Metaphysical Healing: Alternative Therapies and Their Spiritual Foundations

Metaphysical Healing: Alternative Therapies and Their Spiritual Foundations

1. Introduction

What has healing to do with caritas? What does compassion have to do with self-knowledge? This book is only minimally about the alternative forms of healing available to support each of us in the ongoing process of self-knowing. It is mostly about the spiritual traditions and perspectives that underlie those alternative forms of therapy, spiritually-based therapies that can be gentle but also deeply purging of the many different layers of our psycho-spiritual and physical existence. As long as we continue to search only for the symbols that do not appear different or strange and demand of an alternative therapist that they have this or that diploma framed on their wall, we are backing up our present approach to existence. We back up the mass-produced processed goods and the mass-produced processed spiritual goods of the churches.

Health of body and mind is a fraught issue in the world today, and indeed through the centuries. Millions of dollars are poured into the pockets of well-fleshed corporations mass-producing canned serums, pills, and tablets – fast food of another kind – and topped off by plastic surgeries and silicon replacements. At the same time, people are left empty of real caring and knowledge about their physical, mental, and spiritual selves. Indeed, the paradox is that we as human beings, bone of the Earth's bone, flesh of her flesh, blood of her blood, have so little interest in knowing ourselves deeply, have so little faith and love for ourselves, that we can allow the mass manufacturers to sell us "cure-alls". And of course, it isn't just the cure-alls that are mass-produced. Even our acts of compassion and caring have become mass-produced – caritas packaged as a commodity, a charity case.

1.1. Overview of Metaphysical Healing

Therapeutic touch practice may be based more on intuition or psychic abilities than the current state of physics. Since the practitioner is touching an energy field and not a physical body, sooner perhaps than turning to physics, medical practice may find it necessary to show good evidence that humans possess an energy field that contains the complete DNA encoding of the host organism (or else some other structuring that is presumed to be viable if the layers of matter are less disturbed than modern instruments normally penetrate when approaching the body walls). Animal healing is also an area of some interest in this context. If standard matter physics interacts with this new domain more strongly than current evidence suggests, we must consolidate the very successful standard/alternative medical partnership. We must work out how to address future policies for health care delivery from several different angles, one of which should be the cost-effectiveness of various diagnostic and treatment options.

Hydrotherapy has a hydrological basis and may have considerable value in terms of pain relief, probably simple dilution of chemicals, plus some benefit from created relaxation or realignment of energy flows. Light, color, crystals, magnets, and sound healing, plus various types of touch sensitivity are sometimes but not invariably argued from spiritual foundations and also find a place in this metaphysical spectrum. The various activities of arming include creating the ability to become both offensive and/or defensive.

Meditation therapy is the possible continuation by other means of early hypnotic trance healing. Holistic health emphasis is on emphasizing wholeness, though some practitioners see holistic health as yet requiring complete nonmaterial treatment. Therapists have a requirement to be holistically healthy themselves. The psychic side offers some of this alleged spiritual influence. Therapeutic faith healing, alleged by some to have either spiritual or flaky intellectual origins, is often seen as humanly bestowed godly power.

Astrological healing is seen as providing another of the spiritual sides of reality, emphasizing the spiritual planets. Predictive astrology and diagnosis are the manifest side. Some of this spiritual healing is done through affirmations and thought control. Other spiritual practices treat the subject before birth or after death. Hypnotherapy offers a variety of approaches. The medical cure emphasizes the power of mind influence. In some hands, confession of sin can be required before a healing trance is heard.

Some light may be thrown on the various methods and movements by considering uniting aspects. The nineteenth, early twentieth-century movement known as Christian Science (and its spinoffs) predominantly omits material methods in favor of spiritual metaphysical healing and clearly should qualify for serious consideration in connection with understanding the spiritual basis of therapeutic effects. Its emphasis is on individual realization of reality as spiritual rather than reliance on a humanly perceived material reality. This is seen as the right, spiritually proved avenue to health. Such spiritual truth is seen as the all-powerful persuader. The Christian Science literature is claimed to contain some account of many healing experience achievements through this practice. Some reports are verified by medical practitioners who have examined and/or treated the CS patient.

To appreciate some of the variety of alternative therapies and their spiritual foundations, this chapter presents a thumbnail sketch of several alternative healing methods that include both hands-on and hands-off approaches. It is generally the hands-on methods that are most controversial, and it seems that the greater the force applied, the louder the critics.

2. Historical Background

"In shamanic or spirit medicine, it is believed that an illness often results from foreign energy that has entered the body, or perhaps from part of the soul that has been lost. Such energy is often perceived as the malevolent manifestation of an angry spirit which must be journeyed to, and then healed, to bring peace to the recipient" (Wesselman, 1990). These foreign energies can also be the supernatural forces that cause disease, such as the evil eye and curses from people who wish ill to others. The shaman works in the spirit world or in a trance state.

Shamanism is the shaman's ability to see and care for the spiritual aspects of the person before the elemental, the chemical, the structural, and the emotional and mental layers - as important as these are. Their role is that of the healer of the spirit, who must return to health that part of the person which has become lost or weakened or has wandered away. The shaman does not work alone any more than the surgeon works alone in the West. The shaman relies on the strength of the spirit - knowledge and assistance from the natural and spiritual realms.

The main traditional healing systems of the world have been spiritual and/or metaphysical in nature. These traditional systems are widely recognized and are used in several Western countries, in addition to many Third World countries and especially Eastern countries such as India, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Pakistan, the Middle East, China, and Japan, and in Africa. Shamanism, which is the oldest known healing system, is used by many tribal cultures.

2.1. Ancient Practices and Beliefs

The universal concept of the essential imbalance between the opposing principles of good and evil was universal and was acknowledged in various ways. It was very much recognized in ancient societies, such as Egypt, Persia, Babylonia, India, Greece, Rome, and others, each of which developed its own theories as to how the universe was at all created. After a number of religious thoughts and practices that all shared a common intention, the Greeks began to develop the ideas that were to evolve into more modern medical practices. The Greek spiritual-philosophers, the most notable amongst whom were Pythagoras, Empedocles, and even Hippocrates, held certain beliefs that were bound up into two absolute powers. These people believed that all of the functions of the body were controlled, not by the body itself, but by the divine power of energy. The divine or spiritual power, known variously as the gods, the vital force, or the energy force, was believed to be represented in a higher spiritual form and at the lower physical form. Rehabilitation was therefore possible, within and without, when the necessary flow of vital force resumed its natural order of action.

Before understanding the metaphysical foundation for ancient symbolic healing, it is necessary to appreciate the ways in which the people of ancient times held both their beliefs and their philosophies. In ancient times, people held what we would call today a more unified view of the universe. They saw the physical, mental, and emotional components of humanity working together, blending into a single whole being, in wonderful ways that modern people seem to have forgotten. The ancients knew that each process within the body was controlled by the brain via the medium of the mind, and that subtle changes easily came into play when the body was nudged. They appreciated the oneness of their humanity with the universe, and they knew that, when a body, a mind, or a spirit was out of balance, something was needed to get things back together again. The guidelines were there, and they were in many ways simple and straightforward. Striking the balance was what was required to bring about healing, and the different methods towards bringing healing were well-known and without disparity.

3. Key Concepts in Metaphysical Healing

The distinction is as follows: In the case of medication, the symptoms are treated to minimize the dis-ease associated with the disease, and the underlying causative factors are then given time to find a suitable vehicle by which they may express themselves in the physical dimension of the being, and usually by that time the symptoms have quite disappeared and the medication is discontinued. In the case of miraculous healing, the etiological cause of distress has been dissipated by some form of healing, and the symptoms of dis-ease are then no longer necessary, and they therefore also disappear. The removal of the symptoms of dis-ease associated with the disease has taken place as an unforeseen bonus when the patient is returning to an ideal state of wellness.

In the field of metaphysical healing, persons are considered from the broader holistic perspective, that is, as totally integrated beings. Thus, the sum total of physical symptoms associated with disease is considered to be the physical manifestation of factors associated with other levels of being. In herbalism, full cognizance is taken of the individual's thought processes, emotions, spiritual development, life purpose, and lifestyle when considering therapeutic intervention. It is understood that the metamorphosis required to cause a histogenic cell to be able to differentiate into the appropriate function it is to perform, if the body is to be healed, does not occur by the action of medication, but by some form of ministry which dissipates the etiological cause of the stress. All healing practitioners should not forget that it is the spiritual dimension of the being that interfaces with the physical person to produce the symptoms of dis-ease associated with disease. Medication usually merely masks the symptoms, and the miraculous healing that may have occurred.

3.1. Energy Fields and Chakras

Traditional medicine disregards the emotional, mental, astral, and higher vibrational components of the human body, while alternative therapies look to these bodies to find the roots of disease and discomfort. There is also an electromagnetic field of the Earth, which is an energy force that moves and undulates like the human aura. Yin and yang energy continually flow to and from the human aura and Earth's atmosphere. The aura is the invisible, subtle energy field that surrounds and interpenetrates the physical body, radiating colors off the body. Each body has a different radiance and color. The colors from the layers are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and white. The first layer is red and expands out to approximately six to nine inches from the physical body. The second layer is orange and expands out between approximately one foot overall (or sometimes as far as three feet) but then retracts underneath the layer that comes next, and so on up the layers. This is the human's electromagnetic field, which is subtle radiation composed of energy points within and surrounding the physical body and flowing throughout the universe and creating the living force of the planet.

Energy fields are subtle energies that exist in all matter, with energy fields interpenetrating and surrounding the physical body. As stated earlier, the body has seven layers. The first layer is the physical body that is the solid, liquid, and gaseous anatomy of humans. The second layer is the emotional body that establishes feelings and the ability to experience deep connection with others and with life itself. The third layer is the mental body that conveys thoughts and belief patterns that make up self-identity. The fourth layer is the astral body that contains our karmic history in this life and from our past lives. The fifth layer is the etheric template body that is the first of the three bodies of pure, higher vibration and is a composite of all the etheric subcomponents in the lower four bodies. The etheric body is responsible for tying all levels of the fourth-dimensional being and the physical body together through the receptor system on the skin. The sixth layer is the celestial body, which contains the subtle vibration that activates the soul nature of humans, which helps to create neutrality. The seventh layer is the library of soul learning, which helps the other bodies hold energy for humans on the physical plane.

4. Alternative Therapies in Metaphysical Healing

The laying-on-of-hands is the universally recognized discipline. This may be done through the metaphysical transmission of energy to the ailing body, balancing the troubled mind, psychological counseling, and the treatment of the ailing tree, the ill pet, and damaged relationships. Inherently unable to traumatize an individual, the laying-on-of-hands is most often offered to that group of individuals who are: the cancer victim, the immunosuppressed patient, an individual who is afflicted with a psychosomatic-based 'syndrome' or the one whose mysterious ailment is yet to be acknowledged or treated by Western medicine.

There are a number of alternative therapies employed in metaphysical healing. Some of these therapies are variations of Western treatments. Others originate from the East and have been employed there for centuries. Some are mystical in origin and have been formulated into treatments by modern thinkers intent on restoring the traditional Western healing practices; their concern is with either religious tradition or with creating alternatives where no universally acceptable alternative appears to exist. Those therapies requiring only a flowing conversational relationship of healer and victim in order for cure to be achieved will not be included.

4.1. Reiki and Energy Healing

In Reiki, participants reclaim the healing power that they already possess. A Reiki treatment establishes a flow of energy that restores well-being, minimizes pain, helps in transformation, clears toxins and wastes, calming the body and mind. Reiki can be applied to others by making physical contact, near or at a distance. This requires formal preparation and instruction by a certified and qualified practitioner. In addition to the sessions, the method suggests taking of life precepts as guides for personal evolution in tranquility and honesty. The practitioner becomes a channel of focused energy through the use of special symbols. The symbols are a method to strengthen the transmission. Reiki is now performed worldwide, although sometimes not completely integrated with the millenary spiritual foundations that inspired its discovery and meaning.

Reiki (Rye-key) is an ancient form of hands-on energy healing, based on the belief that every living thing contains a special energy that strengthens and heals the body, striving for balance always. The spiritual origins of the Reiki system have Japanese beliefs connected to the Chinese "Tao" philosophy and to the ancient patterns of the Reiki secret Tibetan formulas.

5. Spiritual Foundations

Holistic healers are traditional or alternative practitioners who recognize the limitations of a purely material or purely physical approach to disease and who have the ability, inspiration, and courage to take healing, health, and life in a more spiritual direction. They live life with love of self and regard for others, as well as love for nature and respect for life, as their behaviors demonstrate. They see connection between themselves and others, as well as between everyone and life. They believe in basic Wholism - holistic approach, holistic communication, and holistic responsibility. Holistic healers view conventional diagnostic tests as well as traditional treatments and modalities as being useful in many cases, but at the same time they act toward the normal everyday things life - alcohol, drugs, diet, exercise, and lifestyle - in positive and, at times, extraordinary ways.

The spiritual foundation of a holistic lifestyle is the consciousness of the eternal. Holistic healing is about relaxation into eternal life, escaping the domination of a material world, escaping the focus on death as "oblivion" as its essence - escaping the need for physical immortality and disease denial. It necessitates a game of faith for those able to play at this level. It asks for realization that the physical world is just one of many, differentiated, holographic expressions of an abundant, spiritual totality; that physical matter is a less permanent, less important form of the true element, pure spirit; that spiritual energy is the animating, formative force, the true power and the true essence of life; that the Source of all life is the Source of All; that true immortality is not a physical but a spiritual property; and that spiritual evolution is the prerequisite to physical healing.

5.1. Connection to Universal Energy

Because the whole is infinite, nature's energy is infinite. The universe has a built-in abundance. It is also manifestly supportive of its own enterprise of increasing life's expression. Thus energy, once released, will continue to flow. The basic theories of physics make the same principles: nature's energy is never lost, it only changes form. Is metaphysical healing simply a matter of learning ways to gather that energy and send it, directed, to effect the restoration of balance and health? Yes, it is - and no, it is not. All the methods I will describe are techniques of directing energy, but the energy they use is not the practitioner's own. In addition, such healing methods call for intuitive awareness on the part of the practitioner in order to be their most effective.

Healing is a metaphysical activity. Its source is beyond the finite world, just as life itself is. This chapter focuses on the ways in which the metaphysical energy that underlies all life is accessed and directed in the methods I'll describe, because such an understanding can make healing richer and deeper for both practitioner and recipient. "Metaphysical" is being used here to refer to that which lies beyond direct human perception and experience. Primary experiences are of the physical world, where matter is solid, time is linear and finite, humans and animals are separate from one another, and the body is separate from the mind and spirit. In metaphysical understanding, the universe is a hologram, both whole and infinite.

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