23 February 2012

Peace of Mind Healing 6. Allo-path, Homeo-path or No-path

In Wikipedia the following definitions are given in very technical terms and complex sentences:

Allopathic medicine refers to the practice of conventional medicine that uses pharmacologically active agents or physical interventions to treat or suppress symptoms or pathophysiologic processes of diseases or conditions. It was coined by Samuel Hahnemann (1755–1843), a homeopath, in 1810. Although "allopathic medicine" was rejected as a term by mainstream physicians, it was adopted by alternative medicine advocates to refer pejoratively to conventional medicine.

Allopathy from the Greek ἄλλος "other", "different" + the suffix, páthos πάθος "suffering"

The basic principle of homeopathy, known as the "law of similars", is "let like be cured by like."

Homeopathy: coined in German from Greek hómoios - ὅμοιος "like-" + pathos πάθος "suffering".

"Caveat patientem"  - let the patient beware. Patientem translates from Latin as "one who suffers."

If we see ourselves as patients, we have made a decision to suffer and it really does not matter which "path" we go with to relieve our suffering. Allo- and homeo- look at the body as the source of our suffering and ask us to put something in our mouths to relieve it.

Dr. Edward Bach maintained that emotion was the cause of disease. Even though he was a homeopath, he realised that treating emotions with the same emotion would not work. A greater fear does not relieve fear. The only way to treat fear is with love.

Taking Bach's idea one step further we realise that emotion must have a cause. The cause of our emotions is thinking. We see people misbehaving, we ask them to stop, they don't stop, we get angry. The misbehaviour is not in their actions but in our judgment of those actions. Judgment is a thought process, it is something we do in our minds. And having made up our minds that they are wrong, we are right to engage in a righteous emotional outburst. But, what are the consequences?

Dr. Wilhelm Reich used the expression "muscle armouring" to describe how long held emotional tendencies affect our bodies. Try a simple exercise:
  1. Get a bag with handles.
  2. Fill it with stuff until it starts to feel heavy. (Maybe your handbag already)
  3. Grab the handles with one hand, palm down, and squeeze tightly.
  4. Stretch your arm.
  5. Lift your outstretched arm up until bag is level with your shoulder.
  6. Hold it there for as long as you can.
  7. Don't overdo it - when it starts to get uncomfortable gently place the bag down.
The muscles in your arm, shoulders or back may have got tense and may be sore.

We have just tensed our muscles for a short while and they feel sore. With muscle armouring we learned to do this with many muscle groups. Some of the key ones are the throat, the diaphragm, and the pelvic floor. We learned this in absorption mode and it is more than likely that we have lived our whole lives with some of our muscles armoured.

In Chinese Medicine, emotions are seen to be stored in the body, with the different ones being lodged in specific organ energy systems.

EmotionEnergy System AffectedPhysical EffectsMental Cause
AngerLiverTendons, cramp,Judgment
FearKidneyBones, head hair, dandruffLack
ElationHeartBlood vessels, stammerExcited
GriefLungSkin, sinusitisSmothered
WorrySpleenSnivel, musclesRound and round
GuiltTriple BurnerTinnitusAccused
ResentmentGallbladderItchingSelf delusion
NervousSmall IntestineDiarrhoeaComparison
BlockedLarge IntestineConstipationHolding-on
Very few of the physical effects associated with the emotions are listed in this table. They are included to give some idea of how thinking manifests in the body.

From the medical perspective the body is the problem. However, the condition of the body is determined by the state of our thinking. The body serves the purpose that we give it. If we see ourselves as here to suffer, then the body will suffer. We can change the purpose that the body serves by changing what we think it's for.

Accepting the ideas that we are mind and that all minds are joined can make us wonder if there is any beneficial purpose for the body. It depends on where we think we are within the potential range of humanity

Physical matter______emotional______mental______spiritual______purely mind

If we see ourselves as purely physical then we are totally determined by the laws of physics. If we see ourselves as purely mind then we are probably unaware that there is such a thing as bodies. I guess most of us see ourselves as embroiled somewhere in the body-emotional-mental-spiritual spheres, cycling through various states of attachment to or detachment from them.

The body, under the beneficial guidance of mind, is useful for two things. It is a means to communicate to minds that are totally convinced they are bodies. And it is a learning device for our egos. It helps us realise the effect that our thinking has on us. (There will be much more on this in later posts.)

Remember we are mind, all mind. The body is an indicator of the state of our ego attachment to it. Even though our thinking can never be neutral, we can get our bodies into a "body neutral" state. We use observation to help get us into the present. When we become present we get "access granted" to the infinite range of mind.

Exercise - Watch this space

Look around you and find a blank space. Watch that space. Don't look for anything, just look at.

Exercise - Watch the screen

Close your eyes. When the afterglow fades you'll see a screen. Watch the screen. Don't look for anything, just look at.

Exercise - Scan the body

Take your awareness and go through your body. Describe, don't analyse, the sensations you are experiencing throughout your body. Repeat until your body is neutral, until there are no sensations anywhere in it. Three scans are usually enough.

We are not here to suffer. Welcome to the No-path.

16 February 2012

Peace of Mind Healing 5. Ending this SAD Game

In his book, "Function of the Orgasm", Wilhelm Reich used the analogy of a bladder to explain how our bodies behave. The Shamans of Ancient Mexico, as reported by Carlos Castaneda, seen us in ancient times as luminous eggs. Modern man, they contended, looks like spheres.

I prefer to see us as bubbles.

God is everywhere. God is Love. Love is everywhere.

The Shamans of Ancient Mexico seen love as a glue that held everything together. A Course in Miracles stresses that Love is all there is.

In our first month as babies all we are is Love. It flows freely in and around us. As we begin our attachment process to our parents we begin to identify with them as they see themselves. This process leads to the development of our senses and to our identification with images, sounds and body sensations. By the time it is complete we are totally convinced that we are bodies.

We see ourselves as separate entities subjected to encounters with other separate entities. The nature of these encounters varies depending on the nature of our childhood circumstances. If we were brought up in a caring tolerant environment then, most likely, we will be caring and tolerant. If we were brought up in an angry, argumentative and belligerent environment its highly unlikely that we will not have absorbed some of these traits.

Even though we see ourselves as separate, there really is no such thing. We can convince ourselves that we are isolated and alone, that we are worthless, or that no one loves us. Not only can we, we are totally convinced that we are these things and much worse.

We see ourselves as subjects of attack and abuse who need lots of protective defenses. Instead of bubbles of Love we see ourselves inside a dense encrusted shell. A shell that lets nothing in and lets nothing out.

To end this game we need to change our thinking. "Easier said than done" is the most frequent response I get to that idea. We need to become aware of what we are thinking at any given moment. To do this we become present.

Presence techniques are primarily based on observation of what we perceive with the senses of the body. Perception and observation are qualities of our mind and are determined by our thinking. What we look for we find! To observe is to pay attention. An observation is just an observation until we decide what to do with it. We can blame-game-guilt-trip or we can learn.

To Observe Truly

  1. First suspend all belief and thought systems.
  2. Then switch off any pattern recognition systems.
  3. And then when we've become rightly (or leftly or wrongly) confused we may begin to know reality.
  4. Having observed, accept our observations for what they are, our observations. Do not go looking for agreement for them; do not go looking for approval for them. No-one else will have switched off our belief, thought and pattern recognition systems and they will not want us breaking down their defenses.

  1. We make an observation.
  2. We analyse and compare our observation with our memories or with what we think is right.
  3. We look for someone or something to blame.
  4. We start trying to make the offender guilty and whether that works or not we end up making ourselves feel guilty.
  5. Our guilt trip locks up one or more energy system.
  6. This locked energy leads to disease or decay.
  7. Eventually we drop the body in a ritual called death.
  1. We make an observation.
  2. We use our intellect to understand what it means to us.
  3. Based on our understanding we appreciate what we have learned.
  4. Appreciation leads to Love.
  5. Love leads to eternal life, to Heaven.
At any stage in the blame-game-guilt-trip process we can convert to learning. At step 2, for example, we can change from analysis and comparison to synthesis and learn, or at step 3,4 we can realise that all we are all here to do is to learn.

Note: The text from presence techniques onwards is taken from this site with slight editing.

15 February 2012

Peace of Mind Healing 4. Becoming a SAD Gamer

SAD, as an acronym, usually stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder, a type of depression caused by lack of sunlight in the upper reaches of the Northern Hemisphere. In this blog it stands for Suffering And Death, the game we all engage in here.

Unfortunately, we don't see it as a game. We see it as all there is.

During my Catholic religious education, some might say indoctrination, there were many sayings we had to learn off. One that stuck with me was "Unless we become as little children, we cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven." (Matthew 18.3) I thought about this a lot and tried to figure out what it meant.

In A.H. Almaas's book "A Pearl Beyond Price" he talks about child psychology and how as babies we develop and absorb our behaviour patterns. He stresses that the period between one month and ten months is critical since during this period we form a "dual unity" with our primary care giver, usually our mother. He references the work of Margaret Schönberger Mahler.

The irony in all this is that while I was busy trying to figure it out, there were child psychologists out there who had been studying it for years. And they had the answers.

Also, I had wondered about our eyesight as babies. What do babies really see? The answer to this may never be known since as babies we have no verbal ability to tell anyone what we are seeing.

"When a baby is born, although her eyes are physically capable of seeing well, the brain is not yet mature enough to interpret all of the visual information, hence things will remain pretty blurry for the first few months. As the brain matures and becomes more complex, the baby’s vision will improve." (Wikiparenting)

"From the day your baby's born, his eyes will aid his physical, mental, and emotional development by allowing him to take in information — a little bit at first, and eventually much more — about the world around him." (Babycenter)

Although these sites differ on whether your child is a boy or a girl, they both agree that our eyesight is fully developed by eight months old. Walking and talking usually develop in the last quarter of our first year. As one grandmother put it to me, "Aren't we terrible, at six months we are busy encouraging them to walk and to talk. By the time they get to two or three we are shouting at them to sit down and shut up."

Our first year is very critical to our overall development. We are absorbing the stuff that will be with us all our lives. This absorption period continues until we are seven or eight, but is mostly complete by the time we are three. It is the most intensive learning period of our lives. And it is a period that we have absolutely no control over.

We are taking everything on board without any ability to discern whether it is good, bad or indifferent. We are absorbing the mental and emotional patterns of our parents and alloparents (individuals other than our actual parents who act in a parental role - grandparents, brothers, sisters, relations, minders and carers).

And, curiously enough, we are trying to heal them. When we are born we have no sense of separation. We are one with everyone and everything. Innately, we share our parents and alloparents mental and emotional states, their ups and downs, their pain and their suffering.

We replicate these states within ourselves, just like our parents did and their parents before them. They become our behaviour patterns, and even though as we get older we learn that some of these may not be useful, they are the ones that we resort to in times of stress.

The big problem is that, as adults, we are not aware of them. They are, seemingly, not under our control. They are buried deep in our minds and rise to take us over with alarming speed and with little concern for their consequences.

They all hinge on our identification with our bodies. We believe that we are bodies and that our bodies control our minds. In fact, it's the other way round. Our thinking controls our bodies.

That our bodies control our minds is the basis of all allopathic medicine. The idea that putting something into our mouths or injecting it into our bodies will fix our problems is based on the belief that we are chemical beakers. Something has gone wrong in our bio-chemistry and chemical intervention is required to put it right. While the body is perceived as a bio-chemical factory this may make sense. Once we see the mind as the root cause of all our problems, we realise that all we have to do to heal our mental and emotional problems as well as our physical one is to change our thinking.

Let us not continue to ignore all that we have learned about the mind. Let us not continue to see ourselves as limited, powerless and doomed bodies. Let us give up the idea that "someone knows better". That there is some expert out there that can fix us. The body is an amazing design that will heal itself the instant we stop playing our SAD game.

14 February 2012

Peace of Mind Healing 3, The Game of Sickness and Death

An idea has been troubling me for the last few weeks. It's an idea that I am very reluctant to talk about because it causes so much emotional upset upon its victims and their survivors. And because I am going to talk about it in a different way, I fear I am going to be ridiculed.

So, what the heck, that has never stopped me before, always putting my feet in it, and while I think I'm being brave, others think I'm reckless.

The idea is that all the pain and suffering, the chronic disease and death that afflicts us, is caused by our thinking.

And now that I've said it I realise I've said it before but not in the same words.

When I was studying Western Medicine as part of an Acupuncture course I did in the '90's I was often surprised that the causes of disease were unknown and that the emphasis was placed on contributing factors and the relief of symptoms.

And even though the causes are unknown the recommended treatment option was to use something that kills it. This always reminded me of the line in police dramas - "shoot first and ask questions later".

By the time the information gets from the text books and into the public domain it has been "doctored" as this example from Wikipedia shows.

"If a person who uses tobacco heavily, develops lung cancer, then it was probably caused by the tobacco use."

and in the next paragraph

"Tobacco smoking is associated with many forms of cancer and causes 90% of lung cancer."

In the first sentence "probably" is used because the text book says "cause unknown" and that tobacco is a contributing factor. But in the second sentence it's now 100% certain that 90% of lung cancer is caused by tobacco smoking.

In Chinese Medicine, as I learned it, the major cause of all disease is emotional. It's the emotion that causes the disease. This was also the view of Dr. Edward Bach, who developed the Bach Flower Remedies to heal disease based on the emotional state of the patient.

In a A Course in Miracles, Workbook Part 2, Section 4 it states, (slightly edited)

"We play a childish game... that we have become bodies, prey to evil and to guilt, with but a little life that ends in death...How long will we maintain the game of sin? Shall we not put away these sharp-edged children's toys? How soon will we be ready to come home? Perhaps today? There is no sin. Creation is unchanged. Would we still hold return to Heaven back?"

The emphasis in A Course in Miracles is that all our suffering and disease is caused by our belief in "sin" and the guilt that follows it. We have so identified with ego-body states that we can't see what we really are.

"Sin is insanity. It is the means by which the mind is driven mad, and seeks to let illusions take the place of truth."

When I was a child I was always getting into trouble. This meant I got a lot of smacks, and when it was serious, some right thrashings. These I did not mind too much, I'd get over the pain and get on with it. I took it as part of the natural order - we do something we are not supposed to do, we get punished. And punishment went corporal punishment.

In first class in primary school I was introduced to the idea of sin and guilt. Now, the behaviours that I had got smacked or trashed for were sins that I should feel guilty about. The game had changed. No longer was it simply misbehave, get caught and get smacked. It had become more sinister. I was guilty, I was a sinner, I was evil.

Many years later I was talking with my father about the state of discipline in the schools. He was advocating the return to corporal punishment. I agreed with him, which shocked both of us, since we seldom agreed on anything. I explained that my worst moment in secondary school was when I had been given a mental and emotional dressing down rather than my usual "six of the best" caning. After the caning I would walk back into the study hall with my head held high and showing off the welts forming on my hand. This time, I wanted to crawl back into the study hall, I felt so ashamed. I had been caught lying.

My father asked me what had I been lying about. I genuinely could not remember, I had buried it deep in my mind. Up until that day I had not known the reason for my humiliation. He probed a bit about what year it had happened and then he remembered.

I had been in boarding school a few weeks and hated it. I wanted to go home. So I made up a story that my grandfather had died. The dean called my home to offer condolences to my parents and to ask about the arrangements. My mother had answered the phone. She went to my father and asked him what were they going to do. My grandfather was mad alive. My father decided that they could not play along. He informed the dean that grandfather was alive and well and maybe the young fella (that's me) was just feeling homesick.

He then explained that they thought about going along with me, but the chances of not getting caught out were slim. Especially since the college owned the farm beside ours on the island and sooner or later they'd be bringing their cattle through our yard and would see grandfather.

We both laughed at how naive I had been. But, the damage had been done. I now believed that they were right. In retrospect, it was probably the end of my innocence. I accepted the game as reality.

It's only a game. A game with very serious consequences for those of us who believe that we are only bodies. We are not bodies. We are minds that have convinced ourselves that we are bodies.

If we can accept the idea that we are minds and that our minds control everything that we perceive, then we can start to change our thinking.

We all suffer from Paranoid Schizophrenia, not in the clinical sense, but in the simple English translation of the original Greek and Latin words - "walled mind, split mind". We all see our boundaries as the boundaries of our bodies. We can only know what we perceive with our bodies senses. We are all separated from each other.

But, no matter how separated or isolated we feel we are, we still have access. Our minds are still part of the oneness of all minds. The part that believes it is split off can change its thinking and recognise its oneness with all of creation. We can recover and reclaim our true identity.