If we are ever to cure human cancer we must focus on the root rather than merely treat the symptoms. So our first question is this: what is the root of human cancer? And our second question is, who is our healer? How can we find the person who will bring healing to us?
Cancer is a form of war. Healthy cells mutate into cells that wages a war against the very cells which gave them birth. Cancer is division, conflict. The unhealthy, vigorous, voracious cells displace the healthy cells. It begins with health and ends in death.
We too begin in health, but through circumstances entirely out of our control we split into two. The unhealthy self, just like the cancer cells, possesses far more apparent vigor than the quiet, quiescent, balanced healthy self. The self out of balance, quite literally, attracts all of the light of the authentic self. This compulsive self becomes the being we believe ourselves to be. Thus as verbal, functioning human beings, we come to believe that we are the cancer and that this out-of-balance diseased state becomes what we believe to be normal!
How this happens is, like cellular cancer, rather complex and multi-faceted. To truly understand the process in its totality you will either need to fully understand the content of this blog or read my book Liberation from the Lie. Our human cancer is a direct result of a combination of events including our forced separation from our life-givers (our biological parents) and the requirement in civilized society to impart on the pre-verbal and very young child with the understanding that she is not right as she is. The great Greek philosopher Aristotle made this very clear in his extraordinarily influential work The Ethics, where he made the case that children are born as savages and require discipline to learn the arts of civil society. Children need obedience training in order to become civilized.
The separation trauma occurs when the child is forcibly separated from the life-giver in the very first days of life. The practice of separation, which is most common in western cultures is remarkable in how vividly different it is from what we can observe in the hunting and gathering world and those of simple agriculture societies where children are, literally, attached to their life-givers for the first 3-4 years of life. As I said, this is not a simple story, but cancer is not a simple disease. Understanding the details and seeing them in your own life and immediate experience is truly essential, if we are to realize this truth in our own lives.
As a result of the separation trauma and our early childhood education to “get” right, we learn that we must agree with the vital authorities in our life and also reject our “savage” self, that being born from the perfect light of the universe. We come to realize the painful lesson that love is not a birthright – rather it is earned and it is earned through our conforming to the expectations of others, particularly our parents. Even before we can form words, we understand that we are not quite right – there is something wrong with us. This realization becomes our core source of existential pain and suffering. Over time, it becomes the great fear motivator. I call this core belief in our innate inadequacy the Wound.
Through the Wound the unhealthy self is born.
Because the Wound is so painful, we quickly create adaptations to distance ourselves from its effects. We form sub-personas designed to compensate for the terror and self-negation expressed by the Wound. These sub-personas, which I call Fear-Selves, are secondary selves designed to reverse the core self-negating belief expressed by the Wound. Thus we become pleasers – we please our parents (aren’t you a good little girl/boy) and we learn that to get ahead in life we must please those with power over us. Our Fear-based selves will inversely mirror the criticisms of our parents. If they consistently tell us to be smart, their messages will convince our very young and vulnerable minds that we are stupid, if they ignore us, we will learn that we are not worthy of love and attention, etc. etc. etc. And then when we form false, fear-based personas that seek to earn the approval of important others in our life, it is our false (cancerous) selves that become validated and real. We are the pleaser, the expert, the ambitious, the spiritualist, the sexy manipulator, etc. It doesn’t take much time to loose our connection with our authentic, pre-Wound (healthy) self and, ultimately, the only self we really know is our Fear-Based selves!!!!
The root of the human cancer is invalidation that results in the Wound. This is the cause of human cancer. The effect of this cause is the array of Fear-Selves we develop over the first 30 years of our life to compensate for the terrifying content of the Wound. Just as the Wound was created through well-intended invalidation by our parents, we sustain the process by first agreeing with the invalidation and thus becoming self-invalidators, but we maintain the process with our own children. Human cancer is passed through the generations. It can be stopped but only through profound, transformative self-understanding. You will never find your Authentic Self until you fall out of your trance-like relationship with your false-selves.
The human cancer is seen by one decisive behavior. It is this: the drive to become someone out of an underlying fear. This is human cancer.
Finding the Healer
Now that we have a sense of what is the root of the human cancer, we now must find a healer who can bring all of this ‘to light’ in our own lives. For lasting healing is a matter of seeing and understanding that which is false, so as to allow to arise as the false is shed. That healer can only be you. You are the only person who can bring healing to a self that is out of balance. But because we have become so out of touch with our Authentic Being, since we have been cut off from this Self for so long, even believing the content of this message can become an overwhelming challenge for most of us.
The healing path is described in massive detail and with many exercises in my Liberation book. This is the key manual to finding not only your Fear-Selves, but to find the underlying Wound that forms the whole living process of the false self.
It is the task of the healer to be a warrior of the self. It requires the highest level of courage to explore and question everything you have agreed to be true, but which is false.
You must come to know that the Fear-Selves can be extremely subtle. While their underlying life is governed by fear, often they assume forms that appear loving and caring. The difference between authentic love and fear-based love is that the latter is compulsive, necessary, and designed to be seen by the fear-based self and often others. The fear-based love says, look at how loving I can be. The need to be seen is the key attribute of the fear-based self, even if its primary audience is the false self itself. This is the form of love that can turn to hate and contempt in an instant when it fails to achieve its goals. It is a brittle love.
In contrast, authentic love needs to be seen by no one. It is love for its own sake. It has no goals but to be itself real in this very moment. It doesn’t seek to impress the self or others. It is just vital love in the living moment of life. But as we go through this work, the difference between the authentic and the false can be so subtle, that we will often loose ourselves in the process. All of that is just part of healing. We move from false self certainty to confusion and, finally, to light.
Because Fear-Based selves are selves, meaning that they are objects we can hold up to the light of inspection, we come to believe that the Authentic Self is also a self that is, essentially, an object. So we read a book like Liberation from the Lie and this motivates us to improve and to become Authentic. That is yet another false path. It is just a Fear-Self needing to become a better Fear-Self.
True liberation means that you are no longer the slave to any psychological self of any kind. It is not a self. It is light without attributes. It is the living truth of this moment. This is the only true healing reality.
What takes the greatest act of courage and for some of us the great leap of faith is the realization that most of what we believe ourselves to be is the human cancer. The self that needs to be someone is the very self that is out of balance growth that mirrors the cancerous cells on the cellular level. This is growth that kills what is healthy and we kill what is healthy by replacing the subtle, silent, Authentic Self, with the vigorous, aggressive psychology of the Fear-Based self, the self that is birthed by the Wound. Who we believe ourselves is, exactly, who we are not and who we truly are is invisible to the Fear-Selves.
Welcome to the pathless land that is you. You are your only healer. Healing means a return, a forsaking of all that is false and often that means a falling away from just the clusters of belief that we most cherish about ourselves – after all, authentic healing means severing exactly those beliefs with which we are most attached. That is a truly heroic act of self-realization.
Can you take that path? If you can’t, don’t feel badly about yourself. Few are able to be their own healer. But I know that you will take this path when you finally get disgusted with the second-hand life. If you have reached that point then I invite you to explore Liberation from the Lie or if you have read it already – read it again. It is the manual of self-discovery.
I had intended to include examples of human cancer on the individual, group, and species levels in this post, but it has already become too long. So I will do that in tomorrow’s post and I will link those examples with this discussion so that our understanding of human cancer evolves to be the light of our own healing.
Please spread the word.