Health and disease – how we maintain one and avoid the other is an issue that is discussed in various concepts. There are many causes of illness and if we really want to heal, we don’t get around to looking at people in their entirety. Accordingly, we find different therapy approaches, which affect body, psyche and spirit. Many of the remedies work biochemically or informatively and are able to regulate functional circles without our conscious intervention. In order to really heal certain diseases, however, another component is needed: the awareness and clarification of hidden injuries, conditioning, beliefs, values and behaviours.
This means that we enter an area that often causes discomfort, because we do not like to move outside our comfort zone. But why is it so? Why do we often wait until it is no longer possible not to change our habits? Why does it usually take the felt, painful hopelessness to move us and to open us to new views and behaviour?
There are very obvious hidden reasons that prevent us from taking new paths. In order to shed some light on the subject, I have extracted the following arguments and considerations:
- we cannot or do not want to leave the comfort zone.
- imprints, conditioning and interconnections work like autonomous programs in the subconscious,
- values, beliefs and convictions limit our creativity and our minds,
- we are afraid of pain; pain from old emotional injuries and emotional traumas does not want to be felt again,
- we have lost the connection to our essence, we lack the basic trust, and
We cannot or do not want to leave the comfort zone
Comfort is often the reason why we do not really face the deeper problems. But comfort and laziness are not just bad traits that we should blame ourselves for. Rather, they are an expression of our evolutionary-biological disposition, which is designed to divide energy sensibly and sparingly. This energy-saving program is equipped with a drive and braking system that is controlled by the autonomous nervous system and therefore cannot be influenced deliberately.
This system always weighs up whether an effort is worthwhile or not. So we tend to drop everything that is new and unknown, because the appropriation of the new or the confrontation with it, consumes too much energy compared to the existing, well-rehearsed processes, which run practically fully automatically. In addition, it is not foreseeable whether a new path will not also entail new dangers and whether it will really bring a profit.
If, for example, we have a job with which we earn good money but which does not really satisfy us and make us happy, we will generally keep it anyway because that costs far less energy and courage than to venture out of the comfort zone, unless the current condition makes us so unhappy, depressed or ill that we set ourselves in motion.
We, therefore, need a strong motive for which it is worth spending energy and to which we attach meaning because we all wish for a meaningful life. But it is not uncommon for us to satisfy this hunger by, for example, buying and consuming things – substitute satisfaction for unfulfilled basic needs. Or we think we have found meaning in the repeated confirmation of our beliefs and opinions. Unfortunately, this effort only reflects the above-mentioned functioning of our brain’s energy saving program.
Life has shaped us, everything that has affected us in the course of our development has left traces and makes us the persons we are. Experiences, imprints and injuries put a filter, a kind of glasses on us and determine how we understand the world.
Imprints, conditioning and interconnections
Emotional imprints, conditioning and interconnections are not conscious to us without consciousness work.
Emotional imprints are anchored in sensitive phases of development that take place between pregnancy and adulthood. Prenatal imprints have a direct influence on the organ development taking place in that moment and consequently on the later function of this organ. If the emotional imprints are experienced as straining for the system, the organ development and function can be affected. Also later straining emotional imprints can have an organ reference. These can also manifest themselves in dysfunctions. Emotional imprints, whether experienced positively or negatively, always influence our mental condition and behaviour.
The 3rd – 4th week of pregnancy, for example, is the time in which the lymph function can be particularly influenced. Already at this time, the lymph assumes a defensive function within the immune system, which is important for survival. A negative or at least problematic imprint is possible, for example, by an infection of the mother at this time or by a strong rejection of the child by the father or the grandparents. Both produce a strong resistance and defensive attitude of the mother. This specific stress during this time of pregnancy results in a weakened defence function of the unborn child in the somatic and also in the psychological area. This child will hardly be able to defend itself in life or will be even unable to do so or, as compensation, will tend to an increased defense readiness, which manifests somatically as allergies or frequent infections, for example, or psychologically as defense readiness as a basic attitude.
Conditioning is also a kind of programming. They are anchored by repetition. Driving a car, for example, is conditioning. Everything that we repeat often enough can be retrieved automatically in the course of time.
This applies not only to the desired skills that we acquire, but also to behaviours and strategies that are suitable, for example, for getting something. A fairly common unconscious strategy, for example, is to be offended or angry in such situations. We can be sure that others will perceive us, respond to us, and fulfill our unspoken desires. If this behaviour often leads to the desired goal, we will unconsciously continue to apply it. In this way we create conditioning – for ourselves as well as for others.
Interconnections, on the other hand, are information that are linked together because they were processed at the same time. They do not necessarily have to have an emotional evaluation. For example, an event is linked to a smell, an image, a mood, a sound or even to another event, although the two do not necessarily have anything to do with each other. Thus, we experience that a certain stimulus (for example, a smell, a season, etc.) can automatically bring out an old memory. Interconnections also work unconsciously and produce a certain behaviour without our conscious involvement. There are interconnections that can be very problematic. For example, when love is linked to the feeling of loss anxiety. These people cannot have a love relationship without feeling the fear of loss, even with a partner who gives them security, because love automatically activates the fear of loss. They are usually even looking for a partner with whom they can experience this fear of loss.
Values, convictions and beliefs are mental structures and limit our creativity and our thoughts.
It is not uncommon for certain mental structures to block us. Strongly anchored values can prevent us from finding solutions. For example, if we believe that “having problems” or “being sick” is a bad thing, the subconscious automatically classifies it as a threat and begins to fight it or wants to flee from it. We then think, “I have to solve the problem, I have to get rid of the disease, I have to have it gone, so that everything is in order again, so that I can continue as before”.
Or, for example, if someone believes that the drug alone will put everything in order, he or she will hardly have the insight to do anything for their recovery by themselves. If, on the other hand, we believe that a problem could be a chance for us to learn something new and to unfold, that illness could, for example, draw our attention to something, then we activate our curiosity, release energy and are ready to deal with the situation. We then focus on solutions and find ways to really solve the problem. But this attitude presupposes that we are ready to take responsibility for our lives and give up our role as victims.
I sometimes meet people who think that taking responsibility for one’s own life means being guilty of what is happening to you. Others think, “If I take responsibility for my life and something doesn’t work, I have failed”. Both views, however, trigger the unpleasant feeling of shame, which leads to the fact that one prefers to choose the victim role. This is a trap we like to fall into. Responsibility has to do with causality, that is, with cause and effect and nothing with guilt. Guilt and shame are early childhood experiences. They are connected with beliefs such as: “See! Blame yourself” or “Failure”. These have anchored themselves in childhood in the subconscious as a mental image of an imprint or conditioning. Only if such beliefs are made ineffective, it is possible to get a good self-esteem and to take over responsibility yourself.
To regard defeats, problems, and strokes of fate as opportunities means taking responsibility for what we do, what we do not do, and what we think and feel. Recent scientific evidence suggests that the reality we experience today is the result of what we have felt, thought, and done over the past eight months. This should inspire us to think, feel and act more consciously. The victim attitude is only one example that prevents us from solving problems on our own with responsibility.
We consider a lot of other beliefs, opinions, and values to be true and are trapped in them. We have unconsciously adopted them at a certain point in time, usually as a result of conditioning, and have not uncovered and checked them later. These mental structures are like programs that are played back automatically and are able to block the path to the solution until we uncover them.
Emotional injuries and emotional traumas
“A trauma suffered that has not been healed lives on in the body and manifests itself in pain, inflammation or disease. So there is a piece of life history in every symptom of the body.” (Franz Ruppert)
Our limbic system systematically avoids ways that allow us to come into contact with the pain of old emotional injuries. We have split off such experiences in our psyche and pushed them away somewhere because the feelings associated with them are hardly bearable and are very painful.
This means that any stimulus that is related to the injury at that time is automatically suppressed, fought or avoided. Primarily, emotional patterns of injury and pain have to do with unfulfilled basic needs, on the fulfilment of which we would have been dependent for unhindered physical, mental, and spiritual growth. These basic needs are not only about food, air, warmth and protection, but also about the basic emotional needs such as the feeling of being accepted, seen and loved or of having a meaning and being able to do something, as well as the certainty that life has something good in store for us. If children are emotionally hurt, this injury is perceived as an existential threat and stored in the system. At the moment of the injury, a child cannot react in the same way as an adult would. The difficult thing is: even if this or a similar situation could be mastered as an adult or adult, the vegetative nervous system still reacts from the point of view of the injured person and alerts.
When I speak of injuries, I do not imply that there is an evil perpetrator. This kind of injury is usually caused by ignorance. And no one is ever immune from hurting others because of their own ignorance.
If injuries are processed later, they often turn out to be a gift. That may sound cynical at first, but nevertheless: injuries are experiences that make us the person we are – with all the very special, individual qualities. In a successful case, injuries do not make us emotionally hard, but soft.
We have lost the connection to our essence
The fifth reason why we do not take important development steps has to do with our identity: Who am I really? Who do I think I am? Is the person we believe to be our true self? Or is there anything else behind?
What I mean by the term “essence” is the spark of life which we all carry within us and which exists beyond all identifications. The ego with which we identify is basically a conditioned ego, the fruit of our development and experience through matter. We identify ourselves with the result of our previous development. This also includes the collective experiences of human development stored in the DNA, the personal experiences and patterns of our ancestors and everything we have experienced so far. Exactly with this ego we identify ourselves. But what enlivens this ego? What is this power beyond this identification? There are many concepts and models for this. You can deal with it very intensively and argue about which are the right ones. The question that comes to my mind is not which concept is the right one, but rather: which concept serves the happy life, which one allows development and helps us further?
By choosing our acceptance of what this force is beyond this identification, we determine our reality. If we arrive at the assumption that we are not exclusively this conditioned ego, but that there is a force within us that enlivens this human structure, this human ego, that inhabits every living being and all matter in general, then we certainly have the better cards in our hands than if we identify ourselves exclusively with the conditioned ego. When we are interested in our essence and in the intelligence of life, new worlds open up. Usually we find our way back to basic trust, and this opens up approaches to solving problems.