Had my first contact with cancer been different,
I imagine my views would be also. The very first person I can
remember who had cancer was a friend of the family, a quite
aristocratic Swedish man who worked for the museum. He had
been asked to recreate some tiki gods for the World Expo and
had to make them look ancient. To do so, he took chains and
beat the gods, something the Hawaiians strongly advised him
not to do, not even on the imitation statues. Almost immediately,
he developed cancer, a galloping cancer that was predicted
to kill him within two weeks. I was young and it didn't occur
to me to ask the kind of cancer, but Karl Axel did not even
live the forecasted two weeks.Obviously, I developed some superstitions
around the powers of invisible beings, but the next person
I met had a similarly inexplicable development, albeit with
a somewhat happier ending. She was told, also very suddenly,
that she had cancer in both breasts. A double mastectomy was
scheduled. As an astrologer, I had been asked to help select
a surgery date and to comment on the horoscopes of the two
surgeons who would be heading teams on either side of her body.
I did not like the way her chart looked with the one doctor
and advised her to seek another, but I had no influence at
all over the surgery election since this was arranged to suit
the hospital rather than stars. This poor woman did not heal
on the side of the body where the doctor I had been wary about
the same blood circulates on both sides of the body, the
same foods nourish both sides in other words, if diet,
coffee enemas, or any of a hundred other "sensible" therapies
were the begin all and end all they are often claimed to
be, this patient would have had the same healing response
on both sides. In fact, nine months after the operation,
the one side was perfectly healed and the other looked like
The third was a young man who had been given
three months to live unless he would submit to having his spleen
removed, in which case he would be expected to live six months
but to spend most of that time in a wheel chair. He went to Mexico
to obtain laetrile and was arrested on his re-entry into the
States, arrested and jailed for possession of a vitamin upon
which he thought his life depended.
Deprived of his one hope, he began processing
his life. Federal agents offered him a break if he would provide
state's evidence leading to the conviction of other patients.
Counting down the days left in his life, he refused to compromise
anyone else. He made a lot of other difficult decisions and went
into total remission. That was almost 30 years ago, and I am
happy to sayt that he is very much alive and well today.
Since no treatment was administered
to this friend of mine, his cure was technically what is called
a spontaneous remission, one of the most curious and inexplicable
phenomena in healing. Mystics insist that these cures occur as
a result of intense faith or divine intervention, grace offered
by a loving God or saintly intermediator. Scientists try to discredit
as many of these cures as possible. They can do this if they determine
that chemotherapy was administered years earlier and finally kicked
in to cure the patient or if the diagnosis could be disputed on
the basis of insufficient evidence.
I'm a listener not a scientist. From
what I have heard and witnessed, spontaneous remissions occur when
patients have insights that transform their understanding of their
lives. They literally get a new lease on life.
The easiest way to understand this
would be to take the case of near death experiences, now abundantly
reported in the literature. In a NDE, the patient is "out
of body," often as a result of an accident: lightning shock,
traffic accident, suicide attempt, etc. The attending physician
often determines that the patient has died and the patient hears
the doctor pronounce him dead and is confused because the patient
does not "feel dead."
The patient then goes on a life altering
journey through a tunnel of light where he usually meets people
he knows who have passed on. Then, and this is the common denominator
of all near death experiences, he meets a very holy being who understands
and accepts him exactly as he is. The patient gets a quick tour
of heaven and then is shown what life would be like if he returns
to earth. Most people do not want to leave because heaven is obviously
so much nicer than earth; but the patient is shown unfinished work,
often revolving around relationships with others that need to be
more loving. Some are shown destinies as persons who can help relieve
the world of its fear of death or who can explain heaven to those
who lack faith. In any event, NDEs are always deeply transformative
and they end the fear of death for everyone who has had such an
What we learn from NDEs
is that what seems to be is not necessarily the whole story.
One can seem to be very ill, perhaps terminally ill, but
the disease can go into remission in an instant. In my career,
I have seen quite a number of spontaneous remissions, mostly
with paralysis and only somewhat more rarely with cancer.
Still, I have had the great good fortune and blessing to
have seen a few cancer patients who were literally at Death's
door turn around and go on to live meaningful lives.
Each such experience is intensely personal
and usually quite private. What I tell patients is that the
soul creates life and soul takes it away. Sometimes I go one
sentence further and say that disease never killed anyone,
only the soul can snap the silver cord and plunge us into another
dimension of awareness.
Permanent cure entails the discovery
of the magic and mystery that make life inspiring. As I
reflect on the people I know who have been truly cured, not people
who have survived or experienced long remissions but people who
are really free of cancer, I see that all are functioning at
a higher level of insight and creativity than before their illness. Many
achieved their breakthroughs suddenly as a result of what might
be called revelation; others achieved this gradually through
spiritual practices that raised their focus from, to quote another
author, "the mundane to the magnificent." I personally
believe that there is a transcendental aspect to these quantum
shifts of consciousness and that the focus entails a shift from
overabsorption in the self to a greater level of selflessness.
on Body-mind Connection
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