Listening to the wisdom within…
The body follows the mind. Diseases are produced in the body due to mental states and are healed, too, due to mental readiness. I believe in this and prepare patients mentally (emotionally and psychologically) to heal themselves. The process invariably brings out a lot of mental resistance, denial and unwillingness to see one’s own contribution in creating the illness. However, unless one truly understands the origin of the disease (which is in the mind), it is impossible to treat the patient truly and completely. That is why in the treatment of many of the illnesses of body, true willingness to heal is of utmost importance. Once the person has gone through this process mentally, the body simply follows the mind and heals itself.
Happiness and misery are the only two possibilities we all perceive, decide and live with, in everything we do; and thinking is the deciding factor. It is a certain way of thinking that makes us either sad, miserable and frustrated or then happy, elated and peaceful. A lot is written and spoken about so-called ‘positive thinking’, and it is packaged and marketed under several headings. However, since it is learned from the outside and has not emerged from within, it does not take us anywhere near to inner peace and harmony. So peace remains an unattainable goal for the common man. And there comes a point when a person drops all borrowed ideas of ‘positive thinking’, calling them impractical, impossible and imaginary; or remains in a deluded state of false harmony, causing a schizophrenic split between his mask and true self.
Is there any technique, method or a device that can help us to mould our thinking in the right direction, so that we attain the much-wanted peace and happiness? There just be! We see many examples of mystics who attained it. What is the secret of those who attained it?
Once a friend visited me. She was overweight and came up the steps of my house panting. As she sat down, she said, “How did you lose weight?” I said, “Well, I lost weight because I wanted to lose weight.” She stared back at me, thinking I was crazy. She repeated her question, “I don’t think you have understood my question. I meant ‘how’ did you lose all that weight?” I smiled at her and repeated the same answer. “I lost all that weight by wanting to lose it.” Now her curiosity was aroused. She said, “Well, even I want to lose all this excess weight, that doesn’t make me lose it; merely wanting can’t be enough.” Then I said, “There is no such thing as ‘I can’t do it.’ There is only ‘I don’t want to do it.’ She continued her argument but her voice was becoming unsure. She was left with no escape. “I have tried so hard,” she said in a tone of helplessness and self-pity. I looked sternly at her and said, “Stop trying. Just do it,” you can do it, if only you want to. There is nothing you can’t do if you really want to. You are your own best friend and you are your own worst enemy. There is no one or nothing in your way except you yourself. ”
I then asked her about the pain in her knees and her lower back. She said that it was worse than ever. I then asked her, “Haven’t you suffered enough?”
I inquired about her daily routine and food habits, and as expected, she was leading a relatively sedentary life and eating all the wrong things. Now you may say, “What’s new about that?” the new thing is; she could have chosen otherwise and she didn’t. it is always our choice.
Ask yourself. What do you want, and are you willing to accept the consequences of those wants? Explore this question fully in complete awareness. You can make it a daily exercise with your wants. For example if you are overweight, and are tempted to put a fatty snack into your mouth, stop for a moment and talk to the snack in your hand with complete alertness and awareness. Ask it what it is going to give you. And sure enough, if you have an honest heart-to-heart talk with the piece of snack in your hand, it will give you honest answers. It will tell you that it will give you a the heavenly taste on your tongue momentarily, and also calories (which is almost more of your daily caloric allowance if you want to lose weight.) Now, after this honest conversation, you have a choice to eat it, or to not eat it but instead substitute it with a food which says that it will give you taste and health at the same time. Your choice will dictate your destiny. In Osho’s words, “It is this moment of honest scrutiny, conscious thought and alert awareness, which is the turning point in all transformation. So instead of living blindly and merely tumbling through life, if the light of awareness and conscious thought is lit in us, we will know which direction to move in, to reach our goals.”
The Concept of Free Will
Man, through conscious thought, is able to create the future he wants for himself rather than settling for the justification of cause and effect. He can most definitely do something about it if he wants to. Charles Harteshorne calls this casual order “creative causation.” Something happens, which would not have occurred otherwise when man truly thinks. This is what is meant by self-causation. Man can choose to not remain caught in the cause and effect drama (victim, helpless, poor-me), but can become more than what he is. This is proved by the evidence of innumerable evolved human beings that have graced our earth in the history of mankind.
The concept of Conscious Self-Effort, Discriminative Abilities and Conscious Thinking, in the scriptures talk about this very human possibility. An individual may not be responsible for his past but he is most definitely, one hundred percent responsible for his future. That is the essential difference between a billiard ball and a human being. The billiard ball, when hit, is impelled to hit other balls in turn, according to cause and effect; but the human being is able to break this chain sequence of cause and effect by consciously choosing to do so.
Freedom with Responsibility
Along with the freedom of choice comes the responsibility of the repercussions (good, bad or ugly) of that choice. We want to have our cake and eat it too. We only want the freedom of choice without the responsibility of the consequences of that choice. If you put a cream laden pastry in your mouth and expect that somehow, miraculously, especially for you, the laws of nature will change, the calories will vanish into thin air, it won’t happen. It is your responsibility to think of the consequences before popping it into your mouth. It is your choice. You can choose; you have a free will. This is not restricted to food, but to life in general. If you want your life to change, you are the only one who can make it happen. It is you who are the architect of your own destiny. You choose to be who you are and you can choose to be otherwise. You are what you want to be.
This reminds me of a Zen story. A Zen master who was known for always being happy and full of life was in his death-bed. His disciples gathered around him and asked him, “Master, before you go, tell us, what has been the secret of your happiness?” the Master replied, “It is very simple. Every morning the moment my eyes open, I ask myself a simple question. ‘Do you want to be happy or sad today?’ And everyday, I say ‘I want to be happy today!’ And once I have myself made the choice, I simply stick to my word!”
Choosing to Heal
We all carry patterns in our body-mind. You are not to blame yourself for those patterns stored in your body-mind. But, today, you can choose to change it all. Childhood traumas give you a disease or a pattern in the body-mind, but though you are not responsible in any way for these patterns, you are definitely totally responsible for making a choice of healing yourself today and breaking away from those patterns. By becoming aware of these patterns we can break away from them, and this self-awareness is the choice that you have to make. You have to decide. You are the only one who can do it. Be gentle, kind, loving and caring towards yourself. See the patterns in yourself with great awareness, and heal yourself.
But do you want to heal yourself? That is the question. If you do want to get well, then learn from the wisdom that is trying to come through to you in different forms, from within – the inner divine wisdom and guide, the mirror of your soul. Take responsibility now. You can do it! It is so exciting to know that I am not a victim of my body-mind, but a creator of my own health and harmony. I can choose to not be a victim anymore. Instead, I can be a survivor. It is always our, and only our choice.