Hello again, friends. That’s me in the photo, left, eyeing the collection of quotes, concepts and images that will be woven into the PhD study I hope you’ll decide to become a part of.
I spent this morning getting a handle on what exactly is required of my study and dissertation. Within 20 minutes, I’d hit overwhelm. So much to learn, keep track of and do. So many details and so many unknowns.
So I stopped reading and did what I now instinctively always do with any uncomfortable emotion; Close my eyes and feel all the way through its energy until I reach the peacefulness out of which it arose in the first place. (Something you’ll also learn to do if you decide to be part of my 6-month study group.)
Next I used a practical strategy I employed often while renovating my little house project, The Oyster. There, when the scale and scope of the project overwhelmed me, I’d focus on taking just one small action. The easiest, smallest or simplest thing I could do. I might have cleaned a window. Or hammered another nail into a wall.
Most times, I’d elect to do the one thing I just felt like doing.
Today my one small study-related action is to share with you a single concept. This concept is the key difference between Western and Eastern/integrative/quantum medicines. It provides the question upon which my PhD study rests.
The concept is captured in the image below. Note that the image isn’t of very good quality. (Improving it wasn’t the one-small-thing-I-decided-to-do.)
In Western medicine – and Newtonian physics – the foundation of our world is the particle. Matter is primary, meaning it exists first and everything else exists because of it.
As you can see in the diagram below, this perspective is called Upward Causation.
Upward Causation would say that you, your emotions, thoughts and very ‘being’ exist because you have body. You and all your experiences result from things happening on the physical level. If your body didn’t exist, you wouldn’t exist. When your body dies, poof, you’re gone too.
Upward Causation extends this perspective to a view on how best to treat physical, emotional, mental and life problems. You get to the core of everything by addressing it on the physical level. If you’re in pain, ill, sad or unclear on your direction in life, matter and substance is the dimension in which to seek the answer.
By contrast, consider the opposite. In the upside down version of this model, consciousness (awareness) exists, not as an expression of physical matter but as the precursor to it. From consciousness, the unseen, intangible dimension, everything we experience, including matter itself emerges.
Quantum physics and most Eastern medical perspectives are based on this model which is known as Downward Causation.
According to Downward Causation, you exist first and from the non-material ‘you’ emerges the rest of you – your thoughts, emotions, personality and physical body. Your body exists because YOU exist. If your body dies, no poof, YOU still exist!
Do you see that only one of these perspectives can be true?
For years, I was 100% committed to the Upward Causation (matter first) model as indisputable fact. As a nurse, I practiced and taught from this perspective. But over time, my thinking has undergone a head-spinning 180 degree turn. Too many events have defied the notion that the body/matter is the source of everything else. I’ve seen too many instances where consciously manipulating non-matter – energy and emotional fields – predates remarkable changes in physical matter of all sorts.
My personal change in perspective seems to be part of a larger opening-of-minds among many Westerners. A paradigm-shift, as it were.
I point to healer Charlie Goldsmith, who recently garnered enough mainstream interest to have a show on TLC, The Learning Channel. Charlie’s method of rapid non-touch healing works through no known mechanism explainable by Upward Causation (at least not yet) but makes perfect sense according to Downward Causation where consciousness is the foundation of all being.
Downward Causation is the perspective I turn to first as a Life Coach. Its the model that will be tested by those who will take part in the 6-month coaching group that will be the source of data for my PhD study.
I’m still working out the details of that offering, (remember my detailed to-do list?) But I will pass that information along in due time here. Right now, I think I’ll head out into the sunshine for a walk.
Did you find this distinction helpful? I’d love to know. The comments function below is now working unlike when I posted last time.