The focus of the movie is to repair the split between mind and body and its consequences on our health, particularly on cancer survival.
Turn Off Cancer. Turn On Life is structured in 9 chapters that follow the same narrative that the myth of Inanna *********a beautiful 4000 years old Mesopotamian myth, that maps out beautifully the journey of transformation many cancer patients go through.
1 – The Old and the New Medicine
Lucid explanation of the fundamental principles of quantum physics, how information shapes matter, laying the groundwork for a mind-expanding look at how the Inanna’s Descent Mythhealth of the body is related to mental health, consciousness and creativity.
The protagonists of the main discoveries and fathers of the new fields of psychoneuroimmunology, epigenetics, and contemplative neuroscience share with us their discoveries and the profound changes that those discoveries have produced in the medical paradigm. Mainstream medicine is now starting to catch up with those facts.
2 – The Diagnostic
Inanna hears her twin sister Ereshkigal complaining in the underworld and descends to find out.
The diagnostic opens a hole underneath our feet and we fall into hell.
Cancer robs us of our world as we knew it, nothing will be the same again.
Inanna doesn’t know that there other laws in the underworld.
She has to abandon at each gate one of her symbols of power in the upper world.
The modern patient suffers a progressive loss of everything known, identity, certainty, dignity, authority, strength, prestige, looks, independence, relationships, power, money, control, joy, all she had.
3 – Descend to the Underworld
After resisting in many ways and often for many years (with TV, work, addictions, distractions of all kinds…) the cancer diagnostic forces us to look underneath the surface, to descend to find out.
The mask, the persona, the image that protects me, falls and I listen to what suffers deep inside.
We descend to visit what has being wounded, refused, devalued, repressed, suppressed , buried; making friends again with what’s crazy, mad, angry, not social , not accepted, what is hidden, what had to be sacrificed to succeed in the outer world…
4 – Death and Rebirth
Death is a forbidding topic, nobody mentions it. We waste our lives trying not to die instead of living.
Cancer robs us the comfortable innocence, suddenly we discover the difficult to swallow truth that we are mortal, it puts us at the mercy of forces beyond our control.
Before cancer we feel we are safe, immortal. After cancer, we know we are not.
Ereshkigal, Inanna’s twin dark sister, cannot forgive so much abandonment and kills unconscious Inanna with a look from her rageful eyes.
Often end of life issues are not faced until we are forced to. But if we make peace with that unavoidable part of life, and expand our awareness to include this ending space, we can experience death as a powerful ally in our lives.
Many things have to die literally and figuratively speaking, lots of elements that were part of what produced the illness have to die if we want to live: toxic relationship, toxic behaviours , ill habits, toxic ways of thinking and feeling, in order to give birth to the new person that can hold health in the body and mind.
5 – Adventures in the Underworld
We start to hear what suffers underneath the everyday shiny surface of things. Often we don’t listen our needs for meaning, purpose, creativity, intimacy, attention, solitude, authentic expression, etc. We lead lives of quiet desperation that deplete the immune system, the life force in the body.
The idea of illness as the soul screaming to be heard. We start a journey into the underworld to see what is there complaining, unhappy and also to look for our potential not actualized, underdeveloped, our untouched talents, our broken dreams, our abandoned emotions.
We find here all that we have ignored, all that is hidden, all we have dismissed, all that was labelled as unacceptable or had to be renounced to, what had to be left behind in order to comply to the upper world rules.
6 – Let Love Heal You
Love has been found to be the most powerful healing factor in all studies in medicine.
Three days passed and Inanna is not coming back . Ninshubur, her friend, gets worried. After visiting many Gods, only Enki, god of wisdom and compassion, listens to Ninshubur and makes two small creatures from the dirt of the fingernails that can pass through all the gaps and find Inanna dead and Ereshkigal complaining of pain as usual.
This two small creatures don’t pretend to solve or save or change anything, they simply echo back all the screams of Ereshkigal, they simply are witness, testify, repeat back, listen to Ereshkigal´s pain. This listening, little by little, transforms her resentment for having being abandoned into compassion and generosity, so much so that she allows Inanna to return to life .
We all have a light and dark side. It is easy to identify with Inanna, the bright, beautiful powerful part of ourselves and we all dismiss poor Ereshkigal, that is underdeveloped and rageful, the shadow!
After listening without judgement, our shadow part can somehow ascend to consciousness.
We have to surround ourselves of a powerful support team, one person or many, that can reflect back to us our intrinsic worth that includes our darkness.
When we put in communication all this parts of our psyche and our body, when all of us hears the message “YOU MATTER”, this effort makes sense, we are well on our way to wholeness.
7 – Train the Mind to Heal
Our minds are powerful tools, we can use their immense untapped power for the creation of a new healthy and joyful life and we will discover that the mind can be as effective as surgery, prescriptions and painkillers, and that in order to be able to do that, we have to harness the power of the unconscious mind that speaks through the body and access a deeper layer of unconscious beliefs that were introduced there very early on in our life .
8- Lessons from survivors
We have to look at survivors for the qualities and characteristics that allowed them to overcome all the obstacles and adversity and learn from them how to be reborn out of the ashes, out of the cadaver of what we were into a life that we can claim our own.
The ascend back to Life, starts when we start looking into the face of truth: do we want to live?, why we want to live?, and, how we want to live?.
We need to start distinguishing what is important and what is not, what kills our body and what kills our soul.
So we inquire into what works, into what is still alive, what is blocked in the past, how can we do more and more of what brings life and less and less of what brings death.
Sometimes only when our life is at stake we dare to finish with what is dysfunctional, with what dries up our soul, we dare to break with selfish friends, destructive behaviour, abusive bosses or activities that are meaningless.
We can begin by saying no to what depletes us and start cultivating what serves life. We take action and stop what empties us, what robs us of our intuition, lots of lies that don’t allow us to grow, that weakens us, that get us sick, and we learn to ask for what we need, and to receive it.
9- Creating a new life
In this journey we had faced an illness that can kill us, pain, treatments, uncertainty, anguish…
One step at a time, choice after choice we create our new life, we let go of the burden of inauthentic life, we reconnect with personal meaning.
Sustained healing, and remission requires to find out what kind of life will make me happy, what will make me wake up in the morning with desire to live, what gives me joy, peace, harmony. What is unique about me?, What’s true for me?, What work fulfils me? How am I going to feed my soul today?, How am I going to make things more beautiful?, Am I going to sing today?, What’s my song?.
Growth of the soul and healing begins facing the truth, being oneself. We are not statistics. Each treatment is different, always facing the unknown and the fear, only a wise part deep inside knows what is good for us.
This descend leaves marks, traces, scar tissue, loss. And also overcoming all this tasks give us strengths we didn’t know we had. This journey deepens our love and compassion, deepens our understanding of life and death.
After we had recovered the instincts, the will to live and reignite the enthusiasm, the passion, the truth of who we are, all creativity and generativity buried at the roots, in the dark, comes back to the surface, we have the motivation, we appreciate ourselves, we know we matter. We start cultivating our talents, we recover our broken dreams, we have the courage to be ourselves and do our thing and we can also cartography the journey for others , we can be a model and an inspiration, we bring hope , we have a message for the ones that are in the same situation.
The illness awakens us to the beauty of being alive.
For the soul the illness is an initiation, into the mysteries of life and death.
What’s the future of medicine? We offer a profoundly optimistic vision of the breakdowns now occurring, which are clearing space for a practice of medicine that is better for the patient, healthier for the practitioner, and even more economical..