I have always known there was more to health and healing than what I learned in medical school. Just prior to embarking on my years of studying to be a physician, the journey was put into a new perspective when a friend gave me some writings about spirituality and health. A few chapters from the Aquarian Gospel, a “spiritual” book that was particularly popular at the time, opened my mind to a greater perspective on healing than the narrower focus I was going to learn about in my studies.
When I later dove into the Mind/Body Medicine approach to the patient, I found the distinction between healing and curing both intriguing and profound. A cure is usually seen when an imbalance, or dis-ease, responds to a treatment and can be measured as an objective outcome of resolution. However, there is a greater overarching perspective when healing is present that only the patient can truly appreciate.
A patient may or may not know they have experienced a cure (for example, the treatment of a metabolic disease that is only evident through laboratory testing). However, healing is often a whole-body experience. As it is not measurable like a “cure,” the inner experience of healing may even be present when the outer resolution has not occurred. Cancer patients can heal conflicts and imbalances within themselves and their relationships and still go on to die from the cancer, but in a place of peace. Then again, Bernie Siegel writes about cancer patients who have rebalanced through healing and went on to see their cancer resolve into a cure. In Love Medicine and Miracles, Bernie writes, “I do not claim love cures everything, but it can heal and in the process of healing, cures occur also.”
In the pages that follow, the reader will be treated to John-Roger and Paul Kaye’s multilevel approach to healing. They make it clear that healing occurs on several levels within the person. In my medical practice, I am acutely aware that engaging a patient only on the mental level is not sufficient. That may result in a cure; however, it may not produce real healing. To inspire change–and therefore healing–I need to engage the part of the person that can shift their awareness to the intrinsic value that being healthier can bring. Sometimes I am better at that than at other times. John-Roger’s review of causes and cures provides a usable framework for addressing those deeper issues.
We know 70-80% of the medical complaints that patients present to their physicians have a clear connection to their lifestyle. Choices in activity level, the foods they eat, addictive substances, and high-risk behaviors account for many conditions requiring medical care. But what lies behind those poor choices? What self-destructive thoughts are we running, or are they deeper, unconscious constructs? What family patterns and unhealthy behaviors that we learned growing up do we have to transform so we can truly heal?
This book will assist you in getting to the root of some of these or at least will provide an approach to uncovering many things about yourself relating to the essential causes of your health behaviors. Once your intention is clear and you understand the causes, the steps to rebalancing, healing, and restoring well-being can show up.
Perhaps one of the most simple yet profound ideas John-Roger presents here is an overriding approach that he often suggests: If it works for you, use it, and if it doesn’t, let it go. In my experience, there is no place this is more applicable than in health and healing.
Philip Barr, MD