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Saturday, May 01, 2010

Let's keep together archetypal parts of healing

The May 2010 issue of Vision Magazine, Catalyst for Conscious Living includes an excerpt from Thomas Moore's new book, Care of the Soul in Medicine. This section, "Service to Humanity" presents the work of Albert Schweitzer in the context of healing as a calling. Moore also writes about the professional arrogance of some doctors:
"One of the best explanations of professional arrogance I have found is one offered by the Swiss Jungian analyst Adolf Guggenbühl-Craig. He talks about a split archetype. In the best of situations, a doctor treats a patient as a fellow human being—both of them are susceptible to mistakes and illness and both have intelligence and good intuitions. But usually this archetype of healing, which has two sides—healer and patient—gets literalized and split up between the two people. The doctor is the healer and the patient the one to be healed. The doctor forgets that he is human, too, and is sometimes a patient. The patient forgets, or may not even realize that she plays a positive role in the healing and can make good judgments and have helpful intuitions as well. This is fertile ground for the dangerous and disrupting condition of doctor arrogance.

Guggenbühl-Craig describes the situation perfectly. “The doctor is no longer able to see his own wounds, his own potential for illness; he sees sickness only in the other. He objectifies illness, distances himself from his own weakness, elevates himself and degrades the patient.” The solution to this split archetype is to face yourself, acknowledge your arrogance, and make a genuine effort to do something about it. Notice your defensiveness when people give you hints about it. Face your anxieties, your attitude toward your work, and your fears."
Care of the Soul in Medicine: Healing Guidance for Patients, Families, and the People Who Care for Them, published by Hay House, is available at bookstores or at