Sartre proposed that hell was the other people, and maybe we took that too much to heart. So we build walls to keep out the Mexicans, we stone the "terrible" married women who sleep around, we blame everyone but ourselves for our troubles.
And perhaps one of the most pernicious areas dominated by the "problem comes from outside" mentality is health.
Today on Thinking with Somebody Else's Head, Where our Health Really Comes From.
Every couple of days I receive a great e-newsletter from Dr. Mercola. It's chock full of great information - too much for me to keep up with, frankly. But there's lots of good stuff in there about how GM foods are taking over, the dangers of artificial sweeteners and fluoride and even vaccines. It's invaluable stuff.
It struck me, however, how materialistic it is, and so limited because of this. So many details about nutrition, like simple secrets to better digestive health, the things men can do to tweak their prostate health, amazing tonics and teas and supplements. Oh, were it that easy, right? It seems we are addicted to looking for solutions outside.
My father, who's 86 now, has a health food store in his bedroom. Exotic things like shark cartilage, Komodo bearded dragon dusting powder, leucistic sugar gliders. Man's search for healing medicinal tonics is centuries old. This desperate drive to find our health answers outside has been exploited by many snake-oil salesmen among others - including the first Rockefellers. The father of J.D., J.D. being the oil robber baron everyone knows about, was well known for bottling a strange concoction and travelling all over America palming off bottled raw petroleum as a magical elixir he assured the gullible would cure everything from gas to cancer. His son, the very same J.D., was suitably impressed by this - especially when he realized it cost only $2.00 a barrel to concoct the elixir from crude petroleum, and that barrel would produce 1000 - 6 oz. bottles of the stuff. He labelled it Nujol, and sold it as a cure for constipation back in the 1920s.
We're so desperate to find the origins of our illnesses that we'll spend a fortune looking for magic from outside. This fear of things outside reached its zenith in the 20th century with Darwin's theory. If we're all animals, it must be a jungle out there, so eat or be eaten my friend. And look at all the disastrous collateral damage of that inverted view.
Louis Pasteur kicked into action at the end of the 19th century with th etheory that disease would originate from germs formed outside - and this took off because of the huge support of the burgeoning pharmaceutical industry that would make billions selling medicines to kill those offending germs outside. And we'd forget all about the amazing work of Antoine Bechamp, Pasteur's contemporary and a far superior scientist to Louis, who arrived at exactly opposite conclusions from his rival.
This battle is a fascinating one, actually, that we'll dive into a little today with Dr. Claudia Bernhardt Pacheco, a world-renowned author, psychoanalyst, and pioneer in psychosomatic medicine from Dr. Keppe's International Society of Analytical Trilogy.
Click here to listen to this episode.