Several years ago I edited a magazine for holistic massage therapists and for one article, I looked at two perspectives on how the world works – and specifically, how healing is manifested. They may be widely separated by thousands of years in time and thousands of miles in origin but, in my mind at least, it feels like they are coming from the very same place.
AN ANCIENT KNOWING
Like many ancient people, the Waitaha* (who settled in Aotearoa (ancient New Zealand) long before even the Maori warriors arrived) had an utterly holistic view of the world and their place within it. They honoured the power of the mind, the heart, the spirit and the body itself and lifted everything to a realm of higher wisdom.
The Waitaha held a sense of oneness and kinship with all life and saw all things, be they animals, plants or even the rocks as ancestors who might be called upon to help in times of need.
This deep and total understanding that there is a connection between all things goes beyond the concept of space and time as we commonly regard them today. The Waitaha talked of a Song of Ages, where everything that has been and everything that will be are joined as one.
In fact, they had a very powerful and important word to explain how the future is now but in another dimension. This word – Wairua (literally, two waters) – gave them the ability to express and embody a process of ‘waiting until the tides of this time move to meet the tides of another’. It was this knowledge and power that the healers tapped into on behalf of their patients.
These ancient and remarkable people would have no understanding of the western orthodox method of trying to interpret physical problems with little, if any, reference to the subtle energy realms that surround our bodies.
The role of healer, which encompassed massage, use of herbs and other more ‘shamanic’ practices, was bestowed on someone dependant on their birth stars rather than birthright or personal choice.
The young children who chosen for this vital role in the community were taken to relevant seats of learning, (one of which was Welcome Flat, a valley that boasted the natural hot springs, some 6-7 hours trek to the western regions of Aoraki/Mount Cook, New Zealand’s most formidable peak), where the art of healing – using the power of hands and mind – was passed from generation to generation of women.
A MODERN UNDERSTANDING
Thousands of years later, on the other side of the planet and in an altogether different vernacular, Lynne McTaggart, in her now famous book ‘The Field’ presents the findings of Quantum Physics to the general public. Working my way through the science and profundity of these ‘discoveries’, I’ve highlighted just a few of the ‘breakthroughs’ I felt most drawn to in seeking a modern definition of a holistic world process.
Over the past decades scientists have been measuring the very subtle energy realms that the Waitaha acknowledged all those centuries ago. There have been those who have measured the morphic resonance (or energy) that surrounds all living things that allows them to know how to construct their molecules and to be what they were ‘born’ to be.
Others have made the discovery that atoms can be in two places at the same time. Others still who (re)defined the universe as a vast, dynamic cobweb of energy exchange that contains within it all possible forms of all possible matter – where the very act of focus info attention onto one particular situation (or construction of matter) brings that possibility into being over all other possibilities that exist.
Perhaps more difficult to grasp, (certainly for me), is the idea that both short-term and long-term memory reside outside of ourselves and is stored in ‘The Field’. This, making our own brains simple retrieval and transmitting devices and ‘The Field’ a source of infinite power and knowledge.
Conceivably the most widely known experiments to those interested in holistic health are the studies on the effects of intention and prayer on the healing process. These demonstrated that the health of people could be affected by the positive thoughts and beliefs not only of themselves but of those in a completely different part of the world.
CONVERGENCE OF PERSPECTIVES
The more I process the Quantum Physics, (so far as I am able), the closer I feel I’ve come full circle and returned to the world view of the Waitaha people.
If these perspectives bring us to the same point of truth, then perhaps it is time for the keepers of the old ways and the promoters of the new to join hands and forge forward together, to learn from each other rather than fighting to protect their own world view.
After all, it seems to me that in this case cutting edge scientific discovery seems to be proving the ancient beliefs and that can only be good for our development as modern humans.
AND WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR HOLISTIC HEALTH?
Well, if our world and everything within it is connected at both a practical and spiritual level, with every action having a ripple effect then the world at large (and beyond) has a capacity to offer support to each individual and vice versa.
The power of positive thought, the ability to tap into energy sources beyond our own and the impact of the collective consciousness, amongst many other things, are all something that both modern science and ancient wisdom are asking us to take notice of and I, for one, am not about to argue.
*It was on meeting author and wise-man, Barry Brailsford, at his home near the seat of ancient learning at Castle Hill on New Zealand’s South Island, that I was introduced more deeply to the beliefs of the people of the Waitaha Nation, who settled in Aotearoa (ancient New Zealand) long before even the Maori warriors arrived. I had first become aware of them through Barry’s outstanding series of books, Chronicles of the Stone, in which he shares the wisdom of these people as it had been given to him by their descendants. You can buy the books online at www.stoneprint.co.nz