I have been suffering from a series of painful boils since late December. Having tried several natural cures such as turmeric and tea tree oil, I finally gave in and went to the doctor this morning. An incredibly painful 15 minutes ensued, with the doctor giving me several shots to numb me and then going in and scraping out all of the infected tissue with a knife. When she was (finally!) done, there was a pile of bloody gauze pads next to me and I felt weak and dizzy. I am now on antibiotics and have another doctor’s appointment scheduled for tomorrow morning.
This entire health issue has led me to a deeper realization, which I wrote in an email to S this morning, and after some thought, decided to post here. This is what I wrote to him, verbatim (except that names have been shortened.) I hope that it will bring some of you to a deeper understanding as well.
As I understand it, we are not much more healthy than we were as a culture thousands of years ago. Sure, we may live longer, as a consequence mainly of better nutrition and recognition of certain cause->effect relationships (washing hands regularly->fewer contagions enter the body). But we are not, as a whole, healthier on a day-to-day basis.
There is a deeply ingrained belief system in our culture that we must go to a doctor (a professional) to cure all ills. You and I now know this to be just one of many paths. For instance, there are many ills that can be cured simply by realigning Self with Nature and Source. In particular, those “common” afflictions such as colds and infections can be cured without the need for a doctor.
Yet our culture, this one, the one that we live in now, insists to us that we must see a doctor to cure these common problems. We are constantly being reinforced by TV ads for medications, our own parents who have the same belief system, and by friends who think they are just telling us to “do the right thing” and go see a doctor to get “cured.”
I was not aware how deeply ingrained my belief system about doctors was until today.
There were several things I could have done to not make these boils as bad as they were. I needed to realign myself in even a deeper way than I had already tried to. I needed to ask for healing on a daily basis and receive it. I needed to do simple utilitarian chores like changing my sheets and washing my clothes. But none of this did I do until today, when I finally saw a doctor, and realized that subtle changes after the doctor visit had taken place. In particular, I felt that I was healed. This, more than anything else, will cure the boil.
Now you and I will recognize a very important lesson, albeit not without a significant amount of discomfort and pain that I have been through in the past several weeks: that those people who claim that alternative medicines do not work, who believe that the natural cures so well-researched and in use for thousands of years are lies, have such an ingrained dominant belief that doctors will cure them that truly, only doctors are able to cure them. The fact that I was not aware of this ingrained belief system in myself until today shows how far beneath the surface it lies; so far that most, when reading what I have just typed, will write me off as a quack.
This system was reinforced by my parents, who see doctors on a regular basis, by M, because his belief is so far dominant that he can’t even think of doing anything else, and even by you, L, and others who said “You might want to see a doctor about that.” And, in the mindset that I had and have, that is correct. It was the only thing that cured me.
I fought the doctor visit not for true root belief, but for fear of visiting the doctor, which is the wrong approach and an excellent way of treating myself to more misery when I finally did go to the doctor.
Now I have two choices: I can either wipe out the entire ingrained belief system that doctors will cure me, and I will not need to see them; or I can embrace my belief system, understand that it is a belief, but not a totally bad one, given the options, and go to the doctor quickly and get things cured instead of letting them sit around in me for weeks. No other path will work, because any other path is simply rejection of one of the two above paths.
It is an interesting dilemma, with each having its own rewards: the main reward of the first path being that I will feel more in control of myself and have more harmony, but will be difficult to fully embrace given our culture; or the second path, an acceptance of the primary belief system in our culture and tacit acknowledgment and nod to those who have created this culture. The second one will put me in better harmony with those I choose to help, since they are here in this culture; the first will put me more in tune with myself and better able to regain health quickly so I can help more people. The first, of course, is a much longer road than the second, because tearing down an ingrained belief and then rebuilding it from scratch, especially with the poor documentation of alternative cures that this society has, will be difficult and time-consuming.
This was an excellent realization for me and one, I hope, that I will not have to realize again in the way that I did this time around.