Disease or meaningful departure
from a modern Middle Way
Disease or meaningful departure
from a modern Middle Way
It is generally difficult to judge whether someone is walking along a way that his fellow human beings imagine to be well adapted, but perhaps is better described as an adequate Middle Way. Now there is a scientific movement for calling this neurodiversity in a positive acceptable sense..
What some people may do in an apparently incomprehensible way, and perhaps also may seem to a reader of these lines, might appear especially in incomprehensible cases like the constantly repeated behavior of a ruminant.
However, the modern middle way can only be found by constantly making small deviations towards opposite sides and trying to learn from them. The English expression error and trial has also settled with the Germans. In modern understanding, it is important to note that these are not just one-dimensional deviations, for example, between left and right, or between good and bad, but constitute according to own not entirely unfounded assumption a four-dimensional system, no matter whether it is about nature or culture or above all our own life. It is, therefore, quite probable that it is not only a one-sided activity, above all, of the head, but also has to do with other parts of the body, or the qualities which other human beings, or even ourselves, can associate with them. To these belong feelings in the upper part of the body, power in the abdomen and activities of the extremities.
If these deviations exceed a certain level, there is some point in the assessment that these are called disease. However, when this is the case, it depends very much on the assessor and their own classification. There is a rumor that the doctors are the specialists for it. They are supposed to like it, not least perhaps also because it gives them respect, status and "of course" money. However, the relationship between the doctor and the patient is perhaps not as one-sided and unambiguous, as they both present themselves in very different ways and "naturally" also in very different ways.
This topic can now be tackled in such a way that either the doctor or the patient is envisaged, or the interaction between them is focal.
When we speak of the doctor and the patient, this often already contains a hierarchical idea. It is acknowledged by the superior that the doctor is above the patient and that he may even be given greater knowledge or better abilities beyond the professional experience. The doctors often like this, or they do not think it is necessary for reasons that are not always transparent. However, this may not have to be as self-evident as is often assumed.
In ebooks mentioned on this website and largely only published in German yet, the connection between public and private life, which often comes unexpectedly, has been pointed out in a different but not completely unrelated context. Public life can only have an influence on who is working in the hierarchy and to some extent playing games people play. This may already deform. Thus, the trend has grown to catch up in the private sphere thereby meaning the own person.
This problem has very much to do with what has also come back with an English expression in the headlines, namely whistle-blowing. The public sector reluctantly opposes too much information scattering, because information is power and security can be put at risk. This argument has been pointed out, in particular, in the highly intelligent discussion contributions of Barack Obama and Edward Snowden. One can get the impression that their discussion is basically also a search for a Middle Way, whereby the question is, what is actually going on. It certainly is not only about possible benefits or damage.
As the author of this text, I might be allowed at this point to briefly speak of myself. My own way differs quite clearly from the usual social ideas. Thus I am sometimes confronted with quite unpleasant reactions ranging from quiet rejection to harsh criticism. The latter may extend to a wide field, but this may be due to the fact that I consciously avoided specialization and strived for a broad view. This is symbolized by a flying raven with good "cognition and processing", but not only in a rational way.
It is undoubtedly true, although I probably did not speak with any doctor about the fact that I have ADHD, which in German is called a syndrome, not a disease. This means the attention-deficit hyperactivity syndrome (disorder) and is, of course, seen by the doctors as a disease, while I am at least somewhat more reserved, not only for wanting to justify myself or to put it in a good light. It may sound arrogant and uncomfortable at first, but I would like to focus attention on other things which may not be clear to them, but which seem to me to be important because of a large variety of life experiences.
The search for a Middle Way has very much to do with the personal view. This results in the social classification, for which the image of water droplets is used, which, by combining their own orientation with the neighboring droplets, render the orientation of an entire river. For a physician, the decisive question in judging a possible disease should be the magnitude of those deviations. The doctor serves not only the individual, but also the society. By declaring someone to be ill, he gives a justification for intervention not necessarily only in the sense of the patient, but also to the alleged well-being of society and taking into account modern laws which are not always unambiguous. At this point again, unclear assessment comes into play. Is the Middle Way also only an unclear game? It smells like statistics of the Brownian molecular motion, under which the underlying process of said motion is understood firstly in the case of molecules of a certain temperature and then also by water droplets in a river.
This statistical movement can be so strong that particles areb thrown out of the system. This, for example, is called vaporization and is the basis of rain certainly making sense. Depending on the type of description, this process can mean a singularity, ie, leaving the continuous path, which may be considered as "normal".
Now we should not lose sight of the doctor, who will use the term "sick" in his area for such a case. Will he remember that rain can be a very useful thing?
But now again a crossover to today's public life! In some parts of the world there is an increasing degree of drought, and in other parts people suffer terrible flooding. Is this the right moment to speak of an ill situation, or does this not necessarily have to be so?
Nature therefore plays an important role in the game. Evolution, through recursion, teaches us that in this way evolution is taking place. This kind of nature is absolutely tough, often even cruel. Both mutations and environmental catastrophes are the actors who trigger particularly decisive new developments. You may judge what you want, but in the end we must accept it.
Back to the doctor and the dilemma, what is a disease! A social interest, which by him actually is or should be or even must be represented, is therefore very essential. But finally from a certain point onwards, by his intervening treatment it is running contrary to the course of nature and thus to development, which is based on the selection of sensible deviations. Thus, one's own decision to be skeptical of a doctor's judgment is not entirely unfounded. This, as emphasized at the outset, must not only be rational, but may depend on many other factors - feelings, sex, personal activities and perhaps even more.
The personal question, what to do with own ADHD, I try to decide on the Middle Way. At the same time, I respect the opinion of both a physician and fellow human beings, but taking into account that perhaps incomplete information and thus limited judgment could be the basis. This does not in the least amount to a slight estimate, just as the resulting skepticism about physicians, which, as already mentioned, can be related to respect, status, and money. Everyone basically carries the own skin to the market, as already described in those ebooks, but often considered as irrelevant. In any case, one should be allowed to renounce to the service of a doctor in certain situations with a clear conscience, without being doubted in capabilities.
An alleged disease such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or syndrome could also be a possibility, which may be not necessarily a simple but useful possibility also for other people, which can lead to something completely unexpected and new, whereby a learning process can be initiated. In principle this can to a certain extent be true for all, who are open to it, first for the person concerned and also for physicians and finally for many fellow human beings.
This situation now got scientific acknowledgement by the movement for neurodiversity, which sees in it a useful and flexible possibility of adaptation to other forms of society than the own one - certainly not always necessarily the best form and underlying changes due to unforeseen events.
© Copyright (all rights reserved) Hans J. Unsoeld, Berlin 2017
Updated Apr 06, 2019