It’s all in your head…or is it?

“Permanent Healing”, a book written by Dr. Daniel R. Condron and published in 1992, is an introductory text on healing the body with the mind.  According to Dr. Condron, the ultimate source of all “dis-ease” is the mind.  Our attitudes and mental habits shape not only how we think and act, but how we look and feel – and finally, how disease manifests in our life.  The last half of the book is a glossary outlining the direct cause-effect relationship of our mental attitudes to our physical state: hernias are caused by restricted creativity; insomnia indicates procrastination; rheumatoid arthritis stems from identifying with limitations; cancer is linked to self-hatred.  “Ultimately,” he claims, “our susceptibility to illness and disease depends on our attitudes.”  

These ideas are not new – there are numerous studies demonstrating the link between our thoughts and their effects on our bodies, our environment and our world.  Remember the movie “What the Bleep?”  Have you ever talked to your plants?  or tried reiki?  It’s interesting how our culture (meaning modern Western/American in the 21st century) is just beginning to accept metaphysical principles into the mainstream.  Timothy Leary, et al. were writing about this in the 60’s.  Einstein‘s theory of special relativity, first published in 1905, is a real trip when you try to wrap your head around it.  My favorite tome of all time on the subject is “Godel, Escher, Bach” by Douglas Hofstadter.  The transcendentalists and Freemasons lived on the belief of the infinite potential of the human mind, albeit on the outskirts of society.  The connection between the mind/soul/spirit and body/environment/world has been understood by mystics of every time and age and preserved in their respective esoteric doctrines, hidden in allegory and symbolism.  So, now that we seem to have such an influx on the front page of our collective consciousness…what will we do with it?

This seems to be the underlying challenge of “Permanent Healing”, to consider the potential that each individual possesses to transcend the limitations of perceived reality.  If, at this point, you are not wholly convinced whether or not our perceived reality is limited…well, may I suggest that you stop reading here, and contemplate for a while.  The next step is to search for that which is most fundamental, what is the source of reality?  What is the source of experience?  of thought?

It seems that Dr. Condron, though he is thinking way outside of the box for his profession, is still limited by the tendency to tell his readers what to think.  The prescription for hernias is to “know your own limitations and each day continue to expand beyond them so you move beyond the old, outworn concepts of Self”.  For insomnia he recommends, “Before you go to bed at night, ask yourself this question, ‘Is there something I could have done today that I didn’t?’  If the answer is yes, then do it.”  (I’d be up for weeks!)  If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, the remedy is to “listen to yourself and your words.  Then listen to others particularly successful individuals.  You will notice their words are different from yours and proceed from different mental pictures.  Imitate theirs until you learn to produce success.”  And the cure for cancer is to “forgive your Self.  Love your Self.  Whatever has occurred in the past, you can be a productive and valuable individual today.  People are not your enemy.  The world is not the enemy.  You are not the enemy.  Care for others and love your Self.”  It would be interesting to poll the individuals who relied solely on these ‘prescriptions’ with success.

For better or for worse, I am chronically suspicious of anything claiming to be a ‘quick-fix’.  As a teacher, my maxim is “Question Everything”, and then never, never stop asking questions.  (My students will remember writing pages of lists of questions…I wonder if any have found some answers?) From my own persistent questioning, there are some ideas that I use.  First, there is no substitute for diet and exercise.  Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of Homeopathy, revolutionized 18th century Germany by advocating sanitation and personal hygiene, in addition to a ‘sensible’ diet and a ‘reasonable’ amount of physical activity as the foundation for building a healthy life.  Second, I look for the susceptibility (far be it for me to presume the origins of each individual’s susceptibility) – physically, genetically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  Where is the weak spot?  How is this affecting the person?  My favorite definition of health comes from Miranda Castro in “The Complete Homeopathy Handbook“, and can be summed up in one word: adaptability.  Whether the ability to adapt to stress factors in the environment – coupled with personal susceptibility –  stems from our state of mind, or the state of the immunity with which we are born, there is no perfect stasis of health.  Healing occurs not only with a sound attitude on life, but proper caring and attention to the physical realities in which our human bodies must function.  The interplay of body and mind must be dynamic and ever-evolving to realize an inspired state of thriving.  Susan Weed, in her “Wise Woman Herbal”, uses the image of a spiral, infinitely growing upward and outward toward our highest potential.  I prefer the infinity symbol myself, something I discovered tracing and re-tracing the sideways figure-eight over and over again…

Whatever your path, whatever your symbol, allow it to be dynamic and full of wonderment.  Consider the power of the mind on your body, your environment, and your world.  If you find benefit from the prescriptions in “Permanent Healing” share your discoveries, and never, never stop asking questions!



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