This was first written on the 2/07/21
It’s really not so hard to see why the “wellness industry” is having a field day. Remarkable though the discoveries underlying modern medicine may be, their application has been a barely qualified failure in terms of human health and well-being. This is not to discount nor disparage the life-saving powers of surgeons, antibiotics and life-support technologies. Yet, ill-health, fatigue, chronic pain, depression, anxiety and debilitating diseases such as heart and auto-immune diseases, diabetes and cancer are more than common place. One, at least, is, or will be, the inevitable lot of almost anyone alive today. Not to mention debility or death by virus or vaccine. Controlling or suppressing symptoms may make you feel better, but it does not generate health. It merely masks the underlying processes of dis-ease, while leaving their causes in place. So, it should be no surprise that so many seek help outside the authoritative institutions of modern medicine.
You, yourself, nor anybody that you know or have heard of, are a statistic. You are a unique, laughing, crying, living and dying conscious, mobile and thoughtful organism. You, i am sure, do not want to be one of the mortality statistics attached to any form of modern medicine. Nor would you mind, i am sure, were you, after ingesting herbal or homeopathic remedies or hosting needles, to find yourself recovered of persistent and debilitating symptoms. Even if you had not participated in a controlled, double-blind study, and your well being, or survival, were ‘merely’ anecdotal. So, again, it should be no surprise that so many people are seeking help outside the medical profession.
The impulse to submit to external authority may be strong. Yet so also is the impulse towards wholeness. The former tends to exert itself in conditions and times of uncertainty and vulnerability: times like these. Yet the latter remains. However, the rush to ‘alternative medicines’ is no less an expression of submission to external authority than automatically subscribing to the, inconsistent and often contradictory, recommendations of the medical profession. It may comfort itself with vocabularies of hope and ideologies of wholeness, while it remains one more anxious reaction of a disembodied mind, chronically divorced from the experience of wholeness.
Most of the wellness industry is simply monetised talk. This is neither to discount nor disparage the power of words, nor of the placebo effect. Nevertheless talking or thinking, or even fasting, your way out of cancer or a stroke is, surely, one hope too far. While eliminating their more obvious symptoms with surgery or drugs will return you neither to health, nor wholeness.
Nevertheless your body does not exist in isolation. It is a part of the natural world. Your body is nature. Through and as your body you most deeply know, and most directly are, the natural world. You are not a machine. You have neither been designed nor manufactured by human ingenuity. Your body is not helpless; it is a conscious and mobile expression of the power that has driven life, evolution, for billions of years: Natural Intelligence. This intelligence, the Intelligence of Nature, is compressed, as DNA, in your every cell. It is active in every cell that is not yet dead. You are intelligence before you are an organism, before you are tissues, before you are cells, before you were alive.
This intelligence does more than keep you breathing, and supplied with the nutrients it extracts from your food. It also, amongst so many other things, evaluates and responds to external organisms so as to maintain equilibrium, to keep you alive. This natural, cellular , genetic, intelligence, functioning as your immune system, is directed towards your well being. Its primary function is to maintain and, where necessary, re-establish integrity, wholeness.
This intelligence does not exist in isolation. It is a part of the natural world. It has evolved through millions, billions of trials and errors, albeit unsupported by control groups and double-blinds. It is not random. The ability of your body to heal a graze or a cut, to grow back bone, is not luck or chance. It is science: biological science, biological medicine. This medicine, this science is practiced by the natural intelligence that you most deeply are. An intelligence that has evolved through the billion year dance of organism and environment. To be genuinely healthy, at ease in your body, and peaceful in your mind, you must look beyond the artifice of human inventiveness. You must look to Nature. You must make your peace with the natural world.
This is old news. Your grandmother, and hers too, could have told you that the first line of defence against disease is adequate rest, movement, fresh air and sunlight, along with a nourishing diet and meaningful activity. This is no less true for not having been discovered in a man made laboratory, through the painstaking protocols of the scientific method. This simple, truthful and effective regime has arisen within the laboratory of life. A laboratory wherein so many are proving that to become dependent on man-made chemicals is not only to destroy the natural world, but to compromise the integrity of your own organism.
Of course you live, breathe and eat in a man-made world. One which is toxic from the air that you breathe to the water that you drink and wash with. Nevertheless if you have the leisure and security to be reading these words, then you surely have the means to access your own Natural Intelligence. When you know, or even simply suspect, that the ingestion of chemicals will neither guarantee, nor return you to, health and well-being, the intelligence that you are may be your only reliable resource. You may not be able to make every healthy choice that you would like to, but you surely can make some. You are the front-line of your health. What you eat, how much sleep, fresh air, sunlight you get, how active and engaged you are, all affect your health, your ability to resist dis-ease.
What you see unfolding all around you is only superficially a viral pandemic. More deeply, and more tellingly, it is an epidemic of man-made chemicals: from agricultural technologies, industrial waste, pharmaceutical medicine, fossil fuel combustion. This epidemic will not be undone by more, or more sophisticated, chemicals, or delivery systems. Nor will it be undone by the anxious hope and wishful thinking that drive the self-deception at the heart of the ‘wellness industry’. It can only be undone by way of the organism/environment symbiosis whereby Natural Intelligence has brought life from single cells to the cataclysmic tragedy of human hubris. It can only be done by taking care of Nature, within you as well as all around you.