Recently I spent a writing/research day at our local bookstore. In passing, I picked up, “The Book of Understanding: Creating Your Own Path to Freedom” by Osho (also known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Indian mystic, guru, and spiritual teacher), and was immediately put off and attracted—both—by what he had to say about belief:
Bahama Sky by Laurie Buchanan
“I do not believe in believing. My approach is to know, and knowing is a totally different dimension. It starts from doubt, it does not start from believing. The moment you believe in something, you have stopped inquiring. Belief is one of the most poisonous things to destroy human intelligence.
All the religions are based on belief; only science is based on doubt. And I would like the religious inquiry also to be scientific, based on doubt, so that we need not believe, but we can come to know someday the truth of our being, and the truth of the whole universe.”
Here’s what Bernard Levin—journalist, commentator, and writer—had to say:
“Osho is not trying to purvey information but a truth that bypasses conscious thought and all that belongs to it, just as the most important activities of human beings bypass the mind.”
Today’s class is setting the stage for Energy Medicine 101 by defining some of the terms we’ll be using throughout this semester:
Allostatic load was coined by Bruce McEwen in 2000 and refers to the physiological costs of chronic exposure to the neural or neuroendocrine stress response. It’s used to explain how frequent activation of the body’s stress response—essential tool for managing acute threats—can in fact, damage the body in the long run. Allostatic load is generally measured through a composite index of indicators of cumulative strain on several organs and tissues, but especially on the cardiovascular system.
Beliefs are something that we embrace heart and soul; that we accept as truth. Beliefs can revolve around our self or others and can include a number of things such as faith and identity. Depending on the belief, it can be either limiting or empowering.
Disease is pathological condition of a part, organ, or system of an organism resulting from various causes, such as infection, genetic defect, or environmental stress, and characterized by an identifiable group of signs or symptoms.
Dis-ease is the result of an imbalance. For example, too much or too little cholesterol may cause health problems. In addition to physical imbalance, dis-ease can result from mental or emotional imbalances such as blocked feelings, suppressed emotions, and negative thinking.
Energy Medicine is a holistic philosophy that teaches, “I am responsible for the creation of my health. I therefore participated, at some level, in the creation of this illness. I can participate in the healing of this illness by healing myself, which means simultaneously healing my emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual being.” – Caroline Myss
Healing in the widely accepted meaning is to cure symptoms—for that seems to be what medical doctors do in their practice. In the context of Energy Medicine, healing is the process of bringing aspects of our self that are out of balance, back into balance again; the return to greater wholeness. There is an ideal form each of us has, this ideal form being the highest and clearest expression of who we are. Pain or disease comes from any deviation between the person’s current form in the three-dimensional physical world and this ideal form. Healing, then, is to assist the body back to its natural state of homeostasis—the ideal balance between all major parts of our being—body, mind and spirit.
Health as defined by the World Health Organization is “A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” This definition has not been amended since 1948. Another definition, perhaps more in keeping with the times is, “Health is a dynamic condition resulting from a body’s constant adjustment and adaptation in response to stresses and changes in the environment for maintaining an inner equilibrium called homeostasis.” Buddha said, “Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.” Similarly, Caroline Myss said, “Your biography becomes your biology.”
Holistic is an approach that emphasizes the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
Homeostasis is our body’s inborn equilibrium. It occurs when all aspects of our being—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual—are integrated and working together in balance.
Hope is the expectation of something desired; belief in a positive outcome.
Hopelessness is being destitute of hope; it’s the emotion of despair.
Noosphere denotes the “sphere of human thought.”
Wellness is more than mere physical health. It’s the quality of being healthy in body, mind and spirit; usually the result of deliberate effort. It’s an approach to health that emphasizes prevention of illness as opposed to focusing on the treatment of disease. As defined by National Wellness Institute: “Wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.”
Every one of us can relate to this list of terms in some way. We’ve probably all embraced a belief that’s either empowered or limited us. Most of us have personally been affected by disease or dis-ease, or know someone who has. We all resonate with either hope or hopelessness—maybe both. Do you agree with what Buddha and/or Caroline Myss said as it relates to health?
Our perspective is the lens through which we view life. It impacts the way we experience people, places, and things; and has a direct correlation to how we respond to life’s ups and downs. In fact, our perspective creates our world. In her book, You Can Heal Your Life, Louise Hay wrote, “What we think about ourselves becomes the truth for us. I believe that everyone, myself included, is responsible for everything in our lives, the best and the worst. Each one of us creates our experiences by our thoughts and our feelings.” By changing our thoughts, we can change our life.
In my experience I know this to be true. That’s why I’ve chosen to let go of errors of the past, to forgive myself and others, to fill my world with joy, and to live a life of gratitude—regardless. It’s been said that enlightenment is letting go of everything we believe that’s not benefiting us. With thankful heart, I accept the peace of enlightenment.
It is my personal belief that each of us has an undeniable responsibility to our self and the rest of the world to be our personal best – to put our best foot forward – on any given day. The ripple effect is far too-reaching to do otherwise. I have a client who has determined her purpose to “Be Extraordinary.” She says, “Being extraordinary is not being a ‘bigger’ person. It’s a soul-based life that keeps Spirit in the driver’s seat. It’s waking up in the morning and saying, ‘Thy will be done through me.’”