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Spirit Faces

                        Mark Macy

 

 

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Copyright © 1991 by Mark Macy

 

I

Contents

 

Prologue by Bernie Siegel, M.D. 7

 

Introduction 11

 

Part I: Healing Our Lives 15

 

1. Energy Medicine in China 17

David Eisenberg, M.D.

    Sidebar: Toward Complete Healing 22

2. A Vision of Peace 33

Emmett Miller, M.D.

    Sidebar: Guided Visualization 38

3. Crisis as a Turning Point: What Sickness Taught Me About Healing 43

Mark Macy

4. The Family: Back to Basics 63

Judith Clabes

    Sidebar: Restoring Healthy Tradition 66

 

Part II: Healing Our Societies 71

 

5. Family Planning in China 73

Dr. Liang Jimin and Wang Xiangying

    Sidebar: The Uphill Fight Against Harmful Tradition 75

6. Healing Our Social Neurosis 95

Paul Wachtel

    Sidebar: Addiction 98

7. Swadhyaya: The Silent, Singing Revolution of India 113

Majid Rahnema

    Sidebar: Overcoming Addiction 116

8. Helping Children Become Good Adults in a Complex World 135

Joseph Schaeffer

    Sidebar: Body Cells or Beasts? 140

 

Part III: Healing the Planet 147

 

9. Beyond Economics 149

Hazel Henderson

    Figure 1: Total Production System in an Industrial Economy 153

    Table 1: Country Futures Indicators 156 Sidebar: Trust 158

10. Global Healing Through Global Education 163

Robert Muller

    Sidebar: What Is Spirituality? 168

11. Guidelines for New Citizen Diplomats 175

John W. McDonald

    Sidebar: The Global Brain and the Human Heart 181

12. The Common Heritage of Humankind 185

Keith D. Suter

    Sidebar: Doing More with Less 192

13. Beyond the Brundtland Report 195

Hilkka Pietila

    Figure 2: Cultivation Economy 200

    Figure 3: Extraction Economy 201

    Sidebar: An. Ailing World Needs a Mother's Care 207

 

The Final Chapter: Toward a Global Consensus 210

Table 2: Healing Our Lives, Our Societies and Our Planet 234

Index 236

 

 

 

Prologue

 

Exploring outer space seems to hold more of a fascination for us than exploring our inner reality. We are more inclined to go out of our minds than into them. Yet if mankind had the courage to go into its own darkness and explore it, we would be much further along the path to peace and planetary healing. Just think where we would be today if all the time, money and genius spent on space exploration had been used instead to delve into the mysteries of life within us. We would certainly be enjoying a richer life with a more thorough understanding of such concepts as peace, love and healing. Curing symptoms, the broad aim of modern medicine, would take a back seat to peace of mind and genuine caring between doctor and patient. Healing patients' lives, rather than just curing their symptoms, would become the ultimate aim of medical professionals.

An inside job. Healing must begin at the most basic level. For individuals in a genuine healing mode, it means every cell in our body participates in the desire to live and love. For mankind to heal will mean every child will grow up knowing that they are loved. This pervasive love integrates life and leads to behavior on the part of cells, individuals and groups that is life-enhancing:

addictions, pollution and self-destructive behavior are not practiced by truly loving people because they feel no need to seek substitutes for their love.

A healed life provides physical as well as behavioral benefits. We are, after all, a body-mind and our feelings are chemical. Messages in the form of peptide molecules are scattered throughout our bodies, concentrated in the brain, the gut and other areas, acting as a sixth sense and turning our thoughts and "gut feelings" into muscle action and growth. We are, in fact, what we think. When we feed negative or incorrect messages to our bodies via our thoughts, we are being self-destructive. On the other hand, when we laugh, love and hope, every cell in our body is aware of our happiness and we live up to our greatest potential. When we start feeding our body love, we change our pattern of thinking from why me? to try me! and life becomes a challenge and a means of expressing our love for the world.

Just as our American Indian ancestors made decisions after considering how the seventh generation succeeding them would be affected, so also will our decisions incorporate a love for others and our planet when we are genuinely healing.

A matter of choice. In order to make this love meaningful it must come of free will. This brings danger as well as meaning to the love, for if free will is involved, those who choose not to love can make life more perilous for those who do. We have the technology today to destroy the world if we do not choose to love. It is nice to believe that a miracle is about to unfold. Having witnessed many miraculous recoveries among my patients when they came to accept and give love freely, I like to envision a similar "spontaneous remission" of our planetary ills occurring in the coming years when we simply, consciously decide to choose love and healing over destruction and suffering. Meanwhile, even in this troubled age we humans are basically loving. If enough of us love we will be safe. Our loving consciousness will affect others.

For those of us who today are suffering, how can we tap into this consciousness and move in the direction of healing? The Bible and the great prophets tell us God speaks to us in dreams and visions. Regardless of our personal concept of God—the life force, the Self, DNA, a superintelligence within each of us, or whatever—the Truth as it applies to each of us can be found there. I believe that a fertilized egg contains a map to our finest personal destiny and a message that if we follow the map we can each become the best human being possible. Those individuals who leam to listen to the message become the finest people of any age. And the wonderful news is, it is a skill available to all of us. When we open to the unconscious we connect with our total knowledge and awareness and can truly find our unique path. The healing path. In healing the planet we must all learn to reconnect with our silent feelings and unconscious awareness. We must reawaken the unique clarity of vision of the child within each of us.

A subject of training. Long-term planetary healing will require that we provide this mental, emotional balance to all our growing children as well. We can begin the process by licensing parents. I say this with tongue mostly (though not entirely) in cheek. All future parents must be allowed to understand and share the difficulties of parenting and to learn ways of dealing with these difficulties, so that parents' inadequacies will not be taken out on their children.

The most serious planetary illness today is a lack of love for our children. That without love we do not grow is true literally as well as figuratively. X-rays of neglected children reveal dense lines in their bones indicating periods of no love and no growth. This disease above all others must be eliminated if we hope to achieve a peaceful, wholesome world. In the future all children will need to know three things: 1) parents do have defects, 2) age does not guarantee wisdom, and 3) all children are born loveable.

As these children are schooled, the message of love must be reaffirmed on an individual basis as well as a worldwide basis. They will learn they are children both of humankind and the universe. They will be taught that they are capable of self-healing, that they can heal themselves and their planet by their actions. They need not rely on those older than they to heal them. As this occurs, addictions and self-destructive behavior will have no place in their thinking. There will be no more Adolf Hitlers among our descendants because destruction of others will not be part of their pattern of thinking. Punishment will neither be required nor regarded as the solution to problems.

Love, the healer. This may sound like an impossibility but it is not. Unconditional love is the strongest stimulant to the immune system and the greatest healer of humankind at all levels, from individuals and families to religions and nations. When existing together with discipline, love can eliminate the need for destruction and punishment.

On a healing planet, all children will have a chance to travel widely as part of their education and see we are one family and one world. Self-interest will also mean universal interest. We will gain a sense of oneness, a knowledge that a butterfly fluttering its wings in Asia affects us in North America.

We must understand that this oneness will not come about as a response to simplistic stimuli such as threats and demands.

• What if we are threatened to change lest we all die? Fear simply brings uncertainty, weakness and illness. Transcending fear allows forgiveness of past mistakes and wrongdoings while unleashing a love that brings psychological immunity to our surroundings.

• What if we are ordered to be loving, responsible people? We will not change our behavior if it does not change how we feel about living.

We sometimes think the world would be a nicer place if other people were more like us, other cultures more like our own. We must keep in mind that we cannot change another person or another culture, only ourself and our own. But we can almost magically create the other person (or culture) by what we are like. Changing ourself changes those around us without trying to mold them in our own image.

Changes which lead to our enjoying life more fully do not seem like work or sacrifice, and they are incorporated smoothly into our behavior patterns. All of my patients who make a transition from suffering and dying to peace of mind and healing have made an enormous change to a loving, accepting attitude. Changing our mind often requires listening to our heart. That sums up the future of medicine as well as the future of our planet.

We should keep in mind that we can't cure everything. We will never feed all the hungry, house all the homeless, or end all epidemics. But we as family members, friends and medical professionals can care for everyone and for the planet. It is through caring that genuine healing can occur. Healing of our spirit, our self, and our life.

When we create a loving consciousness on the planet with a generation of loved children, the change in behavior will be a part of living. No one will feel that they are giving up anything or working harder. They will do it because it feels right to live that way. The by-product will be a healed planet filled with healed human beings created by a loving, healing consciousness that unites all living matter.

Dr. Bernie Siegel is the author

of Peace, Love and Healing

and Love, Medicine and Miracles

 

 

Introduction

I’m wrapping up this book during a period of seclusion among

the giant redwoods in the national park around Klamath, California. Two of my favorite things have always been coasts and lush forests, both easily accessible from here. The path from my back door leads into a redwood forest a hundred yards away. There are coastal trailheads down the road a mile or so in either direction. If you come here in the quiet months between tourist season and fishing season the area can be quite peaceful, although the frequent appearance of logging trucks roaring along the winding highway among the noble giants, hauling load after load of their dead cousins, can be a bit unsettling. A major issue today is the alarming rate of destruction of the equatorial rain forests, while the rain forests in the US are disappearing even faster.

Over the years I've taken many such excursions into the woods, spending several days or weeks or months getting retuned to Nature and self through meditation, contemplation, running, writing, and music.

There are differences this time, though, the main one being that I now have a wife (Regina) and son (Aaron). Having a loving family waiting for me is like having a treasure at the end of the rainbow. Warm human bonds are a fundamental human need which can enhance the healing of self, society and planet, as attested by several authors of this book, especially Paul Wachtel, Judith Clabes, Majid Rahnema, Robert Muller and Hazel Henderson.

Another unique aspect of this trip is the fact that I'm healing from cancer that was diagnosed in 1988, hence this book's underlying theme of healing. I'm still recovering from the effects of my illness during an era when the world is in need of healing from its own serious illnesses—international tensions, environmental destruction, dwindling resources, widespread poverty and hunger—subjects of the final chapters of this book.

The question that sticks in the minds of most cancer patients is, "Why did it happen to me?" I have spent the past two years soul-searching, reading, researching, and talking to other cancer patients. My conclusion: it obviously goes deeper than the malignant tumor.

Typically a living system like the body (or like the biosphere blanketing our planet, for that matter) can absorb a lot of stress and toxicity before showing serious symptoms. By then there is so much sickness built up in the system that will take a great deal of time and effort to heal. Symptoms are likely to persist long after causes have been removed. A person who toxifies his or her body during many years of poor eating habits—sweets, high-fat foods, alcohol and coffee—and begins to follow a wholesome, cleansing diet, can expect toxins to have been built up in the tissues and cells to the point where it will take several months for the blood, three or four years for the organs and soft tissues, and seven years for the bones to be completely rejuvenated and rebuilt. So, all told, it can take about seven years for the body to clean and rebuild itself.

A massive life form like the global ecosystem will no doubt need substantially longer than seven years to regain balance from the stresses that are now showing up as erratic weather patterns, spreading deserts, and dying seas, lakes and rivers. But even these are just early symptoms. More serious ones are probably coming. During global warming, for example, the oceans warm slowly (consider how long it takes a pot of water to start boiling on a stove!) so that the things we are doing today to promote global warming will not be fully felt for some 25 years in the northern hemisphere, 60 years in the south.

Wouldn't it be nice if there were some force or substance or a magic potion that we could apply to our bodies and minds, our societies and our planet, to help bring things into balance, bringing us contentment and bliss, social stability and world peace? Not just a drug to numb the nerves and promote more serious imbalances, but a genuine mind-body, head-heart balancer that would boil over into our groups and spread around the world.

It seems that there is such a force that goes by a variety of names. In the western world its sensations are often called love, grace or bliss, while the force itself is called life energy, the life force, or the holy spirit. In traditional Chinese medicine the force is called Qi (pronounced "chee"), In Chinese religion it is called Tao. In India's yoga community it is called shakti or kundalini.

When we feel that force flowing through our bodies and minds in a balanced, unobstructed fashion, we know we are in a healing mode. Our immune system grows stronger. Gradually we gravitate toward more wholesome foods. We start moving more fluidly, avoiding life's bumps and bruises—the emotional ones as well as the physical ones. We become happier and healthier. Our love boils over into our social groups and things get better all around us.

It is when we delve lovelessly inward into our microcosm of cells and molecules or when we explore lovelessly outward into the puzzling contradictions of society to analyze, dissect and measure, that healing becomes a complex issue. When we stay "right here" in the familiar world and tap into the forces available to us, life can become an utter joy in all its simplicity and beauty.

While we can help heal society by opening our mind to knowledge, we must also heal ourselfby opening our heart to love.

Nonetheless, we should not be too blase regarding the task ahead of us. "The Biblical ten plagues of Egypt and the deluge will seem mild in comparison to what can happen if we do not act now," the Brundtland Report* concludes. I have no doubt that if we accept today's crises as opportunities rather than catastrophes we can pre-empt the brunt of the coming storm.

As you dig into the book, keep in mind that it is not intended as a complete package of solutions to the challenges we face today, but a sampling of ideas from around the globe that would help us heal ourselves at the personal, social and planetary levels, especially when combined with the ideas presented by the authors of my previous anthology. Solutions for a Troubled World.

—Mark Macy

 

* Note: Throughout this book are scattered mentions of the Brundtland Report, a nickname for the report by the UN-appointed World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED). Formally titled Our Common Future, the Brundtland Report was published by Oxford University in 1987 and is available in most libraries. The WCED was formed by the UN in 1984 to assess the. troubles facing our environment, and to set a sensible course for future development by getting nations to work together, and raising global awareness and commitment at all levels of world society. In 1987 the commission completed its global study. This, in a nutshell, is what they found:

The primary goal of all nations collectively and individually must be to revive economic growth in a way that is sustainable and fair, and promotes security. Sustainability means that countries will be at peace with the environment. With fairness they will be at peace with each other, and with security they will be at peace with themselves.

The commission members didn't solve all the world's problems, but they certainly explored deeply, established a framework, and fired up individuals to take further steps. The dedication of the commission members—particularly their chairwoman. Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland (who is also the prime minister of Norway and is being discussed as a likely next secretary general of the UN) and the success of their efforts will undoubtedly reserve a spot for them in our grandchildren's history books as genuine, turn-of-the-century heroes.