A New Paradigm
For all of human history, people have observed the ill effects of diseases caused by poisons.
Whether it was a disease from a venomous snake, poisons extracted from frogs, or the accidental consumption of poisonous plants, humans learned early on to be knowledgeable about these causes of disease. However, at the same time, some diseases would occur where no explanation could be found. The person never ate, drank, or came in contact with something poisonous, but still experienced similar symptoms of lethargy, organ afflictions, and sometimes death. Early on, it was assumed that since poison-induced illnesses were well known, it may be possible that these other diseases were caused by something “poisonous” to our biology, though perhaps the culprit was unidentified or invisible to the eye. In the 19th century, a microscopic poison was hypothesized to exist, responsible for the diseases whose cause was elusive to our knowledge. This entity was given the name “virus” which in Latin means “toxin.”
Over the course of scientific progress, as inventors created microscopes and biological study become rigorous, people slowly realized that a microscopic, communicable toxin couldn’t be found. In many ways, the idea was slowly abandoned in favor of a new culprit, micro-organisms, which also became known around the same time.
However, research that sought to extract micro-organisms such as bacteria or fungi, and inflict disease states by way of transmission of these entities, failed to impress the scientific community with results. Organisms, by themselves, through normal routes (barring direct injection into the brain, abdomen, or lungs) couldn’t directly cause disease states.
For example, Dr. Milton Rosenau assigned by the United States Health Department to experiment with the cause of influenza at the height of the 1918 epidemic, failed to show infection in any of over two hundred volunteers; first with several strains of the suspected bacterium Pfeiffer’s bacillus, and later, through direct contact with influenza patients, including sharing of blood, mucus, and breath. Rosenau remarked after the study,
“We entered the outbreak with a notion that we knew the cause of the disease, and were quite sure we knew how it was transmitted from person to person. Perhaps, if we have learned anything, it is that we are not quite sure what we know about the disease.”
By the time leading up to our present day, most people recognized and accepted the fact that many trillions of micro-organisms exist in us, and germs thought to be dangerous have been found to exist in a majority of humans who are completely healthy.
I believe a growing majority are ready to make this shift—what many have called the shift from mechanism to vitalism.
In the year 1953, DNA was discovered, bringing forth a new understanding of how life could work. In tandem with this discovery, virologists who formerly were searching for a micro-toxin now became convinced that the “virus” was instead a DNA-based pathogen capable of employing the secret of life, DNA, for nefarious, parasitic purposes in host organisms.
In 1954, the suspected measles virus was said to be grown (and discovered) by way of cell-culture experiments, and various particles from the decaying cell-culture were micro graphed using an electron microscope, a device central to the preceding DNA research. Since that time, it had been largely agreed that a nefarious virus had finally been identified, a cellular product that would be held responsible for many diseases that had remained a mystery.
This story represents one chapter in a series of chapters regarding the human search for disease causality. Throughout this search, a single, fundamental theme exists: To find the cause of disease, we have to find the “pathogen” responsible for it, just as we might find the toxic agent in snake venom or the protein in plants responsible for someone’s poisoning. In other words, the search was predicated on a logical assumption that organic diseases mirror diseases caused by poisoning, in that some malevolent substance would “breach” the integrity of the living organism causing affliction.
Now, it could have been just as possible for a similar line of investigation to have emerged in history, centering and guiding our exploration of the cause of diseases. For just as we knew poisons caused clear internal affliction and death, so too was it known that injury, wear and tear, would cause affliction in the body. Whether by the blow of a sword or arrow in battle, or whether by an accidental fall, internal organ afflictions could occur anytime the body was breached or overwhelmed by a force.
Along the progression of this line of thinking, we would find hypotheses of “stress” as the cause of the elusive diseases; certain tensions that pull and tug our organism out of balance, leading to damage, and potentially lethargy, sickness, and death. Not limiting this model to physical stresses that impact the body, we’d likely consider emotional stress and negative thinking that might impact us with equal or even greater destructive force.
As living beings traversing a journey called life, we have been endowed by Nature to somehow know that we are in a story, and that our life is a story.
Over the course of scientific progress, this line of thinking would show that there are many kinds of stress, and many myriad ways they negatively impact the body. We would learn how the body receives stress, and how the nervous system is the instrument the body uses to mediate and adapt to stress.
In point of fact, this line of investigation has always existed alongside the search for poisons. And today, we have many modalities that take into account both stress and poisons. In some modalities, the emphasis is on stress, but in an effort to reduce nefarious variables to achieve health and well-being, almost always are both culprits addressed. Poisons and stress.
The world was taken by surprise when a third branch of scientific inquiry arrived, one that could find a home within the “stress hypothesis” of disease causality, but which really stands out on its own as a completely new understanding altogether. Instead of focusing on hypothesized “agents” of disease, this new model shows the role of the body’s innate intelligence, which underlies all manifestations of the body.
To illustrate how the body’s own “intelligence” could ever lead to a disease state, let’s imagine one real-life scenario:
Imagine a mother and child are out in the world, and the child becomes pinned underneath a rock or a wheel of a car. The mother, without hesitation, runs to lift the heavy object off the child. She struggles with the utmost power and strength, even going so far as to stretch and tear ligaments and muscles beyond their normal capacity. She succeeds in what perhaps many of her strongest friends would fail to accomplish. She rescues the child, and for weeks, is constrained in bed with torn muscles before fully recovering.
That period of incapacitation in bed could be seen as a stress-induced disease. However it is plain and obvious to all who know her story that she is in the midst of recovery from an intelligent and heroic act of desperation. Her muscles aren’t “diseased” per-se, they are trying to heal and rebuild from an intelligent sacrifice.
It had never occurred to researchers observing organic diseases—symptoms that arise despite no poison or external injury—that the cause could be similar in nature to the story of sacrifice of the mother, but at the organ level. Since the mother’s affliction was not caused by any microscopic pathogen, nor was it caused by a “malfunction” in her body, we can understand that the symptoms of inflammation were the natural repercussion of her intentional choice to burden her muscles in a clear and deliberate effort to save something more important.
Could it be that organ-specific diseases are the result of an organ’s own deliberate effort to achieve something important in life for the whole of the organism?
This new premise forms the basis of a major shift out of a multi-thousand-year long paradigm of searching for a pathogen, into a paradigm of understanding how an intelligent, meaningful adaptation in the organ leads to organ afflictions. It’s really quite understandable. Rather than a focus on toxins, viruses, bacteria, or potential genetic defects “infecting” or “breaking down” the organ, we can now say: The organs of the body adapt to life-experiences. And the natural consequence of these adaptations are symptoms. The more prolonged and extreme the adaptation (or the more intense the shocking experience,) the more severe the symptoms of recovery.
In the research and discoveries of German New Medicine (GNM) or Germanische Heilkunde (Germanic Healing Knowledge), we find the scientific verification of this new paradigm. There is an immense intelligence within living matter, and it is closely anchored to our experiences in life. With the mother’s story above, we not only see the result of her conscious, intelligent expenditure of muscles, we also find subconscious organ adaptations that intelligently arise due to the shocking experience.
Upon a near death of a child, our innate intelligence employs many resources, subconsciously adapting and augmenting internal organ functions to aid in resolving the problem. For example, the mother’s lungs could have augmented their function to increase oxygenation to the bloodstream. Her breast gland may have augmented its function to produce more milk to nourish her wounded child (even if she is not currently breastfeeding). All organs of the body, from the eyes to the skin to the heart, have intelligent, though primitive, adaptions applicable to the various biological conflicts we experience in life. Each adaptation is controlled by the brain, and our unique perception of the shocking experience determines the specificity of which organ is engaged. And just like the muscles in recovery, each organ adaptation has an appropriate and necessary healing phase of recovery. For the lungs, we experience pain, coughing and sputum discharge. For the breast glands, we experience inflammatory lumps or swells.
Comprehending our Stories
There are many things to be said about the difficulty of a paradigm shift from the biochemical and mechanistic analysis of health to the emotional level that connects us to the stories and perceptions of our life. As human beings, we are easily ashamed of our stories, because we tend to harbor a belief that we have not lived up to our highest potential. There is always going to be an element of shame, for as long as there is a desire to grow beyond our present capacities, there will always be the shame of feeling as though we failed to grasp something bigger. However, this new paradigm really changes everything, when we realize that biological health is something deeply related to our story and perceptions, and so our story becomes something we must learn to know, understand, and love.
As living beings traversing a journey called life, we have been endowed by Nature to somehow know that we are in a story, and that our life is a story. Perhaps this is the truest fact of all, a fact known from the very first perception that we ever have—I am here, now. How strange? How wonderful! When we think of the organization of life, we have been taught to think of a vast machine made of puzzle-pieces. But what if life is consciousness, communicating an eternal story of self, where “the body” is animated from top to bottom by an inner knowledge that knows the story?
When threatening experiences happen along the way that are incomprehensible, unexpected, or hard to make sense of, they compel forth internal adaptations in our living organism. We can learn to restore the meaning that was lost at that moment, by resolving the experience and by listening to and speaking about our story in an environment of new knowledge, love, and connection.
Nature’s gift to the inner being within each of us is that no matter what we lose or how incomprehensible our experiences have been, we can always find the thread again. And when we do, something real and full of purpose begins to heal us from within. This is the healing expression of an unlimited, innate intelligence reconnecting to the limited brain-body-psyche that was traumatized and isolated by the experience.
This new paradigm, confirmed by key discoveries of the brain and nervous system, help validate what many brilliant thinkers of the past had intuited about health. It connects our micro-biology to the larger dimension of life and perception. In a way, it’s acting as a kind of renaissance seed for humanity at this time in history. From this seed, we are pressed onward to actualize the eternal aim of our human potential—to learn how to become proud of our stories and ourselves, to learn how to live in awe and symbiosis with the great mystery of life, and to know just how it is that our biology depends on our loving awareness for its harmonious organization. From this, we are sure to find the miraculous health and longevity that is an integral part of the birthright of our species.
I and many others are ready to live and share in this new paradigm of health. It encourages each of us to look back upon all who lived to make our own life stories possible, and to say, “Thank you. I am here. And I will honor the living thread of our song.” I believe a growing majority are ready to make this shift—what many have called the shift from mechanism to vitalism.