A Few Random Thoughts

Big Pharma vs Alternative Health, The Psychosis of War, and More
a statue of a man thinking

I wanted to share some things that I’ve been pondering lately. So here goes (in no particular order):

Recent Ponderings

Are traditional and natural medicine now on a collision course?

A few decades ago, I was buoyed up and hopeful about the prospect of allopathic medicine nicely integrating with naturopathic medicine. There was great progress on what was called CAM or complementary and alternative medicine.

This was all about traditional medicine being more open to a wide variety of natural treatments and cooperation between the two approaches. It was happening in many areas, and it was a truly positive development.

This integration included paying more attention to the role of the food we eat and how it affects health; the use of supplements that provided gentler alternatives to the potency of drugs; and the use of tai chi, yoga, and energetic healing for preventive purposes, and also to complement healing.

I was hopeful that this process might continue in the years after 2010 to the present. But something happened. I’m sad to report that I no longer think this is possible.

Big Pharma’s blatant takeover of our now clearly for-profit medical system has shut the door to any such peaceful co-existence. This is largely because, sadly, Pharma is waging all-out information warfare on many alternative practices.

Doctor Bezos

You may have heard the news that Amazon is getting into the healthcare business. I can hardly wait.

I wonder if they will allow their doctors and nurses to have bathroom breaks?

Lucid in Ecstasy?

The great French philosopher Albert Camus once wrote in his notebooks that he wanted to be “lucid in ecstasy.” Certainly a pleasant enough thought.

However, I would be happy to settle for just being fully and completely lucid, i.e. having the clarity of mind to see more deeply into whatever situations life presents through meditation and other approaches.

Perchance to Dream

I had a rather amazing dream 10 or 11 years ago. I only recall the vague outlines of it now, and even that, somewhat hazily. In the dream, I was paging through a book. Each page of the book had perfectly composed writing. I was able to read page after page although the actual subject matter I now can’t recall.

Upon waking, I remember being absolutely sure I had never seen the writing before. It was complex, original, and beautifully crafted writing but not mine. That day, I tried as hard as I could to figure out how my mind could even come up with such a thing. Was it even possible?

I finally came up with only two possibilities to explain it. Either my mind actually had composed the completed pages of writing during the dream (which was, of course, amazing enough if true). Or, alternatively, my (mind, spirit, higher self, pick one) had somehow accessed this material some from another realm of existence (equally amazing).

A Change of Heart

I used to not believe in evil as a force or a phenomenon. It was so “un-modern.” I thought of it as somewhat antiquated and that it fostered dualism (it does in a way, but that’s a longer discussion). However, later in my life, and to my own surprise, I changed my thinking. The problem is that we don’t always recognize evil as such. Not doing so can serve to give it a free pass.

The other problem is that the word itself is loaded with associations and that means using the term “evil” can become a verbal hand grenade. In our culture, we have largely tended to avoid using it.

That said, I think evil can masquerade as many things and manifest in very subtle ways. It’s worth reflecting on how all of the bad things that we experience in our lives and in society, politically, socially, and culturally, first appear to us as something good. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t be disposed in any way to accept them.

As an example of this, one of the greatest evils we’re facing right now is a nihilistic philosophy called transhumanism that seeks to subordinate the human spirit to technology and machines.

R. D Laing, We Miss You

R.D. Laing was a brilliant Scottish psychiatrist who suggested that war is a form of mass psychosis. Back in the day, he wrote that “Insanity is a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world. Normal men have killed 100 million of their fellow men in the past 50 years.”

Commenting on Laing’s work and furthering this line of thinking, another observer, clinical psychologist Frank MacHovec wrote a fascinating blog on this subject arguing that wartime behavior meets current diagnostic criteria for a severe mental disorder.

Worth pondering.


Tom Valovic

Tom Valovic is a writer, journalist, and tai chi practitioner of 22 years. He is the author of Digital Mythologies, which explores the relationship between spirituality and technology. He writes about a variety of topics including healthcare, politics, technology, spirituality, and the environment. He has written articles about the relationship of culture and technology for Annals of Earth, Wisdom Magazine, The Whole Earth Review, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Examiner, Media Studies Journal, and many other publications. Tom has been a board member at Brookline Tai Chi in Massachusetts and is co-founder of the Emergence Project.

He always enjoys hearing from readers. Feel free to e-mail him at cloudhands5885@gmail.com.