Homœopathic Links 2015; 28(04): 215
DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1568868
Thieme Medical and Scientific Publishers Private Ltd.

The Other

Harry van der Zee
1  The Netherlands
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Publication History

Publication Date:
16 December 2015 (online)

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Currently the news is dominated by two closely linked issues: terrorist attacks and thousands of refugees seeking asylum in Europe. Another crisis, while none of the others—banking, financial, euro, global warming, to name a few—are any closer to being solved. While the Syrians escaping the horror of war are in flight mode and the jihadists in fight mode, the people of Europe still don't know how to respond collectively. Will it be frozen, fight, or flight?

The survival instincts are based on separation—the notion of the other being different. Me versus not-me: a binary immune system response. Darwinian philosophy of “survival of the fittest” is based on it. This belief of separation is deeply imbedded in our culture. Despite 2000 years of Christianity we still see life as a competition—a dog fight or a rat race in which it is a matter of eating or being eaten. Instead of loving our neighbours as ourselves, we fear them; especially when they come close, wash up on our shores dead or alive, pass our borders, and ask for our help. Attacks by terrorists reinforce the fear and further separate us from the other.

This belief or delusion of separation is to be challenged. None of the crises mentioned above can be solved without addressing it. This includes the health crises. Big pharma can only exploit humanity and make huge profits because humanity believes in war on diseasing agents. Immunization campaigns involving more and more vaccines with devastating side effects are not recognized for what they are because we are at war with the very world of microorganisms from which we have evolved. Based on a belief that uses the term “free market” to justify inequality, the health of our children is undermined and our heritage destroyed.

We can change this if we can change our belief system. Many organisms are the “fittest” because they cooperate with other organisms, rather than competing with them. Billions of years ago proteins were formed because basic elements such as carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen started bonding. Or look at single cell organisms. They would never have come about without a long history of cooperation between bacteria and viruses exchanging genes and working together. The human body is an incredible example of how different cells and organs work together to allow us a life on this planet. It is all based on DNA that was formed from genetic material originating from bacteria and viruses.

One of the most beautiful gifts of homeopathy for me is the experience of full acceptance of the other. I remember how I loved finding out this effect of homeopathic case-taking. Patients can tell us the most horrible things about themselves, but within the context of their full story we can feel compassion and stay away from judgment. Seeing how it all fits with their simillimum gives even beauty to that which initially seems so obviously bad. It frees people from the division of victims and culprits. Then we are the unprejudiced observer Hahnemann advises us to be. Then we can lift the patient from the prevailing survival response into a state where the other or the situation is no longer seen as an external enemy. Instead of freezing, fighting, or fleeing in response to the other there can be communication based on a sense of unity, with understanding and compassion.

It's not easy though. It's not easy to not judge the people working in the pharmaceutical industry when hearing about falsified test results. It is difficult not to judge bankers that have caused a crisis that drove people to unemployment, poverty, or even suicide. It is difficult not to judge IS fighters when we see them behead innocent people or kill at random in our cities. It is difficult not to judge neo-Nazi groups that torch refugee centres. It is not easy.

But if we wish to respond from the heart instead of making a response based on survival instincts, let's listen to the other. Let's take the case of the other.