To Publish or Not to Publish?

That is the question. It’s particularly salient for me, as my own editor and publisher of this site. I’m wanting to make good use of my precious time and energy, and have bit into a REALLY BIG project — trying to share a worldview about health and healing that’s profoundly different from our modern “knowledge.” While modern scientific knowledge concerning health and healing appeals convincingly to the naïve perspectives of our personalities, it isn’t actually TRUE. As Shakespeare wrote so eloquently (Hamlet Act 1, Scene 5):

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy (or modern science!).

Relative to human health, there are the awesome mysteries and magic of the embodied spirit. Yet, where there is awesome power, many experience fear. How will people respond to my lancing – like a picador – the “sacred cow” of modern medical science? Many people place their faith in the truths of science as profoundly as many generations of our ancestors invested theirs in religion. Fundamental challenges to the authority of socially dominant paradigms have not been welcomed — ask Galileo or Socrates! Yet, the growth of human knowledge depend on such challenges.

The conceptual power of modern scientific thought is exactly what renders it incomplete for the study of human health and disease. The wondrous conceptual frameworks of modern science enhance our investigations of those aspects of human life that exhibit uniform physical laws, yet they fail to help us facilitate the individual potential to heal. The predictive power of modern science belies the individual possibilities of the embodied spirit. Can we learn to enhance the magic of individual healing? The modern consumption-based approach to health care doesn’t account for this basic truth:

Health and healing emerge from individuals who live in alignment with their beings; they are NOT consumer goods that can be procured from the outside.

We can’t control healing, but we can learn to stimulate and facilitate it. Are modern people willing to hear the basic truth that we can’t externally control such a fundamental aspect of human life as our health? Modern medical technologies leap forward in their ability to control acute crises, but ailing patients remain subject to the natural progression of most diseases. Are we willing to return our faith to efforts focused on enhancing the embodied spirit’s healing process, rather than simply trying to control the expression of distress?

Share

Comments

  1. Ride on Picador! Thanks for the courage to be one of the first in the ring with the bull. Is there a pun in there? The similiar Shakespeare line I've heard is, “there's more to heaven on earth than meets the eye, and the approval of the AMA”!

    Just this past week I spoke to a Rotary group in my community. There were roughly 50 in attendance, and the topic was, “what is a symptom”? My general impression was that the ideas of Classical Chinese Mediciine (CCM) are very novel to a lot of people in this society. We are all indoctrinated/enculturated from a very young age into the dominant medical paradigm of our culture – 'Western Medicine' (WM).

    Without your work in elucidating the accumulated knowledge and clinical experience of CCM for those wanting/needing something other than the disease management approach of WM there's no other perceived option even on the radar screen. Not to mention the knee jerk reaction of most in our society to conceive physical reality from the same perspective of WM. Not to mention the seemingly inborn resistance to change and avoidance of risk.

    So what's at risk for staying the course? Here's a quick look at some of the numbers indicating how well we're doing with the current WM model (this from: http://www.aspeninstitute.org/policy-work/healt… ) [NOTE: please follow link above to see footnotes referenced here].

    “Individuals are living longer but they are not necessarily living well. The focus on increasing lifespan to the detriment of the quality of that life has resulted in great disparities in the amount of time, effort, and resources devoted to treating late disease rather than early health improvement.

    Ten to twelve percent of all United States health care spending, and 27% of all Medicare spending, is devoted to treatment of people in their last year of life.1

    Up to 30% of Medicare spending for people during their last two years of life is unnecessary and does nothing to improve their health.2

    In 2003, the cost of treating seven common chronic diseases – cancers, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, mental, disorders, and pulmonary conditions – equaled $277 billion.3 That same year, these diseases attributed to over $1 trillion of lost productivity due to missed days and lower worker productivity.4

    In 2007, the absenteeism rate was 2.3%, costing some large employers $760,000 a year in direct payroll, a number that doesn’t take into account the additional costs of lower employee productivity5

    Over the past decade, researchers have increasingly focused on identifying factors that could lead to living healthier lives, including income, education, employment, insurance status, diet, exercise, and geographic location. The Public Agenda for the Alliance for Aging Research and the American Federation for Aging Research found that there has been an increased emphasis on keeping people productive longer, as opposed to simply prolonging their lives.6

    Reforms to our healthcare system should promote this emerging view on health.

    Emphasizing health span over life span will result in better long-term health outcomes in the United States. Indeed, the increasing life expectancy and decreasing rates of disability among today’s elderly can be directly attributed to the healthier childhoods of successive generations, a trend that can continue if health span is increasingly emphasized. We should combine prevention, innovation, and technology to improve the long-term health in the nation”.

    For an individual or society to heed the above advice, “We should combine prevention, innovation, and technology to improve the long-term health in the nation” one/many need all viable options, 'on the table'. Then we'll be able to identify our willingness to make a choice.

    Will we continue to appease that aspecct of our selves that derives the benefit of a false sense of security from a WM model that isn't addressing the real problem of disease reversal? OR will we look to the science, and perennial wisdom of medical models (such as CCM) that have been successfully reversing disease and innovating ways to understand that, 'NATURAL' process for thousands of years.

    A choice that is tantamount to diving into the friendly mystery that is this very LIFE we are living. A choice that is in itself foundational to HEALING or MOVING TOWARDS WHOLENESS.

    Just my two cents…

    Bill Wright.

    • And, a wonderful two cents they are! I think the idea of "health span" is particularly important. The quality of a person's life is far more important than the quantity, especially as one declines. Yet, the path of stimulating healing can be perilous and personally challenging, for both patients and practitioners. It requires carefully discriminating changes the embodied spirit knows are vital for preserving life, but the personality resists. It demands willingness, as it realizes how empty willfulness can be. Are patients and practitioners willing to make contact with their humanity, take the time, focus their attention, and join their efforts to explore the path of healing?

Speak Your Mind

*