The Truth is (not) Out There

Back in 2012 I wrote a book (Life: A Player’s Guide – still lurking in the musty vaults of Amazon somewhere, I think).  Near the beginning of it, I wrote these words:

My truth works very well for me, and it may well work for you, but please notice that I am not proclaiming it as THE truth.  I am perfectly comfortable with people holding different beliefs to me.  Once I start proclaiming that what I believe is ‘The Truth’, I move into the realms of fanaticism and religion; discrimination and wars.  It makes me right and other people wrong, and that is not a space I want to be in.

So I say instead, “I have found A truth.”

You are free to follow it, or search for one that works better for you.

I stand by that.  I think those were amongst the wisest words I ever wrote.

May be an image of 1 person and text that says ""A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, 'You are mad; you are not like us."" -St. Anthony the Great"The world today seems more factionalised and divided than it was back when I wrote those words, as we are confronted by issues no one can ignore.  This image and quote appeared on a social media post I saw this morning.  Perhaps you can guess the context or viewpoint of the person who posted it.

So OK, let’s take the Covid issue as a case in point – although we could just as easily select global warming or a host of other current issues.

Side A takes a particular stance.  Side B takes a very different stance.  Both sides seek out and pay an impressive array of experts, statisticians and graphic artists to emphasise their point.  There follows a stand-off with both sides spewing out endless media to support their ‘Truth’.

The problems come when the establishment espouses one of the two viewpoints, because once governments have decided which one they believe, they have (or borrow) vast amounts of money to hammer home their Truth as the only one.  This instantly galvanises a counter-establishment which becomes increasingly vocal in proclaiming its alternative Truth.

Once the establishment begins to legislate, the anti-establishment groups begin to unite in acts of protest and defiance.  The protestors and their attitudes vary from nation to nation, depending on their government’s policy.  So in Brazil, for example, they protest in their thousands against President Jair Bolsonaro’s refusal to acknowledge the dangers of what he termed ‘little flu’.  In much of Europe the protests are against vaccination and perceived infringements of liberties.  In the UK, we recently had an interesting situation in which freedom activists went ahead with Saturday marches to protest about being forced to wear masks in indoor public spaces, despite this directive having been repealed a couple of days before!  A shame to bin those carefully made placards, perhaps.

So yes, governments love legislating – it’s what they do.  And protestors love protesting – it’s what they do.

Nurse, Man, Male, Spray, MedicationNow, though, there is the vaccination issue.  Here the truths on every side become ever more woolly and difficult to prove.  Vaccination was a bone of contention long before Coronavirus reared its spiky little head.

The French government has decided to take a hard line – there the ‘health passport’ (proof of vaccination or negative covid test) is already in use in cinemas, tourist sites and nightclubs.  From the beginning of August this will be extended to bars, restaurants, cafés, some shopping malls as well as long distance train or bus services.   Other governments are watching with interest…

Meanwhile, on the other side, I was told yesterday of an elderly man who approached a friend of mine in great distress.  He is on one side of the vaccination debate and his wife is on the other.  He is double-jabbed.  She is not.  She has now told him he must stay away from her and her friends because of the danger he poses to them.  Her argument is that since he has been vaccinated, his DNA has been changed and he has been polluted to the point that he presents a hazard to herself and other ‘unpolluted’ citizens.

It’s a pity St Anthony the Great (apparently there are quite a few St Anthonys.  This one was a third century Egyptian.) did not choose to define either madness or indeed ‘men’.  To either side, if a truth is held to be absolute, those who disagree must be mad.

That’s why I prefer to hold my own truth and not to attempt to foist it on to others.

Vaccination Vacillations

Vaccination, Impfspritze, MedicalIt was a difficult choice – to be jabbed or not to be jabbed.  Once I finally made my choice, there was the next obstacle; should I make my decision public?

I decided yes – to both.  Many reading this will be mystified as to why it was such a difficult decision.  After all, for the vast majority of people on BOTH sides of the argument, it’s a ‘no brainer’.  Either they believe implicitly in the science and can’t wait to be vaccinated or they are convinced that all sorts of nasties are being injected into the arms of unwitting victims, which will have dire consequences.

I have friends on both sides of the fence.  Not since the English Civil War, I would imagine, has opinion been so divided and intractable.  Politely begging to differ is no longer an option.  Walking down the pavement in my town, and many others, I’d imagine, 30% of the population are masked and hooded, glaring furiously at anyone passing them and veering into the path of buses to avoid close contact with a human biohazard.  Another 30% jeer nastily if you step aside to let them pass and make a concerted effort to come as close as they can, ostentatiously hugging and kissing anyone they vaguely recognise.  That only leaves just over a third of the population who will nod or smile in a friendly manner and go about their essential business as best they can.

The trouble with me is that I make very little effort to ‘fit in’.  I ponder my decisions carefully, but doing what others do because that’s the line of least resistance has always seemed weak and rather a cop-out.

‘Aha,’ you may say. if you reside on that side of the fence, ‘So you are one of the subversives!  You’re a conspiracy theorist.’  Well no, actually.

‘Aha,’ you may say, if you are from the other side, ‘So you are one of us!  Not one of the sheeple.  You have seen the hidden agenda!’  Also no.

I was once accused by a friend in bright felted garments and dreds of being ‘not alternative enough to fit in’.  I ventured the suggestion that being ‘alternative’ seemed to me to imply not fitting in.  She shook her head sadly and told me I should at least wear some beads….

Still, back to the vaccine.  You see, I am not generally a huge fan of allopathic medicine.  This does not stem from any deep mistrust of the medical profession.  I take from them what works for me and go elsewhere if others can help more.

Globuli, Homeopathy, NaturopathyWhen my daughter was 8 or 9, she had severe stomach aches.  I took her to the doctor who asked many questions, prodded her a great deal and pronounced her quite healthy.  The pains continued.  In desperation  I then took her to a homeopath who asked many questions then gave her some tissue salts which cleared up the pains within days.  It was my first encounter with homeopathy, but certainly not my last.

When I had sciatica, which was excruciating, I again went to a doctor.  I gratefully accepted the physiotherapy appointment he offered but declined the painkillers and the second prescription which (he had the grace to blush) he admitted was to neutralise the side-effects from the painkillers.  I used the sheet of physio exercises and found an excellent acupuncturist.  Together they healed me.

For broken or dislocated bones, it’s doctors every time.  For most other ailments I usually elect for some kind of complementary treatment.  I’m a great believer  in energy healing and it has proved very effective for all manner of problems throughout my life.  It does have limitations though.  I noted that whilst radionics, for example, has been amazing at sorting out everything from allergies to breathlessness to digestive problems, it was not effective with a respiratory virus that laid me low the Christmas before last.  A relative had a similar issue with a viral disease.  It’s as if viruses somehow get through the net of energy healing.  I have only this experience as evidence, but – as I said – I make my own choices based on what works for me.

Three of my good friends have seen fit to spam me relentlessly with anti-vax propaganda.  Maybe they see me as ‘one of them’, or perhaps their evangelical zeal (Oh dear, how I HATE evangelism!) induces them to send it to everyone they know.  Perhaps they think they are ‘saving’ me.

I’ve read and watched some of it.  Most of the posters claim to be ‘spiritual’, although the tirades of sarcasm, scepticism and arrogance which invariably follow give me some cause to doubt that assertion.  I’ve never understood why spirituality seems so closely aligned with conspiracy theories.  Goes back to not being alternative enough, I suppose.

Then there’s the pro-vax propaganda; burbling Prime Minister, a train of look-alike Secretaries of State and the scientists who are now media personalities in their own right – JVT with his endearing long-winded metaphors that usually get lost in the middle, Sir Patrick with his headmasterly severity, Jenny Harries with her gentle, well-modulated points and Chris Whitty with his earnest, passionate appeals.

Pendulum, Quartz, Chain, AlternativeBoth sides have statistics galore.  You can argue anything with statistics.  So which way to jump?  I finally decided to use a method of choice that would horrify the scientists and probably bemuse many of the conspiracists.  I took my trusty pendulum, tuned into the part of myself the scientists would deny existed and asked it questions.  Like I say, I believe in energy.  I believe that my body knows at a deep, spiritual level what is right for it and although my conflicting thoughts can get in the way of decision-making, this simple method is sensitive enough to pick up my body’s truth.

‘If I have the vaccination, will it be beneficial to my body?’  Pendulum swings sideways – NO.

‘If I have the vaccination, will it be harmful to my body?’  NO.

‘If I have the vaccination, will it lessen my chances of catching Covid-19?’  Pendulum swings front to back – YES.

So the decision was made.  Not beneficial per se, but effective in preventing me from catching a disease that my age, fitness levels and weight suggest could be serious.

I have lived completely alone throughout the pandemic.  Not so much as a goldfish to talk to.  Days on end with no human contact.  I have not left this divided little town for many months.  I have not seen grandchildren, children or my much-loved elderly aunt for over a year.  I have missed train rides, coffee or lunch with friends, bus trips around the beautiful Somerset countryside, trips to shows and museums…  I opted for the jab.

So thank you to all who have tried to help me towards my decision.  Thank you to the delightful, thoughtful and efficient nurses and stewards at the vaccination centre.  They gawped in amazement when I said I was not on any medication at all.  “What – NOTHING?” cried the nurse, re-checking my DOB.  Nope.  With the medical profession, I take from them what works for me and go elsewhere if others can help more.