Saturday, September 23, 2006

Balance in Health

Both Susan and I are thankful for her ability to breath normally now, but we also both recognize that some medicines are only a stop-gap measure that cover the symptoms rather than the cause. Our home is filled with unnatural things: plastics and concrete. Not to mention we live surrounded by concrete and asphalt. Our water is full of chemicals (that we try to filter out). Little sunlight gets into our home, and we've no park nearby to go and rest. And the pollution; why are we polluting the earth and ourselves? I cannot understand, but I can see that it is taking a toll on our health and on our humanity, not to mention our home.

While only slightly more mystical than what I would have written, I appreciate and stand with Wendell Berry who wrote:
It is therefore absurd to approach the subject of health piecemeal with a departmentalized band of specialists. A medical doctor uninterested in nutrition, in agriculture, in the wholeness of mind and spirit is as absurd as a farmer who is uninterested in health. Our fragmentation of this subject cannot be our cure, because it is our disease. The body cannot be whole alone. Persons cannot be whole alone. It is wrong to think that bodily health is compatible with spiritual confusion or cultural disorder, or with polluted air and water or impoverished soil. Intellectually, we know that these patterns of interdependence exist; yet modern social and cultural patterns contradict them and make it difficult or impossible to honor them in practice.

To try to heal the body alone is to collaborate in the destruction of the body. Healing is impossible in loneliness; it is the opposite of loneliness. Conviviality is healing. To be healed we must come with all the other creatures to the feast of Creation. (Wendell Berry in "The Unsettling of America," 3rd ed. 103-104)

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