Published in the Society of Homeopaths Journal, Summer 2012
Double Take by Rowena J Ronson and Nigel Summerley
The maladies of our time are legion. Humans today suffer on every level — physical, emotional and mental — just as much as they have ever done, if not more. But are humans themselves the problem? And is there a homeopathic cure for the planet?
What are the maladies of our time?
Greed, ignorance, short-sightedness, lack of awareness, failure to communicate, denial of feelings… superficiality, crowd-following, keeping up with the Joneses, duplicity, commitment-phobia… addiction, drugging, band aids, suppression… too much speed, not enough time… and boredom. These are the maladies of our time. What we see in clinic are the inevitable consequence of these underlying causes.
People live in the past or the future but rarely in the present, and most are unwilling to take responsibility for their health, their behaviour, their choices and their lives, and are not encouraged to do so either. We are a disempowered flock looking outside ourselves for the answers.
And then someone suggests you go and see their homeopath. You tell your story as a whole, you hear yourself and you are heard, and a new chapter begins. I remember my first experience twenty years ago when I was recommended homeopathy after nearly dying from a secondary ear infection and a severe allergy to all antibiotics. I had never been to see any kind of therapist or alternative practitioner before. I had never even heard of homeopathy and didn’t have a clue on what to say to the perceived ‘strange man’ sitting opposite me, and for a whole hour and a half to boot! I rambled and I asked a hundred questions in my innocent attempt to understand what it was that homeopathy could ‘do for me’.
And of course, our own new patients have the same experience when they consult us. They come with cancer, MS and Motor Neuron Disease, anxiety, depression and more, and they ask: ‘Can YOU CURE ME?’ They have exhausted their allopathic options and are looking, in desperation, for a longer straw. And they are surprised to learn that their lifestyle and years of suppression by allopathic medication has in fact made them ill.
Side effects of drugs are swept under the carpet. We live in an era where antidepressants are prescribed for all complaints that cannot be resolved with any other drug. I have seen five patients in the past two days who were given antibiotics for viral infections. I have also learned recently that doctors are being paid not to refer patients to hospitals – to deal with symptoms by drugging rather than finding out what is really causing their symptoms.
But are we all living too long anyway, with too little regard for the consequences. We have used nearly all the planet’s fossil fuels in one hundred years. I read that on current projections, by 2050 there will be as many people living in cities (6 billion) as now live on the whole planet Earth.
I often have thoughts along the same lines as those of Agent Smith in The Matrix. His words at the end of the 20th century are becoming more relevant as the years move on… he said: “I would like to share a revelation that I have had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realised that you are not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet.”
Perhaps we too should be looking at the bigger picture. Maybe the real maladies of our times are humans themselves.
Very near the top of the almost endless list of maladies of our time should surely be self-medication. Humans, even apparently intelligent ones, seem to think that all of their ills can be cured by taking the right drug. Pills for headache or for heartburn, painkillers, sleeping pills, antidepressants… there are cupboards and drawers full of these things in countless homes and offices all across the world, ready to be used at a moment’s notice. They are dished out by doctors and pharmacists and lapped up by their patients.
Take the recent case of a young mother whose partner walked out because he was unwilling to do anything to help care for their baby. Left to cope alone with the child, she was so upset and finding it so difficult to cope that she sought help from her doctor. The doctor told her she was depressed and gave her antidepressants, which she then took unquestioningly for a long time, before eventually beginning to wonder whether the medication was simply masking feelings that were natural and that had to be worked through if they were to be dealt with.
Stress, the almost universal malady of our time, is said to be the root cause of at least 75 per cent of visits to GPs, either as an acute condition or as part of a chronic situation. Stress leads to fatigue, and fatigue fuels stress.
Stressed, depressed, exhausted? Take a pill. The pill doesn’t work? Take another one. Or take a different one.
And if the pills that you’re taking (because the other pills don’t work) fail to blot out the problem, then those handy little helpers alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogenics etc are available for the more heavy-duty work of delivering oblivion.
Whether the user is conscious or not of what they are doing, this use of pills, booze or drugs, is self-medication. It is a way of trying to heal the maladies of our time, an attempt to offset the misery and joylessness with a high which is, inevitably, only temporary. Sex is often used in the same way: an escape, a brief ecstasy and a fleeting dissolution of the troublesome ego. But sex and drugs (and even rock ‘n’ roll) cannot truly heal, or make whole. One cannot restore the balance of the body by using outside agents, by attacking and opposing symptoms allopathically, by overstimulating the organism.
For almost every malady there is a medication available (or one on the way soon), but often there is no real solution or resolution.
Proper self-medication (and true making whole) is the action of a healthy immune system, of homeostasis, the vital force’s natural balancing act. And as we all know, the action of the vital force is stimulated and assisted by the use of homeopathic remedies.
Similarly, it seems that the planet itself has its own systems of homeostasis, its own form of self-medication — not one that destroys the sufferer but one that ultimately enables the sufferer to return to health. At least, this is the argument of the Gaia hypothesis which suggests that the whole living earth is one super-organism which can react and adjust to changing conditions to ensure its survival.
If human beings are the pre-eminent malady of our time, then it is most likely that the planet, with its formidable resources, will deal with them.
Will it use disease or disaster to be rid of humans? Or will the humans be destroyed by their own hubris, selfishness and violence? It could actually be that they will find themselves dealt with homeopathically. If the different (but all too similar) tribes of human beings end up wiping each other out, destroying themselves, then that could be the biggest-ever demonstration of like curing like.
The greatest maladies of our time seem to be human beings, their unbalanced ways of life, and their short-sighted attempts to patch themselves up with allopathy, drugs and escapism. If we don’t find a way genuinely to heal ourselves (through homeopathy, healthy living and fundamental long-term changes), we run the risk that the earth’s own survival mechanisms will get rid of us — to safeguard the planet’s health. We all need real healing now. For our own sakes — and for the sake of the world.