As I write this blog I am in the process of reading Xandria Williams’ excellent book, Cancer Concerns. I recommend it to anyone wishing to get a better understanding of cancer. I truly believe that we are in the midst of a revolution in terms of how we understand and hence are able to treat this and other chronic diseases.
I must confess that the subject of cancer has captivated me over the past months and once more I return to it – only this time I want to put it in the perspective of a hierarchy of living systems. But first let’s start with three definitions and for those who have read my previous blogs before please forgive any repetition:
1) Cancer is a “conscious” process of cellular devolution whereby a healthy cell retreats into a more primitive life form
2) The cause of cancer in its most generalised definition is cellular stress. Or to put it another way, cancer is one of the possible outcomes of strain exhibited by a cell in response to an external stressor or combination of external stressors. It is also a chronic process of mutated genetic/epigenetic signalling which progressively pushes the cell towards the “decision” to degrade. It is generally accepted that the ratio of influence between genetic and epigenetic is 1:9 which gives us all hope that we can change our ways. The strain is a cumulative process which takes place over time. The screw is slowly turned until the prisoner finally submits and gives up his loyalty to his anatomical community.
3) Anything that causes cellular strain is a carcinogen. Therefore carcinogens can be chemical or metal toxins, ionizing or non ionizing radiation, imprudent lifestyle or ruinous dietary choices, or emotional or mental stress (that translates into hormonal imbalance or immune system suppression/dysfunction).
I admit “Stress” is a pretty general term –perhaps too general to be of use clinically but we should always try and start at the simplest concept which encompasses all the observable phenomena and build from there.
Also we need to differentiate between so called “eustress” and “distress.” Eustress is an external stressor which stimulates a positive or healthy reaction (ie: hormesis) whereas distress is an external stressor that causes strain (eg: a toxin that damages the metabolism of mitochondria).
Another refinement that needs to be added is the reality of “one man’s meat being another’s poison.” The same external stressor for two people can cause two completely different reactions. An argument with my boss for me could cause me to retreat into fear and despair whereas the same event for you could stimulate you to search for a better (ie: less stressful) job. This event was carcinogenic for me but not for you.
I’m using the example of cancer all the time but you can replace it with “chronic disease” in much of what I’m saying. Let’s try and look at the cancer process from the perspective of different systems levels.
First, at the risk of boring you, I’m going to repeat one more time: intelligence is a quality that pervades the entire universe. It is both everywhere and nowhere in particular. As a result all levels of inanimate matter and life exhibit intelligence APPROPRIATE TO THEIR LEVEL OF EVOLUTION.
An atom or molecule may be part of an animal and as such it is a subset of that particular living system. Its participation in that life is undertaken in terms of its own level of functioning and consciousness. However the sum total of all reactions of all molecules takes place at and according to the highest level of consciousness within that system. There is a higher intelligence that orchestrates it all and we use the model of information fields to account for that.
In Ervin Laszlo’s book, The Systems View of the World, he describes beautifully on page 33 how intelligence is exhibited at an atomic level. He does this to show that if intelligence can be a property of atoms then it is no major leap of faith to imagine that it can be a property of higher systems built from atoms and molecules.
Following this digression a little more, we might wonder: is the level of consciousness of a mineral any greater when it’s included in a living system than when it’s in an inorganic form (ie: as in a rock)? At first thought I’d be inclined to say no, how could it be and then I realised that yes there is a difference.
As part of a living system, minerals are used in organic forms in ways which allow them to exhibit properties (even, dare I say it, personalities) which otherwise cannot be seen in their latent, inorganic state. When in their organic form, these minerals are ingested and become part of a living system and they come under the influence of the information field of the living organism in which they “reside.”
Here are some examples of minerals whose properties or personalities are used in homoeopathy:
|Mineral||Use in the human body||Homeopathic Personality|
|Phosphorus||Central part of the cell membrane and as such essential for cellular communication||Communicative, social, beyond boundaries, charming, excitable, easy to influence, loves touch|
|Calcium||Most abundant mineral in the body and primary constituent of bone||Solid, sure and steady, reliable, practical, not given to flights of fancy|
|Potassium||Most abundant intra-cellular mineral||Family centred, predictable, aversion to risk|
|Sodium||Most abundant extracellular mineral ; critical to keeping fluids in the body||Retention, jealousy, difficulty to forgive, emotionally vulnerable, feeling separate|
|Magnesium||In opposition to calcium is required for muscles to contract and relax||Relieves acute, shooting pain, desire to make the peace|
|Sulphur||Element necessary for detoxification||Philosophical dreamers but can be lazy ; skin eruptions with heat|
|Iodine||Most important element for thyroid metabolism & key to hormonal balancing||Excitement, restlessness, heat & hunger|
Returning to my central theme which is cancer as viewed from the perspective of a hierarchy of living systems, I could suggest the following model which although clearly an oversimplification suffices to highlight some key aspects of the etiology of this and other chronic diseases.
|– <-corrective feedback—-<–Planetary ecosystem —-<—environment stress—-|
|–Greed & profit as primary values–<–Human Race/Society –> —–pollution —–|
|—->—-home & work stress—>–Individual human –>–poor diet & lifestyle —–|
|—>–hormonal stress—> —Organ / anatomical systems —-<–toxic stressors —|
|—->— hormonal stress —->—Tissue / Cellular level—-<—–toxic stressors—-|
Strain at a cellular level
1) Cancer & other chronic diseases
3) Inter-generational deterioration
Once again focussing on cancer, we can now view it from the perspective of different systems levels:
|System level||Cancer definition|
|Planetary Ecosystem||Increased pollution is inimical to sustaining life & the rise in chronic disease is correctional – cancer being one possible outcome|
|Human Race||The values of society lead to unsustainable human stress & pollution – cancer is one of the inevitable consequences|
|Individual Human||The mostly tragic result of prolonged insult (for most of us decades) which is mainly if not entirely unconscious. We are just doing what everyone else does and what could be wrong with that? So why me? Why did God pick on me to get cancer?|
|Organ level||A failure to maintain homeostasis or in other words systemic and intercellular communication at a level necessary to support a coherent, overall purpose.|
|Tissue/ cellular level||An opportunity to start again ; the terrorist who has the chance to start a new regime because this one is just not working (some terrorists actually do become heroes)|
As the model above implies, the primary cause of the rise of cancer and other chronic diseases is at a system level which is “higher” than the level at which the disease expresses itself. Focussing on patient care and working solely on an individual basis we can never hope to stem the rising tide of cancer, chronic disease, infertility, and the fact that each new generation born is (on average) much weaker than the generation that precedes it.
I read recently that in the early 1960’s American expenditure on healthcare was 8% of GDP and that now it’s almost 20% and rising. No matter how you dice the figures this is evidence of the failure of our current approach in dealing with cancer and other chronic diseases such as diabetes etc…
I am not proposing any particular political solution to this problem. I’m just pointing out that the current situation is dysfunctional and that it clearly threatens the future of the human race. One aspect of that picture is cancer.
I believe strongly in individual responsibility for each of us. We must all take responsibility for all and any actions that led us to a place of dis-ease. However I’m also aware that for those who seek to live consciously (ie: spiritually) and healthily, they do so in an environment which is mostly hostile. Our healthcare system has been hijacked by greed and profit ; our society is structured in such a way as to foster ill-health ; and the lifestyles we are taught to aspire to are fundamentally flawed.
A good place to start would be to be open and frank about those aspects of human endeavour and society that are not serving us. To mix my metaphors royally, there are a number of emperors walking around out there who are very definitely naked. “Standard of care” cancer treatment is one of them and we must have the courage to face this dark reality with freedom of speech.
Radical social change seems beyond the scope of the individual but with many voices coming together there is hope. I hope that those reading this will add their voice to mine. You may not agree with much or anything I say but to stay quiet is not an option.