Healing Counsel encourages us to live a philosophical way of life. I call my philosophical practice “live thinking” since it encourages us to live thinking.
The spirit of Western philosophy begins with an injunction inscribed on the stones of Apollo’s temple at Delphi:
gnothi seauton, “know yourself.”
As lived by Socrates and those who followed in his path, this precept coincided with another philosophical first principle:
epimeleia heatou or “care of the self.”
At philosophy’s inception, knowing yourself entailed caring for your “self.” Self-knowledge without care was a contradiction in terms, philosophically speaking. Sadly, over the last two millennia Western thought gradually neglected its connection to its careful capacity.
Today, in our so-called “knowledge society,” knowing alone appears to tell us the truth. Unfortunately, as we are all finding out in this age of technological transformation, economic disparity, political upheaval, and global warming, knowing has some serious limits.
Medicine, like philosophy, is a product of Ancient Greek thinking. Since its invention, medicine has defined itself as a kind of care through knowing, a kind of knowing care. Unlike shamanic, cultic, or temple healing, with which it first competed for customers, medicine promoted its superiority by claiming that it relied only on knowledge to heal. That’s why diagnosis, which means “by way of knowledge,” remains medicine’s primary tool.
Medical knowing has provided–and continues to provide–powerful therapeutic resources (and personally speaking, I would probably be dead without it). Yet we still might need to remember that knowing is not the only way to support our tendency to heal.
As many who experience chronic or life-threatening illnesses realize, sometimes medical knowledge only goes so far in helping us to live with the challenges that illnesses present. Indeed, because healing can entail so many unknowns, we frequently need to foster kinds of self-care from which medical knowledge has become too detached–especially in its institutionally-underwritten, insurance-reimbursable forms.
In this sense, Healing Counsel invites us to avail ourselves of the wise love from which philosophy (which is literally “the love of wisdom”) first sprouted:
the care of the self as a means to self-knowing and self-knowing as a means of self-care.
Live thinking entails realizing that we can—and often must—learn to live otherwise in order to keep living at all. My practice offers you an opportunity to reconnect to this care of the self as a way to truly know yourself, and your “self.”