Dear Shari and Toby,  




I love building model airplanes. I built my first one when I was eight years old. Assembling a large solid body and wing from a hundred tiny fragile parts and watching it fly caused my spirit to be in the cockpit every flight. I could even feel the acceleration when it nosed over into the ground. I didn’t say it flew well or long. It just flew. I continued to build models for approximately thirty more years. I will probably continue that hobby after I retire. …………As I was writing this my mind raced through the hundreds of planes I had built, the TV interview in Knoxville, TN (I was in my 30’s, it was a human interest story on the 6 o’clock news), my first radio-controlled airplane, the R-C trainer I designed which flew unbelievably well and was nearly indestructible………I lost my train of thought and it took a while to remember why I brought this up. When we lived in Knoxville I worked for the TVA. For many years, each February-March time frame I would be out of work sick for nearly a week with sinus problems. Since there is some form of precipitation 250 days each year, the weather is cold and damp that time of year, and Knoxville is the sinus capitol of the world, I did not pay any attention to the illness for several years. One year I noticed my leave record from work and discovered the consistency of being out the same week + each year. It did not seem to matter what the weather was I would get sick each year at the same time. When I sat down that evening, as I did most evenings since Christmas, I continued to work on my latest model airplane. It was a work of art in balsa wood and construction was nearly finished. What remained of the work was to sand the air frame down and paint it. Since it was near freezing I had to work in-doors.  


When was the last time a doctor asked you what made you ill?  If he did, it was probably an accident related injury and he only wanted to laugh at the story. Many times, the cause of an illness is easily determined and treatment of the symptoms is all that is necessary. Doctors do not want to lose patients and view discussing personal habits as prying into areas of private concern. We, as patients, only want to “get fixed up “and return to our “normal routine”. We seldom ask ourselves the question of: why did we get sick. Usually we assume the explanation of: I caught the flu bug; I got chilled and caught a cold; or something I ate disagreed with me. The following categories and theories offer explanations of what causes disease and sickness.


1.      Invasion of the body by bacteria/microbes proposed by Louis Pasteur - Microbes and pathogens

2.      Internal creation of bacteria/microbes proposed by Antoine Bechamp

3.      Stress caused by trauma (external physical abuse of the body)

4.      Stress caused by personal habits (mental or physical stress caused by poor choices)

5.      Stress caused by personal attitude (a predisposition to make poor choices)

6.      Chemical imbalance of the body  - Acid/alkaline 

All of the above are equally valid causes of disease. Generally, modern medicine only recognizes and treats 1 & 3 above. #4 is sometimes addressed. If the stress is normal and obvious, a recommendation may be made to drink, smoke or eat less, exercise more, quit taking drugs, or find a job with less stress. An MD generally never addresses 2, 5 or 6. 2 & 6 are tied very closely together. Dr. Robert O. Young (microbiologist) has performed many experiments concerning the PH balance of the human body and its ability to generate illness causing substances when the PH is low (acidic conditions exist). #5 is strictly taboo for any MD to approach. We don’t want to change our attitudes. This is our spirit, the very thing that makes us what we are. The thought never occurs to us “if what we are is ill maybe we need to change”.


If you rode your bicycle into a very large ditch, (in a place where you were not supposed to be) hit a large rock, fell off the bike and broke your wrist, you would probably change your attitude about where and how to ride your bike. Dramatic issues, such as this one, are easy for us to recognize and correct in our selves. Many times the issues are not clear and we continue on our course until something happens to change our attitude. An example of this is the guy who eats entirely too much ice cream at one sitting. Eventually this causes serious physical reactions and the guy realizes he cannot eat a whole half gallon of ice cream any more without risking serious physical problems later. The attitude adjustment was to try eating less ice cream. After years of trial and error in determining how much could be eaten without injury, he admits he has no control over how much he will eat. Then the attitude adjustment is to eat no ice cream. This too is a very uncomfortable decision and results in “falling off the wagon” when ice cream is present. It was not until he remembered (with a lot of effort) the circumstances when he first began this habit (at an age of 5 years) and what he was thinking at that time, that he started to change the attitude which held ice cream as its focal point. This same excess was occurring in other parts of his life but was not as obvious. The base cause was fear of disappointment when the milk shake was finished or gone. The strong desire to perpetuate the enjoyment and dread of no enjoyment when finished led to a life-long search for a way to continuously eat ice cream. This was not a conscious effort but an unconscious urge from deep within. This guy would never consider pursuing this search with drugs, alcohol or sex. Ice cream seems like an innocent and harmless addiction. Unfortunately, any addiction will eventually consume the consumer.


Stress caused by personal habits (#5 above) is usually not treated by an MD unless it is undeniably obvious. A person addicted to drugs or alcohol can usually be confronted with his addiction if he is ill enough to require a doctor’s care. Usually, the approach is to treat areas 3, 4 only, without addressing #5. This method of treating the symptoms only, leaves the base cause of the illness (#5 – an attitude which is detrimental to the person’s wholeness) untreated. The immediate symptoms may be diminished only to resurface in other ways later. Treatment of the attitude/spirit requires the following steps:



1.      Determine if the attitude/spirit is the base cause of the illness.
Many illnesses have only physical causes. Broken bones, colds, and flu are examples of trauma or stress from the outside producing overwhelming results inside the body. Or, are they? In the bike example above, adjustment in behavior and attitude was required or more broken bones could be expected. Ask Evel Knievel. Due to an obvious action/reaction relationship in some illnesses (bike wreck/broken bone) the base or underlying cause of the illness (a desire for adventure/excitement even if it required doing something he knew he was not supposed to be doing in a place he wasn’t supposed to be) may be overlooked and not treated. Fortunately in this instance, the attitude was examined by the individual, clearly identifying the problem, and adjusted. Adequate adventure and excitement was found within approved boundaries. Flu, colds and other normal seasonal illnesses caused by items in category #1 above are usually considered unavoidable. Your body is invaded and you will catch the illness. This fatalistic view ignores the fact that many people exposed to the invasion do not get sick. Their bodies including all organs and systems are operating properly and repel the invasion. This is usually because 4, 5, 6 above have been managed properly. If we go through life with an attitude and habit of only doing the minimum necessary to stay functional, we leave ourselves vulnerable to any additional stress that comes our way.

2.      Determine the exact attitude or spiritual condition involved and the effects it is having on the physical body.

3.      Determine the modification(s) in attitude or spirit to provide the guidance necessary for wholeness.

4.      Accept the responsibility for changing attitudes as necessary.


There are several difficulties in implementing the above steps to identifying the responsible attitude and modifying it.



1.     A person may not understand the relationship or be willing to admit there is one between the illness and attitude/spirit.
Most people do what they feel is best for them and have developed their attitudes to support that effort. They have not intentionally developed self defeating attitudes. These are the best attitudes they could have and why would they want to change them? Attitude did not cause the bike accident. A rock did.

2.      The underlying responsible attitude may be subjective and difficult to identify. A person may be aware the underlying cause is his attitude/spirit but may not be capable of identifying or understanding the attitude/illness relationship. As in 1 above, most people have built the best attitude/spirit they are capable of and did not see the illness coming. What will make them come to a different understanding when they are ill?

3.   A person has to make a conscious decision that his attitude is not working for him and replace that attitude with one that will. In the Bible, this is called repenting. In everyday language it is changing your mind. This requires personal confrontation and a conscious effort to change. Especially if 1 or 2 partially apply above, this is more effort than most people are willing to invest.

The uncertainties of 1 or 2 above with the difficulty of 3 combine to create a wall blocking the path to wholeness.


4.   Notice, the steps are implemented by the affected person not an external force. #4 in the steps for treating the attitude should be implemented before starting steps 1, 2, and 3. This places the work and the final destination of the person’s attitude as the responsibility of his self. Most people are not willing to accept that responsibility. They would rather let the MD, Preacher, or teacher accept the responsibility for their success or failure. This deflection of responsibility grows an uncertainty about what path to follow for good health. Do we follow what is read in a book? Do we follow what is advertised on TV? Or, do we seek professional advice from someone whose income increases as we get sicker?


The difficulty described above in #4 is the number one cause for illness. Accepting the responsibility for our own wholeness does not mean we ignore the MD, preacher or teacher. It means we listen to all three and learn to make informed and appropriate choices. A structured approach to making good decisions is what is needed.