by Don Ingwerson
Is it important to focus entirely on the body in order to know how to maintain your health? Is health exclusively dependent on material things (blood, bones, etc.), as has been generally accepted over time? Or does the fact that the body is comprised of energy suggest that health is affected and controlled by something else?
An article in the Huffington Post, “Thinking Outside the (Skull) Box,” really got me thinking about the quantum physics view of what makes up existence. In this article, the five authors discuss the universe and man’s relationship to it. Their view bonds man and the universe in a mental construct that weaves all together. The authors note: “Once physicality ends at the Planck scale, something must hold the universe together, and this something can’t be in time or space, nor can it be made of physical ‘stuff.’ …this something sounds an awful lot like God.”
An early 19th-century health researcher and theologian, Mary Baker Eddy, thought a lot about that “something” that might be holding the universe together. She saw the creation of man and the universe as one when she wrote: “There is but one creator, who has created all. Whatever seems to be a new creation, is but the discovery of some distant idea of Truth;” A few years later, physicist Erwin Schrödinger declared, “To divide or multiply consciousness is something meaningless. In other words, consciousness is one. It only appears to be divided up into billions of human minds. In short, either consciousness is unbounded or you haven’t looked deep enough.”
Though Schrodinger wrote this some decades ago, today efforts in quantum physics are underway to break through the accepted ideas of explaining the nature of mind and its relationship to the brain, which is usually equated with our body. However, mainstream science is reluctant to move forward when faced with the notion of mind outside the brain. In other words, scientists have spent as much time training their minds about the nature of the physical as, let’s say, world-class athletes have spent training their bodies for the Olympics. Once one is committed to a belief, it’s hard for any of us to change our thinking.
So, where do the mind and identity reside? In the brain or across the wider landscape of the brain-body complex?
For some people, the answer to this question lies in recognizing a larger consciousness that constitutes all identities. If the nature of our bodies is actually an outcome of the nature of the human mind and its relation to Divine Consciousness, health takes on a different outlook.
A relative of mine found this to be true when he “reframed” his view of the nature of existence. He was having difficulty seeing and he went to an optometrist to have his eyes examined. The doctor told him that he would be blind in a few months unless the condition was corrected through surgery. My relative immediately turned his thought to Divine Consciousness through prayer. In a few months, he returned to the optometrist for a recheck and was told that the former condition no longer was a threat to his vision. That condition never returned. And, my relative never saw himself – his existence – the same way again.
The idea that consciousness is not in the brain and the positive impact spirituality can have on health are both gaining ground. It’s the subject of Dr. Larry Dossey’s, one of the world’s foremost mind-body medicine experts, current research, book, and talks. And as these ideas have gained ground, hospitals are increasingly required to attend to the spiritual attitudes of their patients to be accredited and most medical schools now feature material on how to incorporate spiritual care in their curricula.
So what focus will health care take as we continue to expand our understanding of brain, consciousness, and the Divine?
Article originally published November 18, 2013 and first published in Blogcritics.