By Cynthia Hickman, Registered Psychologist
When I was twelve years old I looked out at the world and was appalled at what I saw … the inequality and the suffering. By the time I was sixteen I was devastated by the meaninglessness of it all. It seemed that life was about getting a job, buying a house and having babies who would then grow up to do the same thing. There seemed to be no higher purpose. And no one seemed bothered by this.
I felt like I was living in an insane asylum and in fact I came across the writing of psychologist R.D. Laing who indeed said that ‘normal’ was insane. By the time I was nineteen I was suicidally depressed by it all.
Obviously I survived, and my inquiry into life and being human led me to the study of psychology. But by the time I was twenty-eight I realised that I had overlooked the most important aspect of life – the inner being-ness; I called it the soul. I then knew that I had to be a psychologist who could help people find this inner being, so I called myself a soul-centred psychologist. Not a term to garner the respect of my peers!
The trouble however was that I had very little to guide me. They didn’t teach soul psychology at university! So I felt it was my business to explore any alternative teachings that might illuminate the way … I wanted to offer my clients the best I could find to help them manage the difficult business of being human. Many clients that came to me were hungry for information about their deeper spiritual nature and found no answers to this in mainstream culture. So for two decades I tried every workshop known to man! Among other things I have tested Tantra, shared Satsang, primal screamed, created shamanic ceremony, tried to be a Buddhist and re-birthed myself silly.
Along the way I learned a lot of useful things but I knew I hadn’t found the right teaching for me, something that would deliver consistent ongoing results for my self and others, something that explained how to bring the love of the soul into the body and into everyday life.
Then I attended a Universal Medicine retreat with Serge Benhayon and I sat there gob-smacked as he spoke about everything I knew deep inside but could never have articulated. This was the teaching I had been looking for.
Serge’s teaching was different to many others. He spoke about love not emptiness. Engagement not retreat. Embodiment not transcendence. Service not bliss. He spoke about stillness instead of ecstasy and he spoke about steady progress not the transient highs of emotional catharting. And he emphasised the importance of focusing on the body…bad news for a sugar addict but something I knew to be true if I really meant it about bringing the energy of the soul into the human body! Then he gave simple commonsense strategies for bringing health and joy into life.
My own inner progress now is incremental and consistent. It is not about enlightenment, which is what I had learnt from Eastern teachings. It is about embodying love in everyday life. So now, while I may get tired after work I don’t get exhausted like I did previously. And I feel more wellbeing than I ever have. And in my body – I never knew a body could feel so good! Many clients benefit from what I have learned from Universal Medicine and I can give them practical tools to develop self-love and deal with anxiety and depression.
Mainstream psychologists might question the teachings of Universal Medicine but to me, a psychology that does not have love and the human soul as its central theme is missing the whole point. I have always felt that it is the human heart that needs attention; that unless we heal the heart then the world’s ills will not heal, no matter how much charity, aid or political, technological or intellectual will we bring to the problem.
Change the inner being then the outer might begin to reflect this change. This is why I chose psychology as my modality. I wanted to work with the inner being. And I knew that love was the core ingredient needed for change – not romantic or emotional love but something much deeper within us. Not everyone wants to explore such things and that is fine. But for those that do, Universal Medicine’s teachings give a solid practical path from self-loathing to self love and onwards into loving service to humanity.