Posted On 22 Aug 2011
The right way how to fight illness will open your eyes to a miracle. Surprised?
The wrong way to combat illness is to declare war on it, which creates more illness. Surprised?
Human ignorance is overwhelming. Not only do most people appear not to lead examined lives, but also they don’t even regularly and seriously try to achieve better understanding.
Ignorance has a cost. It does come back to harm us.
With respect to how to fight illness, the right approach has been around at least since Aeschylus’s great Oresteia.
His theme, I hope you’ll recall, is nothing less than the advance of civilization. His thesis is that the way that civilization improves is by recognizing and incorporating disruptive elements (represented by The Furies) within it to make them as benign as possible and it as harmonious and strong as possible.
The big takeaway? Civilization does not advance by declaring war on its Furies; instead, it advances by fully accepting and integrating them.
We are like civilization.
Why? The Furies are part of us. Since they are not eliminable, it’s wise to learn to how best to live with them
Similarly, ignorant people think that the way to battle illness is to try to eliminate it, to declare war on it. Although it is occasionally possible to eliminate specific illnesses, illness is part of us.
If so, the right way how to fight illness is to recognize and fully accept it while attempting to minimize its harmful consequences and maximize its beneficial consequences.
Yes, sometimes illness can be useful and beneficial. Sometimes, for example, it is the body’s last defense against the madness of our minds! It can sometimes be the best way to get us to do what we should be doing anyway, namely, paying attention to the present moment.
Someone may object: No! For example, the war on bacteriological infection is being won! Antibiotics work effectively to battle illnesses of that kind, and we are developing other weapons that will work effectively how to fight illnesses of other kinds.
Perhaps, but I think not.
If so, other “enemies” will kill us off. If not, it’s much more likely that bacteriological infections will bounce back with a vengeance.
Yes, initially antibiotics seemed to work well, so well that their use has become widespread and often indiscriminate. What is happening just a few decades later?
Evolution, which has been grinding along. New super bugs are evolving defenses against antibiotics. As they do, we are racing to develop new antibiotics and it’s becoming more and more difficult for our researchers to keep up.
Many traditional bacteriological diseases may soon reemerge. There is real potential that they may cause epidemics.
My point is not to stop using antibiotics. My point is to drop the war mentality. It’s the wrong way how to fight illness – or anything else.
Why not have a war on poverty? And a war on drugs? And a war on crime? And a war on terrorism? Well, we do.
How are those wars going?
The right way how to fight illness or poverty or drugs or crime or terrorism or anything else we don’t like is the same way that Aeschylus tried to teach us to fight Furies.
Sadly, two and one-half millennia later, we still haven’t learned the lesson.
I agree completely on this with what Eckhart Tolle wrote in A New Earth: “Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists. / These days you frequently hear the expression ‘the war against’ this or that, and whenever I hear it, I know that it is condemned to failure.”
Do you still think this is not the way to fight illness?
After heart disease and cancer, what is the leading cause of death in the United States? Medical treatment! [Reference from Tolle to JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association.]
The wrong way to fight illness is to treat it as an enemy, which only creates additional illness.
How should we fight illness? First, accept it fully. Completely. Without reservations. Then see if there is a way to make something beneficial come from it while minimizing its costs.
In other words, I’m recommending an attitudinal adjustment. Medications and surgeries are only tools that can be used wisely and skillfully or not.
What’s the miracle? In Tolle’s wise words, it’s this: “Whatever you accept, you go beyond.”
Notice the present moment and embrace it, accept it fully.
The right way to fight illness is to accept it fully, which enables us to go beyond it (whether medical, surgical or other kinds of interventions are effective in the short term or not).
Illness has no effect on Being [For the terminological distinction between Becoming and Being, click here.].
There is no illness or any other kind of suffering in Being.
Why not find out whether or not that’s true for yourself? .