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.