What is to heal – oneself or others? How does it work exactly? What are the things to know when approaching it?
Considered from a spiritual perspective, many of the questions about healing are questions about reality. If healing is to cure, to rectify something – literally “make it right” –, the underlying question is: what is right?
Of course the idea of right has kept philosophers busy for millennia, and my knowledge is too limited to add credibly to that debate. We do have tools, though, that provide helpful insight.
I considered what I wanted to know, and why. I picked up the tarot and shuffled, as clearer questions started to form. I kept them about healing because I was asking for operative knowledge – learning how to contribute safely and effectively; having a question about a focused concept instead of a general idea tends to give clearer answers.
I honed in on three questions, and asked the tarot: How do I bring about healing? What’s the obstacle? What is healing?
As I focused on each, I pulled a card.
How do I bring about healing?
“The sun shines brightly over the couple, bringing warmth and security. The earth at their feet is green and fertile and suggests life and happiness. The snake in the fruit-laden tree behind the woman suggests the story of Adam and Eve, the fall of humanity from grace, and the temptations of the world. The two figures in the Lovers card are blessed and protected by the Angel (said to represent Raphael) in the clouds above them. The man looks to the woman, who looks to the angel, indicating the path”1.
We all have fire, a masculine energy, which aims to penetrate and experience reality; when misdirected or not flowing freely, it becomes stunted, turning into destructive anger and death drive – often ailments.
We all have water, a feminine energy, that can welcome and direct the fire to flow freely, and be enlivened by it – but becomes dry, or stagnant, when cut off from the Source.
We integrate the fire by making space for it in the nurturing extension of water, enough to contain it without squashing it or being overcome by it; we access the extension by looking up at divine truth, putting our trust in that which is Eternal.
It creates a link to Being: our fire is taken in by the pure fire of creation – it is consecrated to the Most High, where it flows freely and creatively; our water is the infinite expanse of Being, an ever-flowing spring of Life.
I bring about healing by returning my gaze to what really matters, to That which Is – both as the Divine and as the present moment – and let my energy flow under the wise direction of the Angel. In the Light of the sun – not hiding anything; with the support of the earth, claiming a piece of it to care for and contribute to.
What’s the obstacle to healing?
Unsurprisingly, giving in to control – constricting that fire energy until it turns into stone.
Ego is the belief in fragmentation, in identity based on finite realities. The belief in finite realities is a part of life, but the belief in only finite realities rips a hole in the world, a path to the bottomless pit of nothingness.
Everything is transformed, nothing is destroyed or created other than That which Is. All our finite forms – including our selves and identities – are a necessary expression of Being, and they are Being, but Being is that which is manifested through them, and is the only One thing that is truly there: ultimate reality.
To act one must first align oneself with Being, then see from that perspective: all agendas, intentions (however well-meaning) coming from the finite perspective of ego are beyond sub-optimal.
This card warns about identification – and power. It warns about identifying with power, even identifying with being a vehicle of That which Is. I’m not aligning myself with a fixed structure – with an identity –, with a ruler that has established a creation, but with a rule (word, law) that is creation: the continuous choice is to embody the process, not any specific outcome.
It is paramount to not use any of this to benefit oneself or establish dominion – with no exception, whatever the intention. That will take care of itself if it’s in line with Being, if it’s the highest good for all, and if it’s being done for the liberation of all creatures.
It’s not wrong to have desires and agendas, to want a thriving and fulfilled life; it is wrong to implement them over Being. It’s not just morally wrong (and spiritually unwise), it’s a sub-optimal strategy for anyone wishing to be thriving and fulfilled: highest good for all and liberation of all creatures includes a)me and everyone I care about, b)the best circumstances for us all to thrive, individually and in society.
What is healing?
It’s the Major Arcana XXI, the world. Ultimate reality.
Healing is looking at existence past the illusion of separation, believing the truth of ultimate reality. It’s an active choice. It’s the act of turning our attention to the dark spots, the flawed jewels we hide in ourselves – whether they are physical conditions, emotions, beliefs, experiences – and look at them in the light of our understanding of ultimate reality.
To make whole that which has been broken; to discover that the discarded stone, unearthed in the rubble, is the one which supports the temple.
Ultimate reality is the belief in Being, the understanding of how our inner structures can reflect the working of Being – which is also how we get outer reality to reflect the same: not through manipulation, but through acknowledging the truth of existence.
It’s the truth of suffering, of the dynamic dance of duality, of duality as an unfolding of Oneness – part of it, existing thanks to it. It’s the truth of the one Eternal being which is also the Light that proceeds from it into infinite potential, manifesting it.
Healing is acknowledging and embodying that Light, as anything that perceives itself outside of it realizes it was part of the One all along and finds itself welcome in the fold. Or flees toward the bottomless pit.
It’s the understanding of darkness as unaware Being; of Light as an extension of Being into space and time, creator our reality; of nothingness as an illusion.
In a more summarized way, healing is the choice of Being over nothingness, internalizing that belief and embodying it.
In the Gnostic gospel of Thomas, the apostle narrates how when Jesus laid his hands on the sick, he would heal them by “liberating them of their sins”. Healing as “being made whole that which has been broken” is very in line with this concept: to be fragmented – and broken apart from the whole – is an illusion. It’s a result of sin – intended as perceiving oneself as separate from the whole – , and not the truth of our condition. Liberation is actively choosing to focus our reality on the Eternal which is in us, of which we are part and expression – seeing it as the ultimate reality.
Thus “healing” is completion, wholeness, the contemplating and embodying the eternal truth. Energy flowing freely, safely and effectively, because it’s aimed at the Highest point.