If the reader gets nothing else from this book, I hope it is the appreciation and gratitude for the symptom’s role in our lives, as a roadmap from the problem to the cure. Never again will I see a back pain as simply a back pain, but maybe an expression of tension caused by anger, boredom or fear, an amplifier for the voice of prisoners in the subconscious self, as Mercier so beautiful puts it.
“The impulse of unresolved emotions takes advantage of perforations in the armor of our anatomy and physiology, seeking the spots that then become physical speaker systems for blaring the message,” he explains…”for the benevolent purpose of helping us heal and integrate.” This becomes transformational as we overcome the obstacles in our path, like on the hero’s journey, and transcend them with courage.
Mercier is so eloquent, I would do best by quoting him over and over. I am a huge proponent of whole foods, but am now even more so having read that “When we eat whole foods, we ingest the fertility of the universe and reinforce our primordial bond with the earth’s imagination and dreams.” The author explains how carrots and cauliflower are not objects, but information that our cells can understand and utilize. Whereas, if we ingest processed food like chips or candy bars, we might as well be chewing plastic because it will offer our bodies similarly garbled data. The idea that food is a message is another profound insight in this book, one of many.
Whether or not you’re facing illness, look to this book for motivation to cultivate a lush, fertile, healthy terrain in your body with diet, exercise, relaxation, and a soul at peace.
Reading this book, Mercier’s optimism about the potential of medicine is contagious. I hope every health practitioner reads this book to see the possibility of a beautiful medicine that is aligned with the patient’s grandest hopes and welcomes the human soul into the practice of hard science. And I hope every person who picks up this book (I sincerely recommend that you do) uses what they learn about the healing journey to help them along on the search for actualization, wholeness, and love.
David Mercier, M.S., L.Ac., is a speaker, seminar leader, coach and acupuncturist. Download a bonus Discovery Guide at www.DavidMercier.com. Here, he answers my questions:
1) What is the underlying message of your book?
The key message is that our bodies are instruments expressing the wisdom of a conscious, evolving universe. By listening to the messages hidden in our discomfort and pain, whether physical or psychological, we get excellent guidance for our physical, emotional, and spiritual development.
2) What inspired you to write the book?
I realized that for years, I had been giving guidance to my patients in bits and pieces during their sessions with me—there was just too much information to give all at once. So I thought that consolidating all that guidance in one place would be a contribution to my patients and anyone else who might read it. I also feel that conventional medicine and even a good part of integrative medicine these days have lost sight of the soul behind the human experience. I wanted to express the need to remember that what lies behind health, healing, and medicine is the soul of humanity.
3) What do you hope readers will take away from your book? What changes do you hope they’ll make?
I hope they will see that any discomfort or pain they experience is not a “problem,” but encouragement from the wisdom of the world, the anima mundi, to keep evolving. Whether the need is for more calcium or more forgiveness, our discomfort is only here to help. This wisdom is fierce in its demands that we lead a life, just as our spiritual traditions have always insisted, of love, compassion, and connectedness with others.
4) Where do you find your inspiration to write?
While I was writing the book, I found inspiration from a variety of sources. One was to go to museums to stand before the work of the great artists. It was a non-verbal but potent reminder of the greatness that humanity is capable of, and always inspired me. But I also found inspiration from my memories of the poor that I encountered in developing countries. Thinking of the enormous suffering I saw first-hand informs many of the major decisions in my life, and encourages me to do what I can to make a difference. And the third source was knowing that I wanted to leave something behind that will continue to help people long after I’m gone.
5) Any advice for others who feel they have inspiration to share?
Just do it, and do it now. Drop all excuses, and get started tonight. It might be easy, or it might be incredibly hard, but always let yourself be called by the world’s deep hunger to make the difference you long to make. You’ll change, you’ll grow, and you’ll always feel a sense of satisfaction from having made a contribution to the world.
Check out all the Recommended books here on my website.