I enjoyed working with many Japanese groups during my tenure as a recording engineer and producer. Then and on trips to Japan, I made several friends and business acquaintances. We relied on each other heavily for contacts, sources and ideas, East-to-West and vice versa.

In the early 1980s, one friend solicited my help. Japanese industry was easily on a par with America’s then. In technology and engineering, Japan was seen as superior. Sony, Toyota, Pioneer and other companies owned American consumer interest.

There was one area where Japan continued to lag, my friend told me. Despite all the intellectual and empirical horsepower they could muster, Japan still envied the creative genius of companies like Disney and other American corporate giants because of something Disney called Imagineering. In fact, the Burbank-based company had created an entire division that was renowned for thinking outside the box.

My friend asked me to serve as a sort of headhunter. Instead of recruiting Stanford or Ivy League grads with awesome GPAs, Japanese industry was seeking something that couldn’t be fostered in an academic setting; something which languished in the ivory tower. They wanted intuitive diagonal thinking. They needed people who could look beyond numbers and research and grab onto creative, inspired thought that relied on neither. My friend’s clients were spending hundreds of thousands of dollars hiring people they shipped to Japan and sat in rooms with the mandate of just letting thoughts come to them.

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” — Albert Einstein

It’s with the power of intuition that Steve Jobs pried open the nascent personal computer market in the 1980s. A graphical user interface using the non-analytical, non-intellectual part of the mind that links all of us made all the difference in the world.

No two humans have the exact same academic or educational experiences. We are cut from different cloths when it comes to empirical knowledge. But one thing we all share is our ability to intuit, to know innately. Intuition means to understand without reliance on evidence or what we experience from the physical world. Apple products have always been described as an intuitive experience and that is what gives Apple worldwide appeal. It transformed a struggling company into the world’s largest corporation and lifted Jobs to iconic status. We may not all have the same education but we share a oneness in access to intuition. It’s the same for all.

Zen what happened? Ironically, the Japanese businessmen my friend was helping didn’t realize they had the same access to intuition as the Disney whiz kids. Japanese martial artists have been connecting with that energy flow for millennia. In martial arts, it’s not force against force. It’s use the force. A martial artist uses the energy of an opponent to add to the energy needed to defeat the opponent. It’s less an aggressive stance than a compliant, synergistic approach.

For 30 years, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has described his view of foreign policy as less one of aggression and more as what he views as in keeping with the Constitution. Rather than attack perceived foes, strengthen the body politic, the United States. A strong country needs less defense.

Western medicine is an analog of our failed U.S. foreign policy. Conventional medicine attacks what it believes to be disease, when it’s really attacking only the symptoms of systemic imbalance. It is becoming increasingly obvious that attacking bacteria, viruses, cancer cells and other symptoms does little to successfully restore health. This attack-mode is known as allopathic medicine. A doctor friend once described it as “cut, burn or poison.” In other words, standard Western medicine employs surgery, radiation therapy or drugs.

Holistic healing relies more on restoring the body’s balance, often viewed as boosting the immune response. The sensibility of such an approach is why alternatives to conventional medicine, some of which have been used for thousands of years, are gaining in use.

Paul is the only candidate who fully endorses the right of every American to choose the type of medical treatment he or she wants, including herbs or acupuncture, marijuana as medicine or unprocessed food as nutrition. Paul promises on his website to “stop the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission from interfering with Americans’ knowledge of and access to dietary supplements and alternative treatments.”

Healing becomes festive. To that point and providing access to information about alternatives comes the 2011 Festival of Healing Arts taking place Saturday, October 15 at the Unity Church of Omaha. Coordinator Steve Thyberg has gathered a broad selection of practitioners to provide the public with information on healthcare options. The festival is billed as an experiential event where those attending will have the opportunity to learn first-hand about alternatives in the Omaha area. Those include well-known topics such as acupuncture, chiropractic or yoga as well as some that many Omahans haven’t hear of, such as qi gong, meditation and ortho-bionomy.

Midwife Heather Ramsey exposes the myth that childbirth is a medical event requiring a doctor’s intervention in her presentation, “Trusting Birth.” Yogini Susie McCowen dives into the deeper qualities of yoga. Patricia Ryan, M.D. explains how to protect against toxins increasingly present in the environment. Registered Nurse Susan Wilson describes the use of reiki and healing touch for chronic pain.

Thyberg, a veteran organizer of a dozen such alternative health fairs, including five at Creighton School of Medicine, expects the public to gain a lot from this one.

“We just want to get the information out to the public,” he said. “There is so much to take advantage of here in the area. The goal is to have an educational, experiential event.”

No doubt, Yoda would approve.

Be well.

Heartland Healing examines various alternative forms of healing. It is provided as a source of information, not as medical advice. It is not an endorsement of any particular therapy, either by the writer or The Reader. Access past columns at www.HeartlandHealing.com

Leave a comment