Start with some breathing before you read the article. Take a moment and breathe in deeply, hold the breath for a few seconds and then breathe out. Hold on to that space between breaths for a couple of seconds and then repeat this for a few minutes. If thoughts come, acknowledge them, let them pass and return your focus to your breathing. I will wait. Breathing, breathing, breathing
A Conceptual Disease
I asked you to spend some time with this breathing exercise to put you into a frame of mind that will be less reactive to conditioned thoughts and emotions concerning conceptual disease such as cancer. What do I mean about conceptual diseases?
Imagine that you receive a phone call about a loved one of yours that has been diagnosed with lung cancer. Immediately, you will have a conditioned reaction. Your body will go into a reactionary mode, your mind will move into fight or flight mode, your adrenal gland will flood your system with cortisol, your heart will start racing and your breathing will get shallow.
Your mind will intervene with conditioned beliefs like: “I knew he should have stopped smoking. He knew that he would probably get lung cancer. Lung cancer is a death sentence, we all know this. He didn’t care enough about himself to allow this to happen and now , look how it is going to affect me. He will no longer be in my life. My life will never be the same.” The reactive mind is starting to weave a tight web of stories from conditioned thoughts and emotions and you are suffering.
The fact is that your reaction is not to the lung cancer, but to the story that your mind has created about the conceptual idea of lung cancer. No reaction, no story, no suffering.
Conditioning of the mind has led us to believe that we need these fearful reactions to generate a response and to resolve the problem. That is not the truth. Unless a bear is chasing us or a masked villain has jumped out of a dark alley, any prolonged fearful response and the associated feelings and emotions, will likely interfere with a response that is in our best interest.
Now, imagine taking a moment, backing off from the conditioned reaction that happens, letting the emotions pass as you observe them, regaining control and then returning to the conversation with an objective mind. You can probably imagine that you would be in a much better frame of mind in order to lend support to your loved one. If those conditioned thoughts and their attached emotions rise again, you repeat your awareness of the situation, back away from the thoughts and emotions, and in separating yourself from them, you are not dragged into the story by the mind, you maintain objectivity to deal with the problem and you do not suffer.
The point that I am making is that we humans are mostly controlled by immediate, conditioned responses to our daily activities. It is a way for the brain to be efficient in handling the many sources of input that it receives in each moment. Unfortunately, if the mind is constantly over-reacting to input, it will block our ability to use our minds in our best interest. Instead of a fearful, conditioned response to a bear jumping out at us, it reacts the same way whenever someone says something that we don’t agree with. In time, we move around on auto-pilot, reacting to one situation and then another and we lose the ability for our mind to help us with greater things, like our life’s purpose.
Intuition: The quiet whisper of guidance
Now that you understand how our conditioned mind usually reacts to the word “cancer” you can transcend that pattern and try to get a sense of the larger picture. This sense of a larger picture requires the input of the soft-spoken intuitive mind which be sensed when the mind is in the reactive, fearful state.
Let’s look a cancer from this new perspective.
Imagine that you are walking across the room and you suddenly have a sharp, stabbing pain in your leg. Your initial reaction, without thought, would be to shift your weight to the non-painful leg and go to the nearest chair and sit down. You might think about where the pain is coming from and what you might need to do to stop it. You might take a pill or give yourself a massage and if the pain goes away, you no longer need to address it. But, if the pain persists you might go to the doctor to find out if the pain is being caused by something bigger.
Let’s say you go to the doctor and find out that the pain you are having in your leg is because you have a mineral imbalance. The doctor looks at your diet and tells you that you are not eating the right foods and helps you create a better, balanced diet. Seems simple, but if the leg never hurt you might not have addressed the larger problem which, if it persisted, might cause a more serious illness or death. If this were the case, the painful symptom that showed itself was a blessing in disguise, one that might have saved your life.
Ok, now imagine that your loved one started coughing went to the doctor, only to find out that they have lung cancer. Once that diagnosis has been made then the attention shifts as to how to resolve the problem. Unfortunately, from this perspective, most of the time, lung cancer is not resolved and most likely your loved one will die.
Why don’t we try to stretch the imagination and imagine that the cancer itself was a symptom of something larger, like the leg pain that led to finding out about the life threatening mineral deficiency. What if the symptoms of cancer pointed to the cancer so that it could point to something larger? If we absolutely knew that this was the case and that the cancer was a tool of awareness, perhaps it might change our perspective about the concept of that disease.
That’s pretty mind blowing.
Try to consider a few ideas that many consider universal truths. Life does not make mistakes. Life is perfect in its manifestation. There is a divine plan or purpose that is beyond our ability to perceive. If I can accept these as universal truths, how can I possibly think that anything, including cancer, is a mistake. If by chance, cancer is not a mistake, then how can we imagine understanding how it could benefit us? We may never know. The answer might lie in the accepting and opening to the possibility.
I remember hearing a guru once saying, “There is just as much God in your disease as there is in your healthy body.” Her emphasis was based on the universal law that there are no mistakes in life, just misunderstandings.
If we were open to this possibility, what would that look like?
First, we must absolutely understand that accepting this belief would in no way interfere with our action to rid the physical body from cancer. We would be just as aggressive in returning our body to a healthy state, we would just be open to the possibility that allowing life to express itself in the way that it wants, we might learn a greater truth from our experience. Maybe, just maybe, if our experience reveals a greater truth about ourselves, we will no longer need the experience, and we will be healed. The cancer goes away and does not return. If this were not about you having an experience, the experience would be happening to the lady across the street. Every experience in your life is for you not being done to you.
Next week I will continue exploring this in my next post. For now what let me know what you think!