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.
I thought it would be good to explore coming unhinged in this edition. We can call it the chaos edition.
From the Mailbag (unhinged edition)
Thanks for your feedback, questions, and suggestions. Here’s a (fictitious) note from the mailbag I thought you’d like very much. It comes from Jessika in Stockholm.
“Berkshire Whole Health, can I use my cell phone in the Metaverse?”
Good question, Jessika. A related question is — does the Metaverse have a Metaverse? Can you put on a virtual virtual reality headset in the Metaverse? If not I don’t know if I want to go to the Metaverse because I couldn’t stand living somewhere that didn’t have access to the Metaverse, even if we are talking about the Metaverse itself.
If you pay attention you’re hearing about Monkeypox and politics this week and not much about Omicron BA.5 or Covid-19. That’s because nothing has changed: still about 120k cases a day nationally, still about 30 cases a day in the county. Is no one drawn to the headline, “Cases haven’t changed at all. Maybe BA.5 isn’t so bad”? However, that’s what is happening. I think that’s big news. Why do we give so much airtime to the scary stuff?
I have given a lot of thought to fear in journalism, in medicine, in community, all over the earth. It’s not just we get fed it so we eat it. We are not babies. And it’s not just that the journalists don’t publish the good news. We say we want it, but we don’t read it when it comes.
We click on the fear based stuff. We the consumers are a big part of this dance routine. Why would we do that? It’s like picking a scary clown for a dance partner.
I think I know why we pay so much closer attention when we feel threatened?
Should I tell you why we click at the fear-based stuff? The answer is not related to primitive, self-preservation either. It doesn’t include stories about saber tooth tigers. Ready for me to tell you?
Ok fine. We are attracted to those things because they propagate the biggest lie of our existence — that we are separate and that’s our whole story. That lie is so strongly imbedded across the whole world that when we are fed a thought that is confirmatory to the separateness story it has a resonance with us. When you’re separate of course you’re fearful. Of course death and illness are unbearable.
Being stuck in the separateness story is the sign of the times. Our system of medicine is even built up around separateness. It’s connected with fear and chaos. We have models of illness where we are being attacked by foreign entities. The model says resources are scarce. Lock your door.
The problem is it’s not our whole truth. As we learn more we find the human body is not an island. It is a symbiotic ecosystem teeming with all sorts of life we used to never know was in us, and it’s not just in the gut. We formally just found out only 15 years ago that bugs aren’t bad, they actually are us.
Isolating individual components in nature causes chaos to increase. The more complex the system the more that chaos signal diminishes. Mass shootings take on a different light in this context. How many stories of shooters depict a marginalized person, separate from community? Chaos. We can’t be lopsided and succeed.
On one hand we sit alone in the center of our conscious awareness facing the peripheral world and receiving input from far and wide. We feel alone and learn about chaos.
This needs its counterpart.
Looking inward our consciousness works in a system where it is the periphery. It surrounds an inner point which also is a source of vast information. We can see that inner point is connected with our intuitive knowledge. You thought the other information pole was massive?! Fear disappears in the larger system. It’s here where we remember ourselves. Connection abounds.
Our separateness orientation is not unwelcome — it just needs to be remembered in context of the the fuller system.
We can rhythmically alternate between the two. We know this approach: like day and night, like in breath, out breath. Then we are whole. “I give thanks to God when I am pressed, and I give thanks to God when I have needed rest.”
My message: don’t settle for fear. Meditate that you are at the center, conscious of the periphery. Then that you are the periphery, conscious of the center.
Now imagine this headline:
“Cases haven’t changed. The way you view the world is lopsided. You in opposition to the world is chaotic. Take steps every day, every hour to live closer to your wholeness. Fear nothing.”