Saturday, 8 December 2012

When Life Spins a Googly

Yesterday I found out that a good friend had an inoperable brain tumour.  My breath stopped for a few moments. Life insists on throwing us the unexpected googly.

For all you non Test Match/Sunday league readers, in cricketing parlance the googly is a weapon of destruction kept in the kitbag of a leg spin bowler. It is used infrequently, because its effectiveness comes mostly from its surprise value.

There can be no doubt that a diagnosis of an inoperable brain tumour would knock out anybody’s stumps.


My own experience of confronting a critical illness over the last five years, which turned my life completely inside out and upside down, took me immediately alongside him. I had a good sense of some of what he would be feeling but unable to language. Such an experience is invariably painful (quite apart from the chemo and radiotherapy treatment) always distressing, and depleting of mental, emotional as well as physical energy. One is left holding a fear that is unarticulated and a sense of quiet isolation.

My friend described in some detail about the drilling of a hole in his head as part of uncovering the tumour and then being told that even if much of the growth was removed, it was not possible to remove the roots. And we all know that roots regrow. Well, my overactive and graphic right brain took me straight to an image of the rhizome….

Wikipedia tells me that a rhizome is a stem of a plant that is usually found underground, often sending out roots and shoots from its nodes. But for me a rhizome has ancestral or tribal power connotations (often dysfunctional and involving group identity and belief patterns). All of that is related – of course it would be – to the root chakra.

In the human energy system, 7 major power centres known as chakras, resonate with the various organs of the body. Every thought, word and deed sends the correspond-ing ‘energetic’ wave through the body and attaches to an organ, bone, tissue or muscle. Every experience in our life is filtered through our chakra database. This is recorded in our very cell tissues and that data is an energetic charge that has psychological, biological, environmental, social, and global consequences. It is in this respect that our "biography becomes our biology".*

Needless to say, that 'charge' which is also genetically transmitted can be diffused, if we choose. But that is another story entirely.


Quantum theory verifies that, regardless of whether we perceive two distinct entities in the cosmos – matter and non-matter (air and electricity) – only one thing makes up the universe: energy. Hence all disease is a form of distorted energy. 
Allopathic medicine focuses purely on the physical and gives little to no attention to the body-mind axis; we won't even mention the spiritual. Martin Brofman who taught me his famous 'Body-Mind Mirror System' of healing, says Anything Can Be Healed (title of his book). I'm not sure about that. But I do know that anything is possible.  And so part of my friend’s fate, maybe how he approaches this stage in his life, his mental attitude, lies in his own hands.

Having engaged with a process of self-healing myself, I know that living in the moment and being at peace with what is, it is not the easy option. It is an act of personal power that requires immense effort, is a highly individual process demanding self belief, patience, perseverance and courage. And the price of healing is often located in a place we either cannot reach or do not wish to go.

For some inexplicable reason, even in the face of what appears to be a dire situation, I have a good feeling about my friend; I'm holding on to hope. In the words of Ralph Blum:

Hope is a light that never fails, a flame burning in the darkest night, an elusive feeling that urges you on when, against all reason, you refuse to give up.

Hope is raised for you my friend.

*See Caroline Myss, Anatomy of the Spirit

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