Over the course of 16+ years in practice as an acupuncturist, I’ve heard numerous reports from patients about how they store and experience mental-emotional stress in their bellies. Symptoms range from decreased appetite, increased appetite, various types of pain, and bowel dysfunctions (especially diarrhea).
Traditional Oriental Medicine (TOM) recognizes the Spleen, Stomach, and pancreas as Organ Systems relating to our center; in the doctrine of the Five Phases these Organs belong to Earth, relate to late summer, and are associated with damp/humid climatic conditions. On the level of mind-heart, the Earth Phase relates to worry/overthinking and the pathocondition of qi becoming knotted, stuck. Now interestingly, we have in everyday English the descriptive phrases of “my stomach was in knots” and “a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach” during emotionally adverse circumstances.
This notion of our “center” applies to a state of being, states of mind, emotional states as well as to physical organ systems–for TOM, they are just two manifestations of the same reality. When we are centered, we make good decisions, we are good spirited, our system is calm. When we are not centered, or off-centered, we are scattered, tossed about, feeling like we’re going left and right at the same time, prone to making bad decisions.
In TOM we have the saying that the superior physician treats the disease before it has appeared. In mainstream American culture we have the saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure–another instance of similarities between cultures historically separated by thousands of miles and thousands of years. So, then: what are the proactive, preventive, health-enhancing practices relevant to our Earth phase? How do we cultivate a healthy center that is firm yet flexible enough to adapt to ever-changing Life?
Of late I find myself interested in the topic of lying. Why? Because recently someone lied directly to my face. The untrue words flowed from her mouth quite smoothly and effortlessly, actually. Then that got me thinking about my own habit of deceiving others as a young adult, cheating on girlfriends and telling fake stories to cover my tracks. It seemed a good idea at that time. I enjoyed good times based on those lies. So then it progressed into a perusal of the general question, why do we lie? What are the consequences of lying relevant to our health?
And thus we have our central (oh!) thesis for today: reflection/contemplation with respect to lying and the truth. A few thoughts, comments, and reflections:
Lying helps us to achieve, maintain, &/or avoid the loss of some desired state/position.
We lie because we fear the truth, we fear others can’t handle the truth.
We lie because we learn it from parental figures.
Lying protects us or others from facing something ugly.
Lying creates an inner split.
Deep inside we know that lying is wrong.
Lying distances us from our center, our truth, our Godself.
Being distanced from our center, our truth, our Godself, we become agitated, cold, confused, lonely.
We worry others will find out about our deception, and so there is an ever-present anxiety, lack of peace.
Being in an ever-present state of anxiety, we self-medicate with food, drink, sex, drugs (prescription &/or street), exercise, social media.
Perceiving some good result from lying, we continue to do it again in the hopes of getting even more good results, or not losing the good result we’ve already got.
If our lie was discovered we would lose what’s dear to us, and so we maintain the lie.
Anxiety and stress that results from lying creates signals in the nervous, endocrine, immune systems that favor tension, inflammation, pain.
We fear being rejected for admitting the truth of not-knowing, being scared, feeling weak, and so cover it up with some falsehood of knowing, of confidence, of courage.
We feel worthless inside and so create some false image of positivity to project onto the world.
Lies are concocted by an ignorant mind.
It is possible for one and the same person to be brilliant and evolved on one level of being while base and ignorant on another level.
An ignorant mind does not get itself out of trouble. A person up to her neck in quicksand does not get herself out.
Wisdom is capable of uplifting ignorance, but ignorance must render itself teachable.
Wisdom is truth is Godself is durable happiness is centeredness.
Lies are like a heavy weight on the heart; truth is like an unburdened heart.
Giving up the lie is good for the real self, but a great risk for the little ego.
One can be moving about passionately and yet remain centered. One can be absolutely still and yet be in a state of scatteredness.
Agitation in the Earth Phase gives rise to Dampness. Dampness gives rise to Phlegm. Phlegm can Mist the Orifices, leading to mental illness.
Anxiety and lies stored in the abdomen result in tightness and shallow breathing.
States of truth and ease lead to a relaxed abdomen and deeper breathing.
What lies have you told this very day? Why? Given this honesty, what is your conscience telling you regarding the path of integrity?
What lies have you told in the recent past? Why? Given this honesty, what is the right thing to do?
What lies do you tell on an ongoing basis? Why? Given this honesty, what is the right thing to do?
Having been lied to before, what feelings of resentment and bitterness do you harbor? What conclusions have you formed about life? Are such conclusions 100% correct? Where do you maintain a coldness and distance from others because of having been betrayed in the past?
Coldness and distance leads to rigidity. Rigidity means the Life Force not flowing through. Where the Life Force does not flow through we have a root condition for sickness in the body.
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Best to you in your quest for health, wholeness, and fulfillment, dear friends. See you down the road, J*
Copyright (c) 2018, Justin Jaucian