Lessons from our Bodies

By Stephanie Van Hook

When the body is harmed, there is a system in place to repair what was cut/bruised/scraped, and there is also a memory packet in the brain that files away the knowledge of what happened and what we can learn from it. None of this is passive--the body just makes it look easy. But these complex vehicles our mind and spirit ride in are the epitome of a perfect machine. As a vast network of seemingly separate bodies, we have yet to learn fully the lessons that our own bodies humbly present to us!

Healing a body politic requires the same sophistication. And the mystery, the great challenge of it is that while in the individual body it's an unconscious process, in our collective body, we have to make healing a conscious action, a choice.

We are moving into a new awareness of ourselves--not as separate, objects, but as conscious agents of a growing spiritual evolution. We can no longer turn our back to suffering that expresses itself as despair, hopelessness, even hatred.

To this end, nonviolence is going to play an important role. First of all, we apply pressure to the wound to keep it from bleeding, that is, ending the harm to make healing even possible (a leg won't heal if you keep breaking it, nor will a heart) and then we go about rebuilding the cell tissue-- finding enacting new agreements that create a shared sense of dignity for everyone. Nonviolence is the best of all ancient and natural medicines. And even science is picking up on it these days!

But as our bodies teach us, it requires a bit more than sitting back and letting things happen. We have to create a robust social immune system that is there when we need it most, and functioning beautifully at all other times. That's the work that begins today.

Stephanie N. Van Hook is the Executive Director of the Metta Center for Nonviolence and is trained in Montessori Early Childhood Education. She is the author of Gandhi Searches for Truth: A Practical Biography for Children (Person Power Press, 2016). To learn more about Stephanie,click here.


Catalyst is produced by The Shift Network to feature inspiring stories and provide information to help shift consciousness and take practical action. To receive Catalyst twice a month, sign up here.

This article appears in: 2016 Catalyst, Issue 19: Day of Healing and Reconciliation - Please Join Today