Much of what I intend to write in the next days and weeks will be my own musings on the material that I am reading in Gerald Epstein's book, Healing into Immortality. I've no intention of copying large portions of the text, although I may quote brief excerpts, so some may want to actually get a copy of the book. That surely isn't a requirement, if you just want to ponder my own ramblings, but if you want to see the original material that I'm working from, then Amazon.com is your friend. Here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/HEALING-INTO-IMMORTALITY-Gerald-Epstein/dp/0553351915
I remember that the first time I read this book, I had an agenda. A friend of mine was in the final stages of breast cancer -- it had metastasized after having been in remission for a number of years. Her two young daughters were aged 8 and 11, and her husband was absolutely devastated. In those days, I was interested in some sort of magic for my friend. It was her healing that I hoped to effect, and when I didn't find the key to that miracle, I became disillusioned and disappointed. Now, so many years later, I am fully aware that I can only walk this path for myself. Much as I might want to work magic for those I love, that work is not mine.
And so, to begin:
"The essential teaching of spiritual medicine is that we possess the means for healing ourselves through the use of our inner mental processes. We make ourselves our own authority and take the responsibility for our health and well-being into our own hands."
For me, that is like a smack up alongside the head. How long, I have to ask myself, have I been mired in thinking about my life, and our lives, as one long string of catastrophes? How long have I cataloged the troubles and traumas, longing for the day, somewhere in the distant future, when we might finally come to the other side of all of it and be able to relax and enjoy ourselves? How long have I patted myself on the back, and told myself what a good and faithful partner/lover/slave I've been for patiently and faithfully taking on the role of caretaker when I'd so much rather be taken care of? And in between all of that fussing and whining? I wonder how many lovely, delightful, joyful, special and entrancing moments have slid by me without a moment's notice precisely because I was so busy being miserable?
Actually, I don't wonder really. I know. I've played the victim and martyr really well, and in doing that I've let go of my own power and my own authority, and let circumstances control me and my responses. I haven't been well-served by that descent into personal powerlessness, and I haven't been well-suited to serve the well-being of my loves; my family. Now, in the grip of yet another crisis, I think I finally "get it." I want to find the tools to heal myself; to achieve personal wellness; so that I might be better able to help heal my family.
The majority of people in the Western world hold to the belief that chance is the fundamental reality, ... and that it can perpetrate on us, at any random moment, some awful consequence... Along with this belief comes the notion that there cannot be an invisible reality and that we are fundamentally enslaved, mechanical beings who operate in a determined manner, according to fixed cause-and-effect laws...
When we drop the belief in chance from our consciousness...we step onto the path of spirit... Human beings are born with free will and have the choice to create their own reality... Nothing happens by chance ... Everything comes from the invisible reality and is made manifest through the actions of our will.
It is all so very "new age." So "woo-woo," that I am skeptical and suspicious. I can imagine that I might stomp around in this stuff for awhile and get nothing much at all out of it but a chorus of "I told you so's." That is surely within the realm of possibility. On the other hand, there is that wickedly enticing, what if...