She lived in Hawaii, one of the American states, and had a brilliant career: she published a successful tourist magazine, managed investments and bought real estate. She had her own house and a good car. Her professional experience included the purchase and sale of a newspaper. Suddenly she was brutally awoken from living out the American Dream by a car accident.
Moira Noonan suffered serious injuries, was partially paralyzed and in constant pain. For two years after the accident, her body hardly functioned, making her unable to hold even a coffee cup. Doctors said that her chances of full recovery were slim. What is more, the prospects for continuing her career were gone. This hopeless situation changed after a phone call from Moira’s sister, who told her about a pain-treatment clinic. For Moira, who still lived in constant pain and without hope for recovery, this was great news. Without hesitating, she left everything behind and flew from Honolulu to Wisconsin, to a new but already renowned clinic, whose method of pain therapy was imitated in university clinics and in many health and beauty spas across the country. This is how her road to the New Age movement began.
Erosion of faith
As a child Moira had been brought up in the Catholic faith but when as a teenager she transferred from a Catholic to secular school, she stopped attending Mass and religion classes. Instead, she became strongly involved in the Oriental religious experience. She read books on Hindu philosophy and attended Indian events and concerts of Indian music. Studying at a state university, she attended meditation classes, which were announced on every bulletin board on the campus. Moira resolved that she would go to India, find her own guru and attain enlightenment. To realize her dream, she had to wait until graduation. Having worked hard, she passed her final exams, received a diploma and landed an excellent job. Building her career, she had by now set her mind on entirely different objectives and so abandoned spiritual enlightenment until the accident cut her career short and introduced her to a new and intriguing world of spiritual experiences.
Moira, when asked today how her adventure with the New Age started, replies: “Through my insurance company.” It was indeed true. Her insurance company covered the costs of stay in a pain-treatment clinic as part of the post-traumatic therapy. Paradoxically, in the contemporary world, which proclaims the reign of reason, the insurance company paid for therapy of a mystic nature. The explanation was their belief in the effectiveness of treatment. After five weeks in the clinic, Moira’s health greatly improved. She could stop taking painkillers and her body started to function as it should. This was a result of the mind training she had undergone as part of the New Thought system known as autogenics. It was about modifying the mind, through many hours of self-hypnosis, to adjust it to the reality a person wanted to create for himself. According to New Thought, when a person starts to think “in a new way”, he will free himself from the sense of guilt, which in turn will alleviate pain. Since the system worked and Moira even had several out-of-body experiences, she grew interested in the philosophy and convictions promoted in the clinic.