Albert Einstein once said, “Science will ultimately lead us back to spirituality.” What he was indirectly saying was that in our attempt to use science to understand the truth or reality, we will be led to the awareness that there is no such thing. Now, this is pretty heavy stuff, even from the master of intelligence.
As an author whose book was published by HayHouse, I am on their email list. This morning I received their email notice with the headline, “What to feed your pet to prevent cancer…” Oh, my. I thought, that really isn’t what I read. I hope no one out there really believes that by feeding the appropriate diet to a pet, the pet will not get cancer. Maybe what it meant to read was, “Feeding your pet the correct diet can help reduce the chance for diseases such as cancer.”
I remember several years ago the Truth About Cancer series came out in regards to cancer in people. It was very successful and I enjoyed it. It was also promoted by many heavy hitters (big email lists) like HayHouse. In response to the series, I wrote an article for their website that I titled the Truth About Cancer in Pets. It was a pretty good article (can still be found archived on their website) but they changed the title. I imagine it had something to do with the similarity to the series they were promoting.
Then, a year or so ago, I was contacted by a fellow that was working with a group on a series called, The Truth About Cancer in Pets and was asked if I was interested in being a part. I agreed as I am always open to promoting discussion about health care. The group was spearheaded by Dr. Becker of Mercola and Rodney Habib, the internet phenom with millions of followers. Rodney is a wonderful person and truly loves pets and his devotion to pet health care will be a legacy that will live on.
I had had a couple of Facebook discussions with Rodney and I decided to send him a copy of an article that I had written about cancer in pets that addressed cancer from a deeper, holistic perspective and I included the idea that maybe cancer might not be all bad. That was the last time I ever heard from the group.
I am promoting this series because I believe in its intent. The message might stir up emotions, like the HayHouse lead, but that’s ok if in the long run, their intent is met. Their intent is to shine a light on cancer, look at the current approach to cancer with regard to pet health care, point out its flaws and guide people in a direction that might help prevent it from occurring in their pet. All, noble intent. However, as a philosopher and holistic health practitioner, I get a little nervous when I start leaning on words like the Truth.
Back to Einstein. Einstein’s theory was that there is no real truth. Truth (or reality) is relative. As human beings, when we grow with our day to day experiences, we rely on our sense, our thoughts and our emotions to create our apparent reality. In time, due to our conditioning and ego-mindset, it is easy to believe that our reality is THE reality or truth. But, all you have to do is look through the lens of a bat’s eye or a frog’s eye and your world would be unrecognizable to you. A bat’s vision is directed by infrared radiation and frogs basically have the visual perception of having eight eyes looking at the same time. One of these critters, as well as all other living things, has a completely different reality than ours and trying to make our reality any more real than theirs is ridiculous. There is no truth in either’s reality. It is only relative to the species.
Let’s look closer at cancer. What is cancer? Western medicine sees cancer from the perspective of an invasive disease that needs to be eradicated because it will likely kill you and cause great suffering. But, is this true? There have been many people who were diagnosed with terminal cancer that admitted it was the best thing that ever happened to them. What? That sounds crazy. Often, when one is diagnosed with a potentially life-ending disease, after the emotional reactions have settled, they become aware of the importance of living what time they have left to the fullest. Spiritual teachers throughout life have said that only in the contemplation of death will we find the reason to live life to the fullest.
Years ago, I worked for a prominent veterinarian in Dallas, Texas. He had a wonderful old Labrador retriever that he brought to work with him each day. He was never far from the old dog. One day, he diagnosed his dog with splenic cancer and being a conventional veterinarian he followed protocol at that time, which was an exploratory surgical examination in order to find out if the cancer had spread to the surrounding organs. It was accepted that during surgery, if the spleen was the only organ that had the cancer, it would be surgically removed and the dog would be allowed to wake up. If, however, the cancer had spread, the protocol was to euthanize the dog on the surgery table. It was accepted that to allow the dog to recover would allow suffering for the dog as he would likely have just a few weeks to live.
He asked me to accompany him during the surgery and I did. When he opened the old dog’s abdomen, we were disheartened when we saw that the cancer was not only in his spleen, but it was throughout his liver and most of the surrounding tissue. We both paused and I watched with quiet anticipation. In a few moments he started to surgically remove the dog’s spleen, opting to go against protocol. I respected his opinion but I quietly asked him if he was sure that it was the right thing to do. He did not answer.
Several months later, he opened up to me about his decision. He told me that he knew his friend was going to die but he was not ready to let him go. The five months that he had with his dog, he said, was the best five months he ever had during the dog’s entire life. Each moment he was with his dog, he was fully present, living in the moment in a state of gratitude. He said that he connected with him in a way that he had never experienced with anyone. For him, it was truly a blessed event.
I remember growing up in my family. My father had a very hard life. His father was terribly cruel to him and then when he went off to war (world war two), the horrors that he experienced with losing his best friends, killing the enemy with flame throwers and other atrocities, being shot down and spending days in the ocean with severe brain trauma, he returned with severe emotional scars (PTSD) and he suffered greatly. Not only did he suffer, but many of the people close to him did as well. My Mother was one of them. There were very few times that I saw her happy and when my father was diagnosed with lung cancer, which would kill him six months later, I was scared of what her life would be without the husband she had for so many years. But, after a grieving period, I watched her bloom. She became confident in herself and found the happiness that had been inside her for all those years, covered by the anger and pain from my Father. Was his cancer a bad thing? It ultimately relieved him of his suffering and allowed my Mother the freedom to find joy.
No, we don’t want anyone, pet or person, to get cancer. I don’t believe that we are meant to die such a horrible disease, but I also know that life does not make mistakes and that every experience we have, especially the ones that make us move beyond our mind’s limitations, points us towards a better understanding of ourselves. We are here to be health and happy and sometimes we have to be exposed to real unhappiness in order to know true happiness. So, we try all that we can, to do what we can, to stay healthy and happy and learn to forgive ourselves when we stumble, and love ourselves the way our pets do, without condition or expectation. We start that process one step at a time; from the foundation of good nutrition, exercise and quality sleep, into fostering healthy, loving emotions and feelings and rising to the pinnacle of allowance and faith and transcendence to a higher state and awareness of the real truth.