A bit more on Dr. Jeffrey Maitland’s article “Stone Agers in the Fast Lane.” After providing an “evolutionary explanation” of why fibromyalgia makes sense (see the last post), Maitland concludes his article with some “existential” conjectures, his own philosophy of why modern life is fertile ground for the symptoms of fibromyalgia. He starts with a doozy,
Our modern world is an aberration. It is filled with people who have lost touch with the wellsprings of life and being. Since we live in a world that has suppressed and does not value the kind of whole body feeling and sensation that connects us to our world and with one another, we live too fast and are in continual search of new thrills to stimulate our anesthetized bodies. Instead of using the wonderful discoveries of science and technology to care for our environment and others, we seek more ways to entertain ourselves while we destroy the very environment upon which our survival depends. We are the first species to systematically disassociate from our roots and soil our own nest.
For Maitland, there’s a direct link between our world conditions and our personal symptoms.
Fibromyalgia is but one manifestation of a world out of control. Like so many of our problems that require a whole system reorganization, it is often not recognized for what it is. Instead of recommending the much needed holistic treatment approach, ineffective piecemeal, mechanical solutions are typically all that are offered to patients. Chronic fatigue syndrome is a wake-up call for the rest of us and a profoundly important expression of the spiritual crises of our times. The word “crisis” means “turning point” and a true spiritual turning point is one that stops us dead in our tracks and demands one and only one solution—that we transform the way we live. The best hope for people with chronic fatigue is to see through the seductions of the modern world and get off the train. Anything short of transformation is nothing more than a mechanical stopgap measure, and simply the wrong solution.
Of the mechanics of medicine, Maitland continues,
Since so much of our health care system rests on the assumption that the body is nothing but a soft machine, it is committed to treating their patients as if they were composed of symptomatic parts. The failure of fibromyalgia patients to respond to such an approach very clearly demonstrates the need for a holistic approach.
Maitland concludes with this connection between the spiritual crisis of fibromyalgia and our modern world.
The spiritual crisis at the heart of fibromyalgia is the same one at the heart of our modern world. On a small scale, any attempt to transform the life and world of a person with fibromyalgia is the same as the attempt to transform our shared world. All the signs are here, of course, but now is the time to resurrect our bodies, our deep biological feelings of connection, and to engage the whole of what we are in every attempt to understand and transform our world—not so that we can regress to a simpler stone age existence, but so that we may integrate our philosophy, science, technology, conventional, and complementary therapies to evolve a better world.
I thought you might find Maitland’s material as interesting as I do. Read the full article by clicking here.