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Healing Through Compassion
by Irving Karchmar
Editor's Note from David Arenson: Irving Karchmar glimpses healing as a the result of walking the Sufi path - "at each step another drop is poured into the heart, and as love enters, one begins to see God in all of His creation."
Salaam and Greetings of Peace!
My wife grew up on a farm, and has an unerring affinity with nature in its most organic forms, with plants and animals and humans. Last summer, for instance, when she noticed that the bittersweet vines were extending their tendrils and choking off the rose bushes, she devoted many hours to cutting them away. The next day she looked at the roses for a moment and smiled, “They’re happier now,” she said.
She had seen the roses become happier. Even knowing this about her, it took me a long time to realize that the woman I live with is a healer. I had known her only as a mother and recently a grandmother, whose fierce love for her children caused them always to seek out her presence, her comfort and her counsel. I have seen that same love for her granddaughter; her endless patience in playing a game or reading to her, giving her leeway to set her own course, but always with a keen and watchful eye. They delight in each other beyond the need for words.
This true core of love, which is the deep well of her being, is the essence of healing, I think. At a wedding recently, while helping the bride to get dressed, she healed both the bride of badly bruised ribs and the bride’s sister of chronic neck pain, by laying her hand precisely on the injured spots for many minutes. They could not stop talking about it afterwards. When I asked her how she did it, she paused, as if trying to find the right words. Finally, she said, “The pain called to my compassion.”
“The pain called to my compassion.”
This is the deep well of love which marks a natural healer. Jesus healed the sick through this all-embracing love; the pain of the world calling to his compassion.
Many Sufi Masters of the past, who had completed the path of Love, were said to possess healing powers. And in the presence of my own Master, I have often felt a powerful spiritual energy and uplifting of the heart, an immense wellbeing of life. Perhaps healing itself is a spiritual uplifting on a physical level; the energy of the compassion of love healing physical pain.
It is no accident that passion is the root of compassion, whose original meaning was to suffer together. This com-passion, this deep, empathic, encompassing love is both the goal and the result of walking the Sufi path; at each step another drop is poured into the heart, and as love enters, one begins to see God in all of His creation. Perhaps healing is simply God’s Love expressed in the form of this compassionate energy, moved from one human being to another.
Compassion is love moved forward.
And healing is the divine spiritual energy of that love responding to emotional or physical pain. Healing through compassion is an ancient concept, though I had no frame of reference for it until I met my wife. There really is no mystery to it. I would not even call it a miracle, except insofar as all human life and its capacity to love is miraculous; a Divine gift unlike any other, and from which all mercy flows.
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About the Author
Irving Karchmar (b. 1945) is a son of the Holocaust survivors, who became a darvish of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order in 1992. Between 1977 and 1985, he published Fantastic Films magazine, and also was an editor, writer, poet and publisher of many other magazines. He is the author of "The Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel" www.masterofthejinn.com, a mystical adventure tale on the Sufi path of Love, translated into nine languages. He also writes the Darvish blog - darvish.wordpress.com, where one can find numerous poems and stories, from Rumi and Hafiz to the contemporary Sufi writers, as well as his own posts.