YOU ARE MORE THAN YOUR DISEASE
Being a holistic physician, I notice how sick people often identify with their disease. They will say “I am an alcoholic” or “I am a diabetic” or “I am a drug addict” or “I am depressed.” Some even say they are a chocoholic. But they are none of these things. They are human beings . . . with some limitations, yes, but they are human beings.
I no longer wonder because I know first hand how a change in perception of oneself might turn a person around and lead him or her to a permanent “cure” of one’s disease. One could simply say, for example, “I am a human being and I have a limitation of addiction to alcohol, or drugs, or chocolate. Or “I have a limitation in processing sugar” in a case of diabetes. I recall the day I quit smoking many years ago. While choosing my seat on an airplane, I had to choose between “smoker” and “non-smoker” sections. The way the question was put was “Are you a smoker or a non-smoker. I chose to be a “non-smoker” and it felt so good changing my “identity” at that level of my addiction to tobacco.
YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS
So, let’s look at how we perceive ourselves. We can perceive ourselves as one acting or one being acted upon, depending on our state of consciousness and self-awareness. Since consciousness is where everything first takes place in our lives, even before external events happen, what I perceive myself to be in consciousness, who I imagine myself to be, will determine how I behave in any given external event or circumstance. Some say that external events are not real but are creations of our consciousness. I believe that external events are real in that they are reflections of our reality, created by us through our capacity of consciousness – one of its many aspects and levels of function being imagination.
Imagination is at the heart of creation. Our whole world arises out of our imagination. We act upon our worlds from out of our imagination, literally where images of things and events we want to create are formed. First there is an image in consciousness, or what is sometimes called “the heaven,” and then a form appears in the earth from out of the mist of imagination. The heaven and the earth are one, and in consciousness is where these two come together and interact, the earth being shaped by the image in the heaven. Imagination, and ultimately consciousness, can be conditioned by perception, and vice versa. Perception can be “jaded” by imagination.
For example, I can imagine horrible things are going on, especially when there’s chronic pain in my body or a state of depression in my mind. The big bad “C” is feared by most and held suspect, as is “mental illness,” and if I hold that image of cancer or of mental illness in my consciousness, I am setting myself up for creating that condition in my body-mind out of fear. Fear has been defined as faith in evil, belief that the worst is going to happen. So, be careful what you fear as it may well come upon you. Some people have an “evil eye.” They are always looking for what’s wrong, and they’ll usually find it . . . or perhaps create it as “wrong” in their consciousness.
Or, I can imagine wonderful things are going on through a bright and cheerful outlook, and they seemingly appear from out of nowhere. Some people have a natural knack for always seeing things “on the bright side,” as we say. It all depends on one’s state of consciousness which conditions perception. In this sense, we do create our world out of our consciousness, and in this sense alone it isn’t real but just the way we’re looking at it. Perhaps accurate is the better word to use. We rarely see things as they actually are. Makes one ask, “What’s real anyway?”
YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR IDENTITY
We live and function out of an identity, an ego, which is either true or false, authentic or fabricated. We are either a creator, our authentic Self, or a creature, our fabricated self. We perceive ourselves as acting or as being acted upon, depending on whom we perceive ourselves to be, creators or creatures.
I believe that all disease, physical, mental and emotional, is a symptom of an identity crisis disrupting the status quo so that a process of transformation can take place. I’ve heard prominent health authors express the same conviction. (These words are mine.)
In truth, we are creators, and we create our own reality out of our imagination and consciousness. You could say that consciousness is where Reality meets and interacts with form in the factual world. As said earlier, heaven and earth are one in our consciousness . . . or, they are separate, if we want to see them that way. It depends, again, on our state of consciousness. And, let’s be honest, all of us have been conditioned to see things as separate entities by the beliefs implanted in our subconscious minds during our so-called “education,” which was actually programming. In this sense, we live in an illusory world where things appear to be separate. In the real world, all things are connected and whole.
Young children naturally see things as whole and connected. They see an apple as a delicious fruit before they are taught to spell the word with separate letters, a-p-p-l-e, or dissect it into Vitamins A, B, C, and over a hundred other nutrients vital to our health. They don’t even have a concept of God, the devil, or good and evil. In their fluid state of freedom they are too busy knowing God. To them the world is one beautiful and wonderful place to be and in which to live and play. To them it is all good and whole.
THERE’S ONLY ONE ADDICTION
We are taught to separate things into isolated parts, as though such dissection would lead to understanding. To use a Biblical reference, we are taught to “eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” to judge what is good and condemn what is “evil.” Mental judgement is an addiction that is hard for anyone to break who is identified as a creature. It is the only addiction. All other outbreaks of addiction stem from this one addiction to judgement of good and evil. The irony of this is that what we judge to be “good” often turns out to be “bad” for us.
If we see ourselves as creatures, we are always being acted upon by external forces. If it’s not the economy, it’s the weather. If not the Republicans then it’s the Democrats. If it’s not a virus or a flu bug, it’s an ulcer or cancer. Something’s always trying to “do us in.” Our genes are wrongly blamed for many of our diseases and even our behavior, when all they do is determine the shape of our bodies and the color of our eyes and hair. All else is learned behavior — our habits and lifestyles, what we eat and drink, whether we use tobacco and alcohol, how to medicate our bodies and minds when they feel sick and tired — all these things we inherit, not in our genes but through our perception that shapes our consciousness of who we are and how life is lived.
And you know what? We are all disillusioned . . . if we are lucky. And if we’re not lucky, we believe the illusion and live out our lives in quiet desperation drugged by the opiates of mind-altering chemicals . . . and/or religion, in the hopes of having a better life in heaven. But we don’t enter the kingdom of heaven as creatures, only as creators. Heaven is within us and all around us. We destroy it or create it in our consciousness, and, depending on which we do, we either perceive it or we don’t. The fact that we don’t perceive heaven “at hand” doesn’t mean that it isn’t present. The instruction was to “repent” — literally turn around and see it, change your perception in other words so that you can see that you are truly in heaven and that heaven is within you . . . a place where “firm control and awful power eternally abide” to call on a line from one of my favorite poems, Thus It Is by Martin Cecil.
LIVING OUT OF YOUR REAL IDENTITY
On the other hand, when we see ourselves as creators, we are always leading forth with positive and creative force — and that need not be something loud and contrived or imposing. It can be as simply and easy as being thankful and appreciative. These are positive forces. If the economy is poor, rather than being stressed out we simply adjust our spending so we can continue being creative, being thankful for what means we have and creative in finding ways to live within them. If a virus or flu bug has gotten past our immune system, rather than thinking the worst we simply appreciate our immune system, perhaps support it with Echinacea and Vitamins A and C, and/or take measures to cleanse the blood and lymphatic system with garlic, herbs and lots of fluids . . .and movement. Yes, movement helps circulate the lymph and blood that carry out the toxins. Unless a dangerous fever comes on, it’s best to keep moving during a cold or flu. If you feel you have to see a doctor, then go to one you can easily believe in. Your belief alone will see you through the crisis.
If our minds become confused trying to understand the complexities of life in this world, we turn to God within and pray for understanding, and we focus on what’s right at hand that we do understand. If our hearts are broken and saddened by disappointment, we turn to love and find wisdom in releasing what’s hurtful through forgiveness rather than thrashing out in anger to hurt the one(s) who hurt us, or fall victim to self-pity. If we fall, we get up and walk again, because we are creators acting and never victims being acted upon.
ALL THINGS HAVE DESIGN AND SERVE ONE PURPOSE
I am trying my best to keep this as simple as possible, because the truth is really simple and easy. There is design and purpose to everything under the sun, and everything under the sun serves one purpose: the creation of life and beauty on earth. Outside this design and purpose things have no meaning and value, and life gets complicated, painful and hard.
Take our most personal possessions, our human capacities. They serve only two purposes (which are actually one), and that is our incarnation as spirit beings and our creative activities in the material world with others. That’s it. Any activities outside of this have no meaning or value to these capacities, and when these capacities of body-mind and heart are not serving their purpose, what they are designed to do, they become bored and confused, at best. At worse, they become incoherent and eventually malfunction, get sick and start falling apart. That’s what physical, mental and emotional illness is: a confused, incoherent falling apart of our capacities due to abuse, our failure to use them according to their design and for the purpose they were created to serve. It’s that simple.
The cure is just as simple as restoring them to their intended purpose and nourishing them with love and appreciation, wholesome food and fresh water, along with plenty of rest and exercise. Health is not complicated. It’s simple because it is the truth of life, and the truth makes us free. That’s why we’re always looking for it. We want to be free from disease and from the drugging of our capacities. Well, here it is, right at hand! Embrace it and relinquish any and all dependence on drugs of every kind, and that includes tobacco and alcohol. We can do it because we have the power as creators to re-create ourselves and our worlds in our consciousness. See yourself and your world as whole and it will be so for you.
NOURISHING THE SPIRIT
In that remarkable movie “Awakenings,” Dr. Malcolm Sayer (played by Robin Williams) — after his futile attempt to permanently awaken Leonard Lowe (played in a stunning performance by Robert Di Nero), and a number of other patients who were damaged in their childhood years by encephalitis, with an experimental mega-dosing of Dopamine — concludes his compassionate and hopeful project, turned failure by an onslaught of adverse reactions to the drug, with these insightful words:
The Human spirit is more powerful than any drug — and that’s what we need to nourish . . . with kindness, compassion, friendship — things as simple as that.
I felt his pain of frustration, limited as he was by orthodox medicine in finding a cure for his client’s mental illness, with the only thing between his determination to find a cure and his patient was a drug that offered only promise with adverse side-effects — not at all unlike modern medical doctors today. I felt his ache of heart as Leonard, speaking through his facial tic and spastic limbs, cried out to him “Don’t give up on me!” That brought me to tears, because I know first hand what compassion mixed with frustration can do to a doctor’s heart.
Thankfully, we have natural solutions to modern day ills today — not that modern medicine has embraced them. The business of masking symptoms and managing diseases is too profitable. Breaking the addiction to drugs is the largest hurdle patients have to face when their medical doctor won’t cooperate with them, at best, or expresses anger at them for not wanting to take their medicine, at worse, even threatening them with discharge for non-compliance. Our healthcare system is broke at this level alone. Forget the economical issues. We doctors can turn this system around simply by putting the patient first . . . and patients can break the cycle by embracing Mother Nature’s cornucopia of natural solutions back to health. _____________________________________________________________
In my next blog post we will take each of our capacities and see them in a new light, individually and as a functional whole. Thank you for joining me in this vital consideration. Until we’re together again, I pray good health and happiness for you.
Dr. Anthony Palombo
Visit my other blog Healing Tonesfor a deeper understanding of your body temple as an energetic symphony of sound and light.