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The Role of Spirit in the Practice of Medicine

Are we alone in the universe? How did we get here? Is there a God? Is there life after death? Is this all there is to life? What came before the Big Bang?  Questions like these have motivated man’s search for meaning for millennia. This search itself is an important component of a healthy and happy life and an essential component of holistic medicine.

Maybe we are not just the result of a random event in the universe. Maybe  consciousness exists not just because of the size of our brains.  Maybe there is such a thing as Spirit, a force that can’t as yet be explained by science.

Spirit must be distinguished from religion. Religion is the social, economic and political structure which supports a methodology to experience the Divine. This structure is rich in tradition, rituals, rules and regulations. This structure can give great comfort when dealing with life’s hardships. Each religion has its own methodology and each guides us to what is the same truth. Oftentimes, however, religion seems to be mostly structure, mostly form without meaningful content. The layers upon layers of structure seem to bury the truth discovered by each religion’s central figure. And yet, if we dig deep enough each religion will reveal a mystical side and it is there that an exploratory pathway to the Divine may be found.

Health involves going beyond a particular religious world view to actual practice. These practices are physically restorative, psychologically growth promoting and spiritually uplifting. Whether it be prayer, contemplation or meditation – some practice done every day is helpful. Some find this path within the religion of their birth, others are drawn to other traditions. For instance, Centering Prayer in Christianity is a modern re-presentation of a traditional monastic practice. Websites such as Integral Spiritual Center and Belief Net are useful starting places for your search. Holistic healing oftentimes involves self exploration and discovery of an unknown world within.