Thursday, May 21, 2009

Debunking Common Wisdom and Positive Aphorisms

If you will it, it's no dream.

And a thousand variations.

Sounds good. What possibly could be wrong that sweet sentiment?


I don't know one CLLer or cancer patient who doesn't visualize and pray and scrape all their consciousness into a packet aimed at a future of no CLL or cancer.

And those, albeit very well-intended who dare to say that we are not pure enough in our thoughts, that we must KNOW and not simply hope for our favored future, those kind hearted souls risk punishing the already punished. I sense how much they are trying to help, and I do appreciate it, but they unintentionally suggest that if only we were purer or stronger in our thoughts and prayers, we would be well on our way to a cure. And the devil in me wonders if there is a hint of the holier than thou in some of their admonitions to us victims that we must try just a little bit harder. 

Medieval theodicy. The "SECRET" be damned.

I do encourage a positive attitude. I suspect it helps, a little. But it is no plan for taking on a killer in a dark alley, and there is actually better evidence that a fighting contrarian attitude has more survival advantage. Meditation probably helps too.

Hope is a different matter, becomes it gets you going. It gets you looking for options, be they psychic or medical, nutritional or crystal,  divine or nano, and that makes sense. Look to the future. 

If prayer is in your tool box as a way to do an end run around the oncoming linemen of the Apocalypse, then run and pray as hard as you can.

If some secret Amazon herb is going to heal you, but only if you believe, then believe. Truly believe. 

If the answer is Ayuvedic, then turn to the east. Meditate on that.

Whatever floats your boat.

But cover your bets, keep you eyes wide, and be prepared to abandon ship at a moment's notice.

The evidence on prayer is equivocal at best, but I am a cautiously optimistic believer, and welcome every prayer and good vibe aimed in my direction.  Who knows? Who really knows? Not me for sure.  

Here's what I do KNOW.

I don't know how I am going to win, just that I will.  The details are yet to be worked out. Even the definition of victory is ephemeral.

All my little hopes for this and that, they all add up to a medical certainty of a way out of this quagmire. I just wish the map didn't keep changing.

People who know me, know that I claim no stranglehold on the truth. 

Maybe my healing will come from prayers and I welcome them.

Maybe it will come from my hope and belief in my diet and supplements and even  Zeolite

But maybe it will come from my tough contrarian attitude.

In a future post I will debunk or should I say deconstruct: What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Act as if.

May 21, 2009 at 10:03 PM  
Blogger John Wagner said...

Great post, Brian! I always enjoy your posts.

I have run into a few "helpers" who are no help. I think they just feel like they MUST say something, don't know what to say, so instead of saying nothing and just being there for us, stupid things come out of their mouths. "Just have more faith and I know God will cure you." "A friend of my third cousin ate crabgrass and it cured his cancer, so if you go out and graze in your lawn, I'm sure you will be healed, too." I just remind myself they mean well.

I do agree a positive attitude plays a major role, but we have both seen folks with super positive attitudes who lost their battle. So, Brian, 'keep on keeping on,' 'keep the faith,' 'put a smile on your face and a song in your heart,' -- but most of all, hold on to hope (and I sincerely mean that one).

May 22, 2009 at 6:23 AM  
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February 20, 2010 at 3:12 AM  

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