SPIRITUALITY SCIENCE – THE ART OF MEDICINE:
The Art of Medicine in its essence is a spiritual practice. It aims to restore the experience of Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility in the living condition of the Man. The fundamental concepts of Medical Theory reflect the Philosophy of Nature and of Man. The term Physician describes the person who practices ‘The Art of Medicine’. This term is derived from the medieval English word ‘PHYSIC’(Latin. physica; Greek. physike which means nature) which is used to describe Natural Science, Medicine, and Nature. This archaic usage of the English word “Physic” as the name for the art, science, practice and profession of Healing suggests what the word’s Greek root signifies, namely that the physician is a student of Nature.
Natural Science provides systematized knowledge of the physical world and its branches include Zoology, Botany, Chemistry, Physics, and Geology. The Faculty of Medicine represents Biological Sciences that are concerned with knowledge bearing on the relation of man to nature. Medical Science as a Natural Science must be concerned with the following two questions:
1. What is the Status of Man in Nature?
2. What is the true or real Nature of Man?
The first question deals with man’s relationship with the physical world in which man exists. The physical world represents the total of all things in Time and Space or the entire physical universe. The term Nature includes the Power, Force, and Laws that regulate or operate in the physical world. In Biology, the Theory of Evolution proposes a view about the origin of species and it describes that things in Nature change under the influence of Time. It opposes various cultural, and religious beliefs about the origin of man and his Status as a Created Being. The second question is about the essential characteristics or qualities that makes or describes man’s essence as a Human Being. The Nature of Man deals with the inborn character, innate disposition, and inherent tendencies of the Whole Person and it includes the instincts, desires, appetites, drives etc., of the Person apart from the vital functions of specialized organs. Man’s Nature could be detected from the activities of the human organism and from the forces that operate and influence these activities.
THE MEDICAL THEORY – ATOMISM, MECHANISM vs SPIRITUALISM:
There is tremendous increase in our knowledge of the specific diseases and man developed a vast store of well-tested remedies and still the problems of medical practice essentially remain the same. According to Galen, the Art of Healing consists in imitating the health-giving and healing powers of nature itself. Galen thinks of human body as an organic unity and not as a simple aggregation of atoms or a system of interlocking parts. Galen had opposed the views of Atomism, or Mechanism that views the human body as a mechanical assembly of tiny, individual parts. In Galen’s view, Nature works not by the external impact of part upon part, but by its faculties or powers for the performance of natural functions and the production of natural effects. “Nature is not posterior to the corpuscles( small, constituent parts), but a long way prior to them…” writes Galen. “Therefore it is nature which puts together the bodies of both plants and animals; and this she does by virtue of certain faculties which she possesses – these being on the one hand, attractive and assimilative of what is appropriate, and on the other, expulsive of what is foreign. Further, she skillfully moulds everything during the stage of genesis; and she also provides for the creatures after birth employing her other faculties again.” Galen calls Nature the Artist for it produces effects according to its powers and in conformity to its needs. Nature seems to work with intelligence and for an end, not blindly and by chance. Galen stated it as a maxim, “Nothing is done by Nature in Vain.” An Art like Medicine seems to imitate Nature by cooperating with natural process. The Art of Medicine involves following the course of nature, and thereby it enables the natural result to emerge by overcoming the chances of adverse outcome. The interior nature is the Principal cause of Healing with the physician providing exterior or external help. The physician strengthens nature and employs food and medicine to assist the natural mechanism( such as the “Repair and Inflammation” described in the Science called Human Pathology) to achieve the intended end. The subordination of The Art of Medicine to Nature appears to be the keystone of the whole structure of Medical Practice. The patient is guided to regulate and control the various aspects of diet, exercise, and the lifestyle and medicines or drugs perform an auxiliary function. Surgery is used in the treatment of injuries and to resolve problems where medication by itself will not yield good results. However, it is important to remember that surgical procedures and interventions work by cooperating with nature and natural healing process called Repair and Inflammation. In other words, the physician is a servant , not a master of Nature. Medicine as an Art can be compared to Agriculture which helps a natural result to come about but this effect would never occur without the work of the Artist. Plants may grow and reproduce without the help of farmers. A person may regain some health without the care of physicians. But, in reality, it is impossible to raise a crop or to grow an orchard by simply depending upon nature and natural mechanisms.
SPIRITUALITY SCIENCE – THE SPIRITUAL BASIS FOR HEALTH:
If the term Soul or Spirit describes the vital, animating principle that governs and operates the existence of the human organism, its nature and functions can be derived from studying the structure and functions of the Red Blood Cell or Erythrocyte which simply exists to integrate and to harmonize the functions of trillions of individual cells, tissues, and the organ systems that constitute the Whole Person who exists as an Individual with Individuality. Health is that condition of the body in which the physiological elements are in balance and in which the various parts function harmoniously with one another. Health represents harmony or good order, or equilibrium in the body. I describe Spirituality as the operating Principle that generates this functional unity, good order, and equilibrium among the cells, tissues, organs, and the organ systems that comprise the human organism and the human Individual who exists because of these functions experiences Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility in his living condition.
The Theory of Medicine will determine the nature of The Art of Medicine that is practiced to establish the Physician – Patient Relationship. If The Art of Medicine is based upon Spirituality Science, the Physician – Patient Relationship will have a Spiritual basis. I would ask my readers to give attention to the problems of modern medical practice and we need a Medical Theory that would have a bearing on the following three aspects of The Art of Medicine:
1. Is Health is better served by the General Practitioner treating the Whole Man or by a Specialist treating a functionally differentiated Special Organ or Organ System?
2. What should be the nature of the Physician-Patient relationship? Is there a therapeutic factor in the relationship that underlines the effectiveness of the Physician’s skills in all other respects?
3. What is the interaction between mind and body in the origin and in the cure of disease?