So. Obamacare squeaks by 5-4, with a surprising swing-vote champion, Chief Justice John Roberts. Is this decision good or bad?
Right wingers, on cue, bleat their hatred vociferously.
A friend of mine, who has diabetes, said the decision brought her to tears, she was so happy.
Another friend, not a right winger, was also furious: that she should be tasked with a tax if she chooses not to get insurance for “health” care (read: sicko care) that she does not believe in or use; that she sees as all part of the industrial medico/pharmaceutico/insurance campaign to dumb down, saddle with unpayable debt, and condemn humans to mental fogginess, perpetual sickness, and premature death as “useless eaters.”
This friend would rather follow Nature’s way, learn which plants are medicine, and use appropriately. Rather than laboring at a slave job to pay the “tax,” she would rather spend her precious time coming into balance, by aligning her physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies, knowing that this balance yields health.
And yet, and yet. I also agree with Michael Moore that this Supreme Court “victory,” if we can call it such, is a milestone, in that it officially births a collective ethical trend in another direction, that of caring for all the people all of the time, rather than the rich get it all and the rest be damned.
So even though this particular convoluted health care law that was craftily crafted by insurance company lobbyists is godawful, the spirit and intent of it is okay, in fact utterly needed.
But, and it’s a big but . . .
What is not mentioned, in this debate, is the idea that as citizens, we have both rights (universal health care, for example) and responsibilities. And I’d say that the first responsibility we have, as spirits temporarily overlighting bodies residing on this still abundant though beleaguered good green planet Earth, is to care properly for those bodies. And that means eat right, exercise right, sleep right, and so on. As a priority. As the first priority on a daily basis. Everything else follows. Unless the body is healthy, we cannot serve the world.
Does this set of priorities take “discipline”? Yes.
World server Dalai Lama, when confronted by a man who groused how hard it was for him to be disciplined, responded, with alacrity: “self-discipline is looking after one’s own long-term interests.” I mean, duh!
Rather than cheering that we can now get insurance for our pre-existing diabetes condition, we might turn our focus to the personal habits that created our condition in the first place — and reverse it. While many diseases are triggered by environmental pollutants interacting with weakened human immune systems, it’s also true that conscious awareness of the relationship between mind and body plays the pivotal role in any healing process. As an old female healer once told me, “The mind controls the body. But we think the body controls the mind, so it does.”
Speaking of the mind, I’m glad to see the increasing focus on meditation as an antidote for the revved up, stressed out monkey-minds of our electronic age. Glad to see the growing recognition that no matter what is going on, if we sink beneath the busy, dizzy scrim of appearances to the calm, clear, oceanic continuum of the infinitely vast being in which we are all immersed, we will recognize — for a second, a minute, or lifelong — that we have always been cared for, all of us. That the universe is our mother. That we “live, move and have our being” in her loving arms.
This, really, is the universal health care mandate that each of us can claim, once we let go of our heads and move into our hearts, in which this all-pervasive Being that lies beneath and within all our frantic becoming, lives, and lives on.
No end. And no beginning.
Just this: being always is.