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How To Achieve Enduring Health and Vitality
John W. Travis, M.D. & Regina Sara Ryan
 
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Summary

Trends have been outlined showing a significant movement occurring not only in the field of health care, but throughout the major disciplines of our society. The movement is from a paradigm wherein power-over--patriarchy--is the operative norm, to one wherein power-from-within and power-with--immanence and connection--are given the credence that will take us beyond patriarchy. This movement is characterized by people recognizing their interdependence and their role as co-creators in the unfolding of our shared reality, and taking responsibility for their own wellbeing as well as that of the world around them, rather than looking to and being told what to do by "authorities."

The transition entails some chaos as old systems crumble and new forms evolve. We are faced with the unsettling proposition that the new paradigm is our own invention, different to each perceiver, rather than a thing to be studied. It is interactive, not objective and passive. We are in the period of the dark before the dawn and it is our challenge to re-invent ourselves. 

Bonus Material

Getting Ahead, Parkinson's Law, and Planetary Bankruptcy

Professions that do not produce basic goods (law, medicine, real estate, trading of stocks and assets, entertainment, government, etc.) usually pay more than those jobs that literally sustain us (raising food, making clothes, building homes, and making homes).

C. N. Parkinson noticed, while studying bureaucracies, that they tended to follow a common pattern. As a project or company struggles to grow and fulfill its purpose, power tends to concentrate at the top, at the expense of those at the bottom. About the time a growing organization can afford to move to the pleasant quarters it has dreamed of in its early struggles, it begins to become more and more inefficient. Each person in the hierarchy starts to amass more and more power and control and begins to focus on her own needs rather than on those of the organization. The janitor demands her own office and the president doubles her salary, thus lowering the overall efficiency of the organization.

We see this pattern occurring throughout "civilization" as governments grow larger and increasingly corrupt, illness care becomes prohibitively expensive, and "insurance" premiums skyrocket as a surplus of lawyers busily engage in making each other rich. Not only are we of the First World countries being bankrupted by this adversarial (authoritarian) system, but the Third World countries have debts with impossible interest payments and they continue to rape their land in an effort to reach our standard of living. Other have-nots resort to terrorism in their frustration at the inequities our media have revealed to the world. The result is that the whole planet is suffering from our power-hungry efforts to "get ahead."

Blessed Are They Who Have Enemies, For They Need Not Own Their Own "Stuff"

by Danaan Parry, Earthstewards Network

Consider all the nice things we get from having enemies. For instance, when we have an enemy to blame, we don't have to take responsibility for our part in the messes that are created. When we have an enemy, there's always somebody we can feel superior to, or more righteous than, or more favored than, in the eyes of God.

Having an enemy means that I have a reason for my frightened feelings, my sense of inadequacy, my need to protect myself. If I opened up, I'd be vulnerable, and the enemy would take advantage of me. I'd like to be open, but the enemy won't let me. I'd like to trust, but the enemy won't let me.

Besides, if there wasn't an enemy out there, how could I justify my anger, my tightness, my pain? It's because of the enemy. If it weren't for the enemy I would feel no anger, have no tight, frightened feelings inside. But there's always "them." And so I protect, I build walls to keep "them" out--and to keep me in.

Love your enemy. Because if your enemy suddenly disappeared, you could no longer project on your enemy all of the nasty, unacceptable feelings that live inside of you. You would have to admit that those feelings of insecurity and hostility really come from inside, not outside. You might be forced to see that the enemy lives inside, not outside. Could you then still love your enemy!

Music, Drugs, and Patriarchy

Many popular musicians are notorious drug users, perhaps because both music and drugs cause rapid changes in consciousness. Why do we want to change our consciousness?

The internalized patriarch, the judge/censor/conqueror, drives us with feelings of guilt, unworthiness, and competitiveness. Drug use is in part an expression of rebellion against this dominating Self-Hater that is lodged firmly within our minds.

From chocolate and caffeine to sugar and nicotine, we are a drug-based society. The most common drug, alcohol, is served everywhere, while marijuana, probably less harmful physiologically, is considered criminal.

While a great deal more research is needed, there is evidence that mind-expanding drugs like marijuana, peyote, or LSD, when used in a therapeutic setting, can facilitate the beginning of psychological healing and spiritual growth. The intent of the user, dosage, quality, and setting are important factors. Stimulants such as speed, cocaine and heroin, as well as tranquilizers, appear to block the integration process and are used as avoidance mechanisms for boredom and psychic pain rather than personal growth.

"We" are losing the war on drugs. Why? Because drugs are not the enemy. The "enemy" is patriarchy--a culture that discounts inherent worth and reverence for life. When our law enforcement agencies are intimately bound up with the drug importing rings, and funds are siphoned off the sale of drugs to support U.S. backed terrorists, a more basic change in the society is called for than a simplistic war on drugs.

Much of our music and "popular" songs reflect the despair many of us feel about our culture. We must wake up and resist our own oppression. Then we will be free to live life fully, to revel in the depths of our being into which music can carry us.

Today there is a wide measure of agreement that on the physical side of science approaches almost to unanimity, that the stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears as an accidental intruder into the realm of matter; we are beginning to suspect that we ought rather to hail it as the creator and the governor of the realm of matter. 

--Sir James Jeans




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This area consists of text from Wellness for Helping Professionals, by John W. Travis, MD, and Meryn Callander. more...
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