|Curing vs. Healing|
"Healing is an integrating and enhancing force,
far more fundamental than curing
or the application of medicine."
Healing is too often a distant possibility in the hospital and clinic
today because we have lost sight of the whole in the effort to cure a part
- a kidney, an eye, a back, a heart. To be sure, modern medicine has achieved
wonders in the technological pursuit of the secrets of the body and the
mysteries of disease. Unfortunately, human beings are much more complicated
than researchers would care to believe. Silver bullets and simple answers
to "what ails" are not readily forthcoming in late 20th century
I am reminded of the pathologist who, after completing hundreds of autopsies,
announced that "The soul simply has no basis in fact. It just cannot
be found in the physical body."
The pathologist is most certainly right - and wrong. The soul - and the
mind - and the emotions - are not to be found in the body, but only beyond
it, yet living and working through it.
You see, the physical body is the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Like the
iceberg which is only 10% visible to common view, the human being is only
partially visible, tangible, and researchable to the average eye. The other
90% or more - yet to be identified by machinery or common experience - contain
our hidden parts and bodies - the vehicles of emotion, mind, and soul.
This is the hope of the future, but the quandary of the present. Until we
recognize that we are really more than we appear to be, we are condemned
to wander around in the darkness of our magnificent yet limited material
technology. When we accept the ancient awareness of many races and cultures
regarding our inner parts, we will broaden our ability to search for and
diagnose the true sources of "what ails."
The Hindu sages said, "The mind is not in the body, but the body is
in the mind." Meister Eckhardt testified, "The soul is not so
much in the body as the body is in the soul." And Saint Paul declared,
"If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body."
The wonder and value of this view is that we begin to affirm the intuitions
and hunches we have always had about our inner nature. We begin to look
beyond the surface for the sources of our conditions. We also begin to plumb
the depths for answers which have so long eluded our shortsightedness.
We can cure a part, or at least make it feel better, with drugs and surgery
and bandaids, but real healing requires awareness of and attention to the
whole of the patient as well as the physician. It doesn't take an MRI or
CT Scan to bring about that kind of awareness. It merely calls for the willingness
to look beyond the surface, to read between the lines, and to use the heart
as well as the head.
We must go beyond the disease care model and our predilection for making
the material, physical body the lone focus of our concern. We must seek
health and healing, wholeness and growth while maintaining the best of our
"Love and healing are always possible,
even when a cure is not."