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 want to start off with a piece of wisdom that I have been pondering this week and then tie it in with a major need of our times.
When you feel repulsion towards something or are feeling antipathy towards it, you might have the impulse to push the thing away. The problem is the activity of pushing away builds recoil as if you were pushing away a pendulum. It will have the tendency to come back to you.
The opposite is true as well. If you long for something you might have the impulse to pull it towards you, but in doing so you build up the potential to have the object swing away from you out of reach and maybe even more so than your starting point.
Keep the pendulum steady. Calm and centered is the approach. Curious and measured. Awake and attentive. Nothing rash will do. The objective is simply to be with the emotion or scenario. It can apply to even an illness or a symptom. Be with it rather than act on it. Sit in it.
This is the middle path. Acting on your likes and dislikes will never satisfy in the long run. Resisting the push or pull leads to lasting peace. It’s a solution of sorts in and of itself to just be with the likes and dislikes, to stand between the two poles. It’s where our humanness resides. Things have a tendency to transform when that is done. The right relationship will emerge.
Speaking of our humanness, we have entered the era of transhumanism which has startling and undeniable components:
Technology is moving beyond our capacity to understand how it works.
Social media is an undisputed toxic Cyber-drug. Evidence is mounting that it foments extremism. Just see how the comments are often so nasty on the internet.
The promise of connection turns out to be a farse, and we are alienated even more.
Neurosis, psychosis and exaggeration of sex and violence are signs of the times — all enhanced by our devices.
We far and away use the internet mainly for the following three things: sex, violence, and sports.
Technology has become a way of life. Sure, there are plenty of incredible conveniences. That’s clear. It’s also clear that humans are destined to continue our evolution on earth hand in hand with machines, and we need to have a decisive orientation to that.
We are called to find a solution. We find it, like with many things, through perspective. I go back to what I’d call the middle orientation. I would argue that technology weighs our humanity down and tethers it somewhat to the earth.
We preserve the middle space for the human and provide a counterbalance to the current age by simply recognizing and honoring the divine in one another. We lift the human up again. We can’t back out of the phenomena of our age. We need to learn to live with them and neutralize them. Compassion, empathy and soul warmth are huge middle path keys and serve to keep our technology-heavy lives in balance.
COVID (and flu) update
Numbers look similar to last week, and the last few. 40K cases per day on average nationally and in around 20 cases per day locally. Hospitalizations might be a better way to keep track of caseload because there are gobs of cases not getting counted. Those aren’t showing major changes. Statisticians have historically blended pneumonia and flu numbers, and there’s no guarantee those numbers won’t get more confused this year with a more normal flu season and COVID. Testing isn’t perfect, by a long shot, after all. Then there are the hospitalized patients who also happen to have COVID. They often get counted. At any rate, the numbers aren’t bad, COVID is around though. Flu is too. There are larger numbers in the south, but sporadic cases here.