October 18 in the frame of the Day of Spiritual Accord, at 14:00 (GMT + 6), Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan) will host an International conference themed: "Strengthening interfaith and interethnic harmony as an answer to modern world challenges ".
Dr. Bernhard Schweiger, Germany Dr. of medicine - PtC-Germany: Department medicine and spiritual health The Spiritual Element in Medicine The art of healing – ethics and spirituality Healing - a process of awareness If you examine the medical systems of industrialised countries and the university medicine which still dominates them, one thing becomes obvious: The so-called scientific medicine has lost contact to the humanities almost entirely. This kind of medicine has developed into a medicine without any soul, in which people have been degraded to mere objects and by now have mostly developed into objects of financial aspirations. Today, hospitals are usually profit-gaining bodies with their patients as a productive factor. Can a patient still be healed accurately under these circumstances and what was originally meant by healing?
According to different standpoints, there are different levels with regard to healing in itself. In scientific medicine, apart from psychiatry, a patient is regarded as healed, if he ore she has managed to overcome physical symptoms, i.e. with regard to his or her body only. Besides, there is also the concept of healing defects, especially after surgery. The origin of an illness is merely looked at from a mechanical standpoint, looking at the substance level; the same goes for treatment. An illness therefore is seen as a local matter which only affects the person in part; the same goes for the "healing-process". One does not ask for the origin of an illness at a spiritual level and its importance for the concept of a human being.
The psyche of man, in both its mental and spiritual aspects, will only be regarded partially and left for the psychosomatics to deal with.
The definition of a state of health by the World Health Organization goes even beyond: "Health is a state of entire well-being – physically, mentally, socially – and not only the absence of illness or of defects." Thus the WHO has set a landmark as it leaves behind the plain view of medicine with regard to biology only.
The question remains if a human being - who according to this definition is seen as healthy - is also healed. Is healthiness and a state of being healed the same?
Buddhism offers an answer to this question: The state of normal functioning by a human organism is not identical with entire health but only a necessary prerequisite on the path to healthiness from a wider perspective.
What does this mean for a closer look at the essence of healing, of a status of being healed? An answer can be given by looking at the essence of illness from a perspective of humoralpathology. Generally speaking, the cause of illness is seen in an outside agent affecting the human being. The person itself is not responsible for this development but some agent or virus which causes the illness.
19th century French scholar Claude Bernard was the first author in modern science to describe the "milieu intérieur" as the key to sustainability of life. Thus he was one of the first protagonists of homeostasis, the balance of body fluids called "humor". The essence of his 40 years of scientific career reads: "The microbe means nothing, the terrain everything." The knowledge about the biological environment for the growth of illness dates back thousands of years. It points out that every human being is responsible for his or her inner biological environment, for a balanced status of body fluids within his organism. Any germ can only develop into an illness, if this balance is disturbed. Thus illness is a result and expression of disharmony, the fact that the human being has lost its inner balance. Health therefore, can be seen as a status of harmony, of being balanced.
The aim of the human organism can be seen as the wish to re-harmonise this kind of disharmony, of lost balance. The illness itself already contains the impulse for the cure. Maintaining this balance and the capability of regulation go hand in hand with the human constitution and a person’s way of life. Finally this can be seen as an expression of personal awareness, the same way as the personal constitution is an expression of your personal karma, of the law of cause and effect. Thus the origin of an illness coincides with personal awareness and therefore also with its cure.
At this point it will be necessary to look at karma, the law of cause and effect, as it is of key importance for the understanding of crisis and illness. The law says that anything we did or said or thought in former time will have its consequences for our current existence. Some may be subtle, some drastic, some understandable, some incomprehensible, some even hardly noticeable. They will all be modulated by our innate motivation and aim, the quality of awareness which resulted in our behaviour. Our past may be behind us, but we all bear the consequences of what happened in the past, for the future.
The solution will be to become aware of our motivation of life and be aware of the consequences of our thoughts, words, and deeds in this world and in our hearts. Common sense already tells us that negative actions cannot be helpful if we want to lead a life of happiness, harmony and peace. A key path to harmony is the exercise of carefulness. It will make us able to watch our own behaviour without valuation. Thus we can understand our behaviour and get to know about the origin of our illness. Finally, these statuses of disharmonic awareness will become our masters for meditation in showing us which way of living will be suitable for us and which will not.
Every human being is unique. His way of living, his physical and mental potential, also someone’s circumstances of life, parents, people, culture are expressions of his karma, the essence of all experience of former life he takes responsibility for. These circumstances are, strangely enough, the best prerequisites to future development of the human being, although we might not be willing to accept this at first.
Thus we ought to be thankful for our personal life, accept it as a chance for development, not assessing or rejecting its conditions. Every kind of crisis – socially, economically, healthwise – will mean a chance to gain deep insight into all concepts, perceptions, ideas, expectations, wishes. They will all cover the true talents and capabilities of the human essence, which will be needed to free oneself from its boundaries. It comes as a help to all of us, despite all difficulties, all challenges of despair and thoughts of hopelessness, that we are aware of the fact that within all creation the nature of Buddha is present. Everyone of us is able to return to the origin of wisdom and inspiration – by applying sincere appeals to one’s inner self and thus create, understand and feel what the solution will be, what the next step on one’s way back home to one’s inner self has to be.
Therefore healing requires a process of awareness. This process will begin by accepting and understanding the deeper sense illnesses have for our lives – instead of judging and opposing them. The reason here lies in the aim to wake up people and ask them to become aware of the reasons for the disharmony which lead to the illness. These reasons are consequences of the loss of contact with the cosmic order, the source of creation. They are the consequences of egoistic concentration on images, of greed, jealousy, envy, hatred and the unwillingness to understand - and above all of ignorance. The illness is a challenge which is asking us to stop and investigate what the symptoms of the illness are trying to make us aware of, in which way the homeostasis, the harmony of our awareness is disturbed. It is our task to learn about the message of the medical symptoms and to initiate the necessary corrections. This perspective will lead the human being to taking over more responsibility for the illness and its cure rather than handing over responsibility to the therapist. Illnesses are helpers on our way to recover, to restore harmony. Everyone of us has to take responsibility here. Healing will commence if the origin of disharmony in our personal awareness is detected and dissolved. The human body will follow in its regeneration, if necessary it will be supported by natural medication which support the healing forces of the body.
Thus the illness will support the human being to "correct ourselves by using the discipline of awareness, the balancing process of natural medication where it can be applied and the therapeutic support and thereby to focus even more on the cosmic order than it used to be possible before the crisis. This is where I detect the sense of illness and crisis."
The main issue is therefore to bring the human being and his life back to order, more and more into coherence with cosmic laws to live one’s life in harmony with the creation even more. This is be possible by the inspiration which comes with the source of creation. Illnesses and crisis we are facing in life will help us here. They will tell us about what has not yet become aware to us, what is still in a state of disharmony. Thus, every illness and crisis means a chance for development, a chance to proceed to dissolve our fate on our path to healing. This way, we will free ourselves from the egoistic, fatal way of living determined by ourselves, resulting in limitations. Instead we will be able to develop what is our inner potential. This is the path to healing. A person is healed if he or she has dissolved his or her fate entirely. At the end of the way stands the free creative human being in Harmony with creation. This way means a long path which the Sufis call the path of love. If I learn to accept it entirely, it will be my individual spiritual path. Every human being can only take this individual way of development, which equalises his or her karma, in an independent and autonomous manner. Nobody will be able or be allowed to walk this way on our behalf.
The widest ranging support on our way will be the connection to the source of creation, turning one’s mind back to the original knowledge of our inner spirit. This knowledge is part of all of us and the connection will have to be renewed constantly in order to gain inspiration so that the impulses of our heart become part of our existence in real life. This inner source will become the origin of our healing process. The universal key by which to open this connection is the deepest appeal by the human being. And there will be helpers on our way of healing …
A learned healer gives support to someone on his way. Any human being or therapist, no matter whether physician, shaman, non-medical practitioner, physiotherapist, psychologist, pastoral carer, anyone of them can be such a supporter on our way. The therapist will have to be aware that he himself will not be able to cure. He will be able to create and support initiatives, to give impact to a process of healing, but he should be free of any desire to force the human being to take a distinctive direction on his way, but to let the patient make his own decisions. And he should be aware, that as a supporter he should not proceed any further in supporting the patient than he has proceeded himself. If he crosses this line, he would endanger himself and the people he has taken responsibility for.
What we have learned so far is about the unity of healing: Healing means support on someone’s personal way towards healing by application of both, spirit and the intuitive wisdom of the heart. This art of healing perceives the unity of man in his spirit, soul and body. It understands man as a spiritual creature in his origin, which has become ill because of his egoistic separation from the original knowledge contained in the source of wisdom. At the bottom of his heart he longs to be healed and to regain the unity of life.
Johannes Heinz Loeffler, the founder and spiritual leader of the creative center OASE in Neustadt-Rettin near the Baltic Sea who I had the privilege to meet many years ago, by own experience and support of many people reached the fundamental understanding that "Purified awareness means pure love and will heal in the end." This is the fundament of the OASE-healing centre and indeed the fundament for any way of healing.