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Rough Introduction

Oh, where to begin… have you ever been over inspired to write a work? Normally, when I write it is based purely off of research, this is mostly because of my passion for learning and discovering the new or the old and forgotten, but that is not why I sit here today. My inspiration today is not passion, nor is it mere interest, but rather it is pure disgust, contempt, and confusion.

My disgust could be aimed at a million things and it could take a thousand words to attempt to name it but for the sake of time I will be using anthropological technique taken from the “Big Mac” chapter of Cannibals and Glass Box. I will admit my bed and its current contents as exhibit 1 for my case. On my bed currently sit 3 bags and a drawer containing a very large amount of medication that will be quantified at a later date. These pills and the doctors that prescribed them along with the symptoms they represent are the root of my problem. Not to mention the society I live in that demands I follow this protocol; as parts and as a whole the points of my disgust and the origins of this work.

However, my contempt lies within myself. How can I see what is happening to me and knowingly allow it to continue? My personal contempt is derived from my choice to remain a part of this system which is so obviously unhealthy for me. But before my resolve fails let me put to paper the reason why this “system,” Western Society, my world has done me such a grave injustice as to make an established order that has no true place for me. There are a million ways to say it, yet none can adequately convey my true meaning, I am a child of two worlds. I am very much in the here and now, intellectually, emotionally, and physically. For the most part I love life and the joys and pains that come with it. But that is not where the story ends, I am not “normal.” Through my life passion for learning and discovering new stuff, I thankfully learned I am not alone. I am a person who might in the broadest sense by regarded to as spiritually in tune. I am a person who experiences what Maslow referred to as peak experiences frequently and from the youngest ages of remembrance (Maslow 1964). As a young pious Methodist child, I had only the stories of the prophets to compare myself to growing up in a house Science and Reason. But with my church piety long sense, dust in the wind my search continues. I am far from holy enough to be one of God’s prophets, even if I should happen to decide to lump myself in with the believers that still believe in the prophets in modern times.

So while the origins of my confusion about how to lead this double life becomes a bit clearer on, what do my health issues, which for the most part are temporarily resolved, have to do with it? Well that is precisely my question. In many non-mainstream Western cultures spirituality and health are not seen quite as cut and dry as modern science might suggest. It has become my personal quest to examine a variety of healing and spiritual alternatives using research in historical health practices and modern anthropological and medical studies of alternative healing practices as well as conducting field research in the Arkansas Ozarks through interviews, clinical visits, case studies, and personal trails. I believe there is a place in the Post-Modern Western society for the spiritually sensitive to live healthy, happy, productive lives that may not have been as available and acceptable in the modern era. It is my intention to find this place, the niche of spiritually in tune.

Maslow, Abraham H. Religions, Values, and Peak-Experiences. Kappa Delta Pi, 1964.


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