Science, “Scientism”, Group-Think, & Radical Healing

 

Like acupuncture, which was pooh-pooh for decades as unscientific bunkum and hocus-pocus, but is now acknowledged by the mainstream conventional Western medical establishment to work – though our crude medical model, which is outdated by a century with the advent of quantum physics, cannot fathom how it works; things like feng shui, t’ai chi, yoga, meditation, or natural grounding of the human bio-electric field, through simply walking barefoot in the garden or on a beach, have been viewed with deep skepticism by the pseudo-scientific crowd who practice scientism, not science; and who practice a kind of medieval dogmatism, scholasticism and group-think, over actual empiricism.

But if we realize that the modern Western “scientific” view of the body, mind, cosmos and reality, is radically mistaken; the Cartesian assumption of dualism, and the Newtonian model of a mechanistic universe, with their attendant materialist reductionism following grimly along behind, are in essence a set of ideologies which are century out of date, and now radically defunct; as quantum physics, ecology, mind-body research, epigenetics, systems theory and chaos theory all confirm; and a non-dualistic view of body and mind, and all phenonmena, as radically interconnected and interdependent – as they are in reality – sheds new light on all these subjects, and many more; and what was once inconceivable, becomes at least potentially possible, if not matter of fact.

A paradigm shift, which is to say, a revolution in science, and in human consciousness, is underway. Such things take time. We have been at it for a mere century. But it is accelerating, and coming to a tipping point – and one that is not a climate disaster (which is also unfolding), but a human cultural rebirth, and a new renaissance.

*

Will yoga, t’ai chi, chi gong, pranayama, meditation, feng shui, or natural grounding of the human bio-electric field, by walking barefoot in the garden, hurt you or anyone else? Not if you do them sensibly – of course not.

Is there reason to believe these practices could be beneficial to human health, mood, or state of mind?

There is overwhelming evidence for all of the above, if we take a broader view of what we consider findings which have been corroborated empirical evidence – such as thousands of years of experience by meditators and yogis, for example. I think that is extremely strong evidence, and certainly enough to give it a try, and investigate these things for yourself, as the Buddha himself recommended.

But, if that is not enough evidence for the prickles, as Alan Watts called them, then yes, even within the artificially more narrow criteria for empirical evidence, the evidence is also compelling, to say the least – if not, in some cases, voluminous.

Benefits from such practices have been shown to include:

Stress reduction

Pain reduction

Inflammation reduction

Improved immune response

Improved cardiovascular health

Improved mood

Increased energy

Improved sleep

And much more.

My view is that if it is reasonably safe, and there is reason to believe it may possibly be of help, then why not try it, or at least investigate it? That was and is my view, and I would recommend such an open-minded, truly empirical attitude for others.

However, these things are not new to me. I can offer my own findings, which have corroborated the findings of thousands of years of practitioners – to the extent that I have been able to plumb them, which, frankly, is to a radical depth.

My own findings are clear to me, and indisputable: these things simply work – and are powerfully healing, peace-giving, regenerating, liberating, and in the case of meditation, truly enlightening.

What have you got to lose, I say? Dive in!

Consider 5 minutes a day, each, of yoga and meditation, and 5 minutes of walking barefoot in your garden, or through the woods, or on a beach or natural shoreline, as a minimal first step, and daily commitment.

Try that for two weeks, and see how you feel. I guarantee you, these things are so powerful, despite their simplicity, that they will be beneficial, whether you notice quick and obvious results or not.

Anyone can do yoga, by the way, unless you are in a coma. Be gentle, go slow, be mindful, breath calmly and deeply and consciously, and do only the postures or exercises that you are able to do without strain. (Start with wrist and ankle rotations if that is all you can do.) Your range of motion will improve with time.

And anyone can meditate. Sit comfortably, back straight, head level, and focus your attention on the sensation of breath at the tip of your nose, or “watch” as your belly rises and falls. Do not try to quiet your mind. Simply breathe.

If you can’t sit still for 5 minutes, then try walking meditation. The point is to be aware of what you are doing, and to focus on that. And yes, such a simple practice has powerful results.

15 minutes a day to feel better, stronger, healthier, happier, more peaceful, more energetic, more alive, and more well? If the benefits can be great, the cost is zero, the risk is zero, and the time commitment is 15 minutes a day, why would anyone choose to ignore the possibilities?

Explore away, I say.

Think for yourself, question everything, keep an open mind – and as the Buddha said, examine things for yourself.
*

The fundamentals of health and healing are, as always:

– Healthy, healing, nourishing food – and not too much or too little. “Let food be thy medicine”, as Hippocrates, the founder of Western medicine, himself said.

– Healthy hydration

– Healthy breathing

– Healthy exercise
(thumb clicking the remote, and index finger scrolling, don’t count)

– Healthy stress management and stress reduction
(Shouting obscenities, silently or aloud, at bad drivers, dumb posts or annoying people, also does not qualify)

– Healthy attitude – including compassion for oneself and others, above all

– Avoid ingesting poison – be it physical, mental or emotional

– Regular detoxification – Dandelion, red clover, burdock, nettle, and milk thistle, singly or together, are very effective; and above all, saunas. Just remember: go slow and gentle, and drink loads of water. Safest practice is to eat lightly while detoxing, and not fast. Fast only if and when your body is strong, and ready for it; and then, go gently, as well. Detox once a month, or at least once a year, at minimum. But daily dandelion, milk thistle, nettle and saunas, is generally best. We have poisoned our world. Until we heal it, we must detoxify regularly, as well as using the best air and water purifiers (Dyson and Berkey), and eating a natural, whole foods, plant-based organic diet as well.

– Utilize nature’s own pharmacy, which is botanical medicine, or herbs, under proper guidance, to supplement the primary healing modalities above.

(Surgery or pharmaceuticals can be useful or even necessary at times. But they should be a last resort, in most cases – of course, depending on the condition; and not a first response. They are invasive and risky, and at present are heavily over-used. Big Pharma may love it, but pharmaceuticals aren’t always the best approach.)

These fundamentals remain the same. To them we can add the more drastic measures of surgery and pharmaceuticals, when and if needed.

But do not underestimate the practices mentioned above. They have more power than most people would dare to imagine.

Above all, trust yourself – and embrace your power. You decide what you will do with your body, your mind, your health, and your life. No one else has the right to make these decisions for you. Only you do. And you are in the driver’s seat.

We are both conditioned and free; but the locus of power is within. Remember that. It is the most critical lesson of all.

Be well, and be free.

J. Todd Ring,
August 1, 2020

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