Guiding Thoughts

‘Disease occurs … not in the body but in life.’

Byron J. Good

“It is far more important that one’s life should be perceived
than it be transformed; for no sooner has it been perceived
than it transforms itself of its own accord.”

Maurice Maeterlinck  

“… scientific determinism is the root and prevalent philosophy in our present Western technological culture, where the bulk of our endeavours incline to engineering, that is, the direct alteration and control of physical structures. Medical practice, deriving from this outlook, is based on the assumption that distress can only be alleviated by changing behavioural or physical manifestations of that distress. Antacids for dys­pepsia, tranquillizers for anxiety, and behaviour therapy for sexual dysfunction are clinical ex­amples of this engineering philosophy. The experi­ence of distress, it is held, will yield to control of its physical determinants; there is no need to explore or amplify the experience itself, as the experience is only a reflection of disturbed underlying mechanism.”

Dr David Zigmond

“An advanced industrial society is sick-making because it disables people from coping with their environment and, when they break down, it substitutes a ‘clinical’ prosthesis for the broken relationships.”

“People would rebel against such an environment if medicine did not explain their biological disorientation as a defect in their health, rather than as a defect in the way of life which is imposed on them or which they impose on themselves.”

“A number of authors have … tried to debunk the status of mental deviance as a ‘disease’. Paradoxically, they have rendered it more and not less difficult to raise the same kind of question about disease in general.”

Ivan Illich

“The idea of one basis for Science and another for Life is from the very outset a lie.”

Karl Marx

“There is not much difference whether a human being is looked on as a ‘case’ or as a number to be tattooed on the arm.”

from Doctors of Infamy – on the perversion of medicine in the Third Reich

“Patients turn their problems into illnesses, and … the physician’s job is to turn them back into problems.”

Michael Balint

“…the body’s symptoms are not necessarily pathological, that is, they are not just sicknesses which must be healed, repressed or cured. Symptoms are potentially meaningful and purposeful conditions… as well as a royal road into the development of the personality.”

Arnold Mindell

“A psychological medicine … obviously comes into conflict with the technological development of medicine, which has already become an Über-technology. This development is itself closely connected with modern economic structures, with industry, with the income sources of physicians, with the gigantic need for patients – and others – to be deceived.”

“That illnesses have meaning, can lead those affected to the meaning of their lives – this is the insight that natural-scientific medicine has fundamentally impeded.”

“One sees, now, that psychology in medicine brings forth an unexpected result. It does not only bring knowledge of the soul, but illuminates the body in such a way as to let it appear in a new light. The body is no longer what it seemed before, and what anatomy and physiology teach.”

“Illness can be experienced as this – that through a bodily occurrence a development in awareness is created.”

“The greatest goal would be to understand how in every case, in what way an illness is just a muted final thought, a still insufficiently [fulfilled] creative act.”

Viktor von Weizsäcker

“… health is not an objective condition which can be understood by the methods of natural science alone. It is rather a condition related to the mental attitude by which the individual has to value what is essential for his life. “Health” appears thus as a value; its value consists in the individual’s capacity to actualise his nature to the degree, that for him at least, is essential.”

Kurt Goldstein

“… science is, to a quite unimaginable degree, through and through dogmatic; dealing with un-thought-through conceptions and preconceptions. It is of the highest importance that there be thinking physicians, who are not of a mind to leave the field for the scientific technologists.”

“… the genetic approach is clear to everyone. It seems self-evident. But it suffers from a deficit, which is all too easily and therefore all too often overlooked. To be in a position to explain an illness genetically, we need first of all to explain what the illness in itself is.”

“Those who wish to stick rigidly to genetic explanation, without first of all clarifying the essence of that which they wish to explain, can be compared to people who wish to reach a goal, without first of all bringing this goal in view.”

“All explanation reaches only so far as the explication of that which is to be explained.”

“It can be that a true understanding of the essence of an illness…prohibits all causal-genetic explanation….”

Martin Heidegger

“If people become ill, it is quite fashionable to say that the immunity system has temporarily failed – yet the body itself knows that certain ‘dis-eases’ are healthy reactions. The body does not recognise diseases as diseases in usually understood terms.”

“You are not healthy … no matter how robust your physical condition, if your relationships are unhealthy, unsatisfying, frustrating or hard to achieve.”

“…a person in poor health should be seen by the physician in relationship to the family and also in relationship to the environment. Old-time family doctors understood the patient’s sensitivity to family members and to the environment, of course, and they often felt a lively sympathy and understanding that the practitioners of modern medicine often seem to have forgotten.”

“…try to understand that the particular dilemma of illness is not an event forced upon you … Rather realise that to some extent or another your dilemma or your illness has been chosen by you

“There is no need to feel guilty since you meant very well as you made each choice…”

“… no person dies ahead of his or her time. The individual chooses the time of death.”

“…no individual dies of cancer or AIDS, or any other condition, until they themselves have set the time.”

from The Way Toward Health – a Seth book by Jane Roberts

“Through the long succession of millennia, man has not known himself physiologically; he does not know himself even today.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

“The ‘I’ is first and foremost a bodily ‘I’.”

Sigmund Freud

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