A Short Course for Physicians and Patients

10 Things Medical School Does Not Teach …
But Everyone Should Know

Ninth Lesson

The Big Giant Head ...

We come full circle in this Short Course to discuss the importance of Mind in Health & Healing. In bodily symbolism, the head is quite clearly the emblem of the human mind. That and a few other thoughts cause me to tell the story of an old friend.

Joe King was one of three Aquarians born on February 7, but in different years, with whom I formed close friendships in Lavina, Montana, population @180. Mr. King was my closest friend for some years. I did and do love the man, but such a bundle of contradictions for him and me and others to deal with.

King found his way to Big Sky Montana at mid-life. He spent as much time away from a job as he could there and in Arizona. And away from cities and people, finding himself oppressed by them. He said even our small town got to him at times. So, he isolated himself even in Lavina living in the small camper he pulled behind his van.

At the same time, when in public he carried the aura of a benevolent Mr. Know-It-All. But paradoxically, he often reverted to his unique time-worn refrains like, “I have no mind. They took it from me. I have no feelings, I just borrow other people’s. Just like I borrow your thoughts. I feed on your mental energy. Worse than that, I may not even have a spirit. I think they took that, too.”

THEY referred to the Star People of which he was one. Somehow, THEY had dropped Mr. K. on Planet Earth and forgotten about him. Leaving him without mind or spirit, life was a tough row for him to hoe.

Joe occasionally recalled to mind or pointed out people whom he said were also Starbeings. I never got placed in that category. Most often his fellow Starbeings were female, young and attractive.

JK did introduce me to one well-known Starbeing, commonly known to the movie world as Jeff Bridges. Bridge’s Starman was in some ways a match for Joe’s Starbeing

Even while his spirit-mind-emotions-brain were frequently stressed out or absent, K. did “know” enough to work as an insurance underwriter in Nebraska for many months at a stretch in the early period of our friendship. He hated the work – or so he related – and said he did it by rote. “You don’t need a brain. You don’t have to think. You just go on automatic and follow the program.”

Besides being an addled Starbeing, Mr. K. was a great lover of sports and a keen fan of Kansas and Missouri ball teams. He tried to teach me basketball, but with little success. More to my liking were the times we played catch with baseball and gloves. It was a bit like the olden days. I still had my old mitt. We tossed the ball back and forth, back and forth. Shooting the breeze about this, that and the other thing. It was almost reminiscent of Kevin Costner playing catch with his ghost father in A Field of Dreams. Maybe JK was my ghost brother.

For a man with no brain, K. seemed to have a very good memory. He remembered lots of high school Latin, stored all sorts of trivia and data somewhere in his being – if not his brain – and promoted lots of beliefs. Thus, I recruited him to lead one of the Friday Forums we held in our small town. Joe spoke forth for the longest time – almost two hours – on “Basic Metaphysical Principles: A Paradigm of Spirit.” It was much too long for me, but everybody else seemed to be absorbed into his presentation. King’s gentle and easy rapport with most people, especially the ladies, made his talk a hit.

Still, like many of us, K. was a walking set of contradictions. He had studied metaphysics, offered psychic readings, and quoted chapter and verse of various teachings. Things that you and I should know and do. But, practically all of his advice and guidelines did not fit himself. Because he was not of this planet. As a Starbeing, his equipment was lacking. They had left him with missing parts. No mind, emotions, spirit. No brain, apparently. “I fired my Guides and High Self,” he said. 

JK became our tiny town’s premiere stand-up comedian, when he told the audience at our first annual Red White and Blue celebration that he had “given so many people pieces of my mind, that I have nothing left.” The more he said it, the more he believed his proclamations. It was hard for anyone or anything to counteract his long-held view of himself. Which is not unlike the case for rest of us.

William Shatner as the Big Giant Head

William Shatner as the Big Giant Head

During the latter period of our shared history, the television show called Third Rock from the Sun was running quite successfully on television. I decided to borrow from the program and started calling Joe “The Big Giant Head” after the mission leader for the Solomon family. The epithet was meant particularly to remind Mr. K. that he did “have a brain” and other useful organs.

At one point thereafter, he said, “Oh, I’m just drawing on your mind. I have none. Keep trying just the same.” My effort at trying to spotlight K.’s Big Giant Head had little effect and lasted only for a short time. Eventually, we parted ways after Joe repeatedly talked about some day “eating a bullet.” Then, I did not see King for years.

Even while King visited us those summers in Montana, it appeared that he was struggling in ways more than the obvious. King was a gift to others, but became his own potent enemy. Joe treated others differently than himself. He wouldn’t dare to share his problems with anyone and gradually fell into a deep hole from which he could not extract himself. He turned to pills and alcohol out of some despair that he hid from most everyone.

During the long lull of several years in our friendship and communication, JK developed partial paralysis in his legs. He could only walk short distances and there was no treatment for the problem. Mr. K. had certainly helped to think himself into his paralysis as well as a number of other health problems.

After no contact with JK for almost ten years, we got back in touch and I prepared to go visit him in Kansas. But, I didn’t appear there until after he had tried to kill himself in a more subtle way than with a bullet. That was by drinking cases of Jack Daniels and Everclear. Partway through his suicide by spirits, Joe decided he wanted to live. Or, he wasn’t ready to die.

I saw him in the midst of a very long hospital-nursing home stay. The reunion was bittersweet. There was still a bond of genuine affection between us. But, Mr. K was a very sad sight. His body revealed the ravages of abuse. He admitted that his paralysis was due to alcohol. But, he would not even consider giving up the bottle.


I tell this sad story to point to the obvious but often forgotten fact of The Mind in the Middle.

Over the past five years since our last meeting, I have recognized Mr. K. teaching me a number of lessons. A most important one has been slow to take full root.

While JK clearly affected my life, I apparently had some influence upon my Starbeing friend. Would that I had known him earlier in life and for a longer period of time. Maybe I would have touched his life more sufficiently to make The Big Giant Head idea stick.

“Thoughts are powerful things.”

You see, we – the whole human race – do share thoughts and mind as Mr. K. suggested. Thoughts are things and they do circulate widely to affect our families, neighbors, and the whole world – bit by bit. Like a rock thrown into a pond, the wave it creates spreads to the distant shore.

We can and do have nourishing or debilitating influence on everything and everyone around us. Healing thoughts and vibes, as well as malevolent forces, circulate amongst all of us and our whole beings. Often they can are helpful. At other times, they contribute to the creation bodily illness and injury.

“Sticks and stones” do break bones, but thoughts and prayers have much wider effect. And even the stone throwers of the world are influenced by thoughts else they probably wouldn’t get into the throwing business.

Our own thoughts are surely the most important and powerful in our lives. But, it is necessary to recognize that we attract negative and positive vibes to ourselves. These are drawn to us because of our mental states.

“The Mind is ever the Builder.”

While we live in and through physical bodies, the spirit and mind are relatively submerged to our senses. That is especially so as we are often pointed outward, chasing after experiences of all kind, seeking validation and comfort in a challenging world. The fact that we are really spiritual beings, using thoughts and emotions to create physical life escapes us all too readily.

But, we are indeed body, mind and spirit. Like the Godhead of most religions and traditions, we are also triune in nature. We are quite factually trinities as we are made in the image and likeness of the Creator.

That fact may be reassuring, but it is also daunting. It may give us comfort, but inevitably will lead us to see that we are tiny gods in the scheme of Greater Lives in whom we live and move and have our being. “You are gods, you are all sons of the Most High.” Psalm 82:6

 “As a man thinketh in the heart, so does he become.”

The potentials of the human mind are quite beyond our summarizing or imagining. We are meant to be co-creators and so humanity has done wonders producing artificial things on top of the natural world. But one day, “greater things than these shall we do.”

What we think on, we do become. Baseball players eat, sleep and dream baseball. Then they set the stage to act the part. We can say the same for most every endeavor in life. We must prepare ourselves for the roles to be played.

If we want to succeed in our chosen field, we put the mind to work. If we want to heal an illness or injury, we ought to do they same.

If we are really fortunate, we can corral the minds of friends and family to focus on our project or our healing. And it will eventuate.

It may be too late in this lifetime for Joe King to mobilize such forces. At last report, he is living with a chum of school days. He gets around little because of his neuropathy and has sold or given away his motor vehicles. He still enjoys his ball games – and probably bottles.

The rest of us can draw more fully upon that great Mind in Middle. And let its influences pass outward through The Big Giant Head – and Heart.

Send comments to theportableschool at gmail dot com.

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