Posts filed under ‘Reality’
My colleague, Bob Clark from Florida, has written a thoughtful blog challenging the notion that with maturity comes debilitation. He shares a healing of Alzheimer’s disease achieved through spiritual means alone. Whether or not you are a “senior”, this is a blog worth reading. John D. Clague, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Oregon.
By Bob Clark, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Florida
I live in an area with a lot of wonderful older people, “seniors” as they’re often called. I love seeing seniors walking on the beach, fishing off the piers, driving convertibles, playing golf and generally enjoying life in their later years. These are the true “senior moments”.
So it bothers me deeply when I read about Alzheimer’s disease threatening to demote seniors from their well-earned place and status to a lower level where their “senior-hood” can become a curse rather than a blessing.
Here are some startling statistics from American Family Physician, “The financial and social costs of Alzheimer’s disease are staggering. In the United States, the disease accounts for about $100 billion per year in medical and custodial expenses, with the average patient requiring an expenditure of about $27,000 per year for medical and nursing care. In addition, 80 percent of caregivers report stress, and about 50 percent report depression.”
Is there an alternative to the unjust sentence this disease imposes on our seniors and their families? Is there a way to control or even avoid its collateral costs and damage? Yes. Fortunately for all of us, there is.
As health care reform lumbers forward and costs spiral upward we are seeing increased coverage of alternative approaches to health and healing. The number one alternative, according to NIH, the National Institutes of Health, is prayer. Surprised?
Well, prayer, as it turns out, actually works, even for incurable, degenerative diseases that baffle medical experts. Below is an outstanding and inspiring example of how prayer was used to completely overcome Alzheimer’s. In this case, after a medical diagnosis, every conceivable remedy was applied: Chinese herbalism, homeopathy, ayurvedic medicine, and yoga, all in addition to the most up to date pharmaceutical remedies. After all else failed, this woman found prayer to be the only effective and permanent alternative. Hers is a must read story.
Her prayer-based triumph over Alzheimer’s is just one example of thousands, offering proof that medical diagnoses are not always final and that there is a practical spiritual alternative to forfeiting the joys of senior-hood.
This is an intriguing blog post written by my colleague in Ohio, Steve Salt. His discussion of an upcoming new television science series called “Curiosity”, and the first program on the creation of the universe, will inevitably leave you thinking about the implications of this age old question…how did the universe begin? John D. Clague, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Oregon
By Steve Salt, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Ohio
Abracadabra! That’s how it all began according to some of the world’s top minds, including famous scientist, Stephen Hawking. The universe simply “popped into existence.” And the rest is history…a 13 billion year old history.
On Sunday, August 7th the Discovery, TLC, and Science Channels premier a new series called “Curiosity”. First up is a program focusing on the age-old debate of whether or not there is a creator. Hawking hosts.
In a short interview with USA TODAY Hawking is asked why he is tackling the existence of God question. “I think science can explain the universe without the need for God.” His rationale is based on the following logic: If particles appear out of nowhere in the micro, sub-atomic world, as observed in experiments, why not on a macro scale? After all, the Big Bang started from something no greater than an atom.
No matter what position you take in the God/No God debate, curiosities arise as Hawking has presented his case.
No cause…just there
The sudden appearance of a material universe does not violate the known laws of nature as most scientists see it. No cause…just there. That’s a red flag for me. Either there are a lot more unknown laws yet to be discovered or this universe of ours is a lot less substantial than it appears to be.
Come to think of it, scientists have already admitted that most of the universe is made up of stuff they can’t detect or observe. It’s called dark energy and dark matter, because it is hidden from view, beyond the range and scope of our perception. Scientists have a lot of faith in that rationale. It helps explain why the universe doesn’t fly apart.
Another interesting fact: The deeper we look into matter the more it disappears. At the smallest levels observable, solidity becomes irrelevant. Suddenly, the universe isn’t there…at least the one we think we live in.
Principles of reasoning
The objectiveness of scientific inquiry rests on specific principles of reasoning. What line of reasoning puts trust in stuff that is unobservable, has faith in substance that deep down has no solidity, is satisfied with an explanation of a causeless universe, but arbitrarilydismisses the idea of Principle or Mind (another way of looking at God) as an explanation for why things exist? That’s curious.
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy studying all the results coming out of scientific research and I admire Hawking’s brilliance. And I will be watching his program. I’m just thinking out loud. But if science is anything, it’s open minded until the problem is proven or disproven. And science is great at getting to the bottom of things…to a cause.
The same way our knowledge of the universe continues to be refined through research and inquiry, our understanding of God’s presence and influence in the universe is expanding significantly. Can we really keep that out of the discussion?
By John D. Clague, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Oregon
The Institute of Medicine released a report in June describing the prevalence of chronic pain in America. They report that it “affects at least 116 million American adults—more than the total affected by heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined. Pain also costs the nation up to $635 billion each year in medical treatment and lost productivity.”
These astounding numbers are so large that finding a solution for this health problem should be a high priority for the health care community. The report offers many recommendations but little was offered in how to eliminate pain.
One approach to treating pain and other maladies, is the use of placebos. Some researchers see evidence that it rivals more traditional medical treatments in effectiveness, and yet is less expensive and doesn’t carry with it negative side effects. Jane E. Allen of the ABC News Medical Unit writes in a July 14, 2011 article “Placebo Effect Rivals Steroid Benefit for Asthmatics”:
“In the newest demonstration of how healing can be triggered by patients’ expectations of what medical attention can do for them, placebo treatments were as good as real medication in making asthmatic patients feel they were breathing more easily.
Daniel E. Moerman, an expert on the placebo effect at the University of Michigan-Dearborn said “patients’ feelings about what helps them feel better trump the judgment of the physician.” In those cases, he wrote, dummy pills “can be as useful as ‘real’ ones.”
On one level it’s encouraging to see the scientific community recognize, in this limited way, that the mind of the patient has an affect on his health. That’s clearly what’s at work when placebos are effective in treating physical conditions, including pain. The medical research makes this point. We should not, however, see the use of placebos in treating pain, or any other medical condition, as the final solution. But it can point researchers in new directions for more effective pain care.
In my exploration of how consciousness and spirituality, as practiced in Christian Science, affect health I’ve found that positive results extend far beyond the possibilities described by those who do research on placebos. I’ve come to realize that the conscious application of spiritual laws can bring healing to many medical conditions. I’ve personally experienced it and seen it proven by others. Many of these accounts of healing are reported in Christian Science literature, and on the Christian Science websites. Click here to read one such account where the writer is permanently healed of cluster headaches.
Anecdotal evidence? Perhaps. But maybe “eyewitness evidence” would be a better term. In a legal courtroom it wouldn’t be discounted as illegitimate or irrelevant.
Because placebos involve some deception, the placebo shouldn’t be seen as the answer to the question of “how does consciousness affect health?” Rather, it should be taken as evidence that consciousness does affect health, but the extent to which this occurs goes far beyond the use of “fake” medical treatment. It’s through exploring, and coming to understand, the spiritual nature of man that permanent healing of pain, not just temporary relief, can be brought about.
To me, spirituality is the endgame, which not only makes the patient better physically, but also benefits him mentally and spiritually. Patients then feel as if they have been, not just tricked into health, but made new from the inside out.
by John D. Clague, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Oregon
There are those times in our lives when we meet remarkable people. The last two years have been one of those times for me. You see, I get to meet with Christian Science college students at the University of Oregon every week. They’re incredible. Their insights and understanding of the principles underlying the practice of Christian Science are unparalleled. Two of them, Lauren and Denise, recently took the time to talk with me about what Christian Science means to them, and how they use it in their life. I know you will enjoy watching this video discussion as much as I did making it.
disclaimer: This was a low budget taping session. One stand alone iPhone for the video and audio, and two everyday lamps for lighting. But the message comes through loud and clear.
In this blog post my colleague, Steve Salt, Committee on Publication for Ohio, talks about a topic that I have long been interested in. Just what are hard and fast facts? And how do they stand up against the test of time and new technology? What does this have to do with Christian Science? Interesting questions and an interesting discussion by Steve. John D. Clague, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Oregon.
Solid, factual, and truthful is how we like things. Get to the point. Be genuine. But in the daily grind of evaluation and information processing we are often treated to jello-like truthiness. Things are not always as solid as advertised. That proclivity makes life trying.
A current ad on TV by a major electronics retailer magnifies the difficulty when purchasing “the latest” gadget or entertainment system. The promises are exciting…the reality disappointing. The moment you buy into the hyperbole, your cutting-edge thingamajig is obsolete. And you are left holding the bag…so to speak.
We should be watchful for the same tendency in other departments of life too, those that have an even greater impact on our lives.
In the area of science a constant stream of hypotheses are repetitively set forth to be confirmed or disproved. The public often embraces these theories as fact. More often than not they’re fable. In physics, for example, the model is constantly changing. What’s true today won’t be necessarily true tomorrow.
Variable truth cannot be regarded as truth, can it?
Consider medicine. One day salt is not so good for your health. But then it is. Ditto for eggs. For the longest time drinking too much coffee was considered harmful to health. A new report just out reverses that finding and points to its disease-fighting potential. Vitamin supplements have been popular for years. Now, their value is in question.
In a story in The New Yorker, “The Truth Wears Off”, it is related that the data presented at a meeting of neuroscientists, psychiatrists, and drug-company executives pointed to a strange occurrence, the declining effectiveness of a specific class of drugs. “It’s as if our facts were losing their truth,” the article reports. That raises the question, is truth fickle?
I study various branches of physics and enjoy reading the results of research in this discipline. It’s fascinating to me. But, I know not to stop there. Scientists will be the first to admit that stubborn adherence to a single criterion can impair thought and limit scope to the detriment of truthful outcomes. Think of it as putting all your eggs in one basket.
That is why I study Christian Science. No, those two terms are not incongruent. Christian Science is a dynamic approach to understanding the fundamental laws of the universe, not bounded by the restraints of matter. Skeptical? Good. I’m a questioner myself. That’s what hard science is all about.
There’s plenty of information about Christian Science and its discoverer, Mary Baker Eddy, on this website. Look at the research accomplished by ordinary folks like you and me. They have been finding proof of its efficacy for generations through healing and enhanced well-being. Its findings are observable and repeatable by those sincere in their efforts. It’s not difficult. It’s fundamental.