Why am I not healed?

Conventional modern medicine has made great strides, the main progress having been focussed on specially formulated chemical substances and sophisticated surgical
techniques with their high-tech electronic aids.

This has led to some truly amazing advances, but it has also resulted in specialisation and an approach to the whole subject of ‘health and wholeness’ which has been increasingly concerned with the ‘point of pain’ rather than the ‘person in pain’. This can result in the treatment of symptoms whilst an underlying cause may go undetected.

The person in pain

The human spirit that thinks, feels and experiences is neither chemical nor
computerised, but a living consciousness with non-physical (as well as
physical) dimensions. The realisation that beauty is more than skin deep is
equally true of health. The whole person is more than the outer physical shell.
There is increasing reason to question the underlying conviction of
conventional medicine that ultimately all disorders have a physical cause that
can be treated by surgery or chemistry.

Emanuel Swedenborg maintained that there is an intimate relationship between the human spirit and the human body; between the spiritual plane and the natural plane of
life. The spiritual plane is the plane of causes; the natural that of effects.
For anything to come into being it will have a spiritual origin. In the case of
diseases this can be due to a spiritual condition within ourselves or the
spiritual environment around us, or a combination of both. This is not to say
that it is all in the mind; very far from it.

A magnificent cathedral is not only in the mind, but its origin was in the mind. Its bricks and stones are a natural expression of those who built it; their sense of a sacred space – a
deeply felt spiritual reality of feeling, thought and imagination. If this is true of the buildings we inhabit, is it not very probable that it is equally true of the bodies we live in – the temple of the human soul?

To change a house to suit our needs requires thought and imagination as well as the right materials. It is surely reasonable to expect that both physical and spiritual action are needed to complement each other in health care too.

 Inner and outer health

Emanuel Swedenborg, writing during the time of the early beginnings of conventional
medicine, whilst accepting it has value, points to deeper spiritual causes:

“Things existing in the natural world are nothing else than effects; their causes exist
in the spiritual world. … If the natural part of a person’s being were
separated from the spiritual part it would be separated from the entire cause
from which it has its being and so from all that brings it life. Even so, this
does not make it impossible for a person to be healed by natural remedies, for
the Lord’s providence works in co-operation with means such as these.”
(Arcana Coelestia sections 5711, 5713)

For some, the priority is physical health, with health and wholeness of spirit,
whilst acknowledged as important, seen as of lesser importance. Swedenborg
takes a very different view. He looks at the larger perspective of life that
only has its early beginnings on the earth-plane of existence. He seeks to show
us the over-riding importance of the health and wholeness of the spirit or soul
which lives on long after our bodily outer shell.

Divine Providence, he maintains, is concerned with our physical health, but this is of secondary importance compared with the inner needs of the heart, mind and life itself
which are not material at all, but spiritual.

The placebo effect

Modern medicine well recognises that disease, stress and anxiety are significant
health risks, and the list of ‘stress-related’ illnesses includes digestive,
coronary and cancerous conditions. Too often, however, the positive placebo
effect, where recovery takes place through faith in the treatment, even if
phoney, is simply seen as something to eliminate in a clinical trial. With
notable exceptions few have looked at this as a means of healing, when it is unquestionably
powerful in its potential effect.

In looking to use and understand this ‘effect’, a constantly recurring theme in
Swedenborg’s writings needs to be reconsidered. He maintains there is a
corresponding link between spiritual and natural levels of being. Many
recognise that effects emanating from our inner state, very similar to the
placebo effect, work in a variety of ways on our health.

Consider how the ‘spiritual pollution’ of personality caused by unresolved conflicts, worry,
hatred, envy and grief undermines not just spiritual well-being but, in time, physical health also. On the positive side few deny the effects of love, humility, forgiveness, peace and prayer in the promotion of health at all levels of our being. It is high time we accepted the challenge to outgrow the myth that our state of health is no more than the state of of the molecules of which the body is composed, and face the importance of developing inner health and wholeness. Diet has its place, but so does devotion, faith and forgiveness.
It is not a case of ‘either/or’ but the holistic ‘both/and’ that accepts and affirms the spiritual dimension in healing.

Those who are not healed

To penetrate the problem of those who ‘do the right things’ yet still do find
healing, whilst others do, we need Swedenborg’s clearer understanding of
underlying causes, and the relationship between inner and outer, between
spiritual and material. Spiritual growth and the unfolding of the real meaning
of our lives involves light and dark, good and bad, health and dis-ease.

All our experiences serve a use and for the many who cry ‘why me’ there are a few,
who like the Christ, say ‘why not me’. Whilst Swedenborg does not maintain
‘these things are sent to try us’, he is clear that they are only permitted if
it is possible for some eternal benefit to our spiritual health to result.

Copyright 2012 Clifford Curry

Posted on4th August 2012CategoriesMeaning of life, SufferingTags,, , , , , , , , ,

HOW GREAT THESE SUFFERINGS WERE

How great these sufferings were, we can never know. They surpassed all human comprehension, and all finite power to endure. They did not consist in His humiliation, or in the indignities offered to His person, and the pain inflicted upon him by the Jews. Thousands of men have been treated with more physical cruelty than He was. They have been put upon the rack, and when every fibre had been stretched, every joint wrenched, every nerve tortured to the extreme limit of physical power to bear, medical science has been taxed to keep up the failing powers that the agony might be prolonged as much as possible. Multitudes have endured poverty and privation; have been deserted by every friend; have been mocked, scourged, and crucified, and yet their suffering bore no comparison to the Lord’s.

What the Jews did to his body typified and represented what the whole infernal host strove to do to the Divine itself. He was assaulted with the same fierceness and malignity by all the infernal powers, that the Jews heaped upon His innocent head, and with inconceivably greater strength and fury. Every avenue to the Divine within was thronged with evil forces; every evil desire in the assumed humanity was aroused and excited to the most intense activity, as the Divine flowed down into the infirm human, and sought to put it off and substitute itself in its place.

There is but little said in the gospels concerning our Lord from His infancy until His entrance upon His public ministry. Do you suppose He was idle all this time? That cannot be. Our doctrines teach us that He “was about His Father’s business.” He was subduing all things unto Himself; He was undergoing the most cruel temptations. Every false principle and every evil affection that ever existed in a fallen humanity was awakened and passed through all its stages of progress from its rise to its entire subjection and expulsion. As Jehovah, He was infinite, and He must, therefore, have experienced every state that is possible to all finite beings. He saw every evil and every false principle in all its naked and hideous deformity and fearful consequences, and every evil left its sting. His human nature was subject to all the illusions of a fallacious good; to all the weariness, the doubt, the darkness, the disappointment, the despair that the whole body of humanity has suffered. You never suffered a pang which He did not. All generations, past and future, never did, and never will taste a sorrow which was not concentrated in the bitter cup He drained to the dregs. “He tasted death, for every man.”