A FRESH LOOK AT STRESS AND ILLNESS ©2012, R. K. Ebert, Ph.D. No one can avoid aging and the decline of our physical and mental abilities. Aging just seems to happen. Like a river life flows and carries us with it. Illness is different from aging. Illness often seems to strike without warning. Rich or poor, educated or uneducated, illness seems to strike everyone at some point. On the surface it appears that both aging and illness are simply part of the human condition. But are they really unavoidable? Ancient texts speak of beings that lived healthily for hundreds of years. Were they a myth? Did they count years differently back then? While medical science has made great strides in some areas of health, the “Why me?” and “Why now?” of aging and illness remain a mystery. The question is not whether we can avoid the inevitable process of aging, but rather what we can do to make it less of a problem. Can we successfully age or live without illness? Developed over roughly a ten year period, the Attractor Field Techniques (AFT) is not just a way of viewing illness and aging. AFT is a system for understanding and changing the mind and body. AFT sees our problems as arising from the distortion of the energy system within us. The energy system involved is something at least as important as is the actual physical problem. A problem is the result of something. Problems do not create themselves. AFT answers questions concerning the “why me?” and the “why now” of illness. What is it that really makes us susceptibility to physical and emotional problems? Medicine says genes and environmental pathogens. AFT says look inside. AFT says that the spiritual masters were right all along. How you look at and react to the world is the single most important factor in your life experience and your susceptibility to illness. How you look at the world is the source of the negative effects of aging. AFT provides an objective method for connecting thoughts and physical problems. How do our thoughts influence the body? This is not a question that science or medicine can answer. It is AFT’s position that the energy of thought and that of Qi are part of a spectrum of non-dimensional energies. Something Quantum physicists call the “implicate” order of existence. These energies not only impact our bodies, but further the entire context of our lives. It is our view that we distort the energies underlying our physical being while we live our daily lives. For the most part we have no idea of what we are doing to ourselves. We harm ourselves by the way that we look at and respond to the events of our lives. Our thoughts radiate a spectrum of energies that are part of the totality of being. We each participate in this reality. We each and influence one another by the energy that we radiate as we take part in this totality. It is a two-way street. We can learn to understand how to improve our current and future lives. Underlying our body are discrete energetic fields which maintain our physical being. Our physical bodies are biologic systems that float within a swarm of energetic fields. These fields are responsible for the development of the anatomy and maintenance of our physiological functioning. For instance, your hands, joints, and organs all have invisible energetic fields that provide information to your cells that direct their physical structure and regulate their organized and effective functioning. Conventional medicine deals with what can be seen and touched, the body itself, not the underlying energies. The distortion that occurs in these energy fields is created by what conventional medicine sees as stress. AFT treatments work through correcting the distortion in these fields. AFT treats the stress at the source of the distortion. At the end of his career, Hans Selye the father of the concept of stress concluded that stress is the biggest thing that leads to illness and premature aging. Disease is a process, not an event. It is a process that begins with habitual thought patterns that distort our energy system. It ends with processes that weaken and harm our bodies. Our invisible and intangible thoughts materialize in our physical being. Illness and suffering result from our emotional stress reactions. Surprisingly, being out of step with simple spiritual truths is the source of our health problems. These truths have been spoken by every spiritual master for millennia: they are timeless gems of wisdom offered for our well-being. Although there is a general process at work in stress reactions, different disease states arise from the specific ways we react to the world. Illness arises as a result of specific reactive patterns, not by chance. We now know that what conventional medicine recognizes as stress is really just the tip of an iceberg. Because stress puts wear and tear on the body, AFT sees all stress reactions as being toxic. Any reaction that leads us to feel upset is toxic. Any reaction we have that causes us to see others negatively or see ourselves as a victim is toxic. The stronger and more prolonged our reaction, the more it poisons us. Most of us see our reactions to the world as justified, as being caused by life events and the actions of others. We pay attention to the content of the event, what happened, and we fail to understand that meaning occurs only within our own minds. Meaning is not part of the event. If we ignore the context, we can totally misinterpret events. Someone smiling at you in the office or supermarket is quite different from someone smiling at you on the other side of your pillow. If you ignore the context of an event you are likely to make serious mistakes in judgment and act in ways that others see as inappropriate. It is our attitude toward life that helps or hinders us. Our attitude is the context within which we view life’s events. It determines what something means to us, whether we find it stressful, neutral, or pleasant. Stress and attitude are directly related. Stress comes from inside, not outside. Events are neither good nor bad until we judge them. Unless we are talking about some physical trauma, it is only and always the meaning we give to an event that creates stress. Different people react to the same event differently because they give a different meaning to the event and thus experience the event differently. Have you ever watched a movie with someone else and later discussed it with them and wondered if they had actually seen the same movie? Have you ever discussed events from your childhood with other relatives and found that their recall of what had happened was quite different from yours? Divorce is viewed by some as ruining their lives, while others see it as a cause for dancing in the street. It is the same event, but can affect you quite differently depending on your personal perspective. There are many ways of thinking and reacting that are considered “normal” that produce catabolic energy. It should be noted that “normal” means not being very much different from the average. In the behavioral sciences “normal” is a statistical concept: if something is common or happens to the vast majority of people it is statistically seen as “normal”. Disease is common. You must ask yourself, “Is disease normal?” If you think that disease is normal, do you want to be normal? If most people in life regularly shoot themselves in the foot would you want to join them? Attitudes are built on our beliefs and values and shape the context of our life. We form beliefs that match emotional reactions. After forming them we automatically store them in our memories. We then use our memories to interpret present events. In effect, we interpret what is in front of us by our past experiences. That is why we habitually respond as we do. We see and experience a replay of the past in what is happening now. This is how we make sense of things. This is part of our self-generated personal illusion. As sense-making creatures we try to understand the situation we find ourselves in. The sense we make appears to be guided by a force beyond the situation itself. The same event can cause different conclusions. It depends on the person involved. Our sense and meaning are focused on the presence of the past: the karmic energetic pattern present at the time of our conception. A pattern passed on to us by our ancestors much like “energetic DNA”. The concept of an energetic karma is foreign to the western mindset. It is not explicitly mentioned in the bible, however, it is implied in the Ten Commandments. God proclaimed “I am a zealous God, visiting the offenses of the fathers upon their children to the third and fourth generations”. Lamsa: 1961; The Holy Bible from the ancient eastern text; HarperSanFrancisco. The reason we conjure up about why we are alone is the most influential conclusion we make in our lives. It shapes and gives meaning to the rest of our lives, tuning us into one of the channels of stress. It is the touchstone of our awareness. After it is formed every subsequent event is flavored and colored by its presence. It is our reality and we know that it is true. Until we change it. How to do this is the subject of the experiential workshops presented by the Tree of Life Foundation. As it turns out, the spiritually guided sages were correct all along. Attitudes that devalue life are harmful to health and well-being. These attitudes are more harmful than you could possibly imagine. And what is it to devalue life? Simply put, it is to see something as having little or no value, to see it as something bad, untrustworthy, mean, harsh, demanding, haughty, or any number of negative ways. Any thought or action that devalues or reduces you or another is harmful to you. It can be thought of as a universal energetic boomerang: what goes around comes around. Jesus wisely told us that “what we sow is what we will reap” and the Buddha warned that “wrongful thinking” is the source of all pain and suffering. More recently, A Course in Miracles indicates that if you knew what a single fearful thought did to your body you would never allow yourself to do it again. AFT does not advocate anyone spiritual tradition over another. We believe that all religious traditions should be honored. After all, it is the same God that we worship and revere. We do however consider “Loving your neighbor as yourself” is “the greatest commandment of all”. The problem for most of us is that we do not love and appreciate our selves, and therefore cannot really love another.