I was fortunate this weekend to be able to meet and take part in a week-end presentation and workshop with Jungian analyst, Guy Corneau, a Canadian analyst from Montréal, Québec. Guy had been diagnosed with terminal, stage four cancer in his lungs and three organs in 2007. Obviously, since he was here in Calgary, something happened to him that makes for a story well worth telling. In short, he decided that he wanted to live and decided that to do so he would have to use all of his resources – people, medicine, and any other modality that might have his body change its mind, such as tai chi, meditation, writing poetry and playing guitar. Of all these modalities, in his opinion, it was a practice of engaging in a dialogue with the cells of his body that became the key. By 2009 there was no trace of cancer left in his body. If anything, his body was in the best physical shape of the last thirty years of his life.
Below I will highlight a few key points that struck me:
- the body understands feelings more than it does what physically happens to the body
- the self needs to be rooted back into life
- the ego must give up the familiarity of darkness or the body will die prematurely
- use active imagination to create a positive vision for self
- dare to risk when there is nothing to lose but darkness and fear
- we have a subscription for unhappiness that we need to cancel
These are powerful statements. As I listened hypnotized by the words and ideas, I saw so much of myself being exposed, and in listening to his story, heard my own story. When we left China, my wife explained to those we left behind that I was going to Canada to deal with brain cancer. The truth was that I do indeed have cancer that Guy described as being narcosis of the psyche, a cancer in my head that is willing my body to darkness and death.
As he told his story of healing, I heard a story of my first death sentence as a child, and what happened to me that resulted in that death sentence being lifted. I contracted acute nephritis at the age of four and there was little hope that I would make it to adulthood. As I now come to understand it, the first four years of my life lived with a dark mother who was abandoned by my father sowed the seeds of the disease (dis-ease), and the return of my father which lead to a deeper emotional abandonment by my mother triggered the outbreak of the disease.
I was in and out of hospitals with sickening regularity yet something changed in my life and my feeling state when I was fourteen that resulted in the doctors being puzzled by the disappearance of the disease from my body. That year, was the first year in my life that we stayed in the same house for a whole year with the belief that I would be there for a long time. I began to have friends, I had a horse which I would ride in the open countryside, I spent time studying the stars lying on my back, and I got a guitar and played my heart out. I had embraced living for the first time and my body thanked me.
Knowing now, that I have it in me to heal because I have done so in the past, I feel a huge relief. A road map had been presented to me, a road map for healing in the adult world. Thank you, Guy.