Updated: Jul 13
That thought suddenly popped into my mind. I’ve been working on a better approach to treating illness and promoting health, consciously, over the past 40 years, and now finally feel that I have enough understanding to outline what amounts to a medical revolution. Revolutions, when they come are rather sudden, but have been years in the making.
Well, in this case, about 230 years. That’s a long time to plan a revolution, but then we could say the same about the great American Revolution: from the rebellion of the Puritans in England, a world dominated by centralist and authoritarian institutions and ideas (for both church and state), to their momentous decision to leave the ‘Old World’, for a ‘New World’, to establish a ‘New England’, one with greater freedom of worship and a more individual-centered model of governance, to the maturation and implementation of the idea of individual sovereignty operating through and protected by a constitutional republic. It’s not my revolution; it’s been going on without me and will continue without me as well, but for better or for worse, I’ve found myself at the front, in the trenches, as a foot soldier, thrown into the thick of things at times, and have gained a certain perspective, with a lot of help from others, of what is really going on.* What is going on is vast, huge, almost impossible to comprehend and take in. It’s invisible to most, and most certainly to those who constitute TPTB, the ‘established order’, who man the ramparts of the vast institutional structure of ‘modern medicine’, ready to defend it against the ‘barbarians at the gate’. These great institutional structures and the system they are part of and represent are like the great monarchial and authoritarian dynasties of Europe of the Edwardian era, splendid and glittering, imposing and dominant, but already decaying and essentially without any internal vigor and vitality. Appearances are deceiving; all is not ‘quiet on the Western (medical) front’.*The greatest contribution to my education and the genius behind the unearthing and advancement of the system of rational healthcare in this regard is Steven Decker.
Revolutions generally, but cultural revolutions in particular, are not generally mass affairs. They are carried out by often less than 15-20% of a population, but this section of the population is internally motivated and guided by a unifying and compelling idea whose time has come. The established system is increasingly unable to paper over the cracks in the system and maintain the pretence that all is well. The Ptolemaic model of the universe, which was geocentric, prevailed for centuries, until the rising consciousness and knowledge presented so many anomalies that it became an ‘affront to reason’, and was replaced after two centuries of assiduous research by individual and independent minds, with the heliocentric Copernican model. What followed from this came to be known as the Scientific Revolution.
We are now at another critical juncture in history. The methodology or paradigm of that first Scientific Revolution that ushered in the modern era was accurate as far as it went, that is, in dealing with the macro world of inert nature. However, problems arose when scientists sought to use the methodology of the inertial sciences (physics, chemistry) to penetrate the even more mysterious and challenging world of vital nature, seeking answers to the enduring questions of health and illness. This effort began in earnest the early 1700’s, but by the middle of that century the leading minds of European philosophy and science realized that a different approach was needed. This search for a new method for studying vital nature captured the tenor of the age, and gave birth to the Romantic movement. Art and science were compeers, not rivals in this great endeavour. Great artists of the time, such as Goethe and Coleridge were as much involved in science and connected to other scientists, as to other artists. This great cultural movement was Romantic because it sought to penetrate beyond the veil of outer appearances of a thing to its dynamic, inner essence, ‘romancing the stone’ as it were (great movie by the way). The Romantic movement at that time laid a solid foundation, involving a ‘declaration of independence’ of vital nature from the tyranny of inert nature, indeed elevating vital nature above inert nature, and making inert nature only a part of the living realm, rather than as a chance product and epi-phenomenon of dead matter as the those still stuck in the Ptolemaic world of material science would have it. The Romantic movement also established a ‘constitution’ in terms of a basic framework of understanding of vital activity in biological organisms and how to approach research. However, this effort was, unfortunately, ahead of its time, early pioneering awaiting the various stages of settlement of the ‘Great Plains’. The details of the vital sciences needed to sustain the initial insights and ideas was still lacking. That is what has taken up most of the past 230 years.
In the interim, the materialist counter-revolution succeeded in imposing itself on medicine, giving us the rather simplistic presumption that illness is caused by a ‘germ’, ignoring the issue of pre-disposition and susceptibility (the internal and external environment and all the stress factors operating therein), giving rise to a great industry of manufactured poisons (pharmaceuticals, from the Greek word for poison; or drugs, in the sense of dulling the mind and body to pain). When an offending ‘germ’ could not be found, the cause was deemed ‘unknown’, and the poisons applied to suppress any signs and symptoms. The general signs and symptoms were grouped together (the strange, rare, peculiar individual ones ignored) and given a name, usually from Greek or Latin, such as ‘arthritis’, from the Greek meaning ‘inflammation of the joints’, ushering them into specified conditions with pat labels. Not able to identify the cause or causes, the labelled condition became the target, with specific drugs prescribed for specific labels (a ‘pill for every ill’) on the basis of a drug’s efficacy in suppressing the symptoms. These days the labels are more prosaic (Latin and Greek no longer being taught much), such as ‘complex regional pain syndrome’ or CRPS, for pain that lingers after an injury, or ‘chronic fatigue syndrome’ (CFS), or ‘attention deficit disorder’ (ADD). Later, an effort was made to link illness to genes, but this has mostly failed, with few conditions having a clear genetic cause. And finally, what could not be suppressed in some way through designer poisons was turned over to the surgeon. In all of this, the living organism is regarded as largely a passive recipient, and the natural healing power of the organism is simply assumed, taken for granted (as some sort of sub-rose physician). Despite the simplicity of the prevailing materialistic paradigm, which is what made it attractive to begin with, with its implied promise of conquest over illness and bringer of longevity, the decline of the few infectious diseases of the past (mostly due to improved living standards and public hygiene measures) and the rise of new ‘diseases of civilization’, the chronic health conditions affecting the heart, lungs and brain, as well as systemic conditions such as diabetes and cancer, could not be readily traced to a ‘germ’ or so easily suppressed by drugs, the result being rising iatrogenic illnesses and worsening health generally. Even the ‘war’ against infectious disease was showing ‘blow-back’ in the form of antibiotic resistant bacteria, and mutating viruses in the face of vaccination. As a result, public and even professional interest re-awakened in ‘alternative’ and ‘natural’ health approaches in the 1970s and 1980s, and detailed research has since taken place by a new breed of pioneers to establish objective, rational methods and tests to address the new complex, chronic health issues from a different perspective, one that grounds the earlier Romantic endeavour in the complexity of organismic metabolism with a deep understanding and mapping of the ‘keys to the kingdom’, that is, the radical drivers for all metabolic operations. This allows for an objective strategic approach to illness by addressing the fundamental causes - imbalances in the optimal working of these drivers. It moves the previous symptomological/suppressive approach to a causal/curative one.
This reminds me of a good play or movie series: first, we set the stage of the struggle between the antagonists (a failing old order) by a band of protagonists (‘A New Hope’) who are at first successful and seemingly victorious, followed, however, by the inevitable counter-attack by the antagonists (‘The Empire Strikes Back’), and the apparent defeat of our heroes. We then must endure a rather long period of dominance by the old order, but then after some time, due to the heroic efforts of certain individuals, as well as a certain amount of hubris on the part of the enemy, the time comes for the resurgence of the now strengthened and coordinated ‘rebel alliance’ (‘Return of the Jedi’), and finally, the glorious victory of the new science of vital nature on which a true Western healthcare system can be founded (‘The Force Awakens’), one that can provide a truly affordable healthcare system, tailored for each person, not abstract labels.
To come back full circle, it’s time to take the plunge and try to present this revolution in healthcare now taking place. I will do this in stages. It is a vast undertaking to present, demanding quite a bit of attention and indulgence on the reader’s part. I’m assuming if you are reading this you are motivated to find out what exactly this new system and paradigm in healthcare is, one that takes the best of what the old has to offer, but places healthcare on a truly rational foundation as regards living, vital nature. It is a system that does not just manage illness and often contribute to it, but addresses the underlying causes of illness in a given case and promotes both quality and quantity of life. The plan is to present the system in a series of articles posted on this blog, so that you can take in its full beauty and grandeur and promise without being overwhelmed. That’s the plan, in any case.
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