The costs of materialism are very high -it may cost the earth (1) The casualty discussed here is the NHS which is crippled by this paradigm, creating an addiction dependency on others, and lets everybody (including doctors) off the hook of having to take responsibility for themselves.
A paradigm shift to holism is needed, acknowledging that we are responsible for ourselves, that the mind and consciousness is not the brain, and that disease is caused by what we unconsciously think. It would allow integration of complementary therapy, into the NHS, as the Prince of Wales called for to the health ministers of the world.
This article is a glimpse of what lies ‘beyond materialism?’ (the SMN’s mission statement.) It describes our addiction to materialism, and how it may be shifted to holism.(via the new NHS financial arrangements of Payment By Results) The benefits could include the creation of a true health service, and solve the NHS staffing and financial problems. Potentially, it could also be a solution to the ecological problems of the planet.
2 What is a paradigm?
A paradigm is an unconscious.underlying belief system with which we were conditioned (programmed, hypnotised) and through which, as a veil, we observe our reality as shown in the diagram:
Observer ------------- paradigm or software of belief ------------- observed
People programmed with different paradigms see the world differently, eg Christians, Moslems, Jews, Hindus, catholics, protestants, brahmins, sudras (untouchables) tories, socialists, communists, doctors, patients.
3 What is a paradigm shift?
A collective replacement of an old paradigm with a new one, which enables people to see things differently, and civilisation to make a leap of progress, as in the following examples:
a) the religious ‘flat earth’ belief which prevented state sponsorship of world exploration until 1492 when Columbus sailed westwards towards India, discovering America, and enabling world colonization.
b) the religious ‘earth-centred’ planetary system, which shifted to the Copernican ‘solar’ system on publication in 1632 of Gallileo’s ‘Dialogue’, enabling modern astronomy and cosmology.
c) the ‘divine right of kings’ paradigm, changing in the 17th century after the Civil war to parliamentary democracy in UK.
d) the ‘right of nation’ paradigm changing after publication of Tom Paine’s ‘rights of man’, provoking revolutions in America and France in the 18th century.
e) the change from communism to capitalism in the Soviet Union in 1990. .
4 What is materialism?
The paradigm of the western world for many centuries, since early scientists dissected cadavars and failed to find the soul, and declared it to be non-existent. Science and conventional medicine is founded on materialism, so that is the politically correct belief. Materialists generally believe that:
a) Matter (defined as everything with location in the physical universe, including electromagnetic waves). is the only reality
b) There is nothing other than matter, so there is nothing above matter, so nothing is sacred
c) Everything ‘non-material’ defined as without location in the physical world, (such as soul, spirit, God, beauty, love) is an illusion or a delusion in the mind of non scientific, ignorant people.
d) If mind and consciousness really exist, then they must be material, and must be located in the brain, or are the results of the functioning of the brain, whether or not they have yet been found.
5 What is reductionism, mechanism?
Subsidiary beliefs following from materialism, that:
a) Everything can be reduced to the sum of its parts., as machines can. (eg a watch)
b) Living organisms, including people are like machines , so can be reduced to the sum of their parts.
c) To understand the working of the whole, we have to understand the working of the parts.
6 What alternative paradigms are there to materialism?
The scriptures of the world religions say that their followers should believe in the reality of non-material influences which lack location and transcend time (eg soul, spirit, love, truth, beauty, gods, God). For centuries in the west there has been a division between religion, believing in spiritualism, and science, believing in materialism, under the following names:(2)
Matter only exists, Column A
Matter and non-material influences exist, B
Name of paradigm
Materialism, reductionism, mechanism
Spiritualism, idealism, vitalism, dualism, holism
Materialist, monist, reductionist, mechanist
Idealist, dualist, vitalist, holist
State: rulers, politicians, scientists, doctors, bosses, grant-giving bodies for research
Church: theologians, philosophers, complementary practitioners, common people
Followers of Buddhism, and Jainism would add a third column C to the above table, headed ‘Consciousness only exists’ Following the experience of their enlightened masters Buddha and Mahavira they declare that the only reality is consciousness, because it is our only means of sensing reality. Remove consciousness, ( say by sleep or death), and nothing is real or exists any more. They declare the logical consequence which is that everything material is an illusion, (3).
7 What needs to be explained?
The function of science is to sort out facts from faith, understand causes and effects, and explain phenomena in a technological useful way (eg in medicine) The following are commonly regarded as facts that everybody experiences everyday.
a) That matter is real and exists
b) That they are real, exist, are alive and conscious of
i) their senses (seeing, hearing touching, tasting and smelling)
ii) their emotions (such as sadness, joy, anger, compassion,)
iii) their feelings (such as love, hate, beauty, ugliness wonder)
iv) their thoughts (such as purpose, intention, truth, lies, illusion,) .
8 Is materialism helpful?
Yes, in the sense that it has underpinned the industrial revolution, and the technological progress, which has taken the drudgery out of life. No, in the sense that it has underpinned the exploitation of peoples, and the earth’s resources in an unsustainable way. It has burnt the rainforests, and fossil fuels, depleted the ozone layer, bringing on climate change. It has blinded scientists and doctors, who cannot explain our senses, emotions, feelings and thoughts, except by explaining them away as illusions or delusions.
9 Does science confirm materialism?
No. There never has been any scientific proof, or even a basis for it, so it should be regarded as bad science. Those in power (rulers, priests, generals, masters, bosses, doctors) unconsciously adopt the paradigm of materialism because it inflates their ego, and to justify their exploitation of others (eg slaves, servants, soldiers, serfs, proletariat, patients) as inferior things (‘machines’) without feelings, so they cannot really mind being exploited or even killed.
As rulers, this belief lets them off the hook of being accountable to anything above them (eg sacred) because there is nothing other than matter. Priests and politicians have always been hypocrites, using belief in God, to justify their actions (eg ‘God bless America’ which allowed them to kill the indigenous Indians’and steal their land, and go on exploiting the resources of the planet without regard or guilt, because God will forgive them).
As physics developed, those in power tried to use it to justify materialism scientifically (perhaps unconsciously to relieve their guilt at their exploitation of others). They seized on the laws of physics which say that phenomena can be explained by matter acting on matter (unaided). This is true for the inorganic world of lifeless things, which is the physicist’s domain, but is not true for the organic world of living organisms, known as the life-sciences. (However, biologists have had to believe in materialism to be politically correct to get grants).
The capacity for experiencing life and feelings is not stated as a property of matter in physics textbooks. On the contrary, physics has never said that matter can live or feel. Quantum physics and neurological researchers now state the following as facts, which refute materialism
a) Matter is interchangeable.with energy. Space is not a container of matter, but exists co-incident with matter (Einstein )
b) ‘We like to think of space as empty and matter as solid. In fact, the truth is almost exactly the other way round’ (4) (5)
c) Matter is not ‘stuff. Atoms are not things, but tendencies (6) ‘When you ain’t looking its like a wave. When you are looking, its like a particle’(7)
d) ‘That’s the same object, and it's in two places at once’(5)
e) ‘We’re consciously designing our destiny. Our thought can affect our reality or affect our life, because reality equals life’ (6)
f) Despite decades of research, consciousness has not been found in the brain, (9)
g) There is no plausible materialistic explanation for how consciousness originated or emerged in evolution ( 9)
h) Out of body, and near death experiences show that people can experience consciousness and remember events, even when their brains were clinically dead. (10)
i) People who sleepwalk can do extraordinary acts, and even kill their loved ones without being conscious of what they are doing.( 11)
j) Decartes famous phrase ‘cogito ergo sum’ (I think therefore I am) which was claimed to be a proof of materialism, could be reinterpreted to be a refutation of it.
10 What is holism? (formally called dualism, and vitalism)
The belief in the reality and existence of non-material influences that have no location in the physical world, but that act on matter to give it life and make possible all experiences listed above. To avoid the negative and illusiory implication of ‘non-material, and the emotional implications of other words, I will call these influences ‘diathetes’ henceforward,. This was an ancient greek word meaning ‘conforming to a specification’. It was adopted by my father in a book ‘Science versus materialism’ published in 1940 (2).
Diathetes create matter incarnate, and act on it to maintain it alive, give it order, structure, function, purpose, feelings, thoughts and all other experienced phenomena. Language has developed to communicate material things, so metaphors have to used to describe diathetes.
In the metaphor of the computer, the living body is the hardware, (matter) and everything else is a diathete.. The mind is the software, stored in the memory. The consciousness or soul is the operator. The spirit is the internet whereby souls can communicate with other souls by intuition, telepathy, clairvoyance and channelling.
It is meaningless to ask what is the location of the software, memory, or internet in computers and living organisms. They are both diathetes which have no location in the physical world. However, they can be detected by instruments, such as other computers and people. They can tune in to the right frequency to intercept the waves in the respective field , whether linking computers or living creatures in a quantum or zero point field.
Computers are not the sum of their parts because unless they have an operator to control them, they are junk.. Similarly living bodies are not the sum of their parts because they need diathetes to control them ( life force) . The same parts may be functioning at one moment alive, and the next moment the diathete departs, the body dies, and the same parts become instantly junk.
Some people who meditate have experienced the reality of a consciousness, witness, or being within them which is not their mind or their body. Holism to them is not a belief, but is a deep knowing, their truth. They know that their consciousness has no bounds, no location, and can ‘girdle the earth’ in a twinkling of an eye.
11 The goose in the bottle
The point is illustrated in this Zen koan which is given to initiates upon which to meditate. A baby goose is put into a bottle and fed until it completely fills it. How can you get the goose out without killing it or breaking the bottle?
The answer is that, materially, logically, you can’t. However, after sufficient meditation, you crack the code of the koan. The goose is your consciousness, and the bottle is your .conditioned mind. You believed that your consciousness (the goose) was constrained by your mind (in the bottle). When the penny drops through meditation that your consciousness (soul) does not need to be identified with your mind, and cannot be constrained by anything, even if your body is in prison (eg survivors of Auschwitz) you can rejoicingly say ‘the goose is out,’ because I was suffering the illusion that it was ever in.
This is the basis of the statement by Dr Candice Pert ‘Our mind literally creates our body’ Our mind contains nothing more real than ideas, beliefs, paradigms, but they are still powerful enough to create us. . Furthermore, we (our soul or consciousness) can create our own reality’ In the computor metaphor, you, the operator, can now run the show (your life) rather than your life going on being run by the ideas (conditioning) in your mind. To do this, you need to practice meditation (3).
12 The problems of conventional medicine
Conventional medicine is rightly founded on science, which at one time (but no longer, as stated above) endorsed the materialist, reductionist, mechanist paradigm. This reduces patients to tinmen, robots, without minds, feelings or souls..This fallacious belief has had the benefit of creating brilliant technology for diagnosis and interventions.. However, it has also had heavy costs.
It has brought the NHS to its present crisis, in which it costs over £60bn pa, in taxes (£3,000 pa for every household,) but delivers neither a healthy nation nor a healthy workforce (1 in 20 is typically off sick with stress) Medical mistakes (known as iatrogenic, or doctor induced) are now the third largest cause of death after heart disease and cancer, accounting for some 40.000 fatalities per year.
Being in denial of the reality of diathetes, materialism blinds doctors to the effect of mind and emotion on the body, particularly psychosomatic disorders, psycho-neuro-inmmunology (PNI) and makes them unable to understand the placebo and nocebo effects, and complementary therapy and energy medicine.
The ground is crumbling under their feet,.as conventional medical beliefs such as faith in drugs and clinical trials are unravelling. (eg Vioxx withdrawn 2005, , Seroxat May 2006) . Furthermore, patients are increasingly resentful of being treated as tinmen without feelings, and some are saying so vociferously This results in the bad press that conventional medicine is increasingly getting. Bashing doctors has become a national pastime which sells papers and tops the pops in TV programmes How has a great profession been reduced in 58 years to pill pushers for the drug companies? The reason is the combination of materialism and nationalisation of health.in 1948.
Dr Jeffrey Satinover said: ‘Modern materialism strips people of the need to feel responsible. And often enough, so does religion. But I think if you take quantum mechanics seriously enough, it puts the responsibility squarely in your lap’ ( 5) That is a profound statement, and explains why materialism is so popular with both doctors and patients (ie everybody) and why there is so much resistance to a paradigm shift to holism. Both get what psychologists call ‘secondary gains’,from materialism, which makes and keeps them addicted to it.
Materialism is popular with doctors as it inflates their egos, enabling them to place themselves on a pedestal above their patients ‘(ie to play God, who does not exist, so does not complain at having his position usurped). They have become today’s high priests, with faith and dogma in their orthodoxy as their stock in trade. Despite their rightful emphasis on ‘evidence based' treatment, they are not willing to even consider the evidence for complementary therapy.
There is another secondary gain that doctors get from pretending that patients have no feelings to hurt, It assuages the guilt that they feel deep down for the suffering they cause.
They became doctors because they have a need to be needed, to save peoples lives, to be depended upon by their patients, and play father and mother.to them (bigger than their children). However, saving others is an excuse to avoid taking responsibility for their own health. They surround themselves with patients sicker than themselves to justify neglecting their own health.
Ultimately keeping up these false pretences is soul-destroying for doctors, and accounts for their job-dissatisfaction, high burn out rate, high addiction rate, and their premature death rate, about a decade earlier than average. This is the greatest indictment of conventional medicine, and its underlying paradigm. If it really was evidence based, doctors would walk their talk and be the healthiest specimens in society, instead of being the sickest.
If doctors could take this on board, they could be the first beneficiaries of a paradigm shift to holism. However, they cannot because they are addicted to the secondary gains of materialism (their ego trip). Like any other addict, they need help to get out of their addiction.
The system of the NHS is vast with 1.3 million employees. They are in a morphic field of their own. This makes it difficult for one to change before they all change. However, they have one paymaster, and if he signalled a paradigm shift or else…. they could all shift as one unit.
14 Patients’ secondary gains
The old paradigm has the secondary gain for patients in letting them off the hook of having to take responsibility for their own health. Since 1948 the message has gone out to the British people that the state will take care of you from the cradle to the grave at taxpayers expense. You can abuse your body as much as you like, (eg eat junk food, live a debauched lifestyle, become addicted) and we will take responsibility for all the consequences .to your body.
This is an alluring, vote catching message, superficially. However, in reality, it is a false promise. No-one can take responsibility for anyone else. The effort to do so causes deepdown resentment, a love/hate reaction in patients.
They love doctors’ continual paternalistic confirmation that they are a victim of circumstances, so can blame others and avoid responsibility for how they live their lives. However, they hate being continually dependent, (like a child) on the NHS because it imprisons them, makes them feel small, kills joy, and wastes their lives.What they really need is empowerment to grow up into adulthood, and look after themselves.
15 Goldfish bowl metaphor
A more useful metaphor than the tinman to describe how people work from a holistic standpoint is the goldfish bowl. The bowl is our skin, which containing around 10 gallons of water in which about 100 trillion goldfish (our cells, all with mobile phones) are swimming. When the goldfish work together in harmony they produce the feeling of wellness, but when they don’t, they produce the feeling of pain, disease, sickness.
At any sense of danger by the diathete of our consciousness, the phones get busy and hormones like adrenaline are released from our internal chemist shop, into our water. This mobilises our goldfish to dance together in a complex way, contracting our muscles and moving our body out of danger.
This is instinctive, co-ordinated in our reptilian brain, and does not depend on our neo-cortex, our thinking mind. Our goldfish act like a flock of birds wheeling and diving, in a morphic field, communicating telepathically, and moving as if they were one organisation, but without a leader other than the hormonal stimulation from the brain.
If we have unconscious limiting beliefs, (such as ‘I am stupid, I am ugly, I am unworthy, I am unlovable, which most of us do,) that belief will affect our behaviour so that we act out, and create that belief as our reality. If we go on doing this long enough, we will become diseased.
Limiting beliefs may fill our sub-conscious minds with feelings of inadequacy, a ‘noise’ which disturbs us, and may drive us mad. To cope, we drown it out with distractions or addictions. Our emotions may dominate our behaviour, making us ‘fall apart,’ or making us closed, shut down, and unable to give or receive love. Our immune system, (the goldfish who fight invaders and rogue cells) may be overwhelmed, and we fall chronically sick.
These limiting beliefs and emotions come not from ourselves, but from our relationships. We are dependent first on our mother for years, and then on father, brothers and sisters, teachers, friends, lovers, bosses, a crowd. We are not ‘islands’ but are joined together with others first in family, and then in tribe, team, club, community, town, institution, profession, county, country, nation etc. If the organisation of which we are a part does not feel good, (say our team does not win) we feel bad.
16 What if there was a paradigm shift to holism?
The iron curtain between conventional and complementary medicine would disappear, as the iron curtain between communism and capitalism disappeared in 1990. It only exists in medicine because conventional therapy is based on the materialist paradigm, and complementary therapy is based on the holistic paradigm.
A paradigm shift would enable the integration of complementary therapy into the NHS. This would solve most of the NHS’s problems. The Government has paved the way by the change in the funding from April this year, from the block contracts with hospitals, to Payment By Results, money following the patient. Under it, GPs will hold the budget for their patients, and commission services on their behalf under Practice Based Commissioning. They are not restricted to the old providers, and can now contract with Alternative Providers of Medical Services. (APMS)
Last year's ‘Choice’ consultations, the January White Paper on out of hospital care, and the current Fit for the Future consultations have decided to move the centre of caring from hospitals into the community. Any practice which wants to offer complementary therapy on the NHS as an integrated service can now do so by contracting under service level agreements with complementary therapy centres as APMS’s and buy those therapies as an alternative to hospitals.
17 What are the benefits of integration?
Prince Charles has been advocating integration for many years, and has created the Foundation for Integrated Health. He addressed the health ministers of the world on 23.5.06 in the following words: ‘There is now a desperately urgent need to redress the fragile but vital balance between man and Nature through a more integrated approach, where the best of the ancient is blended with the best of the modern, particularly in the collective health of people in our countries…..the fragmented approach to health is failing to produce harmony…..the healing properties of loving healing relationships…..emphasis on the active participation of the patient…over 50% of doctors offer complementary therapy……TV surveys show over 75% of patients would like complementary therapy.’
I believe that integration by making complementary therapy centres into APMS’s will solve:
a) The funding crisis in the NHS because complementary therapy is more cost-effective.
b) The overloading of the NHS because doctors could then refer patients to complementary therapists.
c) The staff sickness rate (5% in Brighton hospitals) because staff could be referred to complementary therapists for stress relief.
d) Meet the White Paper’s objectives of prevention, and community based services which are complementary therapy’s strong suits.
e) Help the unfortunate millions who have mental health problems, including those on drugs such as Seroxat and Prozac, who are now told to come off them, by referring them for group therapy such as yoga,, meditation, family constellation.
e) Encourage everyone to take responsibility for their own health.
Materialism is bad science, bad medicine, bad politics, and bad religion, but scientists, doctors, patients, politicians and priests are addicted to it by secondary gains, which, like any addiction are difficult to give up. If they can be persuaded to do so, a paradigm shift to holism offers great benefits, including a much better health service, through integration of complementary therapy.(described in this article) It could also be the key to a sustainable ecology for the planet.
1 Tim Kasser, ‘The High Cost of Materialism’, Dr Ervin Laslo,’The Chaos Point’
2 Books by my father,1940, Mind Life and Body 1951republished on www.reginaldkapp.org
3 Oshop on Zen p 41 see www.osho.com
4 Film ‘What the Bleep do we Know’
5 Dr Jeffrey Satinover (4)
6 Dr Amit Goswami (4)
7 Dr Fred Alan Wolf (4)
8 Dr Joseph Dispenza (4)
9 Dr Graham Martin in article ‘The End of Materialism’ SMN Network Review, Spring 2006
10 SMN Network Journal,
11 TV programme ‘Mind Shock’ 4.7.06 (c4000 words)
John Kapp firstname.lastname@example.org 01273 417997
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