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Healing Health Care

Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors

Healing Health Care

As recommended by Aristotle!
Thomas  Moore
Thomas Moore More by this author
Apr 22, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Remember Aristotle: The soul is what makes you uniquely who you are. To keep your soul in the medical world, preserve your individuality. When they talk about you as a case, remind them who you are. When they forget your name or simply don’t use it, make a point to state it loud and clear. If possible, wear clothes that overstate your individuality and compensate for the tendency to make you look like all the other patients. Make your room a statement about who you are and what you like.

You can bring something of home to the hospital: photos, throws, pillows, paintings, statues, rugs, and a mirror. Hospitals restrict the use of mirrors, which makes one wonder if there isn’t some potency there. So smuggle in a little mirror and something else that is forbidden. To preserve your individuality, you may have to bend the rules, because the rules are there to keep the place emotionally cool.

If people want to bring you flowers, ask for dramatic ones, anything that will make you and your space individual. If anyone complains, tell them you are only doing what Aristotle recommended.

Color is important, too. Color is a symbol of life, and yet whenever people begin to describe a hospital, the first thing they talk about is the bland color. You probably can’t paint your room, but you can bring in fabrics and objects that splash some color around an otherwise dull space.

All of this symbolism I learned from Marsilio Ficino, who said that your choice of color, images, sounds, and textures invites different “spirits” into your world. It is not a matter of mere décor but of powerful influences that may or may not foster your healing.

If you express your soul, you will be eccentric. There is no other way. You will rub people the wrong way. They will criticize you. They may be uncomfortable with your individuality. Most people prefer conformity and homogeneity. Heterogeneity is threatening. An institution usually prefers that everyone fade into the background of acquiescence. The organization runs better when people stifle their spirits and camouflage their souls.

There is something inherently aggressive about expressing your individuality. You stick out. You poke the status quo. You refuse to adapt. You upset whatever equilibrium has been achieved.

But from your point of view, this assertive individuality is life and vitality, which are important in reestablishing health. Remember that Asklepios, the Greek God of healing, was a snake. He was not a domesticated animal, though he liked the company of his dog. A snake is threatening, and yet it is the very symbol of healing and medicine.

Hygeia, health, was shown in sacred sculpture feeding a snake from a cup that she held in her hand. She was nurturing, perhaps, but also intrepid, a friend to the beast, the snake that often lies hidden on the earth. You might think that her animal would be a lamb or a cow, something more obviously nurturing and friendly. But no, health is a snake. To be healthy is to be like a snake. Remember this when you see the snake all over the hospital as a symbol of medicine.

About Author
Thomas  Moore
Thomas Moore is the author of numerous popular spiritual books including the New York Times best seller, Care of the Soul. He is a Roman Catholic and a Jungian psychotherapist. After the success of Care of the Soul and its compan Continue reading