Tales of a Golden Heart, Chapter 21: Physician, Heal Thyself (Anti-Pain Song)

–The Boogie Man’s gone away. __Healing Song

It wasn’t always just about pain, anti-pain song or no anti-pain song. Growing up, I often found myself sick as an uninsured single parent reviewing medical bills. There were the usual childhood disease: Measles (two kinds), chicken pox, and ear infections that more than once burst an eardrum. Mumps waited craftily until my fourteenth Christmas, then clobbered three of us at once, including Mom. Stomach flu made its rounds once or twice a year, not to mention every cold in Granite County plus a few that hadn’t even heard of the state of Montana. Several times, one ailment or another kept me sidelined for as much as two weeks at a stretch.

The real nasties like polio and rheumatic fever passed on by–close by. At least one classmate suffered from each. Even so, a host of lesser demons haunted those early years. How marvelous the body felt between attacks of this cold or that flu, and how miserable when noble white cell armies died heroically in defense of their flesh-and-blood castle. By the age of twenty, I’d become the first in my nuclear family to discover chiropractors and vitamin pills, yet the outcome of the war remained in doubt. Year in and year out, every few months ushered in a cold that would fight to the finish, in the end yielding to penicillin and nothing else.

Until 1971.

I was thirty years of age, working in an insurance office rather than following the rodeo circuit or laboring in the phosphate mines. Winter was evident in cold, snow encrusted Spokane, at twenty above zero the banana belt of the Northwest. Two miles each way, to and from work, up and down the South Hill, an easy thirty minute hike in worn black street shoes. Today, Friday, is a relief. My back is trying to spasm intermittently, the spine protesting eight earlier years of bouncing around, over, and under a series of rodeo broncs and bulls.

Consultation with a medical specialist has not helped one bit. Upon scrutinizing x-rays with an attention to detail worthy of a hungry spring robin listening for careless worms, the good doctor advises, The last disc space is somewhat compressed, no doubt from rodeo riding…. He provides a list of therapeutic exercises.

The exercises just make things worse. By Sunday morning, the muscle spasms are frequent and severe. Unable to bend over safely, it becomes necessary to pull up a chair beside our infant daughter’s crib to change her diaper. What to do? What to do? No, not about the diaper. About the back.

The wife is sick and tired of this. Her husband is a hopeless hypochondriac, is what he is. Gently, so as to give no more offense than necessary, she asks, “Do you think it could all be in your head?”

Translation: You’re driving me out of my head, and I’d like to hit you in the head!

“Yes,” I admit readily, “but I don’t know what sort of mental exercises to use to fix it.”

Her input nonetheless catalyzes a decision: Better to try anything than not to try at all. At that time, who knew about the spiritual exercises of Eckankar? There had been no esoteric studies on my part, not even knowledge of the affirmations used by metaphysicians. What surfaces, then, remains uniquely personal in its formulation. In childhood, we had learned a song with an upbeat tempo:

Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care
Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care
Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care
The Master’s gone away….

Use the tune, revise the lyrics? Why not. Aloud, then,

I believe that I feel great
I believe that I feel great
I believe that I feel great
The pain has gone away

I believe there is no pain
I believe there is no pain
I believe there is no pain
The Boogie Man’s gone away

Not quite enough. How about an exercise in imagery? Visualize the pain (NO PROBLEM!!), mentally shape it into ball after ball, roll each globe of flaming white hot hurt down the right thigh and shoot it from the kneecap into any handy inanimate object such as a telephone pole or fence post.

Not a tree. Wouldn’t want to hurt the Leaf People or the Needle People.

Outside, the walk needs shoveling. Leave ice and snow on your sidewalk, our lawsuit-minded society advises, and someone who slips and falls on the way past your house can sue you and collect. Let them; no way the walk would get shoveled today. Instead, my “hot” back and I took a cool stroll around the block, singing and throwing incandescent balls of pain into fence boards as we went.

This done, our family of four piled into the Volkswagen Bug for a Sunday drive. Off we buzzed, out of the city and east on the freeway into Idaho, then north to Sandpoint before looping back south to Spokane. Winter’s long night arrived well before we did.

Eight hours behind the wheel of a compact car is hardly the cure for low back pain most doctors would prescribe these days…but it worked. With an easy day of sightseeing, working in union with the anti-pain song, the mind had managed to cut a groove deep enough to keep on going through the little healing tune continuously with only occasional prompting. Two hundred miles of innocent telephone poles had been the unwitting recipients of flame-pain balls.

I felt marvelous.

By comparison, that is. I could bend over and almost touch my toes if I remained alert and careful. The back spasms still grabbed now and then, but not that often and not hard enough to knock me down.

Monday: Return to work. Rare spasms throughout the day. Continue singing silently.

Friday: Back pain completely gone. Spine fine, flexible and strong. Side benefits: Absence of former noticeable toothache and also an absence of “pull” in lower right abdomen where a potential hernia site had “pulled” for years. In fact, no pain to be found anywhere in the entire body. For sure, keep on singing.

An experience like that will pop your eyes open so far you go blind from the light. Personal power! Power to control one’s own bodily reactions, to eliminate hurt by a simple resetting of the mental controls. How many of us, I wondered, spend our entire lives in pain that wouldn’t necessarily have to be there if we only had the eyes to see? Oh, sure, there are limits; there are always limits. But still! Delighted confidence splashed and burbled till its cup overflowed, spilled down the sides, started juicing up the bowl of pride sitting right next to it.

Unfortunately, we’ve all heard what pride goeth before.

May, 1972. Early Saturday morning, gray light in the kitchen. We’re still in our bathrobes, our daughters still asleep in their beds, when my partner acknowledges a sore throat. Instinctively, though I’ve never done anything like this before, I know I can take the pain from her. Standing forehead-to-forehead, fingertips placed gently on her temples, I draw the illness from her…and into myself.

Payback time hits in a hurry, but Vanity gets its licks in first. By early evening, my spouse feels fine–not a hint of a sore throat, not a scratch, not even a ticle. Ah, yes, how Vanity gloats. What a healer! What a guy!

Sunday…all day. My own throat and mouth announce increasing discomfort.

By Tuesday, numerous open sores require a trip to the doctor. Strep throat, he advises. That evening, visiting family members devour a superb chicken dinner neither starvation nor gluttony can force past my agonized tissues. Uncertain of the outcome even after seeing the doctor, I am scared, hungry, and irritable.

It takes a week’s worth of heavy antibiotics to stop the infection, but the lesson is learned: Taking on someone else’s karma is a snap; paying the interest on that debt is what hurts. Ever since, around sick people I try to remember to keep my flow outgoing, giving–but not, thank you very much, receiving.

Years after the faith healing incident, an article released for the Eckists by the Living Eck Master outlined information on the Orange Light healing technique. It interested me (to put it mildly) because the common cold remained in my life a little too common for comfort. I had through attitude adjustment managed to avoid colds once for a full two year period. After that, they seemed to overwhelm all defenses on the average of about once a year for several years. Admittedly, this was a vast improvement over the early years, when my younger self could expect a new sniffle as soon as the door closed on the old one. The body no longer attracted colds like a chili cook off attracts Texans, and some folks say an occasional illness is good for cleaning out the system. But that’s not me. If I’ve got a system that needs cleaning out, I’ll call Roto Rooter.

Come on, Orange Light.

To use this technique, one basically pops out of the body, gazes back at the ailing clay temple, and allows a flow of orange light to wash through the affected area. Some people seem to be able to use this technique successfully; some don’t. Those who make it work swear it’s the greatest thing since seedless grapes. One doesn’t have to be convinced one is “really” out of the body for it to work, either; good strong imagery seems to work, or even “just assuming.”

A few things to try in addition to the basic instructions: Eyeball a Sunkist orange to figure out what orange really looks like. Add sparkle to the light flow, sort of like ultra-purified, highly carbonated Orange Crush without the sugar. Put a portion of awareness into each cell, watching it as the flow gently washes the inflamed redness away and replaces it with translucent, vibrant, healthily glowing orange.

Happy hot fudge sundae, it all worked. Cold after cold retreated, caught in the early stages, lowering the “gotcha” frequency farther and farther. True, after some years it needed further refinement–there’s always that next stop to take–but it helped. When a rare cold makes itself felt these days, the karmic factors usually stand out like dry bones, stark and bleached by the sun, absolutely uncompromising: A careless refusal to listen to the Eck, a lesson to be learned, an old debt to repay or an attitude to be adjusted.

My dislike for pain is strong enough that at age twenty-two, with a mouth full of fillings and a history of clumsy dentists in my young lifetime, I vowed never to enter a dental office again except to have a rotten tooth pulled. It took ten years and the Second Initiation in Eckankar to provide the strength necessary to return to the torture chair. By the grace of the Mahanta, a truly painless dentist then promptly made his appearance and repaired the eleven surplus holes in my head. Now (1986) it’s time to locate the fourth dentist since that Nebraska miracle worker. As mentioned earlier, there’s always that next step to take.

But the Boogie Man has, for the most part, gone away.


For our readers who may not recognize terms like Eck, Mahanta, or Eck Master, the definitions can be found in A Glossary of Eck Terms at Eckankar.org.