Sometimes it can be helpful to let the mind melt to slush, temporarily.
I had recurring discomfort in my right upper abdomen, and it peaked in pain that was severe enough that I thought I ought to see someone about it. But, I was on a hard-earned vacation, and I’d be damned if I were going to spend my vacation in the ER. So I gritted my teeth and rode it out, and was back to normal by the time I got home.
Later I told my symptoms to my energy healer, Susan Matz. Susan is possibly the most skilled healer I’ve had a session with. She didn’t hesitate to tell me that I had gallstones. I asked what I could do about that, and Susan said I needed more joy in my life. She’s not big on doing stuff, at least not for me, so that was a typical answer for her to give me for that kind of question.
In my typical way, I went home and googled holistic gallstones or something like that, and hoo boy, the stuff that comes up is not appealing. You can search it for yourself. There are several variations on a detailed process which involves drinking a solution of epsom salt (I didn’t know you could drink that stuff?), followed by a large amount of straight olive oil, right before bed. Then you lie down and in the morning you purge the lower digestive tract. One site had detailed instructions for placing some kind of screen on the toilet seat to catch the gallstones, while the rest flows on through. That way you can take the stones to the doctor, in case you wish to prove the efficacy of this treatment. Well, I thought, I’d choose that over surgery, but only if those were my only choices. I was very much relieved to find the Edgar Cayce approach, which was to apply castor oil externally with heat and lie quietly for 45 minutes or so.
I had a massage room in my home in those days, so a couple times a week, I’d put on some droney new age music and turn down the lights, bundle up in some blankets with the heating pad and viscous castor oil, and relax on the massage table. Now, this is my kind of holistic treatment. Sometimes I might expect to use that quiet time for meditation, to chant, or engage in some internal dialogue, but I found that invariably my mind drifted off into a state beyond any conscious control or intention. Thoughts or images would arise, but they didn’t have any kind of sense or meaning. Sometimes it seemed I was talking to someone, but I never knew who, and the stories I told were about people I’d never met.
Did I bring joy into my life? I can’t say that I did, but I found satisfaction in these periods of relinquishing intention to drift in the stream of semi-consciousness.
A few months later, I was pregnant, and I stopped the heat treatment. Then I moved to Kansas and got health coverage. Early on, my doctor noted that I had elevated liver enzymes, which she thought mostly likely to be caused by some kind of infection. Gallstones could also be the cause of this, so I thought I’d take an opportunity to educate my doctor by telling her that my energy healer had told me I had gallstones. I could see the doctor visibly clenching her jaw. I didn’t mind, because I knew what I knew.
So I was more than surprised when the ultrasound discovered nothing. I didn’t have gallstones. The liver enzymes returned to normal and I didn’t need any treatment for that. But it caused me to question all my ideas about healing, and about Susan. She had been so good for me. She had brilliantly told me exactly what I’d needed to hear, on numerous occasions. Not to mention, she had been a seasoned ER nurse before she’d gone into energetic work. How could she have been so wrong?
It wasn’t until months later that it occurred to me that she may not have been wrong at all. It was possible that I’d had gallstones, even probable, given my symptoms, but that the treatment (a session of energy healing, followed by castor oil packs) had been effective. Now, I know full well that there’s nothing scientific or verifiable in this perspective. I can’t say with any certainty that one or the other explanation was true.
But it’s not really relevant, anyway, to what I took from the experience. The lessons of holistic living often come at us sideways, like a bird in flight in your peripheral vision when you’re driving. Those moments of letting go of control of my mind were not to be dismissed. Over the years, I’ve come to see that surrender to allowing to be a gently powerful, or powerfully gentle, healing state. People often enter it through massage. I think of it as the matrix of the mind.
If we begin with the assumption of the body as a perfect manifestation of Divine love, then all disease or dysfunction results from some kind of disturbance. Somewhere along the line, a dysfunctional thought was adopted, or an incompatible or undigestible molecule was taken in. Like rebooting a computer, going back to the matrix can create a fresh opportunity to establish consciousness, while dysfunction dissipates. I wouldn’t rule out the benefit of intervention on the part of a healer or doctor; there may well be times when entering the energy field or the body and doing something is the best way to treat a condition. But entering the non-directed matrix of the mind is a safe, simple, and satisfying way to effect profound healing in many cases.
Recently my intuitive friend Natalie Duncan told me I needed a liver cleanse, and she offered to send me some instructions. It turned out it was that same protocol, with the epsom salts and the olive oil. I decided not to do it, but relaxing with the heating pad and sticky castor oil sounds really appealing these days. Time to turn off the mind, for a little while.