Posts Tagged Ancient Wisdom
Let me start by announcing:
- I have no medical qualifications whatsoever.
- Before you make any decision about your health, you should seek advice from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
My interest in the mind-body connection to physical well-being really took off in 2006 when attending an Introduction to Meta-Medicine® course facilitated by Susanne Billander. I submitted myself to and delivered (under supervision) basic therapy sessions. I found out first hand that there was something to the relationship between mind, body and the environment we live in.
Photo from The University of the West of England site.
Thousands of client case studies of the ‘mind-body connection’ causes of ill health have been researched. The links between significant emotional events (singular points in time triggered by a traumatic or near-traumatic experience) and the diseases that can ensue as a result are well established. The International Meta-Medicine Association® (IMMA) now offers training and certification as an Integrative Health Consultant in mind-body healing. Integrative Medicine is still not regarded seriously by many of the mainstream scientific, medical authorities, healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Interest is growing though, thanks to people like Rob Van Overbruggen (author of The Healing Psyche), Susanne Billander (author of The Secret of Cancer and Other Diseases), Dawson Church (author of The Genie in your Genes), and Bruce Lipton (author of The Biology of Belief).
Professor João Magueijo writes how science has an “argumentative tradition” and “has no shortage of very clever people who love to show off”. In fairness, Professor Magueijo extols how such an environment has merits. It increases the rigour and diligence by which new science sets out to prove its worth. But… (and this is a deliberate but)
There exists a conflict of interest, especially a financial interest, between Allopathic (conventional) and Integrative (alternative) Medicine. One cannot help but suspect that ‘very clever people’ (scientists, marketers and politicians) are using their talent to defend against, if not attack, Integrative Medicine – and corner the supply of herbal remedies to the public in the UK. In the name of ‘science’, they seek to protect and expand the financial and illusionary sacrosanct ‘turf’ of multi-billion dollar industries in pharmacy and healthcare.
Meta-Medicine®, in my mind, is now a well grounded science.
The nub of the scientific research reveals that all disease is linked to significant emotional events in our lives. The onset of every disease is preceded by an unexpected, unwanted, deeply upsetting event.
Put another way, the ontology of this research implies that all disease (= dis-ease) begins in the mind – which means: to heal we first need to put our minds at ease, i.e. we must change our interpretation of the significant emotional event that we attracted before the onset of our disease.
In practise we are often unwilling to talk about significant emotional events or the symptoms of the disease.
- The event may be so traumatic that we refuse to acknowledge it. We literally blot it out from our conscious thinking or, at very least, we refuse to talk about it.
- We may feel shame about the event. It weakens or destroys a self image that we dearly wish to hold on to, and project on to others.
- We may feel shame about the ‘weakness’ we would reveal by talking openly about our malady. We feel embarrassed. We don’t wish to be seen as a second class citizen.
- We may fear the consequences of being told that we have a serious health condition. We fear possible ‘future fear’. We fear a possibility that we don’t want to happen. We ignore early symptoms. We stick our head in the sand, metaphorically speaking, and hope the symptoms go away.
- We may even lack the self worth needed to call out for help. We may feel we don’t deserve others’ attention. We don’t want those that we love and care about to worry about us. We place their emotional wellbeing before our own.
- We may be in a Machiavellian environment (for example, in corporate business or politics) where problems translate into weakness. Where there lurk many, envious of our power, who will seize the opportunity to brings us down, and hopefully gain our power.
If there is one piece of wisdom to counteract all the above, it’s this:
Love and care for yourself wholly so that you can love and care for others wholly too. You cannot give to others that which you do not give to yourself first.
(Continued in Defrag your Soul)
Paul C Burr
Kids take in everything. Only recently have I discovered the extent to which parents influence their children’s whole lives, way beyond the age they leave home. Kids accept and live the Law of Attraction with full accountability and responsibility.
A child seeks love, security, warmth and touch. When a child receives not love, not security, not warmth or not touch, that child accepts full responsibility for not receiving what they want. Furthermore, it blames itself for having neither the physical nor the intellectual strength to deal with untoward behaviour in a mature adult fashion. It doesn’t know how to channel the negative emotions (shame, anger, sadness or fear) that arise within. How could it?
The child feels helpless about how to cope and so locks away the negative emotions in a shield or ‘bubble-wrap’ of etheric energy. The child develops compensatory behaviours (e.g. remaining silent, denying/blocking negative thoughts about others, blaming self) that shield its conscious mind from the negative emotions hidden within its shadows.
This is not a mature decision and it’s not exclusive to children. How well do we adults react in such situations? Ask yourself, “How often do I…
- …hide my hurt or sadness to avoid confrontation?”
- …resort to anger to get what I want?”
- …manipulate someone emotionally to get what I want?”
- …use brute force to get my way?”
- …harbour ill feeling?”
None of the five strategies are mature acts, I suggest. Let us look at Strategy 1 because that is how many people I know deal with confrontation to begin with. Many adults, including me, when faced with controversy, let things be and say nothing. We either do not have, or choose not to employ, an effective strategy to deal with unwanted or inappropriate behaviour. Instead, we remain silent. We hope the issue will die down, go away and all will be forgotten in time. Let us not confuse weak with meek.
- When weak, you put yourself second, you subsume yourself to someone else with disregard for your own feelings. You place their feelings above your own and you hide behind a veil but the negativity lingers. You feel shame from not speaking or being your truth. You feel shame because you choose not the courage to be meek.
- Meek, I suggest, is putting your honour on an equal status with those around you. You do not need to use brute force to get your point of view across. You do not resort to conflict, anger or threatening behaviour. You do not manipulate or seek to instil anger, sadness, fear or shame in others either. Instead you seek to put your point across constructively, positively and truthfully – so that others understand the impression they make on you. Your seek parity, not to win outright. You speak or act according to your truth. You choose courage to be meek.
Picture courtesy of Doves and Serpents.
If we act ‘not-meekly’, i.e. weakly, how can we expect children, to whom we set an example, to choose courage? Furthermore, kids not only take in every conscious thing that’s going on around them, they take in all the untold, unsaid things as well. They absorb, at a subliminal level, all the endemic family moods, trouble and strife. They register the negative vibrations from their environment and store the information in their Etheric Body (a blog about the Etheric Body will follow). They/we develop compensatory behaviours; one or more of the five strategies cited earlier to cope.
Kids blame themselves for all the feelings of insecurity they endure. They make themselves fully accountable and responsible for the untoward behaviour of their parents, for instance. They convince themselves that they caused it and therefore they blame themselves accordingly. (The very morning of writing this paragraph, a lady who had suffered child abuse appeared on the BBC1 TV morning show. She described the complexity and paradox of how a child can still love a parent who abuses them.)
In her wonderful and insightful book, Your Secret Self, Tracy Marks explains the subtle logic of this childhood dynamic. If the child were to blame their parents for untoward behaviour and place themselves as completely innocent (which they are) without the intellectual or physical ability (which they do not have) to change their environment; they, in effect, relinquish all power (to change things) and hope for their lives.
On the other hand, if they consider their untoward parents or carers to be normal loving people and blame themselves for everything that happens – then at least they give themselves hope. They give themselves the ability to ‘rectify’ themselves in the hope that their parents will show the love and security they seek.
Faced with a no -win situation, the child blames themself, wraps away the negative emotions in their subconscious mind and develops compensatory behaviours. They hide their feelings away. In denial, they pretend that all is okay with their parents. But they can withdraw from wanting or expecting love. Their self worth plummets.
A damaging behavioural subroutine sets in. It can stay with the unloved, insecure child into their adult lives. In their adolescent years they may well seek escape. Their susceptibility to drug addiction and, in extreme cases, self harming increases.
Paul C Burr
 Ref: Your Secret Self, by Tracy Marks, Part Three, The Psychodynamics of Twelfth House Conflicts and Part Four, The Process of Integration: Twelfth House Liberation.
Photo puzzle showing Patrauti church, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Suceava, Bucovina, Romania
I remember my (Great-) Aunty Rita from my young childhood days. She loved gargantuan jigsaw puzzles. Aunty Rita taught my Cousin Mike and I how to start by sifting out and connecting together all the pieces that had straight edges, to establish the boundary of some 1000+ piece puzzle. It would typically be a huge landscape with many decorative features and often a lot of blue sky.
Having completed the edge, we knew that every remaining piece fitted inside its boundary. We weren’t allowed to step outside. With the rules established, we’d next tackle any large feature, say a building, which stood out from the background. If it was a grey building, for example, we’d hunt for pieces that had what looked like the outline of the building running through them – a straight edge with grey one side and background the other. We’d piece them together and then search for and insert further grey pieces, some with bits of a door or window in them. Eventually, when the building was complete, we’d feel proud that we had a discernible part of the jigsaw to show for our work.
Picture courtesy of Roberson, Small Business Consulting.
Blue Sky, Nothing but Blue Sky (extract from my 3rd book, Defrag your Soul)
When faced with blue sky, our ‘fill-in-the-outline-first’ strategy, to complete the picture, no longer worked. We had to revert to visual trial and error. We didn’t have the nous to get a ‘feel’ for where each piece slotted correctly, the first time around. We’d pick up a piece that looked the right shape and test it one way then the other. Sometimes we’d see if the piece in our hand fitted in a number of vacant slots.
On occasion, we’d try and force a piece, which looked very nearly right, into place. When we realised the error of our ways we’d extract it. We needed to be careful because if we removed the offending piece quickly, out of frustration, we would drag up some neighbouring jigsaw pieces with it. We would then have to reconnect the pieces we’d torn from their sockets. We learned to stay cool when things didn’t fit into place the way we wanted them to.
Fitting ‘blue sky’ jigsaw pieces together, proved a good analogy for my trial and error approach to getting my own way as a child. If I gave out a howl when I didn’t get my own way, I soon got to know about it. (I immediately felt the discomfort of trying to insert an ill-fitting jigsaw piece to my ‘blue sky’.) If I tried to force the issue (i.e. the wrong piece in the wrong place), I’d ‘rip out’ any ‘credits for good behaviour’ that I carried at the time.
Hissy fits were not tolerated. I found out at a very young age how to discern between acceptable, polite behaviour and the opposite. I found out what being a ‘good boy’ meant partly through the responses I got when I was ‘naughty’ – and how being a ‘very naughty boy’ could result in a very unpleasant reprimand.
Like many kids I tested the boundaries. How far could I go with ‘naughtiness’? What could I get away with? Where would I find the line not to cross? Where and when did I need to temper my behaviour to get what I want and avoid punishment?
Howling and carping on about things I wanted to happen didn’t work but neither did keeping quiet. How could I let people know what I wanted if I didn’t speak out? So I instinctively learned how to temper my approach to influence others. I learned about temperance.
What about other ‘blue sky’ feelings such as love and security (never mind the shame, anger, sadness and fear that can ensue when we don’t get love and security)?
We hopefully provide our children with love and security. I can think of no happier sight than seeing an innocent child, smiling and living life to the full, knowing that they themself feel completely safe and secure.
This begs questions, When do we set them free to stand on their own feet? How will the child learn about insecurity (not security) and not-love? When do (or could) they start to learn about shame, anger, sadness, fear? How will they cope with trauma?
The answer is, “Do what feels right. They will call these experiences for themselves when the time is right regardless”.
It’s only recently that I’ve realised the dualistic metaphorical jigsaw nature of how you learn about life. For example, to appreciate love, you need to learn what not-love is. Otherwise how could you discern when you love (or are loved by) someone? And to fully understand the term ‘unconditional love’ you need to learn what ‘conditional love’ is.
Furthermore, the picture in the metaphorical jigsaw is not static. It’s a movie that changes with life’s ebb and flow of breath, days, years, relationships and so on. What creates success one day can create a setback another and vice versa.
Times change. People change. Contexts change. Nature demands change. You evolve, if nothing else, to survive. You learn from successes and setbacks. For example, if you consistently show the same anger to different people, you probably won’t get the same response or outcome. You can also find yourself continually fitting a piece of anger to a situation where only patience will fit. There’s ‘a right fitting piece’ to every situation you attract in life but it might require great subtlety, instinct or sensitivity to find it – for there are many pieces to choose from.
Life’s Jigsaw has an infinite number of pieces. It evolves into a lifelong movie that you get to act in and direct (sometimes partly and sometimes wholly) for yourself. And the most challenging parts to act and direct tend to be the ‘blue sky’ pieces.
So the art or perhaps science of life is how to reduce the trials and errors that can cause upset and piece together its ‘blue sky’ pieces more efficiently. How do you respond to those situations that happen to us all and only a few know how to handle effectively – the ‘blue sky’ pieces – the known unknowns?
Knowing you don’t know is learning in itself. It is the first step up from not knowing what you don’t know or unconscious incompetence, life’s starting place. Training professionals call this first step, conscious (of) incompetence. Through practice, experience and ideally having a role model to copy, you can become consciously competent, i.e. you know what to do but you have to think about it. For example, when I was learning to drive I was told to change gear every 10mph. So I used to know which gear I should be in by reading the speed gauge consciously.
Eventually, you get a feel for what needs to be done. You attend to what’s needed intuitively. This state is called unconscious competence. You do what’s needed without thinking about it.
Through experience and maturity you hopefully learn how to piece together ‘blue sky’ pieces to Life’s Jigsaw – such as love, decision making, patience or coping with trauma. What about when you attempt to go beyond the puzzle’s edge? Here you find the unknown unknowns – for example, buried emotions or childhood pacts you made with yourself that you didn’t know you carried around with you. Here you find yourself back where you started life, unconscious incompetence.
(To be continued…)
Paul C Burr
…does not mean ‘do without or prohibit’.
It means balance.
Temperance: Major Arcana card no 14, from the Ancient Tarot Deck of Marseilles by Jean Dodal, 1718.
Remove balance in life and you limit your perspective. The workaholic might not give themselves the time to enjoy a healthy personal life. The addict can’t see outside the control of their habit. The drunkard inebriates themselves from sobriety. In all three cases, the protagonist lives their life in denial.
Should you avoid temperance, not only do you limit your learning, you can do yourself harm – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. As such, you harm the environment you live in and those nearest and dearest to you. Lack of temperance, by definition, means an excess of, or gluttony for, one thing over another. Be it work, alcohol, drugs, mindless TV or computer games – the excess means that you deny yourself health, which has consequences.
Have you ever watched downhill tobogganing on TV? The more often a sleigh hits the wall, the more it slows down through friction. And when it bounces off sideways the team are using their energy laterally to get back on track. Whilst it’s traversing it has to travel farther than a direct descent down the middle of the run. The middle way is the fastest and smoothest.
Study the Temperance card, from the 18th Century, Ancient Tarot Deck of Marseilles, by Jean Dodal. You observe a grounded female angel clad evenly in red (fire, hot, male) and blue (water, cool, female). Her arms are dressed in red, to signify strength and power of Mars. Her blue covered torso signifies the love and beauty of Venus. Water from the higher cup flows into and cleanses that of the lower. Not a drop is spilt or wasted; the flow is steady and harmonious. Her wings reveal she is an angel who may advise, guide and protect us. Her work embraces the harmony of opposites.
The Angel of Temperance teaches us that life’s direction leads eventually to the middle path. We do not need to swing extremely and continually between feast and famine, peace and war, love and hate, mercy and severity, prosperity and poverty, abundance and scarcity, riches and debt, victory and defeat, mine and yours, property and theft. When we embrace both aspects of duality as one, we create oneness. Something is only good for one, when it is good for all. There is no us and them, there is no me without not me. There is only us, together we become oneness.
When we bring temperance into our lives, we exemplify oneness.
(extract from my forthcoming book, from Defrag your Soul, due out next week.)
Paul C Burr