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Almost there is not there…Part One

September 27, 2004

During one of my cognitive-behavioral therapy classes (for some reason they were always slated at 8 a.m.), I learned that Death was just another stage in life. Perhaps you think this idea is a hackneyed culturally-derived idea, but in the early 70s it was radical. The proponent of this theory is the recently deceased Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. Now I learn that this woman I thought was dead is not dead after all. More about that in a moment.

She had become a medical doctor and was fascinated with caring for the dying…especially those who had been neglected by family for one reason or another. In her ministrations, she noticed that the patients fell into a pattern during the process of dying. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance came to be the five stages of dying and taught in every Counseling school, mine included.

We could debate forever whether these stages are real, especially as they relate to those who have a personal faith relationship with God. But one thing is for sure: She couldn’t leave well enough alone. The next 20 years of her life she entered into one bizarre theory after another. For instance, she declared that there was no such thing as death, and sought to prove it by having real relationships with people who were supposed to have died. Of course, if there is no death, she’s not dead. Perhaps she now lives in a garage in Buffalo. I’m not sure what that would qualify her as. Her eccentric exploits and myopic mistakes are chronicled well in this article.

I see this often. People who start with a truth – or a close-to-truth theory – who do not know the One who is True, and therefore finish way off the mark. Later, I will discuss some well-known writers who started near the straight line and jagged off into hither regions. There is usually a lot of muck in hither regions. Just ask any opponent of the Oakland Raiders when the fans get angry.

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