Forest for the Trees

I am deeply fascinated by the mode of living which was perhaps best described some 2,000 years ago with the phrase “Resist not evil.” It is a simple concept, really, but it can be applied to just about any situation you can come across in the world today.

Think about the field of medicine. Virtually every branch of Western medicine is dedicated to fighting disease, or put in archaic terms, resisting evil. Just about everyone in academia and in the medical trenches is waging war on bacteria, targeting viruses and wrestling with less obvious but more dangerous enemies like cancers and auto-immune disorders, but I have to wonder if we’re not looking at the problem from the wrong angle.

Perhaps there’s another way to look at this. For example, could it be that the manifestations of symptoms that we call disease are nothing more than the body’s most elegant solution to restoring balance an reestablish control? Rather than fighting against the body’s best attempt to restore balance, might there be another approach that doesn’t involve resisting evil?

In the large majority of cases of chronic illness the imbalances labeled as diseases of this type are preventable and more often than not, reversible, through lifestyle changes (i.e. through the assumption of personal responsibility for the pattern of choice in nutrition, exercise and stress management). The overwhelming majority of the medical establishment is busy tilting at windmills (and making loads of money while doing it!) while missing the real leverage in the situation.

The United States, which spends 21 1/2 times the amount of money of any other industrialized nation on healthcare and ranks 38th amongst the same group for its quality, is in desperate need not just for healthcare reform, but for a revolutionary new approach. Sure the payment systems are a mess, tests and medicines are overprescribed and poorly targeted, but I think the real problem is we’re too busy resisting evil to see the forest for the trees.

5 thoughts on “Forest for the Trees

  1. Ricardo B.

    I had this very conversation yesterday with a patient, and continue in this line of thinking in my work. It far more preferable to, if and whenever possible, to strengthen the host so that the disease process is aborted and the health process may resume. Health, balance and homeostasis are the default for the body, not disease, imbalance and chaos, and so there’s already momentum and advantage to cooperate with wisely.

    Much harm may come through waging war on disease, and the evidence is mounting up quite emphatically on all fronts, from people not really feeling well at all, to our nation’s economic crisis and on through global ecology. Something fundamental indeed must change.

  2. Strawberryfield

    I read a world health report, rather like a report card on how each country measured up. I was astounded at how low the USA ranked in all categories; infant mortality etc.. The other fact, that I couldn’t help but wonder about the correlation, is that we are the tops in requiring mass inoculations. It could be we so advanced in our organized resistance of evil that we are killing ourselves more efficiently than any other first world country.

  3. David R

    That massively insightul and powerful phrase, “Resist not evil” has been ignored fastidiously, especially, it would seem in the world of religion, where resisting evil is seen as the highest and most obvious good! So should we resist the evil that manifests in religion? Caught again!

    Such a wonderful area for constant meditation!

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