If you are sick or injured then you are likely suffering discomfort or pain, lacking vital energy and hindered in ordinary functioning. Healers in complementary medicine use differing symbols and language to describe their experiences in healing. The question arises, ‘Is there a common factor across acupuncture, homeopathy, aromatherapy and other practices in alternative medicine that makes people well?’
All healers encourage sufferers to make a conscious act of turning towards what they see as a natural healing energy in life that can holistically restore the body and mind.
When we are ill or injured we want to get better and want our wounds to be healed. However, in addition to bodily sickness, probably all of us have personal problems in living, although we don’t always realise it. How does healing for non-bodily problems work?
One clue can be found in the way we use language. Just as diseases of the eye can make someone blind, so we speak of blindness in terms of not understanding some important matter, say to do with personal life at home or work. You might have a blind spot in your life if you fail to notice what you do is upsetting your family. You might be going up a blind alley if you agree to something but don’t know what you are taking on. You turn a blind eye to some serious fault in your child not seeing what needs to be tackled.
This way of thinking about blindness is in terms of not understanding higher principles of living in relation to what is true about oneself. This could be due to lack of learning and experience. Or it could be due to blindly following some ideology or way of thinking without bothering to search for the truth for its own sake.
Sometimes we think of non-bodily ailments as due to a sick mind or sickness of the soul. You might feel discontented due to a sense of meaninglessness; an inner state of blindness not seeing what human existence is really all about and having no deeper connection to what is going on in your life.
Similarly we may use a proverb to speak of deafness. A child absorbed in play may not hear a parent asking for the toys to be put away. It is as if the request is falling on deaf ears. “Can you hear me Tommy?”
Likewise at work a boss may sarcastically ask a worker “Hello? Are you deaf? I’ve asked you three times now when you would have the report finished.”
If you are told something you don’t want to know, you may not pay sufficient attention. Not everyone listens to advice regarding diet and physical exercise. Without noticing your difficulties, how can you start to work on them? Without listening to critical feedback how can you perceive your faults?
Arguably, the sick of mind are deaf to healthy and realistic thinking, being blinded by illogical and unrealistic habits of thought. In a similar manner one could say an ailment of the soul is due to not attending to, and thus feeling separated from, one’s higher sense of self and from sharing its intention and discernment.
How often do people deny some emotional problem, say related to stress or problematic relationships, because they don’t want to have to face up to it?
“None so deaf as those that will not hear. None so blind as those that will not see.” (Matthew Henry)
Healing and inner sickness
If you are afflicted by unhealthy states of mind you may well be interested in having your inner well-being restored.
How then does healing work for non-bodily conditions? Orthodox medicine uses pills and surgery to treat the body directly. It is usually assumed that consciousness is a product of, and at the mercy of, something material like the brain or the kidneys. Yet the natural healing energy is something of spirit, that links in with human consciousness. Healers think this can affect the physical body. In other words something nonphysical can change something physical. Often this nonphysical thing is thought of as the power of love.
According to Swedenborgian writer Rachel Martin, to reduce the inflow of inner disorder of a person, many practitioners think there needs to be a movement from fragmentation and separation towards wholeness and integration. A restoring of order, balance, and right relationship between the one being healed and the universe.
Consequently, it has been suggested that the mysterious life force can also heal inner disorders of the spirit. In other words, once the barriers are removed, this higher state of the spirit naturally flows in to heal our inner self. For example a sense of uplifting beauty in nature is apparent to those who go out into unspoilt countryside away from industrial slums. A sense of well-being comes to those who practice affirmation of what is good, rather than cynically focusing on all that is bad. A feeling of peace and calm is experienced during meditation after you learn to neglect alarming thoughts and distracting worries. One result of a sustained meditation practice is said to be an increased ability to dis-identify with the disharmony one experiences both within and around oneself.
This healing process can be conceived as cyclical – pictured in the natural cycles of days and seasons – rather than a steady linear progression. By regularly accepting and trusting this healing presence, the person gradually lets go from holding on to the ‘little self’ which had only led to anxious concern, small-minded attitudes and self-interested action.
Religious idea of healing
The religious perspective on healing also focuses on the idea of a natural healing force which operates once blocks to it’s inflow are removed. By regularly praying, people of different faith traditions become more aware of, and turn away from, selfish attachments and unethical thoughts. By turning towards what is seen as good and right, the individual becomes in touch with a being of healing love and wisdom, known traditionally as God.
“Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.” (Psalm 30:2)
Copyright 2015 Stephen Russell-Lacy
Author Heart, Head & Hands
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