Kundalini Splendor

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Monday, July 25, 2005

Who Can Heal Us? 

Recently, I attended an afternoon workshop demonstrating the healing skills of a well known energy healer. Many reported that their symptoms were alleviated or perhaps had disappeared entirely during the session. For some reason, I had a negative reaction. I felt quite exposed and even somewhat violated to be presented in this way (another case to be revealed in all her imperfection) before a public audience. Instead of feeling empowered, I felt diminished. My pain subsided somewhat at the time, but this morning, I experienced deep pain in some of the areas supposedly healed.

This healer was clearly quite expert in his technique. He has a long record of successes. He was quite self-confident in his manner, and indeed, assured us many times over that the trick was not to be bothered by our pain or that of others; we were instructed to locate the "source," (mental or psychological distress), to identify the emotion, and then to dismiss it rather than identifying with it. It sounded easy. It also sounded a bit too easy, rather like repeating "just say no" to cure addiction.

Of course, I totally agree that physical pain has a mental or emotional component, and locating and identifying that source can in fact often alleviate the suffering.
But, on reflection, I think I felt too threatened by this man's manner to respond to his efforts. My anxiety stood in the way of the process. From his point of view, I "didn't want" to be healed. From my point of view, I was too up tight to relax into the experience. He insisted there were two possible responses to everything--either strong or weak. He had a very strong personality. I became weak in his presence. We were not a good fit.

My chi gong teacher, on the contrary, is a very soft, very caring person. She is, to be frank, somewhat disorganized. She often forgets the forms, and even has to look them up in her instruction book. But in her classes, I often have wondrous experiences. All anxiety is gone. I can learn forms from her in a way quite novel for me. I often experience bliss states which lift my spirits for days to come. I love going to class, because there I am strong, though she sometimes seems a bit "weak."

So, this discussion leads to the question: who can really heal us? Is it the "authority figure" (read doctor, therapist, renowned teacher, famous healer) who supposedly "knows it all", and offers us a kind of condescending prescription for improvement in our lives? Or is it a kind and loving spirit who helps us find the healer within, the one waiting to be called forth in the right circumstances?

(And I can't help noting that the former represents the "masculine model" of distanced expertise, and the latter the "feminine" mode of caring concern which often combines with knowledge to produce outstanding results.)

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