In 1985 my father was diagnosed with cancer, he died two years later. He was only 59. A couple of years prior to his diagnosis, he split a 25 year business partnership, which left him with a strong sense of resentment. He was of the opinion that the split had been unfair . Now I can’t conclusively say that his state of emotion caused his cancer, but after 35 years of being in the health profession, I have seen many cases of chronic diseases emerging within two years of a significant emotional trigger. Major emotional triggers often suggest a significant deterioration of relationships. This whole notion can be seen in the etymology of the words health and disease.
Connection vs Separation
The word health originated from the Old English haelp, meaning ‘wholeness’ which shares the same root as the Old English hal, which also means “to be whole”. This includes other words, like haelan, which means “to heal” and halig, meaning to be ‘holy or scared’. It could be determined that the etymology of the word health implies divine relationship. Inversely, the word disease comes from the Latin root. The first syllable ‘dis’ means ‘not’. The second syllable ‘ease’ shares the same latin root as the word ‘comfort’ adjacens. From this word arose the word ‘adjacent’ meaning ‘nearby or next to”. The origins of the words health and disease both an ease of comfort comes from being nearby or next to someone or something, therefore a ‘quality of relationship’. Simply put, health is about connection through relationship, and disease is about separation from relationship.
A clue to relationship qualities needed for health and healing can be found in an excerpt from the Sermon on the Mount, “…at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their hearts …” healing would occur. The eyes, the ears and the heart are the sensory tools of awareness. This suggests that by being committed to staying aware, healing occurs. Awareness observes without judgment or meaning. It just observes with the eyes, ears and heart. The instant you bring meaning through judgment you engage the mind. In awareness, stillness emerges, in judgment, drama presents. Stillness is the matrix of connection, and drama the ground substance of separation.
Invariably, our drama arises out of our story, a set of beliefs and attitudes that were typically conceived during our formative years. With the passage of time, the once pliable fabric of our consciousness becomes more rigid, out of which emerges our fears and expectations. To ensure our survival we protect ourselves through judgments and meaning we give to the people and situations that turn up in our life. The ‘us’ and ‘them’ perspective of separation that our filters create is the foundation of disease. It is the prima materia of the alchemist. Like the alchemist, the journey is in finding the lapis that will turn the prima materia, into gold. In this context, the lapis is awareness. The lapis is how we heal. From awareness emerges stillness, and from stillness, divine flow blesses our lives physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. That is the gold of the alchemist. Take notice that the key to alchemy is that the prima materia, the base substance is discarded, it’s all converted into gold. As someone once said, ‘God don’t make no junk’.
A Small Challenge
Have you ever had an experience where you perceived it to be one thing, only to find out it was something totally different. Some of you may be familiar with the recent Facebook anomaly regarding the black/blue, gold/white dress. It’s colour was in the eye of the beholder. Philosophically, how we perceive what we observe is referred to as selective remembering. This suggests that there is a choice about how we perceive what we observe (the glass half full scenario). Your challenge this week is to become aware. During the next drama you encounter, become aware of other ways of perceiving what you are observing or experiencing. Go a step further and step back and just observe what is happening without applying a meaning or judgment. We may not be able to choose the circumstances that we find ourselves in, but we can choose how we relate to or perceive those circumstances. Peace is a choice. Healing is the consequence of peace.
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