At Caroline`s request, we would like to offer Myss General Newsletter a complementary version of the ‘Myss January Salon’. We hope you enjoy!
First, I want to thank all of you for participating in the Healing Work and share with you the vision that I hold for what we will be doing and building together during 2008. It is my hope that together we can create a field of grace held in place through our shared devotion to be of service to each other’s healing – and that of the greater whole - through prayer and faith in the healing power that is generated by this work. I did not come to the decision to do this work casually. Rather, this is the result of a lifelong journey, some of which I believe is essential to share with you in this first Salon.
AN ESSENTIAL OVERVIEW
As many of you know, the Salon has encouraged people to participate in group prayer for others for more than a year now. It is fair, therefore, to ask, “What is new about this effort?” Quite frankly, a great deal, in that I have been observing the dynamic of healing from many perspectives for years. I have to say that it has generated more questions than conclusions but I am now convinced of this one truth: Healing is fundamentally a mystical experience. It is not an experience that can be fully and completely ignited by the force of the mind as your mind is an instrument devoted to “reason”– and there is nothing whatsoever that is reasonable or rational about a full, transformational healing. The sudden or even gradual healing of an illness or chronic condition that has plagued an individual for years and baffled one physician after another is not a reasonable or rational occurrence: It is a mystical one in that the rules governing physical medicine and the laws of science no longer seem to apply to what is happening to the individual. The mind alone is incapable of interfering with the laws of nature. Such a phenomenon requires Divine intervention, at the very least.
I have long been fascinated with matters of Divine intervention. They intrigue me beyond my ability to articulate. On the one hand, it is easy for me to look at this world and consume myself in its history, which I do constantly – mostly military history and current military/political events, When I wonder about the nature of good and evil, I conclude that we are a species governed by the impersonal laws of nature. We are one planet residing within one of two billion galaxies that we know of – and probably two billion more and two billion more after that. Two billion stars exist within our little galaxy. It is incomprehensible to even consider that any one of us should matter to anyone other than to those who love us, much less to some cosmic force that has billions of galaxies to oversee. The mathematics alone makes our singular significance ludicrous even to consider.
And yet, amid a universe whose size we cannot comprehend, stories about healings and assistance at the most intimate and mundane levels of one’s personal life abound. Such healings, I personally believe, can only be credited to Divine intervention. Here’s but one of endless examples I can share: While on my book tour for ENTERING THE CASTLE last year, I watched a news story on CNN while getting ready for a book signing. I was actually in another room when I heard the reporter say, “Do miracles really happen? We’ll find out right after the break.” I stopped what I was doing and tuned in immediately as the reporter shared the story of a man who told his wife to stop at a Catholic church so that he could pray a while after learning from his physician that the only possible surgical treatment for his blindness had but a ten percent chance of improving his condition. He prayed in front of a painting of a nun, oddly enough, because he knew that she was “almost a saint” – almost meaning that a healing miracle had been attributed to her in the past. His prayer to her was a simple one, “I’m not a Catholic, but if you have any influence up there and you can help me, I’d appreciate it.”
The next morning, this man woke up to discover that his eyesight had been healed. His physician said it was impossible by any medical treatment. Eventually both men ended up at the Vatican at the Council of Miracles and his healing was indeed declared a miracle. And as a result, on October 15, 2006, the nun to whom he prayed – Mother Theodore Guerin – the nun who founded the Sisters of Providence in Terre Haute, Indiana, in 1840, had been declared the fifth American saint. (Incidentally, that miracle happened at the church on the grounds of my college, Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods – and while this second coincidence is no big deal to anyone but me, October 15 is also the feast day of Teresa of Avila). How is it, I wondered to myself in that hotel room in Boston on that chilly March day, that heaven manages to listen so intently to each human being? Why does one person recover his eyesight overnight and others who pray for God’s help receive no healing at all? Is it because he had more faith? Or that he was detached from the outcome? Or did heaven have miracles to spare that day?
In the end, healing is a mystery, and yet even within the mystery there are footsteps we can follow in the same way that Teresa of Avila wrote her brilliant text, THE INTERIOR CASTLE. She left a guide for others so that they could find their way into their mystical interior, into a deeper state of consciousness in which the individual can melt through the wall of the mind and discovered the power of the illuminated self. When attempting to heal through the mind armed only with thoughts and images, such mental equipment cannot get you into your soul. Here is your first clue as to why that is so: the mind is incapable of humility and a complete healing requires humility. The rage that fuels your need to find out who hurt you and why – which is no more than therapeutic crime solving – combined with fueling self-righteous pride and anger while maintaining that you are “trying” to forgive, eventually becomes an illness in itself. This is especially the case when you grow comfortable in your wounds and the practice of woundology – speaking wounds socially and personally as a means of maintaining control over your environment – becomes a lifestyle. Suffering then becomes a part of your identity and when that happens – you WILL look for someone to punish for your pain or to constantly witness how much you’ve suffered for others (aka the Martyr archetype). Many people become addicted to the power in the pain game because, let’s face it, being healthy represents independence. If you don’t like the idea of being independent and responsible, you may not like being healthy.
Through all of this, you can convince yourself that you are trying to heal, that you are doing your best, but when illness becomes a core power for you, that is your indication that the illness has spread to your soul. It takes humility to be able to recognize that you are using your illness to control or harm others as well as sabotage you own healing process. Yet, let me add that in no way is a person struggling with this complex emotional condition “disqualified,” so to speak, for a healing. Hardly. What we need to understand right from the start is that one’s healing journey begins where the illness is rooted, and that the physical condition may not be the most critically ill part of a person, though it is the most obvious and the most medicated. If a person’s soul is toxic, that’s where the healing begins.
So, why was this man in Terre Haute blessed with an instant healing? My hunch is that his soul was as clear as his prayer. I don’t think he was a man who carried enormous conflicts around his healing or held others responsible for what had happened to his eyesight. Nor was he punishing others because he was nearly blind. In patterns of miracle healings that I have studied, simplicity of heart, intention, and soul seem the common alchemy, along with a profound engagement with faith, although not faith in a religion or in the superstitions that burden religious traditions of every variety. Rather, these individuals have faith in their personal relationship with a Divine force, however they define that force. In their humbleness, they do not project expectations as to when and how a healing should or must take place. A trust factor is present along with an attitude of acceptance. Teresa of Avila always wrote about her experiences with the nature of God as she had come to know the Divine. After describing how she
had come to know the nature of God, she always cautioned – and thus, so will I – that no matter how we try to capture the nature of God by studying the patterns of what the Divine has done to, with, and through others, we must accept the inscrutability of Divine purpose. God is as likely to act spontaneously and heal someone at the height of his or her arrogance just for shock value as the Divine would be to heal a person minutes before that individual was declared dead. We are all on our own pilgrimage with the Divine and yet, even allowing for the grander truth that we can never fully know the nature of the Divine, the clues and crumbs on the mystical path have remained constant forever. These are what we shall follow together.
THE MYSTERY OF US
As intriguing as the entire domain of healing is to me, our fascination with our own healing and all that healing entails is just as seductive an area of research. Why, I have often wondered, are so many people drawn to the field of healing? Why do so many people want to be healers? And why are so many people involved in healing something? In truth, never before has a social culture existed that is as obsessed with its own well-being as we are, and I’m talking micro-well-being, not just the care of serious illness. We are quite taken by analyzing the effects that everything and anything has on us, from early childhood conversations to significant and insignificant relationships to astrological influences and then into past lives if we can’t find what we’re looking for in this one. Beginning in the 1960s, the many schools of psychological therapies combined with the availability of the sacred literature of all the world traditions made the explorations of the inner “self” the next frontier for Western culture.
But now, nearly fifty years later, we stand at the most pivotal turning point in this particular journey. We’ve gained an archive of knowledge this past fifty years. We’ve had a half century to study ourselves and to explore the inner child, the wounded child, the abandoned child, the neglected child, the invisible child, the inner victim, and a myriad of other suffering archetypes. We’ve learned about the vulnerabilities of these patterns and we’ve learned that their wounds must be healed in order for us to thrive. The question is: Are we strong enough to actually make the leap and heal these archetypes within us? Are we ready to engage with the archetype of the healthy person who retains a compassionate heart without having to continually nurture old wounds to get there? It’s a bold and liberating transformation, for those who can make it.
I believe that a great deal is at stake here, beyond even one’s personal well-being. In thinking about why so many people in our society are attracted to a healing lifestyle, it finally occurred to me that our society, a part of our nation’s soul, also must be called to the task of the Healer. So many people are being thrust into their own healing not just for themselves, but because they are part of a greater task that requires the support of many. Maybe that’s one of the reasons the struggle to heal for so many individuals seems to be so arduous when, at first glance, I would have thought their healing would be a far easier journey. The burden of the real illness is experienced in the collision of close-minded attitudes and old belief patterns crashing against a mind/body/soul that has grasped a vision of wholeness, the paradigm that is now penetrating the psychic field of the collective soul of humanity. A person holding that paradigm in his or her soul while living or working within an environment that is at odds with that subtle pattern will suffer anxiety, depression, perhaps even, in time, an immune disorder. That person is a psychic “fish out of water,” resonating to the subtle harmonies of the hologram of life while at the same time engaging with people who still function on a “divide and conquer” rule. Simple examples of this are an environmentalist who absolutely knows about global warming working for the government department paid to distort such research (which it does), or a nurse or physician who recognizes a spiritual crisis in a patient but knows there is no place for such a crisis in a hospital that requires an insurable diagnosis.
We are living between worlds now, between two paradigms – the emerging one that holds unity and wholeness as its core impulse and the one that is getting dismantled, a paradigm of separation and division. Its time is over. It’s neither good nor bad nor right or wrong – its time has come and gone. Simple as that. Evolution moves us ever onward and this attraction we have to healing and to being healers is a product of this emerging paradigm.
THE HEALING WORK
What is the healing work? Through my work with ENTERING THE CASTLE, leading people into the rooms of their soul with prayers and meditations, I observed one healing after another take place. I knew it was the result of prayer and grace (not Catholic prayer and grace, mind you). This prayer and grace poured out of people in these workshops who had no direct agendas with the Divine for personal healings. Absent the burden of expectations or demands of the Divine, healings occurred. Some were instantaneous and others occurred over months. Again and again at these Castle workshops, I observed how simple and elegantly grace moved through a person and how the power of grace seemed to increase in immeasurable cosmic proportions when many are joined together. I decided as a result of these many encounters with prayer, grace, and healing, that I would devote this year’s Salon to building that field of grace with all of you.
No doubt you have many questions about the healing work and hopefully with each passing Salon, I will be addressing more and more of them. The important focus for us in this issue is how to work together. I organized the information into the following questions:
I want to thank all of you, again and again, for joining me in the healing work. I am preparing a healing diary that will help individuals keep track of their interior life during this year. It will be ready in February. If you are interested in receiving this on-line diary, please register for the myss Salon.
To register for the myss salon Myss Salon Link
Our healing prayer – read this and use it as a point of meditation, a position of spiritual appreciation, love, and gratitude.
May the light of your soul guide you.
May the light of your soul bless the work
You do with the secret love and warmth of your heart.
May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul.
May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light and renewal to those
Who work with you and to those who see and receive your work.
May your work never weary you.
May it release within you wellsprings of refreshment, inspiration and excitement.
May you be present in what you do.
May you never become lost in the bland absences.
May the day never burden you.
May dawn find you awake and alert, approaching your new day with dreams,
Possibilities and promises.
May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.
May you go into the night blessed, sheltered and protected.
May your soul calm, console and renew you.
(A selection from ANAM CARA by the late Irish poet, John O’Donohue)