KEYWORDS: motion, fear, time

Motion Sickness--Ch.1: It's Subconscious Fear

David Berg


1. PRAISE THE LORD! HERE WE ARE ON THE BEAUTIFUL SUNNY AFTERNOON OF MAY 12, 1977. Just about to set sail tomorrow, God willing, on the high and open seas for the new destination, new horizons, praise God! We used to sing an old song:


Goodbye to things that bore me,

Joy is waiting for me!

I've found a new horizon,

My life has only begun!

Beyond the blue horizon

Waits a rising sun!"

Praise God?

3. FOR ALL OF YOU WHO'VE FOUND THE LORD‚ THAT CERTAINLY IS TRUE! Amen? Your life is constantly new horizons, behind which the rising Son of Jesus is always rising, and always brightening each new day, giving you new experiences and new excitement, new thrills‚ a new wonderful life in Jesus.

4. I GUESS WE FOLKS IN THE FAMILY PROBABLY MOVE AROUND MORE THAN ANYBODY in the world! We're constantly changing, every few months or weeks. Once in a while it's two or three years. But two years is about the longest I have ever lived in any one location in almost my whole life.

5. I NOTICE THAT'S ABOUT THE WAY PAUL MOVED AROUND TOO. The Apostle Paul only spent two years at Ephesus and he spent two or three years in his own hired house, and he never wore too well anywhere.

6. HE SOON WORE OUT HIS WELCOME WHEREVER HE WAS, AND THAT'S GOD'S WAY. You wear the soil thin and you reap the harvest, and then when the neighbours get mad at you, you just go! So‚ praise God! We've never stayed too long in any one place.

7. SINCE WE TRAVEL A LOT, I'VE RECOMMENDED TO YOU THAT YOU TRAVEL AS MUCH AS YOU CAN BY BOAT, or by ship, as some prefer that you must call it. When you're talking about a large vessel, it's a ship.—Don't say boat. A boat is only something like a rowboat or a little motorboat.

8. BUT IN ANY EVENT, WE'VE RECOMMENDED SHIP TRAVEL AS BEING RESTFUL, REASONABLE, RATIONAL AND RECREATIONAL. It gives you time to adjust from one job to the next, and relax in between, enjoy the beautiful scenery and all that good food, and lots of rest. You have time to write, read, rest and pray, and think about the job ahead and catch up on your work.

9. BOAT TRAVEL‚ OR SHIP TRAVEL, IS NOT A MEANS OF GETTING ANYWHERE IN A HURRY. It's a means of getting there as slowly as possible, to give you time to rest between jobs, a little vacation‚ and preparation for the next one.

10. WELL, IT IS USUALLY VERY CHEAP. It's usually much cheaper than air fare, and it's a great place to witness, too.

11. YOU HAVE A CAPTIVE AUDIENCE that's with you for several days and can't get away, not very easily anyhow, and you get to work on'em night and day for quite a few days. Also‚ like staying in the same hotel with some people.

12. IT'S A TERRIFIC PLACE TO FF when you have nothing better to do, and rooms are convenient. It's a really wonderful place to FF the whole crew if you can! Praise God! I found out that on most of these ship rides, if you don't FF them, why they want to FF you! That's for sure!

13. MARIA HAD A TIME ON ONE OF THOSE BIG GREEK VESSELS with an Italian crew, trying to run away from the captain! If we'd known then what we do now‚ she probably wouldn't have run away!

14. HE HAD HER CORNERED IN THE NAVIGATION ROOM, with all the maps, and I don't have to tell you which way he was trying to steer her! He had her right up against the mapboard, and he knew what direction he wanted to go! But the second officer came in just in time, or maybe at the wrong time, I don't know! But anyhow, praise the Lord, you'll have some interesting shipboard experiences, if you go by ship.

15. BUT, OF COURSE, ONE OF THE OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS OF THE CRUISE PASSENGER HAPPENS TO BE SOMETHING KNOWN AS SEASICKNESS, or mal de mer, commonly known as motion sickness, where you become nauseated in your stomach from various types of motion, the most common and frequent on the sea, but even carsick from riding in an automobile, or airsick from a plane.

16. MOST PEOPLE SEEM TO BE PARTICULARLY WEAK ALONG THE LINE OF SEASICKNESS. Mostly, I presume, because there is more of a motion on a boat than there is either by plane or by car‚ a regular rolling, rocking motion.

17. IF YOU'RE PRONE TO CAR SICKNESS, I'VE WARNED YOU BEFORE TO BE SURE TO KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD AHEAD. Don't look down, don't read, don't even look to one side or the other. Keep your eyes dead ahead, straight on the way, as far as you can see up the road ahead. And keep one window open for fresh air.

18. DO YOUR BEST TO ANTICIPATE THE MOTION OF THE CAR‚ whether it's going to go right or left, or up or down, so that your stomach won't lag behind and therefore get nauseated. And if nothing else does it‚ stop the car by the beautiful roadside for awhile. Get out and walk around and breath deeply until you get your feet back on the ground again and your stomach settles down.

19. ONE OF THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN ANY OF THE CASES IS TO LEAN BACK IN THE SEAT AND GO TO SLEEP, because seasickness is strictly a mental and nervous disease, believe it or not. It's really not physiological. It's much more psychological than it is physiological.

20. IT'S WAR BETWEEN YOUR EYES, YOUR EARS AND YOUR STOMACH. Your eyes have a definite relationship to your stomach's nerves and how it reacts to motion. And your ears are the ones that sense equilibrium and balance.

21. IT IS THE SEMI-CIRCULAR AURICULAR CANAL WITHIN THE INNER EAR WHICH SENSES MOVEMENT AND BODY EQUILIBRIUM, whether you're right side up or upside down, or going one way or the other. This is also what causes you to be dizzy if you whirl around real fast, like when little children play and turn around real fast till they're dizzy and can't stand up straight. It's because your ear mechanism which keeps your balance is somehow disrupted by this too–rapid whirling motion.

22. THANK GOD I'VE ALWAYS HAD PRETTY GOOD BALANCE in spite of motion and whirling and so on, even to this day. I can whirl Maria around rapidly as we dance‚ sometimes many times, and when I stop whirling her, she's quite dizzy and I have to hold her up, but I still keep my balance pretty good‚ thank the Lord. So it's a lot in your mind.

23. ON PLANES AND BUSES I'VE FOUND THE MOTION, IF THERE IS ANY, HAS ALMOST ROCKED ME TO SLEEP. I can sleep better, I think‚ on a plane or a bus, than almost anywhere else. There's just something about having finally arrived there in that seat.

24. ALL THE PROBLEMS OF PACKING ARE OVER. The preparations for the trip, the decisions, all the big rush and commotion of getting the baggage on and everything else is all over. You've finally found your seat, and you can plop down‚ usually just absolutely exhausted, and you should be able to fall right off to sleep. That's what I usually do on the planes, trains or buses.

25. ON A PLANE, TRAIN‚ BUS OR A SHIP, SLEEP'S THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD FOR YOU, because relaxation of your nerves in particular‚ along with your body, is the best medicine for motion sickness that there is.—Total rest and relaxation, complete rest. If you can possibly flop right down and go to sleep, you can sleep through it better than any other way. So praise the Lord, that's the best advice I can give you.

26. THEY'VE ALSO GOT SOME VERY GOOD LITTLE MOTION SICKNESS PILLS NOW that the stewardess on the plane, or the steward on the boat will usually give you free or for only a nominal charge‚ but don't count on it, but purchase your own in advance.

27. THEY'RE NOTHING BUT A SORT OF A TRANQUILISER that relaxes your nerves and helps you to go to sleep. A sedative, so that your nerves will relax‚ because it's your nerves which affect your stomach so much.

28. YOU PEOPLE WHO ARE PRONE TO GET STOMACH TROUBLES‚ STOMACH ULCERS, AND NAUSEA a great deal, you'll find out it's mostly from nerves and nervousness, which leads me to warn you that that kind of nervousness usually comes from worry which means fear!

29. SO THEREFORE‚ MOTION SICKNESS—SEASICKNESS, AIRSICKNESS, CARSICKNESS—IS LARGELY A PSYCHOLOGICAL FEAR.—In some cases an almost uncontrollable fear, a natural normal involuntary reaction of the body against an unusual, un–normal motion, to which it is not yet adjusted or accustomed.

30. THIS IS WHY, IF YOU GET SEASICK AT ALL, YOU USUALLY GET SEASICK THE MOST ON YOUR FIRST DAY or two of your voyage. After that you become adjusted to it. Your body becomes adjusted to it‚ and particularly your mind, your subconscious becomes adjusted to it, because it's largely in your mind.

31. IT IS SUBCONSCIOUS, CAUSED BY SUBCONSCIOUS FEAR OF THIS UNUSUAL MOTION. The body's afraid that something wrong is going to happen to it, or something wrong is happening to it, because of this very strange, unusual motion.

32. CONQUERING MOTION SICKNESS IS ANOTHER CASE OF MIND OVER MATTER. You really can conquer it by controlling your thoughts and your fears, which are causing the physical reaction.

33. MOTION SICKNESS IS LITERALLY WHAT IS KNOWN AS PSYCHOSOMATIC, meaning that your mind is having this effect on your body. A "psychosomatic illness" is an illness of the body caused by the mind, believe it or not.

34. MANY, MANY PEOPLE HAVE PSYCHOSOMATIC SICKNESSES AND ILLNESSES OF THE BODY, illnesses which are caused by nothing in the world but their thoughts!: The way they're thinking, worrying, fearful, evil thoughts‚ hateful thoughts, bad thoughts, but mostly fear!

35. FEAR CAUSES MORE SICKNESS AND MORE MENTAL ILLNESS THAN ANYTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD. This is why faith is such a marvelous cure! Faith in God is the best cure in the world. Faith in Christ and His Word is the greatest cure that you could possibly have.

36. FAITH IS THE OPPOSITE OF FEAR‚ and when you have faith, you cannot fear. You don't fear when you have faith. There's a little poem we used to hang on our wall, and I quoted it to you before. It says.


When you're fretting, You're not trusting yet!"

38. SO YOU CANNOT HAVE FAITH AND FEAR AT THE SAME TIME. It's just impossible. It's just like "Two bodies cannot occupy the same place at the same time"—one of the laws of physics, the material. It's the same thing in the spiritual.