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Articles    H3'ed 4/27/10

Using Creation Stories In Healing

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In writing about creation stories, I am inviting you to imagine people coming together to create something--a community, a church, a product, a business, or health and healing. These people forge a shared story that describes how their activity began. All cultures have creation stories about how they came into being: the Book of Genesis, the Bhagavad Gita, the Native American creation stories that follow. The early Christians told the stories of the birth of Jesus, his teachings, his healings, and his Crucifixion and Ascension. Communities have founding fathers and mothers. Cities may even be named for their symbolic forbearers, as in Washington, D.C. (named for George Washington); Prince Rupert, B.C.; and San Francisco (after St. Francis), to list a few. Churches tell stories about how their faith was created. Marriott Hotels places a book inside guest rooms with the history of the Marriott brothers and their efforts to build a hotel chain.

The radical departure from conventional thinking is to imagine that these creation stories are contained as information within a field of energy mutually generated by the people involved in the activity. This helps these people to be coherent with one another in their pursuit of the activity. Some of the information contained in the field is inspirational to bodily healing, as with "The Product." The more strongly we participate in the activity (church, business, school--all of which are also systems or wholes greater than the sum of their parts), the more we are influenced by this energy field that helps reorganize our thoughts to be consistent with the goals of the activity and coherent with others participating in the activity. This is what builds power. On the most mundane level, this wisdom for how to participate is contained in the stories we tell each other, notably our creation stories.

I tell creation stories to inspire a person to discover the creation story for her own illness (and to eventually modify it so that getting well is not so hard to image). At minimum, I am enrolling her in a system that consists of the two of us, in which I hold an intention for her wellness and healing. The more the person interacts with me, the more she is drawn into the energy field that we are creating, one in which healing becomes more possible. The stories we share provide social structure that contains this less palpable energy field. Our relationship is the stage and we are the actors. The larger we make our community of believers (participants in the story, actors in the play), the fuller our field of energy becomes with information about healing. The sharing of the story of how healing is created builds that energy and passes it back to us.

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Lewis Mehl-Madrona graduated from Stanford University School of Medicine and completed residencies in family medicine and in psychiatry at the University of Vermont. He is the author of Coyote Medicine, Coyote Healing, Coyote Wisdom, and (more...)
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