'The Most Important Article I Have Ever Written'
(And my apologies--THIS is the last one for now!) CAERS SUBSTACK ARTICLE #72
‘The Most Important Article I Have Ever Written’
(And my apologies—THIS is the last one for now!)
CAERS Substack Article #72
White light is composed of a spectrum of colours, and the primary ones are red, blue and yellow. When those three are mixed in the proper proportions and balanced, they are individually indistinguishable. They function together in such a way that together they make all things visible.
In a way, humans are like that too. We have our emotional, rational and non-rational parts, and when they are in an ideal balance, they tend to light our way the best. The problem is, our emotional part is by far the oldest and often functions reflexively with great speed and great power. It’s responsible for the potentially lifesaving fight or flight responses. The more rational and non-rational parts, the ones that distinguish us qualitatively and quantitatively from all other species on the planet, are relative newcomers. Although very useful, they are not the immediate lifesavers that the emotional part can be. In a pinch, you want the emotional part to call the shots. When there is no crisis, however, the rational and non-rational parts often serve us better as they can develop the more carefully thought-out answers to some of life’s more complex challenges.
The problem is that it can be difficult to balance the emotional part, which acts so quickly and powerfully, with the more deliberate and slower functioning rational and non-rational parts. Sadly, that can and has produced no end of problems for us. We get excited when there is a new discovery and often don’t take the time to allow the other two parts of our brain to have their say. We develop new technology, for example, and become smitten by the seemingly limitless potential for good it can provide without granting ourselves the opportunity to carefully weigh the pros and cons. Sure, it’s great to have this new chemical that kills off a certain annoying organism; but does it also upset a delicate ecosystem in the process? Electronic communication, which is nearly instantaneous, can enrich our lives; but it can also interfere with forming healthy relationships as well.
Few of us have the three parts of our brains in perfect balance. Some, like those toward the psychopath end of the spectrum, are relatively underdeveloped in the emotion department. They are often quite clever, well developed in the rational department, but combined with their lack of empathy, they tend to use people for their own selfish and narcissistic goals. Although they are deficient in emotion, they understand it on an intellectual level and know how to manipulate the emotions of others to get what they want. Adolf Hitler is a prime example; he was clever enough to know how to appeal to the love for the motherland the German people had following a humiliating loss in World War I. Capitalizing on that, he was able to have them over-ride their rational and non-rational aspects and be ruled almost entirely by either desire for supremacy or fear if they did not comply.
At the other end of the spectrum, there are those who tend to dominate with their emotional selves; they resist any desire of others to use rational thought. Any attempt to interject reason unleashes an immediate and powerfully venomous attack. This is clearly in evidence with the woke and cancel culture of today. Many live in fear of them in the same way that Germans did almost a century ago. Balancing all three parts of ourselves to guide us in an enlightened way has always been a challenge.
It is interesting that that we often can only see the parts of others that we are underweighted on ourselves. Those who are excessively rationally driven, for example, are often overwhelmed by the emotional parts of others who are in fact better balanced. They cannot see that the other does have a goodly amount of rational and non-rational; their own relative lack of emotion makes the emotion of the other stick out like a sore thumb and blind them to the presence of the other parts.
The same is true for those who are relatively emotionally overweighted. Sometimes they see others who have a better balance of the three as being robotic and heartless; they seem blind to the emotion that the other has for the very same reason. Often those who are very rational have a poorly developed non-rational, intuitive part of their brain and belittle those who they see as too intuitive, even though in fact they are better balanced. The same, of course, can happen in reverse.
The pandemic has illustrated to us our lack of balance. Fear of the virus, or fear of the pandemic measures to combat the virus, have over-ridden our abilities for rational and non-rational thinking. We have forgotten how to respectfully dialogue. We have demonized one another unfairly. We have accused the other of the very same deficiencies as our own that are simply of a different type; we all lack balance, only the details differ.
If we were able to assess our own balance and spend our lives improving that balance, we would likely see ourselves and the world more clearly, because we would be using full spectrum light to see. But that is a difficult thing to do. I would suggest that it is only by doing so that humanity has any hope of surviving our sojourn on this planet. Once we have developed the right balance, then like all of the other creatures on the planet we will have found ‘our place’ on this Earth and in the cosmos, and our planet will thank us.
Pray that we find our collective balance soon. We must not allow ourselves to be dominated by unbalanced thinking and behaviours any longer; our history has shown that as a species we have done far too much of that and in the process done far too much harm.
J. Barry Engelhardt MD (retired) MHSc (bioethics)
CAERS Health Intake Facilitator
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Thank you for this series of articles. Everyone of them has given me something to think about and mull over about my actions or reactions to things that have happened over the last few years. They have also given me an appreciation for what constitutes an ethical view.
I am sorry you are not writing more.
You are a link to common sense and unconditional love.
Our good doctors are needed now more than ever.
Our children are loosing their humanity to machines.
God's work is never done.You can't retire from it.
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