Energy Medicine and the Politics (Politeia) of Health
“Politics” is derived from the juicier Greek word, “politeia,” which implies an active engagement in which people empower each other to enhance their communities. – Jean Houston
“The Earth is what we all have in common.”
What Are You Doing with Your Outrage?
Donna Eden and David Feinstein
A recent series of decisions by the Supreme Court in the wake of everything else that is unfolding prompted us to write, within the same e-letter, another article in the series.
In our January e-letter this year, we initiated the “Energy Medicine and the Politics of Health” series with an article called “Political Choices Are Health Choices.” It showed how social policies, based on state-by-state comparisons in the U.S., impact life expectancy, sometimes by as much as seven years!
We believe that the majority of people, whether progressive or conservative, support policies that are favorable for health. We all want our children’s and grandchildren’s generations to thrive. We are writing this to encourage you to champion health-affirming policies.
Our reasons for concern are accelerating. In the past month, we’ve seen 19 elementary school children murdered by a teenager with a legally purchased assault weapon. Another 13 mass shootings occurred during the first weekend (yes, weekend!) of this month, resulting in a dozen deaths and 70 injured. Also last week, we witnessed the terror in election workers getting hundreds of death threats to themselves and their families, with mobs coming to their homes, for just doing their job. We’ve seen how the events leading to January 6 put democracy in the U.S. on a razor’s edge and how millions of Americans are totally dismissing incontrovertible video-taped evidence of a nearly successful violent insurrection attempt, including close calls on the lives of the Vice President and Speaker of the House! We’ve seen a former Missouri governor, now running for Senate, air an ad suggesting that right wing Republicans have a right to shoot other Republicans who don’t adhere to the party lines. Following all this, we saw the Supreme Court reverse a state gun control law.
In addition, the Court has, in rapid succession, made it easier for police to lie to suspects, made it easier for the government to meddle with religion, and in the much-publicized decision last Friday, made it virtually impossible for many disadvantaged women to have an abortion. A decision the Court made last year was also perturbing. One of the horrors of Nazi Germany and many other totalitarian regimes is the way citizens were/are pitted to inform on one another. That could never happen here, we thought while learning of these despotic methods in our high school history classes. Yet the Supreme Court acted last September to uphold vigilante laws that make anyone discussing abortion as an option, even with the woman’s doctor or parents, vulnerable.
Such decisions could very well also be precursors to even greater intrusions into control of one’s life. Justice Thomas was clear that the reasoning used by the majority to overturn Roe and Casey could also be applied to limiting access to contraceptive options, criminalizing consensual same-sex relations, and banning gay marriage.
The right to personal choice in contraception is common sense healthcare and a fundamental freedom. Being able to love who you love rather than who the state says is appropriate for you seems so basic that it startles us to see it being revisited in 2022. It is hard to imagine that you don’t know and respect people involved in same-sex consensual relationships. Our company and our extended community are blessed with many such loving couples.
In the area of our specialty, when protections against fundamental rights are being targeted, the right to choose holistic health care is at risk. This is not a leap in logic. We have already in the past year had to ask for your help in battling legislative attempts to, in several states, restrict access to innovative health care practices.
We know that our views do not reflect everyone in our community. We know that some are offended by our position that it is the mother’s personal and weighty moral responsibility, not the government’s, to make choices about her pregnancy until the fetus reaches the capacity to survive outside the womb. In fact, we have people on our core staff and faculty who vote opposite of us on most issues, yet we treasure them. We respect and value different opinions. But we are also aware that many in our community look to us for our opinions on matters that impact emotional and physical health, and we feel compelled to take a stand when the right to love and be loved is threatened; when the right to decide if conception or birth should be avoided for health or other personal reasons; when health care choices are being limited to protect the interests of traditional health care providers; when the basic rights of certain segments of the population are at risk because they do not meet the approval of a minority that has power.
The historians who study the ways democracies go authoritarian talk about “gradual, gradual, gradual . . . and then sudden and unstoppable.” We imagine that most of you in our community who have read this far feel outrage over at least some of the above developments. We want to suggest that feeling it is not enough. We want to suggest that you use your outrage to fuel constructive action.
In fact, we want to suggest that you take an action every day, however small, so that your outrage becomes a force toward shifting the situation. What actions? Three of the articles in our Politics of Health series – by Jean Houston, PhD, Anneloes Smitsman, PhD, and David Gruder, PhD, in this issue – address that question. These include not only simple steps – such as liking a post, sending an angry emoji, displaying a bumper sticker, or going to a rally – but deep considerations of all the issues involved in ensuring that your children and grandchildren will live in a world that supports the best in humanity. These principles will create a mindset for envisioning how to put your intentions into motion, for formulating daily actions, small or large.Let your daily actions be designed to influence others to also take action, actions that are informed by the ancient Iroquois wisdom that weighty community decisions should benefit the seventh generation into the future. With the dizzying pace of change, the choices we are collectively making today will have profound consequences even for our own generation. In case we haven’t been clear, we believe the November election will be the most consequential in our lives. Until November, in addition to your other daily actions, be sure you are registered to vote. Vote. Inspire others to vote. November is almost here.
We are interested in and value your thoughts on this series. Your comments will not be censored. We expect differing viewpoints and hopefully rich discussion. Comments do, of course, need nowadays to be screened for trolls, bots, being respectful, understandable, on-topic, et cetera, so there will be some delay between your submitting them and their being posted.
Even though Donna and Donna won’t be responding to these comments directly, our purpose is to get dialogue going among the members of our community. We will also have a staff person answer questions that are directly pertinent for our organization to answer, such as questions about our policies. Finally, Donna and David and the subsequent guest contributors will read all of your comments when they are writing subsequent articles so they will have them in their minds.