As is usual with genius, he was destined to stand alone,
During the 50 years of his productive life, British-born Dr. Edward Bach’s vocation progressed from physician to research in bacteriology (immunology), to the practice of homeopathy, and finally to becoming a herbalist—the last the dearest to his heart. Each new chapter of his singular quest toward finding a method of true healing moved him ever closer to the culmination of his life-long vision: to discover a simple, pure, gentle means of alleviating sickness and suffering. And with each evolutionary level of his consciousness and work, he moved toward a transcendent height of greater Spiritual illumination and Self-perfection.
Early on as a boy, Edward Bach’s qualities of temperament were clearly evident. He was blessed with an abundance of innate gifts. His “many-sided nature” included a fun-loving and vitally active spirit that was well endowed with the warm sparkle of humor, optimism, independence, adventure, absorbing curiosity, acute sensitivity and intuition, as well as an over-riding love of the wonder and magic of the natural world with its multiplicity of animals and plants. The remarkable depth of his empathic compassion showed in his inborn ability to detect others’ (as well as the animals’) great anguish and troubles, whether on the physical, mental, or emotional levels.
These finely tuned perceptions were the basis for his early desire to become a doctor and the magnetism that radiated freely from him, resulting in his being much sought after professionally and greatly beloved. With the Sun and Jupiter in peaceful Libra, this friendly, outgoing, attractive side of his character came forth as a gentle giant. His youthful presence was calming and healing, built on the solid foundation of one who possessed absolute determination, intense focus, endurance, and strength of purpose—all attributes of a natal Mars in Scorpio, casting a close trine to Saturn in Cancer. His unassailable courage was decisive, quick acting, and forward moving in full measure, neither looking back nor regretting what he’d left behind but embracing the potential of future discoveries.
Eschewing the arguments and rationale of the mind, he obeyed his inner guidance and unfolding revelations, proving again and again how he was entirely led by Wisdom that transcended reason. As easy as the gentle inflow and outflow of the breath, intuition for him was spontaneity and being unaffected by others. Unlike the multitude that tends to wander aimlessly, he knew who he was and what his life was about when he was quite young. He was ablaze—an unassailable light readied for great service!
He became so immersed in his lab experiments that the light
Human Nature Observed through Perceptive Eyes
Always a keen observer, life’s practical experiences and people were his true Books of Knowledge, wherein the simple, inner certainties of the Divine Design were revealed—truths not apprehended by either the outer mind or scientific method. At the age of 16, Bach began work in his father’s brass foundry, devoting himself to the full learning of all he could about this labor-intense business. Though the foundry was no match for his freedom-loving, receptive nature, it was during this period of hard work that his understanding and insight into human nature originated, on which his future vocation was entirely built.
Years later, after making noteworthy advances in bacteriological research and the treatment of chronic disease, he turned his attention to developing a unique system of typology medicine that would “bring a patient back from ‘not quite himself’ to ‘quite himself.’” Following in similar footsteps to Samuel Hahneman, the founder of Homeopathy nearly a century earlier, the fundamental premise of Bach’s distinctive method of healing with herbal remedies was: Treat the patient’s personality and the underlying disturbing mood(s) as the true indicator or corrective of the disharmony, rather than the physical ailment or disease. The cure lies not in any outer person or artificial source but within each person. His belief was that “everyone of us is a healer” not only able to heal our self but also endowed with the “great privilege” to help others heal if we but have the qualities of “love and sympathy.”2
It was evident to Bach that the state of mind and emotion(s) controlled bodily health—a total deviation from the tradition of “symptomatic” medicine practiced in the early 1900’s, a scientific system wherein effects, not causes, were treated. When the pervasive, negative mood dissipates (the root cause), then a state of equilibrium and health returns (the result). Both Hahneman and Bach further adhered to the principle that individuality must be upheld: each person’s illness has individual characteristics requiring a “suitable individual remedy.”3 Theirs was not a one-size, one-prescription-fits-all philosophy of medicine but rather to honor every person and his or her condition with sacred respect.
From the discovery of his seven bacterial groups and years of observing people, he outlined seven definite groups or types of human personalities or temperaments. Dr. Bach could instinctively recognize to which group an individual belonged by her or his behavior, mental attitudes, moods, and patterns of reaction (to an illness, as well as whether a patient had a great enough desire to heal and embrace the fullness of her or his life). He could distinguish the “outstanding mental conflict” in the patient. Simply put, his seven, basic personality groups relate to those who feel: fear, loneliness, uncertainty, lack of interest in life, despondency and despair, oversensitivity, and over concern for others.
At a later stage of his evolving work, when additional flower remedies had been discovered, he wrote an article, “Twelve Healers.”4 In it he describes the “twelve types of personality,” with their positive and negative manifestations, revealed by the sign position of the Moon in a person’s birth chart wherein the formative personality is learned. One of the central principles of Bach’s life and philosophy was his firm belief that all suffering and lack of inner harmony are the result of allowing external influences to interfere with our true personality and mission in life. Accordingly, at earlier phases of growth, “one or more planets” support us. But as we travel the psychological and spiritual Pathway, developing an authentic love for our fellow travelers, “we free ourselves from our stars,” to become the captain of our own vessel, “for better or for worse.” Our soul is then more available to do “His work,” to obey our divinity.
Never a conformist to accepted rules and theories (highlighting the individualistic signature of his natal Uranus in Libra), his revolutionary work (within the context of that time) focused on the root level, that of the emotional body (a plane of life above the physical level where disease originates), which accounts for the “miraculous” effectiveness of re-aligning the human personality with its “soul” and spiritual intentions. Healing does not occur by conventional or ordinary material standards but is first and foremost Divine in its origin.
There are seven beautiful stages in the healing of disease, these are:
A Life Purpose creates Health and Happiness
In 1917, Bach’s near-fatal encounter of extreme hemorrhaging, in which a tumor was removed, was a poignant rite of initiation and demonstration of his premise that one’s true purpose is the saver of life. Given the hopeless prognosis of three more months, he focused not on the short time he was expected to live but rather on the “virtue” or “corrective” (to use his own words) of resuming his life’s purpose—to eventually find a simple form of treating all those who suffered with pure, indestructible “flower essences” found in Nature.
Bach’s own health crisis was a temporary shadow experience in the valley of death—of-the-flesh “nothingness,” as mystical writer Joel Goldsmith puts it—in preparation for his further, greater attunement to his inner voice and ever-present Guidance. He rose from this breakdown in his health (due in large part to extreme overwork, perhaps an outworking of the imbalance of Neptune conjunct Pluto opposed by an overdriven Mars in Scorpio) to the best healthiness of his life! So vibrant and energetic was he that most people assumed Bach was much younger than his actual age.
For an additional 19 years, his was an indefatigable genius in helping others to understand that the Universal Laws operate simply and with undeviating order. As a member of the spiritually inclined brotherhood of the Masonic Lodge and whose own consciousness seemed illuminated, he worked from the premise that life is a “continuous, unbroken stream, uninterrupted by death.” Thus, we are all One within a unified, interconnected web of Greater Life, both seen and unseen. From the physical to the higher spiritual levels, harmony, unity, and love are the natural keynotes, and when our human “personality” (the time-bound microcosm) is in alignment with the “Divine mission” of our soul (the timeless macrocosm), then purpose, health, and happiness ensue.
In contrast, any sort of emotional and/or physical troubles or dis-ease derive from the outer, egoic self and its disconnect from the Higher Self and divine inspiration, as well as a sense of separateness from the omnipresence of Source. Bach’s image for this deep Truth is the great Sun with its countless rays all shining forth both as individual rays but all an integral part of this Solar Consciousness of Love.5 All life is permeated with a spark of Divine Essence—invincible, unconquerable, indestructible. Wholeness and blissful living are our spiritual inheritance here and now, in the eternal moment.
All Truth is found in the Simple and Natural
Edward Bach was ever a joyful and unassuming man who sought Truth in all the uncomplicated things of life. Above all, naturalness and practicality were his hallmarks. His dress was simple and his generosity legendary, even, for example, giving another person an article of his clothing were they in greater need than he, or during his final years in London treating impoverished patients for no cost—a high expression of his natal planets of Mercury, Venus, and the North Node of the Moon in service-oriented, humble Virgo. Many said of his altruistic ways “he gave away more than he had.”
The furniture he designed and made (mostly by using wooden pegs instead of nails) at his final home, Mount Vernon (now the Dr. Edward Bach Healing Centre), was beautifully natural and modest, exemplifying his ease with and love of trees and wood. His search for a painless, benign form of treatment and healing was amidst the wholesome substances of Nature—the flowers of the plants and trees. Indeed, he considered the true physician to be Nature Herself.
All nature is like one single apothecary’s shop,
Causing no injury to any plants, his method was to collect just a few flowers (the most highly-developed part of a plant) and float these in pure spring water so as to absorb the potency within the rays of sunlight. This profound but simple approach utilized the combined strength of the four elements—the earth, air, water, and fire—that resulted in highly effective, natural remedies—“enriched with beneficent magnetic healing … which cleanses mind and body, and heals,” as Dr. Bach wrote in 1930. In his own poetic words, which nicely personify the creative artistry and generous heart of one with a Leo Moon:
The action of these remedies is to raise our vibrations and open up our channels for the reception of our Spiritual Self, to flood our natures with the particular virtue we need, and wash out from us the fault which is causing harm. They are able, like beautiful music, or any gloriously uplifting thing which gives us inspiration, to raise our very natures, and bring us nearer to our Souls: and by that very act bring us peace and relieve our sufferings. They cure, not by attacking disease, but by flooding our bodies with the beautiful vibrations of our Higher Nature, in the presence of which disease melts as snow in the sunshine.6
The Master Healer
One of Bach’s long-time colleagues and friends, Dr. F. J. Wheeler, remarked of him, “he considered himself only as the instrument through which the remedies came.” Forever selfless and understated, a notable spiritual attainment for one with the Moon in royal Leo (assisted by the Sun, Jupiter, and Uranus in gracious Libra), Bach wrote, “this is not my work. All praise be to Him who gives us knowledge for the relief of mankind.” The real work for him was done in unanticipated, inspired moments not of his own self but from His Divine Self—the fount of Eternal Wisdom.
True to his two earliest ideals, his heart-felt desires were to find a pure form to cure those in distress and also to heal by touch as a means of restorative power that flowed freely from his hands. Through his ceaseless dedication and persistent work, he realized both dreams, for by 1930, he was aware he had the “divine gift of healing with his hand,” curing many simply with his touch. As the medical practitioner while still in London, Nora Weeks explains it thusly:
…on several occasions during those busy years he had suddenly felt impelled to lay his hand on a patient’s arm or shoulder, and that patient had instantly been healed. Bach never knew when this might happen. He felt, as he would say, a sudden overwhelming compassion, a tremendous desire to relieve the suffering of one who came to him in distress, and he would feel the healing life flow from his hand into the patient, who immediately was well.7
Clearly, when we enter the inspirational realm of who Dr. Bach was in this last incarnation, we are in the energetic field of a Master Healer and a divinely enlightened man. In the words of present-day physician, John Diamond, M.D., Bach is “both professionally and personally a saint—the true medical model. One of the greatest holistic medical pioneers.” Robert Victor Bullen, a contemporary colleague of Bach, wrote of him in great admiration and gratitude that, “he wasted no thought on the opinions of others, for he kept one great Example ever before his eyes—that of his Master, Christ, who combined in Himself all qualities, manliness, and gentleness and strength to face the truth.”
Reputation, fame, or fortune motivated him not in the least! His impressive knowledge and experience of the efficacy of the healing herbs was shared immediately, widely, and freely to all with the sole motive to restore health and happiness. Like the Nobel laureates Marie and Pierre Curie who sought no financial remuneration from their pioneering scientific discoveries, Bach felt the flower remedies were free gifts from the Creator—hence never to be prostituted for “commercial uses.”
During the mid 1930’s, his intuitive abilities had developed to the point he could consciously access a greater range of his quickened senses (seeing, hearing, and feeling) and on several occasions he foretold events—and saved lives! With a natal Saturn in Cancer (as well as the partile trine of Mercury in Virgo with Neptune in Taurus), it is suggestive of strong psychic tendencies of accessing higher levels of “knowing” and practically grounding this wisdom on the physical plane. Numerous times he would appear at a certain location at the exact moment his assistance, encouragement, advice, or power of vision were needed or to support another with a prophetic declaration that would be soon realized. One such example occurred when a two-hour attempt was made to resuscitate an unconscious fisherman, during which time only Bach “could see the man’s spirit hovering above the body.” He asked the efforts to continue another six hours to allow the spirit the choice to return to its body or not. Once the man’s spirit made his decision to move away from the body to allow the physical death, Bach assented to discontinuance of efforts to revive him.
Many were the remarkable instances of instantaneous healing, a few of which are captured here from Nora Weeks:
His great compassion and interest in all things and people formed a link between them and him and by reason of this sympathy he would hear the call for help from any in distress. Patients would often write or come and tell him afterwards that during the night when they lay sleepless and in pain he had appeared and placed his hand on their head or arm and they had immediately gone to sleep. …The power of healing which Bach possessed had also become more fully developed and many were conscious that they had but to see him, were it only in the distance, to feel a surge of life and strength flow into them.8
These extremely sensitized abilities unfolded over the course of many years, becoming so heightened and delicately tuned that were he exposed to the rush and noise of cities; jostling crowds; sudden loud sounds; confined, air-stagnant rooms or places—any sorts of environs of a coarser, lower vibration—he would experience a dreadful episode of bodily and mental anguish. He soon rallied, however, due to his avid sense of humor, bravery, single-minded conviction to keep on with his mission, and an astonishing ability to regenerate his abundant energies, an apt expression of the natal Mars in Scorpio!
The refining process of his nervous system and growing intuitive faculties were the fundamental tools that both guided him and allowed him to discover the whole complement of 38 flower remedies. His sense of touch and bodily receptivity were so acute he could feel the powerful vibrations given off from any plant he felt drawn to test for its healing properties. Whether by holding a petal or blossom in his palm or putting it on his tongue, his body could detect what special healing quality a particular plant was endowed with. During the entire adventure of bringing to fruition the final nineteen remedies of his distinctive system of herbal medicine, each of which exacted an enormous toll, according to Ms. Weeks:
…for some days before the discovery of each one he suffered in an intensified degree himself from the state of mind for which that particular remedy was required; not only did he pass through terrible mental agonies but certain states of mind were accompanied by a physical malady in its most extreme form. …Not only did he pass through the states of mind for which the new remedies were needed and suffer physically so greatly, but, such was his sensitive condition, he was aware of the disease or complaint of the next patient who was to visit him sometimes hours before that patient reached the house.9
Faith and Trust in Divine Providence
Yet another defining, unique quality of Edward Bach’s was his absolute fearlessness about change, risk, and future uncertainties. When he closed the doors of his renowned London practice in 1930, he left town with a couple of suitcases and a meager few pounds to his name from the sale of his laboratory equipment. He embraced the uncharted road ahead with peace of heart and no looming concerns, never to glance back with regret! The next four years were demanding, hectic ones, but he remained true to his abiding principle (until the day he died) that no patient would pay any fee for advice or treatment. Offerings from appreciate patients, supportive friends, and Divine Providence helped him to make continual progress in his research work, but there were many periods when he “suffered great physical hardships and privations through lack of money.”
Unaware of the shortage and trusting completely in Divine Source, he felt whatever supply was sent came through the appropriate channel, at the necessary moment, as the result of “Protection of the Great Power who watched over him and the work he was given to do.” In fact, each contribution was a confirmation or lighted signpost that he was indeed on the correct Path of Discovery. The privilege to heal was, for Bach, a “divine art,” not a worldly profession or attainment. Neither were the God-given flower remedies to be used for commercial indulgence and coveted profit for the few but to heal the many freely.
His whole life had been one of service and of giving.
This final thought from British philosopher, James Allen, sums up the whole of Dr. Edward Bach’s gentle and sweet, selfless life. Both Allen and Bach, from a mystical perspective, were Initiates or Disciples who walked the Sainted Way, and each attained the Spiritual Summit on the High Mountain of Cosmic Consciousness. Theirs were not lives centered on personal interests or gratifications but ones of far-reaching effect in the service of Universal Purposes. Allen died suddenly at the age of 48, and Bach, at age 50, slipped from this life in his peace-filled sleep, their Holy Orders fulfilled. I believe they graduated to the wider sphere of full Mastership, “the triumphant master of the field,” as Allen describes this level of consciousness. Their healing presences and illumined legacies have brightened the Path of Goodness and Truth for those of us who follow, in our own genuine capacity, with earnest devotion, patience, and serenity of mind and heart:
The spiritual master said to his apt and earnest pupil
1. All biographical data about Bach’s life and quotes by Nora Weeks are from this volume: Nora Weeks. 1979. The Medical Discoveries of Edward Bach, Physician. Keats Publishing, Inc., New Canaan, CT.
2. Collected Writings of Edward Bach. 1987. Bach Educational Programme, Hereford, Great Britain. Specifically from “Free Thyself,” page 98-99.
3. Nora Weeks. The Medical Discoveries of Edward Bach, Physician. op. cit., pages 26-27.
4. Collected Writings of Edward Bach. Specifically from “Twelve Healers,” op. cit., page 77-81.
5. Edward Bach. 1986. Heal Thyself. The C. W. Daniel Company Limited, Essex, England.
6. Collected Writings of Edward Bach. Specifically from “Ye Suffer From Yourselves,” op. cit., page 117.
7. Nora Weeks. The Medical Discoveries of Edward Bach, Physician. op. cit.
10. James Allen. 2004. The Wisdom of James Allen III. Laurel Creel Press, San Diego, CA. Quote from section titled “Transcendence,” page 283-4.
Text © by Zane Maser, 2012. Photo © by Chris Maser, 2012. All rights reserved worldwide.
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