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Some problems with her vision of human energy field.......
on July 7, 1999
Carolyn Myss writes about health and illness within the individual human energy system, but dosen't take energy thinking far enough--that's why some of her arguments break down. Her basic thesis is that we bring illness on ourselves by neglecting to deal with soul or emotional issues, that is, by not leading an "authentic" life. Clearly this can be true, for instance in certain forms of cancer or heart disease.
But when thinking about any sort of system, human or otherwise, you must consider the smaller energy systems which compose it, as well as the larger systems in which it is embedded. Each system "level" has its own sort of consciousness and imperatives to follow. The "level" at which our conscious egos work is only one piece of the complex puzzle of reality which composes and enfolds us.
Thus, from a systems perspective, disease can follow dysfunction on ANY level, from the cellular to the social or environmental (and maybe even the galactic). One example would be cancers caused by pesticides--here, the human collective's disrespect for the planetary environment results in the illness of individuals. There need not be a particular biographical factor in the genesis of such a cancer, for as individuals we are all subject to consequences following our collective actions.
Similarly, disease can spring from breakdowns on the cellular level of biological systems--thus, plants and animals fall prey to illness in the wild (as they also do from human-caused habitat destruction and pollution). Would Myss say that these non-human creatures were responsible for their illnesses because they did not do their soul or emotional work?
To say that biography is the only (or principal) factor in illness is taking a one-dimensional view of disease and the systems it disrupts. Things are more complicated than that. Yes, in much of our life we do have a choice and do indeed create our realities. But there are other things that come to us unbidden: floods, tornados, accidents, and yes, disease. To imply that we create that suffering to me seems uncompassionate. It is also a form of arrogance--assuming that we can control everything that comes to us in life.
Furthermore, there is the question of people who are born with congenital illnesses. Myss, who believes that before we are born, we enter into a contract about what life challenges to take on, would probably say that such people choose the challenge of such illnesses as part of their pre-birth "contract." But I think that many people with such illnesses would find that hypothesis offensive.
Myss also oversimplifies in her comparison of the Christian sacraments, the Hindu chakra system, and the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. These ways of seeing the human spirit-path are similar only on the surface--it would take years of study and personal practice of each of these traditions to understand each one, much less to undertake a "compare and contrast" exercise. Yes, there is a "perennial philosophy" that underlies the world religions, but there are also many fundamental differences as well.
Focussing on the chakras and the human energy system is indeed a start for understanding the energetics of human disease. But for an even more in-depth understanding of energy healing I would recommend reading some of the books out on systems thinking, especially as it pertains to biology. Also, any books which explore sub-systems within the human psyche (depth psychology) pertain to this field, as any ego-self wishing to heal will have to do business with the "others" which exist within and which have their own energies and axes to grind.