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Tuesday, November 24, 2009



Written by: Rick Staggenborg, MD on Jun 25, 2009 2:10 PM PDT

One of the more stubborn symptoms of the viral illness of greed is war. It results from parts of the body attempting to fight off perceived threats that it sees as arising from foreign bodies. When all parts of the human body are working as one, such problems do not arise. When it occurs, this “immune” reaction inevitably causes damage to the human body itself. This requires a slower, more organized healing process. As a result of this process, the body remodels itself. Healing often leaves scars, but occasionally it produces better functioning of the body as a whole.

Medicine often finds the means to relieve symptoms of an illness with medications targeted at what appears to be an entirely unrelated condition. These ”side effects” occasionally even treat the underlying condition, through pure serendipity. An example is the way lithium was found to control the overexcitement driving mania, when Jonathan Cade was experimenting with various salts of lithium in an attempt to find a way to treat gout.

In a similar manner, through our attempts to treat the seemingly unrelated problems of environmental degradation, poverty and disease, we will find the solution to the problem of war. Conflict will no longer seem the inevitable result of the animal struggle for individual survival when humanity realizes that the individual good is inevitably served best through ensuring the welfare of all. 

We must understand why the Bible teaches that Cain slew Abel only after Man submitted to the temptations of the evil influence to take what it did not need, giving in to a momentary impulse toward self indulgence. This resulted in the allegorical banishment of Mankind from the Garden of Eden, where all things had previously dwelt in harmony. The religious impulse is driven by a heartfelt desire to return to a world where all may reside in peace and comfort, free of the fear of want that drives us to fight. 

When we accept the simple truth that enlightened self interest will rid us of all the evils plaguing us and free us from our self-imposed Hell, we will once more have peace on Earth. To put it in religious terms, we will have established God’s kingdom on Earth. Once again, let us realize that the terror of Armageddon was not a prophecy of God’s will, but a warning of the inevitable result of choosing evil over good. It is literally true that greed is the root of all evil.

If we work together, we can develop a plan to escape self destruction. The threats of war, famine, disease and pestilence now threaten the survival of Mankind. It is now or never, folks. Will we choose to follow the impulses of our Ids or choose to act according to the dictates of our superegos, and direct our egos to the task of survival? We have some collective growing up to do. I

f there is a Heavenly father, he can only shake his figurative head and pray that his progeny choose to make the right decisions for their selves. That is the nature of free will, and the only way that we can grow up and become strong men and women who take responsibility for their own actions, or accept the consequences of our failure to do so.

Rick Staggenborg, MD

Somewhere in the inland passage, Alaska

1 comment:

  1. This essay could have been wrapped into the previous "chapter" about treating the ills of the world using a medical model. However, I felt that the point that the end of war being the natural result of addressing Mankind's basic needs and treating the "patient" holistically was important enough to stand alone. In addition, I wanted to keep the mention of religious ideas separate from the main thesis.

    When I realized that this would be a very personal "diary," I was reluctant to reveal the extent of my spiritual beliefs, so began to refer to them as concepts that "some people" believe in.

    I am not ashamed of my own beliefs, but was trying to keep the ideas as universal as possible. Since so many people who concern themselves with these issues are secular humanists (or prefer to regard themselves as such, for similar reasons). I did not want to turn them off to the ideas I was presenting.

    Eventually, my discomfort with the idea of concealing my essential beliefs overcame my desire to avoid provoking an automatic tuning out of the main ideas by those who are quick to equate spirituality with superstition. I came to realize that those who are this close-minded are unlikely to be part of the ripple in human consciousness that I am trying to create. Their resistance to being moved acts as a damper to the wave of thought I am trying to generate and thus any such wave will simply have to go around them, like islands in the ocean.


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