| Beyond Reason:
Healing in the Age of Energy
often end up medicating a crisis that in fact requires not
tranquilizers or sedatives, but spiritual direction.
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Our powers of reason are among the greatest challenges to our healing, because rationality insists on discovering an explanation for why things happen as they do, including why we become ill. There is rarely one explanation, however, for why a person falls ill or enters into a cycle of trauma. There is rarely a simple explanation for why we do or say anything, much less for the underlying complexities of why our health or our life falls apart.
For all the many healing methods you can study and incorporate into your life, including various therapies and nutritional programs--many of which are beneficial, no doubt--the complete recovery of your health requires more than these options can individually or collectively supply. While they can regenerate your energy and make you feel better for a day or a week, your "energy" is not the substance that heals. Grace is what heals. And grace does not come from a diet or from working through traumatic memories of an unhappy childhood.
Although healing is never easy and perhaps never will be, two interrelated factors are largely responsible for redefining our approach to health and the human healing potential. First, we have clearly entered the "energy age," whose fabric includes our exploration of our psychic natures. Second, we have blended this exploration with an equally passionate pursuit of spirituality, and the result is an epidemic of spiritual crises mistakenly diagnosed as psychological sufferings.
Both of these subjects have a direct bearing on how we should approach illness today; specifically, that we recognize the spiritual crisis as an authentic crisis that is not the same as a psychological or an emotional crisis, though it may express itself through the psyche and emotions. Without this recognition, we often end up medicating a crisis that in fact requires not tranquilizers or sedatives, but spiritual direction.
We now think of ourselves not simply as physical bodies, but also as "energy systems" that require various kinds of treatment. Our energy system is the harbor of our psyche, emotions, mental capacities, unconscious or subconscious mind, and spirit. All these aspects of ourselves require forms of treatment and care based on sophisticated philosophies of psychological integration. Further, their treatment must be harmonized with the healing of our physical body.
As if that's not a tall enough order, we have yet to fully understand ourselves as "intuitive" human beings. We have not established a clear-cut model of health and illness that maps out the relationship between the psychic and physical realms. We have yet to recognize that certain disorders originate as psychic traumas or with macro-psychic influences. By macro-psychic, I am referring to the affect of energetic pollution, a type of pollution that is impossible to measure but is nonetheless present and very toxic.
For example, we now live in an atmosphere that is crowded with invisible technology. I imagine that if we could hear all the radio and internet communications traveling through the air, we would go mad. But even though we don't actually hear and see all these transmissions and waves, we are psychically sensing this data as it is penetrating our energy fields. We tend to discount such things, because our five senses can't "reason" with that reality. The problem is literally beyond reason for our five senses, and so we dismiss it with the thought: "If something can't be seen or heard or tasted or touched or smelled, it really can't harm us." In truth, we have yet to develop the intellectual or psychic mechanism to cope with what we are able to intuitively grasp, and so we dismiss the data from our intuitive intelligence, relying instead upon "scientific data" to be our guide.
I suspect that these massive networks of communications generate an enormous field of "psychic free radicals" that do penetrate the subtle, porous energy fields of the general population. The long-term effects of the war in the Middle East, for example, or the dramatic decline of the economy have certainly had a collective impact on the psychic health of the nation as well as the health of its finances. The stress people feel is palpable, bleeding out of their energy fields like a slow, heavy mist that fills the collective atmosphere with a sense of dread. The weight of these psychic free radicals is felt by everyone, from those already embracing intuitive consciousness to those who resonate to gut responses--people whose intuitive systems are just beginning to awaken. It is even possible that the quantum rise in energetic disorders--mood swings, anxiety attacks, the inability to concentrate, sleep disorders, ADHD, and perhaps even autism--is influenced by the spontaneous combustion caused by the intuition age colliding with energy technology.
We have not fully recognized the parameters of psychic health and well-being, as opposed to those of physical and psychological health. Our psychic and intuitive natures are not yet real enough to us to be a recognized factor in our health. No doubt that day will come, but in the meantime the absence of this vital bank of knowledge, and of the ability to accurately evaluate a psychic disorder--much less treat it--has placed many people in the risky position of medicating conditions that may require far more astute treatment by individuals skilled at recognizing stress disorders originating from the subtle and indeed impersonal field of consciousness.
I have led many more workshops devoted to healing over the years. My thoughts and observations have solidified to let me identify a set of beliefs that I am convinced support or detract from the healing process. By far, the most significant of the supporting beliefs is that healing is ultimately a mystical experience and not one that can be attained through the maneuverings of the mind. By mystical, I mean that a transcendent power consumed with divine intention is required to return us to complete health, particularly in cases deemed hopeless. It doesn't matter whether a person defines that transcendent force as God, the Spirit, or grace. The fact is that the body and the mind alone cannot disintegrate an army of cancer cells that has invaded multiple organs, whereas that highly refined spiritual substance that I refer to as grace, combined with the resources of the heart and the mind, can ascend to mystical heights.
Talking about healing within the context of a mystical experience can seem to imply that no matter what you do, in the end some divine force has already decided whether or not you are going to recover, again raising the question of whether anything you do really matters. Yet everything you do matters, especially when healing is understood within a mystical context. The mystical realm is not governed by physical laws, nor by cosmologies of karma, in ways that we are able to fully comprehend. Attempting to discern the karmic reasons for a particular illness is not unlike attempting to describe every beach in the world while gazing at one grain of sand. The sand is real, the beaches are real, but the grain of sand is out of proportion to the quest of understanding the size, beauty, and complexity of all the beaches.
Further, in matters of life and death, inevitably the question arises as to whether there is a pre-determined moment of death for each of us. The option to heal in life suggests to me that each of our lives contains experiences that bring together certain forces with greater intensity. The "death and rebirth" archetype visits us all in small ways but sometimes it gathers momentum and sweeps through our life with great intensity, bringing several endings simultaneously; perhaps too many at once. In times like that, we may choose to cooperate with cycle of death instead of the cycle of life, in which case we enter into the forces that lead us to our death. Conversely, we may choose to re-engage with the life cycle, to re-evaluate the purpose and meaning of our life and renew a commitment to living in a way free of the destructive patterns that have led us into this cycle.
Many of the great mystics understood how to work in harmony with the universe at a cosmic level, where the ruling order of life is governed more by grace and prayer than by the lower psychic forces. Instantaneous or accelerated healings, for example, can be better understood through "mystical reasoning" once you grasp the nature of mystical law. Mystical reasoning refers to a blending of your intellectual skills and knowledge with an awareness of the nature of the mystical realm.
As a rule, we are taught early on to choose sides-to focus our senses either on the external world, which is a tactile, physical reality, or to trust our interior world of highly personal, subjective, and intuitive experiences. Physical experiences can be proven and collectively shared, whereas subjective, intuitive ones cannot. Numerous people have told me stories of having invisible friends or seeing apparitions of garden fairies or angels when they were very small children. Such encounters gradually stopped for all of them as they approached the "age of reason" (about seven), when we tend to retreat from what is referred to as the innocence of childhood into the far less enchanting domain of the mind. But those early years of enchantment remind us all that we were born connected to another way of perceiving the world. Somehow, through the centuries of our adoration of the mind, we've evolved in a way that has made our capacity to perceive through the eyes of the soul not only difficult to access, but also threatening to the stability of our physical and mental life.
When it comes to certain types of healings, sometimes more than just prayer is called for. For example, prayer cannot be expected to compensate for a lack of common sense. You must also adhere to your allopathic or complementary healing protocols--from medication to acupuncture--as well as to personal practices that enhance health, such as proper nutrition and sensible exercise. But you must simultaneously do what is called for from within: that is, forgive the past; accept what cannot be changed in your life; relinquish any personal agenda for how your healing should unfold; and be present to your life as it is right now.
Although no path can guarantee a healing, you can place yourself on the path with the fewest obstacles. For example, most people struggle with forgiveness, precisely because it is against the nature of our reason to forgive. Forgiveness doesn't make emotional sense to us, much less appeal to our pride, although it might sound great in theory. Our reason and our emotions prefer the logic of justice, an eye for an eye, a hurt for a hurt. Forgiveness seems to fly in the face of that, as if we are letting the person who wronged us off the hook. But forgiveness is a mystical act, not a reasonable one. Forgiveness is a challenge meant to cleanse the windows of your mind, particularly those through which you can see only your need for personal justice. You can't see anyone else's pain through these windows, because, like mirrors, they reflect only you: you are the center of the universe, yours is the only pain that counts, and all that is just and fair should be based on what serves your life.
Excerpted with permission from Defy Gravity ©2009 by Caroline Myss, published by Hay House, Inc in Carlsbad, CA. Available in stores or visit www.hayhouse.com.
Caroline Myss has been in the field of energy medicine and human consciousness for over 20 years. She is the author of many bestselling books, including Anatomy of the Spirit, Why People Don't Heal and How They Can, and Sacred Contracts.
Books and CD's by Caroline Myss
Caroline Myss, Ph.D. on energy medicine
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How To Heal Yourself by Bernie Siegel, M.D.
What is Intuitive Healing by Judith Orloff, M.D.
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