But how does this apply to health and medicine? Surely we are simply progressing with our knowledge and ability to fight disease, pain, infirmity and even cheat death?
Well, I am sorry to disappoint you, but medicine is not immune (pun intended) from our changing world and the culture that reflects it. So in this brief post I would just like to raise some issues for consideration in the way you go about managing your health and wellbeing.
Our view of health is governed by scientific medicine. Whilst this has been accepted as the gold standard in the West, it is only of 300 odd years duration and is still not the norm in many – most – other cultures in the world.
Modern medicine has excluded anything beyond the scientific and measurable. What is uncomfortably outside is put into the field of psychology with the attempts being to rationalise this as well by turning the “wisdom of the soul” (the literal meaning of the word psychology) into something scientific and rational.
Medicine excludes anything unmeasurable. The notion of anything subtle, energetic or even related to the ‘soul’ is ignored, or put into the scientific WPB… or assigned to New Age woolly thinking.
From a health perspective, we live in a ‘death cult’. Our directions and decisions are often made around the fear of death (or pain, infirmity or disease). If we are “soul less” as a culture, then any contact with immortality is lost and we would then rightly fear death.
We still treat infection as the enemy. In spite of the fact that we need bugs to live, not least in our guts where they take up over a kilogram of presence, our relationship with the animated world is adversarial and combative.
What if we formed a different relationship beyond the animal kingdom to those living creatures we cannot routinely see, and hence fear? Could we begin to see how they assist in our health – even if they make us ill for a time – and form a different relationship with them?
Have we got the wrong model for cancer? Our approach is also adversarial here, and our success remarkably limited, even depressing in the face of an increasing incidence not attributable to increased ageing or genetic change. Shouldn’t we, like with infection, be looking at different positions to gain further insights?
Our general philosophy is toward curing, and not healing. We want to be free of symptoms; fearing disease and death, when these very symptoms may be signs of a healing process that we need to cooperate with and not fight against.
We put our trust in the health professions as we do our politicians. We may complain, but we still accept their doctrines because we are frightened not to. Are we being emotionally blackmailed?
And is it as simple as taking back control in our health and the decision-making that surrounds it? Given that empowerment is a key component of any healing process, shouldn’t this be encouraged? Why are we only given restricted information in contentious areas such as vaccination and the use – and misuse – of pharmaceuticals?
Do we need to grow up as a culture? Is this really what the rapidly changing world is really about? Are we searching for a more soulful existence that reconnects with life, nature and the universe? Are the forces that act against this ceasing to gain our trust because they are part of what must pass away in this changing world?
When are we going to take the key initiatory events of life – birth, sex and death – away from the religious and medical custodians that treat them with fear?
So many questions… but that is the nature of the transition we are in. We know we are changing, but we don’t as yet know what to or how we will become. That is both fearful, but also exciting. It is best we don’t let our fears get the better of us.
And this applies to our health, first and foremost. It is time to ask questions, even if they are presently rhetorical? My view has always been to ask questions about what doesn’t “fit” in the field of health and medicine that we currently have.
The list is growing…