A newlywed couple, arm in arm, was strolling into Whole Foods for their Sunday shopping. A solicitor stood in the couple’s way. The solicitor said boldly, “Please sign my petition for the plight of the dolphins. They need protection and they need it now!”
The couple ignored the solicitor. Not a good idea. The solicitor suddenly erupted and screamed at the man in front of his wife, “Why are you ignoring me dude?! We all know what you’re gonna do with that organic cucumber and $29 Whole Foods vaseline you’re about to buy. You pig!”
Wow, I thought. What a terrible man. But that wasn’t it. To each person who ignored his solicitations, he ranted louder. He screamed at a poor old lady “Graybush!” And at the Kirtan singer, “Your voice is so bad it’d be better if you farted in the microphone!” And to the diminutive neighborhood acupuncturist known for being well-hung, “Mister Tiny Big Unit, Mister Tiny Big Unit!”
If you live in Venice or Santa Monica, California, you’ve probably experienced one of these aggressive solicitors. I’ve come to realize these solicitors are not just on the corners of Lincoln and Rose Ave but also at the intersection of the mind and body.
In Spontaneous Healing, Dr. Andrew Weil discusses the healing power that occurs upon calibrating the mind-body connection. He describes a well-documented miracle that took place in 1962. Vittorio Micheli had advanced bone cancer and almost complete destruction of his left pelvis. It got so bad that his femur disconnected with his pelvis. As a last resort, Micheli soaked in the famous healing waters of Lourdes in France. In the coming days and weeks, his cancer disappeared, and the bone of his pelvis began to regenerate, something the medical community views as an impossibility.
The idea being that Micheli experienced a sudden, sustained, and positive mental shift. When the mind is healthy, the body thrives. But when the mind hurls negative thoughts, they affect the organs, joints, muscles, and bones in the same way that the angry solicitor’s words affected the kirtan player, old lady, newlyweds, and diminutive neighborhood acupuncturist known for being well-hung.
Thomas Hardy said it perfectly, “Why should a man’s mind have been thrown into such close, sad, sensational, inexplicable relations with such a precarious object as his body.