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Selections from Peace, Love and Healing by Bernie Siegel, Copyright © 1989 by Bernie Siegel. Reprinted with permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.  HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.

"Spontaneous remissions like Johnís I prefer to call self-induced healings."

Bernie Siegel, Peace, Love and Healing, Part Three

It is now six years after his surgery, and John celebrated his eighty-third birthday recently. You have to wonder Ė what happened to his cancer?

I donít know if his immune systems eliminated it or if itís still in there, enjoying Johnís life so much that itís going along for the ride. What I do know is that when you look at John what you see are signs of his ability to live and love. Still passionate about his lifeís work, he sense me letters with clippings about the therapeutic value of the outdoors and an article about himself in the local newspaper that quotes him as saying, "If I find a little marigold just lying there, I feel so sorry for it I just put a hole in the ground with my finger and plant it." The article ends by saying "TodayÖJohn is still on the job, planting and pruning. He loves it. And like the legendary cowboy who proudly professes he wants to die in the saddle with his boots on, he says when his turn comes, ĎI always pray that Iíll die at work, gardening.í "

Working outdoors, John maintains what I call a celestial connection, and, like patients in the hospital who have been shown to heal faster when their room has a view of the sky, he is healthier because of it. John is too busy living to be sick. Thatís his real secret. But how, in scientific terms, do we account for him? What can we learn from him? Is there really a physiology of optimism, peace, love and joy?

Spontaneous remissions like Johnís I prefer to call self-induced healings. They make wonderful anecdotes and can also tell us a lot about communication between mind and body.

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