Archive for Self-Improvement

Cognitive Dissonance

Posted in All, Psychology, Spirituality with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2010 by marushiadark

“You are going through a metamorphosis, my nephew.  It will not be a pleasant experience; but when you come out of it, you will be the beautiful prince you were always meant to be.” ~ General Iroh.

It’s said that space is the final frontier.  Most people think of outer space, looking for things “out there,” looking for God and for answers “out there,” but there is also inner space, inner thought and inner turmoil.  It is a place that very few people have explored in any great depth.  In many ways, it is more frightening and more rewarding than conquering outer space, because the journey through the mind is one that is generally made alone.

At the end of the day, no one can know you better than you are capable of knowing yourself.  A person may be able to create some sort of stimulus – say the right word or do the right action at the right time – that triggers an idea in your head; but it is you that ultimately puts the pieces together in your mind.

All health and healing comes from within, because the mind controls the body and shapes the outside world.

We all have our own journeys to make, our own paths to follow, and we are the cartographers of our journey.  The word “paradigm” means a pattern or example.  A universal paradigm, or outlook on the world, is a pattern that we maintain for how we think reality operates.  Keeping a journal is one such way of mapping out your journey so others can follow along, recording thoughts and events and revelations as landmarks to help you make sense of all the chaos that’s around you.

The lessons that are passed down to us from books, stories, and the experiences of our friends, families, and teachers serve as maps that can, if they are accurate, provide guidance and order in our lives.

“The dark night of the soul is a time of massive cognitive restructuring.  You mind is reconsidering its previous model of reality in order to complete the jump to a new level of understanding.” ~ Personal Development for Smart People.

As in worldly travel, it’s good to have a map to help lead you quickly and safely to your destination.  But what happens when you encounter something new in your reality that doesn’t fit with your pre-established model of the world?  What happens when you travel off the map into an area that your fellows marked off “here be monsters”?  An area of thought that neither you, nor anyone you know, has explored before?

This is what is referred to as a moment of cognitive dissonance – cognitive meaning thought and dissonance meaning chaotic.  It is also called a dark night of the soul because the soul, one’s identity, is thrown into darkness and turmoil, removed from the light of knowledge, safety, and wholeness.

Really, when one has a moment of cognitive dissonance, there are only two things you can do.  You can accept this new data and incorporate it into your own map, which may then be completely different from the map you used before; or you can reject the new phenomenon and deny it ever existed in the first place, relying on the belief that your map is already accurate.

Usually rare or traumatic events create cognitive dissonance.  A staunch atheist who suddenly witnesses a miracle may come to question whether there is any truth to religion and thus alter his paradigm.  Conversely, a devout religious person who sees nothing but hardship may come to question whether a benevolent God exists.  Someone who sees a UFO may have a moment of cognitive dissonance if they formerly believed they don’t exist.

But paradigms don’t always change as the result of something traumatic.  Something as simple as learning a new vocabulary word can change your word view.

I recall my freshman English teacher in high school told us this story in which she read a headline that had the word “pachyderm” in it.  She didn’t know what it meant at the time, so she looked it up and saw that it meant “elephant.”  From that point on, she started seeing the word everywhere.  Her paradigm had changed and her mind learned how to tune itself to become more receptive to the word.

In the movie What the Bleep Do We Know, there is an anecdote about Native Americans who were blind to Columbus’ ships until their spiritual leader told them what they were.  Such a profound shift in thought as that allowed them to become much more aware of them the next time.  This is largely what I’ve tried to do with this blog, is make people aware of different things (like symbols) and so you learn how to see them.

“I imagine that, right now, you’re feeling a bit like Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole.” ~ Morpheus.

The irony is, there’s really only ONE option when it comes to cognitive dissonance.  Denial isn’t an option.  Life is forever changing and evolving, whereas maps remain the same.  Over time, the old maps no longer serve as accurate.  Just as islands rise and crumble and new roads are built, so do does thought evolve.  So denying the changes in one’s reality simply keeps you stuck in the same place, or otherwise lost and confused in an unknown world.

Failing to keep track of how you got to where you are can also cause problems and create disconnections between you and your fellow man.

Those times when I question the reality of The Spirit or the New World Order, I often experience a dark night of the soul; but I manage to pull myself out of it by remembering how I came to have such beliefs and by following the chain of evidence and logical reasoning that lead me to those conclusions.  Then the darkness gives way again to light and all becomes clear.

If there is one thing I would change about my life, it would be to have started my journal as soon as I turned fourteen, instead of taking it up years later.  Not marking a large portion of the path I took to get to where I am has made it difficult for me to help others follow to get to where I am, and so there is a disconnect.  But generally, I do not mind because I found the path on my own and I am confident than others can do the same.  Thankfully, I managed to start mapping out my trail before I got too far into the wilderness.

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” ~ Matthew 7:13-14.

In life, we don’t always have to wander through the jungle.  Sometimes, it’s okay to take the main road if you really have to get somewhere.  So too is it considered wise to rely on the council of others and to continue to study and learn from outer teachers that have paved a way before you.  Some maps are better than others and certain paths can take you farther than others.

Eventually, though, you will find yourself breaking from the main road, whether because the road ends, life has changed the path, or you simply decide you want to go somewhere else and this road is no longer taking you in a direction you want to go.  That is when it is time to get off the main road and take the road less traveled.

Sometimes, there is no path that leads to where we want to go, and all other roads lead to destruction.  Then it is time to forge a completely new path.

When we start to forge our own paths, it can lead to great or terrible things.  The further we continue, the more new frontiers we will explore and enjoy, and the more fulfilling our lives will ultimately be.  We may not always know where we are going, but as long as we remember how we got there, we will never really be lost.

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Persistence of Memory

Posted in All, Psychology, Science, Spirituality with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2010 by marushiadark

“God is Santa Claus for grown-ups.” ~ Unknown

People of faith often believe that, when we die, if we are good, we’ll get eternal happiness, and if we’re bad, we’ll get eternal punishment.  But does that sound fair to you?  Does that sound like the invention of an all-knowing, compassionate being?  Or does that sound more like a bedtime story you’d tell to kids?

Hey, kids, you know, if you’re really good, Santa Claus will bring you lots of presents, but if you’re bad, he’ll bring you an icky lump of coal instead.  And he can see when you are sleeping and knows when you’re awake.  In fact, he won’t even come until after you’re in bed.

You know, there’s a reason they call it eternal rest and sleeping like the dead.

It doesn’t seem right to me that God should give you an eternity of something based on the actions of a fraction of a fraction of that time.  Given all the hype about God, I think he would have more sense than that.  I mean, even our own limited and fallible human institutions know that people change over time and that reward and punishment must be in accordance with a person’s recent behavior.  For some, it may takes moments to change, for others decades, for some maybe even a few hundred years, but that’s still nothing compared to eternity.

Based on the laws of karma, I do believe that you receive some sort of reward or punishment after you die, but I hardly think it’s eternal.

“Death is rest for the soul.  Who was it that said that?  If the body did not die, and the fears borne in the mind just continued to pile up, the world would be nothing more than an eternal prison.” ~ Ziggy, Xenosaga Episode II

The law of conservation of energy states that energy is neither created nor destroyed, only transferred.  Even a cynical empiricist who worships the scientific method must admit that if consciousness is energy, then it retains some form even after the body has died.  It might not be in exactly the same state, but it still continues to exist in one state or another.  And what does that sound like from a spiritual perspective?  Reincarnation, perhaps?

Reincarnation is simply the conservation of consciousness between one lifetime and the next.  Many religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and even Christianity teach that this is what happens to you when you die.  The body decays and the carbon, water, and other components go back into the environment.  The mind goes offline and reawakens in some other body, like transferring documents from one computer to the next.  And the soul just remains as it’s always been, in the position of the observer.

The concept of reincarnation can be scientifically verified.  In fact, some people have already tried.  Maybe you’ve heard stories and news reports about young children being taken to certain places and having knowledge of those places and certain events relating to them that no one has mentioned to the child and which the child can’t possibly know otherwise, except through some sort of metaphysical transfer of information.  That would be a way of proving reincarnation to someone else, but there are other ways of proving it to yourself.

“‘How can I tell,’ said the man, ‘that the past isn’t a fiction designed to account for the discrepancy between my immediate physical sensations and my state of mind?'” ~ The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Ever since I was young, I’d always gotten along a lot better with adults than I did people my own age.  I think a number of people can probably say they feel the same way.  Over the course of my lifetime, I’ve conversed with people much older than myself and have come to realize that there are people ten, twenty, even thirty years older than me that act like children.  I don’t really count myself particularly privileged, at least no more-so than those individuals.  So what accounts for this?

When I was in college, I took an introductory course on Psychology and learned about the various stages of development that the human mind goes through.  Among them was the concept of Generativity vs. Stagnation, more commonly known as the mid-life crisis, in which a person looks back on their life and feels that they’ve done nothing but waste time and miss opportunities.  I was only about twenty at the time, but I felt as though I’d already had several mid-life crises over the course of my lifetime.

Some months later, I began to do a great deal of soul searching and starting to become aware of the fact that this wasn’t the first time I’d been here on this planet.  All in all, I’d been here at least five or six times that I can recall (possibly even more than that), which would mean that I’m a fairly old soul.

People often ask me how I know all this, how I came to realize that I’d had past lives and that they took on the particular characteristics that I claim they did.  Well, let me put it to you like this.

I know that there is a lot of New Age emphasis on the Power of Now, as made famous by Eckhart Tolle and others, and that along with this comes the realization that there is no past or future.  But for sake of argument, let’s assume that there is a past.  Most people would think it reasonable to say there is a past.  But how do you know?  How do you know that you weren’t literally born yesterday?  How do you even know that there was a yesterday?  How do you know that, when you woke up this morning, it wasn’t the beginning of time and you simply discovered you had all these thoughts in your head from the very beginning?

When you play a video game, it’s all a programmed illusion that begins as soon as you turn the game on.  That is year zero.  Yet when you turn the game on, you are immersed into a world and a body that has history, or so it believes.  In rare cases, such as Assassin’s Creed II, you get to know the character from the time of their birth; but usually you just wake up one day to find that you are now in a situation and that you have thoughts and ideas in your head about who you are, where you are, what you do, and who your friends are.  Time began at that moment, so all the so-called past is really just an illusion.

Do you think it’s reasonable to suggest that the same could be true for us as well?  That time could just be an illusion and the past merely accounting for discrepancies between our present condition and our memories?

But let us suppose that the opposite is true.  Supposing there really is a past.  So there’s a yesterday and a last year.  Why would your birth, then, be the beginning of your consciousness?  Genetic memory and the 100th Monkey Effect can explain where behavioral instincts come from, but not memories and wisdom of things that neither you nor your ancestors experienced.  For that, you’d need reincarnation.

So how do I know that I lived a past life?  Simple.  I remember something about it, the same as I remember something that happened yesterday or last year.  How do I know it’s memory and not imagination?  Well, how does anyone know that what they experienced yesterday or last year was real and not simply made up?  You feel it in your gut that this is true and accurate and what really happened to you.  That’s how.

“Now if you’re thinking, just now, ‘Why me, oh God?’  The answer is, God has nothing to do with it.  In fact, God is never in France this time of year.” Dorleac, Count of Monte Cristo

Reincarnation is tied with karma.  What you do in the past effects your future.  Even if you get away with something in this lifetime, there are higher forces at work that will see to it that you make up for it next time.  Just like in playing a video game, if you fuck up and die, you retain the memory of what happened and that can effect future outcomes.

That’s probably also what Déjà Vu is, too.  If you feel like you’ve experienced something before, it’s probably because you have.  You just hit the restart button and decided to play over from your last checkpoint.  Like Bill Murray in Groundhog’s Day, when he keeps trying to find the right words to say to his coworker.

So if you find yourself thinking, “Why me, oh God?” the answer is, it’s always been on you.  Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people and to young children?  It’s probably to teach you a lesson for something you did in a past life.  For instance, in one of my past lives, I was a really shitty parent.  So God decided to grace me with a bad father.  Not as bad as I had been, but enough that I could understand what it was like from the receiving end.

In another past life, I was a cruel Templar master.  So God decided to set me in a time and place where the Templars ruled as the sort of cruel masters that I had been.  He set me on a path to learn about the New World Order from the perspective of one of their slaves.  If I am truly the observer and the creator of my universe, then it stands to reason that such things as The Da Vinci Code and Assassin’s Creed were also created by me as tools for my benefit.  The entire history of the world has been constructed and uploaded into my mind to serve as context while I progress through the game of life towards my objectives.  It’s only logical.

It’s a lot like Alice dreaming of the Red King, who’s dreaming of Alice, who’s dreaming of the Red King … From your perspective, I’m the illusion and the whole world is created for your benefit and lesson.  So life becomes a dream, a shared dream (like in Inception), in which we all create and grow and experience together.  And when we die, we simply wake up somewhere else, with only the memory remaining.

The Power of Christ Compels You

Posted in All, Health, Psychology, Spirituality with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2010 by marushiadark

“Healing is not a science, but the intuitive art of wooing nature.” ~ W.H. Audin, poet

In my last post, I talked about the basic points of health and healing, stating that the human body is a self-correcting machine and that medicine is only as good as its ability to help the body return to homeostasis.  Most drugs are ineffective in the prevention and curing of disease because they do not address the underlying cause of the problem.  However, there is a field of medicine that I have yet to address and it is perhaps the most powerful form of healing known to man.  It is also the most overlooked and under-appreciated “drug” man has ever created.  I’m talking of course of the Placebo.

A placebo is essentially a form of medicine that has no actual measurable effect on the human body.  The most common form of this is a simple capsule filled with a small amount of sugar.  Its purpose in modern medicine is largely as a control metric in experiments that test the efficacy of drugs.  Patients are given placebos but told they are actually medicine and then the results are compared between the drug being tested and the body’s own ability to heal itself.

I admit, I can’t think of any better way to test the efficacy of drugs than that, but what these tests fail to determine and what modern medicine seems to have completely brushed over, is the actual power of the placebo itself.

A placebo itself has no effect on the body, but the patient believes it does and so their mind registers the belief that it is being healed.  Since the mind controls the body, the state of the mind can affect the health of the body for better or worse.  If the mind is convinced that it is healed or is in the process of being healed, then it will tell the body that everything is okay and so the body will release chemicals and hormones and endorphins to correct whatever issues are there.

Conversely, if the mind believes it is sick or hurt or in pain, then the body will align itself with that belief and act accordingly.  This is the mechanism that creates psychosomatic illness and is a chronic problem in many hypochondriacs.  Very often times, a hypochondriac can become seriously ill from nothing more than the fact that their mind told the body to be sick and it obeyed.

We know that disease is the result of either some overt toxin being present in the body or the lack of sufficient raw materials (water, minerals, etc.) to carry out the bodily functions.  But for all instances where this is not the case, the result is psychosomatic.  It’s all in the mind, meaning that the issue is not with the car, but with its driver.  Correct the driver’s error and the car will stop crashing into trees.

Consequently, this is the mechanism by which all medicine works.  Whatever will convince you that you are better is what will help you heal your body.  This is why drugs can sometimes appear to be helping, even though they are in fact introducing toxic substances into the body.  What’s actually helping is the mind’s orders to release healing chemicals, coupled with the presence of life-enhancing raw materials and energies.  As I said before, the human body is a self-correcting machine.  All you have to do is give it what it needs to do its job and then get out of its way while it does its thing.

“All healing is first a healing of the heart.” ~ Carl Townsend, futurist

The spirit controls the mind, which controls the body.  Everything in the universe is made up of energy, so it would make sense that any and all issues within the higher levels of the body and mind stem from issues on an energy level.  Our conscious minds may not know how all this works, but our subconscious minds and our spirits are working diligently behind the scenes to make sure everything comes alive for us on stage.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a diagnosis begins with an assessment of a person’s energy.  In such fields, it is common to hear about things like energy meridians, chakras, yin and yang, feng shui, or the concept of hot-cold-wet-dry.  Such practitioners of TCM have a very acute awareness of the factors that contribute to the health of the energy body – as do a great many faith healers, reikiists, reflexologists, acupuncturists, and psychics – and it is from this assessment of the energy body that they are able to catch and correct most diseases way in advance of western medicine, which still relies mostly on drugs and surgery.

Now, to be fair, there are a great many hacks as well within the alternative community, but the underlying principles are both accurate and applicable, and this is how all of the legitimate ones operate.  And by knowing this, you can begin to heal yourself without help from anyone.

“Then he asked him, ‘What is your name?’ and he answered, saying, ‘My name is Legion; for we are many’.” ~ Mark 5:9

Perhaps the most well-known healer in history is Jesus of Nazareth.  The Gospel of Mark, chapter five, recounts three of Jesus’ more famous healing sessions.

In the Gospel, Jesus is traveling with his disciples by boat when he comes to a small village.  A man from the village is being bound by chains and it is said that even the chains could not hold him for very long.  When Jesus arrives, the man is raving with madness, cutting himself with stones, but falls to his knees at the sight of Jesus and asks that Jesus not torment him.  The man says that he is possessed by a demon that is actually many demons.

In ancient times, people were far more superstitious and didn’t have the modern understanding of psychology that we do today.  So was this a demon or was the man just merely schizophrenic with multiple personality disorder and sadomasochistic tendencies?  Regardless of the actual facts, the man believed he had a demon living inside him and that demon quickly went away when Jesus commanded it to enter into a herd of pigs.  Did Christ really cast out a horde of demons, or did the man simply heal himself with the power of his own mind, for which Jesus was merely a catalyst?

The Gospel states that the demon was known as “the legion” and it affected the man’s “right mind.”  Was this really a demon or was it simply an aberration?  Or perhaps it was even a lesion in the right hemisphere of his brain, which Jesus healed using nothing more than a placebo effect and a transfer of energy.

Regardless of the actual details, the Bible says that when Christ healed the man, the people of the village were very afraid and they made it clear that they didn’t want Jesus hanging around there anymore.  So much for gratitude, eh?  So Jesus got in the boat and sailed back the way he came, but not before the man he healed came up to him and thanked him.  He wanted to go with Jesus, but Christ instead said that he should go and tell the people what he’d done for him.

“And he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well.  Go in peace and be healed of your affliction’.” ~ Mark 5:34

By the time Christ reaches shore again, news of his “miraculous” healing powers had reached the people there and he started to gain more attention.  A man named Jarlus came up to him and told him his daughter was sick and near death and he wanted Jesus to come and see her.

Along the way, a crowd begins to follow Jesus.  Among them is a woman with a severe blood disorder.  The Bible says that, for twelve years, she “had suffered many things from many physicians … and was no better, but rather grew worse.”  She hears about Jesus and comes up and touches his cloak because she believes that Jesus has some sort of special healing powers that can save her.

Jesus turns and asks what she thinks she’s doing.  The woman becomes terribly afraid and confesses all, but Jesus tells her not to worry and that she is healed.  Moreover, Jesus emphasizes that it is the woman’s faith that has healed her, not him.

Many Christians today attribute this event as being proof that belief in Christ is what will heal them.  However, it’s less about their faith in Christ and more about the power of the placebo effect and the ability of the mind to heal the body.  What you believe in specifically is of little importance to anyone but yourself.

Many churches, especially televangelist and evangelical churches, are known for their priests and pastors that lay their hands on worshipers and the people feel an overwhelming sensation come over them and they feel much better afterwards.  Scientists can’t explain it or apply it to non-believers and so there is a schism between the scientists who say it’s all bunk and the believers who are exploited into further belief and in subjugating themselves to God and the church.  In actuality, these people are healed because of the power of their own minds over their bodies with the priest or God or whatever merely being a metric that will only work for them and no one else because the minds of others are not geared to believing in that stuff, which is all that matters.

Faith in Christ is just a catalyst for getting the mind to be in a mode of healing and is fundamentally no different than if you were healed through belief in Buddha, Mohammad, or Tom Cruise.  It’s all about you and there’s no subjugation or worship required.

“When he came in, he said to them, ‘Why all this commotion and weep?  The child is not dead, but sleeping’.” ~ Mark 5:39

At the end of Mark 5, a servant comes up to the group and tells Jarlus that his daughter is dead.  Jesus commanded Jarlus not to worry, but to have faith that everything would be alright.  He then went alone with some of his disciples to the house.  Before he even went inside, Jesus told the people there that the child was not dead, but only sleeping.  The people rebuked him for this and so he made them wait outside.

Many Christians believe this to be an example of Jesus bringing someone back from the dead, but is it really?  Why did Jesus say she was only sleeping?

The passage seems to contradict itself here because it says that only Peter, James, and John went with Christ; yet Jarlus, the girl’s father, was present at the house when Jesus got there.  So if Jarlus went, is it possible the servant went as well?  Who really went with him?

If Jarlus and/or the servant went with Christ to the house, they could have told Jesus about her illness and Jesus, being a healer, would have known what the problem was and so he might have known just from that information that it wasn’t anything lethal.  People that aren’t knowledgeable in disease and healing often overreact to what are otherwise relatively simple problems to solve.  Is that what happened here?  I don’t know, but it’s possible.

Or if Jesus went alone with his disciples, he could have relied on his intuition to tell him that the situation wasn’t as bad as it seemed.  I know many times I, myself, have been in what appeared to be very bad situations; but my intuition coached me through it, telling me everything would be alright, and, more often than not, it was.  Is that what happened here?  Again, I don’t know, but it’s possible.

When Jesus got to the house, he made everyone wait outside.  He then took the mother and father and went inside the house to the little girl.  Undoubtedly, they believed that Jesus knew what he was doing and had faith that the little girl would be alright.  Jesus told her to wake up and she did.  Jesus told them to give her something to eat and she was fine from that point on.  Was she really dead or did the servant just mistake her being asleep for actual death?

I remember a very particular scene from the movie Doc Hollywood where Michael J. Fox is about to cut open a kid’s stomach because he believes the boy has a terrible stomach virus; but the local doctor comes by with a cola and gives it to the kid and rebukes Michael J. Fox’s character for nearly putting the boy through an unnecessary and risky procedure.  As it turns out, the boy simply had a case of gas, not a virus at all.  How did the town doctor know?  Because he had treated these people before and knew what they were like and knew their habits and the sorts of things that might cause diseases in that town.  He had knowledge and experience and an understanding that neither the family nor Michael J. Fox’s character had.

Perhaps this twelve-year old girl simply fainted from not having anything to eat.  But let’s consider the possibility that maybe that wasn’t the case, and that maybe there really was something wrong with this girl.  Maybe she wasn’t dead, but instead she just fell into a coma.  How would someone like Jesus have handled that?

Recall that the mother and father probably had a great deal of faith in Christ’s abilities.  They heard stories of how he cured a man of demons and saw how he healed a woman’s illness by the touch of his cloak.  Likely, they and their servants believed him to be some sort of magic man and spiritual healer.  So their minds were aligned with a spirit of healing and so it’s possible they transferred some of that positive energy to the girl and this reached her subconscious and caused her to awake and become healthy again.  After all, everything in the universe is just the interaction of energy waves in space.  All matter and medicine is subject to these laws.

“So based on your time spent with … these bizarre individuals, you’ve concluded that possession is a basic, typical human experience?”

“I must say, counselor, that’s quite a laundry list of disdain and one that thoroughly mischaracterizes my work.” ~ The Exorcism of Emily Rose

The very last line of Mark 5 says that Jesus commanded that no one be told what had happened.  To me, this is more indicative that the actual metric of healing used in this case was the power of faith in the minds of those around him.  If Jesus told them what really happened, perhaps they would lose faith and so then they might also lose the power to heal themselves, having nothing else to believe in and no skills in diagnosing or treating diseases.  And so Jesus would have to be called back to them, which I’m sure he would have preferred not to do if he didn’t have to.

How often have we heard doctors, as we’re leaving their offices and hospitals, tell us, “I don’t ever wanna see you here again” or something comparable?  Of course, that doesn’t mean that they are inherently grouchy and anti-social individuals.  What they mean is that we should take better care of ourselves so that they don’t have to treat us again, because the power to prevent and cure our own maladies and diseases lies in our own hands.

I’m sure some of you reading this article aren’t willing to believe this.  Maybe for you, the catalyst is something else more in line with your empirical beliefs and the scientific method.  Maybe the healer you trust is a medical doctor and because you believe that his remedies work, you become in-tune with the spirit of healing and that helps you get better.

Likewise, I’m sure there are some of you reading this article who are already well-versed in spiritual healing and so I’m just preaching to the choir.

Then there are probably a third class of people that are somewhere in between.  You’re not sure if you believe this works or not.  For those people, if you haven’t read it already, I would recommend the book Clairvoyance and Occult Powers, by Swami Panchadasi.  It’s out of print, but you can find an e-book of it on Google Books.  It was written almost a hundred years ago, and yet it reads as though it were written more recently than that.  I like it because it explains everything in rather layman’s terms from the very beginning and the most basic assumptions that require very little stretching of the imagination.  Another one you may enjoy is simply called Psychic Healing, by Yogi Ramacharaka.  It was written in 1934 and can also be found freely on Google Books.

H is for Healing

Posted in All, Health, Psychology, Science, Spirituality with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2010 by marushiadark

“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.” ~ Buddha

The Japanese toast “kanpai” is a wish for health and wealth, with the understanding that health is more important and thus comes before wealth.  Money comes and money goes, but without your health, you haven’t got anything.

Many people do not take charge of their own health, but instead leave to men and women called doctors, most of whom are only trained in the treatment of symptoms with patented drugs and surgical procedures.  Most of them are on a payroll getting kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies when they should be interesting in curing disease and restoring optimum health to their patients.

Do not misunderstand me.  There are great doctors out there that do know what they’re doing, who are interested in genuinely helping people for reasons other than money (the real-life Gregory Houses and Hank R. Lawsons) that have not allowed themselves to be corrupted by the business of medicine.  Those are the sorts of doctors I would defer to if I needed help.  And were I or someone I knew in a serious medical emergency or accident, I would probably go to a hospital in lieu of any other option.  But for the vast majority of illnesses, it takes a long time (sometimes years) to develop these problems and the majority of them are preventable and/or psychosomatic (i.e. all in your head).

So why are we leaving our bodies in the hands of drug dealers and butchers?  All a doctor is going to do is ask you questions about your body and then make an assessment based on the information and patterns he has stored in his head.  He can’t possibly know your body better than you can because only you can know what you are feeling.  And the information that he learned is information that you can learn as well.  So why are you there listening to him?

“A lot of people say they want to get out of pain, and I’m sure that’s true, but they aren’t willing to make healing a high priority.  They aren’t willing to look inside to see the source of their pain in order to deal with it.” ~ Lindsay Wagner

I’ve often said that the best way to think of your body is to think of a car and treat your body in a comparable way to how you would treat your motorized vehicle.  If a car doesn’t work, it’s a technical problem and there are only so many things that it can be.  To fix the car, you simply find the root cause of the problem, address it, and viola! the car will run as well as it did before … unless there’s something else that’s wrong, in which case you just step and repeat until it’s working again.

The human body is no different.  Find the cause and you find the cure.  But the body is also a self-correcting machine, unlike a car, because it’s alive and a system of living organisms; and if you respect it as such and treat it well, it’ll serve you well.  Any medicine you give it is only as good as its ability to help the body regulate itself in getting back to homeostasis.

In my article on organic food, I stressed the importance of not putting crap into your body and in getting the right nutrients, vitamins, minerals, water, and energy you need to keep your body running.  If we did just that, and nothing else, about half of the diseases in the world would be eliminated.

The children in Africa are sick primarily because their country is our waste dump and they have no food and water.  Find the cause and you will find the cure.  It’s as simple as that.

“Healthy people are those who live in healthy homes on a healthy diet in an environment equally fit for birth, growth, work, healing, and dying … Healthy people need no bureaucratic interference to mate, give birth, share the human condition, and die.” ~ Ivan Illich, philosopher

So what about drugs and surgery?  Is there any place for them?  The answer is yes, but their role is auxiliary, best used in emergencies and accidents and such.  They’re more like a Plan Z than a Plan A.

As I said before, the human body is a self-correcting machine.  Every part has a purpose and so the removal and replacement of such parts should be reserved as a last resort.  Things like heart disease and kidney disease are preventable and the human body will suffer without them.  If taken care of properly, transplants shouldn’t even become an issue.

Sometimes an organ is defective from birth, like a car that was built badly or the steel used in the Titanic.  We can’t sue God for the damages, but we can correct the mistake (and, by the way, it’s only a mistake or a defect if it inhibits the person’s ability to function).

And what about drugs?  There’s a simple metric for that as well.  What is the cause of your problem?  If your problem isn’t caused by a lack of drugs, then taking prescription and non-prescription drugs will not make you better.  Do you have an aspirin deficiency?  If not, then aspirin is not the solution.  While it may relieve the pain, it isn’t really fixing the underlying problem, which is caused by something else.  No amount of medication will fix your carpel tunnel if you continue to rest your wrists on the sharp corners of your laptop.  No amount of pain killers will correct your poor posture and alleviate the pressure of your vertebrae on your lower back nerves.  If you haven’t had anything to eat or drink all day, then how can ibuprofen or acetaminophen possibly stop your headaches?  And if your life is causing you stress, why would anti-depressants be a better option than a cup of hot tea and a vacation?

Then, on top of not fixing these problems, the over-abundance of such toxins in your body can wreak havoc on your systems and lead to other potentially lethal side effects.  Who in their right mind would volunteer themselves for all of that?  Someone not in their right mind, that’s who.  A little may not hurt, but a lot will most certainly kill you, and there are people ingesting and injecting themselves with drugs on a virtually daily basis.  Maybe we’re simply fighting the wrong enemies in the drug wars, because we’ve certainly become a nation of medicinal junkies.

The body is a machine and its problems are technical.  Find the cause and you find the cure.  You can do this yourself with a little bit of knowledge and experience.  And the usage of drugs and surgery should be limited to only medical emergencies.

“Man thought he had a human spirit.  That is totally  incorrect.  Man is a human spirit, which is enwrapped more or less in a mind, which is in a body.” ~ L Ron Hubabrd

Man is a spirit in a mind in a body, like a Russian nesting doll, setting one inside the other (and then at times we have our body in something else and this continues).  The spirit directs the mind and then the mind directs the body and then the body in turn acts upon the world around us and interacts with it.  But because the mind controls the body, the health of the mind means the health of the body and so it’s not enough to simply figure out the machine.  Even the best working car can’t make up for driver error and so we must learn what causes damage to our psyche as well and then work to correct that.

The brain is an organ, a physical machine.  It runs on electricity and, at least according to one theory, is the recipient of all electrical signals from the cells.  It is the central office, the capital of the nation that is you.  Direct all complaints here, it says, and we will take care of you.  Along with that information comes all the pain felt by the body and the brain sends this information to the mind, which is the president and the emperor, who determines what course of action must then be taken.  Depending on the condition of the mind, it may make rational decisions or it may be affected by mental aberrations (bad advisers) and be in the habit of making poor or irrational decisions that affect the overall health of the body at large.  To make the best decisions possible, we must weed out the aberrations of fear and guilt and shame and pain and grief and doubt and so forth until only love and logic remain.  Then and only then will be truly be able to heal.

All this obviously represents a huge financial loss to the companies that make products tailored to those diseases.  There is nothing wrong with companies making a profit off their contributions to society, but when they are willing to do whatever it takes to keep in business, we have to draw the line somewhere.  It’s us or them and I’d rather be on the side that wins that battle.

My Reason for Being Here

Posted in All, Miscellaneous, Psychology, Science, Spirituality with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2010 by marushiadark

“Do you feel it … our connection … some part of you imprinted onto me …” ~ Agent Smith

A lot has been said of first impressions.  Personally, regardless of how I might feel about someone initially, I know deep down that people can and do change over time and that, unless you wear your heart on your sleeve at all times, it’s impossible to know everything about a person from just one encounter.

The trouble with first impressions is that they require us to know ourselves well enough to present only our best qualities, in order that we might invite our acquaintances to feel comfortable around us and keep them coming back for more.  Only after we’ve laid a solid foundation do we find the courage to open up and reveal our less flattering and more unstable features.

For me, my life has been all about constant growth and self-improvement.  I’ll be the first to say that there are many many times I wished I could have taken something back or done things differently, or “if only I had had the wisdom and foresight I do now” … but then, if there’s one thing I’ve come to learn, it’s that everything in life happens for a reason, even if we’re not entirely or even remotely aware of what that reason is.

“I don’t fully understand how it happened … it is at this point irrelevant.  What matters is that whatever happened, happened for a reason.” ~ Agent Smith

Science teaches us the laws of causality and conservation of all things.  Religion teaches us that God or karma or something in between is responsible for the outcome.  I think each side has a piece of the answer and that the truth is much more interesting than that.

As they say, “truth is stranger than fiction.”

Which brings us at last to the reason why I’m here now, writing this blog, sharing my thoughts with you and the world.  It’s precisely this idea of sharing that has brought me here.

I’ve never been particularly passionate about anything in my life.  I’ve never been able to follow through on any endeavor I set out for and for the longest time, I sought solutions to my problems.  I sought answers to my questions and have learned a few things along the way.  I struggled and suffered, mostly internally, and in my own mind, to find my place in the world and the reason for my being here.  And it wasn’t until recently that I found the reason behind one of the most elusive mysteries of all: why am I here?

What reason I have is only a small part, a mere fragment of its full potential; but it’s certainly enough for me to be able to follow through with this journey a little longer until, hopefully, I come to some sort of destination (or at least a more permanent resting place).

“There’s no escaping reason, no denying purpose; because as we both know, without purpose, we would not exist.  It is purpose that created us, purpose that connects us, purpose that pulls us that, guides us, that drives us.  It is purpose that defines us, that binds us.” ~ Agent Smith

To find the reason for one’s existence is a beautiful thing and a very empowering thought that guides us and binds us along the path of life.  My purpose in this life is inexorably linked with that of every other human being on this planet, whether I realize it or not, whether you realize it or not; whether I choose to accept and believe it or not and whether you choose to accept and believe it or not.  My passion in life has been self-improvement and fulfillment, and that means doing all I can to help others accomplish the same, to whatever path that may lead us.

And that is my reason for being here.