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BOOK REVIEW: by Linda Dangoor-Khalastchi

Why People Don't Heal and How They Can

by Caroline Myss

Published by Bantam Books 263 pp. 7.99

I couldn't help thinking of the concept of the Trinity when I started to read the introduction to Caroline Myss's book "Why People Don't Heal and How They Can." The number three kept coming up. The chakra system of the Eastern religions alongside the Sefirot of the Kabbalah and the Christian Sacraments are constant reference points throughout the book. The three astrological ages: that of Aries, Pisces and Aquarius and the three different types of physical and spiritual energies which are defined as Tribal, Individual and Symbolic are interestingly analysed and referred to in the same way.

What has this got to do with healing? You may ask.... Please bear with me and I will try to explain briefly what has taken the author over fifteen-years to research.

Let us begin with the chakra system which was developed in the East and served as the basis for certain Hindu, Buddhist and Tavist teachings. The chakras, and there are seven of them, are the traditional energy centres of the body. They are the areas of interconnection between body and spirit and when opened up - through advanced practices of Yoga - lead the individual to enlightenment. Each chakra roughly corresponds to a location in the physical body and the author likens them to energetic computer discs or data banks that collect information. On a metaphorical symbolical level, the chakra system, the Tree of Life of the Kabbalah and the Christian Sacraments are one and the same in Myss's opinion and she demonstrates this with a graphic illustration which makes her concept much clearer.

Let me move on the Astrological ages. According to her an astrological age lasts about 2,000 years during which time human consciousness develops in new ways. During each age, a certain kind of energy is dominant affecting people's lives, their health and their spiritual outlook. For example, the age of Aries, which ran from about 2,000 B.C. to the birth of Christianity, was an era of law and authority and domination of the physical environment. Tribal energy and culture and a strong sense of nationality was the prominent theme of that period. The laws to define appropriate tribal responsibilities were given to Moses during the Arien age and the author sees a correspondence between these laws and responsibilities and the first, second and third chakras, "...which are those most aligned to family, money, power, sex and self-esteem." Even today, tribal cultures of the Middle-east and the Mediterranean rim preserve an emphasis on codes of honour and shame.

The age of Pisces which followed and which is about to end in the year 2,000, heralded from the start a new emotional consciousness, the idea of duality and separateness and the development of self. Courtly love and western romance was born during this age which also encouraged the growth of science and medicine, and this became the leading weapon against the superstitious core of Tribal perceptions. Its power is Individual, and the corresponding chakras are the fourth, the fifth, the sixth and the seventh chakras - love, will clarity and spirituality.

Christianity was born at the beginning of the Piscean age and Buddhism and Islam flourished throughout the last 2,000 years.

What is about to begin is the age of Aquarius and it will have a different energy yet again. Its energy will be a symbolic one and we have been feeling its effects already in the past few years. If division and duality is the theme of the Piscean age, wholeness and objectivity is the Aquarian's. Seeing the world through a symbolic and unifying vision will be its strength.

From all this dense and rich information, Caroline Myss gleans certain patterns and manages to make it relevant 'symbolically' to an individual's behaviour. Our physical and psychological past as well as our historic and genetic past contributes greatly to the way we react to the events in our lives. We can react in a Tribal, Individual or Symbolic way. The way we react determines how we see an event, and when illness sets in, it is according to the way we view it that permits the healing process to take place or not. "...Illness may also convey the message that you have to change your life... quite drastically. Because change is among the most frightening aspects of life, you may fear change more intensely than illness and enter into a pattern of postponing the changes you need to make."

When she begins to deal with issues of dis-ease and the cultural and individual contexts in which people become physically and spiritually ill, different layers of meaning appear and so much is explained. Disease and illness may also be "...a catalyst for expanding personal consciousness as well as for understanding the greater meaning of life."

Healing is her profession and she has devised different kinds of healing programmes and methods for people to follow. In this book she provides healing rituals to help one get and stay well. This is what is so good about Caroline Myss, she gives you the concept and the theory and then the practice.

The many clinical examples and stories both personal and professional make this book fascinating and compelling reading.

"Healers often cannot teach, and teachers cannot heal. Myss can do both. She is a blessing to the human race because she shows us what we all may yet be." - is how an admirer once spoke of her.

 

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