Like War, Illness and Pain are Not Bad


But let’s be clear, I am not saying it is good either, based on our last post we know it is what it is, this post hopes to expand upon this a little further.

Before you judge, please do read the full article and realise that it is based more on the long term societal outcomes rather than the individual sacrifices and sufferings of people involved in war, illness and pain.

Illness can be seen as our body at war. In military conflicts, it is usually over land, ideology, oil or some other belief. In the body, it is can similarly be seen as a battle over philosophy and territory. For example. Cancer cells are still a part of our body. If our immune system wins the cancer cells dies, if not we pass on. Either way, a part of us dies. What perhaps the cancer cells don’t fully understand is that they are going to die either way because even if they ‘win’, the person passes on as well because cancer also kills the host environment. It is a little like humans on earth and the environmental issues we create.

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Like the earth, society and the human body, we all have an optimal natural state that can only be reached through equanimity. Once war and illness are over the society and body begin to find balance once again, though now with additional knowledge, wisdom and understanding from the imbalance caused by war, illness and pain. An example of this comes from a quote about war which inspired this post:

The technologies and lessons that were created from the necessity, dangers and the situations of the 2 world wars has saved many more lives than ever died in each of the world wars.

I searched online for some clues to this quote, I didn’t discover much. What I did find was a list of technological advances that were developed through war. They lead me to believe the above quote could be on to something.

  • Pencillin – Antibiotics have save many lives
  • GPS – Enabling people to get places quicker when hurt, increasing the chance of survival.
  • Walkie Talkies – Improving communication which lead to mobile phones that enable life saving advice to passed on quickly.
  • Blood Banks and Transfusions – Being organised and storing blood to save lives when needed.
  • Ambulances – Enabling quick and basic life saving medical help on the way to hospital.
  • The Internet – Finding information about health and survival at the touch of the botton

Now, as suggested in the last possible mind post, we do not know enough to say these inventions would not have come about anyway, but I would guess, and it is a guess, war and its necessities sped up some of these inventions. But it really does make you think, doesn’t it?

If on a global and societal level we can not be sure if war is good or bad, how can we judge our health in any way?

If we recover there are lessons that can be learned to help others recover too, however, if we don’t and we die is that the end of the story? We don’t know for sure but some philosophical thinkers suggest that our illness, pain and suffering can help others.

The hundredth monkey effect is one such hypothetical phenomenon in which a new behaviour or idea is claimed to spread rapidly by unexplained means from one group to all related groups once a critical number of members of one group exhibit the new behaviour or acknowledge the new idea. So, in theory, your suffering is never in vain because it helps others in the future. Just like the sacrifice of those who were in the wars have helped us today.

On a personal level dying maybe not so great, but on a globally connected scale, it could well be for the greater good of society who receive the lessons somehow.

If we do survive, the way we see our illness and pain may change too, as Freud stated:

One day in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.

To me, this means don’t judge war, illness or pain to quickly because we don’t know enough.

Amazing isn’t it when we get to the point that we really can’t say for certain if something is good or bad, because it is what it is. And that includes our pain, illness and war.

This post is not fact but shares an interesting point of view that is to be considered. It is not intended to cause upset in any way.

If you have any comments or questions please do let me know below.


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