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  • Writer's pictureLama Jigme Gyatso

Medical Superstition

Let us consider Medical Superstition,

this is Lama Jigme Gyatso

of the Buddha Joy Meditation School;

welcome to Meditate Like a Jedi!

I still remember the day

all those thirty-four years ago

when my pal Aubrey and myself

went to see Star Trek: the Voyage Home.

SPOILER ALERT – I am going to give some stuff away

but in all fairness it has been more than three decades

since the film’s release.

The movie had some good gags

but the best laughs were had

watching Doctor McCoy’s hysterics

as he scurried about a twentieth century hospital

raging at the barbarism and superstition at play.

He wasn’t far off.

For when we look back

a hand full of centuries into the past

we are aghast

at the practice of attributing plague

to the misdeeds of non-corporeal entities

invisible and malevolent.

But are we much better?

For the last hundred years

both physician and lay person alike

have set aside the scientific method

and blamed puzzling maladies

and a new host of invisible culprits

only these were given names

psychiatric and psychological in nature

such as hysteria, or conversion disorder,

or psychosomatism, or secondary gains.

For more that twenty three centuries

very deep thinkers

of recognized the destructive presence

of logical fallacies and cognitive biases.

Consider, if you will,

the appeal to an absence of information

logical fallacy.

I fun example could be:

"I, who have NO formal training in engineering

can NOT conceive of how the great pyramid of Giza was built

therefore it MUST have been aliens!"

Oh sure, its funny

when some guy on the History Channel

who looks baked out of his mind

strenuously jumps to illogical conclusions.

BUT it is NOT nearly so funny

when so-called medical professionals

do the same thing.

How often have lazy-minded physicians

attack their patients’ characters

by insisting their symptoms

were all in their heads?

How often have they concluded

We do NOT know what it is,

therefore is MUST be psychological!

That is a text-book example

of an appeal to an absence of evidence

logical fallacy.

It is cruel,

and it is destructive.

Did you know that in the early days

of the AIDS epidemic

many victims were told

that it was all in their heads?

In Doctor Michael Greger MD’s book

How NOT to Die

studies were sited

wherein the symptoms of clinical depression were reversed

NOT through psychotherapy,

NOT through psychopharmacology

BUT merely by treating systemic inflammation

by switching the patients to a whole-food, vegan diet.

The book sites other interventional studies

again where psychological symptoms were alleviated

by addressing physiological causes

such as gut microbiomes that had been mismanaged

due to the habitual consumption of foods

that our species simply has NOT evolved to thrive upon.

Folks did NOT have to rewrite their childhoods

to overcome disabling psychological symptoms

BUT only to revise their menus.

In the book “Cupid’s Poisoned Arrow

Marnia Robinson explored human sexuality

through the lenses of anthropology

and neuroscience

to show how most marital conflicts

could be reversed,

NOT with better counseling

BUT by making subtle changes in our sexual behavior.

Subtle changes such as refraining from pornography,

and erotica, and masturbation, as well as orgasm

and replacing them with

the simple, and subtle,

and surprisingly fulfilling practices

of Karezza style Tantra

while facilitating orgasmic sublimation

with the methods of circulating one’s subtle sexual energies

using methods Taoist, or Hindu, or Buddhist

in origin.

And as such she anecdotally demonstrated

huge changes in the participants’

physiological, and psychological, and behavioral

and social and even vocational experiences.

We are fortunate to live in a time

when courageous thinkers

have thought outside the box.

We live in a time

when we can profit

from their insights

as well as their examples.

But will we follow in their footsteps?

Will we exercise the courage

to follow where the data leads us?

Will we choose to transcend

logical fallacy, cognitive bias

superstition and lazy mindedness?

In an age where greed seems to trump

both climate science and virology

no less compassion and wisdom

our intellectual integrity matters now

more than ever.

Let us conclude

with a simple

call to action

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just like you.

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Some of these spiritual poems are also available on

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