by Bernie Siegel, MD
The things that I find exciting about the human body are not what we can touch directly. We take our cars to body shops for repairs and perform maintenance every so many miles but what keeps a body going? Why do some go on for 100 years and others half that time? You can answer it’s genetic but why are the genes doing what they are doing? Who is giving the orders and who or what is taking orders? Why is a touch significant? Why do we need to sleep and what is consciousness? Let me try and answer some of these questions.
You can see my problem isn’t about ego. Most people would base a book on the above and I’m trying to answer in a page or so. When you think of the communication going on in the body it all boils down to the cell membrane and what communicates with it. How we are touched by others and how we reach out to touch others creates an internal chemistry that speaks directly to every cell. There is memory and intelligence in every cell. It has a job to do and has been equipped to do it but it is still following orders that integrate it into the needs of the body as a whole. Who or what is in charge and makes the decisions is beyond understanding as far as I am concerned.
We know from the stories of transplant recipients that organs carry memory. A painful life has its adverse effects when it leads one to not want to live. The will to live is not just about desire but about the chemistry and internal messages which is being communicated to the cell. I know how I feel on my difficult days and I pay attention to those feelings and internal messages and respond to them.
Bacteria are capable of making intelligent genetic changes and becoming resistant to antibiotics and this upsets us but why not be pleased instead by the ability that exists within us also to do that and survive. I know it is more difficult for us then the bacteria because of how simple their lives are compared to ours.
However, everyone with a gene for a disease doesn’t get it. I know of identical twins who have the same disease but I know of more who don’t. I believe their lifestyle, both physical and emotional, makes the difference. Again this is not about blame but about internal wisdom and messages.
Think of the great undifferentiated potential from which we all come. Now think of yourself as a circle within that circle with no circumference. You are touching it, separate from it and a part of it, all at the same time. You are aware and conscious of yourself and more. Our bodies may be present locally but consciousness goes beyond any physical limitations. I have had personal experiences with intuitives and mediums that have convinced me of our potential to communicate and see in ways that most of us are not taught even exist. the CIA uses these non local abilities to spy on people.
I think it a part of our brain requires rest so that it can communicate in symbols while we sleep. Think about it. Why do we sleep when sleep is dangerous? Predators can pounce upon sleeping animals. So why do what is dangerous? I believe that sleep is necessary to restore and maintain the system upon which consciousness depends. It is true that we hear while we sleep so there is some safeguard from noisy threats but a good predator is quiet.
As a surgeon I am fascinated by sleep and anesthesia. We don’t know how anesthesia works but we use it every day. My sense is that it works through the pathways that lead to sleep. We can lose consciousness but still maintain all the other body functions and even respond physiologically to verbal commands and touch while anesthetized. So consciousness exists during sleep and communicates what we need to know via symbols.
What happens to consciousness when the body dies? Again my opinion is from my experience that it continues to exist without the body. That great undifferentiated potential from which we are derived is conscious without form. We give it form so it can act and touch other living things. The touch that cannot be felt is a mystical or spiritual event that most people never experience.
My hope is that someday we will all experience both touches. That of other living things be they our pets, family or therapists and also the touch of creation so that we feel a part of something greater then we appear to be. I think when people feel this connection their membranes get a very powerful live message and feel integrated into the process of creation and so we sing, ‘Touch me and know what happiness is.’
Remember you are the one who sets the limits as to how far you can reach and what you can touch in your lifetime. So make the sky your nonexistent limit.
Why am I sharing this? Why do I want you to have a sense of awe? So that each day will be a gift of wonder and not a burden. As a surgeon I need to be practical, just as you do, but to experience life and healing one needs to reach beyond the practical, palpable things that fill our lives and live with a sense of wonder and awe.
I want you to achieve your potential. As Ernest Holmes said, “What if Jesus was the only normal person who ever lived?” Hmmmm, think about that for a minute.