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May 10

The power of cynicism

Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2007 in Jobs, Philosophy

I am a woman of two parts.

I’m not a fan of astrology.  I don’t believe in coincidence.  I think that fate is mapped out for us, and that accidents happen for a reason.  I believe in evolution and science.  I am cynical, and am fully aware of conspiracies.  Probably too much.  I have very little faith in modern living and the powers that be.  I’m convinced that on one hand, we are lectured that things that we enjoy doing are bad for us, yet at the same time there are invisible poisons slowly destroying us in the background.  I’m afraid to drink tapwater.  I don’t like using cow’s milk.  At one stage I was even afraid to brush my teeth with flouride toothpaste.  I’ve turned into a hippie that uses all natural products when I can afford to, and that won’t take any form of medicine unless I’m severely sick. 

I’ve been lectured before about my attitude to medicine.  I won’t give my kids antibiotics contrary to doctor’s advice, unless they really need them.  I won’t give them flu vaccinations, because I’m convinced that there’s a ‘big brown envelope’ being passed between the Pfizer chemical corporation and our healthboard.  When anyone in my family gets sick, I dose them with Echinacea extract, vitamin C, zinc, and propolis honey, so that they may come through the illness with a stronger immune system than they had before.  I know of other children who get one illness after another, each time being dosed with yet another antibiotic, yet parents don’t seem to get the connection. 

The other half of me is like a little voice in my cynical ear.  It’s the voice of faith.  It gave me the idea a few years ago to begin a homoeopathy course with a view to being a practitioner.  It told me that if I spent 200 euros on a Reiki level one course, it would be money well spent.  It tells me all the time that not all fortune tellers are hacks, and that maybe, just maybe, there are forces at work that we can never understand.

I did the Reiki course.  I did it because once, when Sean was going through a phase of crying for most of his waking hours and we were at our wit’s end trying to figure out what the problem was, I invited a Reiki-qualified lady over to try and heal him.  The cynical side of me was speechless for the two hours she was here.  She took Sean into her arms and he stopped crying immediately.  She told me that he was frustrated that he couldn’t breathe properly, and that he had a bad earache.  She told me that he had a great imagination, that he forms wonderful images in his head from the sound stimulation he recieves.  That he loves music, and that he loves the way his daddy plays rough with him.  She told me that he didn’t like the white teddybear on his bed, because it was boring, that he prefers orange and red colours.

This went on and on, intimate descriptions of Sean’s life that she couldn’t have known.  She then went on to me.  Moving her hands from my head to my midriff, she told me that I had very bad eyesight (I wear contacts pretty much all the time) and that I was prone to kidney infections, that I had had a pretty serious one as a child.  She told me I had a healthy balance of male and female and that I had healing qualities.  This sealed it for me.  I went to a Reiki induction and got my level 1 qualification.


You have no idea how stupid I felt as I tried it out on my friends and family.  They were enthusiastic about it, but the cynical me was laughing her socks off as I performed the healing.  She taunted me and told me I was a tool to think that this crap actually works.  As a result, it didn’t work.  I couldn’t cure my mother in law’s headache.  I couldn’t help my friend out with her sore knee.  On the odd occasion, it feels like it might help Sean when he’s upset but it could be my imagination.  I want to believe so much that it physically hurts.

It’s the same with homoeopathy.  Skeptical me says that this is for money grabbing hacks who will sell you anything if you believe it works.  The voice of faith tells me it’s been around for thousands of years and is worth investigating.  I just don’t know which me to listen to.  I’m at a crossroads.  The choice of taking the path of least resistance, or the road less travelled.

I really do appreciate the fact that there are choices.  In this modern age of secrets and hoodlums, it’s not all bad.  We are given the choice to change the world, or just sit at home and watch telly until we are old and grey.  Life is full of opposites and it is wonderful to be living it.  I just hope that tomorrow doens’t come too soon.  I’m having trouble keeping up with it.

Bring on the comments

  1. Given the grounding in biochemistry I got this year, I think that homeopathy is all a placebo effect.

    And my sister went to a psychic, and nothing she predicted for me came true. Reiki may be slightly more believable.

    Anyway, it’s your life, if you give up something just because people laugh at you, by that logic, I would have given up on life many moons ago.

  2. Grandad says:

    Dario. I have a background in the physical sciences. I know about gravity, radiation, electromagnetism and all that stuff. There is no way on earth that water divining can work. It is all a load of crap.

    Yet how does it work for me? I can find buried pipes and the like without any foreknowledge of their existence. I can prove this by digging down to establish that they are there. There is no placebo effect at work here.

    One one hand I know it cannot work, as there is no logic or science behind it. On the other hand, I know it works, because I have proved it.

    “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

  3. baino says:

    I have a massage therapist and a physio as friends. They’re at opposite ends of the ‘healing’ spectrum but an aromatherapy massage helps me sleep better . . . a sports massage just hurts. Who cares if it’s in the mind . . . if it can help prevent you becoming a Medicare number and being swallowed by the system – just do it!

    Grandad can you come to my homestead please, I need you to find the right place for a water bore.

  4. Grandad says:

    Baino – See if there is an Australian Hydrologists Society. I’d say their members would be very boring?

  5. baino says:

    :) I have absolutely no comeback. So I’m going home to do a rain dance.

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