Does Spiritual Healing Strike a Balance?
Spiritual Healing Intrigues Me
I find how the balance between science and religion has shifted over the centuries gives me insight into the workings of Spirit. That helps me know, grow and unfold to be the higher self I am designed to become.
Let me share some thoughts about the history of the balance of science and religion with you…perhaps they will help you in your journey, too.
For instance: the balance has shifted in ways of treating a person’s illness holistically versus specifically, medicinally and scientifically has shifted.
Aspects of Ancient Healing Being Restored
Holistic treatment of illness was the way to go in ancient times. There were no alternatives!…there wasn’t any formal knowledge, so the treatment relied on aspects of wellness from the spirit world, use of herbs found in nature, rituals and incense.
Eastern practices never lost much of that, and it’s coming back more and more in the Western world, isn’t it?
There are more and more holistic treatment centers and practioners today. There is growing recognition that medicines and treatment of bodily symptoms are not the whole story. Emotions and spiritual health and well-being are recognized more and more to play a part.
That’s one example of how science and religion are finding balance today. It seems to me we’re getting back to our roots in many ways, with the addition of a lot more understanding and knowledge of science applied to our spiritual essence, purpose and religion.
The Ways of the Ancients
Back in ancient times, with little knowledge of Natural Law, and only observation of Nature as a force that sometimes made survival difficult, that sometimes suppied all the rain, or sun or animal life needed, little of it controllable, human beings had a lot of fear and superstition about things they could not see or control.
Diagnosis and treatment of illness was based in religious superstition and yet the ancients also used herbs and instruments for surgery as well as splints to set broken bones. They had, even in their ignorance of detailed knowledge about how things work, a balance of religion and some amount of scientific treatments, based on observation, experimentation, and good results.
Isn’t that how science works?
We observe, experiment and evaluate the results. What works, gets repeated, retested and refined. What doesn’t work, gets either modified or thrown out.
The thing is, with the ancient peoples, when they found remedies in nature that worked, they counted those as gifts from their gods or their GodForce. They gave thanks, made sacrifices, and followed rituals because they felt the remedies were sacred gifts. They also feared the unpredictabilities of their world, so developed religious procedures to seek to keep their GodForce happy and on their side.
That evolved into rituals and religious practice centered in the courts and power structures of the groups of people who gathered into tribes and nations in Egyptian, Greek, Roman and even Native American early times. These peoples continued and expanded both the religious and the science of spiritual healing.
Science and Religion Divide
Then in Roman times, a division began to take place, where science and religion began to co-exist, and medicine became a big business and a source of wealth and individual power. The state did not maintain control of either the religion or the science of healing and medicine.
Sounds kind of familiar to how medicine sometimes works today, doesn’t it? For me, that doesn’t invalidate the science, it just makes me question the cures, the motivations, and the alternatives. Today medicine in big business. Naturally occurring remedies don’t make money, so they often get passed over as treatments.
I’m not saying modern medicine is bad…please hear that! I’m saying that combination of medicine with spiritual healing and naturally occurring herbal remedies is my idea of the best combo.
The Power Grab of Healing
Then, continuing with the historical sequence, the Church became pre-eminent and took the power of illness back from individuals.
The Church outlawed medicine and science as heathen and relegated all illness back to a state of being out of favor with God. To get a cure, a person had to go to the Church for repentance and prayer. It was a power play, as in the ancient times of early civilization.
It is often just human nature to want to build a power base. It happens over and over again in circumstances of history. I’m not condemning it as bad-I ‘m telling it as part of the story.
Within the Church, some like St. Benedict found a way to re-combine religion and medicine, using the wisdom and experiences of the ancient texts. The Benedictines spent their lives preserving and hand-copying ancient learning. As a result, today we retain some of the wisdom and discoveries of the ancients.
In addition, shamans, medicine men and women and other practioners have continued in many indigenous cultures, also preserving the discoveries and wisdom of the ancients. Most of these believed in a combination of naturally supplied resources along with a spiritual element in healing.
Finally, a few brave souls, chief among them Paracelsus, broke from the Church’s restrictions on scientific investigation, and began to bring Science back to treatment of disease and healing. Since that time, Science and Religion have gone back to living side by side, in uneasy truce most of the time.
Religion and Science Showing Some Recombining
Since Mesmer brought trance-state healing to common knowledge, there have been many pioneers who have learned to combine the best of science and spirituality in spiritual healing once again.
In Spiritualism, it is not a religion of a rigid set of doctrines, but a set of principles, that govern life.
With Spiritualism, there is a combination of Spiritual religion with scientific exploration, understanding and application of Natural Law, in bringing health to minds and bodies.
The power grabs of Religious and State institutions, taking advantage of people’s fears and upsets over illness and death, is still in place in some places. But in Spiritualism, the Hippocratic legacy of giving healing with ethical and honorable treatment of others is pre-eminent.
Spiritualists do not diagnose. They recommend consulting doctors. What they do is to channel the energies from Infinite Intelligence and the Spirit World to bring healthy restoration of body, mind and spirit.
We believe in the Golden Rule, not in power grabs.
Spiritualists don’t believe that illness is a direct result of being in wrong relationship with Infinite Intelligence, although sometimes that can be the case. We do minister and channel healing to the whole person, not just to a specific spot.
In fact, we do not even know what a person who takes a chair has as their request for healing. It is between Infinite Intelligence and the person, with us acting as channels, not diagnosticians.
It seems that the balance between religion and science is restored in Spiritualism, as is the desire and intent to minister to the whole person, body, soul and spirit. I am glad to be a part of it.
If you, as you read this, want a healing, please go now to the NSAC website and join the healing list. Spiritualist Ministers pause every night at 7 PM to channel healing to all those on the list.
Annie Collyer is a student of Spiritualism as taught by the National Spiritualist Association through the Morris Pratt Institute. She has been drawn to Spiritualism and the mediumship of healing from a very young age. She is a student healer, a student medium and a member of her church’s Pastoral Committee.