A Short Course for Physicians and Patients

10 Things Medical School Does Not Teach …
But Everyone Should Know

Fourth Lesson

The Difference Between Health and Disease

The reader may be wondering about the title: The Difference Between Health and Disease. You may think, “The Difference is pretty obvious. Isn’t it?”

Well, not really.

For the purposes of another lesson, let us suggest that the differences are usually quite small. Really?

Janus figure

Most of us covet health, well-being, the ability to do whatever we want when we want. But, when an ache or pain or illness gets in our way, we can often be laid low and wonder about our sad state. We may even imagine the end coming when we “feel really bad.”

Ah, but limitation, illness and injury are part of life — natural to everyone and everything. Do you know anyone past the age of five who has not been dis-eased at one time or another? We all must submit to disease and death sooner or later. They are more universally ordained than taxes, for sure.

Nature itself is subject to seeming illness — discomforting change like storms and tornados, droughts and floods and earthquakes, as well as yearly death and rebirth which we recognize in the seasons. That knowledge should influence more to be more accepting of the cyclic as well as incidental challenges in life. Then too, those changes which come upon us through our personal karma — which we have carried over from previous existences into the present one.

Cause and effect rule health and disease just as well as life itself. NOTHING — NO THING — happens by accident! Causes stand behind EVERY THING.

On the other hand, most of us are very lucky to live in the West in a time of riches and vast opportunities. What great karma that is!

Nonetheless, we all carry the “seeds of disease” and have to deal with them sooner or later. But, there are always consolations. Whether we realize it or not our illnesses, injuries and disabilities are opportunities for personal and soul growth. That thought may bear much pondering.

At the same time, let us consider for a few moments the fact that health and disease stand very close together. Much if not all of what we experience as disease is really dis-ease. What we call diseases are modern scientists attempts to categorize and pigeon-hole the subtleties of living. Numbers of the greatest thinkers of the ages have suggested repeatedly that there are no diseases, but disharmonious relationships which no pill can really remedy.

Human beings experience illnesses. Scientists and physicians all too often search for, try to diagnose, and treat diseases. Something nameable and treatable. More often than not, ill-labeled and relatively immune from medical treatment.

Now, let’s just think about common ailments: diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, or so-called mental illnesses, such as depression and schizophrenia. In the midst of these sometimes intimidating problems, there is vast evidence of general health. Really?

Most people with these ills can do almost everything that the rest of us do who are called healthy. They often navigate, negotiate and some almost thrive with little outward difficulty — at least much of the time. Their bodies are functioning and doing all, or almost all, the works and activities which they would do were they “healthy.” In the greater scheme of things, there are only tiny fractions of functions which are disturbed in their bodily economy.

In practically all cases until final breaths, the trillions of body cells, hundreds of tissues, dozens of organs are “doing their duties.” Thus, the difference between health and disease, except in extreme cases is really very modest. One body tissue, organ, or part struggles — or seems to struggle — while the rest continue to do their jobs like clock work and try to take up the slack. Sometimes, we experience illnesses which demonstrate absolutely no changes visible to outer view or even expensive testing. Many of these fit into the category of mental ills. As when the doctor says rather ignorantly, “The problem must be in your head, because all tests are negative.”

So, what is the deal then if when we are sick, are we really mostly healthy and just don’t know it?
As suggested before, there is a whole lot we don’t know, imagine or consider especially when we find ourselves sick or ailing. Part of the problem is that we just don’t see the bigger picture. While the outer physical form may appear to suffer, the inner persisting being — the soul — may be managing quite well.

Another part may be that we are just spoiled with the idea that we should always be in trim, smell like we just got out of the shower, wear a big smile, and look like “a million bucks.”
The human form is wondrously made and does truly magical things constantly — day and night, sick or well. It has potentials far beyond our imaginings. Like walking on water, moving mountains, living off of air along, and changing the thoughts and behaviors of others.

But, our own minds are so often part of the problem which we call illness and disease. Life is based on energy and that energy is impelled by thought and emotion in one direction or another.
“Energy follows thought.” And, misdirected thoughts and feelings turn our delicately functioning human forms into disturbed and dis-eased, pained and sorry sick ones. Sometimes, we borrow those thoughts and feelings unconsciously from those around us.

We experience health and disease because of how we use the forms we are given. It is the mental-emotional part of our nature, the mediating bodies in the anatomy of the human being which compose such a large factor in the production and perception of our illnesses and diseases. When we rise to the station of thinking and feeling with clarity like the Great Ones, we will experience health problems far less often or not at all.

To arrive at that station of life, we must learn lessons that Gifts of Disease have to offer us. Or maybe it is other way around. When we Learn our Lessons, we will put illness and disease in their proper places. In the meantime, we far too often Fight Disease and Combat Illness out of ignorance.
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