Alternative medicines are fast gaining acceptance in the western world, partly as a result of the rising awareness of the effect the body has on mental health, and the effect the mind has on physical health. In years gone by a sick person went to the doctor to get a prescription for a magic pill that somehow knew which part of the body to heal. Now a sick person can choose from a wide range of treatments. Acupuncture, meditation, relaxation therapy, massage, physio-therapy, herbal medicines, magnets, aroma therapy, color therapy, essential oils and many more. Traditional medicine tries to find a physical reason for all disease whereas in the alternative medicines, physical health and mental health are very much tied together. This is now being acknowledged in western medicine with the result that more and more doctors are becoming skilled in the alternative methods, to increase their effectiveness in treating patients.
The new awareness is that disease - physical or mental disharmony - occurs when the flow of the life force through the body is impeded in some way, and the various alternative methods are attempts to clear the blockage, allowing the life force to again flow freely and repair the damaged area. The life force is known by various names, such as the Absolute, electromagnetic energy, bio-energy, the Spirit of God, and so on, but what we call it doesn’t change it in any way. It is what it is.
Such a wide choice of treatments can be confusing, like trying to choose toothpaste in a supermarket, but all alternative treatments have one thing in common; they basically aim to restore health by freeing up the flow of the life force into and through every part of the body. To the Chinese, the life energy (chi) is split into two, the yin and the yang, and has to not only flow freely but must do so in a balanced way. The various Chinese methods restore the free flow of chi and balance yin and yang to restore physical and mental health. .
From biology we know that every cell in the human body is identical in that it contains all the information required to form a complete human being, and yet each cell is restricted to interacting and communicating with the cells in its immediate vicinity to form a particular body part, perhaps the left big toe or the right ear,. And the cells achieve this without having any idea what a big toe or an ear is; each only knows how to communicate with the cells around it. Each cell retains its own identity, its individualism, and each has needs that must be met at the same time as it communicates and cooperates with all the cells around it so they too meet their needs and achieve their task. None of the cells in a group would know that a human body would result from their cooperative achievement to form skin, nor would the groups of cells forming nerves, or veins, muscle or bone know the end result
Instead of exchanging words, the communication between cells takes the form of a free-flowing exchange of the energy of life, with each cell not only receiving the energy but acts as the channel supplying the energy to all the cells it comes into contact with. Cells wither when blockages occur that stop this flow of the energy of life, and if the blockage continues to cause cells to wither, a diseased area develops. A serious blockage can lead to serious disease and even to death. The various alternative medicines and methods attempt to get rid of the blockage to allow the life force to flow to the damaged area and restore it to health. A deliberate attempt to do this is called ‘taking restorative action’.
In the bigger picture, people with a holistic worldview regard all people as being joined together to form the one ‘body of humanity’ or what Christians refer to as the body of Christ, and each person’s health is of equal importance in contributing to the health and welfare of the whole body. Using this analogy, everything said before about the importance of each cell in providing a path for the free flow of the life force to other cells in the human body applies in the body of humanity. Each cell in the body of humanity is then relying on all other cells to deliver what it needs, and is relied on by others to provide a path for the free flow of the life force to them.
Blockages are more visible in the body of humanity and take many forms. There are blockages in communication, money and possessions. There are blockages in the free distribution of the earth’s wealth or food resources. Governments and individuals accumulate huge fortunes while millions starve to death. Foreign governments and commercial interests extract the mineral wealth from countries like West Papua and turn a blind eye to the violations of the rights of the indigenous people. Along with the tangible effects of these blockages of the life force, there are the emotional and psychological effects on the sense of importance and belonging that come from people feeling they matter, or don’t matter, to the rest of the world. Some governments are being dragged screaming and kicking into doing something about the adverse effects industry is having on these people but it seems to happen only after the exploitation has been made public knowledge, or when there is a real danger of losing power if they don’t appear to be doing something.
Groups of cells in the body of humanity sometimes use force to clear these blockages but too often they are not intent on freeing up the flow of the life force to benefit all parts of the body. They are intent on taking control of the blockages for their own benefit and have little or no regard for the health or welfare of others. For example, armies highjack food supplies meant for the relief of famine-affected areas, sell it on the black market and pocket the proceeds.
Communication blockages rip marriages apart, disrupt family life, wreck businesses, and cause conflict in all sorts of relationships, including international conflicts. Blockages in understanding, tolerance and openness to the truth of others lead to people becoming prisoners in castles of beliefs, blindly defending them and cutting off all efforts to seek reconciliation. The behaviour of many members of the three ‘religions of the word’ provide a classic example of this type of blockage. A free flowing of compassion, understanding and forgiveness is essential in establishing quality relationships and therefore to good mental and physical health.
A happy and healthy cell in the body of humanity is one that receives its share of the life force in the form of food, shelter, clothing and security and allows that energy to flow freely to all those around them. If every cell successfully did that, every part of the body of humanity would enjoy physical and mental health.
Like the body cells cooperating to form a big toe, we don’t know what we and those around us are actually here to achieve, but even though no one knows the meaning of life, we can know what gives life meaning. Life only has meaning when we have a goal to strive for. There has to be a reason for getting out of bed each morning, and so nature has provided us with a goal that gives life meaning for as long as we live. The goal is simple but we have to be constantly alert for distractions if we are to succeed. We are distracted by all sorts of goals that complicate life but, since we are all equal, the primary goal set by nature is the same for each of us. My primary life-long goal is to rid myself of all blockages to the free flow of the Spirit in all its forms. That is the best way I can influence and assist the flow of the energy to and through others. I have no direct control over the flow through others. I can only hope to control the flow through myself, so it is available for others. It is sufficient, and difficult enough, for each person to strive to regard each other as equals, and adopt some norms of nature that are in conflict with the norms of society. This means to rid oneself of the blockages caused by competition and revenge in all its forms, and turn towards assertive achievement and restorative action.