PERCEPTION OF CAUSE OF DISEASE
Very recently, however, it has become common accepted knowledge that disease is caused by germs and viruses, and that mental illness is caused by brain chemical imbalances or very stressful experiences, and not by evil spirits. Is this wrong?
— Sage, USA
Like the visual perception of tables and chairs or spirits and heavens described above, the intellectual perception of the cause of disease also depends on various sets of conditions. Because of the conditions you are in, your perspective is that of modern western medicine. From the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine, the cause of disease is not germs and viruses, brain chemical imbalances or very stressful experiences, but yin-yang disharmony. From the perspective of many third world cultures, the cause is evil spirit.
The question of which perception is right, is relative to which perspective is used. If you tell a conventional doctor that yin-yang disharmony or evil spirit causes illness, he would laugh at you. This is because of his narrow thinking, and sometimes because of his arrogance believing that his view is the only right view.
This does not mean all these different perceptions have no reality. Their reality depends on various sets of conditions. If a western doctor sets out to find germs in a patient suffering from an infected disease, he will find germs. If a Chinese physician examines the same person, he will find yin-yang disharmony. If a faith-healer examines the same disturbed patient, he will find an evil spirit. But none of the three professionals will find anything outside their perspective.
Then, which perspective should we adopt? This depends on many variables. A useful guideline is to choose the one that best serves our purpose. For me, using the perspective of yin-yang harmony, has enabled me to help hundreds of people overcome so-called incurable diseases.
Reproduced from Question 3 in Selection of Questions and Answers — January 2002 Part 2
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