1.3 What is Cure?
Generally, the patient understands cure as a relief of symptoms. That is his end point, the target he is aiming at. But just as we have seen that disease may be present in a subtle state, so also one can say with reasonable accuracy that cure is not just relief of symptoms but the return of the lost balance and harmony.
It may be necessary here to qualify that this return of harmony can itself be of two types. One, where the harmony is created by a temporary force of material or vital nature introduced into the system which for a moment counterbalances the effects of the disharmony from having its more visible and external reactions upon the mind or the body. Thus, for instance we can control the blood sugar through the use of drugs. So long as the drug is there and active in the system the milieu interior is maintained, but the moment the drug is withdrawn everything returns and often with a virulence. This too has its usage. It can provide temporary relief. It can ward off a possible emergency and give the much needed time for working out further things. Above all, it can buy time and keep the patient going till nature and its healing processes take over and the need of external support can be withdrawn. At other times, the absence of symptoms may erase the memory and give the patient a sense of cure. This itself may trigger the healing process. It may become a material medium to induce faith or a medium for the deeper and subtler forces and energies of healing to act. But this of course is more characteristically the domain of Homeopathy and Ayurveda.
True healing must go deeper. Not only must it control the symptoms or the visible and recordable manifestation of the illness but, more importantly, bring back the lost harmony in the subtler and deeper levels of our being. That is why often enough when a disease is controlled in one organ system and one type of symptoms are managed, the disharmony returns and the systems affected and the symptoms manifested are different. Sometimes the differences are so striking that most physicians take it to be a different disease. But actually it is the same inner disharmony that is resurfacing in another way. It is here that the healing systems that deal with the energy-body such as Homeopathy have a certain advantage. If they hit right they can really act deeper and create a more lasting cure. Healing systems that deal with the energy-body try to do that but the problem is that the human body extends itself not at one or two but a number of levels and there is hardly any system that can reach that far. Material means can at best go as deep as the point where the vital energy converts itself into the material and no further. Even its manipulation of mental processes is done by working upon the most material parts, the last link in a long chain of cause and effect.
The most radical cure however would be if the disease disappears not only at the level of symptoms or the body, but at the deepest level possible. Clearing seeds of illness at the subconscious levels where the roots of illness lurk and return like weeds again and again –such a radical healing should be able to remove all possibility of an illness from the system. But this cure cannot be affected by medicines alone without the aid of a spiritual force that can go deep and conquer the subconscious nature in man.
1.4 What is Treatment?
Treatment is any means and method that can be used to bring relief from the symptoms or cure a disease. A nice dictum is: ‘To sometimes cure, to often relieve, to always comfort’. All therapeutic systems recognise that it may not be always possible to cure an illness but quite a few illnesses can be contained. A therapeutic program is nothing more than a line of advance or a system that Nature itself follows to facilitate the recovery process. In fact Nature follows not one or two but a number of lines simultaneously. Besides Nature has in its secret depths an instinctive sense of the totality and takes the best course possible considering the individual unit of life and all that surrounds it. But human knowledge is limited and therefore we can at the most capture one or two lines of advance that Nature follows. Besides, our treatment is exclusively focused upon the individual unit and its recovery process. All this makes any given system of therapeutics at best a temporary practical device. Nature may accept or refuse. This is the secret that we have yet to learn, that finally, it is something within us, within the body itself that decides to get cured and is cured.
This will-to-cure stands behind all systems as a common factor and is being increasingly recognised as a single most important factor in bringing about the recovery. If something within us has decided not to come out of the illness or even wants it to linger for various reasons (such as getting the much-needed attention or simply a love for drama and even tragedy that is there in man’s nature), then whatever we may do and whatever system of therapeutics we may use we end up failing to get to the last recovery point. A given system therefore can only set in motion certain processes that tend towards restoring the balance but if the will-to-recover is not there, the imbalance shows off again—one way or the other, in one system or another—till the body finally succumbs to the onslaught.
Seen in this way, some of the alternate systems that act more holistically upon the mind as well as the body taking into consideration the person’s constitution are better than the conventional Allopathic approach. Two such systems are Homeopathy and Ayurveda. Both these systems have a detailed consideration of the constitution before prescribing the drug. Besides in its original purity, the Ayurveda physician was taught to understand and recognise the signs indicating whether the overall will to recover is present or not. Each system has its own understanding of man, the cosmos, disease and the larger goal, and the method of working.