Letters to the Editor: Jul-Aug 2004
Healer Heal Thyself
I'm writing to express approval of your recent article in Spirit of Change [“New Age Healing Mythology” by Judith Prebluda, Mar/Apr ’03]. I live in the Boston area, and have a friend who owns a New Age store.
Through her, I have met an ongoing procession of psychics, channelers, energy healers, “shamanic practitioners,” etc., virtually all of whom have displayed the attitude described in the article. I've experienced a considerable amount of suffering, and I've been told consistently by these people that it’s because I'm not getting the “lessons,” or that God or the universe is trying to help me, but that I'm blocking it [the healing]…you know the drill. It always ends up being my fault. Over the years, I've tried repeatedly to discuss this problem with my friend and others within the New Age subculture, and I've used the same terminology — “blaming the victim” — to little or no avail. I've often said that, aside from a few points of doctrine, New Age people are virtually identical to religious fundamentalists. Each group is married rigidly to a set of beliefs, and anyone who can present a successful counter-argument, who demonstrates, as you say, that “the emperor has no clothes,” is viewed as a threat.
As wonderful as it is to see someone from within the camp offering intelligent criticism of its beliefs, unfortunately, I doubt that it will have much of an effect. I've seen (and experienced) so many examples of these practitioners forcing their views upon others in order to convince themselves (again, the fundamentalist comparison), and doing considerable harm in the process. Of course, I've seen this in the psychotherapeutic profession as well, however, in that arena, some credentials are required, at least: a certain level of education, licensing, etc. In the New age arena, it seems that any fool can go off for a few weekends, attend a seminar, come home and hang up a shingle. Naturally, when I express these opinions, they're viewed as evidence of my low level of spiritual attainment.
However, all that being said, on behalf of everyone who has walked away hurt and angry from the New Age movement, I'd like to thank you for your validation. If there were more people like you within it, perhaps it would have more credibility within the wider culture. It would certainly deserve it more.
More Healthy Parenting Advice
Thank you for your beautiful words and inspirations on raising healthy children last month in “Musings.” I always look forward to reading your column each issue and this one was no exception.
I would like to add, however, that you neglected to mention in your column healthy alternatives for nurturing our children’s physical bodies which are just as important as their emotional and spiritual wellbeing. As parents, we must be the ones to make the choices to resist the “comfort foods” of our culture — sweets, fats, prepared and fast foods — and set an example to show them that taking the time to prepare our own healthy foods at home is important. Teach your children early about the benefits of organic food and the ethics of buying “honest” meat which is free range and hormone free.
We can also gift our children greatly by modeling self-care healing methods at home or when we seek out medical attention. When our children observe us using herbs and teas, taking supplements and getting rest when we are feeling run down, they are likely to develop these habits themselves. In addition, by choosing alternative healing methods such as acupuncture, Reiki or chiropractic treatments for our children when they are ill, and showing them how to become educated about their own health and self-care, we give them strong foundations for lifelong wellbeing that include options to drugs and surgery. Your article on children’s yoga was fantastic! My kids are enrolled. Thank you for Spirit of Change and all the good information you are providing that cannot easily be found in other locations around here. I have seen many of these holistic publications, and yours by far is the best!
Dear Ms. Deckro,
Regarding your article in the May/June ’04 issue [“Parenting as a Spiritual Path”], I agree that there is a huge spiritual dimension in parenting. It is often overlooked in our society, as well we do not have respect for each child as his or her own being. Perhaps it is all part of being spiritual. I am reacting to your comment about protecting/nurturing in an age of terrorism.
Most of the terrorism given credence today in America comes from the agenda of a White House administration. There is very little chance of a terrorism attack for the vast majority of Americans. The most common terrorisms in the US come from condoning unsafe driving which kills and injures many young people, water and air pollution that affect many children, pesticides and herbicides on our lawns and fields and foods, malnutrition in a country of huge excess, a high rate of infant deaths, and many other indicators. I feel that any time a child is hit by a car, that is an act of terrorism. Our children are our most precious resources, yet we allow them to be pawns in the way our society does business
Hold the Heat
Many of your readers may think that the term “Healthy Cooking” in Michelle's column is an oxymoron. Cooking destroys vital components of food (not to mention resource utilization issues) — a body and planet-altering distinction that too few people acknowledge! Please let your FANTASTIC publication be a vehicle for this information as well!!
Amber Folsom Grondin
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