My whole life, I’ve circled around a dream of healing, hiding from a voice that whispers:
“You are born to heal.”
I’ve always been an outsider, looking through a window, at a clear, bright world, never finding my place, never reaching for the door.
I am Yagrin now.
There’s no more time for turning away, and letting the world pass by.
Now, healing calls me, in a voice that shakes the whole world.
My energy rises within me, and I easily cast off the fear.
Then, I turn all my strength toward healing.
Ordinary Jiku love and hate their healers.
The people depend on us to heal disease and injuries, but we stand too close to death.
Healers are full of contradiction in their eyes.
We seem to fight death with all our strength, yet sometimes, we stand aside and watch as death comes.
Healing is about balance, not fighting.
Life and death always dance together.
A healer’s job is to keep them in balance, as long as possible.
There are three parts to the training, three paths to keep the balance: remedies, movements, and listening.
We use many types of remedies.
Colored light, crystals, music, sounds, smells, food, and herbs.
Herbs are important, but not an easy remedy.
Some herbs only heal when they are fresh, and must be harvested by the healer, herself.
Healthy, growing herbs leave a bright mark on the energy web, and call out to us.
The effect is subtle and small, but a healer learns to sense the energy trail from far away, and track it to its source.
Finding the herb is only the beginning.
A healer understands when to pick the herbs, how to prepare them. and how often to give the remedy.
The second path in healing is the dance of hands, a collection of seventy-two movements.
Some movements feed energy to the sick body.
Other movements steal energy away.
Most of the movements simply free the body’s own blocked energy.
The guild teaches us which remedies and movements to use for each symptom.
All apprentices must memorize this knowledge.
The guild clings desperately to what it knows, and has published no new remedies for hundreds of years.
Sometimes healing seems like a dead path, caught in the past, and full of blind habit.
What does a healer do when there are a dozen ways to treat a single symptom?
Which treatment will help the patient, and which will cause harm?
How does the healer see the true imbalance, and decide which remedy will heal?
The third path of healing answers these questions.
This is the way of listening.
We have a hidden sense that understand balance within the physical world, and within the world of energy.
The healers call it the healing body, the listening body, or sometimes the listener.
It touches the essence of health and balance, disease and disorder.
Listening teaches us what is wrong.
It helps us select among the remedies and movements that the guild gives us, to return life to its own, straight path.
Also, the listener carries a unique healing energy that repairs injury.
Some Jiku outside the guild call themselves healers, though they cannot hear the voice of the listener, or touch healing energy.
We are guild healers, and we must awaken the listener, so its voice becomes clear and strong.
I turn inward for help, to the hazy memories that I carry from the old ones.
There are great healers among the old ones.
Niyta, their leader, was once the head of the healers guild at a time when the masters were far more powerful than today.
I call upon a deep part of myself, the fire mind, to connect with those distant memories of healing, and bring them into my near mind.
The old memories pour into my mind, crisp and clear.
They spark and sing like fire, waiting to burst into action.
Memories of herbs and movements come, and offer their help, but I need something more.
I need to find the listening within me.
Some people have great natural skill in the listening, but most need a master to awaken the sense.
The master healer gives her apprentice a gift of healing energy, and the healing sense opens wide, like a flower in the sun.
I remember when Niyta’s listener was first awakened.
I feel the healing energy spinning through her body, and I see the patterns behind that feeling.
I ask my fire body to resonate with this memory of energy.
At first, I have trouble resonating with the pattern, but then, the healing energy races through me, like a dam has broken.
I sit for a few minutes while this flood continues.
The energy searches out and fills every corner of my body.
When it calms, I practice listening to my own body.
At first, the listener’s advice comes as feelings and urges, and I barely understand its message.
Soon, its strength grows, and I see a picture of my body, and hear a voice within me.
Then I fly.
At Gen speed, no one sees me when I fly through the towns and cities.
I imagine the healing sense as a sparkling, thick liquid in the shape of a body.
The listening body crouches and waits to jump.
I let it go, and it falls on a young woman.
The listener fills every muscle, nerve, and bone, every cell.
It waits for my command.
The woman feels nothing.
“Is her life or weak or strong?” I ask.
I see a three-dimensional image of her inner body, painted in light.
Most areas are bright, but a few are dim.
Then, the listener speaks.
Her body speaks and sings to us.
She is young and strong, but there are symptoms of weakness.
Her breathing is weak, an imbalance in her lungs.
Her right wrist was once broken, and is still stiff, years later.
“Which of the guild remedies are right for her lungs?”
The listener seems to hesitate as it reviews the knowledge of remedies that sit in my mind.
Finally, it shows me the herb, reminds me of its name, and tells me to prepare it a certain way.
Then the listening body streams back into me, and disappears.
Voice of Death
I continue flying through the towns.
I practice throwing the listener onto nearby Jiku for brief moments, to reveal illness, injuries, and their remedies.
Soon, with Gen speed, I can diagnose each person in less than a second.
I throw the listener thousands of times.
Hours later, I stop in a small garden and sit, surrounded by singing birds.
The guild forbids us to use the listener on anything but Jiku.
We are commanded to silence the listener’s voice if guides us to new remedies, or speaks to us without being asked a question.
I ignore the warning, and let the listener settle on a nearby bird.
It takes me a moment to adjust, and at first, the listener sounds strange.
Then I see the image of the bird’s body, and understand the listener’s message.
I see where the bird’s life needs strength or healing.
Its leg is full of a deadly infection.
“How do I heal it?”
Healing energy would help, but the guild’s remedies cannot heal the bird.
“We are not bound by the guild.”
“Tell me, listener, of other remedies.”
You have freed my voice.
The listener’s voice grows stronger, and it shows me a small fish that swims deep in the ocean.
One of the fish’s eyes is covered with a white fungus.
Take the oil from the fish’s eye and heal the bird’s leg.
Or grind the bird’s beak and sprinkle it on the fish’s eye.
One must die, so the other can live.
The listening body jumps from the bird and settles onto me.
My mind is flooded with thousands of images of Jiku and animal death.
The listener shows me ways to sicken, kill or shatter the bodies of Jiku and animals, and new, powerful ways to heal them.
It shows me how to take the side of life or death.
Life and death come together, in one view, one balance.
In ancient times, the guild chose healers to speak with animals, plants, and even the sea.
These healers were the source of all new remedies.
Legend says that the healers also heard the voice of death, and many abandoned their healing.
A few lost their minds, and began to kill with the same passion that they once had for healing.
I understand the legend.
The listener enables us to speak with all of existence, but when we allow the listener within us to find its full strength, it also speaks of death.
Some hide from that voice of death, and some are driven mad by it.
This is why the guild stopped the search for new remedies, and bound the way that we use the listener.
Should I accept the guild’s laws, and silence the voice?
Before I can decide, my mind is filled with powerful images and sounds of death.
The listener’s death voice grows louder and louder, until I can’t hear the voice of life.
I’m not afraid of losing this physical body.
I’ve died more than once.
But I’m still afraid of losing all things beautiful and precious.
I see images of the death of my friends and family.
I see thousands of Jiku die, and beautiful forests turn to ash.
I cry out, drowning in sadness, pulled down by the images of death, but I will not silence the listener.
“Listener, how do I live with life and death?”
Everyone asks that question, deep within, from the first day that they discover death.
Only I hear the question.
When I am bound, I can only speak of life.
When I am free, I speak of life and death, to answer the question.
“How is your voice of death an answer?”
Some ignore death by ignoring life, not caring for either one.
These beings live in the dull middle of life, hiding from the light and the pain.
Some pretend there is only life, or only death.
These fools try to hold to one, and lose both.
I show you another way, but your fear of death blinds you.
Accept the pain of death and destruction, and you will see the brightness of life.
Let yourself mourn the end of life, so you can embrace your precious days.
The pain and the sadness open your eyes, and make the wonder and possibility of life burn clear and bright.
This is the only way to know the power of the listener.
Let him speak of death, to hear him speak of life in all of its strength.
Death reveals and fuels life.
I accept both faces of the listener’s strength, and learn to keep his two voices together.
I hold my focus on both sides of the balance, life and death, and choose the wonder of life.
I practice keeping his voices together, until they are one voice again.
Then I continue my practice with the listener.
I spend another day traveling and listening to people, animals, plants, even stones.
The listener’s voice is sweet and cruel.
He shows me that everything in existence has a balance.
I feel the cracks and weakness in stones.
I see how to make the stone stronger, and how to make it crumble into dust.
There are many ways to restore balance, but I begin simply, with herbs.
My near mind fills with more of Niyta’s memories, and they teach me how to tune my listening body, so it can feel the presence of a certain herb.
An apprentice holds a sample of the herb in her hand, and tunes the body to find more of it.
An experienced healer recalls the feel of the herb without touching it.
Healers use the feel of the energy pattern.
They cannot see the pattern as I do.
I focus directly on the pattern with energy eyes.
As a flow master, I’ve already memorized the patterns of most of the herbs, and I find the patterns of the remaining herbs in Niyta’s memories.
Then I practice locating the herbs throughout the world, on the ground, under water, on the top of mountains.
I study the rare herbs, but leave them growing, undisturbed.
I pick the common ones, and practice the methods of preparation.
At Gen speed, this all goes quickly.
Hands of Healing
I’m an apprentice healer, but a master of weaving and flow.
My white robe has master’s bands of yellow and orange at the wrists.
I carry a third band of mixed black and red, that marks me as a healing apprentice.
A master healer wears a red band.
It troubles me to see the apprentice band.
Is it my arrogance and conceit that pushes me to take another master’s band?
I have no time now to wonder at my motives.
There’s too much to learn.
I turn my study from herbs to hands.
Our hands are always with us, waiting to heal, and they can heal sickness that herbs cannot help.
Healers use the seventy-two hand movements to smooth the movement of energy, or add or remove energy.
I practice the movements, first on plants, then on animals.
When I am confident with the movements, I review thousands of healings, found in the memories of the old ones.
Herbs, movements, and healing energy.
The listener is a bridge to stream healing energy to others.
We focus on the area of injury, and let our healing energy free.
I practice using healing energy on plants and animals, but I soon grow weak.
This type of healing is exhausting, and used only when the other methods won’t help.
I rest for a few hours.
Then, it’s time to practice my skills on my Jiku brothers and sisters.
I use my listening body to find people with minor sickness and injury.
“I am an apprentice healer,” I tell them, and offer to heal them for free.
I use herbs, hands, and occasionally healing energy.
Some are thankful for the help, while others ignore me.
When I feel sure in these healings, I return to the guild leader, and ask him to appoint a master to help me.
“Kwaya has asked to be your guide,” he says.
“He will help you and test you.”
Kwaya is a Tshuan healer who I’ve met.
He’s a master now.
I explain what I’ve practiced so far, and I ask him to guide and watch me for a few days as I heal more serious injuries and disease.
I carry Kwaya at high speed along the energy web.
We go to places that have never seen a master healer.
Kwaya tests all my skills of healing, but he offers no help.
He writes up a report, and sends it to the guild leader.
I come to the Guild head, and tell him all that I’ve done.
I don’t speak of freeing the listener.
“I’m surprised that Kwaya offered me no advice, master.”
“He felt that he had nothing to teach you, Yagrin.”
“You carry memories of great healers from another age.”
“With teachers such as these, what can we show you?”
“I’m not perfect, master.”
“No, but you have a master’s skills.”
“When will you test me?”
“When Kwaya saw your skills, he decided to test you.”
“It wasn’t planned, but it shows that you are ready for the master’s band.”
“Still, I realize now, that the rest of the guild will not believe the test, considering how little time has passed.”
“What can we do to convince them?”
“There is someone you must visit, and I’ll ask him to test you.”
“If he approves, no one will doubt his word.”
The guild leader sends me to the oldest of their masters.
Chiwan is one hundred fifty years old.
He lives alone in a small stone house at the top of a mountain.
He rarely sees others, and does little healing any more.
The first day, we dance the greeting of the light together, and then we talk, but not about healing.
We speak briefly about family, the Watchtower, energy weaving, flow, and the place of the old ones.
He radiates peace and calm.
We sit together silently for a few minutes, and I watch him with energy eyes.
Great waves of energy flow toward him.
The waves light up the energy web around him.
With all my experience among the Gen and the old ones, and with all their memories that I carry, I still feel like a child before him.
Chiwan listens to the web of energy, as he would listen to a person’s physical body.
What does it mean to see an imbalance in the web, and how would we heal it?
“Master, the guild forbids us to listen to anything but Jiku.”
He looks at me.
“What do you mean?”
“Your listener touches the web.”
“How do you know?”
“I see it.”
“No, I just want to understand.”
“We aren’t allowed to use the listener on the physical world, Yagrin, except for the Jiku body.”
“The guild never forbid us to listen to the energy world.”
“Perhaps, they never thought of it.”
“Try it, Yagrin.”
I release my listener onto the web.
It spreads for miles in all directions, and I’m filled with a great feeling of peace and connection.
The listener is free, but there is no voice, and no images of life and death, only peace.
Chiwan and I sit together, and I lose all sense of time.
Finally, he speaks again.
“Your listener is not like any other that I’ve seen.”
“It has touched more than Jiku, Yagrin.”
I need his approval, but I can’t imagine lying to him.
“Then you’ve heard the voice of death?”
“Has it harmed you?”
I explain to him what I saw, and what the listener told me, and how I made peace with the voice of death.
“The listener within us is only trying to help.”
“Still, most of us are too afraid of death to use it to find balance.”
“Will you fail me, master?”
“Not for this, but we can’t speak of it to the guild.”
“I’m no different than you.”
“I also disobeyed the guild, and freed the listener.”
“I wanted to see the balance in the trees and stones and sea, and find new ways of healing.”
“I found that I couldn’t bare the images of death that the listener showed me.”
“What happened, master?”
“The web saved me.”
“I discovered, Yagrin, that I could touch the listener to the web, and find peace.”
“Not only that, but I found that I could let the listener touch the web while it was touching something else.
“As long as there is some contact with the energy web, he doesn’t speak of death, and the images of death vanish.”
We send our listener back to the web, and sit again, for a few minutes.
Voice of the Web
“You know healing well enough, Yagrin, or you wouldn’t be here, but you’re not a healer yet.”
“Being a healer is more than skill.”
He’s quiet for a few minutes, listening again to the energy web.
I listen as he does.
“Tell me,” he says finally, “how a healing master is different than other guild masters.”
“We serve life,” I tell him.
His face is still.
I haven’t touched the answer he seeks.
“All guilds serve life, Yagrin, in their own way, but the other guilds have a burden, even when their purpose is clear and true.”
“The flow and weaving guilds are shadowed by the desire for power and control.”
“Flow changes the form of objects, plants, animals, and people. ”
“One object becomes another, and the master makes the world his playthings.”
“Instead a master could use flow to change his heart.”
“Once, flow masters flowed themselves into different forms, just to see what those forms could teach them.”
“Even long ago, these masters were rare.”
“Today, none of the masters speak of this.”
“The weavers focus on binding together things that do not belong together.”
“They break the natural order.”
“There is another side to weaving.”
“The weaver binds his energies to another, or to the energy web.”
“In the world of energy, connection is natural.”
“This is a calmer, purer side to weaving.”
“A master weaver can use this skill to strengthen his connection to all life, and all energy.”
“The artists build worlds of beauty, and reveal possibility where it was forgotten.”
“This is a great skill, and a powerful help to the growing heart.”
“Sadly, artists often hide in the worlds they build, turning possibility to stone, and leaving our world behind.”
“Finally,” he says, “there is healing.”
“We look for life and balance.”
“We bring a person, animal, or thing back to another time when it was whole and strong, at peace with its place in the world.”
“Do all healers have such pure intentions, Master Chiwan?”
“Of course not.”
“Many enjoy the honor more than the healing itself, but still, the act is one of balance.”
“Master,” I say, “the world does not stay still.”
“It moves and changes.”
“Do we only look to what was?”
“We follow the change that the world needs.”
“That is also balance.”
“We listen to the world like we listen to the bodies of the sick.”
“Sometimes the world wants the change of a calm wave moving toward the shore.”
“This is easy to follow.”
“Other times, the world wants the change of a storm.”
“Even I cannot follow the lessons of a storm.”
“Sometimes I act in balance with needed change.”
“Sometimes I sit here quietly, seeking balance, hiding from the storms.”
“Lately, the energy web speaks of storms, again, and again.”
“I hear nothing, master.”
“Spend hours with the web, Yagrin, and the listener will speak to you.”
“Perhaps you will understand it when it speaks of storms, where I can’t.”
“When chaos surrounds us, you pretend that action is always the answer.”
“I pretend that no action is possible, and we must wait.”
“The truth lies somewhere between us.”
“Come back tomorrow, with the sun,” he says, “and we’ll speak again.”