by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
ฉ September 2010, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
WHAT IS A SPIRITUAL DISEASE?
By this term I mean ailments that have as their primary cause an error in oneีs thinking that is related to our relation to our Creator or to the creation of which we are a part. In plain English, this means ailments that are due largely to misperceptions in the way one views oneself in relation to the larger universe or world. Citing examples may be helpful to understand what this means.
COMMON SPIRITUAL DISEASES
1. Arrogance. This is the most important of the spiritual diseases. It is discussed in Oriental textbooks on medicine, but ignored in Western medicine, perhaps because most doctors suffer from this problem.
I studied macrobiotics some years ago, and I vividly recall that the hardest disease to cure, I was taught, was arrogance.
Arrogance is the belief that one knows more than one actually knows, or is better than or superior to others in some way. It is similar to pride - an inflated view of oneself that cannot see the obvious.
Arrogance is the hardest disease to cure because the person is completely unaware that a problem exists, so little or no action is forthcoming to overcome it. In other words, arrogance is a strong type of denial of truth. For much more on this important topic, read Arrogance on this site.
2. Fear. This is the most common of the spiritual diseases. According to books such as A Course In Miracles and the Old and New Testaments of the bible, fear is a state of mind in which one feels cut off from God or the larger whole or universe. This is almost a universal problem on planet earth.
A Course In Miracles states that the opposite of fear is love. This is not unlike the biblical view that love is of God, while the devil or dark forces use fear to control people.
Fear paralyzes the body, contracts the muscles, upsets digestion, and is generally very yin in its effects on the body. It can alter oneีs perception and judgment, causes one to project oneีs feelings upon others and use them as scapegoats, and has many other extremely damaging effect on the body and the mind. This is one reason why Christian preachers and others encourage one to find Jesus or God to enable them to let go of their intense fear. When one does this, healing often follows quickly because stress is greatly reduced on the body.
Positive aspects of fear. Fear can cause a person to hold back or shrink back, thus saving their life or preventing some other catastrophe or mistake. So fear can make one cautious, make one study harder, try harder, examine options more closely, take more precautions, and so on. These are some benefits of fear.
3. Doubt. Doubt is also a very common condition on earth. One might say it is the opposite of arrogance. If arrogance is being too sure of oneself, doubt is not being sure enough about anything, so that one is always drifting back and forth, and unsure about many things.
Doubters never achieve much in life, are always unhappy, and often get in the way of progress by impeding the joy and happiness of most other people. Doubt is the cause of many accidents, misfortunes and other disasters because doubters often do not exercise good judgment in times of crisis.
Doubt is also extremely yin in its effects on the body. This means it tends to slow the oxidation rate, expand the body in an unhealthy way, and damages the body in many subtle ways. Most people know how uncomfortable they feel when they are stuck in doubting everything and everyone. It is a terrible feeling that can cause severe depression and even suicidal thoughts. It is a very common emotion today since people have left behind the biblical framework that formerly was taught in school such as the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule and the like. In fact, this is a doubting generation.
Positive aspects of doubting. Doubt can cause one to question everything. This can lead people to new heights, new discoveries and newer ways of thinking. So as with all the spiritual diseases, doubt can be harnessed to enable one to seek the truth more deeply.
Doubt also has another benefit. It can stop one from rushing in when one ought to be cautious. This is an important benefit of doubting everyone and everything.
4. Ignorance. This is the most devastating of the spiritual diseases. I say this because everything one does is based on assumptions, knowledge and principles. If one is ignorant, oneีs behavior will be based upon false ideas and false principles. As a result, the outcome of the behavior will most often be faulty, and could result in death or disease.
For example, eating in ignorance leads millions of people to develop diabetes and cancer. Marrying in ignorance leads millions to become unhappy, infertile, depressed and even suicidal at times. Working in ignorance leads to injuries and job dissatisfaction. Voting in ignorance can lead to the downfall of a nation. And so on.
Positive aspects of ignorance. Feeling or knowing that one is ignorant can lead a person to search for the truth. By so doing, one becomes wiser and a more balanced individual. This is the great benefit of realizing one is ignorant.