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Can the Jiva Correct Illness?
Seeker: I do have a question though. For years I was studying The Infinite Way with Paul and his wife. It’s an offshoot of Christian Science. As far as healing goes, their theory is that any illness is a spiritual one – an error in the mind, so to speak.
They believe that once you realize that you are God or that someone else recognizes that in you, you are made whole, perfect, because God is perfect and you are made in His image and likeness. It seems to work on many although I never had any luck. Can you put this in terms of Vedanta?
Sundari: From a Vedantic perspective you cannot be “made” whole because you already are whole; no one gives wholeness or Godness to you and no one takes it away because it is and always has been your true nature. Only self-knowledge removes the ignorance that prevents you from comprehending what your true nature is. And what does “God” mean – do they mean awareness? And by “made in his image” whose image are we talking about? Do they mean that as awareness you see all life as one because life proceeds from you although you are always free of life, being prior to it? It sounds like they are saying that there is something the person can do to make themselves perfect, that this perfection is something to be gained.
Theirs is a dualistic approach and it imposes the real (satya) onto the apparently real (mithya), which never works – and which is why it did not work for you. I guess it could work for samsaris, people who need something to believe in.
Vedanta has no beliefs; it is based on irrefutable logic because it is the science of consciousness; as such it is an objective and scientific analysis of the true nature of reality – and your experience, based on the facts. Vedanta is simply the truth about you. Not your truth or my truth or anyone’s truth: The Truth. It is not a belief system or religion either. It is an independent teaching, or sruti, not based on any personage. Christian Science is a so-called scientific belief system, part of the New Thought Movement, along with Unity and Science of Mind, in the late Victorian era that borrowed many concepts from Vedic culture but omitted the means of knowledge and the sampradaya. So it does not have a valid means of knowledge to support it.
As to their idea of illness, what they are saying is that there is a body/mind connection, which they are right about. However, the problem is that they think you can make the body whole through your own actions – which you can to some degree. But there are many illnesses that are not a result of your state of mind, are not in the control of the person, because the body belongs to Isvara. Take Ramana for instance: he lived a pure, sattvic life, had a great state of mind, yet died of cancer.
One can work with Isvara regarding illness by one’s attitudes to the thoughts that illness gives rise to, the illness and the thoughts that arise as a result of illness. From Isvara’s, or awareness’s, point of view there is no illness, of course, while at the same time the gunas are what create the imperfection in the mind and therefore the illness. Remember that the mind and therefore the illness are both objects known to you, awareness. From the jiva’s, or doer’s, point of view there is appropriate action to be taken but that still does not guarantee any particular result. The results of any action depend on the nature of the action – NOT necessarily on the state of mind of the person taking the action; it is possible to get a negative result from a positive action and vice versa. The results of actions ALSO depend on the nature of the field – i.e. Isvara.
I hope this helps you!
~ Much love, Sundari