Five years before his death at 67 my father was diagnosed with cancer. He had four years of a full, active life, and then he became too pain-ridden and debilitated in his last year before graduating from this world. From my perspective, my beloved and dignified father, Leland Dean Chase, had a quality life up to the very end, in spite of the physical deterioration of his body.
I observed my father go through much healing and growth in his last five years. Though my father was always a compassionate, gentle man, his “edges” became softer and rounder. The virtues he was known for—moral strength and spiritual stability—just became stronger and more crystal clear as he opened himself to expanding his understanding of life and changing his thinking about certain things. His acceptance of the differences in some of his family members deepened, and his great love for us became even greater.
I too experienced much healing during the time my dad was physically dying but, paradoxically, really healing. I became comforted and at peace with the situation my father was going through as I observed his own psychospiritual growth unfold. Interestingly, my own inner healing and growth was enhanced by his.
Though always good, our relationship got better because we were aware of the shortness of time he had on this world. We both grew in our appreciation of each other; we flowed more naturally with each other, outgrowing the inappropriate expectations we had clung to for so many years. We learned to just enjoy the other’s presence. We both grew in our gratitude for life and for the daily gifts that life bestows upon all of us.
Though cancer eventually got my father’s body, it didn’t get him. He lives on in the memories of all of those who loved him, and I know he lives on—in another body (a morontia body), on another world (a mansion world). I look forward to seeing him again.
I lost two other close, life-long friends to the plague of cancer. When diagnosed with this terrible disease, both were given by their doctors six months at the most, regardless of any treatment they would take. (Sometimes I think that six months is the catch-all time often given for patients when there is supposedly no hope.) Both chose not to travel the arduous road of the typical methods of treatment found in the medical field—surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation—and selected more natural methods that were considered alternative at the time.
Both had a strong, dynamic faith in the loving presence of God in their lives, and both believed that they could be healed miraculously. Many people, including me, prayed for their physical survival and victory over cancer. As with my father, I saw much healing happen for each one of these dear people, though one passed on almost six months to the day of his diagnosis. The other one, in defiance of her doctors’ dire prognosis, lived two years beyond the predicted six months!
I have to say honestly that both of these individuals were happier and more at peace in their last months and years than I had ever seen before their diagnosis of cancer. Naturally, they initially struggled with the knowledge of having a life-threatening illness, but they both shifted in their perceptions of their reality as they succumbed to resting in their Creator’s hands. I think that as they experienced the fragility of their physical, temporal existence, an awareness of their other-than-physical, eternal realness became more prominent in their consciousness—thus, their increased happiness and healing as they lived fully in the moment and looked forward to a future full of new experiences and discoveries. I think they looked at their inevitable deaths as crossing a bridge into an even more exciting adventure.
In her book, Ordinary Times, Cycles in Marriage, Faith and Renewal, Nancy Meyers shares one of the most significant epiphanies of her life. Having been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and experiencing the daily weakening of her muscles, she writes of one day praying that her disease would just go away so she could get on with her life. She prays, “God, God, God. Please cure me, heal me.” She says, “And then for the first and only time in my life, I got a response. I had never heard voices, and I didn’t hear one now. Three monosyllables simply materialized in my consciousness: ‘But I am’.”
Ms. Myers goes on to describe her own inner process of realizing how God could be healing her while her physical symptoms continued to get worse. She realized that in her mind, the actual intent in her prayer had been, “Cure me of this physical ailment, of this disease.” That didn’t happen, but she discovered that she indeed was being healed, even though she eventually ended up in a wheelchair and continued to be plagued with the debilitating disease of multiple sclerosis.
Another friend of mine, at 17 years of age, was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (by more than one doctor) and told that by the time she was 25 she would be in a wheel chair for the rest of her life. An active athlete, this teen-ager informed the doctors that she would show them how wrong they were when she walked into their office eight years later, and she did. I first met her when she was in her early 30’s, still an athlete on her feet, and, two decades later, at 56 she has had a family, changed her career twice, plays tennis (on her feet), rides mountain bikes, and backpacks into wilderness areas. There’s no wheel chair sitting around her place.
When I asked her why this disease didn’t “get” her, she said, “Because I didn’t accept the diagnosis. I would not let my mind stay focused on the possibility of me having this disease. I pretty much ignored my pain and continued being just as active physically as I always had been. I did not buy into the gig the doctors offered me, and therefore it was not a part of my reality.”
My friend’s mind certainly seemed to wipe out her physical illness. It’s been said that energy follows thought, and this most certainly seems to be the case here.
In reflecting upon my own life, I recall times when I have felt dis-eased. At about age 5 I had begun experiencing a vague sense of mission, which continued to unfold, and in my pubescent years the knowing that I had a destiny in helping to make the world better suddenly became more apparent and continued to intensify throughout my teen years. In my childhood I had colds, measles, chicken pox, and so on, but I didn’t feel dis-eased with those childhood ailments. When I was around 12 I became very weak and listless. I started chewing the skin of my fingers, as if I was frustrated or haunted by something, but what that something was I could not identify. The various medical tests showed no physiological cause for these symptoms except for a slight case of anemia, and when my physician (and family friend) asked me if there was anything in my life that was bothering or upsetting me, I could think of nothing out of the ordinary. And that was the problem—my life seemed too ordinary; nothing extraordinary was happening! My whole being was wanting something more than I had, and I had a very good life—with devoted and loving parents and siblings, as well as fun-loving extended family and friends; living on an Indian reservation with clean, open spaces to roam (which I loved doing); having an active, intellectual life of avid reading; and living a dynamic religious faith with an interesting combination of Native American spirituality and Christianity. What in Heaven’s name was wrong with me?
In actuality, nothing was really wrong and almost everything in my life was right except that I yearned for something more, something very elusive, something I couldn’t name. And that yearning (for something that I couldn’t do anything about) is what I was not at ease with, thus the dis-ease. After several months of suffering this minor melancholy, I suddenly made a shift, becoming lively and enthusiastic again, and the skin on my fingers began to heal since I no longer chewed on them.
Two thousand years ago Jesus was asked by one of His apostles, “Why are some persons so much more happy and contented than others? Is contentment a matter of religious experience?” In His lengthy answer Jesus included this: “Some persons are naturally more happy than others. Much, very much, depends upon the willingness of an individual to be led and directed by the Father’s spirit which lives within him or her.”1
I think that in my pre-teen prayers for healing what was ailing me, I received help from the Threefold Spirit within. I believe that the Holy Spirit of the Universe Mother Spirit kept nurturing me and reinforcing the comfort and messages that the Spirit of Truth was giving me. Because I was sincere in my desire to move out of my dis-ease, my heart and mind were open and receptive, and thus the Fragment of the Father (Spirit of God) was able to help me change my mind, adjust my thoughts of dissatisfaction and obsessive yearning. In other words, I was able to shift into gratitude and the attitude of “be here now,” be in the eternal present.
Though I do think that innate within all humans is the desire to always reach for something higher, something even more divine, we also have to recognize the times when we are where God wants us, and we must be content in our moments, and that is what, at age 12, I began to learn to manifest.
In hindsight, decades later, I understand that in those tender and sensitive years of puberty when I was shifting into an adult mind and body, at a cellular level my heart was remembering other realities closer to divine pattern that I had experienced on another world in another universe, and I was grieving the loss of that existence and experiencing the frustration of living in a culture of lower consciousness.
Years later, when I was a sophomore in college I went through another dis-ease episode, suffering from similar symptoms of my previous, pubescent melancholy. Again, nothing was found in all of the medical tests I went through to explain my extreme lack of energy, dizzy spells, and horrible rashes running up my legs and back. Again, there seemed to be nothing untoward in my life happening that would be the cause of this sudden demise in vibrancy. But this time I was more aware of the cause of my uneasiness, and I recall having long, emotional phone conversations with my father about my inner struggle. Though he was at a loss in how to help me solve my psychological and spiritual turmoil, my father was always available when I called out for help. He listened to me, prayed with me, and simply loved me.
I think that my earthly father’s loving, parental presence helped me to open up more to my heavenly Father’s guiding, healing presence. I think that my human father shared his own particles of stability and strength with me, thus aiding me as I went through the healing process with my First Father.
Unlike my human father, who was a first-light soul, I, who am a starseed, have layers of past-life experiences, with layers of codes imbedded at a cellular level that I must acknowledge and eventually decipher. As an undergraduate university student I again was faced with memories of saner and safer worlds more evolved than this one. I again felt the strong sense of responsibility for contributing to the advancement of this world, and I experienced frustration at being so stuck in so many limitations and so alone in my realizations.
I again received the ministry of living spiritual forces and, after three months, my physical symptoms of dis-ease abated. I was comforted and felt more strongly committed to the sense of service to the world. Again I felt reassured that I was, in that moment in time and space, where I was meant to be, finishing my work in school.
Though, since college, I have gone through many minor instances of dis-ease with my circumstances, I consider only two other episodes that seemed huge, and discussion of those are for another time, another article. Obviously I am still here, and those episodes of illness didn’t get me—either physically or psychospiritually. In fact, as a result of those episodes, I have had great healing. I feel healthier than I ever have—physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. I no longer have a 20-year-old body, or a 30-, or even a 40-year-old body, but it has slowed to the tempo of the universe, to the tempo of the cosmologic vibration pattern2 that is being reestablished on this world, and so my heart and cells continue to open up to the code of divine pattern.
I think that well-being has to do with relationship—relationship with our Creator, with living spiritual forces and personalities, with other humans, with our place in the universe and on this world. Well-being has to do with our perceptions of reality, of ourselves, of others.
French author Marcel Proust, whose writing explores the influence of past experience on present reality, once stated, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes.” I think that true healing has to do with seeing with new eyes, spiritized eyes.
1 The URANTIA Book, p. 1674
2 See Paper 216 of The Cosmic Family, Volume 1 for further discussion of “cosmologic vibration pattern.”
-Niánn Emerson Chase