Spiritual practice is good for your health and this is evidenced by studies into meditation, prayer, and meditative practices such as tai chi etc… The question is why and how can this be explained by our information medicine model?
I was riding on a bus the other day and had an insight into this that I hope you may find interesting or even useful. It suddenly struck me that despite the fact that all the cells in our body share the same basic DNA, none of them is identical to any other cell. In other words we are made up of a truly heterogenous community of cellular units with very different functions – each one playing a part in the whole.
This doesn’t sound particularly Earth shattering as an insight, I grant you, but for the first time it dawned on me that the genes of every individual cell are constantly being turned ON and OFF and ON and OFF in some sort of orchestrated concert. Even two neighbouring cells which are broadly similar in structure and genetic expression probably are very different from each other in any one given moment.
This changing music constantly being played out can be seen as a software program being run on the common hardware platform of our DNA. It’s primarily this ever changing software program which determines who we are now – not the hardware. Unlike the OS of our computers it is not fixed but is constantly being revised and updated with the experience of life. This is the process of information gathering and refinement in a continuous attempt at an ever more perfect adaption to a changing environment. What drives all this?
I guess I am trying to paint a picture of a spiritual reality in scientific terms. I’m also in awe at the scale of the complexity: ten trillion cells talking to each other and the outside world. This miracle we call the human body is truly miraculous in its ongoing achievement and we forget that when we see disease. We say “why is this person ill?” whereas in most cases we should be asking the question “how the hell did this person ever maintain health in the first place?”
When I was more focussed on furthering a career in business some decades ago (and it feels like many past lives ago) one of the statements I read that struck me was “form follows function.” In other words the organisation of a company should be arranged according to its objectives.
As I thought about the complexity of the body ‘s community on the bus these words came back to me with the pre-condition for function and form, so that a more complete picture of the process of living creation might be:
PURPOSE -> FUNCTION -> FORM
In other words, our bodies form according to the function we perform but these functions are evolved according to an overall purpose. This is why a spiritual mission is such a healthy thing to have: it sets in motion a train of events that tends to end up as health. This is because a minimum level of health is required to serve the purpose we set ourselves.
And yet we don’t seem to experience purpose as ours to define alone. We seem to channel or receive it from a “higher” source. In my own personal experience it seems to be a two way process whereby I “discover“ my purpose through intention and purposeful action.
This continuum, from purpose to form, is a whole and I would describe that whole as identity. I am identified by my purpose, the subsequent function required to fulfil that purpose, and finally the form necessary to complete the function. In other words I am what I can see, feel, and sense (form), what I do (functions), and the purpose behind all of that.
The phenomenon of being healthy requires that all three stages of the process are evident and in tune with each other. Probably all disease involves problems at all three levels. In some cases it’s more evident that there’s a problem with purpose (eg: it’s clear that life’s purpose has been mislaid in addiction or other self-destructive behaviour).
When it comes to treating disease, we spend most of our energy dealing with form whereas it strikes me that the only truly preventative strategy is to find purpose. Most certainly we need to act on all three levels.
Where do information fields come into all of this?
I believe that at the very least these fields are a useful working model. They help us understand the phenomena that cannot be explained by models of reality based purely on random chance. The route from purpose to form is complex and full of trials and tribulations and without some intelligent resource we’d simply be making the same errors our forefathers and the species that went before them made. Evolution would be impossible.
What happens when we achieve the purpose we set out to fulfil originally? Well if we are lucky to see that in our own lifetime then we need to evolve a new purpose. The presence of as-yet-unfulfilled purpose is as essential to life as the air we breathe. It is the fabric that holds our diverse community of cells together in one functioning whole. It is the glue of common intent. It is the essence of our identity. It is the very stuff of who we are.
Disease can happen at any point in the chain but it is most fundamental and dangerous at the level of purpose. Loss of purpose means that we open a vacuum to nature. And we all know what nature hates most of all… We have no more right to live and thrive than a cholera causing bacterium or a neoplasm. We have to earn our place by claiming our purpose both individually and collectively as a human race or whatever we are evolving into…