Sunday, February 12, 2012

Paradigm Shift

Kirlian photograph

I mentioned in the last post about earthing, which is the process of grounding yourself electrically to the Earth. I made it seem like an offhand comment, but to be honest I've been a little interested in this lately; not so much earthing in particular, but the notion of the body as an electrical system, and the way science has not incorporated this truth fully. I mean, we're living in the age of electronics, but science still takes a mechanistic stance on most things.

I wonder how long it will take to catch up. Science seems to have switched from the spiritual-organic understanding of the body and world to the metaphor of "world as machine" or especially "world as clock" pretty quickly back in the 1500s. Not that machines were new: they'd had siege machines and mills and such for a long time, but the great refinements were recent. Astrolabes and especially clocks, as well as other new scientific instruments, were literally changing the world by allowing the Age of Navigation to take off. Shortly after, Newton and Descartes and others explicated a new way of seeing Nature. It was a machine, for them at least. This is the basis of most scientific investigation. I'm not sure how long it took medicine itself to begin considering the body in the same way, but I know that early on in this, scientists were looking at the muscles and joints in terms of levers and pulleys and the like.

Gears, pulleys, levers
But we've been pretty serious about electricity for a while now, call it a century and some. Not that electricity is new either; Ben Franklin's apocryphal kite experiment notwithstanding. The Romans were said to have bathed in pools filled with electric eels for the healing qualities, and there have been discoveries of supposed ancient batteries in the Middle East.

Clearly, though, we're now in a whole separate situation. It inundates our lives, shaping nearly every aspect. Yet science largely dwells in a mechanistic mindframe. Well, I know your more theoretical, physical sciences don't, things like field theory and quantum mechanics; but it hasn't filtered down greatly into the natural sciences like biology and chemistry, especially not in medicine. They're still treating illness as if it were a flaw in a machine, by attacking that flaw, either with surgery to remove it, or with drugs to kill it. Those are the only two legal methods in the US; drugs 'n' surgery. "Alternative" techniques cannot claim to cure or treat any disease.

I don't deny that the official methods have had great success; they certainly have. Polio, smallpox, measles, these things used to kill innumerable people, now they are gone or nearly so. But I've watched what the invasive treatments of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery can do to people, people close to me. It's sickening. I know that in many cases it works, maybe only for a while, maybe for good. That's great. But for many it doesn't work, and the patient's last days or years are spent in more misery than was necessary; besides the fact that such techniques weaken the body so much that it makes it hard for the body to aid in the fight. These techniques are only marginally more harmful to the cancer than to the healthy cells.

So, the mechanistic way of medicine is pretty damn effective, but, is it the best it can be, if it causes so much harm in the process? Are we taking all knowledge about the body into account? We know that the human body is an electrical system. You can measure current on the skin, that's how they do lie detector tests, which simply measure emotional response. The heart has its current, timing the beats, and obviously the neural systems are electrical... its a huge part of what we are. But the only ones who seem to really be taking this seriously are the fringe elements, your kooks, quacks, and New Age types. I know change happens at the fringes, but my point is that this shouldn't be fringe: it's solid science.

Take, for example, Georges Lakhovsky's Multi Wave Oscillator. I first heard about it years ago in the book The Secret Life Of Plants, starting with his experiment with geraniums. He had ten plants, all inoculated with a form of plant cancer. One plant he surrounded with a copper spiral, one turn, about a foot across and not touching the plant. Within a few weeks, all the plants were dead, except the one with the copper, which had healed and ended up thriving.

I did a similar experiment on my own, with some maple seedlings. I had 3 with the copper spiral, 3 without. I tried comparing their growth, but didn't find much variation and after a couple weeks decided to cancel the experiment. Only then did I find, while dumping them out of their pots, that the three seedlings with the copper had vastly larger, bushier root systems than the other three, which had very simple, thin, scraggly root systems. It was immediately visible, and I was taken aback by the evidence before me. I'd like to repeat this with better controls and possibly something that grows faster, so as to better be able to note differences, and especially a larger sample size.

Still, that's remarkable. Lakhovsky theorized that health was mainly about the various resonances of healthy vs diseased or germ cells, and whichever one can overpower the other. He though that rather than try to kill the disease, it would be better to empower the healthy. Rather than irradiate or chemically attack the cancers or whatnot, which hurts the healthy cells almost as bad, leaving one weak and thus vulnerable... why not work to make the healthy cells healthier? They can then take care of themselves.


Multi Wave Oscillator
But of course, if cancer could be cured in a few weeks of simply sitting between some copper coils a few hours at a time, without invasive techniques and hard to get medicines, a huge industry would flounder, and we can't have that. We all know there's no money in a cure, only in "disease maintenance." They don't want an end to cancer, they want patients. I'm not saying the doctors are evil or intentionally holding back research. I think mainly they just aren't exposed to ideas like this, certainly not in the schools, and they have a right to be conservative in their practice, where life and limb are on the line. I do blame the pharmaceutical and insurance companies, and hospital administrators, who see medicine only as a business venture with high profit potential, and the governments they are in bed with and partly control; they don't provide or encourage research in anything but "traditional" means (calling modern medicine traditional feels really strange to me). But mainly even they are stuck in a system that has somewhat gotten away from us, and taken a life of its own. Such is the nature of living in a paradigm; it shapes your worldview so much that it's hard to see things any other way.

But where control remains, big money and entrenched power prevent the fringe ideas from making headway, as it always has. Physics is already several paradigm shifts ahead of medicine, getting into bizarre territory where objective science is now proving to itself that objectivity doesn't exist, that the observer is part of the observed, and so on. Medical philosophy is miles behind, still thinking the body is a clock, with finely tuned, if organic, gears and levers. You'd think that with the general fascination with electronics in our Western world, we'd be thinking about everything in terms of electricity, but we are still stuck in the sixteenth century as far as scientific understanding goes, at least for the majority of us.

Of course, as with much of science, I suspect that part of the problem is that although the force of electromagnetism and its effects have been described quite finely, and the use of the effects are put widely into use, no one really understands electricity. It reminds me of this blind clam that lives in rivers that I saw on the series Planet Earth. It has an appendage that is shaped and colored exactly like the fish that it eats: the clam opens its shell, wiggles the mock fish around, and when the real fish come to investigate, snaps shut and feeds. But ask the clam how it evolved this perfect little mimic, and it'd come up blank. It uses it, but has no idea how it got that way or why it works, or even what's really going on.

Likewise, we create these fabulous technologies that make use of great universal forces, but just because we've named them and come up with structured models of how they go together, we don't know how it works at all. I mean, gravity was described hundreds of years ago, but they still don't really understand it. Same with electricity. It's still magic, but so commonplace that no one even stops to think about it. No one but those moony New Agers, that is, who often muddy the waters and destroy the credibility of what could be real and important ideas by going too far with them. Admit it, it's hard to take someone seriously who not only believes in the healing powers of resonant vibration, but also that humans are the slaves of a race of shapeshifting intergalactic reptilians.

I just wonder what medicine might look like with such a paradigm shift.

3 comments:

  1. Wow - deep post!

    I read a great article the other day called "How Doctors Die" that I thought was pretty interesting. It kind of goes along with your comment about having seen what modern end-of-life treatments can do to people.

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  2. Thanks. Interesting link, thanks. I've often felt that I'm not afraid of death, but I am afraid of dying. Like, one thing that happens repeatedly to me is nearly choking. I have a strong appetite, so when I eat I often bolt the food down fast, sometimes too fast, and it catches in my throat. What a ridiculous, useless way to die, right? Not the worst way (burning to death, maybe) but yeah. It worries me sometimes.

    So likewise, I would really hate to die a slow painful death, living in denial and trying all the heroic methods to kill the cancer or disease. I'm more of the "walk off into the mountains to die" mentality than the "lay in a hospital bed poisoning myself for months" mentality.

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  3. Someone once wrote that we don't know how to die in this culture, that somewhere along the line we forgot how to face death properly and with dignity. Maybe that's why we fight so hard against it, even when the odds are long and victory is little different than defeat. I dunno.

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