The Medicine of Innocence
If you haven't been here before, welcome! This is the place where I show up most Monday mornings to offer some thoughts on life, bodies, minds and your health. I actually do show up on Monday mornings, meaning, I don't write these notes ahead of time as may often be the case with other writers. I really enjoy seeing what surfaces on a given day, what rises to the top of the mix that is my life. And I really enjoy finding the words to share that give expression to my own feeling and hopefully connect with you in a way that is meaningful. I hope you'll let me know about that either way!
This week here is something that caught my attention this morning:
"Use no medicine in an illness incurred through no fault of your own.
It will pass of itself."
This is a translation of line 5 from Hexagram 25 - Wu Wang, called variously Innocence, Disentangling and The Unexpected, in this case translated and commented on by Carol Anthony. For me, this concept, the idea that sometimes it is best to simply let an illness run its course without interference, is hugely important. And also critical in this view and translation is that the illness occurred through no fault of your own. So much of the time, you might choose to assume responsibility for things well beyond your control because it gives you a feeling of control. But, if you assume you have acquired the circumstances through no fault of your own, perhaps you can let go, release the situation and the healing occurs naturally with speed and ease.
That you are innocent to your circumstances, to disentangle from them, does not mean that you have done nothing or that you are without some awareness in this case. To be innocent to them is to be open to them, to be willing to see what might come of just being with them. In this way, you can acknowledge that you live in a world full of circumstances, full of things well beyond your control. You can be part of something larger than yourself.
To let something pass of itself is to trust the body and to be willing to experience the process of healing. Healing is, in this cosmology, both a process and a practice. The practice is to bear witness to the communications from the body. The body in seeking to maintain harmony, balance and presence on behalf of your awareness, will bring your attention to itself and to aspects of experience that you might call painful. Can you allow pain to open you to yourself? Can you take a moment in your body and experience to let that pain speak to you?
Bodies, though they speak to you through pain, are wired to heal on their own. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that all communications from your body to your awareness happen on behalf of healing, moving toward presence and functional balance. If you can listen and respond in a timely matter, healing happens. It is also true that pain can come in more quickly and more loudly than you can bear on your own. Here, remaining in Innocence and Disentanglement, you can connect with others, with your world, allowing the larger body of life to support you in being with and moving through whatever pain has gotten your attention.
In all my work, I hold this idea most forward in my activity; that your body and your pain are the most potent teachers you have. I see myself as the guide, willing to ride the rapids with you, willing to map the territory with you, knowing as I do how it is to have a body, a sensitive and talkative body, and knowing how much power and strength can come from listening in to your own particularly precious and potent body.
How is your particular body these days?