A true relationship with healing = true religion

by Jenny Ellis, Esoteric Practitioner, Brisbane

As someone who grew up without the influence of organised religion and in a largely atheist household, I had no meaningful experiences I would ever have called religious. I did however have a great deal of experience with what I might have once called healing, being involved in and passionate about health and fitness most of my younger life and studying natural medicine for several years.  To link the words religion and healing at the time however, could not have been more absurd in my view, and so to come to a point today where I now link healing and religion inextricably reflects a significant shift in my understanding.

When we think of healing, I dare say for most the word has lost its real meaning in everyday life and would be considered synonymous with the current dictionary offerings of: alleviating, palliating, easing, helping, softening, lessening, mitigating, attenuating, allaying and so on.

Historically in many cultures religion and healing have actually shared a close relationship. Shamans and priests held the power to ‘heal’ the sick through restoring the relationship of the individual with the unseen dimensions. A disturbance in this relationship was seen, and still is, amongst some religious enthusiasts as a valid cause of illness.

This understanding, particularly in the face of our adoption of evidence-based medicine, has for many taken a radical turn away from these historic origins.

Today an apparent relationship between religion and healing would appear to exist primarily amongst those who remain religious enthusiasts or within cultures where this relationship with the unseen dimensions remain an intrinsic part of daily life.

What does it mean to heal?

So what does it mean to ‘heal’ really? And what is the relationship we have with this in everyday life?

What does it actually mean to be ‘religious’?

And what then is the real relationship between the meanings of these two words?

The true meaning of the word healing appears to be of Germanic origins. From the German heilen and Dutch helen which in translation means ‘to make whole’. From these come the old English word heilen: which is ‘to cure, save, make whole, sound and well’.

This begs a further question then as to what does it actually mean to ‘make whole’? Is that merely the alleviation of symptoms and discomforts, as our current thesaurus synonyms would suggest, as well as what the majority of our current health-care system is geared towards? Or is there more to us than meets the eye, so to speak, and are we in fact not capturing what it means to ‘be whole’ in our current paradigms?

What is true religion?

And then what is true religion?  From its history, we know it is a word derived from the Latin word ‘religio’, which means to ‘re-read, re-trace, re-consider diligently the connection or relationship with God’.  However, there is no question that our current understanding and use of that word has strayed far from these origins.

From this meaning, it appears a distinctly personal relationship is referred to and not one necessarily fostered by or belonging to an institution, an organised religious movement, a building or a designated individual. It is, by this inference, a personal relationship that refers to that which re-unites us with our essence, or in other words, reunites us with the divinity we are.

There is a very apparent parallel to be understood when it comes to healing.

The entire movement of ‘holistic medicine’ over the past 30 years has rested on the fact there is more to us than a physical body. Naturopathy and Chinese Medicine in particular are two prime examples. They rest their tenets and approach on the body being influenced by not just a myriad of external influences but also by emotions, mental activity and what is loosely referred to as ‘stress’. There is no question these are valid observations, as most of us would acknowledge these things in life can affect our sense of wellbeing and vitality and life is made up of all these.

What does it mean to make ‘whole’?

These approaches however, while perhaps taking into consideration a greater acknowledgement of a ‘whole’, would still appear to be leaving us way short of the mark, if in fact we are also in some way to re-unite with a divine aspect within, in order to ‘make us whole’, as true healing requires.

To make whole, means to restore something that is fundamentally complete, intact, everything it was in its origins. And if we are from divinity, then this implies that to be ‘complete’ or ‘whole’ means also to be re-united with that part of us. No wow factor, no hail-Mary’s necessary, simply a restoration of a completeness that would have us feel utterly and completely normal, albeit a new-normal you might say, for in this ‘whole’ state we would also be fully aware of the fact of our divine essence, as well as our physicality, emotionality and our mental aspects.

The connection between healing and religion in that sense becomes very clear but there is an even more decided reason for these words to be so intrinsically linked.

What I have discovered in working with Universal Medicine Therapies and applying the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom, is that it is the divine essence that IS the very life-giving principle responsible for instigating healing within the body. Restore our connection and relationship to it, and we will also restore the body’s enormous capacity to rebalance and heal, thus supporting and sustaining our vitality and function.

What is the ‘healing principle’?

The ‘healing principle’ within the body is something wondrous and constant –  just watch the miraculous healing unfold when our skin is broken, something occurring on a micro-level we observe and for the most part, take for granted every day.

This ever-present healing aspect is captured at a physical level by the concept of homeostasis: the body’s unceasing movement towards healing itself, rebalancing. It is us and our moment-by-moment choices that create the obstacles to this natural and unceasing movement towards healing.

We have a world constantly searching for meaning in life with a growing sense of urgency. We have every possible institution and industry on earth to support seeking this way or that – we have many billions of people involved in organised religion and religious movements, subscribing to various systems of belief, paths of spiritualism and schools of philosophy – and yet unrest, disharmony and dis-ease are increasingly prevalent the world over.

It follows that if religion, in its truest sense, is synonymous with true healing, then what humanity is historically and presently engaging in on the whole cannot be true religion and our efforts to heal cannot be true healing either. The two cannot exist in isolation to one another, regardless of what we call it, when one is truly healing, one must be in true religion at the same time.

Separation from Essence = dis-ease 

The ultimate relationship between religion and healing is reflected in one word: essence.  If the human essence is in fact divinity, then any disconnection from or discordance with that essence, is basically us not living or being what or who we truly are, complete and united. From this perspective, it’s then easy to understand how that disconnect or discord would underlie all dis-ease and disharmony within the body.

And so, it is through religion we heal and through healing we find religion, in the truest meaning of these words.

Read more:

  1. What is religion? 
  2. What is true religion? 
  3. Religion – a separative force or a healing power? 


403 thoughts on “A true relationship with healing = true religion

  1. When put like this religion and healing go hand in hand. In our wholeness (healing) we can can live our connection to God (religion) and then walk on earth the Sons of God we are.

    1. I agree Rosie and it is one of the ways that we artfully avoid taking responsibility for the way we live. If we muddy the meaning of words (‘love’ for example) we do not have to live its true quality.

      1. I think we play dumb and misunderstand way too often when really we do actually know and feel what is really going on, all of the time.

  2. When we twist or misinterpret words and accept a certain meaning at a head level, so much is lost for us and the path back to who we truly are, made that much longer and harder because we then don’t have our wise and all knowing senses in the body to tell us otherwise.

    1. Very true Julie, we have only ourselves to account for in that case, since it is we who accept the misinterpreted words and incorporate them into our lives as though they are the truth. Part of healing is restoring true meaning to them, as only then can we claim them as what it is that is occurring.

  3. To consider the true meaning of the word ‘religion’ …”‘religio’, which means to ‘re-read, re-trace, re-consider diligently the connection or relationship with God’….” it is incredible how distorted and corrupted this word ‘religion’ has become in our modern attitude to it. Today, this very word engages and incites many negative reactions and tensions – which is quite an irony to its original healing and wholesome meaning.

  4. I am constantly blown away by nature and its intricate intelligence, true religion is nature, the science and healing of life.

  5. This is beautiful piece of writing. Interesting to read this and explore our relationships with the words religion and healing. Religion I would not have connected with myself and the word religion in my youth, although now I reflect I understand that there were moments of connection and clarity that I now would relate to as religious. And healing, well I had not so considered it, it was something that people did, I had heard of it with energy, I was suspicious and putting plasters on and scab dropping off etc, but not something I would have connected with me. Now I see that to heal what we feel are our hurts through healing, enables a deeper connection and clarity with an inner stillness that is a religious connection knowing. I have no doubt in what I have experienced from my body and I know I am coming back to a feeling of wholeness.

    1. Yes exactly Samantha, we are always in relationship with ourselves in some way. When we begin to restore the relationship with our inner-most part, the essence of who we are, we are being religious, unavoidably so. That is something that amuses me particularly given my distinctly atheist upbringing, that once we begin to restore that relationship in ourselves, true religion is unavoidable, it is just happening irrespective of whether we subscribe to the word or not. A bit like reincarnation, it is happening no matter whether we believe in it or not.

  6. True religion and true healing and amazing real connection and relationship of what we are all here for. A beautifully presented article of the truths of what life is all about.

  7. How easily we have fallen for organised religion, the rituals the pomp and glory in some cases the belief in the scriptures and the ideals that are espoused. It is awesome to come back to basics and let religion be the re-connecting that that word once held as a description of what was actually happening….to actually reconnect to the Laws of the Universe, to allow ourselves to feel the light that is us and to allow love to be our expression.

  8. It is tricky how the true meaning of words can change over time, because we then can lose the true meaning and understanding how something was originally expressed. Healing is a word that is not often used in hospices because of the misinterpretation and when someone speaks of healing, it can be assumed they are talking about the person getting better. But there be can be true energetic changes to someone who is terminally ill that are healing changes even when their illness is still terminal.

    1. Yes great point Gill that is a perfect illustration of the loss of truth in a word. We don’t even use it now in its true meaning when it does apply because it will be re-interpreted based on what we’ve come to know it. Exactly the same can be said for ‘religion’ too. The word is not used, even when it actually applies in truth, because we have so much attached to ‘religion’ that is not true, few would understand its applied meaning.

    2. Absolutely Gill. True healing is so much more and so much deeper than someone simply recovering from an illness and can take place at any stage, regardless of how sick someone may be.

  9. I just love the perspective of healing equaling or meaning making whole… This brings us full circle back to the ancient philosophers and healers telling us not to separate the mind and the body, that everything must be looked at and everything must be treated.

  10. It feels like a proposition of the ages to consider what true religion is, and what true healing is and ponder their relationships. It offers the world a pause to see and feel there is much more going on than our daily experiences.

  11. The current problem we face is words have lost their true meaning and have been twisted over time. This is no accident, as words in their true meaning hold a quality that connects us back to our inner most knowing. I like that you have first taken the time to break down the false perception of the words Religion and Healing in a detailed manner. It only makes sense that healing is more than physical and that true religion is simply a connection to the whole that we come from

  12. It is evident from your article Jenny that religion and healing are intrinsically linked. You made it very clear and simple why and how, thank you, excellent blog.

  13. Jenny if the true meaning of the word healing means ‘to make whole’, then I feel we have lost our way, because of my experience of life at 61 years of age. Whenever I have gone to say the doctors, I have been given something to relieve the pain, or ease the discomfort. Never has there been any suggestion from the doctors that we should look at the ‘whole’ of what is occurring and this is not the fault of the doctors in the least, as they only seem to have 5 minutes per patient and there is no time to discuss anything. So I would say that there is something missing, we have lost the meaning of healing and have instead accepted a lesser version of ‘ to make whole’ and are now reaping the ill effects of this in our society.

  14. “The ‘healing principle’ within the body is something wondrous and constant. ” Indeed it is Jenny. It is literally miraculous how the body can and does rebalance itself, given the right support and conditions to do so, when it is injured or sick. And the same happens in nature all the time, constantly working towards finding its natural balance.

  15. As my religion is the way in which I live (The Way of the Livingness) with myself and with everything and everyone then every choice I make either supports, confirms or heals my body or I live in disregard and abuse it therefore it is impossible to separate religion and healing.

  16. In a world where illness and disease is off the charts and still rising when we have so many doctors and medical know how than ever we have got to question whether there has been something missing in how we have approached the way we live. Perhaps we are indeed living less than we ought to.

    1. Our propensity to turn a blind eye to the reality of the impact of the way we choose to live is catching up with us and the sooner we turn to face the facts, the sooner we can halt the escalation of the problems.

    2. Joshua this is a great point – could illness or any kind of disharmony be a signal that we are not living our true potential?

  17. I would never have considered that to truly heal would involve religion.. true religion, yet it has been totally proven to me by the resolve of many health problems for me from bringing The Way Of The Livingness into my life, restoring my connection to God and with this my body healing.

    1. I would agree entirely Ruth. I also wouldn’t have spotted any connection between healing and true religion but such a connection has become abundantly clear as I have worked on striping away the layers that are not me and connecting more to the essence that is me through my understanding gained from The Way of The Livingness.

  18. The only link I knew of between healing and religion when I was growing up was that of faith healing. It seemed a bit ‘out there’ to me, as I saw images of people dramatically falling back and being miraculously cured. I suppose I was open to the idea as I had heard of miracles being done in the bible. What I can see now that I have been offering and receiving Esoteric healing modalities, is that no one heals but yourself. Where religion comes in is that the relationship we have with our soul and therefore with God, is what supports that healing, as the only purpose of healing is to return to our godliness.

    1. Yes Fiona, the purpose of healing is to restore our ‘wholeness’ which means to restore the fact of the Soul and God and our inevitable relationship with both. To understand this as something integral to the process of healing, and that the Soul and God are not separate beings or entities outside of us that we worship or hold ourselves as lesser ‘mere mortals’ in relationship to, is a huge paradigm shift.

  19. ‘ No wow factor, no hail-Mary’s necessary, simply a restoration of a completeness that would have us feel utterly and completely normal, albeit a new-normal you might say, for in this ‘whole’ state we would also be fully aware of the fact of our divine essence, as well as our physicality, emotionality and our mental aspects.’
    Beautifully and said and makes total sense , thank you Jenny.

  20. Understanding that a connection to the universal whole offers a totally divine experience of humanity is very worth being willing to explore. Without this we have more of the same that is being lived and repeated over and over with deepening ill-heath and harm before and all around us. When I asked is there another way the awareness started to open up and understandings started to come in and then responsibility on my part needed to be chosen. Appreciating and accepting the true meaning and inter-connectedness of religion and healing is part of the whole.

  21. Once the true meaning of words are embraced it is clear that religion and healing are inextricably linked. As we return to our union with our essence (God, Love, Divinity – pick the word that takes you deeper into wonder) all the choices that we have made in contra to this are revealed and the impact of them on our bodies able to be released.

    1. Very true Matilda, those words are all aspects of healing and religion, and once we re-establish a connection with them, everything that does not belong, can clear from the body. This turns on it’s head what healing is too… in that this process may in fact involve getting sicker if we are already ill or manifesting something new that is part of the clearing of what no longer belongs in the body.

  22. True religion, true science, nature and our divinity are all part of and from God and true healing comes from here also . A very real account of the responsibility of words and the essence of us all and our choices with this.

  23. The word religion wasn’t one I came across until at 13 I went to a school with compulsory chapel services all pupils had to attend. By not being imposed upon before the age of 13 I was able feel very clearly all the untruth being force fed to me.

  24. The dis-ease and unsettlement we have from living so far away from our true and natural essence causes havoc in the physical body. And the body is always teaching us this, if we listen.

    1. Very true Jenny, we have so many signs and symptoms that we need to unravel in the healing process. And this includes in every aspect of our lives usually, not just with our physical health and well-being. Living without this connection to our essence affects every interaction, situation, relationship and situation we are involved in.

  25. Religions as we know them have strayed far away from the true meaning of the word which denotes an activity rather than the other way around – a term that gets bolstered with tenets and principles, ideals and beliefs that come after the living fact and the chasm between the two posits.

  26. To reconsider the true meaning of religion as a process whereby we retrace and make whole that part of our beings that have separated from our original whole makes a whole lot of sense to me.

  27. Inextricably linking healing and religion achieves the outcome that they are both striving for and never do and is true medicine.

  28. Wise words that underpin health and wellbeing … “Restore our connection and relationship to it, and we will also restore the body’s enormous capacity to rebalance and heal, thus supporting and sustaining our vitality and function…”

  29. “so to come to a point today where I now link healing and religion inextricably reflects a significant shift in my understanding.” So it has been for me since listening to the teachings of Universal Medicine.

  30. “What I have discovered in working with Universal Medicine Therapies and applying the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom, is that it is the divine essence that IS the very life-giving principle responsible for instigating healing within the body. Restore our connection and relationship to it, and we will also restore the body’s enormous capacity to rebalance and heal, thus supporting and sustaining our vitality and function” This paragraph is magnificent, such true religion here.

  31. The true meaning of religion seems to be very far away with what we currently are told religion is. It shows how we have changed and manipulated a word that was all about connection to mean separation.

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