Soaring Spirit with Tears


Why Health Care Reform is Needed

Ingrid Naiman

To understand where we are in the world of health today, we need to understand where we have been. Depending on your belief system, disease has a very ancient history. Since I'm a philosopher rather than a doctor, I would like to speculate that our human bodies have evolved from subtle to dense and that they are in the process of moving again towards subtle. While this may not seem particularly relevant to disease, it has everything in the world to do with the subject.

If the aura or auras are the mold in which the physical body finds its shape, the conditions of the physical would be much less consistent when the proportion of subtle to dense is greater. However, as density increases, it is necessary to use more powerful means to heal the maladies of the body.

In earlier times, we are given to understand that the aura was much more vigorous and creative than today. However, as there was movement towards more physicality and all the differentiations of that physicality, there was also experimentation with the physicality, not all of it conducive to health and well being. Disease occurred as a mechanism to teach the nature of the imbalance so that individuals could correct the disturbance before it became greater. Though there are always those who see lessons as punishments, in my belief system, the law of action and reaction—karma—is as impersonal as the law of gravity. A specific cause generates actions and reactions; symptoms are therefore both reactions as well as clues to the deeper nature of the causal imbalance. Healing must take into account both the symptoms and the cause because if only the symptoms are addressed, the cause will be unresolved.

All traditional systems of medicine understood this, but they put different interpretations on their knowledge. A humanitarian doctor who works without judgment simply helps patients to discover the keys to health and does not assign blame. He or she cooperates with the educational and instructive aspects of karma and works to shift the problem at its roots so that the cause can be neutralized. It is enough to neutralize the cause because it will cease to generate actions and the inevitable reactions to actions the moment there is stillness at the core.

What happens when judgment is intruded into such an understanding is that blame becomes a second energy, an aggravant if you will, that stimulates the imbalance as well as a tendency on the part of the patient to react to the blame by either becoming defensive or buying into the guilt. If one sticks to neutral ground, then the disease is no more symbolic of wrong doing or sin than an apple that falls to the ground is guilty of breaking a tie with the tree. Gravity dictates that the apple will fall when it detaches, but it detaches when the time is ripe for it to do so. Likewise, while symptoms may help to explain causes, they are the ripening of the fruits of our actions and no more to be dreaded or feared than the original action that bore the fruit.

This is important because whole cultures and eras have arisen around the idea that the only reason people suffer is that they have done something wrong and therefore deserve to suffer. At no time was this notion more exaggerated than during the Inquisition when compassionate means of relief were withheld in order to allow patients to atone more fully for imagined sins.

For better or worse, this guilt-ridden basis for medical understanding was displaced by the germ theory of disease because, for the first time in Western civilization—which is never separate from Western thought—invisible microorganisms were blamed for all manner of disease. Moreover, as blame moved from the individual to a more impersonal arena, the skills to manage disease grew almost in direct proportion to the detachment from blame. First, there were medicines, such as essential oils, that destroyed the pathogens. Then came vaccines and sanitation, then antibiotics and disinfectants, and now a full turn of the spiral because super bugs that are antibiotic resistant have become the Waterloo of institutional health care, accounting for tens of thousands of deaths every year.

What we gained, however, was improved hygiene, broadly based public health measures, and insurance—because, if the patient is not to blame for his illness, then someone ought to pick up the bill. What we lost was a sense of individual responsibility for maintaining one's own health as well as jurisdiction over our own bodies because the moment someone else can mandate health measures, one loses control over the most personal and intimate part of our incarnate existence.

We lost much more. We lost a portion of our curiosity and with it some of our awe of the unfathomable Nature of the Universe. We lost piety and capacity to surrender our knowledge and arrogance before the altar of God and submit to the lessons. We lost access to the intuition and insight than comes from asking the unanswerable questions: why? Why, God, why me, why now? We put the burden of cure on the shoulders of scientists who were too intellectual to ask the questions that went beyond the precipices of human pursuit and into the Divine. We lost faith in Divine miracles and looked for miracles in pills and needles. Worst of all, we lost control over own processes. The enormous crises in life that attend major illness became objects for scientific management rather than psychological and spiritual probing, and we fragmented into compartments that were so disparate that we have to pay others to help us find our lost selves. We pay specialists to determine our allergies because we are so out of touch with ourselves that we do not even know what is good and what is bad for us. If you think this is normal, ask yourself if an orphaned deer would need to book an appointment with a dermatologist before figuring out how to forage.

We have become so ludicrously addicted to outside sources of information about ourselves that we have to read books about food to know what is good for us, and we have to submit to tests before finding out what makes our skin creep and scalps tingle. We can't tell a karmic friend from a karmic enemy because intensity obscures clarity; and we can't see into others enough to know when they are telling the truth and when they are lying. We are so beholden to others to help us to know what will make us happy that we let Madison Avenue experts decide which perfume and which car and which drug will bestow the blessings we can't find on our own. So, instead of germs, we are now discovering victim consciousness, and this almost brings us full circle to the starting point and promises a great new medicine for the 21st century.

Why? The answer is that in the beginning, all experience was subjective. The Great Cause was masculine. It was Intent moving through our beings and stirring us to movement. In our innocence, some of our movements were not too skillful so we bungled and generated the seeds for future learning. All of us need to be in touch with our innocence, to become forgiving and even warmly loving towards our youth and its follies, and to move into harmony through conscious alignment with Original Intent. This is the goal.

Illness often is and can be a great friend because when it challenges our progress, we stop and assess what we are doing and why. Illness can then become a tool of realignment. The time of crisis brings with it the opportunity for exploration, for developing understanding, for gaining insight, for using that insight to reprogram life and to move into the new, more enlightened life with inspiration, enthusiasm, and light, most of all loving light.

Medicine that is isolated from psychology and spirituality, that is impervious to the hidden realms of the psyche and the energies of Cosmic Impulse and Plan, is barren medicine. While it has certain capacities to catalyze and temporarily adjust certain patterns, it cannot move beyond this role because it is not equipped to function in the invisible world of meaning. It regards the invisible as empty rather than complete; and it further makes the mistake of confusing the real and the unreal by mistaking the appearance for real and the invisible for unreal whereas in reality the invisible is immortal and therefore much more real and the appearance is ephemeral and destined to oblivion.

No adequate system of medicine can be built upon oblivion. Likewise, no system of medicine can be immortal if it fails to be inclusive. So, just as germs exist, so does immunity. Just as symptoms appear, so do causes create them. Just as no two people respond identically to the same medicines, so no two people have the same karmic history or destiny to fulfill.

What we are currently witnessing is the rapid obsolescence of a system of medicine based on germ theories. Let's call it 20th century germ theory medicine. It is facing obsolescence for a number of reasons. First, the theory only addressed apparent causes, not individual responses to those causes. It neglected individuality, predisposition, immunity, and resistance. Second, measures adopted to fight microorganisms have begun to fail. There are two explanations for this. On the one hand, it was never accepted by academia that the microorganisms are themselves pleomorphic and almost infinitely adaptable; on the other hand, excessive (and abusive) use of antibiotics has given rise to resistance. Third, the intense focus on microbiology operated at the expense of the dynamics that produce the circumstances of health and disease so the rules of health and the management of disease were never really understood by 20th century medicine. Four, focus on infectious diseases neglected the personal component of illness so there has been almost total failure to develop adequate approaches to chronic diseases, most of which entail more patient participation in the treatment and therefore tend to change the doctor-patient relationship; and five, the endless desire to be in control and to profit by one's control promises to supplant 20th century with a new greed for patents on the "promising new technologies" represented by genetic medicine.

If the 20th century began with great promise for eliminating disease from the surface of the Earth, the celebrations are over now because the diabolical forces of evil have created a whole new rash of iatrogenic diseases, ranging from viruses that have jumped species, such as HIV and the SV40 contaminant in the polio vaccine that is contributing to an epidemic of lymphatic cancers to the mind-boggling and soul crippling prospect of biological weapons to decimate the population of the world.

There is more. As blame moved to control, so also did reverence change to arrogance. Now, we have for the first time in history a conflict between healing and medicine, between natural medicine and scientific medicine, and between faith and science. In the halls of ivy, it is unsophisticated to predicate one's hope for a cure on a prayer or ceremony, on an herb or elixir, or on energy and alignment rather than intervention. Medicines that intervene are enormously profitable and politically well-positioned, but they have become the source of the problems that need cure. Our water is contaminated with growth hormones; our food is laced with antibiotics; our DNA is mutated by poisons; and now our world is threatened by epidemics engineered in the minds of persons who work with science, not God.

Because of the nearly total failure of modern medicine to manage chronic illnesses of all types: diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, Alzheimer's and so on and on and on, I believe it is time to end the blind unquestioning of science and ask whether it is leading us into fulfillment or folly. For many reasons, I believe it is time to liberalize medicine, restore it to its basic principles, and allow freedom of choice. More regulations merely support an obsolete system that has become unconscionably rich without delivering on its promise of health. In the whole of history, it has always been a mistake to freeze knowledge at any particular level. It has always been a mistake to burn books and persecute ideas. It has always been a mistake to regulate at the level of the status quo unless total flexibility is built in that enables newer and more worthy ideas to gain a foothold. This is impossible in the present situation. Therefore, the "situation" should be dismantled and rebuilt from the ground up, leaving ample room for diversity and growth.




Poulsbo, Washington