Can the various systems of therapy be combined?
This is a question that differs not only from system to system but also from therapist to therapist. In general, however, it is not a very good thing to combine systems for three reasons. Firstly, combining systems also means combining physicians. This does not often work to the patient’s advantage. Too many doctors spoil the case! They may differ in their understanding and in their pronouncements of the prognosis. All this may well leave the patient confused and unsure about himself and the illness. It will also affect the patient’s faith in the physician as he will not know whom to trust and whom not to. Secondly, certain systems rely upon the symptoms to administer the medicines. Some other systems such as Allopathy believe in controlling the symptoms. This often leads to a masking and may not give the true picture needed for assessment. Thirdly, systems like Homeopathy work by first bringing out the malady from its roots leading often to a temporary exacerbation. Allopathy works rather to contain the disease at the physical level. It may also thereby push it further into the subconscious level thereby working in contradiction to the Homeopath. Besides, most patients do not have the time and patience for a radical cure. They prefer the quicker method even if it is incomplete. Like everything else, our science and technology reflect the nature of the age we live in. In this fast pace of life where material reality is considered the sole reality and everything is judged by the outer effects and where time is money, most patients get restless if an illness seems to prolong.
What is the solution? Well, the simple answer is that go to a physician in whom you can place your trust and take the medicine in which you have faith. In any case, no system is perfect and there is no panacea for human maladies. So ultimately, the highest wisdom is to do what you can and leave the rest in the hands of a greater Power.
Is there more to Healing than physicians and medicines?
Yes of course! One can and indeed must assist the healing process. One of the banes of modern technology is an excessive dependence upon external aid. We are made to feel helpless before an immense technological structure that has assumed such gigantic proportions that we feel crushed and appalled at the same time under its weight. What was originally meant to serve us turns out to be an encumbrance.
We can assist the healing process by adopting certain attitudes, a positive outlook and faith, a will to be well, a certain detachment of the mind that refuses to get depressed by the illness even if it is painful or prolonged. Apart from these, there are other self-help methods that employ the power of the human mind to influence the body. Among these powers, the foremost is imagination. We know for instance how our imagination can actually affect our bodies when we watch a television drama and our heartbeat goes up with the scene or we begin to sweat, our pupils get dilated etc. It is now a well-recognised fact that our thoughts, feelings etc have a great influence upon our bodies. So if we can use these means given to us for restoring our health instead of encouraging the illness it will be a great help. Some of these means are auto-suggestion, hypnosis, guided imagery, all of which employ imagination to some extent.
Human beings can also seek help from beyond the frontiers of the mind. This is possible because unlike other species, human beings can move beyond the arc of possibilities and the limited frames fixed by Nature for each species within which it must move. Through a process of methodical development, human beings can awaken within them many other potential sources and means of knowledge and power; if they cross the borders of can-be and cannot-be and invoke a greater force, it can help and heal, succor and strengthen, restore and rejuvenate our body, mind and tired spirits. This greater Knowledge and Power, Wisdom and Force are given the name of God or the various gods and goddesses that are Its energies, aspects and powers. We can invoke this greater Consciousness into our bodies and mind and thereby achieve results that sometimes appear miraculous but are not so much a miracle as they are the natural consequence of the working of a far greater Light and Force and its limitless potential.
According to those who have entered into It and experienced It, this Consciousness is potentially omnipotent and omniscient because the whole universe is Its emanation and objectivisation and It has also entered each and every process. All is Its play and is secretly supported from behind and within by this greater Consciousness. It is quite natural and even logical that with the help of this Power nothing is impossible. However, from this we must not nurture crude and often vulgar ideas of Its omnipotence. Firstly, since the whole universe is supported by It, this greater Consciousness does not act arbitrarily like a capricious human being ordering his subjects to do this or that but adjusts the whole to bring about a certain result. The whole universe is interlinked and the lower we are in the chain of our inner evolution, the more dependent we are on the many forces that cling to us and tie us down to our present human condition. These forces have also emanated from the same One Infinite Consciousness and have a cosmic purpose in existence. To ignore that purpose will be to create another kind of disorder, sometimes at a much larger scale. This greater Consciousness does not ignore the conditions of the play but works through it in such a way as to bring about the desired result without creating dramatic shifts in the totality which would only create a fresh confusion. That Consciousness does not show Itself and has no need for it since to Its self-awareness all is Itself. Instead, very often It works through several small steps in the chain, shifting now one thing here and now something there, things and incidents that may well seem as if natural, or else a chance coincidence. Later sometimes we may recall how one small step or alteration in the scheme of things turned out to be the crucial event or the moment that became a catalyst for a whole series of shifts and the ultimate result. This is the psychological equivalent of the chaos theory where a seemingly small and passing incident, apparently a chance, worked in ways that were inexplicable. An instance (out of many) comes to mind. A 75 year old man was experiencing chest pain. Not knowing what to do he thought it to be due to gas (a common error). As he was rolling in pain someone entered his room quite unexpectedly and alerted the doctor and what followed next was a series of events as if working out to facilitate the episode in a certain direction. Now, one may ask why this benevolent Force can’t simply make the pain vanish suddenly, as by a miracle, and not make the patient go through a lengthy process involving many steps and persons. To understand this mystery we have to understand the mystery of creation itself and the plan on which it is built.
Unlike our linear thinking that sees cause and effect in a simple one to one relationship, the Divine vision is a global vision. It sees not only the individual life as it extends forwards and backwards but also the many links in the steps. The individual life is linked through unseen bonds to the All-Life and one cannot disturb one element of the chain without disturbing the rest. To paraphrase a great scientist who when asked how he hit his head on the branch of a tree, remarked thoughtfully: “The whole universe conspired towards this.” Besides, the All-knowing Consciousness has always a master-plan and Its steps are only to hasten things towards that larger goal, to bring it nearer. Sometimes it is necessary for all of us (including the treating physicians and care-givers and those who are linked to us through bonds of sentimental attachment and of course ourselves) to go through the pain and the struggle as this may be best under the circumstances and will help all to progress faster. After all, whatever we may say, an illness affects only the body, the outer form, but the soul within is unafflicted and grows as much through the so-called painful experiences as through the pleasant ones. In fact, very often a seemingly painful event has much more power to change our life and its orientation than a pleasant one that keeps us only glued to the surface of life and its small comforts and petty demands. Pleasure is deceptive and often it is detrimental to inner growth. When things are going fine we remain often in a state of excitement or inert complacence, whereas pain shakes us up – we are compelled to think and raise questions and confront ourselves and seek to outgrow our limitations. Yet when we call for help, even when it lets us go through the pain and the struggle sometimes, we can experience a secret unseen Hand supporting us inwardly through the painful passage.