As I stated in the series beginning, healing is the bringing together of separated things. Our western epistemology (way of knowing) is to dualistically separate everything into small pieces rather than learn to see how all things integrate. The result is always division, otherness and war. If left unchecked, our minds incrementally move away from healing. Healing our minds then, is not a matter of “WHAT” we think, it is first a matter of “HOW” we think.
When it comes to our minds, science is again the juggernaut, and psychology has been given authority over this domain of life. Psychological theory has brought us a long way and provides some very insightful help, but it still operates on a dualistic epistemology. The existence of the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders 5th edition) proves that the epistemology stems from binary origins. Psychology tells us a high functioning mind is healthy, because that is as far as is can see. The bigger perspective reveals that high functioning people need healing as much as low function people because a dualistic mind which produces a false self can never be healed within such a state. A high functioning false self is anything but healed.
A healed mind is an authentic mind.
Wisdom is different than psychology. Wisdom is a personal epistemology that works like a dimmer switch, with varying degrees of on or off. Wisdom never picks a team, it cannot be sucked into the binary vortex. Finding wisdom is the fastest path to healing our minds. Wisdom is not an accumulation of knowledge. Wisdom is the skill to use the knowledge we possess. A child may have little knowledge and possess great wisdom. A genius may possess great knowledge and little skill to use it.
Our binary minded culture is always pursuing information and data which empowers our intellect to subdivide problems into tiny bits where we can throw out a diagnosis, a therapy, and a bill. Despite all the claims, these sub classifiers are not “root causes” which when repaired offer healing. They create an information addiction which distracts us from finding our true self by fueling our infatuation with our false self. This fundamental confusion brings on a host of emotional, mental, and relational dysfunction.
For example, suppose you are one of the millions of people in our society that suffers from anxiety. The behavioral sciences offer healing by defining your condition, giving a diagnosis, then offering a plan of cognitive behavioral therapy along with some cocktail of SRI’s or mood altering drugs. Flooding the brain with chemicals only causes the brain to create more receptors for those chemicals because it defines anxiety as a neurotransmitter deficiency. If we pan out to the wide view and examine whether the separating things approach has offered healing to our nation, the answer becomes clear. It’s moving us away from transformative healing. Despite the so-called healing, anxiety is on the rise, along with drug dependence.
Do you call this healing?
Wisdom says anxiety belongs. Wisdom integrates rather than separates. Wisdom says things like anxiety are designed, purposeful and as Solomon says, beautiful in their time (Ecclesiastes 3). Yes, it’s uncomfortable. Yes, it can be debilitating, cause a loss of sleep, and disrupt our lives. Anxiety is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. Wisdom says that anxiety, like pain, is awakening us to something that needs our attention. It’s calling us to bring together things that we have concluded don’t belong. It’s the refusal to be oneself within ones life. What happens if we just go with our anxiety? Learn from it. Wisdom reveals that while we are uncomfortable, we aren’t in real danger. The life and death experience of anxiety is the false self facing its own extinction. This is coming from someone who has walked this path into healing.
Wisdom will never defend our sense of pride. Wisdom won’t rescue or reassure us when our anger runs away with itself or suffers prideful offense. When in those states, it’s our ego that is exposed. It’s our ego that calls friends to gain reinforcements, or tell and retell the offense to as many as will listen in hopes of garnering troops and ammunition. Wisdom calls to us to surrender. Wisdom comes to the humble, the contrite, the broken. Pride knows nothing of healing. Wisdom heals everything by bringing separated things together.
There is convergence. There is a personal and corporate Omega point.
If we won’t yield to the call of wisdom, if we will not let the false self die, our mental and emotional dysfunctions expand like bacteria in a lab experiment. The result is a string of bad habits that prop our ego up through manipulations, self-pity, triangulations, revenge, and hatred. We become competitive, vindictive, plotting, jealous, and angry as we go after any surrogate that will validate us or give us a sense of approval. We then pad our lives with trophies, accomplishments, and any external adornment that will convince us that our ego is our true self. Emotional and mental healing will evade such a person as long as they cling to the next thing, the next thing, the next thing that will promise them an escape from themselves.
Wisdom offers a new path, dare I say, the only path to healing. Only the true self can be healed. Like a lost sheep, we are found (Luke 15). Wisdom offers the “HOW” we desperately need. Only in our right mind (our authentic mind) can we build a satisfying life. Wisdom comes in stillness. Our ego hates this. In the quiet, the true self never pleads its case, all that distracting noise is coming from our pseudonym, our fake ID. Endure it. Wait for it. Let go of all the prideful ambition. Let go of all the need to be right. Let go of the need to be first, best, or most. What is left? There. At that moment. We meet Wisdom and discover She has been calling to us forever (Proverbs 8).
Wisdom is not a therapy. It’s not a practice. It’s not a theory or a strategy. Those are the bastions of ego residue. Open your hand to such things. Wisdom is the freedom to just be insignificant and weak in this moment. Wisdom is the freedom from self promotion. Wisdom allows us to see what is required in this moment. Wisdom reprioritizes what needs to be done right now and then inspires us to meet the next thing with faith and excellence. Wisdom doesn’t dodge our insecurities, it sees them, owns them and then sees what is right beyond them. Wisdom allows us to finally be rather than do. From there we move to the next moment and meet it with gratitude. This is how we gain the skill, wisdom, to live authentically. This is how we heal our minds.
One honest, real, authentic decision begets the next. Before long we realize we do not have to pursue validation and acceptance with externals, for we are perfectly validated already. Our doing doesn’t produce acceptance. We are living in the dynamic flow of wisdom and it changes everything. People notice. Favor comes. Love emerges. Life is good. Fear subsides. Where is anxiety? Death, where is your sting (1 Corinthians 15:55)? Promoting others has replaced competition. Serving has replaced winning. You are now unshakeable. Your house is built upon the rock (Matthew 7:24).
Next, the neuroplacticity of our brains rewire to our new owner. Chemicals right size. Anxiety subsides. Sleep returns. Moods become stable. Seeing emerges. Relationships transform. Our choices shed compulsion. Freedom dawns. Our bodies celebrate. Life becomes a joy. This is transformative healing.
“Get wisdom; get insight;
do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.…The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
and whatever you get, get insight.” Proverbs 4:3,5
If your false self has to die in order for you to be healed, do you still want to be healed? If your life has to become completely dismantled in order for your true self to emerge, do you still want to be healed?
Healing “HOW” we think is the wisdom of paradox. Down is the way up. We can have whatever we think we want by climbing and ascending. We can have whatever we truly want only by first descending and deconstructing.