But first, we must learn how to treat the self well. And in this culture of rampant corruption and top-down abuse, the road from childhood shame and guilt to responsible self-care is long and hard.
Yesterday, on my morning walk with puppy Shadow, a young man walking in the opposite direction stopped to ask me if I would mind answering a few questions. Given that his eyes and demeanor felt innocent and eager, I said okay. It turns out he was taking a class at Indiana University that was investigating how the new administration’s approach to health and insurance would affect seniors; he was supposed to ask a few of them. Of course his first sentence was an apology for including me in this group — in this culture it’s taken for granted that no one wants to “look old.” I just laughed. No sense in delving into that topic, it would take us too far astray.
But to his main question, I simply started in on how I live my life, and how I care for my own body. Told him that except for getting short-term health insurance for a three-week float trip down the Grand Canyon back when I was in my late ’40s, I did not have health insurance until I was automatically enrolled in Medicare. “Part A,” I added. “I don’t want Part B.”
Then, I dug in. The reason I did not have health insurance, I told him, is that for over four decades I have made care for my own body primary, with two hours of physical exercise per day (including 3-4 mile walks, yoga, chikung and taichi), mostly organic fresh food, enough sleep, and continuous conscious monitoring of my changing physical/emotional/mental/spiritual condition. Given my longterm reflections on this matter, I now assume that what we call “disease” is exactly that, dis-ease, a state of being ill at ease, i.e., not at home in one’s body, which in turn, is not at one with the body of Earth.
I don’t go to doctors, I explained. An exception was four years ago, when I broke my wrist tripping over a root on a forest trail. Otherwise, I use natural remedies and methods, those that have helped humans heal from time immemorial, and they are pre-industrial, pre-pharmacological.
I can’t remember what else I told him, but his eyes widened continually, as he strove to make sure his little phone mike was catching every word.
So, I concluded, since I’m not really in the population that looks outside myself to figure out whether my health needs are or are not going to be taken care of, I guess I’m not a great subject for your study.
“Oh no! Oh no!” He exclaimed. “This is great!”
And with that we said goodbye and continued in our separate directions.
Now of course, given my way of thinking, there are likely those in the psychiatric world that would call me “crazy.” And certainly, I am crazy if sanity is defined as social agreement. Because I very definitely do not go along with anyone who thinks that the responsibility for the state of one’s physical/emotional/mental/spiritual vehicle on this beloved planet lies outside the self.
Here are two pieces that I find interesting in this context. First, we notice the usual ties to Big Pharma. Which reminds me — and yes, I’ve told you before that there are now two CVS legal drug dispensaries within three blocks of where I live.
Note that the second piece ties back into the signature issue of pedophilia. Just as Sibel Edmund’s long fascinating tale of systematic corruption ended up there, so did Sigmund Freud’s attitude towards women, all of whom, he claimed, merely “fantasized” incest with their fathers (cf. “the Oedipus Complex”).
The ghastly, still mostly hidden dis-ease of pedophilia is real, it is longstanding and ubiquitous. If we wish to heal, then we need to address pedophilia and its ramifying complexity NOW, both in our personal lives and as a society.