Have you ever asked yourself why all of the great efforts you are making to ‘fix’ your health may not be getting the results you want? Why does everything feel like a band-aid, in the form of restrictions including food, medicines, exercise, and lifestyles, that temporarily subdue or mask the pain.
Our current perspective of health and health care ARE the fundamental flaw limiting the possibilities and our potential for health and well being. The very system, any system, that approaches health from a mind-based perspective, cuts us off from the vast majority of what is possible.
The Shen Nong Ben Cao, arguably China’s oldest herbal text, differentiates between three levels of medicines. Our experience extends these categories to life, health and observation.
The lowest level of awareness focuses only on physical symptoms. At this stage, treatments, choices, and actions are taken for the main purpose of reducing pain and illness on a physical level. Here we are always reacting to something that has already happened while we try to avoid or fix it out of fear and dislike. Fear in the self-conscious mind drives a desire for something other than what is. The mind constantly derives strategies to avoid a painful situation instead of responding to what is happening in life at the moment. ‘Thinking’ we know best and being unsatisfied with what is, leads us into this perspective and the need for tools to help get what we say we want in life and health care.
When driven by fear, the mind attaches itself to certain safety-based strategies, including beliefs, thought patterns, and emotions that helps us understand and make meaning of our world. This sense of safety is false but our mind’s need for it causes us to live on autopilot, living life with no spontaneity, no creativity, and no inspiration. Life may seem safe but it is also small.
The middle level of self awareness involves the nourishment and prevention of illness. At this stage we already know about pain and our fear of it drives us to try anything to avoid it. We are ready to look beyond the physical, understanding that our energetic body, our relationship with our environment, and our mind play an important role in our health. However, as we delve deeper into ourselves and the nature of the universe, it is still with the need for a certain outcome. We are still looking for a diagnosis and treatment for the reduction of pain because of fear in the mind. Constant judging and reacting still dominate at this level.
The upper level of life and health care openly nourish what is happening with an understanding that it is in alignment with a person’s destiny. There is no desiring, argument, or need to change reality, regardless of any pain involved. Instead, there is an enthusiasm and willingness to allow transitions in the unfolding of life unencumbered by the mind’s judgements and fears. This seems to come when the mind is whole and fear is absent, which engages an open heart.
Consciousness-based health care, and a conscious life, operates from an open, non-judgemental heart. This results in no diagnosis, no prognosis, no treatment, no bias, no blame, and no credit! Instead of an attachment to an outcome (‘health’), there is an unfolding consciousness shared by all, knowing that each participant is fundamental to the process of life. All information in the universe is valid and available, whether that comes in the form of body pain, life events, or the general environment. All information is just information to be observed and integrated into a deeper awareness of self.
What do these three levels look in life?
If I have poor vision, I can address this in any or all of the above ways. In the first reactive level I may get fitted for glasses or have laser surgery, directly addressing the physical ‘problem’ I want to solve. I may take steps to ensure I don’t make the problem worse, or let it happen again. This might include not straining my eyes by reading in the dark, or eating foods that I believe nourish my eyes. In the second proactive level, I understand that my poor eye sight is the result of a deeper issue; however, I only look to resolve that deeper issue to improve my vision. I am attached to an outcome that alleviates the pain of poor sight. In the third no action level I would not do anything except be present to the unfolding of what is happening and observe my vision without judgment or the need to change anything at all. At this level I understand that my changing eye sight is just information and an opportunity for a deeper awareness of self.
Each of these levels of awareness are available to us at all times, and often we move between them, or through them, as we move through life. Which level do you find yourself in most often?
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