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 could write to you today about COVID and the Delta variant.
I could write about how despite the flurry of research surrounding the variants “there is so much we don’t know about these variants on every level. We are so in the dark.” (Nevan Krogan, a molecular biologist at the University of California, San Francisco.)
I could define a variant for you and teach you that a small amount of COVID testing takes a further step to analyze the RNA sequence in the SARS COV 2 virus leading to a positive test, and when that testing starts to see one particular sequence emerge as the dominant sequence it implies that sequence codes for a viral capsule that somehow provides an advantage.
I could write about the assumptions leading to these estimates of increased transmissibility. I could share with you the lack of data supporting increased lethality with any variant. And I could remind you that there are so many assumptions at work, as must be the case.
I could speculate about the terrible things that could happen with the rest of the pandemic and then if they didn’t ever come to pass I could feel justified preparing you for the worst (and keeping the therapists in maximum capacity) because I was only warning you.
But I won’t.
On the other hand, I could reassure you that the UK variant (alpha) is the predominant strain in the US right now and it hasn’t caused dangerous upticks, with all we are doing, on so many levels (keep it up!). And I could remind you that the Delta strain is already 20% of our positive tests here.
I could tell you that there were 11 cases in the whole county last week and the national counts remain in the 12,000 cases per day range.
I could even remind you that Zika virus was once going to shrink our next generation’s heads but seemingly was a topic of discussion for one summer and that’s it.
But I won’t.
If I were to write about all that, I would try to encourage you to live respectfully and remind you that outdoors and open spaces are safe and fulfilling and majestic, pandemic or not.
But I won’t write today’s bulletin about that because I want to talk to you about something else.
Something that you will only see here, something no one else is writing about today.
Something related to the rhythm of the year and something connected to this very moment.
I want to talk to you about:
Rudolf Steiner connected a virtue with each month of the year. And to July (tropical sign of Cancer) he attached Selflessness.
In a book of small contemplations on these 12 virtues, Herbert Witzenmann points out that true selflessness opposes the narrowness of one’s subjective personality, opposes “rigid insistence” and greed.
But there is another side.
Selflessness also has another opposite, namely the dependence on others. Selflessness also opposes losing yourself in others. This is the egotism of fear.
Selflessness stands in between the egotism of fear on one side and the egotism of greed on the other. It lives right in the middle between those two.
Because Selflessness finds this middle place, Witzenmann says, and because it is not dimmed by either of these, it is pure.
Selflessness, in the middle of these two self absorbed states, is self-assured. It says yes to destiny and finds a true passage.
The full reflection on this month’s virtue is “selflessness leads to catharsis (purification).”
If you spend a little time directing your thought on that virtue sentence in quiet reflection then your are in worthwhile thought activity, guaranteed.
That’s my two cents for today and my invitation for this month.