PETALUMA, CA, November 10, 2015 – To say there is no cure for a particular disease is not to say that no one has ever been cured of that disease. And yet, this is likely the impression many people have when they hear or read these discouraging words, regardless of the illness being described.
“Today, [Alzheimer’s] affects more than 5 million Americans – 590,000 of them Californians,” writes Victoria Colliver in a recent edition of the San Francisco Chronicle. “It is a fatal, progressive disease for which there is no cure.”
The problem is, unless someone is cured within the confines of a medically regulated environment, the results – as welcome as they may be – are too often dismissed as merely “anecdotal,” a euphemism, really, for “we have no explanation,” or perhaps more accurately, “we haven’t the time or inclination to explore further what just happened.”
“It’s understandable,” says Kelly Turner, author of Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds, “because [doctors are] trained in a very reductionistic model where the only thing that matters is the biological [aspect].”
But what matters to the doctor is not always what matters to the patient.
Take, for instance, the story of a woman from New York whose Alzheimer’s was reversed following a long and difficult journey of “pill-popping and visits to specialists” that eventually led her to rely on a decidedly spiritual approach to dealing with her condition. The turning point came when she met a woman from her patient support group who, as she shares in a published account, “seemed less distressed than the rest of us.”
“One day I asked her how she managed to remain so calm in the face of such a calamity. ’When I was young,’ she replied, ‘my mother gave me [Science and Health] by Mary Baker Eddy, and that book is my rock. It keeps me steady.’”
Once she began reading this book herself, she began to get a better idea of what she describes as her “spiritual nature and… indissoluble relationship to God.” She also started to see a marked decline in her use of medication – to the point of giving it up altogether – and a corresponding increase in her ability to recall certain details, so much so that the leaders of her patient support group asked if she wouldn’t mind being reevaluated.
“The doctor was almost as happy as I was with the results,” she writes. “He said I had done very well, and that he had given me some tests that would not ordinarily be given to a person my age. On those tests, he said, I had scored better than the average twenty-seven-year-old. He said he had never before reversed a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.”
So why aren’t more of us being made aware of such cases? It could just be a simple case of reluctance.
“Whenever I go to medical conferences, I say, ‘How many of you have had a case [where your patient’s recovery couldn’t be explained?],’ and a bunch of hands go up,” said Turner. “Then I say, ‘How many of you who just raised your hands took the time to write an article and submit it for publication?,’ and then all the hands drop.”
On the other hand, there may be a more ingrained resistance that needs to be addressed.
Referring to the same approach to healing employed by the woman from New York, Eddy writes, “To-day, as of yore, unconscious of the reappearing of the spiritual idea, blind belief shuts the door upon it, and condemns the cure of the sick and sinning if it is wrought on any but a material and a doctrinal theory.”
Apparently Eddy’s beef wasn’t with doctors, many of whom acknowledge the healing power of a spiritually grounded outlook. Rather she was pointing out the need to change the underlying belief that we’re no more than a material construct forever in need of material remedies, even the resistance to approach the question of who and what makes us “us” in the first place.
The good news is that the dismantling of this belief begins, not just with doctors, but with anyone willing to set aside, if only for a moment, the notion that the only way to address matter-based problems is through matter-based means; to explore their innate “spiritual nature;” and to accept the idea that there may, in fact, be a cure.
Eric Nelson writes about the link between consciousness and health from his perspective as a practitioner of Christian Science. He also serves as the media and legislative spokesperson for Christian Science in Northern California. Follow him on Twitter @norcalcs. Continue the conversation on Facebook.