A Short Course for Physicians and Patients
10 Things Medical School Does Not Teach …
But Everyone Should Know
Fighting Disease ...
History suggests that human beings have always been a “fighting bunch.” Although the 21st century and the recent generation have seen fewer wars, there is still plenty of armed combat going on in the world. Where that is not the case, we seem to find other enemies and other means of combat.
It also seems that the more we fight, the more we lose our connection to Divinity while we become more and more divorced from Nature, the Garment of God. Or maybe it is the other way around. In any case, the practice of medicine demonstrates this situation.
Really? Yes. Really!
A century ago, the physician-theosopher Franz Hartmann wrote that, “Modern medicine is, to a great extent, looked upon and employed as if it were a system by which man by his cunning and cleverness may cheat Nature out of her dues and act against the laws of God with impunity … Instead of seeking to know the divine laws in Nature, and to help to restore the divine order of things, the highest aim of medical science is at present to find means to so poison the body of man and make it pestiferous by inoculation as to render it ‘immune,’ which means, to make it incapable of reacting upon the introduction of a similar poison. This system corresponds in religion to that which succeeds in quieting the voice of conscience by never paying any attention to it.”
The problem recognized by Hartmann and others in the course of history is much worse in the present day. Medicine has many more poisons to administer to human beings — supposedly to help them with their ills. At the same time, medical students and professors know less about the natural world because they move from one box — school, hospital, home — to another. Like the rest of us, they rarely see the full light of day and relate to natural surroundings and events.
“Modern medicine is, to a great extent, looked upon and employed
as if it were a system by which man by his cunning and cleverness
may cheat Nature out of her dues and
act against the laws of God with impunity.”
Franz Hartmann, MD
They spend vast amounts of time in classrooms and laboratories working mostly with books, data and dead bodies. They are taught neither about the history of medicine nor the history of disease and next to nothing about health and healing. Pathology and disease take up huge parts of the curricula. At the same time, students of medicine are given to believe that “Science” will answer all their questions even though ones on history, spirituality, artistry, the natural world are almost never broached.
• Chemicals and testing, machinery and manipulation are key elements of medical focus and are based on “scientific” rather than natural facts. The appearances of the usefulness of medical methods are often just that. William Osler, Father of American Medicine, long ago warned of believing in medicines (he might have added operations, but they were sparingly used in his era) to treat human ills. He suggested that when a patient is prescribed for his/her ailment, that person has moved from one to two problems: then, the body has to deal with the presenting ailment AND the foreign substance or device used as treatment. In the modern world, there are often MANY prescriptions given which do not just add to the problem but multiply layers over it.
• All the same, fighting disease is seen as a badge of honor: “He is fighting for his life.” “She struggled with her illness until the end.” “The physicians did everything conceivable to combat that miserable cancer.”
Physicians and patients FIGHT against disease. But, they do it: Oh So Blindly. In the vast majority of illnesses, doctors still use crude guesswork to come up with treatments — trying this drug or that one, apply remedies in a shotgun manner, and if necessary, “Calling in the Big Guns.”
• The physician faces the immediate problem with TOOL/S in hand. While too often not thinking to determine why the patient is bothered with his illness, why it appears at that moment, what in that particular person attracted the ailment. Medicine spends vast amounts of time, energy, money, and patient endurance chasing symptoms, syndromes, and diseases — when the real problems lie elsewhere.
• Fighting breeds more fighting. Just as in the outer world where very often one conflict results in another, the same occurs within humans individually and collectively. Damage wrought along the way often is worse than the original problems.
Taking one drug all too often leads to another and another. One surgery prompts another, and so on.
Until we come to understand the nature of illness and health — and western medicine decidedly does not — medicine will continue to spin its wheels, waste vast resources, injure many with treatments, and keep patients circling through office and hospital stiles, exams and procedures, prescriptions and operations. The resourcing and fighting is often in vain but very costly.
• We swim in a world of effects, and it should be obvious with regard to health and illness. Dare we ever turn our attention from effects to causes? How can we deal fruitfully with effects — injury, illness, and disease — without pointing to causes? Prescriptions and operations in the vast majority of cases are directed toward effects. It should be obvious by now that the War on Cancer is a complete failure, because the nature of Cancer is still not understood.
A simple but more fruitful way to look at this situation will arise when we move from Fighting Disease to Understanding Illness. There is a real difference which we will consider next time around.
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