CIHS - The Mind, Body, and Spirit I Needed for Medical School
by Jesse Kipperman
In 2007 I was barely getting by at the University of California Santa Cruz with low grades and a lousy attitude about the education system. I believe myself and many others are shuffled through a well-established system starting early on being told we need to achieve high honors, volunteer, and engage in extracurricular activities to be competitive for college, so that one day we can be "successful". But this success is often shaved through the lens of a culture that can sometimes be quite misguided. My soul felt this at the time but my mind was unable to understand what I was going through.
Lacking perspective and clarity at that time I am lucky that I at least obtained my bachelor's degree in neuroscience and behavior, but I almost decided to drop out completely. I was able to begin working with children on the autism spectrum because of this degree and began to feel fulfillment but I still felt something lacking in my life. Without really knowing what that was I considered the idea of going back to school. But after many weeks of endless searching for schools and programs, nothing felt quite right. That was until I found and visited the California Institute of Human Science.
I could tell there was something special being offered at CIHS and will never forget the impact Dr. Motoyama's presidential address had on me as I read it. I thought, "This is it. This guy gets it, and I want to learn from him." I could also tell that I would be welcomed, not just as another student among the masses at a large university but as a part of the community. So taking a small leap of faith I enrolled and moved to Encinitas to be closer to this supportive community. My classes began to teach me that part of what I had been lacking in undergraduate school was balance.
Western civilization has put so much emphasis on knowledge, facts, and scientific rigor. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, I believe it to be detrimental in some cases if one cannot see the bigger picture. Even now in my education as a student doctor, I see far too many of my colleagues and even some professors adhering too strongly to statistics, or a notion that if a healing modality hasn't been published and proven through a double blinded control study, then it's worthless.
Going to CIHS helped to open my mind and body, but it also helped me to get in touch with spirit. It helped me to understand that just because we may not know why something works, that doesn't mean we have to shy away from it and not use it as a technique or healing modality. Spirit has an enormous role to play in our healing. This mentality is part of what drew me towards an osteopathic medical school. I believe many of the osteopathic tenets fall closely in line to this approach and adhere to treating the patient as a whole; mind, body, and spirit included.
The science in medical school is bafflingly difficult. And frankly I have doubted whether I could survive at times. However, it's been my vision of how I will combine this information with my background in integral healing from CIHS that keeps the fire lit beneath me. It's been the knowledge that behind every bone, syndrome, and endless biochemical reaction I've had to tirelessly memorize lies more than just that. There lies spirit, emotion, beauty in creation, and a mystery that allows for infinite healing potential yet to be tapped in to.
CIHS truly gave me a chance to get back onto my feet and become motivated to learn again. Not just because of what I fantasized it may become one day, or the job I may get, but because it truly interested me. I began to appreciate how fortunate I was to have the opportunity to learn instead of feeling forced to. CIHS taught me to believe in myself and my own intuition, and to spread this confidence to other healers which I am surrounded by now. While providing me with a physical degree that was necessary for my admittance, perhaps equally as important, CIHS provided me with the time and guidance to figure out my dreams, and then the support to nurture, grow, and follow them.
The level of consciousness, awareness and openness at CIHS is truly remarkable and I feel incredibly fortunate to have found it. I am truly grateful for those that have paved the way and helped me to foster this perspective. It helped me to gain new light on myself, the world, existence, and fellow mankind which has allowed me to heal with love, compassion, and spirit. I look forward to continuing to foster this approach and contribute back to my community by keeping this very special flame alive. To quote Motoyama, I truly believe CIHS to be the place to "educate and nurture the kind of people who have deep insight into the nature of things and arm them with the great power of an education that can make a difference in the real world."