Yesterday I discovered that my kittens have fleas. Not a huge number, but I'm told these critters tend to multiply. So my first step, besides vacuuming daily so they don't spread to the house, was to improve their diet. A healthy animal should be able to handle parasites. Parasites, like most diseases, are a symptom and not a cause of ill health.
Wait. Did your eyes kind of swim past that last sentence without realizing how outrageous it is? I just contradicted the fundamental tenet of modern medicine, which is that germs cause disease. This belief is not an isolated peculiarity of the medical system, but is embedded in deeper paradigms of science and civilization. It fits in with the mentality of control too. If you can identify the pathogen, then the cure is to eliminate the pathogen. That is what we do with antibiotics, or with a flea collar. If a field has weeds, spray an herbicide. If a crop has insects, spray an insecticide. If the world has evil, eliminate the bad guys. If you have negative thoughts, kill those too. The germ theory of disease leads naturally to a mentality of war. We hear quite often the phrase "The battle against AIDS," or cancer or bacteria.
If we see germs as primarily a symptom and not a cause of ill health, then eliminating them is at best a temporary or secondary priority. The primary question becomes: Why are there germs here? Why are there fleas? That reason may not be a single, definable cause, but a constellation of causes, a holistic state of being.
Eastern North America is experiencing a catastrophic outbreak of Lyme disease, spread mostly by deer ticks. A control-based solution would be a vaccine against Lyme, or a way to kill the spirochete or kill the ticks. Looking symptomatically though, we see the tick infestation as a sign of something deeper. When I was kid you could trudge through the high grass all day and not get a tick. Today I get them sometimes from a short hike on a suburban park path. The proliferation of ticks is probably a symptom of sick deer, and that is a symptom of a sick forest. Just as candida overruns a human body depleted of its internal ecology, so do certain species overrun other depleted ecosystems. The forests in the East have been clearcut at least three times in the past 150 years, and their once numerous species reduced to a handful.
We are nearing the end of the Age of Separation, the age of control. There is no magic spray that is going to make the forests healthy again. It is the regime of control itself that we will abandon to recover health. We will end the state of war, against germs, against self, against nature. And against fleas. I am grateful to the fleas for alerting me that my kittens are not healthy. I had been lazy, feeding them Kitten Chow instead of the raw meat, liver, egg yolks, kelp powder, etc. I'd been feeding them. (Does anyone have any holistic cat food tips?)
Any time I have a physical symptom of ill health, I am also grateful to that. It shows me there is something to pay attention to. We can suppress symptoms, but if the underlying imbalance remains they'll come back, perhaps in some other form. The same is true of "negativity" in my mind. Don't go to war against yourself: not your anger, not your fear, not your laziness or any other negative quality. Each points to something. To what? There are no universal guidelines. My next Reality Sandwich essay will discuss how to work with pain and negativity though, in some depth.