Over the past several years, I've seen how useful Kabbalah has been, in my life and in the lives of my patients. I've had firsthand experience of how this ancient wisdom has exponentially expanded both my own and my patients' capacity to lead healthy, successful, and joyous lives. In Kabbalah, I've come to believe, are the real secrets of health and healing, the true "medicine of meaning" that I've been seeking ever since I first became a doctor.
Certainly, a kabbalistic approach paid off for Mitchell. Of course, my treatment of him relied in part on standard medical practice. I'd just read about a new protocol for chemotherapy that had proved somewhat successful with his type of cancer, and we decided to start him on that. I also prescribed nutritional supplements that would boost his levels of albumen, decrease his production of insulin, and raise his secretory IgA levels. But most important, I wanted Mitchell to understand what I'd meant by "opening the door." I told him that for the first time in two thousand years, the wisdom of Kabbalah had become available to us all. Now we could learn the secrets that only sages, mystics, and prophets had known before, secrets that could help us access the Light. Kabbalah teaches that the Light wants to enter us-but we have to open up to it.
This approach has profound implications for treating diseases such as cancer. After all, why irradiate the darkness when you can just turn on the Light; If I could help Mitchell make room within himself for more Light, I believed he could be healed.
Kabbalah makes several specific suggestions for how we can open ourselves to the Source of Sources:
Develop a sharing consciousness. According to Kabbalah, there are two basic ways to approach our lives: through ego, or with a sharing consciousness. While an ego-based approach may feel good in the short run, we can ultimately find health and happiness only when we share. God desires to give to us in ever-increasing amounts, but we make room for this bounty only when we give of ourselves.
Switch from a reactive to a proactive consciousness. Kabbalah teaches that there are two forces operating within us-reactive and proactive, corresponding to two competing souls, the godly soul and the lower soul. Our reactive natures respond impulsively with a host of troubling emotions: fear, anger, greed, envy, hatred, apathy, frustration, and the like. These are expressions of the lower soul. Our proactive natures, coming from our godly soul, evoke quite different responses: compassion, serenity, charity, joy, trust, and a commitment to the greater good. Each moment, we have the opportunity to choose between these two souls, to give in to our reactive natures or to move forward with our proactive selves. Each time we resist the lower soul and tap into our godly soul-even if it's only to smile at a neighbor or hold the door for a stranger-we're giving ourselves tiny, potent doses of spontaneous remission.
"Give until you feel it." Kabbalah tells us that "Charity can save you from death." In my experience as a physician, this is literally true, as medically sound a statement as "Lowering blood pressure reduces the risk of heart disease" or "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day." If you give away a significant amount-not the giving that is easy to do, but an amount of money, time, or effort that really constitutes giving of yourself-your health will improve.
Become absolutely certain that you are already healthy. Once we comprehend that it is in our natures to be healthy, happy, and filled with Light, we begin to view our health with certainty. We don't just hope to be healed. We understand on the deepest level that we are already healed, that our illness and discomfort are simply distortions of the Tree of Life reality. If we decide to choose the Matrix and the Tree of Life, health and happiness lie within our grasp. At every moment of our lives, the choice is up to us.
In other words, every time we do something proactive, we overcome our reactive natures, even if only for an instant. At that moment, the Light-the creative force of the universe-enters into the deepest recesses of our cells and begins the healing process at the most fundamental level.
Kabbalah and Matrix Healing
When I first began to study Kabbalah, I was particularly intrigued by the notion of the parallel universe that it promised-what I've come to call the Matrix. In the Matrix, we are already healed, just as the folktale explains: paradise is already within us. Learning how to access this paradise is the secret of Matrix Healing.
Imagine a multiplex movie theater. Side by side many different movies are playing. While you're watching the movie in Theater 1, you have the sense that it's the only show in town. The movie (if it's any good!) takes you over completely, dominating your thoughts and emotions, catching you up in the problems and possibilities that it presents.
But suppose you decide to walk out of the horror film in Theater 1 and catch the comedy in Theater 2. Now you're in a completely different world, with different rules and parameters, different possibilities, a world that evokes thoughts and feelings you could barely imagine while you were sitting quietly in Theater 1. And all it took was walking from one movie theater to another.
I believe that with the right spiritual tools-meditation, understanding, and the daily practice of compassion and proactive responses-we can learn to access different versions of reality as easily as we might enter and leave a movie theater. And we can choose to enter the movie entitled Perfect Health whenever our bodies require healing.
Of course, the material world has its own reality. Living in this world, we can feel overwhelmed by the presence of death and disease, by the existence of evil, by the forces that work against our bodies and our souls. But, as Mitchell discovered, an endlessly abundant supply of Light is available to us all-if only we know how to access it.
The image of the movie theater is my own. Yet there's a whole body of medical research that supports this notion of parallel states of health and disease. For example, people afflicted with multiple-personality disorder might experience two, three, or more personalities within the same physical body-each with its own individual state of health. Supposedly incurable disorders such as hypertension or diabetes that plague one personality disappear within minutes when another personality takes over. Some researchers have even found that wounds that were open and bleeding in one personality close up and heal for another, only to reopen when the first personality returns.
Of course, multiple-personality disorder is a serious psychological problem. But let's look for a moment at the implications it has for those of us who are not afflicted with it. Studies have found that when people switch personalities, their brain-wave patterns actually shift. Their capacities shift as well, with one personality speaking several foreign languages, even as another can barely put together a coherent English sentence. Or perhaps one personality is a talented artist while another has no interest or ability in painting. How many of us supposedly healthy people are harboring within ourselves "other personalities" with hitherto untapped capacities, powers of which we know nothing simply because they don't fit into our limited ideas of who we are?
Moreover, according to Dr. Bennett Braun, of the International Society for the Study of Multiple Personality, in Chicago, medical conditions can literally alter as various personalities shift. Braun reported one man who was generally allergic to orange juice, breaking out into a painful rash after even a small sip. However, one of the man's personalities was free from the allergy, and when that personality was in control, the man could drink as much orange juice as he liked. Even more dramatically, the rash he had acquired while the other personalities were in control began to fade as soon as the nonallergic personality took over. In Matrix Healing terms, it was as though he had simply stepped from one movie theater into the next, from the "allergic" movie in Theater 1 to the "allergy-free" movie in Theater 2.
Tags: Alternative Medicine