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Integral Health

Integral Health

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Published by Rachel
Namah is a pioneer journal of Body mind, spirit, integral psychology, holistic health and medicine looking at the influences of spirit in psychology and health.

Namah is a pioneer journal of Body mind, spirit, integral psychology, holistic health and medicine looking at the influences of spirit in psychology and health.

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Published by: Rachel on Dec 10, 2010
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11/09/2011

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Two Case studies inIntegral Health Dr. Soumitra Basu
Editor’s noteThese case studies are important from one point of view. They reveal that there can bealternative ways of viewing the same phenomenon and relating to it, not only in differentsystems but even in the same paradigm. They reveal the insufficiency of outer data and theneed to explore the hidden ranges of our existence. Since all paradigms are mental and hencenecessarily limited, this paradigm too has been employed by the mind of the therapist andhence will have its necessary limitations. For instance, the view is narrowed down to onelifetime’s experience. In relation to the psychic entity in man, one has to look at life as asequential, and spiral growth through many lives. It is hoped that one day, the doctor wouldbe able to see and manipulate the hidden forces of life, while attempting a holistic cure of his patients. But meanwhile, one has to begin somewhere and here are these cases which provide auseful beginning.
The interaction of a disease and the type of the person who has it, has an importantbearing in medicine. In fact, this was a great subject of debate between the Platonicand Hippocratic schools in the West. In the East however, in Ayurveda, the generalapproach to disease necessarily included a psychosomatic dimension.Numerous studies have correlated the diverse psychological and psychosocialconflicts and personality traits with various ailments; yet the holistic approach tohealth has been more eclectic than integral. Evidently, a mere mass of correlated datacannot suffice, if it does not also fit into a totipotentially integrated anddevolutionary model of positive health.The Gnostic base of the Integral Yoga of Sri AurobindoandThe Motherprovides a suitable paradigm for such a holistic approach to health. There are three importantseed-ideas that need to be considered deeply and elaborated:(a) Firstly, Integral Yoga posits that the outer nature of man can be viewed alongdifferent planes or parts of Consciousness — the Physical, the Vital and the Mental,each of which has a separate personality. Ordinarily, these are confused andcombined with one another and as a result require careful discrimination. Thus,while the Vital combines with the Mind to become the Higher Vital, it can alsocombine with the Physical to become the Lower Vital. Of the various combinationsthe Physical Mind, the Vital Mind and the Vital-Physical have important implicationsin health. By the yogic practice of self-perfection; the Physical, the Vital and theMental can be separated from each other and progressively developed asindependent entities.(b) Secondly, the development of Physical, the Vital and the Mental as independentpersonalities can have its full significance only when they relate to an integrating andharmonising centre — the Psychic Being. The Atman (soul) of the Indian tradition, inits evolving form is called the Psychic Being in Integral Yoga, to distinguish it from
 
 
 For other articles please visithttp://www.namahjournal.com 
the soul as the presiding spiritual fact. The development of the Psychic Being bringsin the true harmony between the different parts of our being. However, in theordinary consciousness the Psychic Being is veiled by the ego. (which cannot bringabout an integration of the personality). At a certain stage of inner progress, the egohas to be surpassed for the full blossoming of the individual.(c) Thirdly, besides the observable state of awareness that we call ‘ourselves’, thereare other ranges of consciousness yet unexplored. In addition to the subconscious of the psychoanalysts, Integral Yoga brings in new dimensions — viz. (i) theSuperconscious that covers the consciousness of the Psychic Being and of the higherplanes beyond the Mind and whose exploration opens up all our future possibilities;(ii) the Subliminal that is the meeting ground of the individual and the universalspheres of consciousness; (iii) the Circumconscient layer in the universe thatsurrounds us.Evidently, this hologram provided by Integral Yoga is most suited to study for allaspirants who attempt to live out the Universal and the Transcendent in theirindividual spheres. It would be interesting to study the inner existential conflicts of two such individuals who outwardly manifested the same clinical picture – drugdependency.
Case I
S was a young man in his twenties who had an intellectual flair for creative writingand a strong vital urge for socialisation. He also desired to effectively integrate thesetwo aspects of his character. He left his small semi-urban home town for hisuniversity studies at a big cosmopolitan city where he was greatly shocked to findthat the intellectual and political role-models whom he had cherished so long were inreality far below his rather utopian expectations. This unexpected bankruptcy of eulogised values and ideals led to a recoil in his Vital Being and he felt a subjectivevacuum. He decided to have anexperience of the zero feeling’ from where he wouldstart his life afresh. Thus began his experimentation with drugs. Initially his Vitaldrew immense satisfaction from what he considered to be a bold venture. The vitalhowever is never satisfied and when S found that drugs could not provide the innerlight for progress, his drug abusing habit had already become a Vital-Physicalfixation — a phenomenon that clinically qualifies for the diagnosis of drugdependency.At this juncture, S’s contact with Integral Yoga led him to speculate that a life of seclusion would give him enough time for introspection, that would enable him todiscover an alternative source of inner stimulation. Subsequently, through intensivepractice, he could dissociate partially the separate parts of his being (the Physical, theVital and the Mental) and also understand the necessity for surpassing the ego. Eventhis initial, premature and amateurish realisation opened up several avenues forprogress. He successfully conquered the necessity of stimulating his Lower Vital bydrugs. Instead he sought to stimulate his Higher Vital through altruistic activities. Heleft his seclusion and went to an illiterate village in the countryside as aschoolteacher where he pursued his activities with a missionary zeal — the GoodSamaritan who was destined to be a saviour for deprived children. His Vital felt agreat pride in this ‘selfless’ work. He however was continuing his
sadhana
of theIntegral Yoga and aspiring for a life centred around the Psychic Being. He was alsoconcurrently developing the Mental and Physical parts of his being. The former he

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