As one delves into the experience of unsolved symptoms, a series of Keys to understanding what to do about them emerges. These Keys helped me to see beyond physical symptoms, and allowed me to realize that the human experience involves a multifaceted dynamic that includes the physical, chemical and emotional realms.
The First Key: Anything Can Cause Anything
The first and most powerful Key to emerge dictated awareness and perspective more so than a resolve of specific issues. That Key is simply, “Anything can cause anything”. A subsequent insight posed another question. If anything can cause anything, then how is it possible to know what is causing what?
Observing the laws of cause and effect one quickly discovers a seemingly illogical and disturbing predicament. Cause and effect are predictable in the physical realm, which includes everything that can be experienced with the five senses. This is the domain of the material world.
The Second Key: For Every Action There Is a Reaction
As I attempted to apply these same methods of analysis to the unseen realms, I encountered a small problem. They do not work the same way and are far less predictable. Even less predictable was my attempt to correlate cause and effect between or among realms. Regardless of this detail, these methods did work to the extent that they unveiled another tier of knowledge in the form of another Key; “For every action there is a reaction.” But that Key had a dark side. It was not just only or always an equal and opposite reaction.
For example, the biochemical realm is transitional in nature. Certain aspects of this realm are tangible and observable, while others just seem to unexpectedly appear. Each of the body’s cells performs 6 trillion functions per second with no obvious instruction or apparent intervention.
However, directing the body’s ability to respond does not coincide with creating or controlling the actual nature of the responses. The autonomic or automatic aspect of the nervous system governs these replies. Its counterpart, the voluntary nervous system, enacts the choices we make.
Therefore, actions can be chosen that will employ both aspects of the nervous system, but conscious control can only be asserted over one part of the interaction via the voluntary nervous system. But conscious control over the automatic activities producing the response cannot be exerted.
Thus, both the body and the related biochemistry maintain intrinsic self-rule, while exhibiting a paradoxical relationship to cause and effect.
Given these observations, no one knows how all of this happens. Nor is it understood how all of these functions are coordinated. But basing treatment protocols exclusively on the presence of a group of symptoms results in a highly unproductive and unpredictable attempt to resolve a condition.
The Third Key: Everything Works
Everything works but, everything works most effectively when it is applied to a specific set of circumstances for which it is most indicated. For instance, antibiotics work well in general, but they may not be appropriate for symptoms of a cold. Nor will they necessarily be effective against all bacteria, or for all people with bacterial infections.
The same non-specific responses are seen for virtually every pharmaceutical, exercise program, diet, and stress management technique currently available. So, despite the fact that biochemistry conforms to a somewhat linear model of cause and effect, it remains a transitional arena linking the physical with the unseen realms. As a result, part of this realm is observable and explainable, while the other is still a mystery rooted in yet another realm, that of the unseen.
Is it possible that this unseen realm is actually the cause of all causes? Does whatever is going on in this realm dictate physical and/or physiological experiences? Is there a way to consciously access this realm and direct the energy into predictable experiences?
The Fourth Key: There are no Panaceas
This Key is directly related to the one that precedes it but more clearly defines the need to understand the cause when attempting to resolve a symptom complex. It also clearly demonstrates the dilemma associated with attempts to remedy healthcare concerns utilizing symptoms as the exclusive determining factor in selecting an approach to treatment.
Since anything can cause anything and everything works, the ultimate challenge is in opting for an action that produces a reaction specific to the cause of the problem. In the absence of a cause specific cure the best that can be achieved is the successful result of relieving or improving symptoms through the application of substances or procedures that have consistently demonstrated an effective outcome in a given situation.
The Fifth Key: When all you have is a Hammer, Everything looks Like a Nail
It is important to understand that the areas of expertise in the healing arts, referred to as specialties, are merely arenas of extensive information about a distinct feature of mortal existence. Hence the emergence of the next Key: “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like nail.” In other words, when something is always looked at the same way, it always looks the same.
This key accounts for the vast range of opinions available in response to questions about why someone is experiencing what they are experiencing. Opinions regarding the cause and course of treatment for any given healthcare concern will vary according to the bias related to the particular discipline of the health care professional from whom you seek advice.
The recommendations for managing back pain will be very different depending upon who is consulted. A Podiatrist sees the feet as the cause. A massage therapist sees the muscles as the source of the pain. A Neurologist sees nerves, an orthopedic surgeon sees the spine, a Neurosurgeon sees the structures inside the spine, a Chiropractor sees the vertebrae, a psychologist sees the emotions, and a psychiatrist sees the mind.
While these all potentially play a role in contributing to the symptoms of back pain, the inevitable cause may be somewhere entirely unrelated. If it was all as simple as one cause, one cure there would be far fewer health care professionals and far less back pain.
The Sixth Key: When You Hear Hoof beats, Look For Horses
In other words, start where you are, and look where you want to go. Between here and there is the next step in the process. Fundamentally, this is the initial step in the process of classical differential diagnosis.
This Key suggests that when a patient is experiencing a physical symptom, a physical examination is indicated as the initial effort in establishing the source of their concerns. But usually it stops there. The use of the hoof beats Key merely represents a starting point for ruling out potential causes and serves as a compass for guiding one through the maze of probabilities. The other Keys provide tools for refining a path to the ultimate destination, which may reside in an entirely different realm than the one in which the symptoms exist.
But, there are still some unanswered questions. Why do some things work for some people and not for others? Why do some conditions simply improve or disappear? Why does nothing ever work for some people, and/or even make their situation worse?
The Seventh Key: Everything Is What It Isn’t
The practice of homeopathy is the therapeutic embodiment of the “everything is what it isn’t” concept. This system of healing utilizes minuscule dosages of a material, which in excess would cause a disease, but actually becomes a remedy in therapeutic dosages. And so it is both a cause and a cure. It is what it isn’t. When coupled with the realization that when you change the way you look at things the things you look at change everything in the visible universe becomes suspect. Integrating this fact with the other Keys provides us with a tangible model for evaluating any situation or circumstance, as well as, any condition or symptom.
But what about all those people being plagued by unresolved symptoms, symptoms of imbalance, dysfunction, and deficiency. If what these unresolved cases had in common were symptoms and these symptoms were simply the effects of an underlying cause, then the obvious next step in the process was to develop an approach for identifying the cause that produced the effect.
Left unrecognized and unidentified, is it possible that these processes could eventually lead to a more familiar entity known as a diagnosable disease? The first step must be to isolate the cause of an effect to one of the three realms, or to a dysfunction amongst the realms.
The symptoms associated with these dysfunctions are traditionally labeled “idiopathic”, or of unknown origin. This means you have the symptoms, but we don’t know where they came from, or why you have them. Nonetheless, they exist; they are real, but they evade uncomplicated recognition by concealing themselves as vague indications that something is wrong. Most often, these patients are told that all their tests are normal, there is nothing wrong that can be seen, let’s just wait, and watch, or it’s all in your head. Frequently, they are told that nothing is wrong, but they instinctively know that something isn’t right.
Utilizing the seven keys can help to establish a course in the direction of correction with the destination of optimal well-being.