"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
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. 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. These experiences serve as powerful introduction to, and reinforcement of, the foundational human belief that information about the problem is essential to healing it - 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 our experiences of health and healing, along with what is constantly confirmed to us from the outside about same, then unfurls this one belief into an entire framework or way of understanding healing itself. What started out as a shared belief that may or may not be completely true takes on the new identity 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 which profoundly influences what we see as well as how we personally and collectively 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 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 question if it was truly more information I needed, or, if perhaps there were other ways of seeing and understanding healing and other aspects of intuition that could help me 'see in the dark' when all forms of information were not able to bring me any closer to a true healing.
At some point in each recovery I had to leave the known and familiar ways and beliefs of the time in order to heal, whether those ways or beliefs existed outside of me in a model of medicine that had no answers or help for me, or whether they existed inside of me as what was safe, known, handed-down, familiar. The invitation to leave familiar shores I have come to realize is inherent to the journey of healing itself. The path invites us to move beyond what we currently might know or believe in order to reveal a more whole understanding of both ourselves and of healing. Something it can only reveal to us if we allow it to.
I definitely was not wanting for information throughout my recent healing experience. The journey was full to the brim and overflowing with medical, holistic, energetic and intuitive information. I was saturated with it, like a sponge heavy with water. But what I did not have for all of that information, was healing.
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 systems the shared beliefs held by our culture, our families, our generation, our models of healing. However when we do this, we also inadvertently adopt the limitations and errors of those very same beliefs. We then end up sailing in a 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-oriented paradigm has become a 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 and together create a wide variety of healing options which can help us care for body and being.
However like ports along the way they still are not the entirety of the ocean we have available to us to travel as we search for healing. For those struggling to recover their well-being and who have visited each of these ports and more, there are 'invisible geographies' still to explore. If one has not yet healed this alone an important, and deeply hopeful, idea to realize. Opening to the idea that perhaps there is something beyond the information paradigm on the journey of healing is much like opening the lock of a large canal; it is the one of the first important realizations that allows in fresh new waters and a fresh opportunity to still head toward healing shores.
Our oceanic travelers proved a new, more accurate view of the world which expanded our collective understanding and opened up so many new opportunities in our round, rather than flat, world. Had they not taken that important voyage, the true nature of the round world we inhabited might have stayed somewhat hidden and unproved for far longer.
Similarly, taking the voyage past our individual and collective paradigms, past currently shared beliefs and assumptions we have about healing begins to weigh the anchor and prepare us for greater discoveries and possibilities on our own healing journey. From there, we can set sail for the more expansive and deeply hopeful horizons of healing which fervently await our arrival.
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