When it comes to healing the past, there are two main approaches:

  1. In time
  2. Outside of time

As humans, we live in time. As beings, we live outside of time. It’s a challenge to reconcile the two even without the need for any healing. The need for healing is there for everyone, just as surely as the need to breathe or drink water. How can the past be healed, so the present is free?

The transcendental approach to healing, which is outside of time,  would say that time doesn’t exist, that you are pure awareness expressing in the now. This is true. Making this truth a realized part of our expression isn’t so straightforward. The outside of time approach also says that all past suffering dissolves as if it had never been, once the delusion of time and identification with ego is removed. When delusion is removed, we’re in our natural state which is already healed, has no need of healing, or can be said to be healing itself. And what the body and/or personality was traumatized by is unimportant as both body and personality are illusions too.

In truth, you are Spirit. The body has been projected by the mind, which itself originates from Spirit. — Ramana Maharshi

Well and good. The being part of us gets this, can live this. The human part of us is a different creature. There actually isn’t a dichotomy between the two, except in perception. At the same time, most often it serves us well to address our human directly. Our human is beautiful, creative, powerful, a miracle of creation. It also suffers. It has needs and desires. It gets trapped.

It gets trapped by time and memory. It’s influenced by genetics and environment. It’s a product of culture and history. Our human has in its past specific events that are crying for healing. We have to “go there” and acknowledge them. This isn’t necessarily analysis, although that can occur and can be useful. Better though, is being present with the suffering, and awake to any insight that may arise. Ignoring wounds that happen in time is dangerous for most of us. We haven’t developed enough knowing to rely on transcendental truth.

Ignoring such wounds creates a shaky foundation. Our functioning in the world becomes unsteady and unreliable. And perhaps most importantly, we’re miserable without healing.

If you’re consciously on a spiritual path,  then you have a way to integrate wisdom and truth with healing in time. The trick to healing in time is to get in and get out, to not become attached to the past. The span of time between in and out will vary. Often it’s a layered, spiral journey. As long as it’s traveled consciously and with nonattachment, the safety of your spirit is available to you. You engage the past together with your transcendental knowing. You engage it to emerge free from it, not to dwell in it.

All I am is loving awareness. I am loving awareness. It means that wherever I look, anything that touches my awareness will be loved by me. That loving awareness is the most fundamental “I.” Loving awareness witnesses the incarnation from a plane of consciousness different from the plane that we live on as egos, though it completely contains and interpenetrates everyday experience. — Ram Dass

The advantage of having a spiritual basis for healing is that until you’re strong enough to acknowledge the pain, there’s a way for you to create spaciousness and be at peace to a certain extent; to feel some relief before delving deeper. Some form of emotional nourishment is needed before we can have presence of mind and resolve to heal in core ways.

Then you get to the healing itself, with this caveat:

We start to see each experience as a teaching to be brought into awareness and loved until we are free from being captivated by the experience. As we begin to awaken, experiences lead to reflection and contemplation. — Ram Dass

The healing work done at the level of details in time is invaluable. This is the balanced way of the spiritual walk through life. If ignored or only dabbled in the result often is that higher dimensional life never becomes available or it crumbles in on itself because a foundation was never laid. Once core healing takes place, and it may have to over and over again, then spirituality and your practices become solid and unwavering.

Ultimately, healing in time and outside of time support each other for your greatest benefit. There’s some overlap and each helps the other. The more you heal, the more pronounced is your living of wisdom; and the more you evolve spiritually the easier it becomes to heal. Physical, emotional, and mental healing leads to clarity with truth. Spiritual healing leads to erasing our ignorance of unity. Separation is exhausting.

Each separate being in the universe returns to the common source. Returning to the source is serenity. — Lao Tzu


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Healing the Past

4 thoughts on “Healing the Past

  • 01/10/2011 at 5:16 PM
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    It certainly has been the case for me that healing “in time” as you call it, has seemed essential to my path. The awareness of being is very advanced and we have to deal with the stuff of time to help us get there.

  • 01/10/2011 at 5:21 PM
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    After writing the previous comment, something more came into mind to be said: Over time, I’ve noticed that some things that I tried to focus on to heal resisted, yet later healed on their own as I did spiritual practice meant to bring me into direct experience of being. So, both healing in time and practice of being go hand in hand.

    • 01/10/2011 at 5:42 PM
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      Yes, exactly. I was making that point too. The other of course is that it’s ok to do “mundane” healing. Some teachings pooh-pooh this.

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