I believe that medicine’s potential is much more than the version we see in the world today. A doctor should be an educator with the goal of bringing patients to a place of deeper understanding of who they are in the world. To me, medicine is ultimately about self-empowerment through self-knowledge and growth.
Mythologically and symbolically the crossroads are considered to be very important sites. It is a place where many significant things take place. More on that later.
First, a quick check in on some numbers, etc:
COVID headlines and round up
News from the week:
In Mass the 7-day average for the entire state remains in the 500 cases per day range.
Berkshires cases dropped further to 23 cases per day average over the last week. Residents are experimenting with mask-free public outings. Nice to see our happy, shining faces!
US as a whole is experiencing 35,000 cases per day, less than 5 percent of its peak numbers (800 K daily) but 3x higher than the lowest numbers (11K) from July of 2021.
The CDC was not sharing much of the data it collected on pandemic measures, including information on vaccine boosters, hospitalizations, and wastewater analysis. That’s according to a report last month in the New York Times, reported on widely elsewhere. Fears over misinterpretation of the data were cited as the reason. It’s true, it seems we are in a time when two different groups of scientists could look at the same data set and draw different conclusions. We need more internal bias detecting compasses I think.
Covid heart. We are just scratching the surface and learning more. “In the year after contracting COVID-19, patients are at an increased risk for developing 20 cardiac problems, a new study found. Those problems include stroke, heart attack, myocarditis and irregular heart rhythms, according to the study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.” Don’t fret too heavily because 97% didn’t have issues, and the study was in one particular population. However, the concerns are real and is why after an infection I recommend low intensity activity and a careful convalescence (good diet, etc) period lasting 1 month. Of note, this study was before vaccination.
We as a collective group (mankind) are at a crossroad, and I refer not just to the post-Omicron peak period. Let me explain.
Symbolically, the crossroads refer to a location where two separate realms touch. The crossroads is the stepping off place, a place literally “neither here nor there”.
As one essayist pined, “crossroads always signify choice. Choices can be scary, but they are also liberating. The funny thing about crossroads is they represent both all things unknown and 100% pure potential.The question of the crossroad is: ‘in what direction shall we navigate our power?’
Being in a position of power requires taking a stand for what we believe, even when we do not know what we will encounter upon the road we have chosen.”A famous hiker once described his crossroads experience.
He described how the two paths appear quite similar at first glance. Both are enticing in their own way, both seem equally valid. The somewhat subtle difference is that one is less trodden. A decision is needed. It’s a critical decision. The crossroad reality: you get one choice. And our deliberation is meaningful.
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
Today’s world presents a crossroads for all of humanity. It’s a threshold of sorts. The pandemic has amplified this fact.
What’s needed is to find the right standpoint, the right orientation.
Here is a description of the crossroads as I study it.
One one hand we have what is called the transhumanist perspective which sees that the human being is becoming more and more enmeshed with technology. Our machine nature is emphasized. We become more and more mechanical. The idea of a soul and spirit are a thing of the past, as is the idea of freedom. The human is “hackable”. We are isolated from the cosmos and must rely on technology for solutions.
It’s a definite path that we see laid out in front of us.
Countering this is the thought that the earth was, is and always will be integrated into the meaningful movements of intentional cosmic order. Nothing is broken here. Not easy, but not broken. We have the exact conditions we need for our development.
“We are great and powerful spiritual beings with dignity, direction and purpose.“
Our highest end is to love selflessly. We are here to weave love onto this plane. All else pales in comparison. Technology is welcome and needed but societal order should be build out of a humanistic impulse which acknowledges our spiritual capacities.
“The heart is the key of the world and of life.
We live in our helpless condition in order to love and be obliged to others.
Through imperfection, we become ripe for the influence of others and this outside influence is the aim.
In illness we must be helped by others and only others can help us.
From this point of view, Christ surely is the key of the world.”
Novalis writes that not in an exclusionary way. Christ here represents a healthy, harmonious viewpoint which realizes solutions that come from a philosophy of recognition of our whole selves, material and spiritual.
Our main tool is to go against the grain and develop the capacity to think for ourselves and to be able to trust in our own ability to be the source of answers.
The primary relationship is with ourselves. That is a key.
So, with that in mind, take good care of yourself today!