How can there be a root cause to all illness? Western Medicine is based on the premise that fixing symptoms in piecemeal ways with surgery and medications is good enough, that we do not need to explore the roots of illness, that fixing symptoms is the best we can do, that aberrations in biology and physiology lead to symptoms we define as illness. As an example, recently Western medicine claims to have created a polypill (1) as the answer to heart disease prevention, deducing that conscious living and a heathy lifestyle can be bypassed, despite scientific evidence that has shown otherwise. This kind of pharmaceutically driven thinking perpetuates the complacency of our collective thinking, discouraging us from valuing the importance of making conscious choices. This is an example of how our medical paradigm highjacks us from conscious living and authentic seeking. This is clearly not the path to health, meaning, wisdom, or authenticity.
For thousands of years, Eastern wisdom identified the root of illness as an imbalance in Prana or life force. What does this really mean? The English language does not have a word for body/mind, mind/body or energy/matter. The very fact that these are two separate words indicates two parts, joined together. The body and mind, according to Eastern wisdom are actually a continuum. The body is a denser expression of the mind, and the mind is within the body. The mind is the subtlest aspect of the body and the body the most tangible manifestation of the mind.(2) In Sanskrit, the word for this continuum is Prakriti.
For both physical and mental health (a healthy Prakriti), the body requires food high in vitality. Given this awareness, one can deduce when the body is not well-nourished with organic, unprocessed, natural, and vibrant food its cells will become toxic and unhealthy. An organic plant based diet has historically been recommended by the non-Western world for cellular nourishment. The foods we have normalized in the West are far from this level of vitality.
Similarly, when one’s thoughts and feelings are adapted to the values and thought patterns of the collective, the mind flowing through that body becomes turbulent and unhealthy. For Prakriti to have health and balance, both aspects that make up the material and energy body, (3) (which are indistinguishable and interrelated) require us to make conscious choices, with an awareness of what facilitates our health at all levels. We need to learn these skills to promote health and nourishment of our Prakriti.
When this is not encouraged, as it is not in our society, a large majority of people are conditioned to follow the collective way of life by remaining unconscious and merely following what is normalized. This behavior adds to what spiritual teachers have called Maya or illusion. Anything that is not authentic is of illusion. Illusion is not aligned with the truth of our being, even though it is normalized and accepted in society. When we confuse this with our truth, we engage in self-deception. Over time, we must make incremental course corrections away from the collective mind set or we rob ourselves from experiencing our authenticity. If we cannot access this, we are unable to offer it to the world. This loss is what many regret towards the end of their lives.
Herein lie the roots of illness. If one’s Prakriti is not healthy, illness will result over time.
Which path would you consider choosing, the one of consciousness or the one of self-deception? In the final analysis, health is a choice and a polypill of any kind, cannot replace a life that is lived consciously and authentically.
©Sept2019 Kalpana (Rose) M. Kumar M.D., CEO and Medical Director, The Ommani Center for Integrative
Medicine, Pewaukee, WI. www.ommanicenter.com Author of 2nd Edition – Becoming Real: Reclaiming Your
Health in Midlife 2014, Medial Press.