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Who Does The Healing?

Who Does the Healing?

by Savely Savva

Michael Blate's essay in TLfDP #175 is a very refreshing account of ancient Oriental wisdom. Once again, free will or determinism? Smart politicians and religious leaders do not pose this question because the deterministic alternative is to simply unacceptable in managing a society: if there is not free will, an individual is not responsible (at least morally) for his/her asocial behavior.

Smart science doesn't post this question either. There is a notation that a smart scientist would not pursue tasks he/she can not solve. However, social sciences know a great deal of our social behavior is determined by current social norms and values. Behavioral genetics using sibling analysis learned that not only species-specific but very individual patterns of out behavior are predetermined genetically. Medicine knows that many diseases are based on our genetic makeup. Thus, we choose what is predetermined by social norms and by our species-specific genetic programs; we suffer from diseases "running in the family." Not too much free will so far, as we can see. But to what degree are out lives and the whole world predetermined? What about a brick "falling from the sky" on somebody's head, or cruising on the Titanic, or flying TWA flight 800, or missing that flight?

Who would nowadays dare to say that it is impossible for some almighty ruler - call it God or Great Plan of Nature - to set a purpose and a program for every living being? Too much information to handle? But it is less than a century since the first electric bulb and now we can have a data bank on each living human being on Earth. Well, a smart scientist wouldn't discuss this subject.

I like the way Michael Blate describes our Western: "doers" attitude, the belief that our behavior can influence our future. Solzhenitsyn in his Gulag Archipelago describes a group of political prisoners on death row in one of Stalin's labor camps. Part of them remained hopeful and humorous in spite of the desperate situation and it happened that somehow they survived. Perhaps, there is some correlation between our mood, our attitude and the probability of survival. But the actual cause-effect relationship may be opposite to the "doership" belief. People may be capable of subconsciously perceiving the future. They wouldn't panic or become depressed in a life-threatening situation if their subconscious mind knew that it was not yet their turn.

Yet another relevant question is how to reconcile the deterministic view with the phenomenon of healing and the whole institution of medicine as a human activity. If everything is already "inscribed," why bother to seek help and how come the help actually arrives?

Healers, shamans and medical practitioners have been around since time immemorial. The ability to heal by intent of by suggestion, or, in our terms, by communicating with the patient's biofield, must be part of the Plan. Perhaps the same Plan held that a smart scientist would get a petri dish out of a garbage basket and fine an unknown fungus that killed bacterial cultures, and this alone significantly prolonged the life span of the human species. Those destined to live would find a good physician or a real healer and survive cancer or Lou Gehrig's disease (as in the case of Nelda Bass cured by Dean Kraft - he could not help many others). Those who are not, will reject assistance, or will not respond to treatment, or will die from the flu. That is why statistics is the main and the only, methodological tool in judging the efficacy of medical intervention or a healer.

We do what we are programmed by nature to prefer and enjoy (through our genes and social norms): some - killing, some - healing. When we get sick or out of balance, we seek help and, if we are the lucky the help comes from a good doctor or a good healer. A time will come when a good doctor will refer some of his patients to a good healer, I hope.

Free will or determinism? - is certainly not a question for contemporary science. The laws of mechanics are deterministic, but they describe only a tiny fraction of the world. Contemporary physics does not have any concept of life. Let's return to this question in a few centuries.

Correspondence:

Savely Savva
Editor, MISAHA Newsletter
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