"May my mind come alive today
To the invisible geography
That invites me to new frontiers....
John O'Donohue, To Bless The Space Between Us
For most of us, soon after a health situation arises one of the first steps we take is to seek out information about what may be causing it. Whether the nature of the information we seek out is medical, holistic, energetic or intuitive, for generations we have been taught and have come to collectively believe that in order to resolve a health matter, we first need to know what the cause of it actually is. We have been taught that stepping through the doorway of information is the best course of action to find the answers that will (hopefully) lead to healing.
Or is it? Is the world of information the only way to experience the healing of a health matter? Or could there be other ways?
And further, is this a question we even know to ask? Could this approach be rooted so deeply within us now that we know of few if any other ways?
A Paradigm Is Born
Anyone who has ever had a bacterial infection which was correctly diagnosed and cleared up from a course antibiotics, or, had a broken bone or torn ligament which was discovered through an x-ray and then properly repaired knows the genuine value of the information = healing connection.
Most of us at some time in our life have had these kinds of experiences when entering through the doorway of information served us very well and helped us to recover. These experiences serve as powerful confirmation and reinforcement of the foundational, shared belief that information itself is essential to healing - that one is needed in order to experience the other.
We then experience constant, powerful confirmation of this belief from the world around us, including from various modalities of healing or medicine, from family, from friends and from society at large. This one belief then becomes deeply, powerfully and invisibly rooted in our consciousness. What we have been taught, what we have experienced and how we have been taught to interpret that along with what is constantly confirmed to us from the outside then unfurls this one belief into an entire framework or way of understanding healing itself and takes on the identity not of a belief, that may or may not be completely true, but of a Truth itself.
And a paradigm is born.
In the same way that we once believed the world to be flat because that was how it ‘looked’ to us from our shared perspective, our shared interpretations of our experiences and our shared understandings at the time, we were operating from a paradigm or framework of understanding based on that one shared belief. Our concepts, theories, interpretations and secondary beliefs about the flat world we lived in no doubt developed further based upon that one foundational, shared belief as we tried to make sense of the world around us. This no doubt strengthened the belief in everyone’s consciousness to the point that humans became afraid to test it out, venture out further and risk falling off!
Until, that is, the world was discovered to be round.
This is the power of a paradigm formed from human understanding, vantage points and beliefs. It is a deeply powerful framework of understanding based on belief that profoundly influences what we see, how we personally or collectively understand and interpret our experiences and the world around us. Understood in this way, the information = healing paradigm is a collective paradigm we operate from that deeply influences our approach to, and understanding of, healing itself.
Leaving The Shore
Until we were given a new understanding that the world was round by those who literally and metaphorically traveled past, beyond and through that shared human framework of understanding and belief, past the ‘known waters’ and into the fresh, unexplored waters just beyond to discover a deeper truth, we were bound by the errors of our own shared belief and the limitations that came from the incomplete of understanding of the round world we were actually already living in.
Could a similar dynamic be at work with our human understanding of health and healing? Are there fresh new waters awaiting us that will allow a wider, deeper, and perhaps more complete understanding of the territory of healing; a territory based not on the paradigm of information but perhaps on a different paradigm or paradigms altogether? And most importantly from a practical standpoint, could more healing be possible for more of us if we were to leave the shore and explore these fresh new waters more fully ourselves?
My Own Leave-taking
In my previous post, I mentioned that information of any kind did not heal me from my recent health matter. As deeply valuable as information can be and though it served me at different points along my journey and always has, it has also always come with its limitations and drawbacks, some of them serious. Knowing this, I began to ask different questions within myself and open myself further to new ways of seeing, new ways of understanding and to additional intuitive guidance that could escort me on my way. Leave-taking had been thematic to each of my recoveries over the years. At some point in each recovery, I had to leave the known and familiar ways and beliefs of that time whether they existed outside of me in a model of medicine that had no answers or help for me, or whether they existed inside of me in as what felt safe, known, familiar, handed-down or simply comfortable, in order to heal. The invitation to leave our personal familiar shores is inherent to the journey of healing itself. It is a journey that beckons us past the familiar to reveal to us a greater, more complete and whole understanding of both ourselves and the journey itself. And it can only do this if we let it.
I was definitely not wanting for information throughout my healing experience. The journey was full to the brim and overflowing with medical, holistic, energetic and intuitive information and I was absolutely saturated with it, like a sponge heavy with water.
But what I did not have for all of that information, was healing. Clearly the information = healing paradigm was not the whole truth and something else was needed. Seeing more clearly this paradigm in action all around me in the world, where it was invisibly nestled and threaded into my own consciousness and where it had been inadvertently and innocently strengthened throughout my healing education was the first step to being able to eventually step through the paradigm itself. See the paradigm, step through the paradigm, in that order. But first, we have to see it.
It is impossible to question, challenge and ultimately step right through what we cannot see in our own consciousness. Through no fault of our own, we all adopt into our personal belief system the shared beliefs held in humanity’s consciousness, whether they are about health and healing or anything else. However when we do this, we also inadvertently adopt in the limitations and errors of those very same beliefs. We all then end up sailing in the same closed harbor when our healing may be awaiting us across fresh new waters and upon another shore.
Setting Out For Fresh New Waters
The information-based paradigm has become the foundation for most approaches to healing and has a very valuable role to play. Allopathic (Western) medicine, holistic medicine, energy medicine and even medical/health intuition all offer their own unique doorways of information to help us resolve our health matters and learn to care for our unique body and being in the best ways possible. However they are simply not the full story of healing, nor do they make up the entirety of the ocean we have available to us to travel as we learn about healing. They are simply ports along the way.
Recognizing that perhaps there is something beyond information on the journey of healing is the first step to allowing in the fresh new waters that can bring us to another shore. Our oceanic travelers showed us a new, more accurate view of the world that expanded our collective understanding and opened for us so many new opportunities in our round, not flat, world. However they had to be willing to set sail themselves before they could do so. Had they not taken that important step, the true nature of the round world we inhabited might have stayed hidden from us for far longer.
Similarly, our personal willingness to see and explore beyond the information paradigm allows in new waters of understanding which may take us further on our own healing journey. In the next post, we will begin to explore these new waters and the rich promise they hold for us all.
Beginning to recognize and free ourselves from our individual and collective paradigms raises the anchor and allows more movement and discovery within our own unique healing journey. From there, we can set sail for the more expansive, and deeply hopeful, horizons of healing which fervently await our arrival.