Many who explore spiritual paths are also interested in ‘alternative’ paths for health and healing, with the primary emphasis on how to maintain health in a holistic way, taking into consideration body, soul and spirit. This rather than the predominant focus of current mainstream allopathic medicine on illnesses, microbes, etc and how we can ‘fight’ them with medicine, usually from pharmaceuticals. The first approach is also termed ‘salutogenesis’, the second is ‘pathogenesis’.
In the current Covid-19 pandemic, one can be excused for thinking from the mass media publicity that the only approach to fighting and overcoming it is through mass inoculation with vaccines, produced at breakneck speed by many pharmaceuticals – the second approach of pathogenesis. There are alternatives, though, based on more holistic approaches to health and healing. There is, as a for instance, a wonderfully encouraging report from a clinic in Germany about the success of homeopathic prophylaxis as well as treatment of Covid world-wide. Click here to view the PDF article from the Haus am Stalten Klinik, translated. The trials have been not just with scores or thousands but with millions of people, from India to Hong Kong to Cuba and more. But to consider this requires an entirely different thinking, one that accepts that there are life-forces at work for keeping us healthy, for growth, for preservation of life.
Little is spoken anymore (in that mass media) about how, from a position of health and holistic views one can protect oneself. Boris Johnson admitted, when he contracted the virus, that it was largely due to his being overweight. Over 60% of the UK population are classed as overweight, including 1 in 4 as obese. The CDC in the USA stated in spring 2020 that obesity could make us up to 10 times more susceptible. It is well known that also other morbidities, from heart and lung illnesses to diabetes and more, make us far more vulnerable to the virus, some of these also related to obesity. One can wonder, why are these not being talked about more? Many have been raising questions about the eye watering profits being made during the pandemic by the pharmaceuticals as well as internet and computer related industries. How much money is to be made by emphasising health? (click on the link for a very enlightening article about the pharmaceuticals from the Harvard Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, Autumn 2013). Are policy priorities following lobbying money? We are actually all familiar with this in principle, about the influence of corporation lobbies on government policies, but are seemingly not thinking this through with regard to the current situation.
There is an overarching principle to note here: that selfishness, greed and lust for power over others, will never lead to long-term health, in the individual, in society, in the environment. It is not conducive to our spiritual health and development; the state of health becomes a mirror of the impoverished spirit – as seen also in environmental destruction. Selflessness and compassion, on the other hand, support our spiritual growth and thus also our health and that of the world around us.
There is also another consideration. The predominant attitude, following the current pharma-government led approach, is that we are ‘at war’ with the viruses, which plays into the need for our having ‘control’ of the world around us. Indeed already in the early days of this current outbreak many governments spoke of it being a ‘war’, and the measures of ‘lockdown’, restrictions on meetings, curfews in some places, the tone of headlines resembling war-time propaganda – they all fit this picture. But is this mis-guided? That is, should we be ‘at war’ with nature? To an increasing extent, that has been our path through modern industrialisation – with the resulting environmental crises that we see.
Is not the better approach, as in environmental so also in health matters and the pandemic: to understand the complex picture around the virus outbreak, including the health elements mentioned above? To understand how we are interwoven with, not separate from, nature and the inclusive world of viruses? Not only can death come from viruses, but evolution of life. Science has also shown how much human evolution has been influenced by viruses and is even dependent on them. More would come in this current epidemic by researching questions such as: why do some appear to have immunity and not others? Why do some have only moderate symptoms and for others it is fatal? These have already been studied to a certain extent, but not so well publicised, as the descriptions above already indicate. Following this approach, we begin to realise that the outbreak has something to ‘teach’ us, that we can learn from illnesses. This is a topic in itself that could cover a book or more!
Our fear of death
Yet another more touchy question has to do with our individual destinies. A friend and not too distant neighbour of ours had let her children see their grandmother in the spring lockdown of 2020 – it seemed the human thing to do, for the joy of the grandmother and the children. She related how a friend of hers queried this, saying the grandmother might then ‘die before her time’ if this contact caused an infection. I was in awe at the wisdom coming in our neighbour friend’s response: ‘But then maybe that is her time.’
Psychologists note that there is no better way in controlling people’s behaviour than through fear. The ultimate is the fear of death, and the way this is currently being ‘used’ by media and government to help guide or ‘control’ public attitudes – well, we can be excused for thinking that we have only just discovered for the first time that people die, and that, judging from media headlines, exclusively from the Covid virus… Charles Eisenstein’s essay, The Coronation, written in the early days of the epidemic, is more applicable than ever; in it he raises the question at the end: is our whole response to the epidemic being shaped by our fear of death?
We have, indeed, lost sight of death being a part of life. I think if we all, as children or adult, played or worked more in nature, experiencing the natural cycles of life and death, and the beauty of the greater picture of life living on, we would have a greater sense for this. When it comes to end of life moments, we all have to find the balance, for each one of us different, between doing all we can to protect life and allowing individual freedom and dignity, also of those we are caring for. Or is this an exclusive matter for the state to decide?
If we go further, which readers on this website may already be inclined to do, we can look at the question of destiny not in terms of an inescapable fait accompli, but as part of a cycle of lives in our spiritual growth, in each of which we have something to experience and to learn. What we take upon us to learn, or not to learn, will affect our subsequent lives.
How to rise above lockdowns?
Separate from the virus, there is the question: what is the effect of the continuing ‘lockdowns’? Even the terms themselves of ‘lockdown’ and ‘social distancing’ go against the grain of what it is to be human. Human beings are social beings, thriving and living on human contact and – as we are also discovering during lockdown times – on our intimate connections with nature. Isolation and loneliness increase our chances of illness, mental and physical, and suppresses our natural immunity. Loneliness especially amongst the elderly, as imposed to a significant extent during lockdown, is known to be an added cause of death. And our habits during covid times, from more drinking of alcohol to eating more junk food, less activity, more screen time, all go in this same direction of reducing our natural immunity. On Saturday, 13 February • 4:00-6:00 PM the Scientific and Medical Network is hosting a seminar with Dr. Oliver Robinson, Psychologist, on Lockdown Policies: Doing More Harm Than Good? If you see this before, do consider joining – click here for link. If you only see if afterwards, the seminar description is itself informative –
From the seminar description:
“There is a growing body of research on the effects of lockdowns. Research comparing interventions across countries suggests that lockdowns do bring infection case growth rates down in the short-term, but no more than non-lockdown interventions such as limiting the size of gatherings and social distancing. Multiple research studies show no effect of lockdown measures on mortality rates, indeed some studies suggest that deploying lockdowns are related to increased mortality. Economic research suggests that hundreds of thousands of deaths will be attributable to the economic slump caused by prolonged lockdowns.
Psychological research has documented the negative effects of lockdowns on mental health. Crucially, there is also clear evidence that lockdowns lead to specific stressors that are known to have an immunosuppressant effect in relation to respiratory illness, thus may increase the likelihood of getting ill after being exposed to a coronavirus. I discuss whether the fact that governments have overlooked this last fact stems from them deploying a mechanistic and linear view of viral illness based almost solely on exposure to pathogens rather than one that is based also on the optimal functioning of the immune system supported by biological, psychological and social factors. I will also discuss issues that research should focus on in the future to shed further light on this matter.” Dr. Oliver Robinson
Dr. Robinson’s recommendation for coping can also be found in the publication from July 2020, The Impact of Lockdown – State of the Nation (click on the title to download, and scroll down to page 6-8).
To be sure, there have also been the positive sides to lockdown. We must always look for the positive, strive for the positive in each and every one of us, whatever we face. Positive attitudes reinforce health and healing. Holistic attitudes which incorporate a spiritual orientation to life take this principle further. Many have discovered or renewed practices in meditation, in mindfulness exercises. Many have, as a result of the ‘shake-up’ in established everyday patterns, discovered new directions for their lives, renewed their gardening work, deepened their appreciation of nature, woken up to the needs of others including neighbours on the same street whom they hadn’t spoken to before…
This does not account for all the population; those who have found and furthered such practices can help by encouraging others to do the same. Some have felt moved to take convictions even further in campaigning, through letters, through leaflets, even protest – to emphasise that lockdowns, wars on nature, and also ‘social distancing’ have their limits, if we are to live on as socially and spiritually oriented human beings. Throughout any measure taken, the important thing is to hold the holistic image of the whole and healthy human being in ones consciousness, not as a machine, as mechanical dots on a graph, but as a spiritual being, striving for meaning and connection and ultimately for greater spiritual understanding and awakening.
“We are not afraid, not at all! If you live in an anxious environment, you will become more ill. When you are in an environment without fear, you will become healthy and happy!”
Prof. Dr. Pradeep Kumar, India
5 February 2021