There is an old Jewish story about the nature of heaven and hell. It’s called ‘the parable of the spoons.’
In hell everyone is chained up and they can access meals but only with a spoon that can reach their neighbors plate and mouth but not their own.
Hell is when they don’t know to feed the others to feed oneself. Heaven is when you feed your neighbor.
I do believe that Emerson was absolutely right in the first few paragraphs of his essay Self-Reliance. Joseph Campbell said “a vital person vitalises.” To do that you need a certain level of introspection – going away from the society to fish out what makes one tick. But none of that precludes our essential interconnectivity and the bond of our mutual interests.
I am not employing the parable of the spoons literally here – I am looking at it as a vehicle for an allegorical teaching about the nature of medicine.
I had my Covid vaccine the other day.
The reason I mention it and the parable of the spoons together in the same breath is this:
I can’t really fault the science of vaccines. It’s not a perfect art. Things do go wrong. But, for the most part vaccines work. We have a huge documented history on this.
But, why the parable of the spoons?
Some human behaviors can be self-defeating. As an allegory the mood of the two settings; heaven and hell, is a mirror, allegorically, to our relationship with medicine and the depths of our psychological intelligence.
The root meaning of the word “‘medicine,” is “physician,” and the root meaning of physician is:
‘things relating to nature’
There is that line: “Physician heal thyself.” I think there’s a deeper meditation that comes from that statement in the context of the latest plague.
If a child is raised in an atmosphere where it is constantly beaten, then some serious psychological healing is going to be called for to fully awaken to the meaning of Carl Jung’s phrase:
“I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.”
Parents/adults teach mostly non-verbally, by the example of their actions. Fear, not rooted out in the mind, has its own impact.
The atmosphere in the two places in the parable of spoons is very different – one from the other. But the physics and the laws are the same. How they are put to use is what differs. And it makes a world of difference – the spirit of the difference.
When we look at the natural world, which gives us food and inner work and outer work and ample inspiration when valued for what it is, it’s important to ponder the possibilities in a higher view of our nature and the nature of nature.
Without that therapeutic set of shifts, the abused child will likely have a number of victim symptoms in his mind; as that was what was demonstrated to him.
When it comes to our treatment of nature, and we come to understand the nature of DNA and RNA – the building blocks of organic life, it is a sane move to have tolerance for the Indian view of samskaras – the idea that thoughts influence the coding of nature.
Similarly, in biology, we speak of nature versus nurture.
If you cram a room full with rats, a pregnant mother who gives birth, eats her babies.
Nature has need of its own space and dignity or it becomes deformed and monstrous.
We may kid ourselves that vaccines solve the problem. They don’t. They treat the symptoms of an effect of our behavior in the context of the larger ecosystem. As I have said, I am not putting vaccines down.
I am saying that the atmosphere of our conduct matters.
A scared frightened abused pig is a reflection of our own unhealed psychosis. And when virtue is absent, the building blocks of life, (recall that strands of DNA and RNA make up the atoms of living things), viruses are hijacked, to serve as wake up calls to man.
Under a different management model, with the same amount of energy dispensed, just in a wholly different and holistic manner, in the same universe and under the same laws of physics, a totally different agriculture is potential; one that doesn’t create scared monsters, nor plagues.
And it It follows naturally, automatically, when we treat the animals and plants, and one another, with the reverence they, and we deserve, gathered together as we are, at the banquet of nature.
© Copyright 2021 Nathan Curry