In any case, whether we live or die, it is pitiable to be all the time worried about the body, to live in a constant state of fear and anxiety. Even if one were to live a little longer one wonders what would be the quality and utility of such a life. It is best to keep an inner quietude, call peace into the system and to take it as an opportunity to work inwardly i.e. within oneself.
It is not easy to achieve this, especially when we are prone to negativity, anxiety and depression even in our ‘normal’ state. It is only if we cultivate a habitually positive attitude in life that we can then extend it to our moments of crisis, such as illness.
There is increasing evidence that we have a great role to play in the healing process, in both minor and major disorders.
Most illnesses (nearly 90%) are self-healing by nature and the system of therapy used really does not matter. Still others can be corrected by lifestyle adjustments, such as diabetes. Out of the other 10%, about 8-9 out of 10 again, are largely contained rather than cured. It is only the 1% where the choice of system makes a sizeable difference.
Different systems do not necessarily speak of different causes but they do speak from different levels, or may use different language. What we need to understand is that each system probes and understands man and his maladies at different levels of existence. They do not contradict but often complement each other.
Man is a transitional being, and illness is, paradoxically, one of the means, disastrous means no doubt, that Nature has chosen. Not caring for establishing a harmony, or even perhaps the survival of the race, Nature seems to be pressing relentlessly towards creating this new type.
The safe rule for the patient is not to discuss the illness with too many persons who will add nothing but misery, even when they sympathise. Only they must know about it who are directly involved with the care.
More often than not, the patient is made to feel as if he is some kind of a helpless victim tied to the stake of life as a sacrificial object. Medical science comes to give him relief but cannot free him from the knots and bonds of fear and anxiety that often tie him in a way worse than the illness.
Any energy let forth into this world is a karma. These energies, once released, go out into the world towards their goals, yet, in the end, they have the tendency to return towards their parent source. We are thus like dynamos all the time receiving and transmitting, attracting and repelling by a law of affinity.
“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.”
If a child is taught that illness is a challenge that we must defeat and can defeat with the help of Grace and not a thing to be dreaded or pampered, then it makes it much easier when we grow up. Given time and encouragement and some material support most illnesses will and do heal.
Illness is primarily an inner disequilibrium, that is, an information and a pointer that something is not quite right in the individual unit of life. A lack of plasticity, this maladaptive lifestyle, this growing restlessness and dissatisfaction with almost everything, this imbalance of life that encourages extremes and not a holistic integral development, this bombardment of forces from near and afar, all this translates itself into one single language – the language of illness.
In a country like India we must encourage alternate systems whose healers were once deliberately marginalised by the British mainly for political purposes. It is time that we recovered our lost confidence and started a systematic exploration of some of the ancient systems and their merits and strengths.
Generally, the patient understands cure as a relief of symptoms. That is his end point, the target he is aiming at. But one can say with reasonable accuracy that cure is not just relief of symptoms but the return of the lost balance and harmony.
If disease is essentially about the disturbance of equilibrium, then health can be defined as a state of equilibrium. But this equilibrium by its very nature cannot be static. The human body is constantly in a state of flux both within and without.
Disease is not just an absence of physical or even mental signs and symptoms but a state of disorder and disharmony, a state of imbalance if we like, that can manifest at any of the levels of our being—physical, psychological, social.