Where the darkest shadow falls, the brightest light is shining
There is a blog I follow, Medical Revolt written by an American clinician, trained in conventional medicine, but married to a complementary health practitioner. I follow his blog with great interest as I too have a deep interest in complementary and holistic approaches to health.
Indeed, the word Hael, an old English word, has a word root from which other words, other concepts are derived – Hael, Whole, Health, Holy, Holistic, Holism (literally, what is holy, is also wholly, the whole is more Hale/Hael healthy than the sum of its parts. Hail! (as in a word used to greet) – is to wish good health – and therefore good all-the-sum-of-your-parts – body, mind, spirit – to the other.
Perhaps we could even say it is even more than to wish that to other – it is also to GREET (or recognise) that which is hale/whole/healthy/holy in each other. And where do we see or recognise the health/holy/completeness of the other – except from that part of ourselves which is similarly healthy/holy/complete, no matter how broken parts of us may be, or may appear to be, to ourselves or each other.
So………….what does this have to do with Medical Revolt’s blog, or the title or subtitle of this post……and why am I particularly interested in, and excited by, Mr Revolt’s blog, rather than any other blog about matters to do with health and wellbeing, whether physiological, psychological, spiritual or the whole-hael-of-what-is.
Well, it’s the SCIENCE. It’s incredibly common, for what I suppose I might loosely think of as the broad world of matter – physics – and the broad world of the intangible – metaphysics, to be distrustful or dismissive of each other. In fact there is a place where everything becomes (and indeed contains), its opposite
So I am rather more interested in finding out about cutting edge biological science from the edge where oppositions meet. It’s the Buddhist concept of ‘The Middle Way’. The ‘extremes of thinking’ for me – whether of number crunching pure statistics, or the edge of irrational (in my view) extremes of New Age-ism both frustrate me equally, because they fail to contain opposition, and the duality of homoeostasis AND entropy, – whatever movements there are towards the edge – expansion, dissolution, flying apart, this OR that, the opposite exists, the condensation, the contraction, the holding together. This AND That, rather than This OR That
Mr Revolt, for me, provides a beautiful illustration, approaching the far-out through a scientific rationale, or approaching the scientific precision of taking a thing apart to see its inner workings through the paradigm of encompassing the whole.
Not micro OR macro but micro AND macro (and of course the oppositional middle which contains the whole
Oh but hang on, what is it with the post title – there has been little of disgust and repellent so far, (you might be thinking, if you have had the patience to stay thus far) and what’s this about dark shadow and bright light, even:
There is an obvious physical manifestation that it is when the sun is brightest (more illuminative) that the shadows, the areas without light, where objects interrupt the light, are seen. Sunlight and shade are neither good nor bad, they are. The above yin and yang version does the illustration through sunlight and shadow, night day, dark light
There is a concept, from Jungian psychotherapy, of the ‘shadow self’ – the self we do not wish others to see. It is the self we may not even wish to see ourselves. We don’t want to own that shameful self, that hidden self. This is the self (because WE place constructs on it of illumination good, hidden/shadow= shady, dodgy,bad) The shadow (whether individual, cultural, or of an epoch) – is however made visible through illumination, and the shadow contains within it the light and the illumination.
yes, yes, but what is it which is so disgusting????
Well Mr Medical Revolt (you will be REALLY pleased I’m not posting the obvious illustration at this point) made an absolutely FASCINATING (well it was, as far as I’m concerned) post about a rather counter-intuitive way of dealing with a potentially lethal gut bacterium, which is on the verge of being untreatable by any antibiotics – indeed has developed strength, virulence and population growth THROUGH the over-prescription of antibiotics. Here’s a pic of C.difficile – it is found in the intestine.
Now, seeing the title of Mr Revolt’s post, aren’t you pleased I am going no further with graphics at this point?
What fascinated and interested me about his post, once I got beyond the Yeurrh gut (!) reaction stage, the disgust, the horrified embarrassed black humour, and even the science of it and the predictable anger at Big Pharma trying to suppress it, was this:
It was such an illustration of the shadow side, that which is unwanted, hidden, which we wish to eliminate (hah!) from ourselves, vent from ourselves, void from ourselves, being the part from where new health may come.
Strange to find excrement itself (well, it was strange to me) providing some sort of visceral (ha again) illumination about the metaphysics of dark and light, and the absorbed, acknowledged and integrated shadow rather than the disowned shadow
This post of mine, has, finally a practical purpose. As someone who doesn’t facebook, doesn’t tweet: I believe Medical Revolt’s post is hugely and scientifically important. Changes in medical thinking may often come ground up, rather than top down. Many extremely compassionate, caring dedicated clinicians ARE UNAWARE of unconventional effective, safer treatment protocols other than the protocols of Big Pharma itself or the last resort surgical scalpel – for all the obvious reason. PHARMA isn’t going to publicise the positive evidence of anything unpatentable.
Patients and clients are often the means by which other approaches come to the awareness of clinicians. Information just needs to be out there more widely in collective consciousness. If I did twit, face, or anything else, I would be twitfacing Mr Revolt’s post.
A journey of a thousand (virtual) miles starts with a single facetwit!
Ancient Chinese Digital proverb, often unattributed to Lao Tzu