Allergies

14 QUESTION: What is the metaphysical explanation of allergies? For instance, people are often allergic to things they love.

ANSWER: There may be different explanations for this. Generally speaking, it may be simply that the true personality is not allowed to evolve, that a mask is put over the personality and the inner reaction. Or a revolt by the higher self may create certain physical symptoms in order to wake up the person and find out the reason. This is only one possibility; there may be others.

Another possibility is that very often the human soul is torn apart by conflicting desires – one part of the personality wants to go in one direction, and another part in the opposite direction. These desires pull alternately. By keeping the conflict in the subconscious, the soul has failed to make peace with itself. There is a great strain and friction. As long as these currents are not brought into consciousness, so as to be examined and dealt with, as long as their true meaning and motive is not understood, the inner fight cannot be settled.

However, the lower self works against bringing anything out into the open. And as long as the conscious and will directing part of the personality does not take charge, the inner fight and friction goes on. Since all this takes place in the unconscious, what comes out are the symptoms, which may be tiredness, allergies, and various other physical symptoms. These conflicts actually create a short circuit in the soul.

A third alternative is that there may be a shock reaction in the life of a person. This person has put the original incident into the subconscious, and does not consciously remember it at all. A food, plant, animal or some such thing may have been involved, even indirectly. Since the person has this association, he or she reacts accordingly.

The incident may have occurred in childhood, or earlier in infancy, or perhaps in a previous incarnation. It is not always necessary to remember the actual incident, although this can help, too. The main point is that the wrong inner reaction that has created this evil should be cleared away. Whenever anything is repressed into the unconscious, you can be quite sure that some sort of inner wrong reaction has taken place.

 

70 QUESTION: We learn that every sickness, or every symptom of a sickness, is based on psychological reasons. How is it possible that a person has a symptom or a sickness in one country and loses it in another country?

ANSWER: This offers a much stronger indication that the origin is psychological. Such a case may have various reasons. For instance, in one country certain psychological conditions may prevail for the person which do not exist in the other country. Naturally, the conflict is not in the country or the outer environments, but these outer environments may bring the inner conflict to the fore. Something is triggered off in the psyche, entirely unknown to the conscious mind of the person. It may be an association, an emotional climate which subtly affects the personality.

The reason cannot be determined merely by what is outwardly pleasant for the person. Yes, there are instances in which outer hardship becomes so difficult to bear that the psyche puts up a sickness which disappears the moment these outer hardships are removed. But it often works also the other way.

When outer conditions seem most favorable, a sickness manifests and then disappears in a different environment in which conditions are much more difficult. This may be because the real self knows perfectly well what is good and necessary for the development of the personality. Isn’t it often true that only through some difficulty do you become aware of the significance of your inner conflicts?

When difficulties are removed, they continue to slumber in hiding and you cannot do anything to remove the core. Thus, the psyche reacts often to the best interest of the person, because the easy and pleasant conditions cause stagnation, while an unpleasant condition may shake the entire person out of his rut and cause him or her to seek the remedy for the origin of the conflicts.

This general explanation will not suffice for anyone in this predicament. It would be necessary for you to find how these facts apply to you personally, with all their details and variations. Do you understand that?

QUESTION: I understand what you mean, but maybe I did not express myself correctly. This does not seem to apply to the cases I know of. For instance, a person I know suffers from hay fever, but the moment he goes to Europe the hay fever is completely gone. The moment he returns, he has hay fever again.

ANSWER: I cannot see why my words would not apply to this case, generally speaking, but of course, in order to help him, a personal analysis of his unconscious reactions would be necessary. No generality, no matter how true, can ever help a person individually. Since he himself does not know what his emotions convey, no one else can possibly be in the position of saying something does or does not apply to his particular case.

You do not know what goes on in his subconscious – what he is reminded of in Europe, what he associates with his surroundings here, or other factors. But let me ask you this: do the hay fever conditions also prevail at the places he goes to in Europe, while he is unaffected by them? Or would you say that in Europe it just happens that the climatic conditions are not conducive to hay fever? {Yes, absolutely}

Well, if in Europe the climatic conditions are not conducive to hay fever, then it is evident the question is not Europe versus America, but one condition in the atmosphere versus another. He might very well go to a place in this country where climatic conditions of a similar nature exist as at the places he visits in Europe, and he would then also be free of hay fever. In such a case, the inner key does not apply to feelings he experiences in Europe or America, but rather to the entirely unconscious associations he has toward certain manifestations in nature.

One would have to analyze why these natural conditions bring him distress; what was once, perhaps, so painful when he first developed the affliction that his subconscious is constantly reminded of it whenever the atmosphere reproduces similar conditions. Of course, the possibilities are manifold, and as I said, only a personal investigation into the psyche could furnish the answer.

QUESTION: I would like to make an observation about this condition. Medical literature cites cases of persons who left their homes, for example for Arkansas or Arizona, for the relief of hay fever. When they got there, they did find relief. Later, when some particular member of their family would come to visit, the affliction would recur.

ANSWER: Certainly, this is good proof of what I tried to explain.

 

QA121 QUESTION: Can you give me any suggestion about the psychological significance of my allergy apart from what we already found?

ANSWER: Again, I cannot tell you exactly it is this or it is that, because anything like that is a conglomeration of many factors. Most diseases or sicknesses – and most any grave disharmony – are a conglomeration of several factors.

I would say, number one is fear of positive feelings, fear of the healthy outlet of the instinctual nature. Factor number two is complete self-rejection in the erroneous assumption you have no value; and factor number three is the deliberate thwarting of your need for healthy, aggressive pursuits and deliberately stomping them and incapacitating thereby the ego functioning – the healthy, mature ego functioning. All these aspects together form certain symptoms of which one of them is this allergy.

 

QA139 QUESTION: About the psychosomatic troubles, I have developed an allergy against cold for the past five years. The only cause I can think of is the lack of sunshine. I can’t seem to relate this to anything which comes from the soul. Can you help me here?

ANSWER: Oh yes. Yes. I will answer that question on the deepest possible level, for this is the only way it can ultimately help you. But until you can feel – actually feel – and connect the cause I give you with the effect you are aware of, you will have a little more work of self-exploration to do.

The deepest reason and cause is your immense fear of giving of yourself, with all the warmth and with all the inherent love that is in you, but which you fear to give out. And this is what burdens you, in a way, and it is what, through different interim layers of reaction and chain reaction, creates the effect of fear of coldness. You fear your own coldness. You’re guilty about your own coldness.

Now, I do not say that you are per se that way, but it is wherever your inherent warmth is stopped by your fears and by your shames and by your holding back and by your restraint from allowing that real self to manifest. And this you fear. You fear the effect it has on others and what this effect will then ultimately be on you, and then there is also a guilt to that. You are allergic to your own restrictedness.

You see, the actual living out in this allergy is, of course, nothing but a symbolic representation of a psychic condition. You symbolically experience it in so-called reality. To speak from the human point of view, where everything is reversed, where the effect is the reality and the cause is often so remote for the human perception that it ceases to feel real. This is the symbolic picture you experience.

But I venture to say, when you will no longer have these restrictions, outer, physical cold will not have that effect on you any more. The sunshine will come from within yourself, and it will warm you. And that is the way you will then connect it.

 

QA167 QUESTION: I have a question from my daughter. Many years ago you helped her with her allergy and for a long time she was free of this. In this past year, she is suffering very much. Could you show her how to work, where to look, or what it is that’s causing it?

ANSWER: Yes. I would like to say that very often on the Path, as the unconscious material – the heretofore unconscious conflicts – become more open and are almost ready to be recognized in totality by the conscious mind, the symptoms become stronger.

She is in the position of almost being able to see and accept some of her feelings. Some of them are negative; some of them positive. She has come, in many ways, nearer to this acceptance and this understanding of herself and the capacity to experience herself as she is, rather than as she wants to be. She has come nearer.

But where she is still in great need of opening up is the area where she’s most vulnerable, most sensitive, most easily hurt and most defensive. I would say she does not need me or anyone else to say what it is. She knows it. But the rigidity there is tremendous.

Her rigidity responds with either extreme and exaggerated hurt or with an equally extreme and exaggerated insistence of something positive, that she inwardly doubts and that is not quite in the defensive way she sees it. Therefore, I would say, where she is most easily hurt and vulnerable, that is where she needs to let go – to really be ready to see truth, to not be so defensive.

It may seem on the surface and may begin on the surface to be something apparently insignificant to the great questions of the innermost soul. And yet it is, again and again, the insignificant details of life that often give the greatest clues.

All she has to do is seriously question herself where she has this vulnerability, this hurt, this insistence, this rigidity, this defensiveness. And once she tackles it with this openness and says, “In that area where I am so tight and insistent and oversensitive, I want the truth; I want to let go. Maybe my sense of danger there is exaggerated.”

I can guarantee, if she does that, the allergy will lessen to the degree she can accept and let go and be in truth about herself, and understand herself in that area.

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