Double Take

'When you've seen beyond yourself, then you may find peace of mind is waiting there. And the time will come when you see we're all one, and life flows on within you and without you – George Harrison

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Rowena J Ronson analyses the movie WWZ (2013) with a focus on the health of humanity….

Spoiler alert!

WWZSo our next world war will be an inside job, according to Hollywood 2013. It will not be caused by economics, politics or religion. It won’t be sparked off by a dictator, and it will not involve racial discrimination. No one will be immune, except, ironically, the sick and vulnerable. Nature will deliver her ultimate comeuppance for our continued disrespect for our internal and external environments, and the multitude of signs we choose to ignore daily. We will lose the war to viruses, and the narcissistic delusion that humans rule the

planet will at last be over. Nature will regain her equilibrium and secure continued ‘life’ on earth.

World War Z really got me thinking. The ingenious idea that a virus can mutate so intelligently that it can literally take over a person’s will, when pondered upon, is perhaps not so ingenious at all. Viruses are way more clever than we humans give them credit for; this human ignorance prevents us from living in constant fear (not a productive way to live), but I suspect that even if we fully saw the threat, we would still choose to believe we are invincible anyway. We continue to ignore our future environmental peril, opting for a far from adequate band-aid approach to sustainability, and we have always plastered over and suppressed our health issues, so why buy into the idea of viruses threatening to dominate the world and ultimately destroy humanity?

In WWZ, the Israelis are applauded – unusually so – for their wall-building prowess. They understand about preventative tactics and protecting themselves by raising their immunity and building resistance. Unfortunately they ignore the laws of susceptibility. Even, we assume, knowing the carriers of the virus were attracted by noise, they can not keep themselves silent within the Walls of Jericho, and put themselves at risk when praying and singing takes priority over safety. The predator cunningly wises up, as they always do, and develops communication “as if one”. With the cohesive synergy of a team, the virus can climb higher than the wall, and the Israelis are consequently vulnerable again, with no second chance for survival.

Observing the virus through the fisheye lens of a UN employee/“detective” achieves useful insights not gleaned by the scientists’ zoom

The virus seems to be disinterested in those whose systems are already compromised by a pre-existing diseased state. In this case, looking at the bigger picture and with an open mind, gives a clearer perspective, compared with focusing on the cellular minutiae.

So what is there to learn about disease in the 21st century from this mass media message? As a modern-day health practitioner, I work as if I were a detective, looking at a person’s wellbeing intensely and holistically. This means that all symptoms are investigated on all levels – mentally, emotionally and physically – and the dis-ease state (the totality of a person’s symptoms, individually expressing themselves to illustrate where they are out of balance) is examined and treated “as if one”. Much as the way in which the disease state created by the virus and expressing itself through its human host in WWZ acted “as if one”. Cure, healing or rebalancing from a dis-eased state in a person – allowing them to be no longer susceptible – is then achieved with one medicine which acts on the person’s own healing mechanism (their will, if you like, which was demonstrated as being “taken over” in the film) to re-establish their healthy equilibrium.

All living organisms since the birth of our planet have worked in balance and in opposition with each other. Plants and animals are always in relationship, often competitively, always opportunistically, but ultimately successfully in terms of the bigger picture of evolution. So what about the relationship between viruses and human beings? We know that many chronic diseases are said to be caused by viruses – multiple sclerosis, cervical cancer and AIDS to name a few. And we all experience the viruses that cause respiratory and digestive acute disorders in our health regularly – if we are susceptible. And we also know that viruses are mutating and evolving, along with all other life on earth. So is WWZ a real possibility for the future of the human race? And is our current suppressive, mechanistic way of treating our health with multiple drugs prescribed, one for each symptom, without consideration of the bigger picture and the long-term impact on our health, ultimately creating our inevitable downfall?


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‘I fear that I will lose everything…’

I came across your Double Take website by accident. I wouldn’t normally write to a problem page, but I liked the way that you seem to look at the different angles to a problem – and you don’t dictate to your readers. What’s my problem? Well, in theory, I don’t have any problems. I’m 35 and in a really well paid job with a financial services company. I earn enough that my wife doesn’t need to work – which is good because she’s just about to give birth to our second child. Our son is two years old, and the new baby should sort of complete our family. The trouble is that my work is really demanding – to do it well and to continue to be thought of quite highly in the company, I have to work long hours, I sometimes have to travel and be away overnight, and my wife complains that I never seem to be at home. And when I am at home, I tend to be exhausted. The thing is that if I don’t work flat out, then I won’t have the money coming in to keep paying the bills and keep the sort of comfortable lifestyle that we’ve become accustomed too. I’m not really the type to downsize or drop out of the ‘rat race’, nor do I think that my wife would want to live in a smaller house and manage with a smaller car. It’s difficult to explain, but I have a fear that I’m going to lose everything – my job and my family. What can I do to make myself feel ok about all this?

It is interesting that you use the expression ‘rat race’. Is that how you see it? I can see that you have thought through various options. I am wondering what other ways you can look at your life, including the grey areas, in order to reach a perspective that will work for you and your family. To live in fear of losing everything must feel like a very heavy burden to carry. I am wondering also, what you do to relieve your stress and how much you are running on adrenaline, which will be detrimental to your health long term. In the short term, your exhaustion is probably linked to that. Your fear is your mind and body sending you a warning sign that something needs to change. And the process starts with communication with your wife, discussing your priorities as a family, and how you together, as a team, maintain your individual and family health and happiness.

It sounds more of a ‘rat trap’ than a ‘rat race’.You seem to have got into a situation that is not only likely to be damaging to you, but also one that is not easy to extricate yourself from (if you wanted to). There is no doubt that you are in a ‘good’ job – but is it really good for you and your family? In purely material terms, it seems to be worthwhile. But your own anxiety seems to be a warning from yourself to yourself that this situation cannot be sustained in the long term. Something is going to have to give – and it could be your health, your relationship with your wife or your relationship with your children. Everyone seems to be benefiting from what you are doing – but are they really benefiting? And perhaps you also need to ask why you are driving yourself so hard – is it really just for your family, or is there something in your psychological make-up that is responsible for your working in the way that you do?

There seems no doubt that you are putting your health in danger. Human beings who find themselves in rat traps or rat races don’t fare very well, either physically or mentally. Your anxiety and stress are alarm bells that some sort of change is necessary – because this situation can’t last. If you care about your family, you need to take care of yourself. Talking everything through is a large part of the solution – talking between you and your wife, and possibly also the two of you talking with a couples counsellor. You are lucky in that it is not too late – yet – to avoid an unhappy outcome.