This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)
A new understanding
The uprise of new methods combining the use of essential oils with massage, chakra therapy, auric cleansing, visualization, meditation and other natural approaches to healing, self-healing and self-development is a timely development. Of course, the physical properties of essential oils have been well studied over the past few decades – but mostly with the goal to define their olfactive impact in the area of perfumery and flavouring. A more systematic understanding of the therapeutic values of essential oils and also of the subtler impact of aromatic molecules is coming up now – and with it we gain more and more precious tools for their application in the field of energy medicine. Substantial knowledge for the new corporation of healers and patients is thus made available to dig deeper into the finer understanding of health, prevention and self-care.
This corresponds to the shift in modern awareness from the merely matter- and symptom-orientated understanding of modern medicine with its synthetic drugs towards a more psycho-somatic and nature based holistic medicine which takes into account the “mind-body-unity” and which favours natural drugs mostly derived from medicinal plants.
Aromatherapy, energy medicine, vibrational healing, subtle body therapies, chakra methods, etc. are now the next steps, taking us towards a “mind-over-matter” understanding which experiences that consciousness is the prime mover of everything and therefore truly responsible for our spiritual as well as psycho-physiological destiny. This implies nothing less than the recognition in our thinking that we are more than mere physical bodies.
It may also imply that we have to re-introduce the “soul” into both modern science and medicine. It also implies the existence of indestructible energy fields in AND around us which are expressions of our thoughts, emotions, memories etc. And more than this : that we are responsible for these fields which can either heal or pollute, either uplift or degrade, either contribute to the happiness or the suffering of ourselves and of our environment. Even science today understands that more than through verbal or body language we communicate through vibrational or energy exchange – but also that we have to protect this energy and, if it is disturbed, we must ease and enhance it through the right approaches “from inside” before it “somatizes” itself and becomes physical dis-ease.
Mind over matter
This is nothing less than a quantum leap for the western mind, but it actually means that we are just catching up with a truth cognized since eons by eastern philosophy as well as ancient medical sciences. Indian Ayurveda or Chinese medicine have since time immemorial encompassed the cosmic totality of the patient in their healing approaches and have ever emphasized the priority of the “subtle” energies of consciousness over the gross, material body, the latter being nothing but a form of contraction or condensation of the finer, un-manifest levels of life. Disease, according to Chinese medicine, means disturbing the intrinsic “harmony under the heavens” and implies therefore a collective responsibility for using various – also psycho-spiritual – healing approaches in order to bring the patient’s system back to balance.
Ayurveda uses the word “kosha” (vessel) for the major “sheaths” or energy-bodies that make up individual life – and to understand it well: life from the gross material “food-body ” (annamaya kosha) – which we often mistake in the West for the total – through the subtle energy bodies (pranamaya kosha etc.) to the final “body of bliss” (anandamaya kosha). The disruption of bliss through violation of natural law is – according to Ayurveda – the first step away from health. Charaka, the famous Ayurvedic physician who lived a few thousand years ago, holds that “pragyaparadh”, the “error of the intellect” or error of understanding, of our willing and our remembering are the primary causes of disease.
Only a step from here, and we have to admit that we are truly our own preservers as much as we are our own destroyers of happiness and health. Wellbeing or disease become a function of our own emotional and cognitive intelligence: as you metabolize your emotions and desires, as you increase the scope of your understanding of the numerous life processes, of your relations, of your evolutionary path or “dharma”, as you remember (and forget or forgive) so shall you enjoy long life (sanskrit : “Ayus”) and happiness in the direction of bliss, you “sons of immortality” as Ayurveda addresses the human kind.
Energy is joy
What a program! As students, I remember, we used to discuss whether cultures or “mentalities” could be understood as happier than others in an objective way. We came to the conclusion that happiness was merely a subjective term, and that in the final end nobody was happier than the other. I have changed my thinking since then. And I must say, that medicinal plants and essential oils have played a major role in helping me to understand and experience more of the secret realm of bliss in the human soul. “Energy is joy”, William Blake, the famous English poet, says. This is a profound truth, especially if we look into the hidden energies of our mind and body as we can experience them in deep meditation and union with nature – or in a loving aroma massage with the grace of our helpers and companions since eternities, the medicinal plants.
Chinese medicine states that if people would massage each other more there would be less wars. Montagu or Liedloff have written about those who in their lack of the loving touch in early childhood become the typical representatives of the neurotic schizoid personalities of our time, exhibiting in their fearful-aggressive substructure a thirst of touch-experience that has never been quenched. In the 19th century the mortality of small children in orphanages was extremely high. This was not due to a lack of hygiene, but due to the fact that the little souls were not hatched, not cradled, not touched enough – not loved enough. What amazing miracles we can create today in adding essential oils to our “loving touch” massage offered to the dear ones around us – or to ourselves…..
It seems that we are at the verge of a collective shift in terms of an understanding of our need for the pure healing-touch. Aggression and unnatural behaviour have increased to such an extent in modern day-to-day life that it seems hard for the individual to survive unharmed. Our culture calls for a return to true nature, to silence, to spirituality, to our God-given right of bliss. Many of the culture pioneers of our time – those who carry the messages of new understanding and behaviour into the world – many of them are busy increasing new rites of the profane, celebrating in an ever increasing exhilaration the magic of one of the closest encounters on the physical level human beings can enjoy together: the “mystical union” of the aromatic touch-and-heal.
Smell and touch
The rediscovery of our sense of smell and the accompanying changes therefore in our appreciation of natural versus un-natural scents i.e. through aromatherapy go hand in hand with the rediscovery of our sense of touch. In an enlarged way we can say that something has to smell in order to touch us. Even the spermatozoids direct themselves through the sense of smell through the uterus before getting in “touch” with the ovum. The olfactory bulb in mammals has contributed largely to the development of sensitivity and emotions in mammals. Sentiments and affection are to quite some degree based on a positive “reception” of those millions of substances which our “receptor cells” in the nose (hopefully) identify as pleasant. But in an aroma massage the frontal and posterior “doors” of the central nervous system are opened simultaneously through “smell” and “touch”, activating an incredible symphony of neuronal connections in the brain, brainstem and spinal cord, giving rise to a powerful release of “happy” neuro-transmitters, shedding light and warmth on the “frozen” image of the god and goddess in us, moving and melting the stases and “meta-stases” of our what Ayurveda calls ”kleshas” or life traumas into the ocean of preconscious bliss where “mother is at home” and “paradise lost” is no more. Nowhere essential oils can unfold their full therapeutic energies more than by means of an aroma massage in a pure, spiritual setting, under the warm loving strokes of the heart. Any anger, any fear, any relational problem, can thus be “stroked away” with the powerful messenger substances distilled from the core of nature.
Plant consciousness is ancient
When nature started the theme of essential oils in the conifer trees a good 200 million years ago, the human species was not yet present on this planet. Aromatic substances were used by the plants to defend themselves against the increasing numbers of germs and certainly also for “territorial” allelopathic identification. But in a spiritual sense we can take the first terpene molecules of the conifer family as a promise for future celebrations between plants and man. From here, the cosmic force of “aromatic light” began its quantum dance through the endless chain of ever new and more complex vegetal existences, ever more complex molecules of aromatic substances until a full palette of “colours” was reached and the full spectrum of vegetal and human lives could touch and nourish each other.
Plant consciousness is ancient. Looking at plants means to look back at hundreds of millions of years into primordial universal intelligence. It fills us with awe if we remember how much time nature has invested to present a Lavender, a Rosemary, a Thyme, or a Jasmine to us. It is time-tested medicine, wisdom of the earth combined with the wisdom of the cosmos. Plants have experimented with the elements and with physical manifestation long before we did here. Rig Veda, the oldest text of mankind, speaks about the plants as having been sent from heaven unto material existence for the divine purpose of life and assistance to the higher species like animal and man. They prepared the way….. Chlorophyll, the most powerful molecule on earth, under the high energies of ultraviolet light, first had to break up carbon dioxide into carbon and oxygen, providing not only the basis for our breathing but also for all organic life on earth. This could first only happen in the oceans because on land volcanoes were spitting continuously methane, ammoniac and carbon dioxide into an atmosphere pierced by ultraviolet light of such intensity that it ravaged the land and rendered it sterile. It took a long while for the plants to conquer the land….. But their adaptive intelligence and patience won over time.
Plant wisdom has made it possible and nourished human and animal life since eternity, and it has provided food, shelter, clothes, medicine and much more than that ever since. In their passive loving care plants exhibit a grace and beauty which we as human beings often lack. They are truly messengers from beyond, linked to the angelic or devic energies of the universe – and we owe them gratitude, love in exchange and – nowadays – also ecological ethics.
Between the powerful phenolic “red” or “incarnated” frequencies of an Oregano oil and the subtle “dis-incarnating” ketonic “blue” frequencies of a Sage oil vibrate numerous mysteries of the evolutionary plan of life. The aromatic rainbow colours of the medicinal plants and their essential oils make the invisible visible, exhibit energy patterns, tastes and fragrances that are directly linked to manifold curative effects – powers which we still have to penetrate and understand more fully. Their link with the rainbow colours of the human subtle energies seems obvious, and yet, we are merely “scratching the surface” of a deeper knowledge which only authentic experience through resonance and intuitive union or “seeing” will unveil.
“The roots of this tree grow in Heaven”
The understanding of the subtler and therefore more potent levels of life in the universe is the key for man to „decode“ the many secret languages of plants. It will give the human kind – maybe for the first time in history – the possibility to establish a new kind of “fusion through knowledge” with the plant kingdom and through this come nearer to the UNIVERSAL Spirit which governs all life forces in plant and man simultaneously.
The Rishis or “seers” of old from the Vedic civilization called the plants “Oshadhi” which means “carrier or receptor of light energy” (Ojas) or “vessel of transformation of light”. This is a wonderful notion. Not only that plants use the batteries of sunlight with its full spectrum including the important infrared and ultraviolet rays (and what is beyond) for photosynthesis, but they also transform the lunar and stellar light and the all-pervading invisible cosmic “light-divine intelligence” – the “agni-vaishvanara” of Rig Veda – into auric or bio-photonic energies which we as human beings only slowly come to understand in our days. Matter and energy fields combine in all living structures. They are the two complimentary omnipresent poles of creation and being, the Yin and the Yang, the Prakriti and Purusha (Veda), Nature and Spirit. Modern man is about to uncover the hidden link between these two, himself more incarnated than ever before – and more than ever before collectively spreading his roots out into the subtler realms of creation and beyond. Yes, “the roots of this tree grow in heaven” as Rig Veda declares. The tree is our own subtle life force, our subtle energy body branching out like an “upside-down-tree” into cerebro-spinal vibrational intelligence – it is the cosmic human being which we are meant to be and to be-come.
Plants have the advantage to “feed” in a most harmonious way upon these cosmic vibrations and to radiate them into the world. Their essential oils are concentrated energy carriers and messengers of the great universal “power plant” which nourishes all life from an unseen reservoir of light, forever full for all eternities. Human love which is the best expression of this light on earth, finds itself deeply enhanced in subtle energy massage and thus links itself back to the inner light of universal love, bridging the gulf between matter and energy, form and formless, “above and below”…..
…..helping to join the banks of separation for moments of unity and bliss.
Dr. Malte Hozzel