My doctor asked me if it burns when I pee. I told him only when it gets into my eyes.
I have little faith in my doctor. He seems over-worked, time constrained and it’s in his best interest to keep me sick for return business. I like the idea they had in some places of old Japan where they paid their doctors a small fee throughout the year to keep them healthy, and stopped paying when they fell ill.
Perhaps the main issue I have with my doctor is that I feel like a frog being dissected in every consultation. He starts tapping here, pressuring there and listening in on any anomalous sounds. Just like most Western medicine practitioners, he treats every organ individually and separate from everything else. If he finds a problem with something, he refers you to a specialist.
There used to be a time when your general practitioner would treat every medical problem you had. As Western medicine has developed, more knowledge has emerged and the necessity for specialists, and the subdivision of information, arose. Different doctors now specialize their entire knowledge on a single part of the human anatomy. The problem with this is that it creates linear thoughts, a logical “tunnel vision” of sorts. Our society treats organs and problems as if they were independent from every other part of your body.
He smells like onion sweat, has ass crack pubes longer than my head hairs, and when he speaks with his Russian accent I keep hearing the word “kill” when he says drill – but in many ways he proved to be wiser than my doctor.
But my stereotypical handyman has something I’ve observed in all the ‘old country’ builders I’ve hired: a ‘wholeness’ of knowledge when repairing. You see, when I hire an electrician, or a plumber, or any other specialist, they come over to whatever property I’m renovating, do the exact job I asked them, and then leave. “You want a light fixture here? You got it!”
When I hire a man whose building knowledge comes from working in a country where nobody specializes in any one area, there’s no formal ‘education’ training, they are required to know a little bit about every area. “I can install a light fixture here, but you should keep it mind how this will affect the roof tilers job when he has to put in the beams. Also it will cut off access to the plumbing system.”
Eastern medicine works very much in this way. Its main concern is to find a balance and harmony within the body. The Chinese call it QI energy, but other concepts similar to QI can be found in many cultures, such as Prana and cit in Hindu religion, mana in Hawaiian culture, lüng in Tibetan Buddhism, ruah in Hebrew culture. Basically these cultures wouldn’t just treat your lungs if you had problems breathing, they’d also treat your liver, your heart and your brain as they were aware of the interdependent nature of your whole system.
When you compartmentalize information, it loses it’s ability to see the whole picture, to keep the ‘totality’ in perspective.
Logical Tunnel Vision
We use logic as an interpretation tool of reality. The only way our brains can process life from the abstract chaos that it is into something more tangible, is by dividing everything into small psychology “schemas”, or mental symbolisms to understand everything. Logically the word apple symbolizes an apple, but it’s separate from its tree and its environment.
It has been demonstrated that an apple continuously exchanges materials with its exterior surroundings, like water and gases, so an apple is never static. An ‘apple’ is constantly in a dynamic flux that is changing at any give time, all the time. But our brains through words physically define this piece of interdependent nature as a cold, static apple.
An apple doesn’t exist in nature the same way we interpret its independent identity in our minds.
Or imagine a flower. A flower’s ‘mind’ and its sex organ are in the same place. There’s no conflict like in humans where the pleasure sensors are in the genitals, and the place our ‘reality’ exists is in the cortical region of the brain. As humans those two regions are divided by space, at least through logical perception. In reality, using a ‘totality’ perspective of reality, they aren’t separate at all in the same way flowers and bee’s aren’t separate. One flies in the air and buzzes, the other is rooted in the ground and colorfully perfumes the environment so that the bees are attracted to it. But these two very different looking things are in fact one single interdependent organism: if there are no bees there are no flowers, if there are no flowers, there are no bees.
Logically they are two very different and separate “things”, but through a “totality” view they are one organism. The Chinese would say they “arise mutually.”
Mathematics is a child of logic. A system that separates things in order to “maneuver” them into understanding. In reality, mathematics doesn’t exist, and according to French Philosopher Alain Badiou, it’s merely a “rigorous aesthetic.”
At an atomic level, the very core of matter is illogical; electrons, protons, neutrons all bounce around randomly following no pattern. Our mind’s, through logic, separate everything (the totality of the puzzle) and by their very nature can never think of a ‘total’ world. It’s only through our feelings (love, intuition) and sensations (sensory system) that we can feel the world by bringing things together.
The beauty about logic is that you can try to explain how illogical logic is using logic itself. It’s almost like a glitch, a self-destruction button. Paradoxes also serve as another glitch in the logical system.
Madame Currie, a pioneer in the research of radioactivity, serves as an example of logical tunnel vision. She spent three years of her life working on a mathematical problem day and night and never seemed to get any closer to solving it. Intuitively she knew there was a solution to her problem but logically she couldn’t figure it out. One night she gave up, she whole-heartedly decided to stop and went to sleep. That night she had a dream that she had gotten up, and gone to the table to write something. When she woke up, she looked on the table, and saw, written in her own handwriting, the solution to her problem.
Haven’t you ever had that happen to you before? You unconsciously have a word on the tip of your tongue but can’t seem to remember it as much as you try to? Then, after you give up and relax, a few hours later you remember the word? That’s logical tunnel vision. The more we focus our mind on something, the tenser it becomes, and the less it can see the ‘totality’ of things.
Creativity is the playing of ideas, and putting together different logical concepts is what makes something new and unique outside the normal limited set of conclusions. Creativity, in essence, is whatever breaks out of the normal ‘pattern’ of our thoughts, an overlapping of our psychological schemas. Through opening my mind to the illogical I’ve allowed much more creativity in my life, it’s enhanced my freethinker abilities and made me more comfortable with the uncertain and unknown.
As an INTJ I was always certain about the world around me. Everything had a logical explanation, everything that existed could always be measured. Through Involution, through understanding myself more deeply, I awoke to the truth of what really brought joy, love and peace into my life. It wasn’t thoughts, but feelings, that made me feel harmonious and a sense of wholeness inside. Explanations left me unsatisfied, they made sense, they were structured, but they were empty vessels, words that symbolized dissections of reality, joint pieces of a much larger puzzle.
Logic has its place in life; an instrument of order and mental understanding. But there are many areas where it fails, like spiritual fulfillment and creativity. You can fall in love with feelings of mystery, timelessness and wonder, but you can never fall in love with a logical explanation.
Zen Parable: Four Blind Men and The Elephant
All this reminded me of a Zen story I read along time ago.
There was a small town that was in great debate about religion. The Catholics, the Baptist, the Buddist, the Muslims and all branches of religion were arguing over which religion was right and which religion was wrong. This was until it was mentioned that perhaps they should all go to the Zen Master and ask him for his opinion, so they all agreed and they all marched up to where the Zen Master lived.
The town folk ask the Zen Master, which religion is the true religion and which is not? “Who is right and who is wrong?” they pleaded. The Zen Master simply replied, “In order to show you this, I will require four blind men and an elephant,” and the town folk quickly retrieved four blind men and an elephant.
The Zen Master lead the first blind man up to the elephant and asked the blind man to describe what was before him. The first blind man reached out and felt the elephants leg and claimed “it’s a great pillar.” The second blind man felt the elephants side and said “it’s a big wall.” The third blind man felt the elephants ear and called it “a tapestry or curtain.” The fourth blind man felt the elephants tail and said “it’s a thick rope.”
The Zen Master then looked at the crowd of town folk and exclaimed, “We are all like the blind men, we have never seen a God, so we can only describe what we feel.”