Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A physician seeks wholeness in the reflecting pool

photo (c) Jerry N. Uelsmann
In my conversation with Cecile Carson M.D. in my radio show today, we talked about simple, non-nonsense ways about bring ancient modes of soul healing into modern medicine.
    She delighted me, and will hopefully inspire others, including clinicians, with a couple of examples from her personal practice of how to make room for soul in the midst of a busy modern practice.
    She told me that, whenever possible, she would take a little quiet time, before a meeting with a patient, to offer a silent prayer. She asked that she might be guided to name what needed to be named in the right way, to understand what was truly going on in the life and the body of the person she was going to help, and "to help myself get out of the way" of the deeper process of healing.
    She spoke of clearing and maintaining the right space for healing. In that cause, she explained, she would often turn her eyes to an extraordinary photograph by Jerry Uelsmann that she kept in her office. It shows a twisted and blighted tree, stripped of foliage, seemingly dead and deformed. Yet in the pool before the tree we see the reflection of a tree that is vibrantly alive, erect, with all of its needles. Contemplating this image, Cecile would picture the wholeness and healing she wished her patient to claim. She kindly sent me a scanned version of the picture, which you see here.
    She talked with moving passion about the "yearning" of physicians to help the patient, and become healers of the whole person as well as fixers or palliators of symptoms. To move towards healing on the level of soul, Cecile offered, is "an opening to the mysteries".
    The Fox was in play today, producing a communications glitch that resulted in Cecile and I only sharing the last segments of my "Way of the Dreamer" radio show, which you can access in the archive. She'll be back to share more of her insights on the necessary convergence of ancient shamanic practice and contemporary healthcare.

What is at stake is something I discussed earlier in the show: You cannot heal the body without healing the soul." The statement enters the literary record in a dialogue of Plato (Charmides) where the fuller version reads as follows:

“You ought not to attempt to cure the eyes without the head, or the head without the body, so neither ought you to attempt to cure the body without the soul….If the head and body are to be well, you must begin by curing the soul.”

Plato attributes this declaration to a "Thracian" military physician who reports that this is the teaching of the "god-king" of his people, Zalmoxis, who has created a school for soul healers. For "Thracian" read "Dacian"; the Dacians were an ancient people of what is now Romania, and Zalmoxis was god-man who was born from a cave, like a bear. I'll be leading an adventure in shamanic dreaming and dream archaeology near his legendary birthplace, in the Carpathian mountains in October.

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