For years, I have been telling people an amazing story of the healing powers of Aboriginal People of Australia that I had read about in a non-fiction book.
The name of the book was lost on me but on a recent trip to Australia I learned the name was Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan.
Excited by this discovery and the chance to refresh myself with the details of the story, I rushed to the Internet to research the book.
To my astonishment, I discovered the author, Marlo Morgan, is a fraud. The book was, in fact, originally published and pitched as a work of non-fiction but was later proven to be entirely fictional.
The impact on me was profound because I was forced to drop a cherished belief. (Morgan told a story of how the Aboriginal people were able to heal a compound fracture overnight and I liked to use the story to highlight the arrogance of Western medicine.)
As I now know, the story isn’t true. Perhaps the Aboriginals do have some amazing healing powers of which I’m not aware–and I still believe Western medicine is unnecessarily hostile to ancient healing practices–but I can no longer use this story to make my point.
Unlearning is hard but in situations such as this I take comfort in this quotation from Olin Miller who once said, “If you realize you aren’t so wise today as you thought you were yesterday, you’re wiser today.”