Integral Health and Healing (Radio program)
- 1 The parts of the being
- 2 Delight is our natural state
- 3 Illness is indication of disharmony
- 4 We are like transmitting and receiving stations
- 5 When a person is holding on to their sickness
- 6 What opens the doors to illness
- 7 Asserting the right attitude
- 8 The use of medicine; illness in yoga
- 9 Qualities of a healer
- 10 See also
- 11 External links
This talk was given in English with Italian translation. Transcript below reflects the English only.
First I want to welcome everybody. You're in a very special place. If you just try to feel the vibration, you'll find that there's something that's almost going “Mmm....Mmm...Mmm...,” all the time. It's a great power of consciousness. Just consciousness itself. When I used to go to see the Mother, I could see around her ‘something’ that I knew was more consciousness. If somebody asked me, “What do you mean?” I could not say. But I knew.
The parts of the being
If this is “Integral Health and Healing”, what are you healing? You are healing the manifestation of the Supreme Lord in a human body. The Supreme manifested the whole universe out of himself. Part of the consciousness of the All became less and less and less conscious, until it became us. And at the same time it became the whole universe. So first very subtle things manifested, and then more and more gross things, until the Supreme became the most gross thing it could possibly be in our universe: physical matter. Rocks, plants, bodies – physical matter is the least-conscious aspect of the whole creation. And still, it is conscious.
For doing the Yoga, Mother and Sri Aurobindo taught us a way to look at ourself. This is a very good way to do healing. We can use this to diagnose a person's illness, and to know what kind of medicine to give them. So, we divide the human being into four parts. We have the highest, most subtle: which is our immortal soul. The next level of our being is our mind, with all its functions. This means thinking, organizing our world for us, and receiving information. The mind receives information from our cells, all the way to the highest in the creation.
And the next level, which is more dense, is all our energies. Mother and Sri Aurobindo call this our ‘vital’ – our vital being. And they use that from the sense of life itself: ‘vital’, life itself. This includes all our emotions, all our desires, all our feelings, and all our willpower. And it also includes the energies that come into us from the outside.
The final, most gross level of us is our physical body. It is our personal collection of cells (!). So there can be illness is any one of these levels. And there can be illness in a whole combination of these levels.
Delight is our natural state
Now, there comes a question: why has All-Consciousness decided to do all this? Because the Supreme is all-creative and all-delight. So it wanted to have the delight – the original delight of creation, and the delight of coming back to itself again. Delight is our natural state. (Bliss, joy, ananda, delight, ecstasy.) And, one could say that all illness is lack of delight.
So the Supreme Consciousness is already in all our different parts. This is who we are, and this is our path. Whether a person knows it or not, whether they want it or not, they are becoming the Supreme Consciousness again. And in India, Supreme Consciousness is called Satchitananda: Existence, Consciousness, Joy-Ecstasy-Bliss-Beatitude.
Ok. So all nature is in process of returning to this consciousness. We human beings are the most advanced parts of nature, and we can help the process go more quickly. This is called doing ‘yoga’. ‘Yoga’ simply means ‘union’, joining together. We become one with our own truth. And Mother says that truth cures. So with regard to our body and its habit of getting sick, the aim of Sri Aurobindo's yoga is to change the entire consciousness – including our most unconscious part, which is our body – so that disease becomes impossible. It's a very big work (!), but all healing changes the consciousness of the patient. Because all healing is finally a change of consciousness. Another way to say this is, if you get sick, and you get better, then you have made an evolutionary progress. So all healers are working with unconsciousness. And now that we know all about the four levels, and each level has many levels, the combinations are simply endless. And all illnesses are a disharmony in some part of our being.
Illness is indication of disharmony
Every illness is a combination of the patient's own personal disharmonies. Good health is the outside expression of the inside harmony. So integral healing means restoring harmony to all the planes and parts of the being, and restoring the person's consciousness. And Mother explains that all illness is a fallback into some kind of unconsciousness – because we are not capable of keeping up with the movement of our consciousness. And this is true whether it is nature's slow evolution and transformation in us, or whether we are working and trying to transform ourselves more quickly.
For example, every disease has its own vibrational field. It's a whole collection of vibrations that have to be corrected. And Mother says that the physical disease in our physical body is the exact measure of what resists the divine influence of progress in our physical body. The exact measure: down to the atom. If the healer can become aware of the resistance in the patient, and the healer can know what is needed to overcome the resistance, the patient can be cured very quickly.
This means the healer works with the whole being of the patient – all the levels, all the parts – and this is integral healing. And the healer has to know how to communicate this to the patient. If you can get the patient to become aware of their own resistance, and can help them to work through it, you have done something very good for your patient. Mother says, “After all, an illness is only a wrong attitude taken by some part of the body”.
People say that illnesses come because we are attacked by germs and microbes; and Mother says, “Where does Yoga begin and where does it end?” Everyone's life in evolution is yoga – whether they are conscious of it or not. We carry microbes in us all the time, but they don't affect us until there's a disharmony in some part of us. And this opens the door to microbes, and we get sick.
In these days, it seems like everybody is doing some kind of practice. But the healer does not have to tell the patient they are doing something called ‘yoga’. They just need to give the patient more awareness of themselves, so that they can heal. The patient comes ready to listen to the healer, and the healer has to know what to say, and how to say it in the best way.
When you cut yourself off from the energy and light that sustains everyone, then there is a depression of energy which creates what medical science calls a ‘favorable grounds for disease’. And something takes advantage of it. This also can cause us to have accidents. When you're feeling low, and out of harmony, accidents happen. You can cut your finger, you can hit your foot on something, you can eat very badly, or worst of all: you can attract something like a car crash. This can come when you open the door wider and wider and wider with too much negativity. So Mother gives us the true attitude when we are sick. We should say: “There is something wrong with me; I have to see what it is.”
So it's the duty of the healer to guide the patient in this direction, and then to help them look for the problem. Then the healer has to understand what part or parts in the patient's whole system are affected or out of harmony. And Mother says that the particular place in the body which is affected by the illness – the place that we think is the only place that is sick – that shows the nature of the inner disharmony inside the person. So we have a clue that helps us to track down the illness.
We are like transmitting and receiving stations
We are like transmitting and receiving stations. People are beginning to understand this more and more. So in order for the healer to have the full picture of what they're dealing with, they have to know this. And they have to deal with this. The healer, if possible, has to know what has come into the patient and why it has come into the patient. In the old days they called this ‘occultism’. ‘Occultism’ just means ‘hidden’ – something you can't see. And these things are on subtle levels – we can't see them. So in that sense, they are occult.
Mother says that if we were in a perfectly harmonious environment, where everything was in a state of total and perfect goodwill, we could say that we are the only cause of our health problems. But difficulties are inside us and outside of us. The four levels of our being – our soul, our mind, our vital and our physical – are our own personal, limited organization. But we are organized in exactly the same way as the whole universe is organized. For example, our mind is a part of the whole universal mental plane. We receive from the mental plane, and we give to the mental plane. Our vital being is sending and receiving on the vital planes all the time. Even our body transmits and receives – from bodies, from plants, from animals, and from subtle things on the inner planes.
Most people don't know this. People become conscious of this when they become conscious of their own inner being, and conscious of their body. We can't cut ourself off from every plane of universal consciousness. So we have to know how to deal with what comes in from the outside. It's a big work, and for the healer, if they can give at least a little bit of help to other people, they can help them to keep good health. We are very strongly affected by the thoughts and feelings of the people around us. And we're affected by universal movements of thought and mood also.
You can deal with this, just as you would deal with somebody sitting next to you and talking to you. If you don't like what they're saying, you don't accept it. You don't have to make a big deal out of it. If you don't accept it, you don't accept it. And if they keep talking, you keep not accepting. Eventually, they'll get tired of talking, and they'll go away.
There is a lot of information about subtle causes of diseases in Mother and Sri Aurobindo's books. Because they were teaching us (they are teaching us), how to be conscious of everything. And all these subtle levels of disease are part of what we have to be conscious of. So if you're interested, you can find information there; and there are some that are translated into Italian also.
Sometimes a person is too open. They just are too open, and they have to learn how not to be so open. Sometimes a person is open to someone close to them, who has a bad will for them. That's a hard thing to deal with. But it's true. And we all have to grow up sometime. So we have to bravely face our life.
Sometimes people are just in the wrong crowd – they're open to the wrong people. Or they're in the wrong atmosphere. And it's a great wisdom to be conscious of these things, and to know how to take care of yourself in these situations. Also something good to teach our children. Most of us did not get taught these things, and it would have helped us a lot.
When a person is holding on to their sickness
One part of healing that is really important for the healer is to see when a person is holding on to their sickness. Because no matter what the healer does, it is really always the patient that heals themselves. The patient can say, “Why, I don't want to be sick – this is why I've come for healing!” We would look like we're crazy to come to a doctor and say, “But I want to stay sick!” But we're really only partly conscious. And people don't know that they are hiding a secret inside, that they are trying to keep an illness.
Also very important, Mother says: there is a moment when the person accepts to be sick. She says if one did not accept to be sick, one would not be sick. But people are so unconscious of themselves, they don't even know that they are doing that. This is also a good thing to teach to a patient. (If the patient is capable of hearing it.)
Mother once gave this advice to someone: “Do not love your ill health and the ill health will leave you.”  So the wish to be sick can be hiding in part of the physical body, it can be in your thinking; it can be in your feelings, or it could be in a whole combination or all these parts. So whatever part it is, the illness is holding on for its own personal reasons. We are not our sickness – it always comes from outside. And since the patient cannot see it, the healer has the duty to find it and to find the way to get the patient's cooperation to deal with it.
So the healer has to change the negative attitude of the patient: change it into a will to get better. This will also make a real change in the consciousness of the patient. And just as we know that there are people who want to hurt other people, there are subtle forces that want to hurt people. So our health situation gets a little complicated when we are having an attack from a subtle force, a harmful force. And when this happens we also become open to accidents.
What opens the doors to illness
So why have these things come? The sick person may have opened the door, by having a negative attitude. If one is practicing yoga, it is called a ‘spiritual error’. But any child and any adult can do this. The door can be opened by a movement of vanity, or jealousy, or anger, hatred – even a negative movement that just comes and goes, can open the door to adverse influence. So the healer also has to become sensitive and conscious of this, to help the person to get out of it. And again it's changing the attitude of the patient, and increasing their consciousness.
Mother says that we can describe the strongest and commonest cause of all illnesses and accidents with one word, and that word is ‘fear’. Fear is the main cause of illness. It is also the most potent force of resistance to healing. And the most common, usual, force of resistance to heal. Mother said that 90% of all illnesses are the result of a subconscious fear that lives in our body. We have a kind of trembling in our physical cells. And Mother says that because our cells are trembling, we need a very strong discipline to get out of it.
As a part of this physical fear, in the ordinary consciousness of our body, there is a hidden anxiety about the slightest physical disturbance. It's always there in our cells. Immediately, we start to worry about what will happen to us. And then we're afraid we're going to get sick. And then we start imagining what's going to happen. If we do this enough, we'll get sick.
Asserting the right attitude
This anxiety comes from a lack of faith. It comes from a lack of confidence. It comes from a lack of the belief in the goodness, and the beauty, and the love, that we always live in all the time, when we have simply the right attitude. The Supreme is joy. And we're just forgetting about it.
So when we have a patient like this, we have to learn to change their anxiety into a positive attitude. And Mother gives us the discipline – the discipline for getting rid of fear. First, the patient needs to know about it – that it does happen. And then the patient has to recognize it. Then they have to reject the feeling of fear and the voices of fear in their being. And third, each time they become conscious of the fear, the most enlightened part of their being, has to keep telling the body that it must always feel the love and the goodness. It must trust and have faith in the higher movements of life. And faith in the working of divine Grace.
Mother spoke a lot about the consciousness of her own cells. She left us a record of her own yoga. It's in thirteen books called Mother's Agenda. And all through the Agenda she talks about her cells. She talks about their progress back to delight, and their progress back to faith. She said that her cells had a simple, almost childlike consciousness. They had a goodwill all their own. If we distort the confidence of our own physical cells, by keeping bad attitudes and negativities, we have to restore it. And since our cells are so simple, we treat them that way: with love. With simplicity.
So you have to teach your patient to be conscious of the time they lose their inner harmony. You have to teach your patient to know when an illness is entering their atmosphere. And here are things they can look for:
- When they see they're dissatisfied with everyone and everything.
- When they always feel uncomfortable, and they start complaining about everything. They complain out loud, or they complain silently, inside.
- Suddenly life is just not so wonderful.
- All the things they used to like, they don't like so much anymore.
This is a sign of disharmony. And illness can follow. And my own personal experience is that this is the sign of illness. As soon as I find myself going down this path, if I don't catch it quick enough, in a couple of days I get sick. So when we notice these things, we have to just stop. Just don't do it. Start thinking about things that are good. Start being grateful for what you have.
Sometimes all these negative feelings show that an illness has already entered inside you. Mother says you can still push it out – but it's a lot more work. Nothing in your mind, or in your feelings, or your energies, nothing in our physical body, should want negativity or illness, for themselves or for anybody else. And we should not be afraid of illness. We should not attract it with feel. We must not tremble. We have to concentrate in the right spirit of an inner calm and trust. We feel the light and the peace and the balance, and we put these things in our mind, and in our vital, and in our body. It sounds maybe like a lot, or difficult to do, but in fact it isn't difficult at all. You just do it. You just stop and you think, “Now I am going to do this”, and you find that you're doing it. Even if you feel silly. You just do it, very sincerely. And soon you find yourself really doing it. And then, you occupy yourself with something else. And you leave behind you all the thoughts and all the feelings, and all the memory of the illness and its causes.
Mother said that “Peace and stillness are the great remedy for disease. When we can bring peace in our cells, we are cured.”  In our world today, everything is speeded up and everyone moves too fast. Every sick person should make time for peace and stillness in their life. If your patient cannot follow the more complex things that I've been talking about, they can always understand this. It gives time and space for consciousness to restore itself inside ourselves. And all these things become the duty of the patient. It's just as important as taking the medicine, and changing their diet and their habits.
The use of medicine; illness in yoga
Mother and Sri Aurobindo spoke of the body-consciousness and medical treatment. In these times, people often don't know about the power of their own body. It is the body that heals itself. When it wants to be cured, it gets cured. The use of medicine is to help the body to have confidence. In almost every case, there are medicines that help, as long as they are taken within reasonable limits. The body decides, “Now I have taken this, now I am going to get better.” And because it believes this, it feels something from the medicines, and it gets better. But medicine has very little effect compared to the faith that the body itself has in the medicines. This includes faith in you, the healer. When you have a spiritual patient, this includes faith in the divine power to heal. So this is a very important part of a spiritual patient's healing.
When a person is really doing yoga, sometimes an illness or an accident comes to force them to stop and think about what they are doing. I can say that in the last, maybe a year, I have had a number of friends who have had this happened to them. The Divine puts them down. And then finally they say, “Oh, I see – finally the Divine has told me I have got to stop!” It's a life-changing experience, because sometimes it's really strong. So when a patient who is doing spiritual practice comes to you, and they haven't figured that out themselves, you can help them get back to this (because they usually know about it, they just haven't thought about it for themselves). And you have to take this into consideration when you diagnose what happened to them. And then you have to take this into consideration for what you tell them for their healing process.
Mother and Sri Aurobindo taught the ashramites to have faith in the Divine and to surrender completely to the Divine, in order to become well. If your patient is on a spiritual path, this is really important advice to give them. If your patient is not on a spiritual path that you can recognize, just be sensitive as to you how you can explain to them about having faith in the Divine. Most people have an inner relationship with the Divine in their own chosen form. The form does not matter. The thing that matters is their faith and their surrender. So you have to find out the way to give this advice that fits in with their own particular thinking.
Qualities of a healer
Here is Mother and Sri Aurobindo's definition of the perfect healer: they have to have “A broad mind, a generous heart, an unflinching will, a quiet steady determination, an inexhaustible energy and a total trust in one’s mission”. When you add full faith in the Divine's grace to your medical knowledge and experience, your healing capacity will have no limits. When you know that it is the Divine Grace that heals, and you are the instrument of the Grace, you keep your own personal interests and needs out of the way, automatically. And then you are the instrument of the Divine to diagnose the patient, to prescribe the treatment, and all the healing forces of the universes pass directly through you to the patient. And there is nothing inside you to stop them.
This makes you an all-round healing instrument all the time. Whether you're concentrating on a patient, or living your life, you are automatically healing everything and everyone around you. And you are always in good health.
This surrender in your life is the same for yoga practice. In yoga, it is complete surrender to the Divine Will, in order to receive the Supreme Consciousness, and to become an instrument of the Divine. So it's the same thing.
Here are the qualities Mother says you have to develop, to be a healer. There are negative qualities and positive ones. The negative ones are not to allow the lower aspects of humanity to be in you. No hate, no anger, no greed, no jealousy, no laziness, no egoism. Do not try to fulfill your personal desires through your healing. Don't wish for personal attention or personal fame. The positive qualities to develop: goodness, kindness, generosity, love, giving, caring, dedication, love of service, surrender to the highest power, and the overpowering wish to heal.
These are also the qualities you need to live in harmony with your own soul. These are the qualities of the soul itself. Our soul gives us all our good qualities, and helps us to get out of the bad ones. So when you are working to be a true healer, you're also working to be in harmony with your own soul.
These are the same quality you need to be in harmony with your body. Then you are healthy. And your own good health is part of what heals the patient.
I'm going to end the talk with something Mother said about the consciousness in our body:
- “the method we use to deal with our body, maintain it, keep it fit, improve it and keep it in good health, depends exclusively on the state of consciousness we are in; for our body is an instrument of our consciousness and this consciousness can act directly on it and obtain what it wants from it.”
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