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Huang Ti, the yellow emperor, puts on a science hat

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#1 Severian



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Posted 20 September 2021 - 12:51 PM

“ The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine.” 
Was written by Huang Ti, who was THE YELLOW EMPEROR!, Or, who may have been; According to classical chinese scholars, most of the ancient sages lived in a schrodingers cat box of fictious / nonfictious existence. He lived, or ruled, from 2697 to 2597 BC. At least, according to izla veith, who wrote this is 1949, and updated it in 1965, and presumably still agreed with the dates he quoted from Herbert allen giles 1892 work ‘a chinese english dictionary’ 
Supposedly, this is the oldest medical text we have in existence
Scholarship aside; the point of this thrust is to illuminate the notion that the forthcoming nugget of wisdom is 5000 year old, plus / minus 3 or 4 hundred years.
       But before we get to that nugget
Now; as we all well know, today, in the year of our heavenly father 2021; we stand at the pinnacle of mankinds progress; the very peak of evolution ; having  climbed, as it were, out of the mucky muck of the primordial goo; leaving the slime behind as we courageously grew a backbone and fought our way through millions of years of terror as we confronted the ever present attacks of a red in tooth and claw nature which attempted to disembowel us with fang or disease every step of the way. 
Here we are; Conquerers! Victorious!  The most advanced, most (only actually) intelligent animal of them all. Did I say animal? Of course I misspoke; Man is something altogether higher. Just look at his achievements after all! Though I suppose it should be clarified that these accolades apply to only some of us. Others, well,  consider the ‘uncontacted’ tribes of the amazon; or, the eskimoes. They never developed space travel; Or television. Or even metallurgy for that matter. But it’s not their fault they’re lazy; and a littlbe bit slow. 
It’s clear, in comparison, just how superior we are. Our knowledge; our medical system,  our values. We’re the best. At everything.
Back to the Yellow Emperor; Who must have been a savage; let’s remember, this was written almost 5000 years ago. That’s basically the stone age. Plus , the language it was written in makes no sense according to our current understanding (1)  so it must be a prerational attempt to describe a world with magical terms that have no basis in ‘R’eality.
“To administer medicine for a disease that has already developed, is like digging a well after you’re already thirsty or forging weapons for a war that has already begun.”
Phhh. What superstituos nonesense. To focus on maintaining health instead of treating illness? If we did that we’d have no medical industry! 
All sarcasm aside; our current status quo ‘scientific’ ‘objective’ way of looking at the world, is and has been incapable of presenting itself as anything other than infallible. There is never any acknolwedgement, in any of the ‘Experts Say’ ‘New studies show’’ that, despite the common belief to the contrary; scientists are human beings too; and also like all human beings,  prone to both error, and the failings of a human nature that is colored in part by pride, ego and greed.  
Never mind also, that history is filled with examples, filled! Basically, actually, completely Exclusively! Comprised of scientists making absolute claims about the nature of reality which shortly thereafter turn out to be completely incorrect or (slightly less embarassing) only a small part of the larger picture.  And yet, they continue to do this over. And over. And over.
And we continue to buy it over. And over. And over. 
You think by now they may have learned a bit of humility and thus a bit of caution in making absolute statements,  given their track record of being wrong(especially because many of these declarations have ended up harming or killing millions); yet, the thrill of being the sole arbiters of truth and being looked up to as priests by the rest of us is too strong to resist. We, the public hang on their every word, because, well, Science.
Does this remind anyone of anything?
“How do you know it’s the word of god?
“Because the bible said so”
“But how do you know the bible is true?
“Because god said so.” 
“And where did he say this?’
“in the bible”
But, perhaps beyond presenting themselves (and the institution they, the scientists collectively form with the capitol ‘S’) as infallible, perhaps the greater sin might be presenting their point of view / belief system as the only one. Of dismissing, out of hand, any viewpoint that doesnt fall into lockstep with the reductivist, materialism accepted by the establishment.
Thus, all ‘personal experience’ is invalid because it’s anecdotal.
Thus, all traditional wisdom is baseless, because it wasn’t arrived at through the only possible tool of gaining any actual knowledge, that being the peer-reviewed, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical study. 
Does this remind anyone of anything?
“I am the lord they god”
“I am a jealous god”
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me”
Science, and scientists, are not the issue here. The problem is that we have accepted this institution as a dogmatic, monotheistic religion in everything but name. One that allows for no competition
If this was a model where it was normal to admit uncertainty, “Here we ran this study, it seems to imply X, but here are all of the reasons why this could be wrong, and we shouldn’t rush to conclusions despite the seemingly promising evidence, and even if we did accept them, here are some of the drawbacks, and oh yeah, here’s a totally different explanation that is equally plausible that we should do our best to consider; that would be one thing
Instead, the model that we collectively worship is violently set against any sort of explanation that falls outside their explanatory model of reality. 
I should reiterate clearly here, that surely, there are plenty of ‘Good apples’ in the bunch; but the SYSTEM that is in place means that it is the voice of the majority, those being ‘bad apples’,( which are of course the ones with the funding) that are defining the nature of this institution, and thus what actually constitutes as 'Science". 
If this were there the end of it, than perhaps there wouldnt be any problems; 
Yet practically what it means when our best attempt to explain the world becomes a Dogmatic religion that actively attacks all competitors
“The heliocentric model of the univese.”
“Cancer Cures”
“Water Memory”
“Alternative Medicine”
“Raw Milk”
And, historically, we have plenty of examples of what this type of isolationist, superiority complex leads to.
It is the same mentality behind slavery. ‘We’ are people; ‘they’ are barely intelligent savages. Thus we have the right, nay, the god given obligation to claim what is ours and to subjugate these people. And, in many cases, substitute the word ‘exterminate’ for ‘subjugate.’
And this is only talking about the way we treat our own race. 
We extend this mentality when we project our limited conceptions of ‘intelligence’, those we developed only through looking in a mirror, to the external world around us; and then claim that nature is devoid of intelligence, because it doesn’t build deep sea oil drilling platforms. 
And it should be stated, that these are only the visible expressions, 
of accepting the story told to us by this institution.
And, history, is a story, and it is told by the victors; and the overall effect that this particular story has on our way of viewing the world is such that we look at ourselves as higher than, and separate from; the immediate environment, and the larger planet which gave us life. And, when we subscribe to this particular story, we are in direct conflict with all of the 'primitive' tribes, be they native american, mexican, chinese; who say that 'We are all a part of Nature and Nature is a part of us. Nature is alive and intellligent, and Health comes from living in Harmony with it; and illness comes when we choose to disobey these laws." 
Our current viewpoint is structurally incapable of even considering the above statement; and is in fact, actively hostile to it. Consider the way in which modern scientists studying plant intelligence are treated; (even despite the overwhelming evidence backing them up; see stephen harrod buhners' Plant intelligence and the Imaginal Realm - plenty of studies referenced in there..... this is THE place to start. Please please pick up this book)
Is it really a wing-nut idea that we should demand a bit of humility from the persons in positions to offer us real explanations about how our world works? 
Is it really an absurd idea that we should be a bit more discerning in the ones who we put our trust in unquestioningly?
Is it really such a outlandish notion that we should be unwilling to support a system that doesn’t have some form of inherent compassion built into it and checks-and-balances against the discrimination of minority groups (the kind that leads to the theft of their ancestral lands because we can)?”
And, furthermore, on a very personal, individual level, when we accept this 'dogmatic, monothesitc, priest-mediated religion
We give up the necessity of learning about reality directly ourselves;
Through interest
through observation
through experience
through experimentation
We no longer need to do any of these, when we value a system that decries these truths from the lips of the priest-mediators; a system that in fact discourages us from doing this. (Because we don't have the experience, better leave it to the experts)
What I'm advocating for is to begin taking a more active-participation in our engagement with the world; to begin valuing our own experiences, experiments, and those of the people around us; at least in equality with the words of the so called experts.  
This type of 'mindset' will lead to a healthier, more connected, more fufilling, more compassionate, more artful! world, for all of us.

Edited by Severian, 20 September 2021 - 01:35 PM.

#2 shiftingshadows



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Posted 20 September 2021 - 03:37 PM

We all start out operating on assumptions, that we get as children from various sources, after awhile it seems many solidify into beliefs. Without them we could not function. Perhaps the case (or few cases) of the blind (from birth) who have biologic vision restored, but are unable to see, and only experience confusion, are an example, of the multiple levels on which the brain operates, many of which we have no access to.


According to some teachers of meditation, the pivotal error of assumption we tend to make is about the nature of 'the self'. The claim is that the errors we make in this area, are of more consequence than any others, because these errors lead to suffering, and underlie how everything else is experienced. 


As regards health and medicine, when I encountered the work of Herbert M. Shelton, and learned about fasting, in the 1970's, my views, like your own as regards mainstream medicine changed. And I experimented with fasting and diet. But my life has lead down convoluted and contradictory paths. So I don't presume to be an example, although I continue to work with what I learn from those who are closer to nature.


As regards knowing what might theoretically improve the human condition, 2 metaphors come to my mind, (as wiki says):


1) "Belling the Cat" is a fable also known under the titles "The Bell and the Cat" and "The Mice in Council". Although often attributed to Aesop,"....

" The story is used to teach the wisdom of evaluating a plan on not only how desirable the outcome would be but also how it can be executed. It provides a ... lesson about the fundamental difference between ideas and their feasibility, and how this affects the value of a given plan"


2) "Cassandra or Kassandra .. was a Trojan priestess of Apollo in Greek mythology cursed to utter true prophecies, but never to be believed. In modern usage her name is employed as a rhetorical device to indicate someone whose accurate prophecies are not believed."


So I guess my general attitude is more that of a Taoist, than that of reformer, political type, or truth bearer. It seems I confine my efforts at control, to personal creative projects. And trust the world will continue on its way, after me, just as it did before me.

#3 Severian



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Posted 20 September 2021 - 04:28 PM

What I'm advocating for is a radical shift in values for everyone who cares even the slightest about the environment we're a part of


Instead of "More" simply for mores sake; which is the mindset behind our science and technology today, lacking as it does, any heart or compassion 


we perhaps decide 'You know, I don't actually need.....wireless headphones.....a self driving car..... whatever..... 


To evaluate our needs and desires on how they affect not just ourselves.


Wild idea, i know.


When is enough enough? And, why are we in such a rush to 'develop'?


Science is not the problem; Technology is not the problem; but both our 'Science' and 'Technology' are based on a totally-rational, intellectual mentality that has no consideration for the effect of its actions might have besides the bottom line. And, are dead set on steamrolling ahead, as if there's a race to develop smaller microchips and faster processors....


WE can be the brakes on this out of control train; merely by being unwilling to buy into whatever 'new' gadget is being offered to us in a flashy package (if we determine that the unseen costs aren't worth it.) 


If there's no market for it; 'it' in this case being anything developed without a firm conscious-morality cost-benefit analysis behind it; then things would change very very quickly. 


I realize that change is painful, and doesnt come without sacrifice; and i also realize that 'feasible' in the sense of many people actually considering things from this point of view is unlikely- But fuck; to just say 'well, things are going to go the way their going to go; I'm personally not going to do anything about it because, well, it probably wont help..." 

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#4 shiftingshadows



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Posted 21 September 2021 - 01:52 PM

Seems you are concerned with how 'things' should be.


I don't think there is a debate among sensitive & intelligent people,

of moderate means, that corporate capitalism, which the USA pioneered,

(and which seems to have spread to most of the world), is an inhumane and short sighted system,

of both finance, government, and social structure.

Part of this type of capitalism is that corporations were given the rights of individuals, in the US,

which makes it worse than 'ordinary' capitalism. The bankruptcy laws later made it even worse still,

and there are probably a few other defining factors.


Its such a mess, that in the '60s the slogan was "tune in & drop out", and indeed time has shown it to be unfixable from within.


Often my interest is in why things are the way they  are,

and not accepting, what appear to be the first or current answers.

But to work backwards...


So I read some anthropology,

From which I learned about stages of the process, in different human groups, as hierarchy developed.

It was interesting to me at the time,

So I then got this book, of which I have read just a little so far:


The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire Paperback – October 6, 2014
by Kent Flannery (Author), Joyce Marcus (Author)
on Amazon it says:
"Our early ancestors lived in small groups and worked actively to preserve social equality. As they created larger societies, however, inequality rose, and by 2500 bce truly egalitarian societies were on the wane. In The Creation of Inequality, Kent Flannery and Joyce Marcus demonstrate that this development was not simply the result of population increase, food surplus, or the accumulation of valuables. Instead, inequality resulted from conscious manipulation of the unique social logic that lies at the core of every human group. 
A few societies allowed talented and ambitious individuals to rise in prestige while still preventing them from becoming a hereditary elite. But many others made high rank hereditary, by manipulating debts, genealogies, and sacred lore. At certain moments in history, intense competition among leaders of high rank gave rise to despotic kingdoms and empires in the Near East, Egypt, Africa, Mexico, Peru, and the Pacific. 
Drawing on their vast knowledge of both living and prehistoric social groups, Flannery and Marcus describe the changes in logic that create larger and more hierarchical societies, and they argue persuasively that many kinds of inequality can be overcome by reversing these changes, rather than by violence."
My thinking on the matter was also influenced by Robbin Dunbar
"Dunbar's number
Dunbar's number is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships..."
more here
and here

#5 Severian



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Posted 22 September 2021 - 09:43 AM

Another way that the Scientific system is the same as monotheistic christianity


An external morality dictated by expert authority figures who tell us what we should and should not do:


"Thou Shalt Nots".... THIS is Healthy. THAT is not. ; which is an absolutist mindsset which ignores and denies the uniqueness inherent in each circumstance and individual. 








I also realize that I've painted a pretty one sided picture with my argument so far; being that 'Science' (and it's ''purely rational'' mindset) is the topic of conversation; 


But a knee-jerk response in the opposite direction is NOT at all the solution I'm pointing at 


We have, unfortunately plenty of examples of "My mind is so open my brain is falling out- It's all love and light- blissed out new agers'


No, actually Love is not all we need.


But then again, as I think I expressed quite clearly; Intellect is also not all we need. And the dominant system we're all tied to is a clear example of what happens when all conceptions of progress are driven by an intellect severed from any connections to the heart.

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