The paradigm of Scientific Materialism in Medicine
Have you ever thought about how our doctors are taught? What is their curriculum? Upon what beliefs and assumptions are they based? I have been a professional educator all my life, so, as I have encountered doctors, I have been curious about what goes on with their training and education, especially when we have not seen eye to eye about what I should be doing to keep myself healthy.
We are having big problems in our health systems throughout the Western world. Could it be that our doctors’ particular method of training is a significant contributing factor? In my opinion, from an educational perspective, I would say we have some serious thinking to do here. The truth is that our medical education is gravely behind the times.
Our medical schools are still firmly entrenched in a belief in Scientific Materialism. There are many ways in which the belief we have in scientific materialism is keeping our medicine stagnant. I know they will hate me for saying this but, in my opinion, many members of the medical profession today are like the priests of the Catholic Church in the sixteenth century when Galileo was imprisoned. They are holding on to beliefs and assumptions which are dead and buried, although they refuse to see it at the moment.
A doctor’s training is fundamentally no different than the training of a car engineer except that a human being is not a machine but has a mind and feelings and is not just more complicated than any car – we have a different level of being.
We are called as a species, ‘Homo Sapiens’. The translation of this from Latin is ‘Wise man’. Humans require more from a doctor than simply body engineering.
A lady friend of mine, lying in the hospital, just recovering from a breast cancer operation, said to the hospital doctor, “ I am going to stay positive and believe in my ability to keep cancer at bay in the future through how I think and feel.” The doctor’s response was to say that there was no scientific evidence to show that the way you thought and felt had any relationship to cancer.
Apart from the total insensitivity of what he had to say, it was also untrue. There is a great deal of evidence to show the relationship between our minds and our bodies. He knew nothing about this evidence because he was locked in his belief system just as much as a fundamentalist Christian still asserting that God made the world in seven days.
Our doctors are taught to believe in the body in mechanical terms, as are we. The heart is a pump, the lungs are bellows, our legs are levers, and so on. The belief is that we are biological machines and there is no correlation between our body and our mind and emotions.
The classical physics of Isaac Newton forms the basis of our medical model – that based on the laws of a mechanical universe. The problem is that in 1925, the basis of physics moved into a different universe, the quantum universe, with its understanding of an energy universe and the interconnectedness of all things. Our medical schools still, after over 85 years have not come to grips with this paradigm shift and what it truly means for medicine and health.
We have a hospital system that is still based on the model of factories from the industrial revolution. There is now more dangers to life and limb in going into hospital, regardless of our medical reason than getting into our car or being a soldier in a war zone.
When we visit our doctor he might hardly know our name and certainly little of our personality, circumstances, and background. Often, his diagnosis and treatment are likely to be centered around which drug to prescribe.
The truth is that how we feel and how we think is central to our health. If we are going to keep healthy and maintain our energy and vitality throughout our life we need to work on our inner world and our consciousness. We have been brought up to believe we have no personal power with regard to our health and when we have a problem we look to a doctor to solve it for us, just as we look for a TV technician with our TV or a car mechanic with our car.
We are encouraged to look after our bodies in the same way we look after our car. Keep it clean, service it regularly, don’t stress it out by going beyond its capacity. However, cars do not have their own minds and feelings. We do. Mechanical care and servicing are not enough for us as human beings.
We need inner training, not outer training.
I had my gall bladder out when I was in my late thirties. I know why now. I have quite a fiery nature. I spent a lot of energy controlling my anger. My anger grew into gallstones over a number of years. I know this to be true for me. No one had ever educated me on how to dissolve my anger. I only knew how to deal with it through control, hence the gall stones growing in a hidden way inside my body until at last something had to be done about it. Surgery, by that time, was the only option.
It is not too late for any of us to begin to re-educate ourselves. We can all begin to start on an inner training program. The basic dynamo of a healthy, energetic life begins and ends inside our own minds.