Mind, Body, Soul|Sep 25, 2003 4:50 PM| by:

Growth of the Physician

The physician is not just a person working out the cure of an illness. This may be his self-chosen or appointed work which he has to fulfil with fidelity. He is a conscious soul struggling in the narrow and limiting bounds of the surface consciousness and life experiences. In a wider sense, the contact of a patient and a physician is also the contact of two human beings with a natural and inevitable interchange. Illness serves as an occasion to bring together two persons who are in the constant evolutionary movement of Nature. The patient brings to a physician not only his illness but also his hopes and fears, his attitudes and beliefs, the unique and peculiar turns of his thought patterns and above all his unique justification to live and enjoy a healthy life. An understanding of these inner intricacies is necessary if we wish to know the hidden elements of our psychology that support the illness. One can then understand the whole person, not merely by an intellectual analysis but by a process of empathy, universal goodwill, compassion and identification with the problem.

This means that during the process of cure the physician also has to cope with the peculiarities of his own personality that are brought forward in the process of interchange, which implies a double labour. The physician has to consciously work not only upon the patient but also upon himself. The physician is not a flawless person. He is as human as anyone else, yet he is expected to be much more conscious and sincere in understanding and handling the hidden side of human nature.

In a holistic view of life and health one has to be able to see and live in the conscious experience of the fact that all Nature is essentially one and universal. The sharp distinction our ego raises between ‘my’ nature and another nature (erroneously regarded as ‘myself’ and ‘others’) is only a contrivance or a convenient device for certain practical purposes. The part which is thrown up frontally and projected on the surface is supported by a whole universal rhythm, like waves supported by the One ocean-force. The difference lies only in the Time-Space dimension of the manifested universe and the Self-experience. In other words, if a physician can widen himself (by an identification with the inner depth where the false separative sense becomes thinned out) he or she can begin to work out an ‘integral cure’. The outer contact serves only as an immediate occasion to enter into the universal rhythm. The same can possibly be achieved through a mental image and perhaps even through a thought that has liberated itself from the narrow bounds of the surface and phenomenal life. Truly, the extent to which he can successfully manipulate the energies of nature in himself is the extent to which he can manipulate them in others.

To arrive at this state of true identification, one has to, as a first preliminary step, detach oneself from the phenomenal surface appearances which are like a concealing crust that blinds our true seeing into the hidden areas of nature. An unperturbed equality, a calm wideness, a constant goodwill for the best to happen in all, a genuine aspiration for the elimination of suffering and a deeper self-identification which gives an unerring discrimination and intuitive understanding are some of the main conditions for this liberation and universalization. In the measure that the physician can harmonise the discordant notes of his own being he can be useful for the integral healing of ‘another person’s nature’.

Thus, each ‘illness’ serves as an occasion for growth of both the physician and the patient. It is an occasion for the growth of all that is still dark and tortuous and unconscious and ignorant in us towards light and awareness and strength and simplicity and harmony. It is an occasion for the straightening out of the crooked and twisted elements, for the opening up of all the knots that limit and incapacitate us. And this should happen not only through a manifest illness but throughout life. We must not forget that symptoms are only an outer manifestation or unmasking of a deeper malady.

The possibility and source of suffering is hidden and latent in all humanity waiting for its hour. It can spring a surprise on anyone at any moment. It may even be that the illness is serving as a catharsis for the inner imbalance and the ‘ill’, in their inner life, may be less ill than those who appear normal and healthy. A physician opening more and more to an inner and universal life becomes acutely aware of this fact that things are not what they seem and that appearances (even of health) can be very deceptive. It may even become difficult for him to draw a line at times to clearly demarcate mentally his field of work. For as the field of experience increases, the field of work also increases. The strict regulations imposed by outer constraints become difficult to apply and cannot bar an expanding inner consciousness. All that enters the widening horizon has to be illumined and made aware. All that pours in from the sea of universal forces has to be seen, worked upon patiently, even again and again till it is transmuted and set right. The frontal appearances and distinctions become less important but necessary for the variation of the relational aspect of the play and clash of forces. They no more limit the work which has to go on round the clock. This constant and ceaseless work upon suffering matter is the sacred task entrusted to ‘the physician’ who would aspire for the elimination of suffering in all forms. The courage and faith of a warrior of Truth, the knowledge and illumination of a disciple of Truth, and the service and love of a devotee for the Supreme Healer of all, go to constitute the inner make-up of a physician. Above all a Will that is unflinching and patiently persevering, happy to labour even in the darkest hell of the abyss of human nature is the inner qualification of a true healer. So is the degree of his inner capacity to rise to the heights of his own nature. For only he who has scaled the peaks of glory and bathed in their splendour can enter into the abyss for release of the light and delight concealed in the dumb and dark depths of the suffering and struggling earth. And only when he has torn the mask of pain and death and seen behind it the evolving godhead of life can he work out the same alchemy of ‘cure’ in others. Short of it, we may temporarily relieve and succour (and these are no doubt beautiful and necessary things) but never truly cure. For cure is not the relief of outer symptoms alone but the discovery of a new, higher harmony and rhythm towards which illness is only a spring board. Cure is a re-orientation of the balance of energies in the form towards a more perfect expression of the Godhead of Beauty, Truth and Love. Towards that height, the physician must grow, towards that height he must also induce the patient to move.

  • http://Website Vasudevan

    An excellent piece of writing that opens our eyes and made us understand the real strength of the relationship between the patients and the physicians in healing and curing.