For years I’ve perceived people and situations around me in black and white—I think most of us do. For instance, I used to think of people as being either artists or salesmen; spiritualists or scientists, Democrat Liberals or Republican Conservatives, hearts or heads, me or them. It’s what Tolle suggests we all do as we try to distinguish the ‘me’ from the ‘not-me’. In his thinking, we try to enhance the me at the expense of the not-me. Perhaps if we’re on the planet, it’s one of our great challenges to stop sorting, categorizing, and labeling all parts of our world so we feel more in control. Perhaps our greatest challenge is to allow the world to sort itself and see that in fact, the less sorting done, the better our world can become. And perhaps we could all learn to look for a balance point somewhere between art or spirit and technology or science, between heart and head. Could we learn to respect all points of view, giving each tolerance if not credence?
This blog was triggered by an article recently shown me by two students of bodywork who have trained with me in the past. They’ve found great results from the work I’ve shown them, but they’re now confused to read an article by a similar style practitioner who believes only in the evidence, and therefore discounts the type of work I do and teach. How does one respond when a scientist labels my work as invalid because it doesn’t fit into his model? How indeed?
I’m reminded of All Is Well, a recent book by Louise Hay and Mona Lisa Schulz, which suggests that science and intuition are two wheels of a bicycle, and we get much farther if we use both wheels equally. I appreciate their wisdom: science without intuition seems as dangerous to me as intuition without science seems to scientists. I agree with Hay and Schulz that we travel much farther and more comfortably when we keep both wheels on the ground. And here’s my beef: that scientific community seems to believe that their current science is sacred, and their ‘me’ person chooses to disallow others from having a (not-me) viewpoint that might become more important than their own. I suggest that a scientist is entitled to their reality, BUT they must allow others to hold equal regard for their own beliefs. To suggest that their answers are the only correct answers is downright foolish, in my opinion. I even devote a chapter to this Science vs Intuition conflict in my coming book, Getting Better at Getting People Better (out soon with Singing Dragon, London and Philadelphia).
Specifically, scientists are telling us that the release work I use, and teach, on the psoas muscle (which is buried deep on the front of the spine and reaches to the inside of the leg) is invalid. My twenty-eight years of observing the phenomenon of getting release from this muscle tells me something good is happening. Their observation that such work doesn’t fit their model and is therefore invalid, is maddening to me. I have seen too much good coming from my work to disbelieve in it after all these years. I theorize that these scientists are missing a large piece of the puzzle. It may be as simple as placebo effect: perhaps I’m doing nothing but making people feel better…is that a bad thing? Perhaps they don’t realize that in my model, massage of the deep psoas muscle also stimulates both the blood vessels near it, and the digestive system, and the important vagus nerve, which I think of as the nerve of well-being. I believe if they’ll widen their focus on research, they’ll find some valid projects that point to the importance of heath in this vagus nerve.
But this example strays from my point. I believe it’s dangerous for any of us to shout too loudly about how our answers are the only correct ones for the rest of the people on the planet. None of us has all the answers for every person each time; all of us have right answers for some of the people, some of the time. I work to respect and keep abreast of the scientific community’s advances and discoveries. I don’t agree with all the findings this community brings, and occasionally I’m proved right when science retreats from earlier, now untenable positions. But I allow science the opportunity to do its work, without strident criticism. I’d appreciate the same from science. I trust my intuition which is grounded in my science. I wish scientists would trust their science but ground it in intuition as well.
I’m reminded of a business card I was given by a student years ago. It said simply, “Dear _______: I don’t need your help today. Love, God.”