When our mind is ‘fragmented’ or in a state of imbalance, it starts a war in the mind-body system.
This war lies in many diseases, where the body will send different signals to indicate that a war is going on.
Here’s a wake-up call many of us need to hear, shown by Dr Chopra:
A woman came to see Deepak at his practice. She was suffering from Crohn’s disease, a severe intestinal disorder characterised by chronic and uncontrollable diarrhea and painful inflammation. Although the cause is unknown, it strikes mostly young adults and may be connected with a deficiency in the immune system.
What is well known is that the intestinal tract is highly sensitive to emotional states; in this patient’s case, it was not surprising to hear that she worked long hours under the high pressure of an advertising firm.
After talking to her for a while, Deepak discovered that she had learned to meditate several years before. He asked her if she still kept it up. No, she answered, there wasn’t much time for it and when she did sit down to meditate, it didn’t do much good, because she usually fell asleep in a few minutes.
He then asked if she had adjusted her diet to help her condition, slowed down the pace of her life, or considered moving on to a job with less stress. Looking somewhat impatient, she said No again – she wasn’t going to allow her disease, (which caused her many difficulties in her life) to rule her life.
“Look” Deepak said. “You have a very serious condition. If this inflammation persists, you may have to have parts of your intestine surgically removed. What are you going to do about that?” She was knowledgeable about her disease, and he didn’t have to tell her that some grim choices lay ahead.
“That’s why I’m here,” she answered. “I want a mental technique to help me continue to lead a normal life.”
Deepak said at that moment he saw a ‘Mistake of the Intellect.’
This woman’s body is crying out for healing, and it was telling her so every time she had an attack.
She couldn’t even close her eyes to meditate without her body desperately grabbing some relief in the form of sleep. Yet her mind interpreted these attempts at healing as either irrelevant or troublesome.
She insisted on leading a ‘normal life’ of high stress that her system wasn’t equipped to cope with.
“This is not the kind of disease that you can fight,” he said, “because there’s no one on the other side but you.”
He explained that the same chemicals that registered stress in her brain were produced in her intestines. When she felt fear, frustration, and worry, the identical emotions were being experiences in her abdomen.
He told her she didn’t need any new mental technique – she needs to let her body do what it wanted to do, which was to get well.
The best way to cooperate with that, was to give her body the rest that it was demanding, change her diet, and realise that no rewards for her job could possibly outweighs the danger she was putting herself in.
Nature was trying to tell her something very important, and once she paid attention, her problems could begin to correct themselves.
“In a case like yours,” he said, “you already have the best medicine you could possibly hope for – it’s your Attention. Right now, the quality of that attention is fearful and tense, which is why you aren’t getting better. But as soon as your awareness become settled and loses its fear, your body will begin to recover – it’s up to you.
Although she listened with interest, she resented hearing these things. The mistake of the intellect is insidious.
We can refuse to believe that everything is happening inside our mind and body reality; Our minds create the fiction that the sick body, is somewhere else, anywhere else but in ‘us!’
Illness is obviously a sign that there’s a war going on.
The conflict is being waged ‘in here,’ contrary to the germ theory of disease, which tries to tell us the that the war was started ‘out there’ by invaders like bacteria, viruses, carcinogens etc. which are lying in wait to attack us.
Yet healthy people live amid these dangers quite safely.
Only when the immune system collapses, as in the case of any disease, do we realise that our skin, lungs, mucous linings, intestines and many other organs have up until that moment, learned to coexist with outside organisms in a delicate balance.
Some ‘thing’ tips the immune system over the edge. That something can be chronic stress, toxicity from chemicals, poor lifestyle and diet which may kickstart a weakness in our genetics which then creates a dis-ease in the body.
Many of us have these genetic ‘weaknesses’ that lie dormant in our bodies. The key is to ensure a peace and balance in our health ‘most of the time’ (we can’t be perfect) so that the war never has a chance to begin.
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