Squash the Silver Healing Bullet

by Caroline van Kimmenade

Getting through to our inner despair often requires a silver bullet. A message so extremely smooth, shiny and convincing that it penetrates the walls of doubt, fear and self-sabotage. Of course, after the initial exciting pang, nothing much happens, and we’re back to square one.

The Healing “Market” has discovered the use of exaggerated advertising. Many self-development guru’s now believe that if they don’t make the most outrageously impossible claims, noone wil listen. In a way, they’re right. When we’re swamped by difficulty, the last thing we want to hear is that the solution requires more inner work. It’d be like telling a starving man to grow his own crops.

There are oodles of brilliant healing tools and practices available. Unfortunately, most of these tend to be marketed as “the prime solution to everything for everyone” while in fact, no such thing exists. We all know “the average family” with “2.5 children”. Normal, average and standard “man” were all introduced at one time or another to serve scientific statistics and now they seem to reign supreme in the “alternative” world too. In a world where “we are all one”, people are either on their path or off it, and progress is all about seeing that the “ego” and “separation” are the sources of all misery, I cannot help but wonder, where does that leave you and me? Is it a coincidence that fanatic spirituality often cloaks a deeper sense of insignificance? I mean, what’s the point of living your OWN life if we’re all just “specks of divine light” or “drops in the ocean mistakenly believing we are separate from that ocean”?

So, alternative silver bullets tend to go either of two ways I’ve noticed. One way promises direct and permanent teleportation to the perfected state of H2O (a.k.a. immaterial enlightenment). The other promises that, with all your problems blasted away with a single potent shout, you will start attracting love, fame, success and loads and loads of money in no time (a.k.a. material enlightenment). Of course, when it doesn’t work, it’s probably just “your negative thinking”. Does this mean we should ignore such messages alltogether? Perhaps. But, there is a way of recognizing that just because driving a car is not exactly as smooth as the commercial has you believe, it may still be a good idea to buy one.

In media studies there is a term for popular awareness of how media influences us, it is called “the hyperreal”. Dealing with the hyperreal means dealing with a world in which both producers and consumers know that all forms of media communication are “a bit of a game” (the cityscape is made of cardboard, reality shows have a script, photo’s are photoshopped, and we all know it). And so it is in the healing world. It’s all a bit of a game. Underneath the heavenly robes there’s that very recognizable competition of who outdoes who and “I art more spiritual than thou”. Underneath the wizened do-gooders who speak of peace and tranquility there is still the active over-achiever aiming for more popularity and social status in the name of “the cause”. And who would dare say that NEW EXCITING DISCOVERIES are really just modern variations on ancient themes? It’s a bit of a game…You know that new clothes are NOT going to change your life…but they may make a significant difference. You know that that one insurance is not going to cover all your potential risks, but it may be dealing with the main ones. You know that that one breathing technique is not going to cure all your ailments, but it may be able to help you with your headache. So, choose your avatar in the wondrous world of the HYPERHEAL…and then decide that it’s ok to get ‘moderate results’ and remain

There is only one of you, after all.


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