by Nischala Joy Devi.
May 28, 2013.
We often hear the phrase “You can heal yourself.” But, what happens when the person tries everything but doesn’t get well? Then she or he feels guilty, feels a failure in some way.
Another common statement is that we cause our own disease. That’s not a healing suggestion at all! Imagine how many suffering people feel burdened and discouraged when they hear something like that.
Both of these are a misinterpretation of a very high philosophy. A high philosophy can be misunderstood when brought down to the mundane.
On the causal plain, these things manifest. It’s not that we cause illness or disease. It’s already there on the causal plain, and it filters down to the physical body. So, it’s not that I’m doing something bad for my knee if it hurts. Instead, there’s some reason on the causal plain that it filtered down, that this particular knee would be affected in that way.
Again, we try to simplify everything in the west. We say, “Oh, you caused your pain. If you just changed your attitude, the pain would go away.” There’s the mistaken identity that the ego is in charge instead of the Divine Self. The Divine Self has certain lessons that it needs to learn, and part of that learning is through the physical body.
A line from a Rumi poem that expresses this is: “I needed more grace than I thought.” To me, this means that the grace brings us to knowing whether we can change the physical, change our attitude toward the physical, or accept it all. It can be different depending on the situation.
What yoga tells us is that there’s really only one cause for disease, which is that we have forgotten who we are. And all of life’s challenges are just to remind us of that. Swami Satchidananda used to say, “The hospitals are the ashrams of today.” He said you can’t get people to go into an ashram to meditate and find peace; so, instead, they go into a hospital where they’re made to sit with themselves, to really look inside and see what their life is about.
But we don’t have to go into a hospital to do that. Use all the wonderful yogic tools to stay as healthy as you can. Even if you find yourself dealing with serious illness, utilize everything available to live the best life you can in the circumstances. You may not “cure” the disease, but you will experience even higher benefit.
Featured Photo: Asif Akbar | sxc.hu