Healing into Wholeness

by Timothy R. Walker, Ph.D

The fundamental energy of our lives is healthy. It always has been and always will be. If this is true, than what is the cause of our emotional and psychological confusion? What is the cause of confusion in our relationships and the diverse physical ailments that seem to be, somehow, related to our confused emotional energy?

The words health, healthy and healing are all derived from the same Germanic root word meaning wholeness. Simply put, to be whole is to be healthy. When we are not whole we are split off from certain parts of ourselves. This internal split is then mirrored back to us as an unpleasant, stressful or even hostile external world. This becomes our so-called “reality”. Our fractured relationship with ourselves manifests in our fractured relationship to our natural, social and spiritual environment. The sweet ironic paradox is that our original wholeness has never really been lost, only forgotten. The system of interconnected feedback loops, between us and our environment, is infinite. The interconnectedness between everything in the universe is the wholeness that can never be shattered, never altered. This wholeness is the basis of spiritual healing.

Western allopathic medicine generally prescribes a drug that has the opposite effect to the symptom that is troubling the patient. Sometimes this is the right approach and very helpful. Often, however, this approach can tend to further the splitting-off from our original wholeness. To their detriment, many people will give over the responsibility for their own health to their doctor, their medicine or the medical system. Conventional medicine also tends to see death and dying as the enemy or as a failure of medical science. When death and dying are seen as part of a greater journey there is less fracturing of wholeness.

Conventional psychotherapy at its best works toward integration, toward reclaiming original wholeness; yet at its worst it can degenerate into a hamster wheel of self-improvement schemes. The trouble with self-improvement is that often people are trying to get rid of the part of themselves that they don’t like, the part they think is causing the problem, once again fracturing their wholeness. Often, as well, the motivation for self-improvement rests on a foundation of quicksand, the quicksand of inadequacy and fear. In this way someone is driven by inadequacy and fear to get rid of their inadequacy and fear, hence the hamster wheel that goes nowhere but around and around.

Inadequacy and fear are a result of not feeling whole, or of being deeply split off from our original wholeness. The radical approach to healing from the perspective of wholeness is to see that within the symptom is the cure and to work to rediscover our already existing wholeness.

This brings me back to my original statement that the fundamental energy of our life is healthy. The underlying energy of inadequacy and fear, and that which underlies all of our conflicting emotions, is the life force itself. This life force, when seen in its primordial purity, is a manifestation of the interconnected and sacred wholeness we seek.

Healing based in a spiritual paradigm, a paradigm of original wholeness, assists us in our natural process of being with the power of raw emotional energy without having to act it out or repress it. Gradually we learn to untangle the life force energy in the emotion from the distorted cognitions, habitual concepts and mental formations that cause us to suffer. We peel away the false self of our conditioning to reveal our luminous intelligence immersed in wholeness. When this happens the energy and patterning that were our symptoms and problems are re-organized into the healthy integrated flow of our being.

Gradually we learn to see with new eyes that our problems and symptoms arise, like everything else, out of the sacred creative process itself. Thus these imperfections can themselves be used as reminders to bring us back to wholeness. From wholeness the offending distortions dissolve back into their source, which is the pure light of consciousness itself. As we incorporate this understanding we can begin to embrace all of ourselves, our struggles, our pain and our joy. This is the process of personal transformation and is the essence of true healing.

True healing occurs because there is an awakening to the already existing wholeness, the wholeness that was there all along. In this state of consciousness, the journey continues in a kind of ever-expanding spiral. With the new awareness that comes from an increased sense of wholeness, one can see those dark corners in one’s being that still cry out to be healed. One can experience formerly repressed emotions, a loosening of physical restrictions and pain, a softening of emotional heartache, and renewed courage and insight to give up unproductive habits and limiting beliefs. This can lead to a fullness of purpose in life and to finding one’s own unique, personal connection to the world.

From this holistic or spiritual paradigm of healing, we do not defeat death, but neither do we see death as the enemy that we need to defeat. Instead we see life and death as both part of a greater creative cycle of being and non-being in a vast universe that is itself alive and sacred. From this perspective the journey of this life exists within a more vast context of awakening altogether. On this journey there is a poignant beauty in the sacredness of our world, a vibrant joy tinged with sweet sadness and an ever-expanding heart of tenderness and compassion.