I found this image today on the Facebook page for The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.
Shiatsu, acupuncture, Reiki, feng shui, rolfing, chiropractic AND karma are all quackary? I am a practitioner of Reiki (which has been helpful to me), I observe principles of feng shui in my home, and I am absolutely convinced that karma drives the universe. Oh, and a couple of different homeopathic remedies consistently help me when nothing else works.
I guess I’m either a tool or a fool, but certainly not a scientist!
It’s kind of sad to me to see certain “irrational” practices in which I have found tremendous value to be tossed into the same bin as seances and crop circles, for heaven’s sake.
My mother is an open-minded seeker of truth down many paths, and she’s dabbled in far more of these fields than I have, so I’m familiar with many of them second-hand. What I’ve seen is that almost everything works for somebody, but nothing works for everybody.
Two examples of what has worked for me:
First, when I was a freshman in college, I had to have my four impacted wisdom teeth extracted under general anesthesia. My parents drove me to the oral surgeon’s office in another city a couple of hours from our town for the procedure. Afterward, on the long drive home in the dark, my mother sat with me in the back seat of the car and gave me Reiki for most of the trip. I recovered literally overnight and never experienced any pain, swelling or complications from what was, in my case, a fairly significant procedure.
Second, I once decided to take a bike ride early in the season, when the weather was fine but a stiff wind was blowing. I was a very inexperienced rider at that time and not only did I head out with no food and only one water bottle, but also I didn’t realize the implications of a 25 mph tailwind pushing me down the road until I was well over 25 miles from home with virtually no effort on my part and had to turn around into that same spanking wind and get myself back. I arrived home hours later ravenous, dehydrated, utterly spent in every respect and sore to the bone. Again, my mother gave me Reiki and I woke up the next morning feeling a bit tired but otherwise perfectly fine. I’ve ridden many a hard mile since then without benefit of her ministrations and felt the difference, so I know wherefore I speak when I say she performed a miracle that day.
I am by no means anti-science or anti-intellectual. But I have seen with my own eyes that some things that cannot be explained scientifically are still very much real. Sometimes I think a love of and/or devotion to purely rational thought can close one’s mind and one’s eyes to the ineffable, the magical, and the miraculous. It’s a big world we live in, filled with many mysteries.
I’m willing to allow for a good measure of “irrational nonsense” in the world if it makes things better for even one person.
Please note: I did not choose this graphic on the basis of its apparent conclusions about Scientology, but rather because it includes several other topics of interest to me. I have no personal opinions about Scientology. No offense to any reader is intended.