One of the biggest obstacles to grasping the fact that human health care depends on body, mind and soul is Newtonian physics.
Sir Isaac Newton, for those who don't know, was a mathematical genius and 'big thinker' who worked out the basic laws of gravity by being bonked on the head by a falling apple.
Newton set out the basic building blocks of physical science, or 'physics', which was good going for 400 years' ago, but in 2015, is causing no end of trouble.
The problem, in a nutshell, is this:
Newtonian Physics is based on the principle that:
The human body (and all other physicality) is made up of solid physical matter.
When you apply this thinking to healthcare, you get an approach based on balancing chemical equations (ie, drugs) and cutting out the bits that don't work anymore (ie, surgery).
So far so good. So what's the problem?
The problem is, that our understanding of how the world really works has moved on, most notably with Einstein's groundbreaking idea that e=mc2. That formula is around a 100 years' old now, but humanity is still seriously struggling to internalise the profound message it's teaching us.
According to Quantum Physics, what e=mc2 is really teaching us is that energy - or God - is really all there is.
Even matter is just packets of Divine energy, or light, that has been 'slowed down', and is vibrating at a much slower rate. That's what gives people and stuff an appearance of being 'solid', physical beings - but what we experience with our physical senses is only part of the story.
People are really Divine energy, or light, slowed down to become 'Moshe' or 'Rachel' or 'Bertha'.
This isn't news for Jews (or at least, it shouldn't be.)
Back in the Garden of Eden, our holy sources taught us that Adam and Eve were beings of light, so translucent and magnificent that anyone who tried to stare at those original human beings would have been blinded by the light.
The Hebrew word for light is 'or', spelt with the letter aleph.
After the sin, we're told that God came and made Adam and Eve different garments of 'or', this time spelt with an ayin, which is usually translated as 'leather'.
To sum up, our Divine light got covered up by our skin, making it much harder for us to access and understand our spiritual side.
Now, what does all that have to do with the real reasons why you've got a cough, or a stomach ache, or a headache? And what are the implications of e=mc2 for a believing Jewish approach to bodies and healthcare?
God-willing, we'll look at these issues in more detail in the next post.
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