All beings fear before danger, life is dear to all.
― The Buddha
When you cut your finger, it heals up by itself.
If a mad dog is chasing you, you run away.
If a car is speeding straight for you, you jump out of the way.
“The Healing Principle” is an automatic biological process operating at all times
and all levels within all living beings, defined as:
the survival imperative
healing of any kind: physical, emotional, spiritual, moral
promoting physical and mental health
making life better
The Healing Principle is a consequence of natural selection and evolution. From
the dawn of life on Earth, individuals that did not try to survive, or physically
heal, or seek quality of life, or promote their health and well-being, would have
been at a physical disadvantage compared with those that did, and would have been
less likely to survive long enough to reproduce. So the Healing Principle quickly
became a fierce primary imperative throughout nature. The Healing Principle unites
biology with religion, spirituality and morality.
We usually overlook its existence because it is so fundamental and all-pervasive,
in the same way that a fish doesn’t notice the water. It is most obvious in emergency
situations, but it is with us all the time. All the time, we seek to preserve and
protect our life and well-being. All the time, we reach for the light.
The Healing Principle operates through biological processes and through actions,
thoughts, intentions, attitudes, etc. It is a verb, a process of doing.
Its ultimate purpose is to keep us alive long enough to reproduce our DNA, but it
operates the entire time we are alive, seeking flourishing in the here and now and
in the long term. It can be treated as a commodity in its own right since we can
give it to others with our actions (“morality”), and it has certain distinct properties.
It is “nature’s compassion” and it pervades all living beings at all times.
While it is true that we don’t have to earn it – it is an inherent part of all life
– we can assist and nurture it (in ourselves and others) with beneficial actions
and behaviour. This applies to everyone. If you nurture it, it grows of its own
accord, like a beautiful flower. It is something we can love. We love to see it
at work in others and ourselves. It’s also possible to hinder it, to set it back,
with destructive behaviour.
Nature has built us for survival rather than happiness. However, we want both. The
Healing Principle can sometimes be rather blind and troublesome in its operations,
which can lead to unhappiness, for example when it makes us selfish or when the ego
constantly has us in a state of worry and high alert. If we want to achieve happiness,
then we may need to modify the natural order slightly, so as to apply the Healing
Principle in a way that is more optimum for happiness than nature intended.
Short and long term consequences
Some things make us feel good in the short term – but are damaging in the long term.
I will be with you – will you be with Me?
Richard Foster – “Life with God – a life-transforming new approach to Bible reading”
Did not He find thee an orphan, and shelter thee?
Did not He find thee erring, and guide thee?
Did not He find thee needy, and suffice thee?
As for the orphan, do not oppress him,
and as for the beggar, scold him not;
and as for thy Lord’s blessing, exalt it.
The Qu’ran: Sura 93
Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you
will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who
asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door
will be opened.
Jesus: Matthew 7:7,8
The disciples said to Jesus, “Tell us what the kingdom of heaven is like.” He said
to them, “It is like a mustard seed. It is the smallest of all seeds. But when it
falls on tilled soil, it produces a great plant and becomes a shelter for the birds
of the sky.”
Jesus: Gospel of St Thomas
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And
that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against
me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.
Albert Camus – “Return to Tipasa”
270 A man is not a great man because he is a warrior and kills other men; but because
he hurts not any living being he in truth is called a great man.
In all species, nature works to renew itself as it works to nourish itself, and to
protect itself from danger, each by its kind and for its kind, in the great work
of continuation that is evolution. In humankind the work of renewal lies in the work
of affection, the bond of one to another made by desire.
A C Grayling – “The Good Book: a secular Bible”
Eventually Muhammed’s religion of al-Llah was known as islām, the act of existential
surrender that each convert was expected to make to God: a muslim is ‘one who surrenders’
his or her whole being to the Creator. At first, however, the believers called their
religion tazaqqa. This is an obscure word, which is not easy to translate. By cultivating
tazaqqa, Muhammed’s converts were to cloak themselves in the virtues of compassion
and generosity; they were to use their intelligence to cultivate a caring and responsible
spirit, which made them want to give graciously of what they had to all God’s creatures.
By pondering the mysteries of creation intelligently Muslims would learn to behave
kindly and this generous attitude would mean that they acquired a spiritual refinement.
Al-Llah was the great exemplar. Muslims were urged to contemplate His ‘signs’ in
order to appreciate His graciousness to the whole of the natural world. As a consequence
of his generous intelligence, there was order and fruitfulness instead of chaos and
selfish barbarism. If they submitted to His edicts, they would find that their own
lives could be transfigured by a similar refinement.