Pranic Therapy – Part 2: Chaos Theory, Integral Life, Holistic Health Awareness
By G. Kumar
All the four forces in the Universe – weak nuclear force, strong nuclear force, electricity & magnetism – are but different manifestations of that Unitary Power which the Vedists call Prana. Using this Vital Energy to heal is called Pranic Therapy. This article is a continuation of the earlier article Pranic Therapy Part I.
Application of Chaos Theory in the field of Medicine
Another breathtaking development in medicine is the application of Chaos Theory. Chaos theory,advanced by Mendelbrot, is a mathematical theory applied to non-linear and random events. It sees order in chaos. Most of the ordinary phenomena in the world such as changes of weather, the behaviour of cancer cells, occurrence of heart attack, movement of electrons etc, do not seem to follow any regular and recurrent pattern and are unpredictable on the basis of linear mathematics. Though it contradicts Laplace, its positive aspect is that is sees Cosmos (order) in Chaos.
The chaos theory of math tries to find a more meaningful correlation and behavioural pattern in such systems. One of the most fundamental properties of an organism is Homeostasis, the maintenance of a fixed internal milieu, especially with regard to body temperature, BP, pH etc.The earlier school of thought regarded homeostasis as health, (Walter Cannon called it “the wisdom of the body”) and any deviation from it was disease. But Chaos theory revolutionised this thinking and pointed out that health is the flexibility of an organism to respond to any changing environment.Our lungs, heart, liver, etc., are all designed to deal with frequent changes and health is the flexibility or capacity to maintain this state of chaos at the maximal level of efficiency.
Holistic health does not reject the Western system of medicine in toto. In the case of infectious diseases, nutritional and hormonal deficiencies and bodily defects which need surgical intervention, it follows the Western system. Psychosomatic diseases such as hypertension, peptic ulcer, allergic asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, etc., can be treated by Holistic Medicine, it averrs. Holistic health provides a way of life which prevents the reccurrence of some of these ailments. It is more prophylactic, preventive, curative and restorative.
Integral Life is an ancient Vedic ideal. The ancient Rishies (Seers) believed in the fullness of Life – 100 % materialism and 100% spirituality. They actualised the Unity of Life first – long before they realized the Unity of Consciousness. The unitary principle of life is known as Prana, the Vital Energy. Cosmic Prana is a major topic of discussion in the Upanishads. This Universal Vital Energy flows through invisible channels in the human body known as Nadis. The Brhadaranyaka Upanishad describes Prana as Truth and Brahman as the Truth of Truths. It was during this period (around 500 BC) that India developed the Science of Life known as Ayurveda.
An integral view of life far more comprehensive than that of any school of Vedanta was developed by Tantras which arose between the 6th and 9th centuries AD. The Ultimate Reality is conceived of as Chit-Shakti, Consciousness-Force. Matter, Mind and Self are all regarded as manifestations of this Universal Power which is personified as the Divine Mother. All activities are carried on by the Consciousness-Force (The Universe is the play and display of Consciousness-Force) and all we have to do is to open ourselves to Her Power through self-surrender and aspiration. This master science was revived by modern Masters like Aurobindo and Ramakrishna.
The programme for activating the body’s own self-renewal processes is called the holistic health programme. It may take months or years for the body to learn new patterns of response and renew itself. And this programme succeeds only when certain conditions are fulfilled.
Awakening to a New Holistic Health Awareness
Only after undergoing an inner conversion do people start on a holistic health programme. This conversion may come naturally in the fullness of time or by coming into contact with a holistic health adept or Yoga teacher. But more commonly, the inner transformation takes place only when people have reached the limits of suffering or when the shadow of some terminal illness looms large on the horizon. Fear, they say, is the beginning of wisdom.
“Pain is the first born of the Inconscience And thy body’s dumb original base !”
Whatever way the change occurs, it takes the form of two inner processes; a new attitude towards one’s body and a feeling of responsibility for one’s own health.
Man’s greatest enemy – Thanatos (Death-instinct)
The notion that what a person loves most is his own body has been proved erroneous by Freud. Freud, who declared that pleasure seeking (hedonism) was the basic instinct in man, modified his view later. He came to the conclusion that along with Life-instinct (known as Eros) man had apparently a powerful Death-instinct (known as Thanatos) which manifested itself as Self-hate and aggressive behaviour. He showed that not all accidents were really accidents. The accident-proneness of the victims produced by the unconscious death wish they had cherished was the cause behind some accidents. Research has indicated enough evidence for vicious and insidious forms of self-hate in man. We can understand how self-hate operates on the level of the Unconscious if we observe the way many people abuse their own stomachs, lungs and other vital organs, and the way some people bring ruin upon themselves by yielding to drug addiction and alcoholism. This self-hate acts as an inhibiting factor for most individuals. Success can be achieved, said Dr Maxwell Maltz, if this inhibitive factor is removed from the mind. Most people are unaware of it & drift through life unaware of the self- harm they do. Some of them wake up from this unconscious drifting and begin to have a new attitude – an attitude of love, friendliness and peace towards themselves and their brethren.It actually indicates the dawn of true love for one’s higher Self known as the Atman.
Thanatos was known in Vedanta as Thamas (the destructive element in man). Thamas is destructive and self-destructive. By yogic sadhana alone can this Thamas or Thanatos be destroyed.