The reason I’m addressing this topic is to illuminate the cause of dis-ease to oneself. When I talk about dis-ease, I’m talking about anything that causes discomfort to the body-mind system. This can be an emotional torment, repeated mental activity like addiction or disruptive thought patterns, or physical impairments to a properly functioning body. I intend to provide tools to help with the healing of these things via the process of revealing their root cause.
Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s when I lived in L.A., I was connected to a number of people that were part of the underground movement of body modification, i.e.; tattooing, piercing, etc. I was especially fond of tattooing because my drawing style lent itself very well to the art. I even considered going down the road of becoming a professional tattoo artist, tho I ended up going to college instead. However, for some time, I did design and implement tattoos on a number of people. My style was to handpick that tattoo in the same way that the Pacific Islanders would do, very ceremoniously. I would make a unique instrument for each person I would mark. The tattoo would be unique as well, holding the qualities that the person aspired to in my heart while I created the design. The tattoo would take hours to perform, slowly picking away at the design, millimeter by millimeter, but holding the intention of the design energetically, knowing that they would carry this sentiment on their skin for life.
One of the tattoos I created was an unfolded scroll that simply read, “Know Thyself.” I picked this on the shoulder of a man named Dennis who was a very loving human being. This was his first tattoo. Up until this point in my life, I hadn’t considered these two words to the depth that this man had. I had spent years inquiring about myself but had not considered it a practice. Dennis had. He was so committed to understanding himself, that he was allowing me to induce the painful process of inscribing this epithet onto his body, that he would not forget what was most important to him. In fact, he would also show others what an important concept this was, and inevitably show me.
Fast forward 20+ years, and I still think about Dennis and that tattoo, because as it’s been revealed to me time and time again that the cause of dis-ease in the body has something to do with consciousness and something that we don’t consciously know about ourselves. Either a part of our belief system or an attitude is toxic, and has taken up residence in our body-mind and is telling us that it needs to be seen, heard, and addressed.
The Cause of Dis-ease
Now some would say that there are genetic factors that presuppose our susceptibility to certain conditions or diseases. People believe that because their ancestors carry particular traits that they also will inherit these traits through genetic factors. Science has perpetuated this belief for many years. However, more recent studies have shown that there are epigenetic factors that influence whether these traits actually manifest. These epigenetic factors are not related to the DNA sequence itself. They’re based on something else. I want to focus on the “something else.”
Just because you inherit particular DNA from your parents doesn’t mean that those genes will express themselves. Good or bad, your gene expression is based on your beliefs, attitudes, environmental conditions, creative expression, self love, connection to nature, and… you guessed it: knowing thyself. This is much more than knowing the types of movies you like or the particular colours that look best with your skin tone. We need to get down to the nitty gritty of who we are.
Many people go through processes of self inquiry with therapists and find their motivations for particular behaviours locked away in a vault in the recesses of their past. This can take years of therapy to recover the kind of data that we need to find out who we truly are. Many people will talk about being “real” or being “authentic.” These are simply descriptions of not filtering your expression, or not hiding behind facades when expressing your true feelings. Essentially, this is being who you are without covering yourself up. But, who are you really? What motivates that expression? The real question is, why? Why do you do that; think that; feel that; react that way?
The Process of Self Inquiry
Let’s go through the process of knowing thyself in terms of a particular condition, dysfunction or dis-ease. I want you to pick one thing that you’re not comfortable with to focus on. This process can later be applied to others, but starting with one is important to narrow your focus so that your answers remain succinct. I suggest writing down your answers, especially if you’re serious about healing and not just thinking about healing, or considering healing. I say this because some people aren’t truly ready to heal because their familiarity with dysfunction is predictable and safe. Healing requires change and you must be ready to change something in order to break the pattern that created the dis-ease. While answering these questions, you will have startling realizations. I talked about these in my article, “Healing Aftercare”, referring to them as epiphanies. They are indications that you’ve hit upon something really important. But the mind is a like a sieve. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”, my grandmother used to say. The intention of remembering may not be good enough. Write it down! Be sure that you can refer to it when you need to, which you most likely will as you piece together who you really are and why your dis-ease is affecting you in this place and time in your life. If you’re like me, you may think that you already know everything there is to know about yourself. Just pretend that you’re doing this for the first time and you’ll see that there’s always something hidden in the shadows.
- What do you know about the condition that you’re inquiring about?
This is the point that you need to do your research.
- What do the science journals say about it?
- Is there an anatomical pre-condition that sets up the factors allowing this condition to manifest?
- Are there physiological processes that influence or perpetuate the condition?
If the answer is yes to either of these questions, study these. Although you heal the consciousness around these factors to alleviate the symptoms and prevent the growth of the dis-ease, the body-mind still needs to heal itself. I believe in miracles and that if the right elements are present, there can be an instant healing, but there’s a reason why they’re called miracles, mainly because they’re not the norm. We need to bring understanding and awareness to our situation and to our physical factors to help promote the healing that we’re looking for. This existence on planet Earth sits within a construct of consciousness held by the collective unconscious of humanity. The likelihood of altering the collective beliefs perpetuated by our psyches is not in our favour. We must bring the light of awareness to our situation using every data point that we have available to us.
- Does your condition require medication?
If not, have you considered medication? Why or why not?
- If your condition requires medication, what beliefs do you have about that medication?
- Do you feel that it helps you?
- Does it have side effects? I must mention here that there are no such thing as “side effects.” These are direct effects of this medication. The term “side effects” is a way of masking that the medication is affecting your whole being, not just the symptoms you’re seeking treatment for.
- If you’re experiencing these types of effects, what are they?
- How do they make you feel physically?
- How is it that you’ve come to the place that you’re willing to accept these effects?
- How do you feel emotionally about the effects?
- If your condition requires medication, what beliefs do you have about that medication?
- If you’ve rejected medication for this condition, why?
- What’s motivated your decision?
- How would you feel if you needed to take medication for it because there was no alternative?
- Are you experiencing effects from not taking medication?
- How do you handle those effects?
- Are you using some form of intervention in place of medication?
- How strong is your belief that another form of intervention will work for you?
- Have you considered or are you utilizing alternative therapies for your condition?
Why or why not? It’s important to get into the deeper answer to these questions. For instance, if you say, “Because I don’t trust doctors”, or, “I don’t trust alternative therapies”, I want you to explore the act of trust. Where does your trust or lack of trust come from? This is a belief that you hold that you need to explore to its source, which is usually some experience from early on in life. Not always, but usually our entire adult life is driven by events and influences from the first 7 years of life, give or take. So, here you are as an adult still under the influence of childhood. Why? You must know “why” to get to the cause of the dis-ease. Don’t settle for the first reaction you have to these questions because you want the whole story.
- What beliefs do others have about this condition?
This is where you put yourself in other people’s shoes and look at the collective, the whole of humanity as far as you’re able to see and understand it, and ask what the general consensus is about the dis-ease you have.
- Do the newspapers talk about it? What do they say?
- Are there articles written about it in weekly or monthly publications? What do they say?
- Is there a general fear or paranoia around it?
- Is it acceptable to be this way or not?
- What imperative is there about this condition to finding a cure or salvation?
- Is it a high priority to the drug companies, the researchers, or the psychologists?
- Are there cultural differences about the perception of the condition held in different parts of the world?
- Are they better or worse than your country of origin?
- Why do you think they’re that way?
- Do you have any data points to support your knowledge?
- What beliefs do those that are close to you have about your condition?
I’m not asking you to interview them. It’s important that you get to your own feelings about what you think others think about you.
- Do you have boundaries that you set up between you and others so they won’t know what you’re feeling?
- Do you think they know that you do this?
- Do people look down on you or look up to you?
- Are people repelled by you or do they find comfort with you?
- Do you let people into your secret world? Why or why not?
- Do people believe that you’re going to heal or do they hold you back from healing?
- Do you ask for assistance and support from those around you? Why or why not?
- If you do, do you get it? Why or why not?
- If you don’t ask for assistance, do you think that you’d get it if you did?
- Would someone want to help you if you asked? Why or why not?
Remember that you surround yourself with particular people to help support the beliefs that you have about yourself. Truly think about that statement and think about what those beliefs might be and how each person that’s close to you perpetuates that belief.
- What beliefs do you have about yourself around your condition?
I’ve saved this for last because by now, if you’ve taken the time to answer the above question, you may have already uncovered some incredibly useful information about who you are deep below the surface and the reasons for your condition. To support what you now understand, ask yourself:
- Why you think or feel you have this condition?
- What led up to it?
- How were things before the condition revealed itself?
- How have things changed since that revealing?
- What do you know about yourself now that you didn’t then?
- What emotions are you carrying as a result of this condition?
- How do you think that having this condition has changed you?
- What is your overall opinion of yourself with this condition?
- Are you ready to transform?
Now that you’ve explored the many questions of self inquiry that are necessary to know yourself and your condition, it’s time to access what you want to change about yourself. Life is cumulative. We are the sum total of our experiences, for better or for worse. It’s usually the worse that leads us to dis-ease because our body-mind is trying to tell us that something isn’t working. However, the communication with our body-mind is often distorted by interference from our unconscious thoughts and motivations. Clearing these out is our highest priority in healing ourselves. So, now that you have answers about who, what, why, when, and where, it’s time to transform this stuff.
Everything is Energy
One of the laws of physics is that energy can never be destroyed. It merely changes form. Every thought, feeling, belief, and attitude is transferred via energy. The body requires motivational force to extract a belief from your body-mind and act upon it. For instance, if someone you live with approaches you with a sour demeanour about something you’ve done that they’re not happy with, your response is dictated by previous responses to similar situations and by your unconscious beliefs about yourself and the other person. This is energy moving from the unconscious into a visceral response of the body complete with chemical releases, and probably an uncalculated verbal response. You’ve scarcely a breath of hope in responding in a way that first thinks about or considers the situation in a rational way and delivers a response that promotes equity between you and the other person. However, after you’ve answered the above questions, that’s going to change, slowly but surely, because illumination creates new pathways in your neural responses when you continue to keep certain ideas in the forefront of your thinking. I call if “top of mind.”
When you know yourself, what’s top of mind for you becomes your modus operandi. You become yourself. You can’t help it. You’re perception of who you are changes to support your knowledge. You’re perception of your dis-ease or condition changes to support who you are. This is where healing comes from.
The Transformation Process
- Read your epiphanies answers from the exercises above.
Get them into the forefront of your thinking. You can even imagine that you have a little bucket filled with them sitting in your forehead, making them top of mind.
- Establish a centered and focused frame of mind.
Completely relax your body from head to toe, releasing any tension that you detect. Draw in any thoughts you have related to the environment or people in your life, knowing that you can return to any pressing issues when you’re done with this exercise. Let the mind focus now on visualizing a beautiful nature scene in which you are standing or sitting, barefoot. Engage all of your senses until you can see all the colours as vividly as possible, hear the sounds of any animals or other natural occurences, smell the environment, and feel the ground beneath your feet. You can even pick something to taste. Be as fully present in that nature scene as possible.
- Locate the central point of your condition.
This may be a particular part of the body, a system of the body that you can visualize, a location in your head, or a field surrounding your body, wherever you feel is the starting point of the dis-ease. If you find this difficult, ask God or spirit for help to bring your attention to where the origin of your condition is on a physical level. Expect that the first thing that comes to mind is sufficient as an answer.
- Charge your self knowledge with light and heal with it.
Light is energy and from what I’ve been able to ascertain about our existence from both the science and spiritual communities, everything is made of light. I think of it as the animating principle of all of life. Take all of the knowledge in your bucket and fuse it all together into a ball of pure white light. See, here, feel the words, images and concepts all merging together like molten lava until you know its complete. Use your illumination of self and send this light directly into the core of the location you’ve determined is the source of your dis-ease or condition.
- Changing dis-ease into harmony and balance is about changing consciousness.
Changing consciousness is about changing every aspect of yourself, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, because everything is intertwined. Observe the change taking place in the location of your condition. Watch as it affects each part of your body-mind system and take note of anything that is important that you don’t want to forget. Sometimes little insights appear, occasionally as symbols, phrases, or images. These are results that many times become important beacons of light in the occasional darkness of our lives. You may want to write things down.
There’s obviously a lot to overcoming our obstacles, and this is just a small part of it. In this article, I’ve looked at revealing attitudes and beliefs about ourselves as a part of the process. I realize that there are a lot of questions that need to be answered in order to find the cause of dis-ease. This is not a process for the faint of heart. It requires diligence and perseverance. This is the hero’s journey and a hero you will be when you can say that you healed yourself. On top of that, you will have insight into yourself that you may not otherwise have acquired in this lifetime. Dis-ease is here to teach us so try to look at this as part of schoolhouse Earth and confront what your body-mind is trying to show you.
Another important article is on How to Forgive which if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. If you’ve read any more of what I’ve written, you’ll know that I’m a big supporter of asking spirit to help us in our healing process. When I use the word spirit, I use it as an umbrella term for God, Creator, Goddess, Brahma, Allah, whatever force moves through, animates, and supports life. I’m a non-denominational person and I want everyone to feel that they can derive wisdom from what I’ve written, regardless of religious or spiritual background.
Most importantly, have hope and faith in yourself and spirit. Hope is the fuel for healing. Faith is our providence.