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Everything under the sun has its causes. Our lives are nothing but cycles of never-ending causes reaching out for yet another and another cause. Viewed from that perspective, everything is a cause for something else. Nothing is neutral.
We often pay more attention to some causes and less to others, especially in connection with causes that give us pain or pleasure. The more desirable or undesirable causes in the long causative chains are often called symptoms of a given condition, with the implicit understanding that they merely reflect other and more deeply seated underlying causes. For, in the context of things, every symptom is always associated with long chains of prior causes.
Dealing with diseases, we are often tempted to eliminate symptoms of the disease first. To get rid of symptoms, we can either (1) remove (or transmute) their causes (which will break or transform the causative chain), or (2) remove the symptoms, while leaving their causes undisturbed. In the second case, however, the chances are that the symptoms will soon come back in one form or another.
Likewise, when dealing with desirable things, such as external signs or symptoms of wealth (such as nice clothes or fancy cars) we can either (1) build the foundation of wealth that will give rise to such symptoms, or (2) attempt to pursue the symptoms first without much thought of sustaining them by such foundation. We can also identify the (desirable) symptoms of good health to realize that we cannot acquire them directly, without building a strong underlying foundation first.
The experience teaches that a mere elimination of symptoms is short-lived, as the underlying causes will soon give birth to new symptoms. Similarly, going after desirable symptoms without first building the underlying foundation will not sustain such symptoms for a long time. Based on experience, we are often reminded to postpone gratification of our enjoyment, until such underlying foundation (the underlying cause) has been well established. This would seem to be the only way to gain more lasting health.
Strangely, when it really matters, we tend to ignore the laws of cause and effect while running our lives. Take wars, for instance. We talk a lot about war atrocities, quickly passing around blame among warring nations, their governments, soldiers or politicians. We even go so far as making it illegal to wage wars, as we naively did it in the 1920’s. But the wars seem to persist for they are nothing but symptoms of underlying conditions. We should be looking for the cause of wars rather than attempting to ban war, which is a symptom. Instead of asking who “started” and engaged in a war, why not ask what induced it? With that approach we might succeed in identifying the underlying causes and gain insights on how to prevent new wars and how to resolve undergoing military conflicts.
Here is the difference between the two approaches: considering merely the symptoms appears childish and shortsighted. It is like a teenager going after the most fashionable and expensive sneakers to demonstrate how popular or secure he is. Or like a petty thief who commits theft to become rich quickly. Or, like a “doctor” who, upon seeing a symptom of a disease, recommends surgery to remove it. The approach is sophomoric and puerile. If we go after and try to remove the undesirable symptoms only, we can be sure that the symptoms will return again and again, sometimes in different, more degenerated forms.
Penetrating into causes of things, on the other hand, elevates our inquiry to the level of a true science. It is through this kind of inquiry that we can classify and then predict causes and effects of things. In the case of genuine medicine, we focus our inquiry on the causes of health and illness. When done properly, we should be able to classify, predict and heal all diseases.
All of this may seem fair enough. Why is it then that we have been missing on the identification of true causes of diseases (diabetes being just one of many) for so long? It is because we look at the world from a dualistic point of view. By adopting such an outlook, we see diabetes as something separate from us, as a problem to be solved or gotten rid of, or waged war against. We see it as “something” out there and separate that somehow happened to the poor “us.” Can’t we yet see the problem?
Luckily for us, nature provides us with many clues to solve any riddle or heal any disease. All we need to do is look carefully at the cycle of changes always happening naturally around us. Let us look at the night as it slumbers its way into the new day, or the day, as it runs its course to always make it for its rendezvous with the night. Not much duality there: the day and the night reflecting each other in perfect unity!
Continuing our study, we will soon notice that the pattern of changes repeats over and over in nature. We call the principles of such repeated change “Yin and Yang,” where the forces of Yin tend to expand only to be confined by the restricting forces of Yang, which then gives way to the expansion of Yin, and on and on, forever. Yet, there is no war, always unity.
Upon more observation of the world of Yin and Yang, we will have a better and deeper understanding of the causes of all things. We will then be able to understand the causes of every disease. We will be healed!
Copyright 2005 Adam Newhouse