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Ways of Health •Holistic Approaches to Ancient and Contemporary Medicine

7 Oct

On the Limitations of Modern Medicine



It has been suggested that the character of medical culture is largely determined by that of the wider culture of which it is a part and that the medical beliefs and behaviors of individuals are largely socially determined.  It would be wrong however to ignore the scope for voluntary activity.  For one thing, current developments do not always fulfill past expectations.  Thus strains are created, both in the sphere of practice and the sphere of theory.  The old ways of seeing the world are fractured and through the cracks the real world becomes more visible.  The scope of human freedom expands.  Within the wider sphere of productive life, as indeed within medicine, the most serious emerging strains derive from industrial man’s relation to the natural world.

It is clear that the increase in human numbers and the increase in material consumption per capita must reach limits in a finite world.  Currently each is increasing at around 2 percent per year with global levels of material production thus rising around 4 percent and doubling in less than 20 years.  Because of the momentum inherent in demographic growth and of the effect of rising global expectations in sustaining economic growth, some studies have suggested that the global “population-capital system” seems bound for “overshoot and collapse” before re-stabilising within the limits nature imposes on man*.  This is not a problem that will go away if it is ignored and an increasing awareness of it is likely to lead to a fundamental reassessment of the wider constraints on human action.  As ecology is central to health, it would be surprising if such a reassessment did not also involve re-examination of the assumptions underlying modern medicine.  In any case medicine contains its own particular expression of the wider crisis—diminishing returns and a self-defeating dependence on economic growth to solve the health problems associated with such growth.


* Meadows, D.H., D.L., Randers, J. and Behrens, W.W., The Limits to Growth (New York: NAL, 1972).  Also see Mesarovic, M., and Pestel, E. Mankind at the Turning Point (New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1974).


Sobel, D. S., Ways of Health Holistic Approaches to Ancient and Contemporary Medicine (New York Harcourt Brace Jovanovich ©1979) P. 77.

Sonnet – To Science

12 Jun

Sonnet – To Science

Toward a New Theory of Sexuality

11 Jun

The “necessary interplay between the yes and no of the creative process” is offered in the following Talmudic analogy,

First the Holy One, Blessed be He, tried to create the world according to the measure of mercy [grace] but it fell apart. Then he tried to create it according to the measure of justice [din, judgement] but that too fell apart. What did he do? He took and equal measure of mercy and mixed it with an equal measure of justice, and the result was our world.

Justice and Mercy, in the sefirothic schema, represent feminine and masculine elements, respectively, and so it is clear that without a harmonious balance between these two, the world could not have been created.

The idea of several successive creations of the world, of which our own is the latest and the least perfect of all is not unique to the literature of the Kabbalah. It also existed in Greek mythology; it is found in the four yugas of the Hindu world cycle, and in other places.

June Singer; Androgyny, Toward a New Theory of Sexuality (Anchor Press/Double Day, Garden City, New York ©1976) p 160-161



Image 5 May


Alice In Wonderland

25 Apr

Magical Passes

12 Apr




Magical Passes, Carlos Castanda; HarperCollins Publisher Inc, New York ©1998

At Chichen-Itza

11 Apr

At Chichen-Itza, in Yucatan, the chief wonder is the gigantic pyramid-temple known as El Castillo. It is reached by a steep flight of steps, and from it is the vast ruins of Chichen radiate in a circular manner. To the east is the market-place, to the north a mighty temple, and a tennis-court, perhaps the best example of its kind in Yucatan, whilst to the west stand the Nunnery and the Chichan-Chob, or prison, Concerning Chichen-Itza Cogulludo tells the following story: “A king of Chichen called Canek fell desperately in love with a young princess, who, whether she did not return his affection or whether she was compelled to obey a parental mandate, married a more powerful Yucatec cacique. The discarded lover, unable to bear his loss, and moved by love and despair, armed his dependents and suddenly fell upon his successful rival. Then the gaiety of the feast was exchanged for the din of war, and amidst the confusion the Chichen prince disappeared, carrying off the beautiful bride. But conscious that his power was less than his rival’s, and fearing his vengeance, he fled the country with most of his vassals.” It is a historical fact that the inhabitants of Chichen abandoned their city, but whether for the reason given in this story or not cannot be discovered.


The Myths of Mexico & Peru

By Lewis Spence F.R.A.I. (New York FARRAR & RINEHART Publishers) Printed in Great Britain at the Ballantine Press by Spottiswoode Ballantine & Co. Ltd. Cholchester London & Eton p.188-189