“Sir, did you lose something?”
The man replied, “Why, yes, I lost my car keys”.
The kind stranger immediately offered to help him find the lost keys.
After some time searching, with no results, the stranger, frustrated but wanting to be helpful, asked,
“Sir, are you sure you lost the keys here?”
“Oh, no!” said the man. “I lost them over there by the wall. In the shadows.”
“Why are we looking, here?” exclaimed the stunned stranger.
“Because there’s more light.” replied the man.
Like the story of the lost keys, one will never find true healing until one knows where to look. We can cure the problem, that is true. But curing does not necessarily equal healing.
The terms “curing” and “healing” are often misunderstood. To many, they are used interchangeably to refer to the same thing. Although both have as their objective the putting an end to a problem; physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual, what it means to cure a problem is vastly different from what it means to heal it. While curing is correctly thought of as ending a problem, healing goes further by not only ending the problem, but addressing the foundation of the problem at its root cause(s) thus ending the very need for the problem in the first place. The differences are in space and time.
Curing is temporary, healing permanent. Although curing always occurs instantaneously, it unfolds in our lives over time. Healing, too, occurs instantaneously, but it transcends time and space to alter time and space. Curing fixes us, healing changes us. For example, if I have a problem with mosquitoes, I can spray the pond killing the mosquito larvae. This will fix (cure) the problem … temporarily. However, the pond is still there. The mosquitoes will lay eggs again. The problem will return. But if I drain the pond (heal it), thus addressing the root cause, I will permanently change the problem. No more mosquitoes.
Healing practitioners may claim they heal, but most don’t. That does not take away the importance of their work. But healing is not what they do. They can correct the problem. They can even end the problem. But, the pond is still there. Healing is not accomplished. Let me use an illustration.
At the bottom of a pond, a frog burps. A bubble is formed. As it rises to the surface it grows bigger and bigger. In time we see the bubble at the surface of the pond. The bubble did not originate at the surface. It did not even originate when the first bubble formed. It originated as a distress in the frog lying deep beneath the sand. Addressing the bubble anywhere other than within the frog is valuable, but it’s not healing.
Let’s use an example: A patient has a defective heart value. The doctor surgically replaces the malfunctioning valve and the patient now lives an active and normal life. The doctor did not heal the patient, he cured him.
This in no way diminishes the value of what the doctor did. On the contrary,
addressing the heart condition … ‘the bubble’ … when we catch it … ‘at the surface of the pond’ … is of the utmost importance. But, it is not healing. Remember, the bubble originated within the frog. We experience the bubble only when it surfaces in the same way we experience the heart condition when we have the symptoms, or it is detected in some other way. Unless dealt with at its source, the bubble will emerge again in a similar form, or perhaps in a different form. But It will surface again. It is not healed! And because it’s not healed it will continue to emerge in some form until it has. The problem will always demand our attention. The bubble always comes to the surface, never the other way around. The problem is not the bubble, the problem is the frog’s distress.
Where to look? All illness (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual) originates within the Unconscious. We, in time, experience it consciously after it is processed through our Subconscious filters. The malfunctioning heart valve may have resulted due to any number of factors from poor diet, stress, genetic or environmental influence, etc. but its true origins lie within the Unconscious. The factors leading to the faulty valve are the emerging bubbles as they rise to the surface. We see the bubble at the surface, but we do not observe the bubbles surfacing from the frog.
Everything is the Unconscious. All our realty is that part of the Unconscious we make real for ourselves consciously. It is an out-picturing of our inner, hidden world. We have measuring devices we use to do this; our five senses, our beliefs and attitudes, thoughts and feelings, choices and decisions, our temporal lobes, subconscious projections, etc. Think of our reality is a movie projected on a screen. It is not real. It is, in truth, only an illusion we make real, believe is real, apply our ‘suspension of disbelief’ to. The movie is on the film we wrote, produced and placed within the projector. Change the movie, change the film … change what we observe and experience. Trying to change it on the screen is pointless. The images on the screen are not real, the story on the film we created is, however, real for us. It is real because we believe it is.
How do we heal, then? Do we go into the Unconscious somehow to discover what is there? You could, but you wouldn’t remember what you discovered … you’re unconscious! There are, however, two ways to know what the Unconscious is telling you, what it is trying to get your attention to address:
(1) We could wait … knowing that whatever is within our Unconscious, will, in time, become conscious. We will experience what lies within our Unconscious when, in time, it expresses itself in our reality … when the bubble reaches the surface. This method, though everyone does it, is not recommended
(2) We can listen to its whispers. We can listen to how the Unconscious speaks to us in our reality. We can listen for the emerging bubbles. We can learn to understand its language, and we can choose to act upon it.
The language of the Unconscious is not linear language. It does not speak to us in English, French, Latin, or Urdu. It speaks in the non-linear language of myth, metaphor, archetype, and symbol. When we can step back and look to our reality as a myth, a metaphor, a reflection of an archetype, a symbol, we can gain a greater sense of what its telling us. When we step back from the movie and accept that we are its author, we then have the power to be conscious of it, and, if we choose, change it.
In linear language, ‘heart’ is a specific organ of the body. In the language of the Unconscious it may involve any issue concerning love … be it issues with self-love, love’s loss (love’s pain), love’s absence, love’s humiliation, love’s betrayal, etc., etc. When made conscious in our reality, issues of the heart can manifest at the surface of the pond as physical conditions, or relationship problems, or any other areas of our life we would relate to the heart. Address the Unconscious issue and there is no need for its physical manifestation. The bubble would not surface if the distress of the frog is attended to. The Unconscious must be attended to consciously.
In linear language, ‘blood’ means “the fluid that circulates in the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins that carry nourishment and oxygen to, and brings away waste from, all parts of the body” (Merriam Webster Dictionary). High blood pressure, leukemia, or any health issues involving blood, is our Unconscious speaking of deeper issues needing attending to. Perhaps around family, community, the nurturing of loved ones (or lack thereof), our personal sense of connection, et al. ‘Blood’ is a metaphor for the more real issue(s) in the Unconscious.
Remember … whatever is in the Unconscious will, in time, become conscious. Whatever gas is within the frog must emerge and grow until it emerges full blown at the pond’s surface.
It is important to also be aware that we are not being attacked, here. We are not being punished. The Unconscious is trying to get our attention, that is all. It is trying to help us. It is trying to tell us to address a hidden problem that stands between us and living a life of health, happiness and freedom. Although this may seem a shocker, everything in our reality is there to help us become more of who we really are. Nothing in our reality is there to harm us unless we create, or allow it so. We may not have created the malfunctioning heart valve, the cancer, the heart attack, etc., but we allowed it by not listening to the whispers before they became shouts. When we pay attention to our Unconscious whispers, when we learn to listen and observe our realty with sharpened and honed measuring devices, we can transcend anything. We can turn a tragedy into a love story; a melodrama into a comedy. We can just re-write the story in the projector.
Like the lost car keys, true healing, as well as discovering the more real of you, requires that you look in the darkest shadows of yourself. Healing awaits you, there. Treasures beyond what you can imagine await you, there.