Like many in the West, I grew up with a concept
of the superiority of Spirit over Matter and of intellect over
emotions. I have subsequently come not merely to regret my "imprinting," but
to feel deeply remorseful over my own misunderstandings, this to
the extent of wanting to spend the rest of my life atoning for
misconceptions and the imbalances that issued from them.
My present understanding cannot be grasped outside
of the context of the healer who genuinely wants everyone to be
happy and well. In the early 1980s, I met a psychologist, a neighbor
named Cynthia Stauffer, later Thea Nye, who took an immediate interest
in my work. As a psychologist, she was trained to look at needs
and what makes a person feel good and what undermines the
psychological sense of well-being. We were forever brainstorming
these issues from the angle of what is now called the inner child.
The inner child was, of course, always there. People simply were
not trying to make contact with that child and did not recognize
the importance of the child though I had been somewhat prepared
for this realization through my work with a kahuna
named Morrnah Simeona.
Morrnah's initial comment was in response to
a question about Rolfing, a form of massage that is often quite
painful and, of course, utterly different from the Hawaiian lomi-lomi
in which Morrnah was an expert. One day, when I was lying face
down on a hardwood floor, Mornnah walked on the bottoms of my
feet up the back of my legs and to my skull. I thought I was
in Paradise. Moreover, though it was a hot and humid day in Honolulu,
Mornnah's feet smelled of roses. It was very easy for me to take
in her gift of healing!
The subconscious is magnetic. Thus, in
its normal mode, it is receptive. Basically, it has only one
major defense: discrimination. With great effort, the subconscious
can define a situation or healing modality as unsuitable and
choose to reject it. This, however, takes strength because
it entails resistance and the determination to deflect what
is directed towards it. If the subconscious does not rebuff
what feels harmful to it, it becomes a victim, and this is,
in fact, how many people feel today: they are victims of circumstances
that are hurtful, dangerous, and/or life-threatening.
The intellect has almost no capacity to understand
much less appreciate how the subconscious feels. At best, in
a sympathetic moment, it can express some banality or other that
the subconscious often does not accept as truth. For instance, "eat
this, it will make you better,"
may sound reasonable to the educated mind but totally fallacious
to the subconscious, which, in fact, does know more about the
physical and emotional aspects of our being than does the intellect,
a part of us that is often deeply out of touch with feelings
and the more organic and life supporting aspects of existence.
longer I have studied the subconscious, the more I understand
that the physical body is an almost perfect reflection of the
psychological patterns held in the subconscious. More importantly,
it cannot be healed by platitudes or poisons because these
merely contribute to the traumas of (1) not feeling understood
and (2) victimization by an intellectually dominant force that
arrogantly and mistakenly believes it knows more than what
is obvious and instinctually known to the subconscious.
Given this understanding, I spent many years
during my own dark night of the soul searching for what would
be healing for others. It has been a long journey. More than
thirty years ago, I started an article called "Recovering
I have never been able to complete this article but I recognize
that it the most difficult work we ever do.
We all have a schism between the
body and mind and between psychology
and spirituality. The easiest way to explain this is to take
the rules of monastic
disciplines. Whether in the East or West, it was generally
accepted that a person of the cloth could not serve two masters.
The novitiate was required to renounce wealth and sensuality.
I can remember films of "great" teachers throwing gold
coins into the river to prove they are above materialism and
greed. Poor people, even children of the teachers, might watch
as the water buried the coins in the silt. How materialism came
to be so scorned is baffling to the practical wisdom of the subconscious,
a part of us that knows that just as plants need sunlight and
water, we are dependent upon life given by God and the support
of the Divine Mother or Nature.
I might argue that just as there
is nothing inherently holy about poverty, there is nothing especially
remarkable about celibacy except the fuss people make over it.
Obviously, we live in a time of great sexual conflict and confusion
where there is tremendous potential for traumatic experiences
as well as bliss. Denial of our physicality serves no one any
more than any other austerity. Rigid diets and eccentric notions
concerning money and sex are personal issues, and while I can't
speak for the Divine, I suspect that we live in a Universe that
has come into being because of the union of Essence and Space,
masculine and feminine, and Purpose with Process. It is exactly
this process that is so misunderstood by those who would
attempt to heal without understanding the nature of the wounds
that have been experienced by those who are moving towards the
fulfillment of their destinies but encountering obstacles, pain,
and suffering in the process.
It is my mission now to support
the healing of the schism between psychology and spirituality,
to do so lovingly and with deep appreciation of the causes of
disharmony. I work with diet and herbs that address symptoms,
with inspired classical music to awaken a sense of the divine,
and in altered states of consciousness that resemble the near-death
experience so that individuals can experience the compassionate
understanding that exists within the soul.