Mark 5:1-20, Fear of Healing

Verses 14b, 17: “and the people came to see what had happened. The spectators told them how the madman had been cured and what had happened to the pigs. Then they begged Jesus to leave the district.”

This scripture offers a well-known story of Jesus banishing “Legion,” the many demons, from a madman. The madman becomes normal and wants to follow Jesus. The people of the surrounding area where this occurs are terrified; they ask Jesus to leave. We see two very different reactions to the healing presence of Jesus the Christ.

We may react to unexpected, non-ego-driven healing that occurs within our lives with mixed emotions. We may feel relieved and joyous that some problem seemed to resolve itself. We might immediately feel mistrustful and doubt the staying power of the new state of consciousness. We may not know what to do with our focus and energies without the formally “mad” part of ourselves.

We encounter the madman in our psyches in overwhelming anxieties, the inability to think, nonreality-based emotional responses, unprocessed and raw bits of body sensations, and chaotic, unconscious images. Any feeling state where we lose access to the totality of our psyche might be described as mad.

We all have such moments where we feel “mad” or “crazy.” No amount of trying to talk ourselves out of this state of consciousness works long-term. Healing requires an encounter with God Within.

Healing usually happens when we are not looking or not exerting our hyper ego control. It usually comes in an unanticipated encounter with God Within. Something emerges from the unconscious psyche far more powerful than our ego. Our psychological and spiritual works prepare us to receive the healing presence of our total Self.

We have to face the parts of ourselves that are like the towns where people were scared of Jesus’ healing presence. Perhaps, they were angry that a herd of pigs had been sacrificed in the process of healing. They may have feared that Jesus the Christ’s continued presence would create more disruption and destruction.

We may have similar fears. Our ego can be very attached to the way things are. We want to hold onto our sense of self, our idealized vision of what we are, and our established ways of relating to self, Self, and Others. We may not like the disorder to our established life that transformation (healing) brings. From this perspective, we may react to God Within like the townspeople.

Our attitude towards the disruptive process of healing determines whether we will be like the healed madman or the scared townspeople. When we accept that healing disrupts our current situation and destroys established ways, we rejoice. When we judge ourselves and forgot that destruction is a necessary antecedent to new life, we act from fear like the townspeople.

Inner Reflection
Where do you desire healing change in your life? How does your fear of change interfere with the transformation? Where have you experienced a healing shift unexpectedly? What actions led up to the change?

Be compassionate with yourself as change can evoke both gratitude and fear. Practice dialoguing with whatever feelings and attitudes arise when you have an encounter with God Within.