left her blind and deaf for the remainder of her life.

Was Helen Keller a super-soul that came to lift or was she working out karma?
Both would be true. She had this karma of being without certain senses that are important to all of us. She was a very advanced soul who was ready for illumination and she achieved that through the inspiration of Swedenborg's teachings. She is a great soul and has accomplished a wonderful, wonderful example-ship in her vehicle. Never did she resist her limitations. She only glorified the consciousness that she had with highest degree of usefulness and that consciousness made possible her bearing so bravely and wisely the testing which was hers.
bioReverend Flower A. Newhouse, Questions and Answers

A Teacher Arrives

Helen's parents hired a teacher to live with, assist, and teach her, and on March 3, 1887, Anne Sullivan arrived. Helen later said, The most important day I remember in all my life is the one on which my teacher, Anne Mansfield Sullivan, came to me. I am filled with wonder when I consider the immeasurable contrast between the two lives which it connects. It was Ms. Sullivan who was able to free Helen from her world of darkness to lead a most meaningful life of service.

Less than a month after Ms. Sullivan's arrival, Helen experienced a dramatic life-altering incident where Helen learned the word water by Ms. Sullivan signing the letters in one of Helen's hands while the other hand was held underneath a running water pump.

Of this incident Helen later wrote:

Suddenly I felt a misty consciousness as of something forgotten, a thrill of returning thought; and somehow the mystery of language was revealed to me. I knew then that "w-a-t-e-r" meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free! ...Everything had a name, and each name gave birth to a new thought. As we returned to the house every object which I touched seemed to quiver with life.

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