When you or your pet goes to the conventional western medicine doctor, the doctor will use intellectual medicine to try to resolve the problem. There is nothing wrong with this, up to a point. Western practitioners, from the time they enter medical/vet school and into their practice, intellectual medicine is their mindset.
The intellectual mind, what used to be referred to as the left-brain mind, deals with problem solving. It likes to look at something, breaks it down into pieces, see the causes and effects and puts it all together to solve the problem. Illness, to the intellectual doctor, is problem solving. The patient has these symptoms, the problem to be solved is making a diagnosis. Once the diagnosis is made, they turn to their tools, drugs, surgery, etc. to treat the problem.
The downside to this approach to medicine is that it becomes stagnant. Intelligence thinking requires awareness of previous knowledge. The doctor uses his or her knowledge base to solve the problem. There has to be a reference to turn to in order to solve the problem.
I once practiced with a fellow that would go into the exam room, talk to the pet caretaker and do an examination on the pet, and then run into the office, turn on the computer and let a veterinary software program solve the problem. Ouch. Even if that doesn’t happen, we turn to the software program in our heads. That software program came from our education and experience.
The good thing about this mindset for practicing medicine is that we get really good at what we know. The bad thing about this mindset is that we are very poor at figuring out new things. The intellect needs a reference and if it doesn’t have one, it gets stuck and can’t move forward.
Albert Einstein, the great physicists and intellectual, once said that everything of significance that he ever did came from a source that was not him. The idea that he had was not an intellectual idea.
Imagine that you lived at a time where you had to take the train to go from town to town. It would be pretty simple. Get on a train at a certain time. The train follows the track to the next town where you may or may not get off. Train travel was very predictable but it was also very limiting. If you wanted to go to a town that the track didn’t run through, you had to make other plans.
This is the same with conventional medicine. It is like the railroad train. It is consistent, predictable and safe. But, it is limited in its abilities and certainly doesn’t have the ability to have new ideas about medicine and health care. It might have new ideas that come from intellectual referencing, but it is not capable of looking outside the box as it would no longer have the reference that it needs.
Nowadays, we travel by car or airplane. They get us where we want to be and give us great flexibility that the trains could not. This is where a holistic mindset for medicine allows health care to move beyond the limitations and create new ideas that will lead us down new pathways, always expanding, always improving.
The idea that the Wright brothers had about flying did not come from intellectual thinking. It was a divine idea that was followed by intellectual thinking in order to make the idea work. This is the same thing that happened time and again with Einstein.
In almost 40 years of veterinary practice, I can’t help but notice how stuck we are in conventional medicine. We keep looking at the same old things from the same old mindset. We improve our tools and technology to make the railroad work better, but we never move beyond our limitations.
So, where do these divine ideas come from? They come from the source energy and intelligence that made the universe. Simply put, the universe and all of its entities, arose from this matrix of source energy. Imagine going to the movie. You are sitting in front of a large, white screen. Then, suddenly, a movie comes onto the screen and you watch the action. You become so involved in the action of the movie, you have lost awareness that it is all happening on the screen. The screen is still there but you have shifted your attention on the motion picture.
The intellectual mind and all of its activities, including conventional health care, arose out of this matrix of subtle energy and intelligence, but we have become so focused on the items arising from it, we have forgotten its presence. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t still there. When the movie at the theatre stops, the screen reappears. It never left in the first place.
When the clinician’s mind gets stuck in the same old movie, it fails to be aware of that which the movie originated. And, it is only in that subtle energy source that divine ideas appear. A genuine holistic approach to health care is aware of this energy and uses the intuitive mind to tap into that source of new ideas and guidance. How does the clinician do this? By dropping the intellectual, thinking mind. This is not to say that we clinicians should not be using this wonderful tool we have been given. It is only to point out that both minds can’t be used at the same time and to be a holistic practitioner, one has to be able to use both parts of the mind.
The same thing can happen with the pet caretaker. If a pet gets seriously ill, the caretaker uses her conditioned, intellectual mind to try to resolve the problem. “If I try hard enough, I will make this better.” The intellectual mind of the vet is in cahoots with the intellectual mind of the caretaker; questioning, getting frustrated that there are no more options. No matter how hard one tries, the intellect can only take you so far.
I talk to many pet caretakers that are so wrapped up in trying to solve the problem that they are drowning in anxiety and frustration. They question things the vet tells them. They question the lab results and so on. They go for second and third opinions and then to the specialists; all using the intellectual mind, all coming up with the same limitations.
That is when it is time to follow a new track. That is when you turn to the guiding source within and that can only be done by quieting the thinking mind. Dropping the thoughts and emotions, creating a stillness, is the only way for insight and intuitiveness to come into your presence. It is an art that most of us have forgotten, but it is one that needs to be readdressed.