Updated: Mar 2
Healing comes in many forms and is not limited to the alleviation of symptoms of illness. On a soul and consciousness level it can also mean the acceptance of a condition, and even acceptance of impending death. Death itself can be seen as a great healer, sometimes described as waking up from a dream, the dream of separation, and a return to a state of oneness.
"Shamanic Death", being born-again or twice-born - rebirth is the experience all true seekers have to go through. To renew oneself, the old self has to die. (Even le petit mort, "the little death" of the orgasm is a reset button). Healing in it’s many forms can also thus be described and experienced as the ending of the dream of separation, and the tyranny of the ego. A healer is someone who can impart and share the feeling or experience of oneness, of connection, of union with life, with the ground and source of your being. A healer can be a teacher of yoga or meditation, a philosopher, a writer, a dancer or musician or artist, a social worker, a psychologist, or any person with love in their heart and the impulse to help others.
If we limit our understanding of healing to the treatment of symptoms we will be paying attention only to the physical world, negating the entire realm of energy, emotion, mind, consciousness and karmic debts. If we are able to remove symptoms, and if we do so without assisting the patient in changing the patterns of consciousness that created the problem, they could reoccur, or appear in another form. Our concern for the patient or client needs to be for their whole being, including their spiritual growth. As body-workers we have a great opportunity to assist our clients when we learn to read the body and it’s energies, which are often a clear mirror or reflection of the more subtle levels of emotion and mind.
Every illness also has a purpose and comes with a gift. Every ailment is reflecting a state of imbalance, a dis-ease. By discovering what is out of balance, often on an emotional or mental level, but also in diet, environment and even in life purpose, we can assist a client towards a deeper healing that goes beyond the physical symptoms they experience. Discomfort is calling us to a greater level of comfort and self knowledge. Usually this call might start as a whisper. Our goal as spiritual beings having a physical experience is to learn to listen to those whispers from the body. They are also messages from the subconscious and super conscious, from our “angels and guides”, We all need to learn to read energetic data - messages from this entangled universe where everything is connected. If we ignore the whispers, the pain and discomfort increases, until it becomes a shout. And then, if we still don’t pay any attention, and shut out the signs and voices with other distractions, or by taking medications or pain killers to mask the symptoms, then the flow of data diminishes, and our systems shut down, and break down, and our health and vitality declines, and toxic build up increases, making way for degenerative diseases.
The body can be seen as a mirror, or a sounding board, for our consciousness. More than that, it is also an antenna, and can transmit and receive information. Our chakra system is like a series of transformers that can translate and transmute energy between the gross and subtle levels of being. When we are in a state of perfect health, we have more access to natural abilities and instincts. What we might experience as intuition, a sense of knowing-ness, is also a fully functional gut feeling. In Chinese Medicine the gut, or more accurately the Tan Tien, the energy center in the belly, is known as the lower brain. When you have a healthy gut, and your energy system is functioning well, then we have intuitive knowledge of whether something is right for us or not - food, situations, people, projects, etc.
We are multidimensional beings, and integration of our physical, emotional, mental, energetic and spiritual being is what healing is all about. Healing is about finding our fullest potential, not just being free of illness. If we limit our understanding of health to the absence of illness, we are missing the true purpose of life on earth. Healing could therefore be seen, not just from the angle of physical illness, but as the journey towards wholeness, as the journey towards enlightenment. Healing, goes beyond illness. The ultimate healing experience is to see the inherent perfection of one's being. As a therapist, the highest form of healing, is to see past the mistakes your client has made, the mistaken and limited identity they've assumed, and to see and acknowledge their inherent perfection, and to remind them of that.
Our healing work with clients puts us in an ideal position to effect change on many levels and to facilitate the raising of consciousness, not just in an individual, but for an entire society. No person’s mind is isolated. As we, and our clients, become more integrated, more kind and loving, the whole world becomes more integrated, kind and loving.
In Chinese medicine the highest form of healing is philosophy - healing the mind or spirit. Spiritual practices (sadhana) like yoga, meditation, prayer, invocations, Tai Chi and Qi Gong and religious practices, and ceremonies and rituals that heal our fractured consciousness and bring a sense of peace and wholeness, are all part of the world of healing.
In Buddhism we are taught to overcome our conditioning and learned responses and to return to a state of unconditioned being. Many teachers talk about unlearning what we have learned. Certainly we need to unlearn much of what our parents and society taught us, and the continuance of typical familial patterns, such as abuse, low self-esteem, depression and anxiety are often learned behavior. We are taught separation from a very early age, and especially our capitalist society thrives on competitive models, and the consumerist illnesses of greed and accumulation are only possible with a very strong ego identification and accompanied alienation.
The identification with the "action figure", the body-mind, the identification with race/gender/class/personality is ingrained through modern education and socialization and is a deep indoctrination into not knowing the True Self, which can only be described as formless, timeless and pure awareness – the “God” self. We can be free from all conditions by releasing our identifications, our attachments and the need to "be somebody". When we want access to universal energy, when we want to be a channel of pure energy, we need to be able to drop this personal drama, your life story, the imagination that you are a “person”, and not the divine light itself.
....if your life is: you telling yourself a story, then make it a good one!
Even this state of "enlightenment", might not be free of physical illnesses, and accepting a disease, sometimes as an opportunity to pay off a karmic debt, or a means to learn compassion through experiencing suffering, or just the need to rest the body, and an opportunity to be vulnerable and ask for help, or a “burning” of the ego, represents in this case growth or healing.
Ultimately the most important question you can ask yourself is "who am I?". At the temple of Apollo in Delphi, the seeker, before consulting the oracle, would see the words "Know Thyself" written above the door as they entered. Jesus spoke the words: "I am the way". Miss-appropriated by religion, these words point towards the presence of the divine within. The “I am” is used in many mystical traditions. Ramana Maharshi posed that phrase as the door to knowledge, so did Nisargadatta. The western esoteric tradition of the Ascended Masters also primarily poses the instruction: contemplate the “I am presence”.
Unexplained spontaneous remissions occur. Cancers and other "incurable" diseases can sometimes disappear in no time at all. Our beliefs affect the continuation or collapse of patterns of time and causation. You might have been brought up to believe cancer takes time to heal. In some cultures miraculous healings are expected. Expect the unexpected! As Nisagadatta says: Only the unexpected, the unpredictable, is real. The rest is contrived, second hand, stale.
"You create your own reality" is a new age adage, and certainly quantum mechanics has shown that our expectation and belief affects the outcome of experiments. That you cannot separate the observer from what is observed. Your inner dialogue is shaping your world. When you go through a major shift in consciousness, an awakening to a new way of thinking and responding to the world, your very cells may change.
The use of affirmations can be tremendously powerful. Change the narrative of your life. As Carolyn Mys says: Your biography becomes your biology.
There is no substitute for meditation, and being able to perceive your inner dialogue and distance yourself from it, knowing it as learned programming. Giving yourself time and space to explore other possibilities of consciousness and awareness could be your most valuable possession