Curing vs. Healing

"Healing is an integrating and enhancing force,
far more fundamental than curing
or the application of medicine."
Richard Grossinger

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 medical practice.

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 medical heritage.

"Love and healing are always possible,
even when a cure is not."
Bernie Siegel

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