Thursday, August 31, 2006


CARE of the SOUL
byThomas Moore .
It's interesting that Jesus, whom we consider to be a spiritual teacher and leader, was a healer. The earliest images of him show him healing with the gesture of his hand. It's also interesting that the Buddha is honored in ritual and poetry as the Lapis Lazuli Radiant Healing Buddha. He uses almost the same gesture and holds a bowl of ointment in the other hand. Shamans, too, around the world combine their spiritual tasks with healing. It seems to be the very essence of spirituality to tend physical and emotional illnesses.
With the onset of modernistic attitudes in society, our medicine took a turn toward the mechanical and chemical. Whereas a spiritual healer might see the sick person as a blend of body, soul, and spirit, we separate the body out and treat it as though illness had nothing to do with our emotions and the ways we understand our experiences. We have made great advances in the limited sphere of an isolated body, but we still have much to learn about the connection between specific emotions and particular illnesses.
Just weeks after publishing Care of the Soul 14 years ago, I was invited by physicians to speak to them about healing the whole person. Since then, I have visited many hospitals and medical schools in several countries, recommending that isolating the body is not a good idea.
Along the way, I have discovered many programs called "spirituality and medicine" where the emphasis is usually on meditation, yoga, and various alternative healing modes. Only occasionally do I find a comprehensive view of the human being as made up of body, soul, and spirit. Of course, that's my "thing." I am persuaded that the paradigm of mind–body medicine is insufficient and that the deep soul is an important ingredient in any definition of a whole person.

(to be continued)

Spirituality & Health