The scientific basis for spiritual healing. Updated for 2024

Updated: July 15, 2024

I am very
happy to share today's ideas
with you and I'd like
to start by raising the question Is there such a thing as
spiritual healing? If there is
such a thing as spiritual healing, how
does it work? And is this the future of well-being, of longevity and healthspan
and joy and enlightenment? So let's start with possibly the scientific
basis of spiritual healing. So I go back
to a phrase from the Vedantic literature, the Upanishads, Ayurveda,
Indian spiritual traditions,
wisdom traditions. However
you want to call it. And the phrase says, if you want to know what you were, what your experiences
were in the past, then look
at your body now. If you want to look, know what the body
will look like in the future.

Then observe
your experiences and choose
your experiences consciously, now. So what does that
mean? Okay. This means that experience is metabolized into what we call the appearance
of the brain. And the body
experience is metabolized, but experience
is complicated. So first there is,
you know, what we call
let's call it direct experience. And direct
experience is just sensations, images, feelings
and thoughts. But then there's the constructed
experience. You take
the sensations, images, feelings
and thoughts, and you construct the idea of objects and all of that. Everything, everything
that we look at. Look at that statue
behind me. Okay, That's Shiva dancing on a snake. Okay. But the direct
experience as I look at
it is shape. If I touch it,
it's hard steel,
you know, iron… if I touch it. So touching
the touching of that statue is hardness. The visual experience is color. Now, of course,
I could taste it and smell it
and bang it and produce
all the five sensory experiences
that we have sound, touch, sight,
distance, math.

But the fact that
I call it a statue of Shiva is
a human construct. So what is that? That's
a human construct for the alchemy
of sensation. I've said
this many times, I feel almost
like redundant. But that statue and everything else
that you see, are human constructs,
including me and the body that you are using
to look at this screen and everything else
happening. So in Eastern wisdom traditions, the experience and the interpretation of experience is called
karma. And karma is also memory. You know,
we had experiences. We interpreted them, and now
we have memories, memories,
information. And then this
information actually recycles as experience again
in the future. Karma,
memory and desire.

That's the classic orthodox explanation
of karma. It's not, you know, good and bad
or all of that. It's just experience and how
we interpreted it. Let me give you
an example. We went to Disney
World, you and I, and I
enjoyed the ride and you did not. Okay, So now we have different memories
of that experience. I might go to Disney World again
and pay for it, for the jitteriness
of the experience and you may decide
never to go again. In fact, you're scared with the same experience
because in an airplane. But because
I interpret the airplane ride the same way
as I interpret the Disney World ride, I am happy,
I enjoy it. So that's called
Karma. Karma is the metabolism
of experience, the interpretation of experience, the memory of the experience, the information generated
by the experience and the choices
made in the future as a result of the
interpretation of the experience.

Karma, memory
and desire, are the software
of our souls. Okay, I'm going
to ignore that call. So that's
another experience. Okay,
so now we actually look at some of
the developments in science. And one of
the most interesting developments
in science is what we call
epigenetics. Okay. And what does
epigenetics suggest? Epigenetic
suggests that our experiences influence genetic activities that our bodies then use to metabolize
experience into the molecules
of a body, literally. Epigenetics, I'll
repeat, suggests that experience
influences genetic activities
and that our bodies are the metabolism
of experience and experiences and
their interpretion.

is the study of how environmental factors can change
gene expression without changing
the underlying DNA sequence. This means that our genes
are not fixed and can be influenced
by experiences. So now there's growing
body of evidence and a growing body
of research that shows how
epigenetic changes can be caused
by factors such as stress,
diet, exercise, exposure to toxins. There are epigenetic switches
that go on and off. Based on
the experience we're having. Literally switches. Of course, there are chemical bases
for these switches called methylation, demethylation etc.. These changes can then affect
the way our genes are expressed and that in
turn influences our health,
our behavior, and even
our personality.

For example,
studies have shown that children
who experience early childhood trauma
are more likely to develop
epigenetic changes that increase
the risk of diseases for diseases
such as severe heart disease,
obesity, depression and many other
chronic illnesses. Conversely, studies
have also shown that positive experiences
such as a supportive and nurturing
childhood can lead to
epigenetic changes that promote health
and well-being. The idea
that our bodies are metabolism of experience
is relatively new. Although,
by the way, I've been talking about it
for 30 years, literally,
the metabolism of experience. And people rolled
their eyes up. But needless
to say, the time for understanding
this is here.

So all this
suggests that our bodies are the metabolism
of experience, a relatively new idea which is gaining
increasing support from scientific
research. The research
suggests that our genes are
not the only factors that determine our health
and well-being. Our experiences play a role in
these experiences can literally change the way our genes
are expressed. This is a powerful reminder that we are
not simply the victims
of our genes. We have the power
to influence our own health and well-being
by making choices that promote
positive epigenetic changes.

These choices
include eating a healthy diet,
exercising regularly,
managing stress and getting enough
sleep. So this is all well
known. In addition
to these lifestyle choice choices,
we can also support positive
epigenetic changes by creating
a nurturing and supportive
environment for ourselves and
for our children. This means providing
them with love, acceptance
and opportunities to learn and grow. The field of epigenetics is, of course, is
still new, but it is expanding
rapidly and expanding
our understanding of how our genes
and experiences interact
to influence our health
and well-being. The research
has the potential to revolutionize
our approach to medicine
and psychology, and it is giving
new hope to preventing and
treating disease.

But now the question is, can we go
a little bit deeper? So is all experience in consciousness? Is the experience
in the brain or is the brain
also an experience and neuroplasticity and neurogenesis
and up to Genesis and epigenetics
all suggest that the brain is not the source
of experience. It represents the neural correlates
of experience. So it is actually
even the brain, the landscape of
the brain is an expression
of experience, even the landscape
of the brain. Because the landscape of
the brain is and is through genetics
and epigenetics, just like the body.
So what is the brain? What is the body? Also the metabolism
of experience. I would say
that the brain is created by genes,
but it is sculpted by experience. But now, let us define what we mean by experience is processed, metabolized
in consciousness. Where are you having
this experience right now, and what is it
doing to your brain and your body? So the experience
you are having right now is not in
your brain.

It's not in your
body. Okay? The experience you're having right now is in your
consciousness. And then, of course,
in your mind, which is a modified form of consciousness,
the mind is conditioned
consciousness. So that's where the experience
is happening. And so
the experience is not happening in anything
that we call local. The experience
doesn't really have a location in space-time
and I define consciousness,
awareness, spirit, soul, as all one entity and the mind
and the brain and the body
and the world has differentiated modes of that
fundamental reality, which is pure
consciousness, infinite
possibilities, nonlocal
correlation, uncertainty,
principle, unpredictable,
creative, self-organizing
things, self-regulating,
and self evolving. So if we understand that consciousness as awareness
of oneself and the world around
us, then of course, all experience
is in consciousness. This is because
experience is simply the way we perceive
and interact with the world
around us and actually also how we interact with our own selves. Everything
that we see, hear, smell, touch
and think is part of conscious

So consciousness
is the subjective experience
of being aware experiences, the processing
of being aware. Consciousness
is the filter through
which we experience the world. Experience
is the raw material that consciousness
produces, manufactures. Consciousness is where we have
all experience. Consciousness
is where we know all experience. Consciousness is
where we interpret all experience. And consciousness
is into which experience
subsides eternally. And now. In other words, the ground of all experience is pure
consciousness. So what is the future of well-being
and longevity? First, it is to
choose experiences that we know will create a joyful,
energetic body, a loving,
compassionate heart, a clear mind, creative mind and lightness
of being.

And everything
I have listed is important
for that. Sleep,
managing stress, vagal stimulation,
mind-body coordination,
exercise, emotions, good nutrition and biological
rhythms, maintaining
biological rhythms. All of this
is not new, but I'm going
a little further. The best way for spiritual
healing or consciousness
based healing, longevity and healthspan
the best… but, it'll take you time to get there… is the experience
we call choiceless
awareness, witnessing
awareness. But there's
something beyond that. And that is even when
the witness drops, when the witness
drops, there's no subject-object split and you have returned
to the source. This in yoga
is called Samadhi. So Dharna, which is focused awareness and intention. In this case, the intention is
healthspan longevity, healing,
well-being, Dharna, Dhyana,
meditation, maintaining
that flow and then Samadhi,
transcendence, subject-object
split become one.

This is choiceless awareness, pure being, fundamental reality. And this,
my friends, is the future
of well-being, longevity, health and well-being. I'd love to know your thoughts
on this..

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