Healing is the choice for wholeness, oneness and sickness is the choice for conflict, symbolized in the Western tradition by the story of Jesus driving out the unclean spirit in Mark 5:9 “My name is Legion, for we are many” – indeed “many” instantly implies conflict – it is the domain of the ego. In pure psychological terms, healing is the process of returning to wholeness, oneness, from the delusion of many-ness. It is the Odyssee or the return journey from the diaspora. It is the return of the prodigal son. It is a journey of recovery that is most simply summarized as the choice between the ego – separate identity and self-destructiveness – and wholeness, or, in spiritual terms, the choice between the ego (the devil in more traditional nomenclature) and the Holy Spirit. It is the shift from fear (of projected evils) to trust in wholeness, which is always founded in learning to follow that inner homing device we all have to make better choices in our lives, once we realize that our earlier choices did not work out so well and there must be another way.
The big delusion that condemns our health care system to spiraling cost inflation is that it implicitly assumes that what we are is our body, and that the body can be fixed like a clock. That health care model is stuck in Newtonian physics and it is failing because it could never work in the first place – if you start from a false premise you’ll get a false conclusion. There has been a long tradition of more spiritually grounded healing practices, but science has not known what to do with that. This is changing, and the book The Quantum Doctor is probably one of the most important documents in that re-formulation of the notion of health on the basis of quantum physics, with its implicit recognition that it is the mind and not the body which is the locus of healing, for we live in a universe of top-down causation, not bottom-up causation. To put that differently, the mind projects the physical manifestation of us as bodies ( i.e. one specific quantum instance in the quantum field), instead of the other way around where the mind is de facto seen as an epiphenomenon of the body which would imply some form of upward causation, which is absurd. Quantum physics develops these principles clearly and Amit Goswami puts it all together brilliantly.
This bibliography of healing (and more) is available on kit, but here follow some comments on some of the more pivotal books.
Spiritual Dimensions of Healing
- Any healing must start from acknowledging the pain we’re in, for if there’s no awareness of the discomfort, there is no motivation for change. In a memorable discussion of three students of A Course in Miracles, with Ken Wapnick, titled Overeating, a dialog, a lively presentation of all the relevant issues of how we act out our inner conflict in our life, how we can become aware of it and begin a healing process are covered in a humorous fashion in some 70 pages.
While there are plenty of behavioral, neuro-psychological and neuro-physiological approaches, including Neal Barnard’s book The Cheese Trap and the work of Doug L’Isle, in the end it does not solve anything to understand the mechanics of the attraction of ‘bad food.’ What matters in the end is how to begin addressing our inner choice for conflict. This little book is unparalleled as an exploration of those issues.
- A Course in Health and Well-Being, Cindy Lora-Renard, 2017. This book is really foundational. It is based on A Course in Miracles, and delivers a very practical, yet profound reflection and meditation on the real meaning of health and well-being. Central to it all is the notion of taking responsibility for where we are without feeling guilty in any way. From a spiritual point of view, disease, illness is just another way of projecting our inner conflict into the world, and in this case on to our own body. It all begins with the inner choice for healing, beginning with forgiveness.
- Mary Baker-Eddy’s classic: Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures has been helpful to many, and is still relevant as long as we understand that MBE reversed herself later in life on the issue of allowing medical intervention. Her over-emphasis on the spiritual dimensions of healing to the exclusion of medical intervention has hurt many over the years. The conceptual reconciliation lies in the realization that yes indeed we are spiritual beings first, but, as Einstein put it, we are non-local beings having a local experience. Ergo, we do not help ourselves if we pretend to be oh so spiritual, but in reality we still look in the mirror in the morning, and we think that what our eyes see is ourselves. We clearly believe we are bodies and to that extent we should do what is normal to take care of those cumbersome bodies. That does not exclude doing the spiritual work of healing at the same time. These days there has been research done of how praying for people improves the outcome of operations and so on. Wisdom lies in applying common sense in our practices, and accepting the level where we are. To try to force ourselves to be more spiritual than we really are will make things worse not better.
- The Quantum Doctor by Amit Goswami can be extraordinarily helpful in putting it all together from the perspective of quantum physics. Most specifically, we come to see how our experience in this world, our so-called life, is merely a quantum possibility, chosen by consciousness (the observer), and to realize that we have simply completely identified with the character and think he or she is who we are. The second leg of Goswami’s exploration is the Ayurvedic tradition, and a lot of that can be helpful, but I consider the details of that more optional – if it speaks to you, it is helpful. For one thing the Ayurvedic tradition may be helpful in some of its knowledge about healing herbs, but its nutritional theory has been completely overtaken by what we now know of Whole Foods, Plant-Based nutrition, so I take those recommendations with a grain of salt.
- J.W. van Aalst, An Introductory Overview to Health Mastery is a short introduction that reflects the author’s work in Holland with a whole range of healing modalities, arriving at a very balanced view. The point here is that all reasonable modalities have a place from time to time, because the key to healing is that the patient should have confidence in the process. It is clear that things are further along in this regard in Holland and much of Europe in this regard than they are in the US, where e.g. homeopathy is still treated as quackery by many. Once you understand that the mind of the patient is the key to healing, then all reasonable modalities are potentially valuable and dogma is the real enemy. What the book misses is an expose on Lifestyle Medicine and Whole-Foods, Plant-Based nutrition, which should always be the first step in any healing process, given that 37 of the 40 leading causes of death can be prevented or reversed by it, and essentially every prognosis improves once we start implementing this fundamental lifestyle adjustment.