There follows an article which I was heavily influenced by from first reading it in November of 1997. It appeared in an osteopathic online journal titled “The Inner Physician”. In order to read the articles therein (the journal unfortunately is now defunct) one had to write one of one’s own. I wrote the second article in the journal, having just found the journal’s first entry a few days before, which was written by the founder of The Inner Physician, Phil Parker, DO (UK).
Frank Coulsting’s article was number five in the 20-some articles that were posted there before it ceased to exist. Anyway, this article will be referred to by following blog posts and by accompanying resources for my workshop in Berlin to be given September 30th, entitled “Bringing More Presence to the Art of Palpation”.
THE WILL TO HEAL
Frank Coulsting DO
(This article is included as a tribute to Frank who moved on from this earthly plane this year…)
What is the will to heal?
It is not the desire to heal with all the effort involved in trying to heal, in trying to do the right thing and all the concern, effort, fear that it won’t work. There is no, literally no forcing about it. So, what is the will to heal?
It is that something which is present in the allowing approach as opposed to the above disallowing -“all-owing ” (if you like) – separative approach. It is unifying and can only come about when there is space for it with the resulting stillness in the healer which allows the right things to happen.
But just how does will come into this?
To discover this let us look into will together. Will is the cut out mechanism of the mind, which inhibits, obliterates disturbances/distractions. It works like a switch that switches off interference, noise, the busy-ness of the mind and all that personal separative carry-on that takes the mind over. So when the will is used there is space to BE, to be still, and thus space to let stillness operate in and through the mind. Then the ‘healer’ is in active attitude of mind; he is centred in life . . a fluid unifying state of mindfulness that is free of the personal self with all its limiting assumptions, prejudices and beliefs, feelings and thoughts. So we see the Will, far from being fired by grim determination, ambition, and driving desires, is actually free of all these things… indeed it switches them off giving the individual room to be deeply himself aglow with inner life. How can man bring this about if he cannot do it by the effort of trying?
This is indeed the obstacle that man so expertly creates for himself trying often so desperately to be helpful and do the right thing, and merely succeeds in interfering and actually putting himself in the way of the real work life intended for him. To state the obvious: trying/effortising creates tenseness. Nevertheless the way that is not trying and tiresome is sometimes well named effortless effort. Such ‘effortless’ attentiveness is needed to make space for life, the actual healer of all man’s ills, to operate.
And when does man use his will in this inwardly aware state?
He uses his will and is inwardly enlivened whenever he stops everything and recollects. This may only be for a flash but this is enough for him to be re-minded to a certain extent and free him from the identification with his personal set up in which the real him too easily becomes lost. Thus he is revivified and starts afresh. In a here and now state whatever he is doing. When he re-collects vividly it is like a lightning flash that enables him to centre deeply in the beingness of life which awakens the living presence in him, which deeply heals and is conducive to the meditative creative attitude of mind aforementioned. He then realises for himself the truth of the axiom: “Doing – the real thing ( ? not clear from original document -ed)- is secondary to being”.
What else is needed to fire the Will into action?
The use of the will literally needs a willingness to be and discover oneself under any circumstances however disturbing to the ‘me’/personality, which entails a willingness to be free of oneself and a willingness to face oneself quietly, just as one is; otherwise there is no space for the allowing open way of healing which is not by any means necessarily comfortable for the personality, even though it is harmonising.
This is because in true healing harmony/order is opening out from within and bringing dis-ease to the surface to be re-solved. However, let us not be unduly concerned about this as it can give immediate relief also, such as when the will is used to consciously let go and relax. Such relaxation, even when superficial, enables man to relate more vitally to himself and his environment. Now this is very important as practitioners, especially
conscientious ones, get very concerned, even torn apart, about some of their cases – some of which are by no means straightforward and the question comes: can he do anything to eliminate all this uncalled for stress to which he subjects himself?
THE INTENTION The answer is, yes most definitely. To do this he has to find his direction aright and here the will must come into action in giving him a strong and definite intention. What does this mean in fact? It means the would-be healer has to cut out/give up all his minding about, concern over the outcome, even his desire to heal, as all this can cause personal interference with the work in hand, and he does this by stopping everything that he is doing for an instant… and being still in himself such that he centres in life and affirms that stillness his clear straight intention to this effect that he is and will be open as a channel for all the healing life (force ? -ed)to bring about whatever effect is needed.
Such an affirmation made as often as necessary helps to align you as life’s instrument for the work and if done with deep enough intent does a great deal to cut out those personal qualms that can be so devastatingly interfering/off putting especial when dealing with crises with which he knows he personally is utterly inadequate to cope. By thus being on the spot here-now you give up your inadequacy – this is in the give/resilience of will – and allows the ability/intelligence of life to meet the situation as required . .. and the very willingness to be a ‘devil’ and have a go whatever the need, strengthen your realisation of the limitlessness of the all perfecting life force that is within you.
LIVING FAITH This willingness to do what is necessary, or to be instrumental in healing in the needed way, awakens step by unerring step your knowing of the rightness of life and the way it functions provided – and this is a very big but – we live by its laws . . . the inviolable laws of nature, which are in fact the laws of consciousness … which are also in fact not easily fathomed, and indeed cannot be externally fathomed as they are not based on the appearance of things with their superficial and transient values, but on the essence/the sub-stance of things and to fathom this one has to touch in on metaphysical depths, so that the under-standing is gradually deepened of universal law. More of this anon.
However, to get back to us as potential practitioners of life, when we are centred in the oneness of life in our re-collected moments we are literally gathered together in our minds and responsive, i.e. we are permeated by the life force and permeating our surroundings with that life force. This is an opening phase of permeability in which we are inwardly stirred and become re-minded with something of our innate root consciousness.
So to continue our thread on using the will and thereby opening out/cleansing the skies of the mind of its clutter of clouds and storms so that the sun within has space to shine In the clear blue skies of the mind .. . The practitioner does/must do as he feels guided to do sensitively, hesitantly and yet without assuming he knows any of the answers … a task indeed ! We see, do we not, how the use of the will comes into it again and again .. this time with the switching ofD’the giving up of the me and my knowledge that can be so off track making room for the real, the deeply caring note, to come through free from concern and the limitations of personal knowledge and opinions?
Thus the will straightens out the way ahead by cutting out/eliminating all the deviations and distractions, and makes room for the affirmation of our intention, when it is deeply conscious, to do just what is needed giving us our direction impartially clearing the way ahead, thus further cutting out desire for results, and all the tenseness-distortion that goes with making efforts to impress, or efforts to make the right thing happen. Instead there is the air of expectancy that has faith in life, and knows the right thing can happen, when we are inwardly open in an attentive state of mind. This then frees the practitioner of the automatic tendency to be over concerned for his patients.
However in the caring way, as we press on regarding, our confidence, our faith in life grows as we open up to it and see it working. We soon discover life knows infinitely better than we do what is needed for living sanely (wholly) in truth and how irresponsible it is to have blind faith in and be guided by one’s personal beliefs/ ideas.
Now how about those reflective pauses to re-member/recollect ourselves.
When and how should they be used? The individual has to discover this for himself, but hints can be offered. There are natural pauses in life between changes of state as at dawn and twilight, the stillness after a storm, before and after doing things as driving a car, eating a meal, doing some specific work, and perhaps especially before and after treating a patient. The latter may only be for seconds as after one person goes out of the room and the next one is asked to come in. Such centering in the here-now brings in a point of renewal that can give a completeness to the one that has gone and a renewal for the one that is to come.
The basis of the Inner work is done by meditative study and studied meditation. As awareness deepens the realisation of the under-lying rightness of things is awakened and out of this grows a living faith which is bom of such knowing.
FIGHTING DISEASE Now will is a greatly misunderstood thing., and the question comes: if will is not an aggressive thing, why is it we are told to fight dis-ease and especially diseases like cancer.
If this is to be taken literally it is simply bad advice for as the axiom says “that which you resist will persist”. So fighting disease merely encourages it in the long run. Thus Francis Chichester, who was a great fighter, was overcome by it in due course. However it may not have meant so much having an aggressive attitude towards disease as not ‘lying down under it’ with a face of doom, despair, melancholy that can assume the worst possible outcome, etceteras. Actually, what would pure will do but cut out all the fearfulness and distaste for the diseased area, which cuts off, in its disallowing way, the regenerative life force to the area thereby depleting the magnetic field in and around it, thus increasing the diseased tendency? Then in cutting off this diseased reactive approach the will makes room for the all caring life force to operate and set the area aglow as it re-establishes communication lines aright. It is useful to realise that cancer cells, for instance, have faulty communication lines and their contact points are faulty or distorted, so their function becomes distorted. The life force when it is set aglow by the awakened healing consciousness sets the cells aright or enables them to die normally. So when a patient with cancer cures himself he uses his stilling will to cut off by facing out the source of the disease, such as negating emotions, as of a jaundiced outlook with its parasitic envy, jealousy, hatred and so forth and thereby enables his regenerative mechanism to activate the immune system and dissolve the disease, so his well being is restored.
What state of mind should the patient be in when he is treated? Should he use his will and if so how?
Obviously the patient needs to be relaxed and preferably in a consciously and therefore vitally relaxed state and in rapport with his practitioner .. a here-now state in fact of awareness/alert passivity if he is going to get the best out of the treatment, which is after all merely designed to enable him to heal himself Thus ideally he uses his will dynamically to cut out all distractions, indifference, so he can be vitally ‘with it’ – alert on the spot. This is an attuned state that is unifying, quietly experiencing what is happening, rather than a disturbed state that is busy analysing just what is going on.
This allowing way of the will to heal is par excellence the way of the osteopath with the cranial approach, as it is also of the contact healers or those whose approach to healing is by working with, or at least attempting to work with, the laws of nature as acupuncturists and naturopaths, and indeed homeopaths.