(From an April 2010 e-mail to my family:)
Dad was still in good health back in ’83-85, when I became so deeply interested in spiritual healing. He maintained a pragmatic skepticism about it throughout; in essence, “What’s the use? We’re all going to die anyway.”
I recalled that Monday night 12/07/09 on my way home from Rite Aid, where I’d had to go buy a few things. I was having pretty severe pain in lower left abdomen, after having had several “difficult” eliminations earlier in the day. I took the pain for infection-inflamed ureter; later concluded I was passing a stone. Long time since I’d passed a stone. Long time by my standards, that is.
The state I was in at that hour, I was inclined to cancel all appointments and errands for the next day, and plan to spend all day Tuesday flat on my back in bed. With pain like this, you can’t do much more than just stare into space and feel miserable.
I would recall one author’s answer to Dad’s argument; Lawrence Althouse is the guy’s name. He said the sheer alleviation of pain — without opiates — is justification enough for the practice of spiritual healing. Pain occasions loss of productivity, as just described. It also stresses relationships; with any less self-control as to these things than I’ve learned in the past few years, had anyone crossed my path the wrong way on that trip home, I might well have snapped at the person.
That’s not something you want to do in the ghetto. Especially at night
There are other was to effect spiritual healing, besides prayer.
Just being nice to people, as opposed to choosing, say, to inject needless pain (“static”) into their world — that’s one.
Crystal happened to wait on me at the Rite Aid; she’s my favorite clerk, and I’d not seen her in months. Damn if she didn’t smile at me and give me a cheery greeting as soon as I came in the door.
Damn if my pain didn’t go away — completely — for some time, later after I got home, as I recalled that encounter. “Spiritual” — healing — indeed.
Every word can work good or ill. My choice; your choice.