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Spirituality and Healing
by Dr. Karen Wolfe

The 17th-century philosopher Rene Descartes thought mind (or soul) and body were polar opposites, so different in fact that there seemed no way for the soul to act on the body nor for the body to act on the soul. And so science became more and separate from religion, and medicine become separate from the soul. This belief in materialism and rationalism has sliced through every aspect of life – medicine, education, technology- and we began to believe only that which we could see and touch and explain.

Dare I now propose that the wonderful tools of science that we have worshiped since the great scientific revolution, though valuable, are limited ? Dare I suppose that the universal truth that we are all seeking needs to embody a certain mystery of how the world works ? Dare I proclaim that I believe that the body is in fact the outward manifestation of the soul as reflected in the saying, “The eyes are the windows of the soul.”

Today, both science and medicine are proving Descartes had it backwards. The “intelligence” packed into every cell of the body is mind boggling and scientists are wrestling with evidence that our consciousness and perhaps even our souls are properties that emerge from our bodies. In short, we are glorious biological beings – with minds and spirituality firmly rooted in our physical selves.

Our soul and our mind are “embodied”. In other words, they are the intelligence that runs every cell of our body. Taken to the next step, Dr Anne Foerst, the theologian who helps build humanoid robots at MIT’s Artificial Intelligence lab tells us that this embodied intelligence is “embedded” in the world. What this means is that we develop only in relationship to our surroundings and to other people – and that our lives are much more “virtual” that we believe.

Despite what Descartes had us believe for so long, the lessons that we are now learning are that mind, body and spirit cannot be separated.

So how can we use this information in a practical way day to day?

If we take our bodies seriously as the house of our spirituality then the conversation between body and soul becomes rich indeed. In her book, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, Christiane Northrup, M.D. states it this way. “Trusting the wisdom of the body is a leap of faith in a culture that fails to acknowledge how intimately the mind and body are connected. The wisdom of the body I mean that we must learn to trust the symptom in the body are often the only way that the soul can get our attention. Covering up our symptoms with external “cures” prevents us from healing the parts of our lives that need attention and change.”

We have the body we have because it is precisely the vehicle in which we can best do what we came to do. We cannot always understand this with our rational, logical intellect. There are indeed more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophies.

Highly Recommended Resources
Spirituality & Health Magazine @ www.spiritualityhealth.com or call 1 800 876 8202
Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, Christiane Northrup, MD

Packer, L. & Colman, C (1999) The Antioxidant Miracle : Your Complete Plan for Total health and Healing, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Rowe, J. & Kahn, R. Successful Aging (1998) Random House, Inc. NY

Copyright Dr. Karen Wolfe. All Rights Reserved.

Karen Wolfe is a national and international speaker, author and coach. She is the author of:
  • Medicine From the Inside Out - 7 Keys to Unlock Your Natural Healing Wisdom
  • Menopause - Renewal in Midlife,
  • From Stress to Strength
  • Successful Aging
  • A Wise Woman’s Approach to Healing and Cancer
  • Awaken Your Healer Within
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