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Reconciling subjective and objective notions of dis-ease

Updated: Jun 12

  • 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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