Once again you've given me a nod in the direction of 'inspiration' = the position of 'medicine' at the center of every important strand of this investigation. On my original platform - vestigialvision.com - this quote of Ivan Illich ...
"We have lost, irretrievably, a way of being human. And although there still remains, in our flesh almost, the vague presence of something which has been, I do not see how such an ephemera can be passed on to our children. Standing beyond the edge of an extraordinarily rich and varied epoch, we must now face the sad loss of gender"
stood as subheader on every post. Illich, if you haven't yet run into his work, was a key social commentator of the 1960s, his books redolent with insights which took square aim at the 'cultural revolution'/culture war going on unspoken all around us at that time.... without seeming to be discordant with the general trend of rebellion. Ahead of his time is a grave understatement.
One of those works - "Limits to Medicine: Medical Nemesis- the Expropriation of Health"
- obviously dealt with the subject of 'medicine' ... but in a way which would leave all other contemporary (and subsequent)evaluations of that subject so far behind in the dust as to make it clear just how impoverished the sphere of public debate has become in the interval. This post
delves into why that is so in far better style than anything I could say about it.
I will limit my own comment to this: Illich, faced with diagnosed cancer, determined that he would refuse all 'therapy' and merely continue with living for as long as living was an option. There was A LOT of pain, he never wavered in his resolve. The man LIVED his Life and LIVED his philosophy. I am totally in awe, and will remain so.
What does any of that have to do with the subject at hand? The INTRODUCTION to the Barbarous Reliquary book - as you shall shortly see here - begins in it'svery first paragraph to dissect the legacy of 'medicine,' in the form of a medieval practitioner of it named "MAIMONIDES" .... a judaic 'philosophier' who was court physician to the inimitable Saladin, as well as key instrument for the talmudization of the west. As Moncrieff writes, in that post I've linked just above....
"Difficult as this is to write as a doctor, there is something inherently degrading about medicine."
There is also, I might say, something inherently degrading about being degraded... in the way that the west is slowly being subjected to just that, by way of a toxification of our physical bodies at the same time as the toxification of our minds. That this is happening in tandem is not an 'accident' ... the inheritors of MAIMONIDES, you see, are determined that death by slow poison should be our fate. And they are willing to provide no end of 'palliative' medicine to make it as comfortable - and unnoticeable - as possible.
"TCM" was a integral part of my survival. One of its most authentic practitioners in the west, happened to be an intimate companion of mine. When I ended up finally, in China, to see for myself milieu out of which that knowledge had sprung, I realized at last that the abasement of knowledge and culture was as complete in the East as it was in the West; I concur entirely with your wife about the loss.
Keep the comments coming - the book is already the better for your contribution = I believe I'll have to work Illich in!