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Reconciling subjective and objective notions of dis-ease

Updated: Jun 12, 2021

  • What is disease?

    • "Disease" = an objective finding, a pattern classified in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD)

    • "Dis-ease" = a lack of ease or a decrease in ease, which can be a very specific, delineated experience or a vague malaise or fatigue

    • The word "disease" asks us to bridge our objective and subjective understanding of ourselves.

    • Example: diverticulitis

      • Objectively: inflammation and infection of small pouches in the colon

      • Subjectively: inflammation = pain, heat, tightness or bloatedness (the experience of swelling)

    • "Illness" usually refers to our subjective experience, but as we have seen, even the word "disease" tells us that a complete picture and understanding are important.

  • How can we reconcile objective disease and subjective dis-ease?

    • To do this we have to choose another lens beyond biomedical science.

    • Let's ask: What is the objective world we see?

      • Objectively: mountains, oceans, sky, land, trees, plants, animals, buildings

      • Subjectively: feelings, thoughts, perceptions, hopes, desires, ambitions, relationships, intuition

      • How do we bridge the two?

        • The world as a thing-out-there vs the world as a field(s) of experience.

        • We do not stand apart from the world. We are elements of the world. We are intrinsic aspects of this field of experience.

        • We can say the world is a representation of our collective nature.

          • War = objective, outer conflict

          • War is the result of subject, inner conflict

    • Similarly, what is the body?

      • Objectively

        • head, neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis, limbs

        • the expression of genetics

      • Subjectively: sensations, feelings, choices, actions, etc

      • Bridging the two: The body is a field of experience (a sub-field within the greater field of the "world")

      • The precursor of experiences are tendencies.

        • Whose tendencies? Not just an individual me or you bracketed within a lifetime.

        • Inter-generational tendencies are represented and encoded as units we call genes

        • Tendencies within a lifetime are represented and encoded as units we call desires and behaviors

        • We can see the body and a lifetime as the sub-field of tendencies that is a part of the collective field of tendencies we call a world

  • If healing is wholeness and integration, then healing means seeing/being the place from which tendencies arise and realizing the integration of tendencies across the five bodies, environment, and world.

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