The Heart and Cancer
by Mark Sircus Ac., OMD
The Heart and Cancer
A Return to Vulnerability
Disease can show us how invulnerable we have become, how walled off we are from the world and our own inner reality. One of the great secrets of life has to do with the power of the heart and what a return to its vulnerability can offer a person sick and dying of disease.
Surely I do well to keep my medicine chest well stocked with love and
compassion as well as with bandages, for I never know when I will be called
upon to deal with tragedy, or when tragedy may call to deal with me.
One of the great challenges in medicine is to understand the complexity of causes that leads to cancer. There is a great secret to life, health and disease, one that is little known, understood or talked about except in relatively vague ways; and this secret explains largely why one person gets sick and another does not under the influence of the same causes. Our bodies have a core, a central point, just like the solar system does. Without the sun at the heart of our system, the planets would just fly off and away because without a coherent center systems just don’t work.
Our existence, our very health and sense of well-
being comes into doubt when we lose our center.
The sun obviously leads to life through a combination of forces and factors. Gravity, light, warmth, radiation on non-visible spectrums, magnetism; its place in the center anchors the entire system. In each human, such a core exists and it provides cohesion to all the cells in the same way that the sun unifies the entire solar system. Known in ancient Chinese medicine as the supreme controller of body functions is the human heart, this is at the nuclear core of our lives. And yet modern medicine knows this not.
The heart is a vast electromagnetic generator and the
frequencies that are radiated out by the heart change
dramatically depending on what emotional state a person is in.
Most western-trained minds immediately think of the pump, that miracle muscle and yes, that is partly what is meant when the word heart is used. Much can be said about the physical heart and its central place and electrical magnetic influence on the body. However, beyond the physical is something even more important and crucial to health and happiness and a life lived without disease. It is something we are born with, the home of our pure being, which is centered in the universe of feelings as opposed to mind and thoughts. Our being or heart nature is more primordial and basic to health than the mind because it pre-exists the mind.
Deep within is our pure being that has incarnated into this body. This being is ultra sensitive and has been picking up subtle impressions from the environment through the heart center of pure feeling even before we emerged from our mother’s womb. The central issue of the heart is that our beings are highly attuned to love and when it faces a lack of it (which it usually does) the heart being suffers and begins to close itself off from that suffering. The center of the heart is maintained when a person is able to accept and deal with any pain but the moment we begin to repress and deny we begin to separate from that which is absolutely central to our health.
This being has its center in the cardiac area of the body and the more closed it is, the weaker and more vulnerable a person or child becomes to illness and disease. Even without external causes, without being poisoned by vaccines and pesticides, herbicides, chemical preservatives and fast foods, without invasions from hordes of bacteria and viruses and polluted drinking water, a human being without a live active being is already ill. When there is a sickness of being we are sick because the nature of the heart is love and it protects us and provides emotional and physical well-being. Emotional and physical health is synonymous with heart health and I wrote HeartHealth to help people understand the heart’s deep and mysterious ways. People often ask if a lack of love, if heartbreak or heartache can be detrimental to our health. Mother Theresa answered this saying; "loneliness and isolation in the West" was the most significant “disease” she had encountered during her lifetime.
In HeartHealth, the heart is defined as the vulnerability of being, and through a careful study of life we can see that this is the principle quality of existence that most people avoid like the plague. Christ himself said that we must be born again and what he was referring to was a return to vulnerability, a return to the pure feeling that is so natural to infants and young children. So in essence a great part of the matrix of serious disease is involved with a forced return to vulnerability since we will not make the journey on our own.
People are emotionally fragile when sick, and being told you have cancer or AIDS can completely shatter a person’s emotional world. Goleman explains in his book Emotional Intelligence that this is due to the fact that normally “our mental well-being is based in part on the illusion of invulnerability.” An understanding of vulnerability teaches us that a return to the vulnerable space is necessary and healthy. Vulnerability is the capacity or susceptibility to being hurt. It is not a weakness but a capacity to feel. For most people the feeling of being exposed to emotional hurt, or exposed to being taken advantage/abused relates to feelings of vulnerability.
The word vulnerable is also synonymous with the words openness and exposure. Being open is a fundamental key to a life. Being vulnerable in this sense is synonymous with being open to communicate, being open to share and care. When we are vulnerable in a positive way we try out new behaviors, attitudes and or beliefs; we become willing to take chances and try out new experiences, accept challenges or take risks. Vulnerable people listen to life, listen to what others say and thus are able to listen to feedback about what is off about their lives. Real listening involves change, something that chronic disease mirrors and demands of us if we want to get better. We could easily speculate that we get sick exactly because we do not make ourselves vulnerable to listen and change specific things that we should.
When a person is truly vulnerable there is an unobstructed entrance or view to the person’s heart, being and soul. In the strongest or most enlightened person there is no protecting or concealing cover because the person needs none. Such people carry themselves in full view of others because they are not afraid of being hurt, because they are not afraid to suffer and they are not afraid of change.
The healthy human heart needs warmth,
is warmth and can give warmth to others.
The deeper we dive into the heart and open
to its super intelligent ways the more balanced, coherent,
and healthy our bodies, minds, and emotions become.
Western medicine misses the boat entirely on this issue and has no way of addressing problems and disease on a being level. Mechanically oriented to one dimensional physical view and definitions of human reality, it is blind and helpless in helping people recover from their most basic disease. Modern psychology is also handicapped in this regard because of its stress on the mind instead of the feelings of the heart. Many have wondered why it is that intimacy can protect and heal us from disease and why the reverse also holds, where a lack of intimacy can bring on any number of health problems. Intimacy, love, touch, and sexuality are all issues that have great bearing on the heart nature of our being self. There is much more truth to the fact that we are beings than simple mechanical machines that need fixing and repair jobs like cars at the auto shop. The single greatest requirement for health and proper function is love and even intimacy.
I am not aware of any other factor in medicine, not diet,
not smoking, not exercise, not stress, not genetics, not drugs,
not surgery, that has a greater impact on our quality of life,
incidence of illness and premature death from all causes.
Dr. Dean Ornish
Love and Survival: The Scientific Basis
for the Healing Power of Intimacy
A number of years ago this beautiful photograph made its way around the Internet (sorry, I could not add photo here. Shows one infant with arm around other). These two little babies were twins, born within minutes of one another. One was thriving, the other was dying. The doctors had tried everything they knew to do and yet the one baby was failing. After all else failed the doctors put the ailing twin in the isolette with its sibling and the infant made an almost immediate recovery. The power of love and intimacy is exceptionally important and this is explained by one of the most basic of all attributes of the heart. The heart just wants to love and be loved and touch is one of our greatest biological needs.
Just because modern medicine does not understand such things does not make them less important to medical science and practice. It is no mystery and many studies have shown that when people feel loved or give love they:
1. Live longer, feel happier, have better health, do better financially.
2. Have better cardiovascular health, are less prone to depression, have better balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
3. Have reduced muscle tension; this alleviates pressures on the spinal column with fewer tendencies to spinal maladjustments.
4. Have reduced mental disease, and increased mental clarity and objectivity.
Dr. Jürgen Buche lucidly observes: “...(cancer) patients do not want to die or suffer but they have no compelling purpose for LIVING. They submit passively to regimes and procedures to please their families or their physician but they spiral uncomplainingly downward. The litmus question to a cancer or AIDS patient "What real reason do you have for living?" is often unanswerable. The will to live must come from the patient and no amount of anguish, encouragement or threats from any family or friends will help if this will to live is not present. Often, such a situation is intimately linked to a lack of LOVE.”
What doctor Buche is talking about is heart. Pure heart, the will to live, the meaning of ones life, our attachment to truth or denial, our willingness to take risks and our honesty all have a bearing on the above. There is a huge difference between the head and the heart. The heart is into feelings of love and oneness whereas the mind is into separation and ego. Fragmentation and egocentricity are prevalent in individual, family and social relationships meaning the human heart has gotten run out of town in modern civilization. The consumerist culture, extravagant lifestyles and the unwarranted materialistic competition have caused fragmentation in family and social relationships. Television has been devastating on this level leading children and people further and further away from their feeling center. Away from what could be called heart intelligence.
One of the secrets to meaningful change and positive health outcomes is found in our willingness to look at those things inside of us that we do not want to look at. The essential nature of the ego, besides separation, is self-blindness. Our minds are caught up in an endless chain of rationalizations that continually justify our present existence. Because the heart is the totality of our existence, we deny that totality when we deny any particular aspect of ourselves.
We are not capable of looking at those parts
of ourselves that we do not want to look at.
There are just certain things that we simply do not want to see about ourselves because it is too painful. We don't want to suffer, so we do not want to look. Nobody likes to see his or her own weaknesses. No one likes to be wrong. It is that one thing, that tragic flaw, which is obvious to the people around us, this is what we least want to see and deal with. When life, or our friends or lovers try to point things out to us we manifest our resistance to change as a lack of listening.
The wisest person is the one
who listens the deepest.
The conflict between the head and the heart can be boiled down to this: Are you going to risk everything for something unknown (the heart risk) and appear ridiculous to the head, or are you going to go the ego preserving way of the personality? Everything is a risk when you push the frontiers of love. The whole problem with the heart's war with the head is that the head always thinks it is going to lose something.
Everything you do will be according to your
will and your will is what your heart wants to do.
Dr. Christopher Hills
This is a great secret because most people think that their will has something to do with their mind, or making some mental decision. We talked about there being two sides to the heart, the soft cuddly compassionate side and the side pertaining to courage, resolution and fortitude. This is the side of the heart where the will resides. In reality anything that we really love to do, anything that springs directly from the heart, we have tremendous will to do.
When our heart is in something, time goes by fast. It is easy to get out of bed at five in the morning if our hearts are beating, anticipating the manifestation of our love, no matter what that love might be. If it’s to go fishing, or make money to support our family, if our heart is in it, there is no problem.
Without love there will be no will to change.
With love comes tremendous will to change.
We are always where our heart is; we cannot be in any other place. Our body might be in one place, our heart in another. In reality it does not matter where your body is, it is where your heart is that matters. You can be anywhere, at the movies, in bed with someone who you don't really love, or at work. If your heart is not there, if your heart is not really into what you are doing, you, the real you, will be somewhere else. Anything we do without our heart is a losing game.
Grace is the flow of pure heart energy. It heals, enlightens
and warms us. It touches us where we need to be touched.
There is a quality of heart and pure being that can be called grace. The grace of the heart offers us a quality of being that is healing, animating, invigorating, supporting, nurturing, and comforting. The grace of the heart offers an inner tranquillity and peace that the mind by itself rarely possesses. The essence of the heart is love, light and health. It represents our being nature and that nature is given to us by the cosmic intelligence with these highly positive qualities. Yet it does seem that some people’s hearts are so small that they seem not to exist at all. Somehow man through his society, religion, law and politics has found a way to almost completely squash the universe of heart, love, being and soul.
The Intelligence, Love and Power of the heart acts routinely
to protect and to foster health on all levels. It is this
intelligence and protecting love force that guides our steps and
makes all the difference in life. It is this power that charms our life.
Deep in the nuclear core of the heart is a love of life and a love of love. Some beings come here to earth with such a strong heart that no circumstance can beat it out of them. In them is a furnace of heart energy and like the sun it will not be denied though they might have to go through great struggles to release and express this energy. Though we all have hearts, the problem with life comes with the repression of the light and radiance of the heart. What we are born with hardly remains by the time we reach adulthood. And the path of regaining what was lost is a path of lifelong learning, growth, and often-painful experience.
Special Note: These and many more issues are what concern us at the Sanctuary Cancer Clinic in Brazil. Though we have developed powerful natural protocols, what might be called natural chemotherapy, and though we employ many naturopathic avenues to cure and health, our deepest focus is on the heart and communicating on this level. What could be more important and essential? The above is another chapter from my book, Winning The War On Cancer.