The Processes of Life

“Medicine is not only a science; it is also an art. It does not consist of compounding pills and plasters; it deals with the very processes of life, which must be understood before they may be guided.” – Paracelsus

The achilles heel of reductionism is the almost inevitable loss of perspective on the whole that comes as a result of the obsessive and narrow focus on the parts. Western medicine is suffering greatly under this limitation at this juncture in history. Its advances have come at a terrible price, and we now find ourselves in desperate need of regaining perspective on the matter of health and wellness.

The answer I feel will not come from digging deeper, but from stepping back. It would be foolish to argue that the medical advances and the accumulation of knowledge of the last 100 years have not helped us, but one would have to be equally imperceptive to not notice that we’re quickly digging ourselves into a hole that is shutting out the light of understanding. Our  understanding of the minutiae is constraining to pigeonholed medical interventions, moreover, our interventions are colliding in ways we couldn’t possibly have anticipated due to drug interactions, energetic complications, etc.

If there is anything to be gained from the recent push toward integrative medicine, where modern discoveries and best practices are coordinated with the many valuable tools and approaches which were abandoned in the fanatical pursuit of the science of medicine. Art and medicine can be reunited, but to do so we must step back a bit, regain our perspective on the processes of life which can and will work in and through us if we act in accordance with them, rather than seeking to control or suppress them at every turn.


4 thoughts on “The Processes of Life

  1. There is much to consider in your words relative to health and healing. Fundamentally I see rhythm as the baseline for all life processes. Your words point to aligning ourselves with the rhythms of life at hand. Blending with the expansive and the contractive phases of the cycles of rhythms we find ourselves experiencing is such a key. There is a tendency in our human experience to try to force things during the contractive phase (medical or even natural interventions) and being diverted by minutiae in the expansive phase. Seeing and releasing such interferences blending with the flow does bring the light of understanding relative to our own sense of well being and the well being of others.


  2. Joy

    What sound observation Gregg. Having spent forty years in the healing arts it never ceases to amaze me how willingly the body responds to the gentlest touch. As a practitioner I am so aware that my job is to inspire in those who seek my assistance, not only a reverence for their bodies, but even more so a reverence for the life force that animates their bodies. Here in, in my observation, lies the key to health, because it ignites in us an awareness of our primary purpose. Thank you Gregg for an awesome post.


  3. isabelle

    Well said! If we don’t have that larger perspective, we will never be able to see how these two systems can work together to help improve the health of individuals and the world as well.


  4. Lady Leo

    In so many ways western medicine has become the art of suppressing symptoms. Would we go to a car mechanic that could only promise to make the warning light on our dashboard stop flashing? This is why it’s crucial to advocate for ourselves by understanding the connectedness of our body’s systems. Be willing to ask questions and do research for ourselves. Helpful subject!


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