I often receive emails from people about the subject of healing, which motivated me to write the below post.
Our original, fundamental, eternal Self is a manifestation of the image, likeness and being of God. That Self is complete, whole, and permanent. That Self cannot be improved or diminished. That Self is in no need or improvement, transformation, or enlightenment. That Self took on a human mind and body in order to have a human experience, and to give human expression to that eternal Self. Unlike that Self, our human mind and body are not permanent. Our human body and mind changes, is shaped and impacted by our environment, circumstances, conditions and a variety of influences. The human mind and body deteriorates, is susceptible to illness and disease, and eventually stops functioning. Ultimately, we all die. This is part of the deal with respect to being human.
There are several things to recognize about this:
1. The impermanence of the mind and body is not wrong.
A characteristic of the human mind and body is its impermanence. Is the sky wrong for being blue? Is a fish wrong because it cannot live outside of water? Is a turtle wrong because it is slow? Of course not, those are simply their particular characteristics. The human mind and body are capable of extraordinary feats, but a characteristic of both is that they are impermanent. The limitations of the human mind and body is not a spiritual problem. The deterioration of the human mind and body is not a spiritual problem. Illness and disease is not a spiritual problem. When your human mind and body stops functioning, that’s not a spiritual problem. We should not make these realities of the human mind and body wrong.
2. It is wise to approach life by responding to situations and realities as they require.
You have a mind and body, and you are responsible for it. Having a human mind and body is a situation that requires one to do those things that aid their health and vitality. If one is negligent with this, they may jeopardize their mental and physical health and well-being. It’s very likely that you can prevent disease and extend the length of your human life by applying this wisdom.
3. Modern medicine and homeopathy (alternative forms of medicine) make a significant contribution.
The evolution of humankind has included the discoveries of modern medicine and homeopathy to prevent, treat, and manage disease of the body and mind, and contribute to the health and well-being of the body and mind. Each person is responsible to make their own choices on how to integrate modern medicine and homeopathy in this regard. Over time humankind has acquired much useful knowledge in dealing with the human mind and body. We should celebrate this, and take advantage of it as we are inclined to do so.
4. There is extensive evidence for various healing practices.
In areas such as science, quantum physics, psychology, and spirituality there is an understanding of life as energy. This knowledge is the basis of many healing practices/methods and energy therapies that promote healing, balance and wellbeing in the mind and body. Reiki and EFT are a couple examples, but there are many others – too numerous to mention here. Many people attest to the value of all kinds of different healing methods and practices.
5. Jesus related to people as whole beings.
I don’t think that physical healing was central to the life and message of Jesus. We know very little about the context and circumstances in which Jesus was involved in restoring the health of another. On one such occasion, Jesus attributed the person’s healing to their own internal change. Even those that Jesus did impact in this way, it was only temporary. Every person who experienced healing eventually grew sick or ill, succumbed to disease, and eventually died like the rest of humankind. Jesus had compassion for human beings, including their human ailments – for Jesus himself had a human mind and body too. He was not uncaring or insensitive to this.
And yet Jesus also understood the impermanence of the human mind and body. Jesus could not change or override this. He wasn’t supposed to. It wasn’t necessary. Because Jesus understood this, I don’t think physical human healing was central to his mission and teaching.
6. People should not be shamed for physical or mental illness.
In many “faith healing” scenarios or divine formulas if a person remains ill or a loved one is ill or dies, they are told that they did not have enough faith or it was the result of their “sin of unbelief” or some other “spiritual problem.” This has to rank right up there in the top 5 most absurd and damaging religious notions. The idea that physical or mental disorders are the result of some “spiritual problem” is not reasonable. If you are not doing those things that are necessary to promote and manage your own mental and physical health, then it only stands to reason that you will reap the consequences. But the idea that you messed up a divine healing for yourself, your child or someone you love because of your lack of faith or some spiritual problem is misguided thinking. Sickness, chronic illness, depression, infertility, and many of the conditions, disorders and diseases that afflict human beings every day are not the result of any spiritual problem.
7. We should be caring for people who suffer from mental and physical disorder or disease, not judging them or making them wrong.
We can express love, compassion, care, and support to individuals and families where there is illness, disease, and other forms of mental or physical malady. We can also become advocates and activists in eliminating or treating human disease through science and research, and supporting initiatives toward this end. Where there is opportunity, we can seek to be a healing presence in other people’s lives, whatever and however that looks for each of us, or is appropriate in each situation.