Body & Health | General

7 QUESTION: If a person who has become convinced of the possibility of spiritual healing, even though he has not yet reached that stage in practice, turns to a doctor for help, does he show a lack of faith? Should he fight the illness without using medical help?

ANSWER: No. Doctors are also God’s instruments. Where a doctor can help, one should go to a doctor. Where he cannot help, one can search for healing in the spiritual way. It is not advisable to focus too intensely on one thing; that is to want something in the wrong way.

Again, it is easy to misunderstand this. To want the overall goal with a healthy will is very important, but to exercise a cramped, over-intense will on a specific detail could be a great obstacle. Illness has different causes. They may be karmic, or they may be the symptom of a distortion in the soul that can be traced to the present life.

Such a symptom cannot be removed while its root remains in the ground. When the root is pulled out, the symptom will disappear. Therefore the problem of sickness must be examined from this point of view. It is not enough to remove the outer symptoms, the sick root must be found in the soul. That is the solution.

 

25 QUESTION: How is it possible that a person on this Path can be so strongly affected by environmental influences? Can you help me in this respect?

ANSWER: Well, I can only help you by showing you how to walk the Path properly, and I am doing that. The reason why environmental influences are strong can be manifold, since there are different reasons for different people. They are primarily psychological. When the soul is strongly influenced by outer happenings of whatever kind, it is a sign that the soul is not yet free from its own entanglements.

If the inner forces are not used according to divine law, the soul is not free. With one person this will manifest in the way the environment affects you, with another it will be different. Whenever the soul is not healthy and mature, certain occasions will bring this out and the soul will produce definite symptoms.

QUESTION: But why do these symptoms occur, as in my case, when there is high humidity in the air?

ANSWER: This happens due to everybody’s different odic forces. The odic force is composed differently in each individual and thus responds to different outer challenges. With one person, the cosmic influences affect the soul more strongly; with others, human influences will have a stronger effect, and so on. If you have this particular sensitivity, it is because in your own way there is distortion in your soul which tends, perhaps, to cause sluggishness and takes the first opportunity to make the soul react in this way.

The soul is such a complicated mechanism that there are no two souls alike. Certain basic problems are alike, but how all these various trends and currents work, what plays into the lower self or what the lower self will use as an excuse to reinforce a negative trait like sluggishness, say, or where the higher self is diluted by currents of the lower self to constitute a mask or subterfuge, varies with each person.

The possibilities are infinite, since no two people react the same way. But the fact remains that this is a sign of a disturbance within the soul. The only remedy is to continue this Path to the very end, to follow this course I have outlined here. If you were entirely purified and healthy, you would not be sensitive to weather or anything else that might come your way from outside.

 

29 QUESTION: A question in connection with war and killing: How are we to regard a conscientious objector who sincerely follows the admonition not to kill and considers the whole of the universe as his fellow-men rather than only the part he is called upon to defend?

ANSWER: In the first place, a man is not defending a part of geography but his immediate fellow-creatures. By refusing to go to war, he may in the long run cause more harm than good. With this I certainly do not wish to give the impression that I advocate war. By no means. But war cannot be eliminated by refusing it. This cancer has to be treated in another way and slowly has to cease in all individuals.

A conscientious objector, provided his motives are pure, will be judged accordingly. Then this will certainly not be held against him, the same as killing in a war by a soldier will not be held against him, if his heart is pure and his conviction sincere. But that does not alter the fact that his judgement is wrong. More precisely, his goal or endeavor is a good one, just as the goal of a sincere soldier may be a good one, but he selects the wrong means to oust an evil.

Refusing to go to war could not be the right curative means against war. For as long as there is hatred within the individual soul, and as long as there is blindness caused through lack of self-knowledge, and as long as people do not purify themselves and strive upward to God, and as long as people cannot refine their feelings, there cannot be peace. It is impossible.

War is an out-picturing of what goes on in so many individual personalities. It cannot be eliminated by collective means alone, well meant as they may be, unless they are supported by the right spiritual attitudes. The cure has to start from within by each individual. Otherwise you will only succeed in eliminating one effect, and another symptom will come.

It is just the same with disease, my friends. War is nothing else but a disease. Your human history and your human science show you how many ways medicine has found to eliminate disease. Many diseases that existed a relatively very short time ago are not possible anymore.

But other diseases have sprung up that you cannot cure, and new diseases will continue to do so until a greater degree of purification exists on this Earth, no matter what wonderful progress science and medicine make. As long as the disease is not cured from within, war or other diseases will exist. If it is not war, it will be something else equally terrible.

In the case of an individual, it is possible to make a mistake in judgement and this in itself is not held against you as long as you are sincere and do not delude yourself and color your motives. You all make mistakes in judgement. People have very firm opinions about any subject from religion to politics.

The moment these opinions are fanatical and inflexible, people should test their real inner motives and then they may find out that these opinions are not as objective as they may have thought at first. If you dig deeply and honestly, you will be surprised how often you find a personal, emotional, subjective reason behind your convictions.

 

53 GUIDE COMMENT: There are many ways of punishing those you love – for instance, sickness. How many people develop an illness to punish their loved ones, to force them to be tender, sympathetic, considerate! Many other forms exist as well.

Find them. If you can recognize yourself from this viewpoint too, it will bring light and fresh air into your soul. Nothing but the realization, the ability to recognize such hidden reactions in the proper spirit, will contribute to your mental, emotional and spiritual health.

 

63 QUESTION: I was wondering about one’s attitude toward sickness. We learn that in sickness we should try to find the right doctors and the right treatments. One fights to get well, not only physically, but mentally and spiritually. How do we reconcile that with the thought that sickness is the result of our breaking some spiritual law and in that sense is punishment. Shouldn’t we say to ourselves, it is right for me to suffer?

ANSWER: No, oh no, no! Of course not. It is not at all to be taken that way, that you are punished because you have broken a law. It is to be approached in a completely different way. I would say the healthiest approach is to find an emotion in you that was at one time or another really, or almost, conscious. This emotion is that you desired to be sick.

True, you did not desire the negative consequences – you received much more than you bargained for. You did, however, desire sickness as the solution of a problem. Needless to say that it is no real solution, but you thought or felt that it was. You chose sickness as a way out. Then this desire got lost in the subconscious, and the unpleasantness became predominant.

Then came the recognition that the solution proved to be false and the conscious wish for health remained on the surface. But actually two conflicting desires battle with one another deep within: the conscious wish for health and the unconscious wish for sickness.

In this part of your psyche you still hope that what you want can happen through your illness, or that you can escape certain unpleasant facets of life by unconsciously choosing to be ill. Or you punish yourself for various guilts by using sickness as a way out, thinking thus to ward off greater punishment to be inflicted upon you by others and not by yourself.

The best approach is to find and make conscious that part in you which chooses sickness as a solution to something that troubles you. When you find it, you can come to terms with it. If you can reconstruct the past and endeavor to remember the moment when the desire for sickness was almost conscious, you will have accomplished a major part of this portion of the work.

At the same time, you will then be able to remove the inner reason for your sickness. But you must find this contrary desire to your conscious one, and become aware of it. That is the first step and the only constructive approach. It is not true that you are the victim of intangible forces inside or outside of yourself that you have no control over.

On the contrary, you can always find that part in you where you wished sickness as a solution, although you did not wish for the problems that the sickness brought along and which the child in you could not foresee.

QUESTION: Then it is correct to seek help through whatever means possible?

ANSWER: Absolutely. You should seek all the physical help possible – and the mental, spiritual and psychological help as well. All work hand in hand. One level is interwoven and connected with another. One should combat it from all sides.

 

69 QUESTION: Is there any connection between sickness and the degree to which you let go of your self-will?

ANSWER: Of course, there is a connection between improved health and the letting go of the inner tension that self-will produces. Any deviation produces an inner tension, whether it is self-will or any other wrong conclusion or erroneous tendency. But sometimes the deviations and tensions are so deep-rooted that they cannot be lifted into awareness to their full extent – at least not entirely in this incarnation. They may be too deeply ingrained and may need continuous work after this life span.

Whatever can be accomplished remains as your asset. It is better to advance by degrees than to give up in despair, saying, “I cannot do it all in this life.” Nor is it right to say, “I have time later, so I need not trouble about it now.” The deeper the damaging tendency goes, the harder it becomes.

It is also conceivable that one relieves an inner tension to the maximum, but the outer manifestation is already progressed too far to relieve the entire sickness. In such a case, a sickness may remain, but the physical and mental suffering will decrease in proportion to one’s inward progress.

It is absolutely possible that you progress as well as can be expected, that your inner will functions most constructively, so that you face yourself fully and then change. And yet illness or other trouble may one day come your way, just as it befalls other people. This may be the product of a problem so deeply rooted that you did not yet have a chance to examine it. But you will have a chance to do so when the manifestation occurs.

 

70 QUESTION: Would you discuss, please, the effect of our mind – that is, our images, wrong conclusions, deviations and so forth – on our physical bodies, its processes, developments, its degeneration through disease and aging, and how we may relate the work on the Path to preserve and further the health of our bodies. Would you tie in the spiritual with this, too?

ANSWER: This is really quite simple. Your wrong conclusions, misconceptions and distortions create an inner world of illusion. They create fears and tensions. This is bound to weaken you first in your emotions, then, when a wrong condition persists long and strong enough, eventually also in your body.

Inner errors cause you to fear life, and therefore – often unconsciously – to wish for death in various degrees. The unconscious desire for sickness is a degree of death. The weakness, resulting from tension and fear, indirectly creates a weakening of the physical body, and directly an unconscious desire for sickness and death.

As the emotions heal, they integrate with the thinking process, instead of being two separate facets. This is strength-giving, provided the two coordinate in truth. Thus, the personality lives in a fearless world. The illusions, being untrue, in the last analysis always create fear and withdrawal from life. When the illusions are gone, the will to live, to be healthy, becomes stronger and stronger, since they are not undermined by the unconscious opposite desires.

As to the second half of your question, there is really no separating line between the spiritual and the psychological nature of the human being. They are separated only in degree. It is an illusion that these two facets of the personality differ from one another.

I will tell you why you are thus deluded. According to the distorted God-image [Lecture #52 The God-Image], people feel that God requires them to be unhappy, to forfeit pleasure and joy, to do something against their innermost self. That is so often at the root of people’s resistance to religion.

Psychology, on the other hand, teaches the opposite. When psychological understanding is properly applied and assimilated, you will become a happier person, but certainly not because you become a more selfish person. Many religious practices, however, will not make you happier. That is why you think there is such a difference between the two.

In reality, divine truth is that you can only be spiritual and find God within yourself if you are happy. But happiness at the expense of selfishness is not the solution. Your aim is to become unselfish out of the conviction that this is what your real self wants and not because you should, that it is expected of you. True happiness, therefore, can only come about by solving your inner conflicts.

 

76 QUESTION: At our lecture on the Bhagavad Gita, it was asked why certain spiritual geniuses, like Ramakrishna and others, were actually very sick physically.

ANSWER: In some cases the reason is – and I do not say this holds true for all – that a highly developed spirit who undertakes a mission on this Earth voluntarily takes on such suffering so as to show humanity that suffering is not so terrible, that it can be gone through and can even enrich life, provided the right spiritual and psychological attitude is assumed.

In other words, as explained to you before, great religious teachers took suffering upon themselves not because it was something they had to go through – this happens too, of course, and then this karma is used in combination with the task – but to prove and show the world to accept suffering and use it for purification, too.

Many people are ready with the excuse that they cannot do the work of purification as long as they suffer, physically or otherwise. This always serves as a pretext. They claim that if they did not have this or that difficulty or pain, they would certainly do it, but this way they are not able to. Great religious teachers want to set an example. This is very important.

If all spiritual leaders and teachers had a perfectly easy life, people would say, “This way it is easy. He has nothing to worry about. He is healthy, his daily bread is taken care of. He can devote his time and energy to such luxuries.”

A leader who sets the example of attaining his goal on the path of development while having his own difficulties brings a great deal more than the mere words of the teachings. Often this is the reason why such very great ones voluntarily choose a hardship, even though it is not in their karma anymore.

It might also be that a karma is still to be paid off and these two tasks – the teaching and the paying off – are combined. We cannot generalize and it is not necessary to know what holds true in which case. It is sufficient to see that it is possible to suffer and to develop at the same time.

QUESTION: Is it correct that Jesus is the greatest example of the one, and Ghandi of the other? Jesus voluntarily accepting the suffering, Ghandi paying off a karma?

ANSWER: Yes, that is right.

 

78 QUESTION: Is there a corresponding organ of the inner eye, located between the two outer eyes?

ANSWER: Yes, my friends. All your outer organs are duplicates of inner organs. In fact, you have more inner than outer organs. Not all of your real organs manifest in the physical body.

 

QA130 QUESTION: You have often said that the universe and everything is contained in ourselves. It occurred to me that the concept of trinity is a symbol of the body, mind and spirit of the human being.

ANSWER: Also, it is a symbol for many things.

QUESTION: Whenever one of these three is being looked upon as less valuable, the marriage of these three into one cannot occur and disharmony must happen. Whether this is advocated by a religion or by an individual through false concepts, isn’t it right that they represent these three elements, and they have to be united into one whole?

ANSWER: Yes. That is absolutely right! Now, where does your confusion lie?

QUESTION: Does Christ represent the body, God the creative mind, and let’s say the Holy Ghost, the spirit? And if so, is the body being crucified, let’s say by the Catholic Church, because Christ was crucified? Thereby the wrong idea comes in that the body has to be crucified in order to be more holy?

ANSWER: Yes. This is quite true, but this misconception has not only originated in the Christian religion. It has existed in the Eastern religions as well. It is a human fallacy, and therefore a very strange ambivalence exists in this Earth in this respect. For, on the one hand, religion – even nonreligions, even the materialistic, atheistic thinking – tends often in the direction of disregarding the body, of feeling the needs of the body are secondary in importance.

For instance, the prudery about physical pleasures is not only attached to religion. It is something so deep-rooted in the mass images that it also applies to as many people who are completely nonreligious. This even goes so far as neglecting the importance of health.

This then, on the other hand, has the other side of the extreme, which is of the over-materialism that cannot think of a self other than in connection with a physical body. The thinking is that when the physical body ceases, the mind and the spirit cease to exist. So you see, you have, on the one hand, an over-glorification of the body by thinking it is all there is to man – by denying the other aspects – while, at the same time, denying its importance.

This is one of those imbalances that is the result of misconception. It is perhaps a parallel of what I said before – that where interdependence is denied, independence must suffer, and vice versa. So it is with this. Where there is one wrong extreme, the other wrong extreme comes about.

QUESTION: If this is so, then actually there are practically no religious concepts which, in an orthodox way, can be followed to real harmony.

ANSWER: Exactly! Well, it has proven itself that it does not do that. The new unifying religion of truth must love the body without the misconception that the body is the whole human being. Only when man will love the body will he not think this is all there is to him. This may sound like a paradox, but it is one of those spiritual truths.

One following now this Pathwork must come, sooner or later, to the point when he must worship the perfection of creation of the whole – the body, the mind, the spirit – not as three independent and separated facets, but as one complete, whole unit, expressing the perfection of Creation.

The bodily pleasures are no less spiritual than the spiritual and mental and emotional pleasures. This worship of the whole, where the one does not interfere or seem to eliminate the other, is the expression of integration that must come from such a Path as this – or any path of truth that unifies the whole individual, that uncovers the perfection of Creation that shows its truth, its beauty, its glory, its freedom, its good news, if I may use this word.

For man fears spiritual development because he’s always somewhere and somehow under the impression – no matter how evolved his conscious concepts may be – that such spiritual unfoldment takes something away from him. So he inadvertently puts the breaks on his growth. He thinks spiritual unfoldment means limitation and being squeezed into a mold. He thinks freedom means being naughty.

Now, my dearest friends, you all come nearer to the realization that to be spiritual means to be happy – not in the far away beyond – and also physically happy. And when you realize that, you will block your progress less and less. You will truly and wholeheartedly want your unfoldment. You have nothing to fear.

Realize the great truth that all the precious goals you could ever want to achieve, and liberation and peace and stimulation, are right within you. You do not have to reach very far and wait indefinitely for experiencing this.

 

134 QUESTION: Regarding the physical functions that are beyond our control, is it this rage and anger, as well as the guilt, that create sickness?

ANSWER: Of course. Let me put it this way: all the destructive emotions that are hidden underground create problems, hazards and difficulties that manifest in the physical, emotional or mental system, or in the outer life circumstances of a person. It is true that these hidden negative emotions – that come from distorted values and wrong concepts – create illness.

But it is also true that the outer self can have access to the inner self to create a state of helpless endurance, instead of correcting, healing, improving and preventing negative occurrences in the future. When one feels one is a victim of fate, of powers outside one’s control, one is likely to overlook the most obvious and direct resources.

The knowledge that the outer and inner self have to cooperate to bring order, harmony, truth and fulfillment will enable people to use their energies in the right direction. It is the inner being that builds, maintains and re-institutes health. Ignoring its presence and its power must make people helpless victims. It is the inner being that can create a constructive life, in which everything is given that is needed from the outside, because no inner barriers exist.

It is the inner person who has to be contacted with the outer, ego faculties of will and mind. This should be done very simply and directly. But what stands in the way must be removed. The removal too, happens faster and more adequately when the inner being is enlisted.

 

QA136 QUESTION: May I ask a question for my daughter? {Yes} I don’t know if I have it clear, but she’s in a great state of confusion. She’s come to you time and again about her fears, asking for your instruction how to work, how to give it up. As she works on it and gives it up, the thing she fears becomes evident. And she goes round in circles, and the fears grow and grow. Then she has the problem in dealing with her children. Either she’s in apathy and lets them go, or she reaches the point where she can’t take it any longer – she gets frantic and goes berserk. So she can’t have a balance. She’s imbalanced all around and constantly living in some fear or another, and mostly sickness. Now, her giving up, as you suggested, seems to be a wrong concept; to give up her fear means to bring it down upon her. Now, could you clarify how she should give up?

ANSWER: Well, in the first place, she can only give up her fear when she understands that being a dependent child is to her disadvantage. She also perhaps has to give up the dramatization of her fear. She should look at it calmly – what it is that she fears – without all that excitement she produces about it. Then work it through calmly, patiently, and not in the state of artificially induced frenzy – that her self-sufficiency is not something difficult.

In the first place she has to find that point in herself in which she assumes self-sufficiency is loneliness, being forsaken, giving up all pleasures, all fun, and all advantages. This completely negative concept is very deeply lodged in her. Since she hasn’t completely pinpointed it into awareness, it is very hard for her to give it up – to give up being a child.

Therefore the fear is very strong that this is demanded of her. Either she has to be all alone or she has to be the dependent child being a prey to that parent whom she cannot control. So both ways are undesirable and both ways are frightening. She has to see the wrong conclusion behind these two equally undesirable alternatives she fears – the state of childhood she fears and the state of adulthood she fears.

That adulthood, self-sufficiency, letting go of self-will and selfishness, all mean to give up, to make herself prey to a very unhappy life, and that is the misconception. If she can see that – she can see, on the contrary, life becomes then open – and this is worked out painstakingly and specifically, she will see how in each area she can take over herself in a healthy, relaxed way, by using the faculties immediately available.

QUESTION: I think in that respect, she has undertaken and accepted a great many responsibilities.

ANSWER: Yes, she has and she has made much progress too.

QUESTION: Yet, she still has this great fear of illness which you have suggested she give up. She gives up the fear, but as soon as she gives it up, down comes the illness. Because to her, giving up something means you have it.

ANSWER: Exactly, she has adopted a completely superstitious defense mechanism. She thinks as long as she fears it, she’s safe from it. It is like a superstition. If she gives up the fear, she thinks she opens herself up. Because she believes it, she then gets it, of course.

 

QA161 QUESTION: I have a question relating to pain and its relationship to my feeling about my own body. I have a number of sort of minor ailments – eye strain and some sort of a peptic ulcer – that I’ve just been living with for a long time. Suddenly I realized, in searching for a question, that these things really annoy me very much. I feel like they’re just going to accumulate more and more as I get older and older – well, you could see the logical progression. {Right!} I don’t feel, number one, I should actually be bothered by these things, and number two, that I should have them. Especially the stomach conditions. And could you comment on this?

ANSWER: Yes, Yes! Of course, each of the conditions has its specific significance in terms of how you violate – unwittingly and unwillingly – the divine truth of living, of life.

You have made a number of very important insights lately. Perhaps one of the most important ones is where you begin to see yourself being frightened of love, of loving, of giving of yourself, and therefore equally of receiving – although, of course, another part of you yearns for it, as it must.

Now, you prohibit the natural flow of life as it wants to go through your body – call it the life force, call it the life energies, call it what you will, call it love – it is all the same; it is all a part of the creative substance of life.

You undermine this flow of living by the wrong conclusions that have taken hold of you. These make you believe that love is dangerous and you are not safe when you give of yourself; when you allow yourself to expand toward another person; when you allow yourself to have a favorable and positive approach to people. This seems like a danger to you. Therefore, you cut off the vital flow of life – of love – which is also naturally the flow that gives health. He who cannot love cannot really be healthy in the long run.

Yes, every creature is born with a certain amount of energy, which still flows, even when love and life are violated – up to a certain point. But this energy will exhaust itself sooner or later, if it is not replenished by remaining in and compatible with the universal flow of being which is truth and love.

The truth is that love is the key to all life and the only safety there is. That is the great truth. It is up to humanity to discover this truth. Before this truth can be discovered, you need to discover where, within the depths and recesses of your being – not at first conscious to you – you violate this law of truth and love. And every single human being does.

In every single human being there are areas where these laws are more or less violated, where instead of love, there is the stinginess of withholding of oneself. Instead of fairness and of wanting to give as much as one wishes to receive, there is the one-sided desire, deep and secret to your conscious mind in many of you, “I want to be loved, but I will not give anything of myself.”

And all these violations invariably put you into bondage – the greatest bondage being that you cannot possibly love yourself whenever you violate these laws, whenever you want to retain unfairness in your dealings, no matter how secretly this exists. In fact, the more secret this is, the more devastating the effect.

The more you are capable of seeing this in you and acknowledging it – and perhaps openly admitting that you are not yet in sufficient possession of knowledge about yourself and the universal truth – the more the feelings that go with it will be able to change. But you would like to change, and seeing this to that extent – even while you’re still in the deviation – some of the vital forces can begin to flow freely within you. This is what is happening now with you.

Every ailment has a symbolic significance. The eye strain symbolizes, in your case very distinctly, that you do not see reality. You see reality in a distorted way; you are blind to reality. You are blind to the reality that love is not dangerous. You are blind to the reality that you believe people are your enemies. You are blind to the reality that you must ward them off, that you must dislike them in order to be safe. You are blind to these facets of reality. And this expresses itself on the most outer level of seeing, which is a strained eyesight.

Your stomach problem is the violation you do to yourself by holding back the best forces of love and pleasure, of giving and receiving. Therefore blocks create a stoppage of the vital flow of life. As you go on in this Path and you eventually, little by little, allow truth and love to prevail in your body and in your soul, to that extent those ailments will diminish and disappear, my friend. Do you understand?

QUESTION: Yes, I perhaps also wanted to mention that I feel an overreaction to some of my pain. Perhaps this is in a way related to the news I was given at an early age.

ANSWER: Yes, that is true!

QUESTION: That I’ll feel I just can’t tolerate it. I’ll do anything to alleviate it at the moment, whether this means taking tranquilizers or whatever.

ANSWER: Now you see, this is very directly related to your rejection of love and life. It is precisely because you cannot tolerate anything that is against your wish. You cannot tolerate frustration, pain, criticism, and not having your way or will immediately.

It is these intolerances which are responsible for your denying yourself the flow of life, for cutting yourself off from it. Something in you knows perfectly well it is impossible to cope with other people and therefore with love if you falsely believe it is a tragedy when you do not have your way, it is a tragedy when you have a little hurt.

Because of that belief, you cut yourself off from life; and because you cut yourself off from life, you incur the hurts that you would not otherwise have, which is very typical of the laws of life. For every error creates a behavior pattern. Every error creates a false fear, and the false fear brings precisely that which one wants to avoid at all costs. It is always that way.

Here you have a living example of this truth. Because you falsely fear hurt, you act in such a way that you must be hurt. Because you falsely fear that hurt will devastate you, you devastate yourself by denying the laws of love and truth.

So perhaps the first thing you can learn is an inner soul movement with these aches and pains. Instead of cramping up against this soul movement, you can open up to it, relax into it, as it were, and you will see the illusion of the fear.

You will experience the truth – not as a theory but as a living truth – how pain and pleasure are one on the dualistic plane and become only pleasure on the unified plane. Do you know what I mean?

QUESTION: Yes, you’re saying that I should just simply let myself go and flow with the pain.

ANSWER: Yes, try it at least when you meditate. You will not be able to do it at all times yet, but you will certainly be able to do it in minutes. Lie down, relax, and feel your pain. See yourself reacting to that pain, as you do as a rule, by cramping up, by putting all your vital, inner systems into a cramped state. Then you will see it is the cramp that hurts you, not the pain itself, as you let go of the cramp.

 

QA171 QUESTION: How do my attitudes affect my health, and what can be done?

ANSWER: In the first place, anxieties and guilt must always create inner tensions and constrictions that affect all sorts of physical aspects of a body. In addition to taking medical care of yourself – but which is only treating the symptom, and treating the effect rather than the cause – I would suggest that you search for what is deeply lodged in you: emotions you have not become aware of as yet, and feelings you do not know about or only vaguely sense.

If you can learn to face these feelings and accept these feelings and learn to cope with them, you will find liberation. You will increase healthy energy in your body as well as in your psyche. This is, of course, a general answer, but so is your question a general one. In spite of the fact that it is general, it is nevertheless specific, and if you so desire, you can truly make use of it.

 

QA171 QUESTION: May I ask you a question on a physical condition?

ANSWER: Well, it depends. If you want a direct diagnosis on it, no, this is not the place. If you want a possible tying up with the mental or emotional processes, I may be able to answer you. What is the question?

QUESTION: Having had digestive troubles and having had x-rays taken, my doctor sent me to a specialist, and I agreed I need an operation. However, a third doctor thought I should not have the operation. The schedule for February with the doctor who was supposed to operate took sick and it’s put off until April. What do you think?

ANSWER: Well, I do not ever give this kind of advice. My advice is to consult doctors, and pray for guidance so that you will be led to the right doctor. Medicine is a partial expression of truth and actual help, and it should not be dispensed with. You will get the right advice and the right guidance if you truly ask for it.

 

QA177 QUESTION: A friend’s mother is in the hospital. She had a heart attack and she just told me that this moment. Could you give her any spiritual help to help her mother?

ANSWER: The only thing any person can do to help oneself and others is one’s own growth. There is no specific thing at a specific time other than the usual consideration. If the consideration does not defeat one’s own right to live, this and human love that can be given honestly should be given, yes.

The only thing I warn of here is sentimentality and a reverting back to old guilts that closed doors. Sickness is a life phenomenon that is self-created as everything else – just as life and death are self-created. And there’s nothing to be morbid about. If such an occurrence serves the purpose to bring forth rigidities, denial of self, and old guilt, it is not advisable. It can very easily be confused with love, and of this I warn.

 

QA178 QUESTION: I’ve recently moved into a part of my life where I’m very happy and very fulfilled with my work. I feel such love for other people, but besides that I’ve been plagued with sickness. It’s a superficial sickness that comes and goes very quickly. It’s as though my body were saying I’m paying for the good things that are happening. Can you tell me something about this?

ANSWER: Yes. Well, you said it yourself, actually. There is something in you that does not want to be happy. Or it wants it, but at the same time, it feels undeserving of it and actually even afraid of it, because happiness and unfoldment and involvement always mean courage.

Happiness requires much more courage than unhappiness. Happiness means risking, or apparently risking. It means going out on a limb. It means involvement. It means paying the price for living and not wanting one’s little safe corner where one gets by with noninvolvement. All of that makes a human being so often content himself with very little, with a very small framework, and it makes him feel more secure in a very stagnant situation.

But, of course, such an inner attitude is always endangered, because the unhappiness or the unfulfillment always requires such a precarious balance that can never be attained. For there’s always a discontent that lurks immediately on the other side of the balance. So there’s only one way to go and that is to explore what it is in you that makes you feel afraid of expansion, afraid of fulfillment, afraid of your good feelings within your own body.

Your body does not tolerate good feelings, so it closes up the gates to them by becoming ill. Now, are you in any kind of path where you have the help and the guidance to lead the way toward your innermost being?

QUESTION: I have help I’ve gotten in this Path.

ANSWER: Are you in any kind of relationship with a Helper?

QUESTION: Yes.

ANSWER: Well, then, you can go deeper. Go and explore this further, because that is really the reason.

QUESTION: How does one deal with the illness when they have it?

ANSWER: In the first place, you do physically whatever is reasonable. You try to take care of yourself on a material level to the best of your ability. I do not hold with the negation of physical attention. On the contrary.

Although often it is not advisable to use too many drugs and chemicals, with some exceptions, of course. As a rule, seek ways to eliminate the outer symptoms by doing it in a wise way. Yet, you have to always realize that the physical illness is nothing but a symptom. In order to really go deeper, you should be aware of this.

You should want to go to the roots that cause the symptom, which is to be found within your own mind, within your own psyche. You have to go deeply enough where you know that you want this illness. And sometimes it is not as unconscious as it may appear on the surface. You may encounter fleeting thoughts which you are apt to put away. But they’re there.

You can perhaps ask yourself questions: “What is really my advantage in this illness? What do I get out of it? What can I avoid by being ill?” And then you can probe deeper and see that there must be something in you that wants it and invites it, for otherwise you would not have it. This is my advice.

 

QA182 QUESTION: I would like to know how to improve my health so that I would enjoy life in very good health.

ANSWER: Well, in order to improve your health, you will have to first understand the meaning of ill-health. What does it convey to you? It is not something that happens out of nowhere, out of nothing. It is not coincidental nor is it some punishment.

It expresses an attitude – perhaps a fear, perhaps a desire – unconscious to your being. Perhaps you unwittingly, unknowing to your conscious being, deny the life-flowing energies of your physical and emotional and mental body and prevent the spiritual influx into all these bodies. Perhaps you fear the very life-giving energy on some deep level due to some misunderstanding of the implications of them.

These are the things you will have to explore. And, of course, one needs help in doing so. You will have to listen very intently into the subtleties of your emotional expression, into how and to what extent you fear and deny the life-giving forces, for otherwise there would not be ill health.

The degree in which health can be reestablished depends entirely to what degree you can first connect yourself with these inner voices in you that halt the life flow. If you are totally oblivious of this, the work will be a little harder than if you have some kind of inkling of what I am talking about here.

 

QA240 QUESTION: I recently learned that I have some problems in my colon and in circulation, my arteries. This is causing me embarrassment and shame when I think about even admitting or having these conditions. I also feel that good things are happening. I have learned a lot about human feelings, and I feel grateful for the guidance. I also feel connected with the part of me that threw the temper tantrums when I was about three when my mother went to the hospital and refused to want to live. And I’m wondering if I need to make more connections. I do feel the part of me that hangs on to the craziness of my mother and wanting to be like her.

ANSWER: Yes, there is a part on the historical level, but there is an ongoing, dynamic level right now where there is a part in you where you deny. You deny, for example, what you said, namely, the shame – it is a denial. It is a denial of your imperfections; it is a denial of your human limitations. But also there is denial of anything that frustrates you.

The temper tantrum now exists on a very subtle level – a very, very subtle. You would really have to go deeply into concentrating and focusing on the painful condition and observe the cramp against the pain – whether that pain is actually a physical one or whatever other symptoms it may at any given time send forth. There is a cramping and then you need to translate the meaning of that cramp – the words, the message, the consciousness in that cramp.

You will then hear, as it were, yourself saying “I must not have this, I will not have this, it should not be there, why should it be there” – words to such effect. Now that is the cramp and the cramp is the painful condition.

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