Dr. Bernie Siegel, author of “Love, Medicine and
Miracles” was once a distraught surgeon who
fretted over his inability to effectively serve
his cancer patients. Dr. Siegel’s recognition and
growing understanding of the mind-body connection
eventually allowed him to serve his patients and
himself in a greater capacity.
Bernie writes in his book, “When a doctor reports
amazing improvements in a patient’s condition, he
or she almost never mentions that person’s beliefs
and lifestyle, but when I inquire, I find the
patient always has made some drastic change toward
a more loving and accepting outlook. The patient
seldom tells an unreceptive doctor about this,
When the person’s mind changed, the state of their
health changed. Hence, the importance of the mind-
However, just covering up the surface with
positive thinking isn’t necessarily going to help.
It’s like cleaning out a house. The dirt and filth
has to be removed and the stale air replaced with
fresh air. There has to be a fundamental change
for real healing to take place. Surface level,
‘positive thinking’ isn’t going to effect this
kind of change, just like lightly dusting our
homes won’t get the real dirt out.
So what are the dirty and stale things in our
minds? Well, they could be things like grudges,
prejudices, anger, resentment and hate. One
spiritual principle from religion talks about
“loving your enemy”. That can’t be done without
giving up hate. By giving up something bad, we can
make room for something good to come in and may,
as a result, see a corresponding change in our
The problem here is that many of these bad things
are buried and hidden and we won’t necessarily see
them or recognize them in ourselves. We can be
certain that they are there though, it is a
virtually inevitable consequence of living in a
world that is so focused on selfishness and less
concerned with “loving” others.
So in order to find these bad things and eliminate
them requires introspection, it requires looking
at oneself hard and long. However, there is still
a problem. When we are searching within our minds,
we have to have a standard to do the comparison
with. Otherwise, how will we find anything? How
will it stand out?
Let’s look to one of the greatest thinkers of the
Western world, Socrates. What did Socrates do with
is life? Didn’t he teach others about virtue?
Interesting, isn’t it? One of the most influential
people in western thinking emphasized virtue to
his students. Socrates talked about things like
absolute goodness, beauty and truth.
If someone as great, as well loved and respected
as Socrates thought these things were important,
perhaps therein lies the key to the mind-body
connection. To live a truly healthy and worthwhile
life, maybe virtuous thoughts like truth and
goodness are what our minds should embrace rather
than the negative things modern life finds us
Remember what Bernie said, “I find the patient
always has made some drastic change toward a more
loving and accepting outlook.” When we embrace
truth and goodness, the beauty of life and this
vast universe that we live in becomes evident.
That is when we can heal our bodies. Real healing
happens in the mind.
This article is for information purposes only, it
is not meant to diagnose, prevent or treat any
illness or health issue. If you have or think you
have a health condition, please visit your
primary-care physician immediately.