Saturday, April 19, 2008


It’s time for another round of psycho-babble. Fifty years ago I started getting interested in how the mind, body, and attitude all interchange to affect one’s life in its entirety. It started with Kurt Levin’s Resolving Social Conflicts, augmented by Harris’s I’m OK, You're OK, and continued with various offerings from Eric Berne (see transactional analysis) and a two decade exposure to the magazine Psychology Today. Although never tempted to seek “professional” counsel to reconcile any manufactured psychosis I made every effort to keep up on the field. In the process I discovered that “thar’s gold in them thar ills.”

Currently in the news is a woman, Sarah Edwards, who has dreamed up a couple of books full of information on a new disorder; pre-traumatic (yes, the prefix is not a misprint) stress syndrome. Equipped with an alphabet of titles after her name and a high regard for Gaia, she has coupled the two to promote this previously unheard of illness. Essentially it is reserved for those persons who have attained much in life and have substituted fear for faith. They see disaster under every leafy bough and carry a constant thought of impending doom. We used to call them “worry warts.” I am certain you know one or perhaps intimately share their pain. As a man of meager resources, I personally have little to fear in their loss.

Her grief for the planet causes her excessive concern for the use of fuel, waste paper, water pollution and other eco-ailments. The physical result is neck and shoulder pain, fibromyalgia and fatigue. She reports it was so severe she had to move from crowded Santa Monica to a “cabin” in the Los Padres National Forest. She claims to have reduced her shopping needs to a trip to the nearby grocery every three weeks.

This “cabin” is a three story affair which is home to the Pine Mountain Institute where one may retreat to nature and experience appropriate therapy. The picture I viewed showed more of a mountain mansion than the rustic dwelling I had initially envisioned. With treatment at $100 an hour she has joined the other one hundred “qualified” specialists in a field that has grown, by their admission, to a $228,000,000 industry. That is indeed, gold.

For your further curiosity, here is the website for your perusal.

I covered some of this on a previous “rant.” Until we fully appreciate the source of our gifts in life I see no possibility of understanding the transitory nature of our existence and the lack of meaning in their loss. We came in naked and we shall leave the same way. If our entire focus is on the protection of that which we have rather than that which we may become then our presence here is hopeless. We are constantly chided in the scriptures to have no mind of the things of this world. We have a forward-looking faith.

To understand our lives on earth we must learn to accommodate some raw data. To provide shelter; trees are cut. If the shelter is to be warm; fuel must be extracted from the ground. To sustain our bodies; animals and vegetables must die – so also with our clothing. To exercise our talents in labor; we must move about. Creator God, by His own word has provided all of this for our use. And yes, He also has advised that we exercise good stewardship in their use. In our growing (and shrinking) environment we witness a planet very much alive. It is in a state of constant change which is sometimes not gentle. The forces which shape our natural world often demonstrate unimaginable power. They can also be subtle but just as dramatic in the end result. We are currently witnessing ground saturated with water from previous violent storms with 3 to 4 inch falls of rain refusing to accommodate an additional ½ inch. A flood from ½” of rain!

If you are a victim of “pre-traumatic stress syndrome,” I have some advice: unless you have $100 an hour to throw away on a quack, count your blessings and deal with it!

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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