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.
Cases remain in the 30 per day in the county range and around 100,000- 110,000 per day in the country. Pretty similar to last week. The majority of cases are the new sub-variant. Don’t forget, Omicron doesn’t have affinity for the lungs. Be reassured by that. Omicron is consistently reminding us that this is a different disease from early variants. It’s a robust inflammation, but not nearly as lethal.
A little more on fear and freedom
Last week we talked about how fear and pain (and other symptoms) are so often closely linked. And, in fact, in many cases fear is the cause of many bodily symptoms.
I present today how a certain pervasive approach to our very nature needs to be addressed to navigate our current age optimally.
Metaphor matters because it creates expectations.
It’s not hard to find Western culture’s predominant metaphor for the human body: a magnificent machine made out of flesh and bones.
Metaphors orient us. They give us a point of reference. However, there are such things are bad metaphors. Man as a machine doesn’t get us all the way to where we need to go.
I personally don’t subscribe to this particular metaphor, and I think it eventually leads to a disorientation. It’s limited. It’s misleading. It’s not the whole picture at all. It’s about as robust of an idea as is moving civilzation underground and never seeing the sun. A whole side of us is denied.
Let’s take a closer look.
This metaphor is everywhere, from the university classrooms to the laboratories, from hospitals to the clinic exam rooms. You know it well. It is pervasive. Our brains are hard drives. The heart is a pump. Food is fuel. Sleep fills up our battery. Like a car, you should get your check up every year.
Our divine nature is quite uncomfortable with these thoughts.
Let’s continue. The machine breaks down if you’re unfortunate. The job of the doctor is to patch it up, maybe replace something over here, unclog something over there.
Sound about right?
Our human story is much bigger than this, and the bigger story suffers with a small view of our existence. Healing and transformation is reduced to shop work.
The mechanistic model will let us down. It already does. Our inner should life is not nourished by it.
If we can’t see the ways in which we go beyond a machine those aspects of us won’t flower.
We are on the brink of the merger of man and machine — in society and in our individual bodies. The body-as-machine philosophy invites this merger without reservation or adjustment. The one flows right into the other. If we are a machine, let’s upgrade.
Most insiders say an automated workforce is already possible: online schooling, robot chefs, robot truckers, robot laborers. The humans just have to be brought up to speed. Culture just has to be led to the adjustment.
Humans are going to have machine upgrades presented to us and applied to us. Our handheld devices are considered “peripheral brains.” Technology will ask why we should put up with having to carry something around, something we can misplace? Why not integrate it? This is how technology advances us.
I don’t think this needs to be resisted or can be stopped. It’s scary, but the solution is not to change the outer course as much as it is to find the fullest inner stance. We need to navigate the machine age smartly, in a way that recognizes our full stature. Technology will fortify the picture we have of ourselves, whatever it is. We need to work with the full picture.
Much more than machine
The vast majority of us have an orientation to a hidden story of the universe beyond what we grasp of the world immediately, but we also default to the thoughts inherent in the machine model of the human being. It’s not so easy to work out how spirit and matter are at work in the human body.
We can’t be passive and get there.
The opposite of the machine model is the view that the human body houses the spirit. Life and consciousness aren’t merely special phenomena of the cells but rather separate phenomena which co-exist with and inform the cell. They belong to different worlds than the one immediately presented to us.
It’s an acknowledgement of the intangible. Adherents to this philosophy have to be able to make room for the mystery. There’s no need to account for everything with cellular phenomena, from the bottom up. Show me a scientist who says they understand the origin and nature of life and consciousness. You can’t. The intellect can’t grasp it. So it reduces it to something it can grasp.
If we are going to automate society and change the nature of what we as humans do, and it appears we are, we need to penetrate into our true nature so we don’t abandon it in the process. We need a different type of thinking.
With the humanist approach we seek to navigate the technological age while keeping our integrity. Last week we talked about how liberation is tied closely to calming our fear. I am arguing that a limited model like the body-as-a-machine model will lead to nowhere else but fear. And the truest eradication of fear is to realize our wholeness.
Our separateness is our starting point. Separate and small (and machine-like) is our birth rite. Don’t settle there. We have to work to remember our wholeness, to break out of the machine model. It’s the work of our lives. What do we do to remember every day or help other people remember? Any kindness or warm act for another is certainly a step in the right direction. Start somewhere. Know you aren’t a hackable machine. Start by resisting that. Live in acknowledgement of the mystery. Fear acts as a reminder. Remember your full stature: your spiritual nature, your citizenship of the whole universe. Remember you don’t have to control everything. Move with what presents itself to you. Let the world express itself to you. Learn its language.
This fuller view of us wraps us and holds us and reassures us. It nourishes us. It’s like being back home. In my view, it is the archetypal mother’s embrace. It’s the best medicine.