Posts Tagged ‘Spirit’

Life as Treatment

20 April 2020

This is intended to be a brief philosophic look at various approaches to life and its problems. It is provoked, perhaps, by the material I am studying right now, along with our current social situation.

When we think of “treatments” we usually think of medicine. What has now become the tradition in Medicine (though the profession seems to prefer to call itself “scientific” with the implication that this is not “traditional”) is to identify a disease or disorder or condition that accounts for the symptoms the patient is complaining about, then find a proper treatment that will lessen the symptoms or make them go away.

Ideally the treatment “cures” the problem and the patient is healthy again, or at least back to his or her previous level of health. But if the problem continues, it is common to simply continue the treatment. Some problems, it seems, can’t be cured.

Condition: Being alive in a human body

My studies have informed me that “being human” is actually a non-optimum condition. Everyone accepts is as normal because most are unaware that there are any better alternatives. Indeed, some might not agree that there are any “better” alternatives, even assuming they were aware of any. There are some among us who have become aware of alternatives and have deliberated on this question. For most of us, living in a human body is the baseline, normal thing that we all do.

However, we can see it as a “chronic” condition, and identify certain “treatments” that are required to maintain the “patient’s” health:

  • Feed the body using the most nutritious food available, and water.
  • Protect the body with clothing, heat or cooling, and shelter.
  • Make sure the body has some way to get around (transport).
  • Give the body enough sleep or rest.
  • Give the body sufficient exercise or vigorous work.

In fact, our entire economy is anchored on these necessary “treatments” for the condition of “having a biological body.” If you didn’t have a body, you wouldn’t need money to keep the body treated so it would remain healthy. You might still want to enjoy the entertaining or “fun” aspects of human life. And those cost money, too (for the most part). So not having a biological body might not make an economy totally unnecessary, but it would be an economy based on entertainment, not on food, shelter, etc.

Condition: Body not feeling good

For this, we usually go to a doctor to get “treated.” Most “scientific” doctors use medicines as treatments, though we somehow survived for thousands of years without modern medicines. This suggests there may be more to treating unhealthy bodies than mere medicine.

We have found that there are many body conditions that will “heal,” often without even the help of a doctor. While others seem to persist or get worse once they start. Many doctors, I think, believe, that we just have to find better medicines and this will make more conditions totally curable.

Meanwhile, they are content to take in considerable sums for those treatments, whether they lead to a cure or not. My personal opinion is that doctors shouldn’t get paid if they can’t effect a cure.

Condition: Feel sad

The field of “mental health” has become a special category of physical health. This is only because the people currently in charge of this field decided that they should be doctors and treat mental problems the way doctors treat physical problems. This was a bad decision, but they don’t seem to care that much. The general public seems perfectly happy with this system as well. After all, it all comes under the general heading of Having a Biological Body.

Oddly (I think) these “doctors” tend to see mental health problems as treatable, but not curable. I think they are just greedy and lazy. But the general public tend to agree with this rendition of the problem, because there is a consensus that life is a condition that requires treatment, but cannot be “cured.”

Condition: Dead

Though there is no widely accepted treatment or cure for this condition, it should be noted that a few people every now and then have recovered from it. In other words, their bodies were clinically “dead” for a while and then they became alive again.

This fact opens up the possibility that the general public – and physicians in particular – have overlooked something about death (and life, needless to say) that they should really know more about. Only a very few have not overlooked this and they, for the most part, were rudely ousted from their chosen professions as somehow “unfit.” Hubbard, of course, was one such person.

Condition: Stupid or uninformed on some subject

The “treatment” most people accept for this condition is called “education.” It is one of the most widely praised treatments that society has made available to its members. Traditionally (now, in, say the last 100 years or so, but not before that) this treatment consisted of going to school for roughly 12 years, then if you survived that in some sort of good state, continuing to go to school for a number of years more.

Most schools still utilize “grades” which are a method of evaluating for the student how well he or she has learned some particular subject. They also use “teachers,” who are considered somehow necessary to education even though there are so many books (now) written on so many subjects that no one could possibly ever read them all, but could possibly read some subset of them and become quite adept at certain skills with no help from a “teacher” at all. The “teachers” in that case would be the authors of the books!

That the alternate form of education outlined above has occurred successfully – and perhaps is the most successful form of education – seems to have escaped the notice of people who think you have to have schools where teachers teach subjects to students.

The failure of society in general, and those in charge in particular, to realize that education consists mostly of looking to see what is there, studying it with enough care to gain some proficiency with it, then practicing those learned skills until one becomes adept, is a big reason why a number of people aren’t gainfully employed, are barely literate, or are incompetent at their jobs.

The ability to recognize and apply the above data about education has led to some persons, by the age of 14 – some even younger, competently able to do “adult” work.

Condition: Constant improvement

This condition, in this world, is considered by most to be impossible. All you can expect is to grow up, get a job, make it through a lifetime having more or less fun and bearing more or less responsibility, then getting old, then sick, then dead.

Most still believe that this is all there is, even though it has been amply demonstrated now that this isn’t all there is.

Though many, given the choice, would still choose to play the game of biological life on Earth, most aren’t aware they have a choice. Well, that’s just not true; they do have a choice.

It is my hope that more and more will learn this fact and act on it. Then life will become less and less treatment and more and more game. Isn’t that what most of us really want?

Changes in the wind

14 April 2019

A flying animal has been one of the classic metaphors used by artists to convey the idea of a spirit leaving a body at death, and so I chose the image of a butterfly – just captured yesterday – to introduce this article.

butterfly-20190413-folsom

Two weeks ago, at the end of March, a young man who was born and raised in the South Central neighborhoods of Los Angeles was prevented from doing something he wanted to do.

He had planned to meet with police and other local officials the next day to discuss the problem of gang violence in his neighborhood, and what could be done about it. Nipsey had just started to become known in the broader community as a rap artist with a little different angle to his lyrics. But in his own community he was already widely known as someone who wanted to strengthen himself and everyone he met with knowledge, with love, with a sense of responsibility, and with a dream that things could get better.

In the middle part of the last century, various businesses had established themselves in the Los Angeles area and were providing good jobs. This attracted a large number of people into the neighborhoods now known as South Central. Later, those businesses fled, leaving so many families living there to their own devices. And those big corporate plants started to be replaced by unhealthy enterprises like illegal drug distributors. People there could work for the new “employers” if they were willing to take the chance of being caught by the police or being killed by someone working for a rival group.

“Gangs” were an old tradition in neighborhoods like this. Because the darker-skinned people of these communities had more to worry about than just finding jobs so their children could eat. These communities were being targeted by some social force that has always maintained a secretive identity, yet has always seemed to be present. While some activists try to simplify this problem down to “whitey,” most knew that was far from the full truth. But to most, the exact cause didn’t matter. To be dark-skinned in a white man’s world meant you needed an extra layer of spiritual and physical protection. And the gangs were one way to obtain that protection.

That the gangs came to war with each other was just an indication of how devious the evil ones of this world could be. Those wars, combined with constant harassment from the police, created more bloodshed and suffering in this community than any community anywhere could easily tolerate. And so, there were constant attempts by men and women of higher purpose to stop the violence in the neighborhoods, and seek some sort of change that would protect them better than any police, any gangs, or any large outside companies, had ever done. Yet, there was constant discouragement.

A few people in this community, however, had discovered something new. Though it came from a white man, its power was enough to turn heads. And a few learned some of this technology, and benefited from it. And so Minister Tony Muhammad, an executive with the Nation of Islam who had been given the responsibility of bringing a better life to the people of South Central, was one day introduced to Mr. Hubbard’s technologies. He began to use The Way To Happiness in the community, and it seemed to be of genuine help. And step by step, with the help of many others, Minister Tony put in place a program to end gang violence in South Central, and rebuild the community into something new and very alive.

Minister Tony was always willing to respond when violence struck. And so one day, while attempting to bring calm after a shooting had occurred, he got badly hit by a police officer, and then arrested. A young man named Ermias witnessed this, and was among those demanding Minister Tony’s immediate release. And so this young man, a genius and a dreamer, caught the spark of hope for his community that so many others had, in their turn, fought for.

He started out selling T-shirts with his brother. But he was also a self-taught mix artist and rapper. And in his songs and in his work, he tried to convey his vision on a level that his friends in the neighborhoods could understand. By 2018, and with only one major album to his credit, this young man – now in his 30’s – was nevertheless ready to take it to the next level and work with Minister Tony to elevate his community and his people. On the last day of March of this year, someone who he knew shot him dead in front of his clothing store, located near the corner of Crenshaw and Slauson.

How do I know about all this? Minister Tony came to my church last night and told us about it. And we promised our support for his work in L.A.

In the days, weeks, months and years ahead, you may hear various versions of the life and death of Nipsey Hussle, and how he helped change South Central and then the whole planet. Or, maybe you won’t. But I’m telling you right here and now, that story is real and is really important. Stay tuned.