Illness is essentially a state of mind. You have the power in you to heal yourself. It’s just that you need to get to the bottom of what’s bothering you and take corrective steps. Here’s how you can do it.
By Pragati Oswal
There is no incurable disease, there’s only an incurable person – One of my teachers had once said to me! While exploring an explanation to the cryptic remark, one of my spunky friends hit the nail on the head by putting it rather simply “When you believe that there’s no cure for you, you can die of anything you like”. A deep-seated belief system regarding one’s own self and situation is what can create, prolong as well as establish an illness. The opposite of this is also true. Hence the placebo-effect – a therapeutic outcome of an inert treatment because of the patient’s perception of the disease and its management. One’s mind has the power to create as well as uncreate disease.
Which brings me to the questions regarding how one becomes the disease. Who is this “one” that we are talking about? Who are you? Let’s deconstruct the self a bit.
You are a name! And probably a Surname! A child to your parents (or guardian), who bestowed upon you, the name-form! Who else are you? You could deconstruct various parts of your life creating an endless list of ‘tags’ – a child, a sibling, a friend, a partner, a spouse, a parent, a student, a professional, an acquaintance etc. – It’s all you. (Nothing new from anyone’s point of view!)
But that is how another identifies you. You are all that too, but you aren’t only that. Who are you?
Take a good look at yourself in the mirror for a very familiar ‘reflection’ and say, that person in the mirror is you. Then, look at your picture when you were younger, a face, a body that you don’t relate to any longer. But back then you still identified with another face of yours. If you were the same person then, who are you now, the older you? You are still you. Something in you remains the same, unchanged, unaffected by the changes in your bodily appearance with respect to the time gone by. Clearly, ‘that’ which remains unchanged in you is not your body. In other words, something in you is not subject to your body. Let’s call that something “That” with a capital ‘T’.
What influences change in your body? The obvious answer is age. Age is but a product of time. What else? Environment, lifestyle, habits, circumstances, situations, relationships and the stress which comes in tow, all are but products of time.
Yet ‘That’ (which remains constant while the body changes) did watch ‘you’ as you went about your multiple phases collecting relationship ‘tags’, know-hows, degrees, laurels, designations, “phobias and –philias”, affections and affectations etc. ‘That’ in you is independent of the ‘you’ as you change but it accompanies the changing ‘you’ at all times.
Can you identify that ‘That’ in you? If you don’t, try to read again while you replace the ‘you’ with your own name and the nouns and pronouns according to your gender (if you like) and tags. Can you identify that ‘That’ in you – “The Witness”, beyond the ‘you’ that you see’?
If you have succeeded in identifying ‘the witness’, please proceed to the next exercise (for self-healing) else my friend like my another ‘self’ (which always requires a more logical explanation) I’ll find another, a finer analytical way to help you identify the witness, but, another time in another article.
Exercise for healing pain – physical and emotional
Ask these questions in the same or a different order for some time (20-30 minutes or more)
1. Ask your pain “Who are you?”
2. Who is the pain?
3. Which part of ‘you’ is the pain?
4. Go back in time when ‘you’ felt pain free.
5. Who is ‘that’ which remained unchanged in you then?
6. If you don’t feel the unchanged part, repeat the first five steps a few times. Proceed to the next one only after you get a momentary glimpse or a feel of that unchanged within.
7. Focus on the unchanged, the pain free.
8. Command yourself to revert to the unchanged.
9. Become the unchanged, become pain free.
Repeat the whole exercise at least 5-6 times. It’ll take you about 20 – 30 minutes.
In the beginning you might feel only a momentary relief in the pain. With a bit of practice, you can alleviate the pain at will. If you merge with the unchanged, you won’t have any further questions.
We are what we think we are because of our mental make-up, our mental perception. Our mind gets excited or disturbed due to subjective likes and dislikes, attachments or repulsion. In other words, the emotions produced are mostly based on subjective preferences, communications and understanding of the situations and circumstances. Correlating this to illness and disease one can deduce that many underlying belief systems have the capacity to create as well as prolong illness. One needs a bit of introspection to explore, analyse and accept the truth of one’s own untowardly beliefs and intentions.
Let me let you into some thought lines or beliefs and notions that detract you from your goal of getting better:
1. Seeking Attention – No one cares for me! Now that I am sick, you’ll have to listen to me and pay attention to my needs.
2. Blame Game -They are responsible for my deteriorating health condition and stressing me out.
3. Anger & Revenge – Now that I am sick, you’ll be answerable or taken to task!
4. Self-Battering – I hate myself, I can never forgive myself.
5. Guilt and Punishment- I have wronged others, I deserve to be sick!
6. Cynicism -Things will never change. What works for others does not work for me.
If you find yourself holding on to any of these belief systems, then your mind is (unknowingly) and repeatedly recommending sickness and suffering to the body.
We channelize our energies towards proving that we are right. At cellular levels, the messages get registered in our DNA unconsciously. In other words, through our thoughts and actions, we constantly change our physical state of being.
What is it that you want? Do you really want to get better? That’s a rhetorical question! If you are trying hard to fight illness, then continue to do so. Replace your any untowardly belief with an understanding that your goal is to get better and nothing other than that. When you mediate upon your goal, the process becomes a conscious effort towards changing the being in you. Hence, the healing!
P.S. A humble note – ‘That’/‘The Witness’ has been explained as Sat-Chit-Ananda or existence-consciousness-bliss, the brahman or the universal spirit in the traditional texts, but I haven’t reached those conclusions as yet!
Pragati Oswal is a Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Practitioner and Researcher with expertise in pain relief, healing and wellness without the use of medicines.