Monday, November 19, 2007

Positive suggestions, detachment from the illness, a state of cheerfulness and trust and even guided imageries are helpful

Editorial: The many faces of illness Dr. Alok Pandey
An illness manifests on different levels where it can be detected and rectified. On the grossest level, the most outward, the physical field that our senses recognise and acknowledge, an illness takes the form of a disturbed functioning organ or disrupted cellular balance. On a slightly subtler level, it takes the form of disordered praanic currents or nervous energy flowing through a congestion or depletion in the life-force of an organ. Through different channels in our subtle body, at the mental level, an illness takes the form of an adverse suggestion, a wrong movement of thought or negative attitude. Or else it may engage our subconscious mind as a fear and anxiety or simply a secure pattern of habit that throws its shoots up to the surface from time to time. On an occult level, subliminal to us, illness may find its entry through the intrusion of an adverse or hostile force taking the form of ill will or a virulent stream of darkened and chaotic energies, forces of disintegration and disorder entering through some weak spot in our psychological and psychic armour. At the deepest and subtlest, the spiritual level, an illness may be the offshoot of a past energy or karma whose time for ripening has arrived, whose results and consequences the soul must go through to learn and grow and whose cosmic necessity is justified by the soul’s choice to go through certain experiences needed for its fullest self-development and progress.
These different levels are not necessarily mutually exclusive and can coexist. They may be present as a strong hereditary or constitutional predisposition. When the illness affects only one or two levels, it is relatively easy to cure. But when it has cast its roots deep into the subconscious or is supported by some spiritual necessity, then it is difficult to get rid of it completely, especially when the soul or central being has decided to go through the experience so as to lighten the chain of kaarmic energies that have been woven around it and grow stronger. Then no healing works but the central faith and will of the human being. If it wants recovery and persists, then whatever the time or difficulties one may have to endure, one eventually emerges. This central faith and will are however very deep and are not the wishful thinking or desire of our surface being to be free of the illness, through these too count in the balance of forces. For when the central will does not support the illness, it is a question of the play of forces vis-à-vis the cosmic will operating in the universe.
In this interaction of forces and their complex play, the physician, the system, the method and the medicine are forces that may work at one level or another, in favour of health or of illness. The treatment works best when it corresponds to the level of consciousness at which the illness is most operative and the patient’s faith in that modality of treatment is there along with an openness and receptivity to the healing energies and forces. The treatment may act on the most material level as with the case of certain drugs. On the physical level it may work by either directly attacking the disorder or making the material energies more receptive to the action of healing forces, augmenting the general physical resistance to the illness. Or else it may act upon the vital body and nervous-vital currents correcting the praanic imbalance. This occurs with the various forms of praanaayaama, reiki and possibly also homoeopathy.
Alternatively the treatment may take the form of physical exercises directed towards making the body less taamasic and more receptive to deeper healing forces. The therapy may also be directed towards the mind, creating a little room there for the light to act or a passage for the higher force to reach out to the body and heal. Here we must understand that the mind is but a grey intermediary zone between the darkness of terrestrial life and the light of a greater truth above. It is a mediating link between spirit and matter. If our mind is clouded and full of negativity, dullness and resistance, lacking in faith and will, full of doubts, anxieties and fears then the channel is blocked. This must be cleared for a more complete healing to take place. Positive suggestions, detachment from the illness, a state of cheerfulness and trust and even guided imageries are helpful on this level and are either therapeutic in themselves or else assist the healing process in other cases. Then there are the subconscious roots that can be tackled by autosuggestion and hypnosis or, more radically, by bringing down a higher consciousness into these nether parts. Occultists act on the hidden cosmic forces that bring about the illness. Finally, the kaarmic knots loosened by meditation, prayer and invocation can be completely eradicated by the action of the Divine Grace.
Can a combination of therapies work better in that case since they act on diff-erent levels? Yes, but they should be combined judiciously and with a clear understanding of their action. Thus, for example, a pressure upon the subcon-scient roots either by spiritual or other means may initially lead to an increase in resistance and worsening of symptoms. Again, the higher healing force may find the work more difficult when the patient has put his trust in the wrong kind of physician who is himself full of fears and doubts or when the medicine given is not the right one. Of course, certain things such as medicines, exercises including praanaayaama, positive thoughts, suggestions, imagery, prayer and meditation can usually be well combined.
Some people wrongly assume that if we pray or rely on the Divine then we must not go to any doctor or use any medication. This is an erroneous belief, though it does contain its own partial truth. One might also conclude in that case that it is not necessary to eat food or use any external means for transportation since one depends only upon the Divine. Obviously such an extreme step would defy common sense and even though justifiable for a very rare individual, cannot be made the general rule of life. The truth behind this is that one should not have a divided shraddhaa, a wavering faith that might be the case with those who want to try everything since they have faith in none and are full of doubts about everything. In these cases, a combination of different modes of therapy, especially material ones, only confuses the body. For those who believe in the Grace, it is simple and easy enough to see that the Divine Grace does not act in a vacuum or hang in thin air. The Divine Force can and often does use instruments for its work. And these instruments in men and matter, the spiritual, mental and vital energies of human beings and the physical and vital energies of herbs and minerals, can either facilitate or hinder or resist this working. The play of this world is immensely complex and real and not a shadow play with some arbitrary God playing with puppets and marionettes but a growing into its likeness. And indeed this must be so, for how else could evolution take place? Puppets remain puppets forever.
This growth is through three phases. The first is challenge. Challenge makes us test our knowledge and strength against that which opposes it. Then comes the stage of crisis. Here we are face to face with the limits of our being and the limits of ‘our ’ knowledge. Disease is only one such challenge; the stress of civilisation is another. The last stage is change. The change that gets us past the crisis is not achieved through a multiplication of machinery and equipment, not even an external manipulation, but is essentially an inner change, an exceeding of our inner limits of self and knowledge and power. But till that happens, humanity has to survive. Therefore Nature has devised temporary means: material, physical, chemical, biological and psychological, to keep us in the race. The means are very limited and act within the boundaries of our knowledge and power. Yet they are instruments used by a higher force as makeshift measures till man outgrows their necessity.
Indeed, one sign of inner growth is an increasing freedom from external means. If the aspect of knowledge grows, then something in us remains essentially and fundamentally free of all afflictions. Even if the outer being is challenged or goes to pieces, the inner being is delightfully free and in peace. When the aspect of power grows, then we can return upon our outer being and external nature and this corporeal body made up of dust and clay and free it from the clutch of disease, disorder and perhaps even death. But this is a gradual growth and needs much patient work and hard inner labour. It cannot come except through a long and arduous journey. To expect otherwise would be to indulge in fanciful imaginations and wishful thinking.
These flights of fantasy are also justified as one means to open the inner doors to a greater power than man has ever known. Yet the wise must know the difference between fantasy and reality, between a trick of magic and an authentic miracle. The test is simple enough. A trick dupes the senses or outwardly changes something, but an authentic change always proceeds from within outwards, however small it may seem. That is the law. And the test of authentic healing is this: it touches a deeper chord in our soul, awakens a will and faith to recover, brings hope and a calm luminous trust in our mind, balances our life-force by balancing our inner being and its movements and finally spreads to our outer members and heals. This is the radical cure, an integral and holistic healing.— Dr. Alok Pandey Back

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