Healer, Who Are You?
The body heals itself.
Whether you need brain surgery or nutritional counselling, this is the one universal truth about the human body and being – the body heals itself. Whether you take pharmaceuticals or not, whether you vaccinate your kids or not, all medicine is based on this one simple principle. When we take an antibiotic, it is for the purpose of fortifying our immune system against disease so that the body can heal itself. When we have surgery to repair an injury, we may sew tissues together, but only for the purpose of holding those tissues together long enough for the body to grow new tissue to heal the wound. Medicine, all medicine, is the art of empowering the body toward generating its own wholeness and wellness.
Since mankind first became aware of healing, she has sought to find ways to facilitate health and well-being. Whether it be by herb or prayer, nutrition or surgery, the collective human consciousness has spent a lot of time considering how to bring the mind and body to a state of “health”, though it remains to be seen what “health” is. In all cultures, healing is among the most time-honored avocations whether it be practiced by medicine man or modern physician.
We have learned a lot over the centuries about the body as a machine and the being as an energetic system. In the past two hundred years, biological sciences have given us unparalleled understanding of the body as a thing. And yet, despite mapping the human genome, there have been observations along the way that suggest that maybe some of our more ancient traditions of healing have merit because they work on a level of consciousness that modern science has yet to fully understand. Years ago, oncologists developed a video game for young cancer patients to play that allowed them to visualize blasting cancer cells with an energy weapon. Their cancer reduced. The Amazon valley is now crawling with molecular biologists looking for new pharmaceutical compounds that have been used for centuries by tribal shaman.
Perhaps the most interesting developments in healing are yet to come as we finally begin to understand not only biology, but physics. In the era of the Higgs Boson, we now know that matter does not really exist in the way that we once thought that it did and that energy passing through a Higgs field is the source of all existent things. Buddhists have talked about this for millennia. They have referred to matter as “frozen light”. Through centuries of practice they have explored consciousness on a level beyond particle physics and have as much systematic experience exploring consciousness as the most learned PhD has with chemistry. Carl Jung was much heralded in his day for “advances in psychotherapy” even though he was mostly walking on well-travelled ground by Eastern standards. Cognitive Behavior Therapy is all the rage in Western psychology, but its primary concepts have been taught for centuries in temples and even universities in Asia. It is as if the two frontal lobes of one brain are just now starting to become aware of one another.
From Einstein to Jung, the understanding of consciousness has become intimately intertwined with the study of science because one cannot exist without the other. As Einstein duly noted, one must consider the observer as part of the interwoven fabric of the experiment. This is taught to Hindu school children. All of Hindu and Buddhist practice is based on the premise of the impact of perception on our experience of reality and the notion of dependent origination – that all things arise from what came before them and are intricately interwoven into a single whole. This is not a faith-based belief. These doctrines arise from experimentation and observation every bit as meticulous as found in all of Western science. For millennia, Eastern mystics have dedicated themselves to lifetimes of experimentation with consciousness that in every way equals the rigors found in the Western laboratory. While the West went in search of the atom and all that it is made of, the East went in search of the origins of consciousness. After centuries of exploration, however, the West and the East are now finding that in order to truly understand reality they must embrace the knowledge and experience of the other.
This is the beginning of a great cultural co-emergence. Mystical practices are only mystical because the practitioner cannot empirically explain how they work, even though they do. Science cannot explain phenomenon that occurs beyond the reach of human observation, even though it still happens whether it can be explained it or not. In the day of eleven-dimensional super string theory, we have developed the intellectual tools to bring more and more of the unknown into a rational framework and yet it is still too big for us comprehend entirely. And yet this very large, complex universe does its thing whether we understand it or not. What would eleven-dimensional phenomenon look like from the point of view of a being with a consciousness that is trapped in three dimensions? An airplane can look like a god flying through the sky in a stone chariot to a human being who has never seen one before. We know that multidimensional phenomenon is happening all around us all the time, but we are not sure what it looks like because of our limited point of view. It might not look like anything at all because it might transcend any optical expression. And yet, it still exists and, in all likelihood, it is influencing our experience though we cannot fully comprehend it.
It might look like Reiki or pranic healing. It might look like yoga or visionary meditation. It might look like God. The exciting developments coming from the scientific world suggest that we have come to an age where we know that we don’t know and this is the gateway to infinite possibility. It is also the cloud of obscuration that creates the space for charlatans and frauds to prey on the gullible. This is the yin and the yang of it, you might say.
In the West, centuries ago, mystics punished scientists. Rationalists like Socrates were put to death for corrupting youth. They burnt the preachers of science at the stake as heretics. They burnt their books and thwarted the accumulation of knowledge. As perhaps a stroke of karmic justice, in the past two centuries, scientists have ridiculed and persecuted mystics as manipulative deceivers of the ignorant. But in our time, we are seeing the need to embrace both linear and non-linear patterns of understanding. Just because we cannot know eleven dimensions by science yet, does not mean that we do not have an experience of them in our consciousness. It is clear to nearly all that we need to pursue the truth from all directions. We must understand consciousness if we are to fully understand science. We must embrace the possibility that what lies at the end of the rainbow is a universe of virtually unlimited possibility of very little empirical limitation. Our empiricism may be limited to the lowly dimensions of reality that we find ourselves trapped in by our senses and the pocket calculator that we call a brain. Just because we do not understand it, does not negate its inherent reality.
Anyone can join the pursuit of consciousness. More importantly perhaps, anyone can engage the human experience as we know it with the intention and ability to improve the experience of existence for everyone. Despite the limits of our understanding, we can still bring comfort to the dying whether it be by communicating a prayer as an intention of love and compassion or by massaging the anxiety from their bodies with our bare hands. We cannot all be Nobel laureates or enlightened masters of Vajrayana, but every one of us can contribute to the wellbeing of those around us and this is powerful healing.
It does not serve for the Eastern mystic to engage the Western scientist with disdain for failing to see a bigger possibility or for the scientist to engage the mystic with arrogant certainty in incomplete knowledge. The best minds of humanity have spent an enormous amount of effort exploring the human condition from a variety of perspectives and this effort was not made in vain in any case. The best that we can say is that we know more than we did. We have more access to the universe and its secrets than we had centuries ago. But is any of this knowledge being put to good use?
Of what value is the awareness of enlightenment if only you understand it? Of what value is ignoring the possibility of enlightenment because you don’t understand it?
Humanity is at a crossroads. It now knows that its rational processes are insufficient to fully engage a vast and complex universe. It also knows that people can be bamboozled into believing nearly anything and that a mind mislead is a mind confused. It is the quality of our experience unhindered by the delusions of mystical fantasy and rational conception that matters. It is all that we have or can hope to have in this manifestation. At the core of it all is the need to proceed with compassion and openness. One does not need to know anything to love. One does not need to see the ultimate Nirvana to bring peace, clarity and compassion into the lives of our fellow creatures. We spend so much time trying to know enough to rearrange our molecules that we completely ignore the value of simply rearranging our behavior so that our neighbors know that we love them and to use our physicality as a contribution to beings in this dimension. If you were to shut up right now and not think another deep thought, but rather, you applied yourself to the simple task of destroying the sense of isolation and separation that ego creates in our species, what would be the consequence? Would it not be said that you had become a true healer of the human condition? Would you not be creating real benefit to real people in real time in a fashion more powerful than any pill, diet or work-out regimen that you could hope to create? Isn’t the point of the pill and the diet to enhance the human experience? And yet, why do these so often fail to do so? If you were to spend your days being the simple cause of stability and ease for yourself and others, would it not be said of you that you were the very essence of well-being?
Of what value is it to neurotically pursue a pill that can create never ending happiness, if you never take the pill yourself? Why pursue more when you don’t experience what you have? The problems of the world do not exist because we do not yet know who we are, they problems exist because we do no practice what we know to do.
We are, all of us, dying but that does not mean that we have to do it without happiness. We are all of us gripped by entropy, but that does not mean that we have be so attached to our corporeal being that it destroys our experience of living. We all are guilty of worshipping the vessel and not its contents.
So tell me, healer, what exactly is it that you are trying to heal? Shall we manipulate our DNA so as to become animated mummies that do not die or decay? Shall we not cherish our aches and pains as the very thing that expands our minds? Can you reach enlightenment from a comfy chair? Or shall we train ourselves to dance with decay, whistle a merry tune in the face of oblivion and put our arms around each other for reassurance as we each, in our time, blossom and fade as is the opportunity of this dimension?
So what are we supposed to heal in a perfect universe other than the consciousness that we possess that has, up until now, had us see it as broken?
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