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Caroline Myss: Medical Intuitive Pioneer
Interview by Sorah Dubistky
Of all the teachers and lecturers on the New Age circuit offering their transformational wares, Caroline Myss' teachings rank amongst the most seriously transformational. Myss offers something that I call "boot camp spirituality". She honestly tells her millions of students that growth and healing are not easy. She prods and cajoles us to wake up and take responsibility for our lives. Everything that happens to us, she teaches, happens because of Divine appointment and happens by our choice. It is a teaching that, at times, is a bitter pill to swallow, and yet, as she would say, how else are our souls going to evolve and blossom into their full potential? Myss has a Ph.D. in Intuition and Energy Medicine, as well as an M.A. in Theology and a B.A. in Journalism. She co-founded the Language of Intuition Program and Institute for the Science of Medical Intuition. Her best-selling books include Why People Don't Heal and How They Can (1997 Harmony Books) and Anatomy of the Spirit (1996 Harmony Books). Although she is no longer in practice as a medical intuitive, she uses the same laser beam focus of mind in her teaching, so that every word conveys precisely the exact message she means to convey. The result is a teaching that is profoundly deep and profoundly healing.
SD: Thank you for your time, Caroline.
I know how busy you are, and this means so much to a great many of us.
CM: Oh, it's my pleasure.
SD: Lesley Sherman and I listen to your tapes all the time, especially the ones from your weekend in Miami. They're wonderful.
CM: Well thank you for that.
SD: I'd like to talk to you about medicine and healing. In your workshop you said, "each person is a million people in one and if you are dealing with a million people you have to treat them with chemical medicine." I am paraphrasing of course. Isn't it our belief that still gives chemical medicine its power?
CM: If you have faith in chemical medicine of course it is going to help, but it's not the same as active belief. When a person takes chemical medicine, passive belief processes are more engaged than active ones. It is assumed that you don't have to do anything, and that the medicine will do all the work. You cannot have that assumption with energy medicine, it simply doesn't work that way. When you talk about conscious medicine versus passive medicine, the fact is that you have to do your own inner work; you have to consciously participate, and that makes a big difference.
SD: Energy medicine or conscious medicine couldn't possibly work for everybody though because one has to be open.
CM: The thing is that most people don't know what it means to heal bitterness, for example. There has to be a willingness to go that extra emotional, psychological and spiritual distance, to receive the kind of help that a person needs at the very crucial level. You have to be willing to do that. Many people aren't. Think of energy medicine as being most effective in present time. Energy medicine is energetically expensive. You have to be emotionally and spiritually present to be able to engage it in its fullest force. If you are consumed with anger, it's not just anger, it's disappointment or frustration, or whatever about the past. You're consumed with your history. And it's not just that either, it's also that you are psychically and emotionally undisciplined.
What gives you the ability to maintain your present and to live in present time? Living in appreciation of your life as it is right now, is what's required. It means that you don't live in the place of would-have-could-have-should-have been. You live in the idea that there is something good about your life every day, which should be fueled with your passion and not diluted by your lack of appreciation for all the good that's happening in your life right now. That kind of awareness is foreign for many people.
There's an actual biological consequence to being scattered all over the place, to having your attention shattered or sprinkled or fragmented. Imagine that I am trying to teach you something, and as I watch you, your eyeballs are going left and right, up, down, and you're thinking about what you should be doing, what you just did, who you're having dinner with, who you're meeting next, etc. How much of what I am teaching you in the present moment are you going to remember?
SD: Excellent example. You define energy medicine but can you give me some specific examples, because it seems that there is so much out there that could be called energy medicine?
CM: Yes, there is a lot. Energy medicine is a treatment that stimulates your energy system, i.e., acupuncture or aromatherapy, emotional and psychological therapy. Energy medicine stimulates your psyche and your spirit and there are many ways to do that, from meditation, to laying on of hands, to acupressure, to therapeutic touch.
SD: I like to do breathe work.
CM: Breathe work, yoga. Yoga should not be classified as a medicine or an energetic treatment though. It is a practice versus a treatment, which should be clearly understood. In the western model they have turned it into a self-treatment, which is inappropriate. Yoga is a spiritual practice, and meditation is a spiritual practice, they are not health techniques. That they happen to help you maintain your health is a side blessing, but they are, make no mistake, they are spiritual practices, and should be honored as that.
SD: Isn't that what the Western mind is about, aren't we looking for the magic bullet that will make us healthy?
CM: Well Westerners always have to make everything practical in order for it to be valid, which is part blessing and part limitation. When a Westerner goes to an Eastern world where practicality is not the main priority, the Westerner says "but this isn't practical, why do you have four people doing something that one person can do?" The Easterners are mostly inclined to say that "practicality is not our priority." So this is where the Western mind flips into "I don't see the value of it, it's not practical."
SD: Unless it does something that heals me. One thing that you have said is that "we are evolving into energy beings," and that we are moving in the direction of energy medicine. What does it mean to say that we are evolving into energy beings?
CM: Well, we now live in a culture in which our primary language has become energy and it's called the Internet. Everything is energy first, matter second. We have become a species that communicates solely through energy. Who in the world writes letters anymore? The Internet is very much a physical manifestation of what you could think of as the global brain, or the spiritual brain. We have duplicated the way that we have always communicated with each other which is instantaneous. We have finally duplicated a proof that thoughts travel instantaneously. We can influence and affect the globe, the entire globe in one thought. A computer virus changes the shape of the world with one push of the button. We have finally created a system that reflects a spiritual truth at its basic or mundane form. The more that we learn about thought and its potency and attitude, the more we have to reshape the way that we treat people. Now we are treating people with therapy that is energy treatment. Therapy treats the psyche and the soul. It is not chemical it is energy.
Energy treatments will of course continue to develop. You can be sure that vibrational medicine will come into play, with more and more uses of color and sound. As I have said to people over and over, all we need to get the allopathic or medical world on our side, is money. Imagine if we said we were offering two million dollar grants for people to study whether energy and attitude influences plant life. How many do you think would be standing in line for that grant? What money is there in meditation, what money is there in massage?
SD: On a similar train of thought, do you think there is a difference between healing and curing? If you think about research, things get funded if they provide a cure, meaning if people don't die. In healing though people sometimes die.
CM: Well curing defines that the illness has been taken care of.
SD: I think about the medical model that says death is the enemy.
CM: The insurance companies are the enemies.
SD: Why the insurance company and not the doctor?
CM: Well, that is a very good question and thank you for that, but it is six of one and half a dozen of the other. Each system is set into a cycle that created a social poison. Doctors over charged, medical companies decided they didn't trust anyone and created these heinous creatures called HMO'S. It's a nasty business. Insurance companies are a nasty business. The really nasty business though, never mind the insurance companies, never mind the doctors, is dishonesty. It's the desire to take advantage of an organization, or a practice, that could have been created to support conditions and instead they're misused. The issue at hand is the nature of whether or not we are fundamentally an honest species. Honesty has a tremendous impact on the health of your body. So the question is, are we fundamentally an honest species? Well, that's quite a question to pursue; we would like to say yes, but world evidence is not in our favor. We applaud someone if they return a wallet; is that really something to applaud or shouldn't it be assumed that everyone would return a found wallet?
SD: When my mother had Medicare and access to free medical help, it felt to me that she abused the system, because she ran from doctor to doctor looking for something to be wrong with her. I always wondered what she'd do if the treatment weren't free? So do people them selves abuse the system and are they being honest? Or is the system just being used to placate people's emotional woodenness? Has the system been abused at all levels?
CM: It has been abused everywhere. If you look at it from a different perspective, what is spiritual practice about, if not the maintenance of the shadow in all of us? Spirituality is a discipline that is the maintenance and the evolution of the shadow in all of us. That's what it is about. You look at all spiritual disciplines, why do you think they emphasize forgiveness? Because bitterness and vengefulness are so easy, and so natural; forgiveness is not natural, it requires effort. Vengefulness is natural. The whole idea of spirituality is to make the spirit stronger than the natural instinct. This is why energy medicine is a challenge because you have to transcend your basic instincts. You have to work with it to maintain and transcend the instinctual natural inclination.
SD: Which means you have to be honest.
CM: If you look at myth and the legends, the heroes are honest people; people that can step up to the plate and take responsibility for their actions. We so admire them we call them heroes. Look at us and the level we are at, and you get to see the value and the manner in which things have been organized and conducted.
In years to come, Caroline Myss will be regarded as one of our era's heroes. She is committed to educating people about healing. Her web site www.myss.com offers a cornucopia of information, resources, products, stories, and teachings. The site is also interactive featuring a forum, newsletter, and an email discussion group. n