WELL - Mental and Physical Health
[Introduction to the book WELL]
This book must come with a warning.
It is a warning based on what people embarking on courses or conversations or books about the nature of the self can find themselves saying:
‘I came here to feel better. But actually I feel worse: my sleep is terrible / my anxiety is increasing / I’m more depressed than ever / my physical complaint is intensifying / the suffering is worsening.’
And that, of course, looks like a failure of the course provider or author. The participant might even feel that they themselves are the failure. Because surely the only goal must be to feel better and to get rid of symptoms and negative emotions, states and experiences.
And this is where, right off the bat, we have to come out with something that sounds absolutely ridiculous - particularly in a book about physical and mental health.
What if it was that - the identification with, personalisation of and resistance to certain emotions, symptoms, states and experiences - which is the only cause of suffering - and the only reason the suffering is prolonged?
And yes that sounds stupid doesn’t it? Because it seems to fly in the face of humanity and reason.
And patronising. Like it’s said by someone in some ivory tower of mental or physical health who doesn’t understand how bad things are for us.
And dangerous. Because it sounds like it could lead to ignoring important signals or not getting treatment when required.
And confusing. Because why wouldn’t we want to get rid of anything that causes us pain or discomfort? How can we possibly stop the resistance to it?
But how about, before we dismiss it out-right, we take just one moment to question what is going on here.
How could it be that a few spoken words, or a page in a book (or a facebook post, a google result or a headline for that matter) can intensify physical, mental or emotional symptoms and suffering?
What is causing that?
What is the link between some lines and dots on a page and the increasing of sensation?
What is the link?
This is the only question to ever ask.
If there is space to look at that, if there is a genuine readiness to explore what is going on there, then the portal to freedom (and to the understanding of true health) opens.
Without that space or readiness, the course is left, the conversation is closed down, the book is tossed away. And whatever is being protected by the turning away continues to be protected.
The link between trigger and suffering goes unexplored.
The causal relationship between what is believed and what is experienced stays unquestioned.
The physical, mental, emotional symptoms and sufferings will continue to change according to some hidden, uninvestigated factor.
Is it time for that factor to be looked at?
Is there readiness now to enquire…?
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