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On Healing.

Part Two.

The next stage of the healing process necessarily must take place out of conscious intent, because this is the intellectual stage. This has to do with changing our way of thinking, and although I have gone over this problem before, since it is a problem to be solved which is as crucial as changing our way of eating if we are to have any hope of guiding ourselves out of our present entanglement in a morass of materialistic delusions, it deserves further discussion.

As I have stated, one of the major causes of the illnesses which plague humanity today is the scientific materialistic thinking which pervades the entire world cultures today. The monumental error of modern scientific materialism is that the world is nothing but physical matter, that it is constituted of only those phenomena we can touch, count, weigh and measure. This is of course far from being truthful. In trying to understand the world and how human beings, animals, plants and the world of minerals have come to be the way they present themselves to the physical senses, scientific thinking has become both analytical and abstract. It is analytical in that it divides phenomena into smaller and smaller pieces in order to study the underlying phenomena of any object being studied to try and discover the laws and principles of matter. This is perfectly justifiable as long as it is understood that we are studying material objects, and what we learn about these physical and chemical phenomena tell us absolutely nothing about living organisms. It is abstract in that in dividing everything up into smaller pieces for purposes of study and experimentation, isolating them and removing them from their natural, normal contexts, we no longer have reality.

Anyone would understand that if we want to study and understand the behavioral habits of the polar bear, it would not serve our purposes if we were to move the polar bear to the Mojave Desert to study it. Yet, modern scientific methodology does something similar every time a microscope or telescope (or any of the modern derivatives of these two instruments) are used to study some phenomena, or we place a substance in a test tube or retort and add this chemical or that substrate to study its chemical behaviour. Rudolf Steiner eloquently states the problem as follows:

" Wouldst thou heal man, look into the world on every side, see on every side how the world evolves processes of healing. Wouldst thou know the secrets of the world in the processes of illness and healing, look into the depths of human nature. You can apply this to every aspect of man's being, but you must direct your gaze outwards to the great world of nature and see man in a living relationship to this great world.

People today have become accustomed to something different. They depart from nature as far as possible. They do something which shuts their own sight off from nature, for what they wish to examine they lay beneath a glass on a little stand - the eye does not look out into nature, but looks into the glass. Sight itself is cut off from nature. They call this the microscope. In certain connections it might as well be called a nulloscope, for it shuts one off from the great world of nature. People do not know, when something under a glass is magnified, that for spiritual knowledge it is exactly as though the same process were to take place in nature herself. For only think, when you take some minute particle from the human being for the purpose of observation under a microscope, what you then do with this minute fragment is the same as if were to stretch the man himself and tear him apart. You would be an even worse monster than Procrustes if you were to wrench man and tear him asunder in order to enlarge him as that minute particle is enlarged under the microscope. But do you believe that you would still have the person before you? This would naturally be out of the question. Just as little do you have the reality there under the microscope. The truth which has been magnified is no longer the truth; it is an illusory image. We must not depart from nature and imprison our own sight. For other purposes, this can of course be useful; but for a true knowledge of man it is immensely misleading.

Knowledge of man in the true sense must be sought in the way we have indicated. Starting from the processes of nutrition, it must be followed through the processes of healing to the processes of human and world education in the widest sense. Or we can put it thus: from nutrition, through healing, to civilization and culture."

In order to develop healthy thinking we need to realise that outer sense perceptible phenomena are expressions, manifestations of underlying spiritual realities and forces. A first step toward changing our way of thinking is studying and developing our understanding of yin and yang and the Five Transformation Theory by daily study and application of them, which is readily accomplished by learning how to cook macrobiotically.

On surface appearance, yin­ yang theory is very simple, but it is also subtle, profound and complex, and it is only through the daily application of yin and yang to our way of eating that we develop the sensitivity and vitality of our thinking processes which allows us to develop our understanding of yin and yang. It is important to acknowledge understanding yin and yang, and thinking clearly and logically, is dependent to a much larger extent than most people realise on our physical condition. Since it takes, generally speaking, three years of daily macrobiotic dietary practice, consuming a proscribed, limited diet, for the human organism to undergo, so to speak, the bulk of its healing, it takes at least this length of time of daily study to begin to understand yin and yang. Furthermore, in order to develop further so that we really recognise that thinking is a spiritual activity, I highly recommend one of the books by Rudolf Steiner called "The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity". This is a difficult book, but the effect of reading it will in and of itself bring about a strengthening and enlivening of our thinking abilities.

The understanding of yin and yang and the Five Transformation Theory allow us to see everything in relation to everything else which is relevant to any line of enquiry, that is, our thinking becomes whole and contextual.

This is not the case in modern culture; on the contrary, modern materialistic thinking is fragmented, fragmentary, superficial and illogical, and it cannot help but be so. There are examples everywhere, you can read any newspaper, journal or magazine and it is a painful experience to read all the illogical, abstract, absurd statements printed everyday about any subject you care to mention, unless it is about a mechanical subject like cars, or computers etc.

In the realm of medical science modern materialistic thinking has reached the heights of absurdity. As a result you find in this profession specialists of every kind, not only of every organ, system or tissue of the body, but also on different conditions of the same organ, and of different diseases. From modern medical science you would be hard pressed know the human being as a whole person in which all the organs, tissues, joints, etc are all interrelated and interconnected to one another such that imbalances and stagnations in one organ affects the condition of other organs and tissues.

To give just one example, we have in the medical profession ear, nose and throat specialists who study and treat any pathological conditions which may develop in them as if they had nothing to do with the rest of the body; therefore, logically, any treatment applied to them which does not take into account their relationships with other aspects of the body are bound to be superficial. In macrobiotic practice, using the Five Transformation Theory it is known the condition of the ear is a reflection of the condition of the kidneys, the nose can reflect the condition of the stomach, heart, upper bronchioles or the large intestine, and the throat the condition of the kidneys. So attention is paid to those organs through the diet and if necessary, various home cares, and as they clear up, so do the symptoms manifesting in the ear, nose or throat. So, modern medical science is nonsensical and illogical, which is not at all surprising, since it is based on modern scientific materialistic thinking, which is nonsensical and illogical when applied to living organisms.

And the problem of illogical and absurd modern scientific thinking when applied to domains other than physical phenomena is evident in just about every discipline carried on by people today, such that economists do not understand economics, politicians have no understanding of politics, educators have no understanding of education, social scientists have no understanding of social life, farmers have no understanding of farming and so forth and so on.

This idea, that we need to take on the responsibility of both changing our way of eating and our way of thinking is crucial if there is to be any possibility of true, deep healing. To change our way of eating without changing our way of thinking is like putting new wine into old wineskins; it is necessary for us to undertake a rigorous self-training, re-education of our intellect if we are to have any hope of healing ourselves. And the fact is it is a lot easier to change our way of eating to cooked whole grains and vegetables, difficult as that may be, than it is to change our way of thinking. To change our way of thinking in the manner indicated is to learn to root out the pervasive, endemic materialistic thinking which has become habitual, and to purge ourselves of the conditioned, received second-hand thoughts and feelings which have been 'programmed' into us by modern education, family convention, politics, religion and media.

As we move on to the next stage of our healing process, which is the social stage, we begin to realise we do not exist in this life merely for our own sakes. We live in a world which is populated by many other people, and as individuals we realise our happiness, joy, is commensurate with the happiness and joy of the all the people living on the earth, and, conversely, our pain and suffering and hardship is commensurate with the pain, suffering and hardship of all the people of the world. In other words, as long as their are people suffering, enduring pain and misery and suffering, then the wonderful health and vitality we have gained through changing our way of eating and thinking is meaningless.

Now, it is obvious to anyone who is paying attention there is a great deal more suffering, pain, misery, illness and deprivation of human dignity and happiness in the world than there is of human joy, happiness, vitality and spiritual well-being.

Social events and activities are the result of the aggregation of the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual condition of all the people of each culture and society in the world. When we look at society as a whole we become aware of symptoms of diseased, sick individuals expressed as social symptoms of the aggregation of the population who make up society or culture. Some examples of symptoms of each individual's physical, emotional, mental and spiritual dis-ease expressed socially as symptoms of social disease include racism, sexism, the 'war on drugs', political and bureaucratic corruption, nuclear weapons development, corporate greed (corporations behave like cancer, metastising into every corner of the globe seeking to profit at the expense of the culture and ecology of wherever their tentacles can reach using the same cut, burn and poison mentality of the medical profession), homelessness, the national debt, environmental and ecological destruction and pollution etc., etc. These social symptoms of a diseased culture are analogous to the symptoms of individual disease like AIDS, cancer, heart disease etc., etc. The world, including nature, so-called 'out there', is manifesting the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual disease of each individual on the planet.

As has been well documented all these symptoms of social disease have become more intense, more frequent and more widespread over the past fifty years such that today they are endemic in our culture. And during the same time frame, degenerative diseases have become more intense, more frequent and more widespread so they are also endemic in our culture. Once we realise this to be a matter­of­fact reality of the current state of the world, then it is completely logical to understand we are each and every one of us personally responsible for the present social situation, and therefore the only realistic hope of changing it is to change ourselves as indicated in this writing. This is an obvious conclusion; if we wish to have the world a harmonious, vital, creative, peaceful place for us and all future generations, then we have to change ourselves to become harmonious, vital, creative, peaceful human beings.

This line of thinking then throws into obvious relief the utter uselessness, without addressing the above salient fact that if we wish the world to change for the better, we have to change for the better, of all ideas of social reform. As of 1984, the last time I looked, there were 64,000,000 laws and statutes in the United States and it is plain to see that laws devised by the human intellect confined by the illogical and absurd modern materialistic thinking, completely estranged from any notion of the connectedness of the human being with nature and the cosmos, never made a hill of beans difference to any social ill. Why is this so? Because the artificiality and illogicality of laws derived from illogical, absurd, abstract thinking are to the diseased body politic, the sick social organism, what pharmaceutical drugs are to the sick individual organism. They are merely superficial and symptomatic, and they drive the illnesses of the social organism deeper into the body politic.

Therefore, both because and in spite of all the many formidable obstacles with which we will have to deal, the most formidable being the head­in­the­sand stubborn intransigence of people living in denial of recognizing the necessity of changing our way of eating and thinking in the first instance, at this stage of our healing process we resolve to distribute what we know and have experienced through healing ourselves in adopting our macrobiotic dietary program and changing our way of thinking, in the community and locality where we live. This we can do in any number of ways, as I have already mentioned.

Also, at this stage of our healing process it will become apparent to us we need to undertake a rigorous and objective review of the means by which we earn our livelihood, the lifestyle which goes with it, and the ramifications thereof, economically, ecologically and socially, to see if it is fitting with our macrobiotic practice.

It is the case in many people's lives today who, if we examine our means of livelihood in this way will find we can no longer continue working at our job, or in our career, if we wish to be comprehensive in our macrobiotic practice, and therefore our healing. There are many examples of jobs and careers today that are thoroughly inconsistent with a healthy, vital, harmonious earthly­cosmic life, and if these are continued while we are undertaking our macrobiotic practice will undermine our healing process. In many instances, the realization our job or career is in and of itself contributing to our individual disease and the destruction of ecological, social and economic health puts us in an awkward position, to say the least. For if it so turns out our job or career is contributing to both our disease and social, ecological or economic disease (because if it does the former, it is most certainly doing the latter, and vice-versa), then, if we are to be honest and true to our healing process we will have no choice but to quit our job or career.

In my case, I was practicing veterinary surgery and medicine in large animal practice, cows, sheep, horses, pigs etc., and had been for three and a half years when I changed to a macrobiotic dietary practice, and after being on the cooked whole grains and vegetables etc., while plunging into to studying any and all the macrobiotic books I could find, after about two and a half years it gradually began to dawn on me I could no longer continue my macrobiotic practice and continue my career as a veterinary surgeon and clinician, for they are mutually incompatible. Thus I was confronted with the choice of giving up my career to tread the path of my macrobiotic practice to see where it would go, or giving up my macrobiotic practice to continue my career.

Even at that stage of my macrobiotic practice I was instinctively aware of the ramifications of what it would mean for the world if more and more people adopted a macrobiotic dietary practice as their preferred way of eating on a daily basis, and it had become clear to me, through changing my way of eating and studying macrobiotic literature, that modern agribusiness and practices of animal husbandry are major contributors not only to the sicknesses of the sick animals I saw everyday, but also to the sickness of the population and the ecology of the land. Thus, my choice to quit the veterinary profession, although it consequently entailed great difficulty and pain because of the ramifications in my personal life which resulted from the decision, which I was aware of as I pondered the choice for many weeks, was really, as the saying goes, a no-brainer. I leave it up to you to work out for yourself whether or not your livelihood is consonant with your macrobiotic practice and consequently your healing process.

The social level of healing also means we must widen our horizons so as to include in our sense of community the soil and its inhabitants, trees, grasses and plants generally, insects, birds and animals, rivers and oceans. Our social environment also includes these and macrobiotic practice is fundamental and essential if there is to be any hope of nature no longer being destroyed by the ravages of modern scientific thinking and the destructive technology engendered by it.

Therefore we have to also change our way of farming and methods of animal husbandry. The farming techniques which have been developed over the past sixty years have gradually wrought more and more destruction to the soil on which the whole of civilization depends for its sustenance. The use of billions of tons of artificial fertiliser, herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics, anthelmintics and steroids in modern agribusiness has poisoned the soil, the groundwater, and lead to the loss of trillions of tons of topsoil. Thus, if the human being is going to have any future on the earth we need to change our farming techniques to those which help to build up the topsoil and render it vital, rich and fertile. The philosophy and practice of agriculture best fitting this purpose is Biodynamic Agriculture which is derived from indications given by Rudolf Steiner and pioneered by Eihrenried Pfeiffer, followed by organic farming. This is another subject which lies outside the scope of this page to do it justice, but it cannot be emphasised enough, if humanity is to have a future, we need to create a new life sustaining culture, in place of our present life-destroying one, which has as its starting point the changing of our way of farming to produce the foods indicated in this book by the methods of biodynamic and organic agriculture.

The next stage of the healing process is the religious stage. In order to discuss what religious healing means we first have to understand what the word religious means. The Oxford English Dictionary states the word 'religious' is of doubtful etymology meaning "a life of action or conduct indicating a belief in, reverence for, and desire to please, a divine ruling power in that there is a recognition by man of some higher unseen power as having control over his destiny, and being entitled to obedience, reverence and worship; the general mental and moral attitude resulting from this recognition, with reference to its effects upon the individual, family, community; and a personal or general acceptance of this feeling as a standard of spiritual and practical life."

In his foreword to the 'I Ching', Carl Jung writes, "The answering subject (the 'I Ching') has an interesting notion of itself: it looks upon itself as a vessel in which sacrificial offerings are brought to the gods, ritual food for their nourishment. It conceives of itself as a cult utensil serving to provide nourishment for the unconscious elements or forces (spiritual agencies) that have been projected as gods - in other words to give these forces the attention they need in order to play their part in the life of the individual. Indeed, this is the original meaning of the word 'religio' - a careful observation and taking into account of ('religere') the numinous. In a footnote to this passage Jung states this is the classical etymology; the derivation of religio from religare, 'to bind to' originated later with the Church Fathers.

Robert Graves, writing in "White Goddess" says about religious: "the dictionaries give its etymology as 'doubtful'. Cicero connected it with 'religere', 'to read duly' - hence 'to pore upon or study' divine lore. Some four and a half centuries later, St. Augustine derived it from 'religare', 'to bind back' and supposed it implied a pious obligation to obey divine laws; and this is the sense it has been understood ever since. Augustine's guess, like Cicero's (though Cicero came nearer the truth), did not take into account the length of the first syllable of the word religio in Lucretius' early "Des Rerum Natura", or the alternative spelling, relligio. Relligio can only be form from the phrase 'rem ligare', 'to choose or pick the right thing'".

Rudolf Steiner, in his lecture cycle "Philosophy, Cosmology, Religion" states religious means the union of man with the divine world; that is, we are clearly conscious of our unification with spiritual agencies.

Thus, being religious means we understand and are clearly conscious of the fact we are united with and implicitly bound up with the spiritual world and all the forces, agencies and beings of the spiritual world/s; that we know the physical world in all its manifold variety of phenomena, be they mineral, plant, animal or human, are manifesting the activities of the spiritual agencies and it is our task to study and understand the lore of the gods as revealed in material and natural laws so that our actions and conduct in our daily lives freely and consciously take into account these laws and principles in such a manner that, in full consciousness and awareness we know implicity how to behave, morally and honestly, and so act in any given situation; that when the world presents us with problems, we know how to solve those problems as they arise and will be able, as we deepen our understanding and raise our consciousness, to anticipate problems which may aries if we are contemplating any course of action. In conducting this deeply moral, religious life we will necessarily increase our feelings of reverence, gratitude and devotion to the spiritual agencies we identify as acting on behalf of humanity.

Of course, we will also be able to identify those forces, agencies and powers in the spiritual worlds which are acting to divert, undermine and cause human beings to act retrogressively; that is, we will be able to be more aware of the forces which demonise people to act in ways which are evil and have evil consequences.

The problem of evil has always been one which human beings have had to deal if we are to be human at all and the great teachers which have appeared to guide humanity have all been religious teachers. However, what these teachers taught so any person who applies their instruction to their daily lives so as to become free, independent, courageous, compassionate, moral,healthy, joyful, vital and creative have degenerated over the course of the centuries into religions. The mark of religions today is they are all mere husks of empty ritual, people going through the motions of what it means to be religious, the teachings reduced to mere codifications and rhetoric because what has become important is the institution itself, not the teachings which originated the institution. Furthermore, all these institutions have worldly aspirations of power, are authoritarian, full of hypocrisy and cant and are about as far from being religious as you could possibly want. It appears to me it is the people who least understand the teachings are the ones who want to start the institutions, and then the institution begins to take on all the characteristics of some form of lower organism which has to be continually fed so as to continue to exist, and all these people become so consumed with feeding the organism they forget what the teachings are about in the first place. Like St. Paul said, "the letter killeth, it is the spirit which giveth life". Well, what is important to institutions is the letter of the law, the codifications, the rigid stratification of hierarchy, and the exclusion of any one who doesn't fit these limitations imposed on what it means to be a human being. And as soon as someone comes along and declares something which these institutions perceive as being a threat to their naked authoritarianism and worldly power, they declare them to be heretical and burn them at the stake (and of course this can be done in any number of ways, not only physically).

So, it is evident if we which to heal ourselves we need to purge ourselves of all the dross of the tired, worn-out, habitual empty rhetoric, and second­hand hollow phrases promulgated by all the religions of the world. That is, we have to quit belonging to religions and start being religious, in the sense discussed; after all, every one has direct access to the spiritual worlds, why would you need any religion, especially when the intent of the original teachers themselves, if they are indeed true, authentic teachers, is to teach us how to be free?

The final stage of the healing process is spiritual healing. As I have already mentioned in another context, all these stages must be seen as being built up one on top of the others, so that as we go through each stage we retain each of the previous stages so they all are being undertaken concurrently and coterminously. This stage of the healing process is a subject of such proportion that I am not even going to attempt to try to do justice to it. In essence, what it consists of is not only being aware and conscious of the spiritual fact we are intimately bound up with and interrelated to a vast hierarchy of spiritual beings and agencies, it is here we take the steps to get know how to perceive and communicate with these spiritual beings, we know them by name and activity etc. As this is a very difficult process to describe, let alone do, and would fill many, many more pages to do justice to it, I will finish by saying the books listed below written by Rudolf Steiner are the place to start your individual process of perceiving, knowing and communicating with, in a state of wide­awake consciousness, the spiritual worlds and the beings which constitute the spiritual worlds.

Theosophy; How to Know Higher Worlds;Theosophy;An Outline of Occult Science; Christianity as A Mystical Fact.

Comments or questions can be sent to the address below as I check this address every few weeks. Please mention Alchemycal Pages in the subject line. Thank you. Patricia



Copyright © Kaare Bursell, 1996-2031.