An Alternative to Drugs: A Change in Perception and Consciousness, Part 2: Healing the Mind

In the last issue, we gave in depth consideration to the problem of identifying with one’s disease, and I suggested one could easily identify oneself as a human being who simply has a limitation, for example, in handling alcohol in the case of alcoholism, or sugar in the case of diabetes, rather than continuing to identify oneself as “an alcoholic” or “a diabetic,” thereby fixing the condition firmly in consciousness as incorrigible.  We looked at the roles that consciousness and imagination play in creating reality.  Essentially, to use an old aphorism, As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.

We are human beings with physical, mental and emotional capacities, which are subject to disease and dysfunction.  In the next few issues we will take each of these capacities and examine their purpose and, more to the point, what causes them to become ill and what nourishes them back to health.  Let’s take the mind first, since it is probably the capacity we use and abuse most in our lives. It’s also the capacity that is generally over-medicated with drugs that have very dangerous side effects.

BODY AND MIND ARE INSEPARABLE 

  First of all, the conscious mind is a capacity of the physical body.   It is a fluid, energetic substance that arises out of the physical body as long as life is present.  So, in addressing mental health, we have to address physical health, which I will do in my next issue of Health Light. Let’s consider in this issue the design, purpose, and function of our mental capacity. 

Like the water in this picture, the conscious mind is designed to reflect and focus the light of intelligence, or truth.  In other words, the human mind is a light-bearer, to use a Biblical metaphor. Ideally, it has a luciferous quality about it that lends insight to our thinking and contemplation by casting light on an issue or situation. 

NOURISHED BY TRUTH

The mind is driven and nourished by truth.  Truth is what the mind is ideally interested in and seeking.  Nothing settles the honest mind like truth. Conversely, nothing unsettles it like untruth and being lied to.  

Untruth is at the root of all mental illness.  There are other factors, of course, such as chemical imbalance in the brain, malnutrition and physical illness, all of which affect the mind’s ability to function. Ultimately, however, at the root of all mental illness and insanity is the lie, the untruth, the dishonesty, the deceit and denial, the ingenuine, the pretense, amnesia from past trauma, and buried memories of unresolved hurt, just to name a few factors. These form the underlying cause of mental illness.   (I will address the physical and chemical factors and some natural solutions, along with alternative solutions to emotional trauma, in the next issue.)

Nourish by truth, the mind will function happily and healthfully. It’s when the mind is starved from truth that it becomes a liar that lives in denial of problems in life, problems that are seeking resolution in the truth.  A mind that is disconnected from truth and from reality becomes flighty, unstable and untrustworthy.  Counselors and spiritual guides  can help reconnect the  mind of a person with truth and reality.  Drugs, which too many psychotherapists administer these days, do nothing to get to the real cause of mental illness.  They only help a person cope with their dysfunction by manipulating brain chemistry.  Nutritional and herbal therapy offer more natural support to the healing of the mind, mainly because they address the chemical/nutritional imbalances in the physical body, which includes the brain, a topic we will explore next issue.  

USE ACCORDING TO ITS DESIGN AND PURPOSE

As with all things, our human capacities function well and give no trouble as long as they are used according to their inherent design and intended purpose.  A simple way of looking at the function of the mind is to understand its design and purpose. 

The individual human mind is a very thin layer of rather fluid energy that is designed to be focused and concentrated in such a way as to form a lens through which one may look at things as through a microscope or a magnifying glass.  Spread thin, it is of no value as a lens. It gets spread thin when we give it too much to think about at one time, or when we allow it to wander off into areas that are not its business, such as minding other people’s affairs or trying to see into the future or figure out the past.  This is the state of a self-active mind.  Anytime my mind wanders off, I simply call it back.  You can talk to your mind, you know.  “Come back here! That’s not your business! Stop worrying about that!  Pay attention to what is right here in front of you!”  And do it in a loving way.  The mind always obeys the command of love and is drawn to love.

The conscious mind has a partner in the sub-conscious mind and memory.  Like a water wheel, it dips down into the subconscious memory to pick up thought forms.  It then forms new thoughts out of these stored thought forms.  As long as it is connected and listening to the sub-conscious mind, the conscious mind shares in a stream of thought and ideas that makes it easy to re-member them, i.e. put them together in a new way for new thought forms pertinent to the moment at hand.

The conscious mind sometimes gets into trouble trying desperately to gather lots of “knowledge” in order to become “smart” or “educated.” It prides itself sometimes on how much it “knows,” most of which is nothing more than concepts and beliefs borrowed from others and from books.  It can get so busy in its self-active state gathering information that it forgets its connection to the sub-conscious mind, its true source of stored information, causing memory failure, or the inability to re-member things. It even forgets its connection with the All that is, with God and truth, its Source of nourishment.  Disconnected from Source, it spins out of control at times and can even lose its way in the dark and devious mind-made world of greed-driven production and consumption. 

A RIGID MIND WILL BREAK

We can know only what we experience. Our experiences establish our authority. Concepts and beliefs we do not own from experience give us no real authority. We know “about” but we do not know in fact. This knowing about is illusional and can be dangerous as it sets us up for disillusionment. Disillusionment can be a blessing, but it can also be a breaking point for a rigid mind. We’ve all had a pet belief or concept challenged, even shattered. A mental break down may occur when one’s core beliefs about reality are shattered and the mind doesn’t have anything to hold onto that gives it a sense, though false, of “knowing” how things are. I wonder sometimes if the mind itself can be lost and shattered to the point of dissipating altogether, and if the substance the mind is made of can be regenerated. A broken mind can be mended and made whole again by love, compassion, and understanding.  These are truth to a fragmented mind.   

LISTEN TO YOUR TRUTH 

Just as thoughts come in from without, thoughts are also coming from above and within.  These are the thoughts that we really need to hear and entertain because they are coming from out of the River of Life and bear messages of truth.  They are “our truth” that is looking for “our voice” to speak it into our world.  We are often too busy listening to others’ thoughts and processing information from outside to hear what Life is saying to us from within. This is another way the mind can lose it connection with Source. 

In that state of disconnection the mind is no longer turned by the River of Life, which flows at a steady pace and is never in a hurry.  This is the proverbial river that we sometimes find ourselves pushing to get ourselves down stream into the future quicker so we can get what we think is good for us, or what we want NOW.  Pushing this river is tiring and can lead to exhaustion, even insanity.  The mind gets tired of cranking out life instead of letting the River of Life turn it in its own steady flow and rhythm.  

GUARDIAN OF BODY & SOUL

Not minding its own affairs, the mind easily forgets its responsibility to the body, to which it owes its very existence.  Our minds can get so busy that they can’t even think clearly about proper nourishment for the body.  Junk food and comfort food become our diet, eating on the run most of the time, or just skipping meals to have more time to work on a project.  Some people skip breakfast altogether, the most important meal of the day, and ask their body and mind to function on a cup or three of coffee.  Caffeine is a drug not nourishment. Little wonder our minds, kick-started with caffeine, spread thin and break down.

LOVE THE TRUTH ABOVE ALL ELSE 

Truth, like water, seeks its own level.  Let the mind be in love with the truth.  If you love the truth above all else, you will always be drawn toward truth.  Your body is one with truth.  You can trust it.  It cannot lie.  Let your mind be still and gathered around the body to serve its needs.  The body is in the moment – where the River of Life is flowing.  Let the mind be in the moment with the body and open to the flow of Life from within.  Trust the river flowing through the subconscious mind like a wellspring to bring you what you need to know in each moment.

RE-MEMBER WITH TRUTH  

Let the mind get connected again to its storehouse of memory in the sub-conscious mind — re-member with truth.  That’s where its connection with God is, with truth, with YOU.  And if it tries to wander off into the past or the future, simply say to it. . .

Hey, get back here. Get behind me, not in front of me leading the way.  I will lead the way with my spirit.  I am the way for you. Trust me and I will lead you forth into creative ventures all in good time.  I am the truth for you, offering you balanced control and freedom in truth.  I am your life.  Eat and drink at my table and fountain. You belong to me.   I love and appreciate you. Take leave of your wanderings – and wonderings.  Tend to the needs of my body, and my soul.  That’s your soul purpose.  I need you to keep watch over my heart and to shine my light into my world.  You are my light bearer, not the light itself.  I am the light of my world. How can I shine into the world if you are busy trying to be the bright one, the know-it-all?  Be still and know Me and you will know all you need to know. Be still and know that I am.  Be still and know all you need to know in each moment.  Focus so that I can see what’s right in front of me needing my attention.  

I’m not talking about the human ego here driving the mind to do its bidding like a task master.  I’m talking about the authentic Self, the divine being you are, taking the mind in hand in a loving but firm way. In that identity, speak to your mind and retrieve it from its lonely wanderings.  Heal your mind.

This poem by Martin Cecil speaks to the healing of the body-mind:  

THUS IT IS

From age to age Love’s word rings forth,

“The truth is true and all is well

Unconquerable life prevails.”

O man, whose strident dreams Lead gravewards,

Return to calm and noble Character of Life.

Blaze forth pure virtue;

Depart false ambition’s restless schemes.

Busy thought and troubled feeling

Trespass not in virtue’s wise serenity

Where firm control and awful power Eternally abide.

Here earth’s pains are healed

And cruel chaos of mind’s spawning

Is called again to order and to beauty.

Thus it is, thus it has always been, and thus will it ever be so.  My prayer for you is that you will come to know, if you don’t already, how it really is.  Be still and let your truth find you.

To your health and healing,

Dr. Tony Palombo

Visit my Healing Tones blog for an inspiring journey through the quantum world of space-time and time-space, where we literally live on the threshold of infinity. 

Tips on curcumin (curry) for brain, heart and sugar metabolism.

When you have 15 minutes to spare, you must take the time to view this video, “The Unconscious Mind Unveiled” by cellular biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton.  “Evolution implies that creation is incomplete.”  

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An Alternative to Drugs: A Change in Perception and Consciousness, Part 1

My wife, who is a master’s level professional counselor,  just brought to my attention an interview in the current issue of The SUN magazine by Arnie Cooper of Christopher Lane, “Side Effects May Include – On What’s Wrong With Modern Psychiatry.” In the interview, Lane, an English professor specializing in Victorian literature and intellectual history, exposes the hard facts about how mental “diseases” are reportedly multiplying. Apparently new disorders are being added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) every year.  

In his tenacious endeavor to find answers as to why so many of his own students were on anti-anxiety and anti-depressant drugs, and as to the emergence in 1980 of dozens of new mental disorders in the third edition of the DSM — such “curious-sounding” diagnoses as “‘social phobia'” and “‘avoidance personality disorder'” — and especially as to “how and why those new disorders had been approved for inclusion [in the DSM] and whether they were really bona fide illnesses,” Lane found, to his dismay but not surprise, an active involvement of Pharmacia & Upjohn, the drug company who makes the anti-anxiety drug Xanax, “especially in the promotion of ‘panic disorder.'”  He also found evidence of sloppy research and “dismissal of nonmedical approaches to psychiatric problems, and a degree of inventiveness with terms and symptoms that struck him as playing fast and loose with the facts.”

When asked “Are we getting sicker, or is something else at play?” Lane’s answer reminded me of the phenomenal growth in size of the Physicians Desk Reference (PDR) over the last 50 years I’ve been in practice.  I used to be able to hold the book in one hand and turn the pages with the other.  Now, I have to place it on a table or desk to even handle it. It grew in thickness from about two inches to six, and much of that growth is due to the increase in new drugs that treat the side effects of drugs, what are called “iatrogenic (doctor-caused) diseases.”  Are we getting sicker or have we become a drug-addicted and drug-damaged society?  Lane’s answer is worth excepting from the interview:

The way psychiatrists define mental illness has itself changed radically.  The first two editions of the DSM focused on observable traits and behaviors in patients, which were often described as “reactions” to particular incidents or stressors.  When the third edition came out in 1980, it defined virtually everything as a “disorder,” which connotes an innate, lifelong malfunctioning of the brain rather than a moment of psychological distress that might be due to a brief change in circumstance.  This new method of defining mental disease has completely transformed the way mental-health professionals and the general public think about it.

When asked again if it is possible that we are in fact getting sicker, he responded with alarming words about how the industry is viewing our children: 

I think it’s difficult to gauge that accurately. If you follow the APA’s line [American Psychiatric Association], then most definitely we’re seeing epidemic rates of social anxiety disorder and bipolar disorder, with the latter expanding by an eye-popping 4,000 percent.  But how did that massive increase come about? It’s due almost entirely to the fact that the DSM-IV formalized bipolar as a mental disorder among children.  Before that, bipolar disorder was understood to be exclusively an adult phenomenon. Psychiatrists like to revise everything backward, to rewrite the past in terms of their current terminology.  Doing so makes their new terminology seem natural, even inevitable. There are more than a hundred more mental disorders in the DSM today than we had in 1968, including incredible new ones such as “sibling-relational problem” and even “partner-relational problem.”  But I’m not convinced that the introduction of new illnesses means that more people are actually sicker.

Lane then goes on to say this about the quality of the APA’s trials in determining the criteria for mental illness:

I have extensively researched the APA archives and can attest that their judgments were often flimsy and their rationale for including new disorders questionable, based as they were on anecdotal evidence, ambiguous clinical research, and highly inconclusive trials.  One of the consultants for the DSM-III, Theodore Millon, admitted to The New Yorker in 2005 that there was little systemic research; much of it, he said, was inconsistent and hodgepodge.  He was an active participant on the DSM committee.

Lane’s research seeded and spurred the authoring of his book in 2007, Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness, in which he shares his observations of the evolution of the understanding of mental disorders which gradually began to include normal reactions to one’s environment and upbringing.  Such normal behavior began to be seen as “innate conditions of brain chemistry, resulting from problematic levels of neurotransmitters, especially serotonin.”  Under the expanded guidelines of the DSM, anyone who is shy stands the risk of being diagnosed as mentally ill.

GOOD NEWS TO THE DRUG INDUSTRY 

“The new disorders were obviously music to the ears of drug companies,” he says, “insofar as they massively increased the market for their products, which the media greeted with incredible enthusiasm.” Of course the media would be enthused. In 2000 alone GlaxoSmithKline spent $92 million on direct-to-consumer advertising on a single drug, Paxil, a drug that has so many side effects and such dubious results that the company seriously considered shelving it only to turn around and make a blockbuster out of it with an annual revenue surpassing $1 billion. As Lane points out, they have to create and sell the disease to the public before they sell the drug.  The expectation is that we will self-diagnose and hurry to our local pharmacy to buy their new product.

Are we going to continue allowing the drug industry to invent diseases and determine what behaviors and symptoms are to be included in the DSM as illnesses based on what new drugs they’ve developed that need a disease to treat and a shelf to fill in the drugstore?

“EMOTIONAL BLUNTING” A SIDE EFFECT  

One of the side effects of all this massive consumption of antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs is described as “emotional blunting,” a widely noted and studied phenomenon where people on these drugs may show little if any strong emotion in the face of catastrophes and environmental crises, such as the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, or sensitive enough moral and ethical judgement that allowed space for risky bank practices and real estate speculation. Lane decries the lack of resistance on the part of Americans to Bush’s $4 trillion illegal and ill justified Iraq war, an economic setback that conservatives among us appear to have conveniently forgotten as they blame our present economic crisis on our Democratic President.  Are we as a nation over-drugged to the point of emotional numbness where we can’t think clearly or feel compassion and consideration anymore?

IS THERE A RISK TO PUBLIC HEALTH?  TO OUR CHILDREN? 

Traces of Lithium are showing up in municipal drinking water, not to mention the homeopathic coding of our drinking water by the mere presence of these traces of antidepressants, antibiotics and other prescription drugs in the water.  Mass medication is taking place without public awareness, much less outcry. There’s no public outcry either against the forced drugging of our children with amphetamines (Adderall and Ritalin – read my blog on this) instead of giving them a healthier alternative to sugar and caffeine laden soft drinks and refined carbohydrate snacks, although there is finally some movement in that direction by our school system.

Lane says that undergraduates are taking “neuroenhancers” . . . in large numbers . . . apparently not recognizing the difference between caffeine and what is essentially refined amphetamines.  To the extent that real learning and deep efforts in creativity are being replaced by adjustments in brain chemistry — potentially involving tens of thousands of students across the country — I would consider that a risk to public health, to say nothing of a phenomenon that should raise concerns about academic integrity and cheating  

A CHANGE IN PERCEPTION AND CONSCIOUSNESS NEEDED

I’ve cited this interview as an example in the healthcare industry of how the field of professional medical providers will gladly accommodate our demand for drugs to alleviate our pain, be it physical pain or mental anxiety and depression.  That demand arises largely out of the way we perceive ourselves, our pain and mental anxiety, and the state of consciousness in which we form our perceptions, most of which are based on beliefs we’ve held since childhood.

 An example that readily comes to mind is the automatic assumption, when pain arises, that something is wrong and a doctor is needed to tell us what’s wrong and give us something for the pain, preferable find and correct the cause of the pain so that we won’t need the pain killer — which is what I do as a holistic physician and people respond favorably to that kind of rationale.

NOTHING IS WRONG! EVERYTHING MATTERS!

My approach to pain and illness is that nothing is wrong but the symptoms do matter. The symptoms of pain and anxiety are important messages from the body that a change is needed in the way I’m living life.  They matter, in other words, and we are not wise in our rush to turn off the symptoms with drugs, or high potency vitamins and herbs, for that matter, and thereby miss the message.  For unless the message is properly perceived and duly heeded, the symptoms will return, only next time louder and more attention grabbing, for which the doctor will prescribe yet stronger medicine and/or more invasive procedures.  So, while dealing with the pain for relief, let’s discover what the pain alarm is about so we can address the underlying cause.

A typical example of what I’m saying occurs in my practice on a regular basis. The patient presents with a chronic back pain for which various doctors, including chiropractors, were consulted and treatments rendered with no lasting results.  Being a chiropractor, I naturally look for a structural problem, such as a hip or spinal vertebra out of alignment irritating a nerve root.  But that’s already been done, so I listen more deeply and broaden my perception while tracing the symptoms back to uncover a deeper and perhaps more obscure and subtle cause. Invariably, upon muscle testing and a comprehensive investigation into the patient’s case history and life style habits, a bladder infection more often than not reveals itself.  So we treat the bladder infection for a period of time with herbs and nutritional protocols and the chronic back pain goes away for good.  

Another example is the chronic neck ache, the crick in the neck that just won’t go away, even with chiropractic adjustments.  So we listen and look deeper for less obvious causes and invariably a lymphatic congestion reveals itself as the cause, resulting in lymph node swelling and tenderness in the neck  So, we treat the lymphatics with herbs and homeopathic solutions and the crick in the neck, as well as the recurring or lingering headache, clear up.  An adjustment wasn’t needed after all . . . nor muscle relaxers.  

Often a stiff neck is simply a physiological response to emotional stress, the body asking for deeper issues to be dealt with and resolved. Here is where true counseling is needed.  I offer BioEnergetic Synchronization Technique (BEST) as a non-invasive treatment for emotional and mental stress issues.  Basically it’s a way of desensitizing emotional “buttons” that are being pushed by triggers in one’s environment and social setting. 

We will continue with this theme next blog post with a consideration of some alternative approaches to depression and mental illness, as well as a look at how we can go about changing our perception and consciousness around health issues in general. Until then, consider a drug-free life style.  

To your health and healing,

Dr. Tony Palombo

Visit me on the Web at www.healingandattunementl.com and visit my Healing Tones blog for inspirational reading. We are considering the significance of the Pineal Gland and Galactic Orientation as we travel through space on our planet.

Reference: The SUN, March 2012 – Issue 435