A Rant of My Own

I receive the Medscape weekly newsletter, and sometimes there are commentaries published there. A couple of weeks ago, there was a long rant from a doctor who seemed to want people to know that he was both a dedicated scientist and a writer with an extensive vocabulary. He was writing about what effect, if any, intercessary prayer has on a patient’s physical condition.

The doctor went into great detail to show [his] God as an all-powerful being who created this vast and intricate universe with all its laws governing everything from the most massive sun  to the smallest subatomic particle.  And then he let his opinion be known by stating that such a God who had created all this could not be expected to take notice of a minor change in one person’s functioning. He attributed any improvement in prayed-for patients to psychological factors which may not have been accompanied by any lasting change in physical condition.

I could not let this self-important windbag go unchallenged. I sent my own letter to the editor in reply:

“In regard to commentary by Dr. G, posted ~3/20/07, the writer of this pompous, verbose piece goes to great lengths to make it appear that God, the all-powerful creator of this incredibly vast and complicated universe, must be insulted by our requests that He pay attention to a mere difference in blood flow or a few points in blood pressure. His is the mistake made by most people who learned their theology from established religion: that God is outside and separate from the universe, and therefore separate from humanity, and must be prayed to so that He will change what is happening. Some of us know that God is within the universe and every part of it, down to the tiniest particle; that it came forth from God and since there was nothing else before God, all that exists must be made of God as expressions of God. Therefore, when we pray, we do not ask for intercession; we channel the positive creative energy of God to the person or situation that needs it, in order to restore balance. I don’t know if the practitioners of physical medicine can understand this, but it has been known to work.”

I received a standard note of thanks for my interest and heard nothing further on the subject from anyone.

Using Intuition

On a Friday afternoon in 1980 while I was at work at the Post Office, a young man came to the window asking if we had seen a large brown envelope. He said he was leaving for school the next day and was expecting something important.

I checked the “flat case”; there was nothing. Then he said it was something that could not be bent, and a dim image formed briefly in my memory. I told him that I thought I had seen something like that, and went to check the parcel shelves where it should have been according to his PO Box number. But again there was nothing. The Postmaster told him that we would be looking for it, and the young man walked sadly out of the office.

Suddenly, it was as if someone whispered, “Psst!” and pointed towards the parcel shelf. I immediately turned my head in that direction, saw a thick brown envelope in a stack of packages for someone else, and I pulled it out. It was addressed to the young man and on the front was “Do Not Bend.”I ran out of the office, found him in the lobby, and called to him. He tore open the envelope, found his high school diploma with a wallet-size version, and stood there saying, “Oh, wow!” I felt very happy sharing that moment, and glad that I had immediately responded to the gentle suggestion of my intuition.


In the 1970s and ‘80s I worked for the US Postal Service sorting and boxing mail, sometimes driving a city delivery route, and occasionally serving customers at the window. Although I liked handling and delivering the mail, I was never good enough, or fast enough to suit my supervisor. I wished whole-heartedly that I could earn my living doing something that required the talents that I had, rather than finding those talents to be useless as the machine-like worker that the USPS wanted. But I had no other skills, so I felt stuck between longing for what I could not have, and fearing that I might be fired for not meeting productivity standards.

On a particularly depressing morning I was working the incoming letters at my sorting case when I picked up a handful of mail, and my attention was caught by one rubber band among a few others lying in the corner of my tray. While others lay there in the usual oblong or coiled shapes, this one was shaped like a heart. No one else in the office would have noticed this, or thought anything more of it if he had noticed it. But to me, this was a message, sent to let me know that I was loved and that I was not alone with my misery.

I did eventually get to leave the Postal Service, and go back to school for the degree I needed to start a new career. The way was never smooth or without struggle, but from time to time, when I seemed to need reminding, the shape of a heart would appear in some form that seemed to leap out at me. I would find a heart-shaped stone or leaf among others that were randomly-shaped. I would see one or more of them in the grain of a wood cabinet or paneled wall. Sometimes it would be simply drawn on the sidewalk. Each time I would feel the love, believing it to be a message from the spirit wanting to comfort and encourage me.

So, all of these occurrences could easily be explained, though it is very difficult to make a standard Post Office rubber band land and stay in a heart shape (I know because I tried.) Still there could not be construed any intentional handiwork here, human or otherwise. The one occurrence that cannot be explained as mere chance to me was so bizarre that I had to photograph it as proof.

I was sitting in front of my computer at home, eating a bowl of Cheerios with bananas. As I often did, I left a little milk in the bottom of the bowl and set it on the floor for my cat. A minute or two later, I looked down and saw in the bowl a perfect heart where the cat had licked up what it wanted of the milk, surrounded by the remaining milk, and the cat was quietly creeping away to take a nap. I tried to recreate this one and have never been able to do it.


I expect to see more hearts as I need them. They are my special reminder that the loving spirit of my Creator is within me and will never leave me alone.

Healing Oneself by Forgiving

When I was 47 I developed a lump in the left breast. It seemed to occur suddenly, in a matter of days, which, I was told, was not characteristic of cancer. Nevertheless, I worried. Whatever it was, it should not be there. Maybe it would go away. I waited, telling no one. But I didn’t wait too long. A close friend noticed that I seemed “down” about something, and so I told him about the lump and we agreed that I should see my doctor and find out what it was.

Ultrasound showed that it was a fluid-filled cyst, which, the doctor said, might go away by itself in time. But he wanted to aspirate some fluid to see if there were abnormal cells present. This he did, and found in the sample a small amount of blood and a few abnormal cells–no more than he would expect to find in an otherwise healthy person. He said there was no need to remove it unless it was uncomfortable. The cyst did heal slowly , but left some scar tissue which could be felt, and a couple of years later, when I was having another procedure, the doctor also removed what was left of the cyst.

However, a few months after the needle aspiration, the right breast developed a hard lump, just as suddenly, and it was 3 to 4 times larger. This time I was confident that it was a cyst, but I did have an ultrasound done. The main question in my mind was, “Why is this happening?” I wondered what I was doing wrong, and how I could stop doing it. I read the usual things about too much of this or that in the diet and tried to make some changes. But then I heard about the Forgiveness Meditation for healing, and I committed myself to regular sessions every day, understanding that it might take weeks to start getting results.

Every day I stood in my bedroom, and starting with the top of my head, I named every part of my body and stated, “My [body part] forgives every person, thing, or situation that has ever hurt me, whether I remember it or not. I also forgive myself for any and everything I have ever done to hurt another or myself.” This brought a flood of warmth and relief over me. I did not have to think about or relive any moments that I wish had not happened, only know in my heart that I forgave and was forgiven for all of it.

I did this for 2 weeks before I could feel that the large cyst had begun to shrink. At that point, it was about half its original size. After a month of meditating, the cyst was gone. Later mammograms did not even show that it had ever been there. I called my doctor’s office and told the nurse that the cyst was gone, and she expressed great surprise. “What did you do?” she asked. I told her that I had used meditation. She said that she had heard of people doing that, but had never heard of it working before.

At one point, it did come to me why these cysts were occurring (it was a displaced emotional need), and once I realized it––and understood, I knew that it would never happen again. And it has not.

Positive Energy Protection

Can the focussed visualization of positive energy protect the entire coastline of a continent from the devastation of a vicious hurricane? Thousands of people not only believe that it can, but know that it did. I live in Texas and have belonged to a Unity church for more than 20 years. We believe in the power of positive energy.

Several years ago, a dangerous hurricane was headed straight for the southern part of the US east coast. Its projected path would bring it across the southern states, and possibly into eastern Texas, before turning north again.  A small group of us in Unity and similar New Thought churches began to visualize positive energy forming a shield over the entire east coast and pushing the hurricane away. Day after day, the storm continued along its projected path, and as it approached, more people joined in the visualization. We began to hear news reports of thousands of people all along the coastline sending positive energy in focussed, coordinated effort. And the hurricane began to slow down. Just offshore, it almost stopped, began to wobble in its course, and finally made a 90° turn and moved north parallel to the coastline. It wobbled again over the ocean for days. When it made landfall, it had weakened to the force of a severe thunderstorm.


Security is Within

I was 17, I think. The weather was warm and I was wearing shorts, so it must have been summer vacation. My mother was in the house reading or maybe sewing. I went outside and just sat in the small patch of green we had for a yard, contemplating life as I had always loved to do, enjoying my own company.

I had no idea where my life was going, but it was time for it to start going somewhere. I couldn’t see anything out there for me to hold onto or give me some sense of direction. My few friends had their own plans which did not include me. And then I stopped thinking and let myself be present. It was a quiet moment of stillness at the center of a chaotic world, and in it I became aware of a profound concept: security comes from within.

I knew in some nebulous, untried way, that everything would work out, not because of what other people thought of me, but because of what I believed about myself and my abilities. (And that, I learned throughout my life, could be both help and hindrance.)

Geometry and The Moonlight Sonata

When I was a senior in high school, I needed a math course to graduate, so I tried taking Plane Geometry–again. I had registered for the course as a sophomore, but after 2 weeks, I had found that I was totally lost. I could not understand the most basic axioms and theorems. So to avoid failing, I had dropped the course and taken Spanish.

This time, I was doing slightly better, and thought I might pass. Then, a few weeks into the semester, the nice old fellow who was teaching the class died suddenly of a heart attack. We got a substitute for a while, and then one day I walked in  and there was a young man behind the desk who was fresh out of college. He looked a little like Noah Wyle. As I passed his desk, he looked at me, and there was an instant connection.

Nothing ever happened between us, though my girlfriend and I often fantasized about him. He stuck to the rules and did not fraternize with us, though he was pleasant enough when we did get to talk. But I wanted to please him with my work in class, so I studied ahead in the book. I chose difficult proofs to demonstrate at the blackboard. And during one class, I had the answer (in the form of a question) before he could issue the challenge. I even made 100 on the final exam!

He thought I was gifted. He brought me a Physics textbook to read when I had nothing to do during a study period he had given the class. The truth was that I had more mental energy and clarity than I had ever felt before regarding math and science because I had a great desire to learn it–to impress him. In the process I was actually learning to understand the subject and enjoy the clean logic of it.

The only other achievement I can compare it to is the 3 months I spent learning to play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata on the piano. It is written in the key of C-sharp Minor, and it doesn’t get more difficult than that. But I wanted so badly to play it that I somehow read the music until I had the finger positions and the sound of it memorized, and I could play the piece, with feeling. After that, the music score became difficult to read again.

I know now that if I could get excited about calculating the area under an arched bridge, or compound interest on a savings account, I could learn to do it; I could open the door and let the new ideas in. But I am not at all excited by those tasks, so I cannot force the knowledge into my head no matter how hard I try.