Suggestions for effective solutions? “We get what we concentrate upon.” Our mental images bring about their own fulfillment. These are ancient dictums, but we must understand the ways in which our mass communication systems amplify both the “positive and the negative” issues.
Individually, and as a civilization, we have undermined our own feelings of safety; yet methods to reinforce those necessarily feelings of biological integrity and spiritual comprehension that can vastly increase our spiritual and physical existence.
Our beliefs have generated feelings of unworth. Having artificially separated ourselves from nature, we do not trust it, nut often experience it as as adversary. Our religions granted man a soul, while denying any to other species. Our bodies then were relegated to nature and our souls to god, who stood immaculately apart from His or Her creations.
Our scientific beliefs tell us that our entire world happened accidentally. Our religions tell us that man and woman are sinful: The body is not to be trusted; the senses can lead us astray. In this maze of beliefs we have largely lost a sense of our own worth and purpose. A generalized fear and suspicion is generated, and life too often becomes stripped of any heroic qualities. The body cannot react to generalized fear and suspicion is generated, and life too often becomes stripped of any heroic qualities. The body cannot react to generalized threats. It is, therefore, put under constant strain in such circumstances, and seeks to specify the danger. It is geared to act in our protection. It builds up strong stresses, therefore, so that on many occasions a specific disease or threat situation is “manufactured” to rid the body of tension grown too strong to bear.
Many are familiar with private meditation, when concentration is focused in one particular area. There are many methods and schools of thought here, but a highly suggestive state of mind results, in which spiritual, mental, and physical goals are sought. It is impossible to mediate without a goal, for that intent is itself a purpose. Unfortunately, many of our public health programs, and commercial statements through the various media, provide us with mass meditations of a most deplorable kind. I refer to those in which the specific symptoms of various diseases are given, in which the individual is further told examine the body with those symptoms in mind. I also refer to those statements that just as unfortunately specify diseases for which the individual may experience no symptoms of an observable kind, but is cautioned that these disastrous physical events may be happening despite his or her feelings of good health. Here the generalized fears fostered by religious, scientific, and cultural beliefs are often given as blueprints of diseases in which a person can find a specific focus — the individual can say: “Of course, I feel listless, or panicky, or unsafe since I have such-and-such a disease.”
The breast cancer suggestions associated with self-examinations have caused more cancers than any treatments have cured. They involve intense meditations of the body, and adverse imagery that itself affects the bodily cells. Public health announcements about high blood pressure themselves raise the blood pressure of millions of television viewers.
Our current ideas of preventive medicine, therefore, generate he very kind of fear that causes disease. They all undermine the individual’s sense of bodily security and increase stress while offering the body a specific, detailed disease plan. But most of all, they operate to increase the individual sense of alienation from the body, and to promote a sense of powerlessness and duality.