About Dr. Steve

Steven E. Hodes, M.D. is a board certified gastroenterologist with over 25 years private practice based in Edison and Old Bridge New Jersey. He also has a degree in Religious Studies. In addition to his medical practice, he has devoted himself to speaking and writing about metaphysics and healing, with an eye toward helping people regain their health, strength and the ability to explore life’s challenges from as more spiritual perspective.

His articles have been published in dozens of healing-oriented magazines such as Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, International Journal of Healing and Caring, Well Being Journal, Alternatives Magazine, Whole Living Journal, In Light Times, Of Spirit, Spirit Crossing, Soulful Living, Pathways Within, Inspiration Line, Sure Woman and many others. You can visit him at his blog, Physician to Meta-Physician, at www.meta-md.com.

This fall, he begins his fourth year of teaching at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, New Jersey. This year his Contemporary Metaphysics I will be followed by a new course, Contemporary Metaphysics II which will delve into various aspects of healing. He also lectures for the 92nd Street Y.

Mission Statement

The mission of Physician to Meta-Physician is to assimilate the fascinating and compelling information I have acquired during my personal metaphysical journey and apply it to a deeper understanding of healing and share it with others who are called to take this journey with me.

In this sense, I transcend the traditional role of physician – which is defined by my training and education — and broaden to the role of Meta-Physician, which includes all aspects of the unity of body, mind and spirit.

I will endeavor to expand the notion of healing beyond that of merely the physical body to include an understanding of humanity’s basic reason for being:  to evolve, to grow, to learn, to correct and to repair ourselves in mind and spirit. Such an undertaking necessitates the awareness that one’s own destiny is inextricably tied to that of all other beings and the planet itself.

The conquest of love over fear is a worthy healing mission that we can pursue together, as well.

Welcome!

Join me on this healing journey of inquiry.

I am a physician by training and profession, a gastroenterologist to be precise. I am a metaphysician by nature.

By dictionary definition, "metaphysics" is, more precisely, that branch of philosophy which endeavors to explore the nature of reality. In that sense, aren’t we all metaphysicians? We cannot help but ponder Life’s deeper questions: Is their a greater purpose to our existence? Is there an afterlife? Do we have souls? Do they persist after bodily death? Why is life so hard sometimes?

To my way of thinking, such questioning is basic to our human consciousness. Another area that is integral to our human experience is that of healing. Don’t we all seek insights into our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being and that of our loved ones? Many of us hunger to know more about our human relationships … about how our bodies work, how illness occurs, how healing can happen, how the mind and our spiritual nature work. These are the subjects we will explore together here.

I welcome your comments on my postings and urge you to enter the inquiry by sending your questions and topics to my column, Ask Dr. Steve.

Good Journey, Dr. Steven E. Hodes

"True delight is in the finding out rather than in the knowing." – Isaac Asimov

THE CARETAKER SYNDROME & Nonattachment

The Caretaker Syndrome is usually associated with an individual emotionally attached to a loved-one dying from some form of dementia.  They are often unaware of how natural but ultimately dangerous this link is to their own health. 

 There is a difficult balance which needs to be achieved when helping a loved-one through these enormously stressful  periods in the lives of both involved.  The natural tendency is to devote every ounce of physical and emotional energy into their well-being. 

The problem, however, is that the Caretaker risks their own health. I've seen first hand, with family, friends and patients, the devastating consequences of such deep emotional attachments.  The Caretaker can, and often does, become physical sick.  Death is not unheard of.  Ultimately the Caretaker is unable to be there for their loved-one.  The consequences can be a disaster for all concerned. 

I am drawn once again to the analogy of the air line industry.  On every flight the attendant goes through the ritual of the oxygen masks being deployed.  They ALWAYS emphasize the need to place the mask on yourself first.  Only then can you help those with you. 

Placing the mask on yourself is not an act of selfishness.  The goal is to be able to help others.  The Caretaker should  heed this advice.  It is not an act of selfishness to attend to their own physical and emotional needs.  That may require an awareness of the notion of Nonattachmenet. 

I have previously written about the difference between Attachment, Nonattachment and Detachment.  We should endeavor to do everything we can to assist our loved-one's through their personal journey.  We should remind ourselves, however, that their journey is unique to them.  Every individual has their own.  No matter how desperately we choose to think otherwise. 

Nonattachment means that we do everything in the present moment to help them on their journey.  We need to be nonattached to the outcome.  As strange as this may sound at first I believe it is absolutely necessary. 

Much of our personal suffering is derived from worry about outcomes.  Will our loved-ones suffer and die?  Will our business succeed or fail?  Will our children be there for us when we need assistance?  Will they be content in their own lives?  What about grandchildren, friends ?  Our minds keep us enslaved within a wall of worry. 

 In sense we are always Caretakers for someone or something.  We need to be mindful of the dangers inherent in this state of being. 

 Ironically the mental state of Nonattachment will not manifest itself in the physical world by behavior that is in anyway different from our attached Caretaker state of being.  From the perspective of anyone viewing us or our actions we will appear exactly the same.  Our actions are unchanged.  We still are present to interact to intervene to champion the cause of our loved-one.  The "only" change is from within our minds.  Yet that "only" is "everything".   It allows us to wear our oxygen masks while we assist our loved-ones who don't have theirs.

 Nonattachment to outcome may allow us to find serenity in the present moment and to be whole and well enough to help those we love.