We are many parts, but all one body (from the 1986 song by Marty Haugen).

The focus of that song is on how all of us, though seeming to be distinct individuals, are actually all part of a single body. In those few words is housed a deep metaphor for the truths that support our very being. It is also a true metaphor for our individual bodies. Over the centuries we have poked and prodded, cut and changed what we came to believe were individual “parts” of the body. The liver is over there and the thyroid is a “butterfly shaped mass” right there in the neck. That just isn’t true.

ALL TOGETHER NOW.  As we are individually part of the whole body of humankind, our body “parts” are interconnected in such deep ways as to be inseparable. Every time we lose one of our parts, the whole body is changed. Removing a breast to mastectomy isn’t always a guaranteed form of curing breast cancer, but the whole is altered by the removal of what seems to be a part. Tumors can be excised but the circumstances that caused them aren’t changed. The invaders return and we slice and dice some more.

Modern medicine has evolved on many fronts and is generally capable of some near miraculous acts. Yet, cures themselves continue to evade our science. When they occur, they are often accompanied by amazement, not because we DID something but because we DIDN’T – and it happened all the same.

We need to return our attention to the basic fact that all of our parts are interconnected and we need to treat ourselves as a whole and complete being who is part of a greater form of life, the metaphorical body of humanity.

Damaging even a single member of the human race is harmful to all of us. In an identical way, damage to our individual parts is damaging to our whole body that, when considered globally, is also damaging to the whole of humanity.

I recently read an article in a sports magazine about an experiment involving flashes of light and how sound or touch will alter how we perceive the flash. The study demonstrated that a single flash is detected as two flashes if we hear two rapid tones while the light is flashed. The same thing happens if we’re touched on our skin twice during a single flash – we “see” two.

Our senses are connected and interdependent. Smell and taste are other examples of a similar connection. Other connections are certainly more subtle, but important nonetheless.

Why am I rambling on about this? Because I want to make the point that our current medical approaches are wrong and causing harm and death. We need to change our paradigm. It is impossible to consume a drug and expect it to work on just the specific thing we intend.

A pain pill taken for a headache also effects all other parts of the body. It doesn’t just fix the head pain – it may cause constipation or drowsiness.

Antidepressants are potent drugs that cause changes throughout our entire body, yet the belief is that they somehow help us by doing something to levels of serotonin.

I mentioned mastectomy above. It isn’t JUST the breast, but the entire body that is changed.Consider the emotional upheaval. Then, there are the hysterectomies. I’ve heard women say their doctor recommended one because they were having menopausal symptoms. Basically, get rid of the thing that causes the problems, neglecting the massive hormone shifts that take place when the hormone “factories” are removed or damaged.

I don’t always oppose surgery, drugs, or radiation – when they are absolutely necessary, when there are few to no other options. I had cataracts when I was younger. Without surgery I’d surely have become sightless. With it, there was a tiny risk that I’d lose my sight, but there was a very great chance I’d be seeing well for many more years if I had the cloudy lens removed. I’ve worn hard contacts for over three decades, but the results are excellent – with vision better than 20/20. The main inconveniences are inserting lenses every day and the need for reading spectacles. Inconvenient but worth it.

All of our body parts work together and interact for the good of the whole. Any and all interference with even the smallest part can do harm. Ponder this and think hard before accepting the next recommendation from a medical provider. Drugs, surgery, and radiation are massively popular – and potent – but they aren’t always the best answer.

SEARCHING FOR THE MAGIC BULLET? There really isn’t a “pill for every ill”, regardless of how much we want there to be one. We all need to follow the old saying, “Say No To Drugs” – and to surgery and radiation as well.