Science vs. Religion?: You Can Always Heal
Updated: Aug 4
Science vs. Religion: to cure or to heal?
Because only conflicted minds see conflict, quite frankly there is no conflict. Therefore, this is not actually a discussion about religion vs. science, but more an observation on how these two have come to symbolize opposite poles to many people. It is an interesting idea, the separation of church and state/ science coincided or was the catalyst for the separation of spirit/ mind and body. I do believe that scientism (as opposed to science) may arguably be posited as a (one of the factors) driving force behind this phenomenon in the modern sense. Nevertheless, the very postulation dissolves its own argument in that church/religion or spiritualism has never really been against or the antithesis of science. The wrestling of the scientific method (which belongs to all people) has arguably been more driven by material gain than philosophical discourse, with the later masquerading the banner of virtue for its reason. In any case, an argument of spiritualism vs. science may be shown sophomoric as we move collectively more toward a holistic viewpoint of health and healing, almost a return to the original position of integration or harmony between our tripod existence of mind-body-spirit from a more neutral position where science and the spiritual can coexist without the need to 'chose a side'.
What is the difference between healing of the self and curing of an illness?
On the surface these terms appear to suggest the same meaning, implying a singular and ultimate outcome. Being cured implies cessation from an illness. Being healed also implies an ending. Notwithstanding, healing, unlike curing implies a much more open-ended and varied outcome of possibilities.
“While it may not be possible for us to cure ourselves or to find someone who can, it is possible for us to heal ourselves—to learn to live with and work with the conditions that present themselves in the present moment. Healing implies the possibility that we can relate differently to illness, disability, even death, as we learn to see with eyes of wholeness.” (Kabat-Zinn, Jon. Full Catastrophe Living, p. 200)
As it is with semantics, the devil is always in the details. Two separate, unique, and distinct words exist, emergent and extant from a need to imply, suggest, or demonstrate distinct, separate, and unique meanings. Clarity of this concept is obfuscated when we only consider the narrative or arc of illness, be it spiritual, physical, or mental and the potentiality of its termination therein. However, when we consider that not everyone will or can experience a cure from any given illness, simply because all things cannot be equal; too many variables exist on an individual basis.
"We now know a great deal about the genetic and molecular basis of a number of diseases, including many kinds of cancer, and are realizing that because of our unique genomes, different people may experience the same disease differently, and therefore might require different, specifically targeted drug interventions.” (Kabat-Zinn, Jon. Full Catastrophe Living, p. 221).
Moreover, the cessation from illness, whether a "cure" had been experienced or not, can also 'look' very different. Said another way, physical, mental, or spiritual illness arguably manifests across all three of these domains of plurality and to varying degrees: illness will 'look' very different within each of these areas, and to different degrees for everyone. Arguably, there is a bidirectional relationship between the manifestation of illness within any of these three areas and how they may express under duress. Thus, a "cure" would imply the eradication or removal of a specific aberration affecting, typically, the physical domain, although not necessarily. Notwithstanding, post cure of a physical illness, for example, the lingering effects of said illness (or injury) may remain as a psycho-emotional or psycho-spiritual manifestation or 'ghost', wherein the cured individual has thus not yet healed. This is where healing comes in as a more fully realized, all-encompassing aspect of assuagement from that which may be affecting any or all of the three domains of health. Finally, a cure in the modern/ conventional sense has come to embody an allopathic sense of passivity. A modern "miracle pill” to "cure" what ails. In this regard we are victims, or innocent bystanders of our own health and therefore whatever illness may befall we are passively experiencing and have no control over the ensuing quality of our lives. Healing, conversely implies taking an active role to achieve, or imbue, or empower oneself with a sense of wellness, and thus regain a quality of life, regardless the conventional diagnosis of, or cure from illness.
"...how our experience, our behaviors, our lifestyle choices, and even our attitudes can potentially influence which genes in our chromosomes are turned on... that we can work with our genetic inheritance in ways that can modulate its expression, and thus potentially influence our susceptibility to particular diseases." (Kabat-Zinn, Jon. Full Catastrophe Living, p. 220).
Is there a difference between healing and curing? I say yes.
You may not be able to always find a cure or be cured, but you can always heal.
–Mission Healing Engage © 2021