How we see reality is related to our health. What are the consequences of the current materialistic metaphysics on our health and well-being?
Everything depends on how you see “reality”, including your health!
The Consequences of a Materialistic Metaphysics
Your definition of reality is your “metaphysics”. Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that deals with the question of meaning and purpose. It examines the basis of what is considered real. Metaphysics is the most basic of the philosophies because it deals what is considered real. Your premise or idea of reality will determine how you see yourself and others, what you think is important to know, and how to know it, and what you consider is right or wrong. Or, in philosophical terms, your Metaphysics determines your Philosophical Anthropology (or how you understand the human being); Epistemology (or theory of knowledge); and Ethics. Together, they form the four categories of philosophy.
Your metaphysics is the paradigm within which you live, think and operate. Living in these times, in our culture, you cannot help but be tainted by the current prevalent metaphysics that “only matter is real”. If we can’t touch it, taste it, smell it, hear it, see it, then it is not real, and there is nothing else that is real. If it cannot be quantified, be directly measured, be the object of a clinical study, then it is not real. If you believe that only matter is real, then you are a “materialist” and everything in your life follows from that.
A materialistic metaphysics considers the human being as a chemical-mechanical entity that evolved, lives and experiences through chemical and mechanical interactions. Change the chemistry, change the person. Thus, within this materialistic philosophical anthropology, the only valid medical interventions possible are drugs and surgery. Any other form of intervention is viewed with skepticism, suspicion and even disbelief. It’s not real! A disease is only “real” when it can be measured, photographed or quantified by some machine. People suffering from debilitating fibro-myalgia, for example, are often told their disease is not “real”.
The Materialistic-based Epistemology (how we know) emerges as strict empiricism : rational knowledge not distinct from sense knowledge. In other words, we can only know what we can know through our senses (or the extension of our senses with detectors and machines). This type of knowing is only one kind of many ways of knowing, and deals with only one dimension of existence – the material dimension, which is but one of at least four. Under our current materialistic metaphysics, strict empiricism is the only form of knowing that is deemed scientific, and therefore the only relevant source of knowledge.
The Ethics that follow materialism concentrate on material goods: the only good is “things” because only “things” are “real”. Thus “good” is anything profitable, or materially advantageous. In that context, winning the lottery becomes the epitome of happiness and human existence. Conversely, “bad” is associated with the loss of anything material. The only “bad” is causing physical harm. Stealing in the form of political favors, scams and counterfeiting (knockoffs of designer goods) becomes a grey area in many minds because of the emphasis on the ultimate good of material gain – so what’s a little cheat? Perhaps the worst consequence of a materialistic metaphysics is the reduction of life, of our raison d’être to merely material goals. Life, with no purpose except to “acquire” money, information, property, or fame, becomes a meaningless farce. You can’t, and don’t, take any of your acquisitions with you when you die. Yet, our collective striving to acquire contributes greatly to feelings of stress. Worse yet, the focus on a materialistic existence and the ensuing lack of greater purpose is recognized as an important factor in the occurrence of disease and depression.
The Conflict Between our Soul and our Metaphysics
In the Merriam Webster dictionary, the definition of “soul” is as the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life; a person’s total self; or an active or essential part. Our wholeness cannot be found in the material realm. Our true uniqueness cannot be found in our genes: identical twins have unique differences. A science or medicine coming from a materialistic metaphysics cannot address the whole of an individual; it has no room to define the wholeness and uniqueness of individuals. The common usage of “immaterial” is as an adjective, meaning ‘unimportant because not adding anything to the point.’ Irrelevant. Our souls are immaterial, therefore irrelevant in our culture. Dealing with soul is not “scientific” and this attitude results in a medical practice that has lost its soul.
Health, Wholeness, and Meaning
Yet, we know instinctively, both through personal experience and research that the cause and development of disease in an individual (Pathogenesis) is more often than not related to losing meaning in one’s existence, one’s raison d’être. The crucial element that defines meaningfulness is individual. What is it for you? What makes your soul sing? These are the crucial questions for any health provider, and central to the homeopath who must treat, as Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy described in the Organon: the “immaterial” cause of disease.
The process of becoming a homeopath (and a healthy individual) is one of going from a reality restricted by a materialistic metaphysics to a reality which embodies and includes the soul. Learn more in the Realm of Soul.
Judyann McNamara – N.D., D.Hom., CCH
Originally a physicist and biomedical researcher, Judyann has had a clinical practice for over 15 years, has held conferences since 1984 and has been a teacher of courses in physics, health sciences, homeopathy, holism and spirituality since 1975. Visit her profile page in our professional directory to learn more.