Tag Archives: Personal

The Power of Life

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May 28, 2017—The following thoughts give an overview of my reasons for skepticism about Western, allopathic medicine and the paradigm it represents.  I claim the overriding belief in external agents for healing or symptomatic relief ignores the basic dignity of the individuals in question and the “vitality” that keeps us going.

The body is a marvelous homeostatic instrument, for which health is the natural state.  This understanding pervades Oriental medicine, which is based on the concept of “qi” (“chi”) or life force.

I’m an amateur student of Oriental medicine so can only describe it in general, simplified terms.  Essentially, it holds that there is a continuum between spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical levels.  Problems begin as spiritual.  If not resolved at that level, the problems become increasingly “dense” until they show up in the physical body.

In Chinese medicine, the idea of qi underlies and informs the entire system.  This sets Oriental medicine at odds with the Western, mechanistic viewpoint we Occidentals take for granted.  With the advent of the industrial age, the “scientific method,” and the requirement for “objectively verifiable” evidence, we’ve come to rely on instrumentation and a cause-and-effect sequence for assessment and treatment of any given condition.  The body is treated as though it’s a machine, with the resident human being largely a passive recipient of the diagnoses and treatments decided by the technician/physicians who administer them.

While the official stance of “science” receives almost religious devotion and some legitimate respect, it is exceedingly limited in what it can do.  “Science,” which relies on measurable “proof” has yet to prove that life exists.  Nor has it located the “mind,” although most believe the “mind” is in the brain.  The scientific method relies on studies that theorize causes, then set up conditions that limit variables to one, to determine whether there’s a significant correlation between cause and effect.

My unorthodox approach to life, health, and medicine stems from a fundamental belief in the power of the life force.  I call it “vitality,” but others may refer to “qi,” “quality of life” or use any number of terms to describe this battery that keeps us going.

Whether individuals survive physical death, and if so, in what capacity, is a question no one can answer, although religions and philosophers of all persuasions have tried.  What is life, anyway?  Is it a candle flame that can be extinguished?  Is it an essence, like “qi” that joins the “qi” of the cosmos, to be re-born in another place and time?

I won’t try to answer these questions but raise them simply to note that a belief in life beyond death strongly influences how I live mine.  Certainly others wrestle with the question, especially as they get older and wonder what lies ahead.

I became a psychiatrist partly to help make philosophy practical, but the profession—and Western medicine as a whole–is going in the opposite direction.

“How so?” a reasonable person may ask.  The most obvious answer is that it devalues the most basic principles that keep us healthy or make us sick.  Western medicine systematically undermines the individual’s faith in his or her own body’s self-correcting mechanisms.  It pits mind against body, which is deemed untrustworthy, a thing to be feared, unreliable.

The intangibles that formerly distinguished psychiatry from other medical specialties, the “quality of life” issues—now take a back seat to “evidence-based medicine” and the vain attempt of psychiatrists to align with the more “scientific” practitioners.

The antidepressant Prozac (fluoxetine) was introduced in 1989, two years before I graduated from medical school.  This began the separation of psychotherapy and other “talk therapy” from “medical management” of emotional problems.  While other antidepressants, anti-psychotics, anti-anxiety agents, and mood stabilizers had been on the market for decades, Prozac began the trend toward a raft of new, patented, drugs that could treat symptoms while ignoring the larger life pattern that led to the problems.  “Talk therapy” was shifted to psychologists and social workers, with the move heavily supported by government and insurance reimbursement criteria.

Since that time, the avalanche of patented drugs, technologies, diagnostic tests, and other interventions has made the “health care industry” one of the most profitable sectors in the United States.  Costs for the individual have skyrocketed, such that few can afford medical help without insurance.  Now, the government has made insurance mandatory.  No one seems to recognize that insurance does not equal health care.  In fact, insurance impedes, rations, and delays health care, and it raises the price for everyone.

Medical care costs twice as much in the US as anywhere else.  Medications are significantly more expensive.  A continuing medical education article I read says medical error is now the third leading cause of death in the US, after cardiovascular events and cancer.

That medicine and psychiatry seem obsessed with finding or creating problems already puts patients at a disadvantage, in a defensive position.  Psychiatrists don’t get reimbursed for “no diagnosis.” They must find or invent a diagnosis, a label, to justify the time they spend.

No wonder Oriental medicine has such appeal for me.  Here, diagnosis is based on patterns of disharmony within the body and mind.  The hands-on approach is individualized and personal.  The patients and the practitioners are partners, with the belief in the treatment’s effectiveness–“the placebo effect” in Western terms—a desirable component.  In short, it respects the dignity of the vital forces that medicine presumes to reinforce.

I hear people say that “health care is a right.”  We also have a right to refuse health care, especially when it’s forced on us by hostile, predatory forces.  We have the right to eat nutritious foods, life a balanced life, and keep stress levels low.  We have the right to maintain our vitality and health they best way we know and to choose who and what to trust for help when we need it.

 

I Couldn’t Make This Up: 2007

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Ten years ago this month I was working a short-term contract as a psychiatrist in a public mental health outpatient clinic.  At I was considering allowing my medical and DEA licenses to expire, simply because I felt like a hypocrite.  I entered psychiatry to set people free, not to enslave them to diagnoses and drugs, government and insurance, for the rest of their lives.

DEPRESSED ECONOMY

Sunday, April 1, 2007 – Driving around Columbus, GA shows how depressed the economy is.  It smacks of military people borrowing against an uncertain future. Independent businesses are so rare as to be non-existent. Otherwise, Columbus is clunking along on pawn and title pawn shops, government buildings, banks, insurance companies, and a variety of businesses dedicated to selling and maintaining vehicles and vehicle parts.  There is so much run down and empty commercial space – and the place looks generally devoid of life – that the only activity shows at the multiple traffic lights, where large trucks, vans, SUV’s and old clunkers congregate as if at a business meeting.

PET FOOD SCARE

Tuesday, April 3, 2007 – The pet food scare widens, and it appears the economic hit is on China’s wheat gluten.  I’m more convinced than ever that the thugs at DHS, CIA, FDA, CDC, or DEA are behind it, and they all answer to Bush and Cheney, the sadomasochistic side show in the world-wide butt fuck.

I believe the goons at DHS have made their point.  Melamine is a plastic, used in McDonalds’ forks, hahahaha, and the latest bullet in the war on pets, but the repercussions in the plastics industry should be interesting.  I’ve wondered about the buildup of plastic breakdown products in the environment, and the toxins they release.  Animals would be the most susceptible, of course.

No one has proved the wheat gluten is the cause.  No one has even proved what the toxic agent is.  The “scientists” are disagreeing with each other, thus to obscure the real issue (in my view) that this was inside sabotage by someone who had access to aminopterin, which was proven in the DHS-funded lab at Cornell, created for the purpose of protecting US tax revenues from foreign threats.

The media arm of the Police State blithely ignores the obvious, so eager is it to cozy up to the perpetrators.  I’ve noticed AP is particularly reprehensible along these lines.  No wonder it hides behind its image.  It took some research to discover where their corporate offices are.

FEAR

Wednesday, April 4, 2007 – The vague cloud of fear that hovers over me surrounds the planet, I suspect, and I am less afraid than most.  Unseen enemies are those who are reacting to their own fears, and I have to dance lightly to stay out of their way.  I try not to take insults personally, even if they are meant that way.  I get strong reactions from people, as on the ESLR message board, when I assess the state of the “economy.”  I don’t pander to the Wall Street-generated hype meant to reassure people of economic growth, despite evidence.  It’s a pack of lies and deserves to be so-called, because people aren’t as gullible as they once were, especially as they feel the “economic growth” like a cancer in their personal lives.

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Corn, Cochran, GA Supposedly 80% of corn sold in the United States is already genetically modified. It’s too late to label GM products.

CORN AND ETHANOL

Wednesday, April 4, 2007 – How much time does it take to grow an acre of corn, convert it to ethanol and burn it?  Has anyone calculated the cost of energy, soil depletion, and water for the process?

The environmental groups are quiet on this one, and so are the Agriculture Department, the economists, farmers, American Solar Energy Society, and scientists.  Isn’t anyone even curious?  Congress hasn’t asked, Bush certainly doesn’t want to know, and once again, I am the lone voice asking questions that should have been asked a long time ago, before the legislation, before the factories were built, before the farmers were seduced into following this government-created fad.

COLUMBUS, GA NOISE POLLUTION:  LOCUM TENENS ASSIGNMENT

Wednesday, April 4, 2007 – The noise makes constant assaults on my senses, and I’m afraid  I will explode from repressed fury.  The airplanes have been droning–along with machines, traffic, and sirens–but mostly constant airplanes since I got home to the camper, exhausted from a relentless day, seeking a little peace, not to be had here, where the very earth is vibrating from the din.

I, for one, will be glad if I live to see the world run out of oil.

Now, the train.  The trucks on the highways.  The last airplane is gone, finally.  Was air traffic stacked up over the airport?  The train whistle is constant.  Everybody is in a dizzy tizzy today, all except the one bird I hear twittering, and my cat, who is as serene as a placid pool, asleep.

That train has been whistling for five minutes.  Motorcycles, more trucks.  If I were home and could do it, I’d let out a primal scream by now, so furious am I.  A horn.  another motorcycle.  I can still hear the train.  More traffic.

I turn on music and dance awhile, as I encourage patients to do.  It helps my attitude a little.

Train still blowing the whistle – seven minutes or so.  Constant.

The work turns me into a zombie prescription writing machine.  In W’s office, where I work on the adult side, the computer is also loud, so I listen to that all day and wonder if that contributes to my headaches.  Or maybe it’s the coffee they have there, the creamer, the stress.

I just got up and closed the windows.  It helps a little, but my head is vibrating still.  I can feel it like a saw grinding though my skull.

I turn on the fan, now that the windows are closed.  I can still hear the traffic noise outside, even though the fan is only two feet away from my head and has its own noise.

How loud must it get before people wake up?  Now I know why people go deaf.  Not that it would protect anyone here, because the vibrations penetrate all walls, all protections.  You can hear it over the music, over the fan, over the air conditioning.  It rattles the ground, shakes the camper.  I might as well be in the center of a war, except this is a war on nerves, as in the nerve of them.  There is no defense against sound, except to leave or bury my head in  . . . what?  The earth transmits it, too.

You get what you focus on, says Seth, but how can I think of anything else?

Winston Smith, in George Orwell’s classic novel, 1984, had a horror of rats gnawing his face, so those who would convert him used rats in cages over his face, as I recall.  For me, relentless machine noise is the torture I most fear, but I am already being tortured, and my head hurts, and I think I will have a stroke or heart attack, and soon, if I don’t escape this hell hole in a healthier way.

 

USPS REORGANIZATION

Friday, April 13, 2007 – I discovered Richard Nixon re-organized the Postal Service in 1971, giving it over to a Board of Governors, and removing the Postmaster General from the Cabinet.  You don’t hear much about the Postmaster General or the Board of Governors, but the USPS affects every area of our lives.

Who exactly owns the USPS, which is so heavily saturated with garbage mail it can’t deliver a first class letter without losing it in the junk?  Why am I subsidizing these assaults on my money, attention, and all the trees on the planet?  I pay yet again for the destruction to the environment.  And these government goons are blaming taxpayers for global warming?  They are burning resources just as fast as they can get away with it, and their solution is to do more of the same?

Not at my expense, folks,  Use your own money to play stupid, because I don’t run my life that way.  Double rates on all sneaky mail (that is, all mail with rates they don’t want you to know).  How’s about publish ALL the rates everyone has to pay, like the slick paper flyers and unwanted medical journals, CME offerings, school and university solicitations, magazines, newspapers, non-profits, campaigners, sales pitches, fundraisers.  If they didn’t spend so much money on self-congratulatory propaganda, perhaps they could afford to do some good.  What exactly is pre-sorted first class?

MONEY MANAGEMENT

Saturday, April 14, 2007 – Money management is about keeping my money.  The more money I keep, the more money I save.

 

 

 

 

 

The More Things Change . . .

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Above:  The professional literature in Psychiatry remains funded primarily by pharmaceutical companies.  I get up to eight Psychiatry periodicals every month, all containing about 50% advertising, most of it by Pharma.  This junk enjoys a privileged postage rate, because it is “educational.”

April 12, 2017–Reading old journal entries helps me focus blogs and show the trend of my thinking over time.  In April, 2007, ten years ago this month, I was considering allowing my medical and DEA licenses to expire, because I felt used by a medical system that causes more disease and suffering than it alleviates.  As a psychiatrist, I was under a virtual mandate to prescribe drugs that promised more help than they delivered.  Not only that, but the system itself was so dysfunctional that it put everyone at risk.

ON MEDICINE AND PSYCHIATRY
Wednesday, April 18, 2007 – If I can get out of the business of medicine, I can enjoy the fun of medicine, when it’s done right.

It starts with honesty.  We have created a sado-masochistic society that feeds failure and punishes success.  In today’s climate, the individual doesn’t matter.  “Equality” means bringing everyone down to the lowest common denominator, statistically speaking, to save the “economy” from the individuals who take more than they give.

Our society has rendered them so dysfunctional that they are incapable of doing anything useful and resentful of those who expect them to make an honest living.
What kind of psychiatrist would I be if I didn’t point out the insanity of that?  I believe the individual matters, if only to herself.  I matter enough to stand my ground in the face of society’s power struggles and to comment on the process.

The US psyche is caught up in the emotional two-year-old anal stage of psycho-sexual development, the “terrible twos,” the year of potty training, the age in which life-long issues related to power and power struggles emerge.  The “self” vs. “not-self.”
As we play with the shit we have created, we are evolving, hopefully, toward a greater understanding of what it means to be free.  Demonizing and drugging the individual mind and spirit is society’s game, not mine.  I have evolved beyond the anal stage.  I quit.  Get ahead by slowing down.  Take time to smell the roses before you pave them over.

This patient-churning prescription writing machine throws the government credentials—the medical licenses—into the compost bin.  Thus relieved of the paper shield, I step from in front of the DEA’s guns to show them aiming at my back, to control invisibly every aspect of the prescription game.

They need me more than I need them, but only because they believe in drug laws.  If there were no drug laws, we wouldn’t need the DEA, but doctors would still have jobs.

“Doctor,” a word my absentee bosses don’t know, is derived from the Latin “docere” meaning “to teach.”  A doctor is fundamentally a teacher about health.  That’s what I do – teach people about health, especially mental health.

You know what I tell my patients?

“It really is them,” I say.  “They are the crazy ones.  Don’t put your life on hold waiting for the government.  You’ll grow old and die waiting.  Live it up while you still can.  Dance in the living room.  Turn off the television, for your sanity’s sake.  Shut off the mind and noise pollution so you can hear yourself think, and you’ll get back in touch with your common sense.”

ADHD (ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER)

Tuesday, April 3, 2007 – I enjoyed working with kids and parents yesterday.  I gave practical advice and supported them in their efforts.  A little six-year-old hugged me on the way out.

These aren’t bad kids.  In fact, I think many who are branded with ADHD are brighter and more creative than the rest, with skills and interests that reach beyond the classroom.  A 12-year-old girl who is about to fail sixth grade for the second time daydreams and draws during class.  Likes violin and reading Japanese books in English.

I reassure them school really is boring, and teachers are busy pleasing absentee bosses.  Moms nod vigorously, and the kids stare at me as if they are shocked I would express such heresy.

CME ON ADULT ADHD

Tuesday, April 3, 2007 – I read a Continuing Medical Education article on ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).  Bottom line is there’s nothing new, except the diagnosis of adult ADHD.

Do you think anyone would consider causes pills won’t treat, like multi-sensory fatigue from the environment?  Machine noise from traffic and power tools, airplanes, blowers, coffee grinders, speakers in coffee shops, grocery stores, hardware stores, banks, blaring “I Died and Went to Hell” music and advertising at top volume?  The screeching, attention-starved voices from the halls of hell?  Who can attend to anything with all that noise?

No.

Think they might consider that the same drugs are used by drug addicts and schools to treat the same symptoms, but it’s okay if you have the correct diagnosis?

No.

Think the lack of physical education in the schools, or the fact that kids with too much energy are punished by depriving them of play time might contribute to their hyperactivity?

No.

It’s all in the brain chemistry, you know.  Hit ‘em up with a little Adderall or Ritalin and we’ll let ‘em come back to school.  Never mind that they have been suspended the last X days and are even further behind.  They shouldn’t have acted out.

The other two psychiatrists here, Child & Adolescent psychiatrists, indulge me in my one-to-two minutes of tirade.  Each says separately, unfortunately, the kids who come here need to be on meds.  Doctors have adapted to being prescription writing machines, drones in the endless grind of patient-churning status quo.  They see the hypocrisy, but they learn quickly to keep quiet, to show in behavior the repressed anger generated by power abuses.

Learned helplessness vies with identification with the aggressor, but do you think psychiatrists make the connection between abstract understanding and the evidence in front of them?

No.

Why learn psychiatry if nobody cares?  You could get a computer to write prescriptions faster and more legibly.

The inertia is as cloying as clear gelatin.  Perhaps this is the egg; the yolk, the planet, the albumin the atmosphere, with humans poised at the interface, possibly growing and possibly getting big enough to crack the shell.

 

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Today’s Favorite Bloggers

The Six Foot Bonsai (Stacy Gleiss) nominated my blog for a blogger’s recognition award.  I have stalled in responding, partly because I didn’t have an appropriate graphic for it, but also because the list has changed.  Some of my favorite bloggers have dropped off the radar, and new ones have surfaced.

The nomination came at a good time for me, when I wondered if anything I think or say makes a difference.  Fact is, I enjoy blogging and bloggers, whose individualized viewpoints remind me how creative each of us can be.

According to the blogger’s recognition rules, nominees are to say why they began blogging and give advice to other bloggers.

My reason for beginning is straightforward.  I’m compelled to write and journal, but I’m also an avid reader.  The blog world allows readers and writers to connect with each other without intermediaries.  I like finding new blogs and love commenting on those that capture my interest.  Since I like feedback, I give it to others, if only to show appreciation for their effort.  Sometimes it’s more fun—and definitely easier—to comment on others’ blogs than to write my own.  I advise no less to others.

Another condition of the recognition award is to list fifteen of my favorite blogs and say why I follow them, so here goes:

  1. The Six Foot Bonsai (Stacey Gleiss)—has written a book describing her experience as a young American wife of a Japanese man.  She writes passionately about how the culture alternately seduced and horrified her, through her experience with her Japanese husband.
  2. Three Worlds One Vision—Rosaliene Bacchus has lived in Brazil, Guyana, and the US, is a strong environmentalist, and supports human rights worldwide.  She frequently posts excerpts from Brazilian poets and writers, discusses Brazilian affairs with insight and dignity, and has a vision of a peaceful, earth-friendly, world.
  3. Cotton Boll Conspiracy—A fellow Southerner, Cotton Boll writes on a variety of subjects, from the abandoned farmhouses around his South Carolina community to current events.  Always interesting and informative.  Fun to read.
  4. i didn’t have my glasses on–Beth is a kindergarten teacher in Michigan. Beth’s blog is always upbeat.   She writes short blogs about the “kinders” and their refreshing perspective.  She also reports on tidbits from the news.
  5. Esoterx—Here we have an anthropologist with a dry wit and an interest in the supernatural, primarily factual recounting of presumed spirit visitations in the 18th and 19th centuries.  He provides bibliographical references to substantiate his take on the weird events.
  6. Writers Without Money—Especially Stan Rogouski, who likes to do movie reviews, but who also writes on politics and history.  He bicycles around suburban New Jersey (and other areas), photographing, and giving a little history about what he sees.
  7. Justice4Poland—HKW often writes in Polish, and as the blog name shows, has a passionate interest in defending Polish heritage.  He also has taken strong stands for alternative medicine and against corporate medical and chemical giants.  His blogs are informative and thought-provoking, a welcome balance to American bias.
  8. 90 Rolls Royces—Bindu Krishnan is an Indian woman with a liking for saris.  She also has a philosophical mindset and writes about her favorite teacher, Osha.  She describes a little of what day-to-day life is like in India.
  9. When Timber Makes Us Still–Thomas Gable, a nature photographer, is a recent find.  His photos and descriptions of the trees and wildlife around his Northwest home are stunning and informative.
  10. The Kitchen Garden–Another recent find, Cecilia is a Midwestern farmer.  She photographs and writes about her farm and animals and day-to-day farming life that seems much easier to read about than to live.  Her energy and upbeat attitude are refreshing.
  11. Mark All My Words–Another nature lover, Mark Miles lives in North Carolina.  He photographs and writes about area flora and fauna, and has a special interest in insects.  He also has a broad range of interests, from music to philosophy.
  12. Mr. Johnson’s Blog–Also nominated by The Six Foot Bonsai, Mr. Johnson lives in Canada and presents a fresh and gentle perspective on all kinds of everyday experiences.  Although his views may be controversial, he always makes me smile.
  13. 999 Roses In My Life–Trient Nugen is a Vietnamese photographer who spices up his photos with insightful quotes written in Vietnamese, with English translations.  The pictures are generally of beautiful Vietnamese women in beautiful clothes and settings.
  14. Navasolanature.wordpress.com–A UK woman who also has a home in Portugal, she has a love of nature and birds, solar energy and gardening.  She posts on all these interests.
  15. Diary of an Esthete–Another sporadic blogger, James Dee Clayton lives in the UK and travels extensively, most recently to Africa, where he takes the back roads and mingles and merges with native cultures.  His loving and joyful approach seems to win friends wherever he goes.

I can think of many others whose blogs I enjoy and hope to recognize them, too, in future posts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The “Health Care Industry” is Sick

THOUGHTS ON THE HEALTH SCARE-SNARE RACKET

Saturday, March 25, 2017—Trumpcare, the Republicans’ answer to Obamacare, failed this week.  Predictions abound about what the government will do next.  It appears Obamacare is imploding, and the media expects it to be saved or replaced.  My right-wing conservative friends declare government control of health care is unconstitutional.  My left-wing friends believe Obamacare needs to be fixed, not replaced.

I’ve been opposed to government and insurance-controlled medicine since graduating from medical school and psychiatry residency.  Back then, it was Hillarycare, which was trounced initially.  During Bill Clinton’s presidency, Hillarycare began being implemented piecemeal through bureaucracy.

For me, the issue then and now was freedom, including freedom of choice about everything from practitioners to types of treatment.  Government-controlled health care translates into a guaranteed captive market for insurance companies, in which the healthy subsidize everyone else, especially the “industry” itself.  Doctors and patients must kowtow to government and insurance rules.  Out the window go confidentiality, honesty, and compassion, since symptoms must fit a diagnosis code to insure payment for treatment.  In psychiatry, this means the psychiatrist must come up with a diagnosis which goes forever on the patient’s record and can interfere with everything from self-esteem to employment.

AND, SEVEN YEARS AGO THIS MONTH . . .

CURRENT EVENTS:  OBAMACARE

Wednesday, March 24, 2010—Everyone is talking about Obamacare, which passed over the weekend.  Everyone knew it would, but nobody knows what it means except more taxes.  The boat is sinking, but we’re afraid to rock it.

VIGNETTE:  OBAMACARE

Friday, March 26, 2010—I met a 35ish guy in line at Starbucks yesterday.  I was standing at the cash register when Sean mentioned something about Obamacare.  I said Dr.Obama needs to write his own prescriptions.  The guy behind me, a big, burly fella with motorcycle helmet and a completely tattooed right arm but untouched left arm, thick dark hair two-three inches long, eyes brown and intense, said something about economics, bankers, the Fed, or a related subject that tipped me off.

I realized he is an awakened soul, sees things as I do, and so we stood there agreeing with each other until both got coffee and moved out of the way.

Tee hee.  I had told the boyfriends the other day there is no gold in Fort Knox, and the levels of security exist to protect the void.  My new friend, whose name I didn’t ask, agrees there’s no gold in Fort Knox, but for fools’ gold, hahaha.  I told him his generation is much smarter than my generation and got a laugh out of someone behind me in line.

On the way out, my new friend mentioned the book, Creature from Jekyll Island, and said he learned on the net that the US has been selling gold-plated tungsten bars to China and I think France as if they were gold, and the deception has recently been discovered.  Apparently it began during the Clinton years, and the cost was something like $50,000 per bar to produce.

Later, Sean said we were two peas in a pod, an unlikely pair, the two of us, but what the hey.  These younger folks are expected to cater to all these old coots who were gullible enough to trust the Woodrow Wilsons, FDRs, Lyndon Johnsons, and other paternalistic exploiters, and I don’t blame the younger set if they believe Boomers are dispensable.  Why should they support us?  I told my friend he is under no obligation to make good on the government’s promises.

TEN YEARS AGO THIS MONTH:

MEDICAL SCHOOL ATTITUDES

Monday, March 26, 2007 – I’ve been thinking about my medical career.  Starting in medical school, I was appalled by the attitudes, and they got worse in the hospital in our third year.  M. was a good study companion the first two years, but his old girlfriend and the vicious, cut-throat, warfare in the hospital in our third year edged me out.  He played the politics and kissed up to the residents, but he also loved doing the procedures, and was like the rest of them, eager to compete for opportunities to do lumbar punctures, draw blood, drain fluid from lungs and peritoneal cavities, deliver babies, run codes.  While I wanted the experience, too, I wasn’t willing to elbow my way into the situations that offered them, and the rush-rush mentality rattled my confidence and made me afraid to touch the patients.

I was horrified at the frenzy of my classmates when it came to procedures, and the careless disregard for the patients they were so eager to practice on.  I wasn’t willing to follow residents around, hoping for chances to draw blood or run errands or otherwise do their bidding.  They perceived my attitude as insolence, and the OB-gyn boys took it more personally than the others. No one ever told me directly, so I was flabbergasted when Dr. S said they complained and almost failed me for the OB rotation.  I only remembered they wouldn’t let us do much, because they wanted to do it, and they kept medical students in a room together entire afternoons while they saw the patients alone.  I spent my time studying, so made the highest grade in the class on the written test.  I thought the OB-gyn material was the easiest.  Everyone else was bragging about how many babies they were “catching,” as if it were a disease.  I only “caught” one baby, that the chief OB resident helped me with, but he was the first baby with congenital syphilis the attending physicians had seen in ten years.

THE MD ROLE

Monday, March 26, 2007 – My no-frills trappings and simple, ascetic life – which it is – runs counter to the doctor stereotype, into which other doctors pour money and pride.  I’ve never felt comfortable in the doctor role.  It belongs to someone else, a non-being, a stereotype formed by others’ expectations, divorced from my self-perceived style.

But I’m good at it, among the best I know, which makes it all the stranger, because it comes so easily.  That I don’t put much faith in the pills I prescribe, the system I represent, the beliefs believed “normal” by today’s standards, ekes out in passing references.

No, I don’t believe in war, competition, health care insurance, the federal government, marriage, or that churches should be property tax-exempt, unless everyone is property tax-exempt.  If I pray directly to god, without need for a priest or rabbi to intercede, why should I pay property taxes when they don’t?  Who’s to say god listens more to them than me, and why should that give them a material advantage?

DRUG AND ALCOHOL LAWS

Saturday, March 3, 2007 – Drug and alcohol laws represent a major human rights violation–as the 1794 Whiskey Rebellion foretold–and should be abolished.  No one has the right to restrict another’s access to her own body.  The key to better health is better education and a free range of choices.  No one feels my pain like I do.

I believe drug laws set the frame for the sadomasochistic power struggles we call addiction. Drug laws are a means by which government seeks control over taxpayers.  Laws put government in a moralistic, paternalistic, top-dog position over the taxpayers who pay its way.

Laws and other social engineering tactics restrict the productivity of the very individuals who support them, and the entire society loses.

CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PRESCRIPTIONS

Monday, March 12, 2007 – Doing child and adolescent psychiatry means prescribing drugs I don’t approve of, because the teachers dictate medical care for unruly kids.

No, we won’t give them physical education, home economics, shop, or any incentive to behave, nothing that will interest them during the long hours they must sit, while some harried, bored, and boring teacher parrots an agenda designed to stifle curiosity and make children hate education.

No, we will diagnose them as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and put them on amphetamines to control their behavior, because what we’re really doing is cultivating the next generation of slave labor for the imperialists who formerly were industrialists but no longer even produce meaningful industry.  They produce paperwork, insurance, stocks, cash, and debt, using their forebears’ reputations as collateral, generating paper profits on Wall Street, while product quality and workplace safety plummet.

 

What is Intelligence?

From my journal, seven years ago this month.  Some things don’t change (much).

Tuesday, March 2, 2010—I ran into M and his wife, K, at B&N yesterday, and we got to talking.  M talked a lot about intelligence, and I realized he is insecure about his, because he doesn’t (or didn’t) have a college degree.  He married his first wife because she did and quickly found degrees don’t assure intelligence or curiosity.

We speculated together, and I continued later to wonder what constitutes intelligence.  Others place too much emphasis on standardized tests, I believe, yet these represent the conventional guidelines.  College or advanced degrees constitute another measure.  If you go to a brand name school, all the better.

These don’t guarantee intelligence, though, as M. learned.  By others’ standards, I am intelligent, well educated, and do well enough on standardized tests, but I was not smart enough to reach people like my father.

M said engineers are linear thinkers.  His brother is an engineer and a perfect example.  Another term is “narrow-minded.”  Some people have claimed vocabulary determines intelligence.

Seth, in The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events, claims fundamentalism has arisen in reaction to Darwinism, which presumes a random, chaotic, uncaring universe without rules.  But science, as we understand it, binds itself with the most rigid rules and produces people like my father, who deny the existence of anything outside the framework.

I believe intelligence is an attitude rather than a concrete quality.  Intelligence and curiosity may be synonymous, because curiosity gives flexibility, open-mindedness, inventiveness, and common sense.

We don’t measure common sense on IQ tests, but this may determine basic intelligence more than any other parameter.  Common sense finds food when hungry, shelter when cold or wet, safety when threatened.  This is survival of the fittest in action, and this is why the relatively hairless beast called man can survive in freezing weather.  It has little to do with beating other hairless beasts over the head with a club to steal their women and food.

In fact, the fittest and most likely to survive are those who can cooperate in groups, as the pack animals can join together to bring down their prey.

Intelligence is a relative term.   M claims marriage compatibility is based on intelligence, and that he and K are closely matched.

My parents were closely matched in intelligence, I believe, but no one appreciated my mother’s smarts because she didn’t have the degrees to prove it.  Yet she had an active mind, lots of common sense, and managed to keep my father’s interest all their married life.

My father, who made gods of science and intelligence, was one of the most narrow-minded people around.  He couldn’t converse on any topic other than those that interested him, or where he excelled, and these were few indeed.  He had little interest or curiosity about anything outside that box.

If you presume others are stupid, you will miss evidence that conflicts with your belief.  The “scientific method,” the presumption of cause and effect, must exclude more than it includes to have any validity at all, and then you are only proving the limitations of your experiment.  The germ theory of disease, for instance.

 

The CIG Hosts Body Parts

feet020517

The Cosmic Improv(e) Group
hosts BODY PARTS
of katharineotto.planetearth,
independent country of one

 by Katharine C. Otto
October, 2005
(Updated February, 2017)

Seth* validates my deepest beliefs.

The only reason for suffering is to learn how not to suffer, says he.  So, I flop on the couch and send healing energy to my painful, throbbing left foot, but I haven’t learned how not to suffer yet.

My foot and gut are having an argument, because the couch flop followed a gustatory fest that made my stomach hurt, too.

“I wouldn’t hurt so much if you didn’t weigh me down,” says Left Foot.

“I would eat less if we could walk,” Gut replies.

“Hey, guys,” says my Total Self, “We all have to live in this body, so can we find a way to get along?”

Then I fall asleep.

Then I wake up, limp to the kitchen, and eat some more.

The Cosmic Improv Group–that gaggle of nags inside my imagination and unheard by others–steps up to the plate.

They remind me I’ve had a busy, active week, have spread understanding far and wide, and have penetrated the local Shape Shifting Alien Reptiles’** lair at their eminent domain meeting.  Yes, I lanced that abscess, burst that bubble, and shriveled those egos.  My foot begins to hurt immediately after that.  My heel, actually.

Heels that they are.  Heal myself.  I decide the SSARs in local politics sent a thought bomb to cripple me, aiming for my Achilles heel.

“Sure, Kath,” says the CIG.  “As if they care enough to hurt you.”

“I didn’t think so, because I was okay with it.  Yes, I unsettled them, but they are used to boring each other to death.  My departure should have let them return to status quo.”

“You know it didn’t.”

“I didn’t know they could get to me this way.  Seth says trust your impulses.  I say fine with me, but not if my impulses cause me pain.”

“You underestimate your power,” they say.  “This is why you must up-level it.  Your pain shows you are not ready to release your passionate appeal.  It will assume a painful timbre, and this is not your intent.”

“You’re right.  I want to uplift and inspire.  My foot pain is associated with many (possibly imagined) lives, in which it manifested in different contexts—shackles, mine fields, frostbite, gangrene.  Bound feet as an Oriental woman.  It is symbolic of my fear of entrapment, limitation, and imprisonment.  Burned as a witch, too, feet first.  Burned again as a monk heretic in the Spanish Inquisition.”

I talk to my left foot and discover it feels “left” out, ignored, and unappreciated.  It reminds me I have lived many lifetimes (possibly) with dysfunctional or missing left feet, and lifetimes with “two left feet.”  I’ve been “left to heal or die.” An image of a wounded foot soldier in Stalin’s army during a cold Russian winter comes to mind.

“You are crazy,” says the CIG.  “Don’t tell anyone but us this, because they will lock you up.”

“Not for long, because the jails are too crowded.  They won’t put me in a psych hospital, either, because I refuse to have health care insurance. Ain’t that swell?”

“Crazy like a fox.”

“Lack of insurance keeps me safe from hospitalization.”

So I decide to make a concerted effort to bring the foot back into the fold, to appreciate that it is a perfectly good foot this lifetime, and its pain is karmic memory.  Up-level the memories, release the grudges and resentments, and the foot will heal.

Same with sacrum, which I believe is associated with my lower body stiffness and pain.  Here, the root chakra blocks qi in a defensive strike position.

The female body is a symbol for humanity’s greatest creativity, passion, and fear.  I hated that my body was female, because I believed it disappointed my parents.  Both parents misunderstood and were unreasonably afraid of feminine power, but so is the world.  We have few role models for fully creative feminine expression.

My physical body is my greatest asset, on this material plane.  It is my science lab, an instrument of pleasure and pain.

If, as Seth says, groups of people reincarnate together, everyone on the planet shares past and future memories. Puritan Salem comes to mind, and Cotton Mather, when I think about the eminent domain meeting.  I was a witch or prostitute, or perceived that way.  Perhaps I was just too independent to be tolerable.  Either way, my contempt for them made a victim of me.

I want to play it smarter, this go-round, and the foot pain reminds me not to move too quickly.  I am more out of phase with the environment than I know, and it hurts me first if I try to try to force it.  I want to be a catalyst for change, a destroyer of limiting beliefs and outdated systems.  At the same time, people have to be ready to change, or you set them up to fail, and they become more afraid than before.

On October 4, weight is up to 143.5 pounds.  Ibuprofen, 200 mg came to my foot’s rescue sometime between five and seven a.m.  I’d taken it at 3 a.m., too, in obeisance to Western medicine, which does some things right.  Just took another one.

I just poured my third cup of coffee, complete this time with real half-and-half and brown sugar.   “No, no,” shouts the CIG’s Should/Shouldn’t Chorus.

“You should only have two cups of coffee in the mornings.  You shouldn’t put sugar or real half-and-half in them.  You weigh 143.5 pounds, remember, when you used to weigh 123.  Disgusting.

“And you know coffee raises your blood pressure, which is borderline high, already.  Remember your bleeding disorder?  You are setting yourself up for a stroke or a heart attack, like the one that killed your father, or pulmonary embolisms, like the ones that killed Rhea, your mother.  Dump a third cup of coffee in that mix, and we can’t be responsible for what happens to you.”

I take a sip of coffee and contemplate their suffering.  I have heard this song before and have learned my stomach will tell me when to stop.

“143.5 #,” say the devils.

“That’s only 65 kilos, another excellent reason to convert to the metric system,” I reply.

“Your stomach has its own agenda.  It wants to hoard fat fuel in the Greater Omentum.”

“Are you saying my stomach is an energy hog?”

“Just look in the mirror at the facts.”

“The coffee doesn’t taste that great, anyway, but it gives me an excuse to sit.”

“So do I,” says Left Foot.

“Indeed you do,” I reply.  “and I’m practicing taking better care of you.  I took 400 mg of ibuprofen this morning, because the pain was so bad last night that I thought something was broken.

“Drink less coffee,” it says.  “The caffeine causes vasoconstriction in your extremities and starves me of oxygen.”

“Thanks.  I suppose you’re going to tell me to lose weight, too.”

“It would sure take a load off me.”

“Fat cells have rights, too,” my Greater Omentum chimes in.  “We’re just doing our job.”

“How’s about shipping some fat to the bottom of my feet,” I say, “to add some padding on my heel and some lubrication in my leg joints?”

“We’ll vote for that,” say the feet.

“Us, too,” say all the lower joints.

“How much will you pay for my largesse?” asks the GO.

My other body parts and I consult with each other.  We don’t have a ready answer.

I speak first.  “I’m about ready to invite a stroke, heart attack, or pulmonary embolism, preferably three all together, so they take me out completely.  That would cure the foot pain.  But please, please, please don’t cast me on the health care system,” I beg.  I take a sip of coffee.

“Remember how hospital coffee tastes?” Fukyoo asks.  “It’s gotten worse.”  Everyone except me laughs.

I dump the last little bit of coffee that was doctored the way my taste buds like it.

“Thank you,” says Left Foot.

“At least you fed me some peanut butter and wheat wafers,” says the Greater Omentum.

“I want you to share that,” I tell the GO.  “And not with the Lesser Omentum, either.  Send that fat downstream to my legs and feet, where it can do some good.

“Oh, all right,” moans the GO.

“Make him dance, too, lying on the floor, so we don’t have to carry him,” say my lower body parts.

“That’s called sex,” I reply.

“Whatever,” say the feet.  “Make him have sex, then.”

“Other body parts may have something to say about that.  Vagina?”

“No way, Jose.  Don’t inflict any barbarians on me.”

“Well, I haven’t found anything else.  I respect your right to opt out, since you’re not overweight.  You don’t need to dance.”

The Should/Shouldn’t Chorus is grudgingly relieved I sacrificed the last of my coffee.  One looks at a watch.

“Well, she hasn’t gone overboard in her caffeine addiction yet, but it’s just a matter of time.”

“Sad, isn’t it?” says another.  “Tomorrow it’ll probably be five cups, then six, and the next thing you know, she’ll be in ICU with a Broca’s area stroke, unable to speak or communicate in any way, but understanding everything around her.”

“Not so different from the way things are now, if you ask me, only my living room isn’t as noisy or expensive as the hospital.”  I say.

“We didn’t ask you.”

“Nope.  Proves my point.  You just tell me, don’t you, then prophesy dire consequences if I put sugar in my coffee.”

“Want to step on the scales and say that again?”

“Nope.”

“At least you didn’t stuff yourself with peanut butter on salty wheat wafers, this time.”

“Right,” says Right Foot, which has been doing double duty since the left went out on disability.  Both benefit from the rest, I figure.

“I like walking,” says Right Foot.

“Well, you two need to get together and discuss your relationship,” I tell them.  I put my soles together so left and right feet can bond.  Toes of right touching heel of left, cold toes to hot heel.  “We can start by evening out the temperature gradient.”

Yes, my feet are connecting on a sole level.  They both feel good about it.
*Seth is the channeled entity of the Jane Roberts’ Seth series.
**The concept of Shape Shifting Alien Reptiles (SSARs) comes from David Icke’s Tales from the Time Loop, 2003.