THE MONEY DIAGNOSIS ==> ‘peace-of-mind’ ­needs earning, not buying.

MONEY is the rope we tie ourselves together with — when it gets knotted, as now, we all suffer. Suffering poses a healthcare challenge, so let’s put the whole thing into a medical context, starting with what is obvious and therefore self-evident to all. The human body needs food — those too poor to buy it, starve. The next thing we all need is peace-of-mind — not a single living person on this entire planet would not welcome more of that. And there’s the rub. Too many think they can buy it — and while there will always be plenty who offer to sell it, in strictly medical terms, it’s something you have to earn, not buy.

Peace-of-mind, like health itself, is not easy to define — we all know what it is, especially when we’ve lost it, or it’s impaired — but health, like life itself, is easier to enjoy than to comprehend. This ‘wooliness’ of meaning calls for a firm hand, else all manner of shenanigans and ‘snake oils’ fester. Again, ‘miracle’ cures are ten a penny — but, apart from all the hype, the point of impact is you, it’s your circulation that needs to flow, your pain that needs easing, your wellbeing that matters. Which means you have to understand at least the basics, else you’ll grow your troubles, not shrink them.

So let’s start with THE fundamental Unknown about health and healing — living skin heals, but dead skin does not. Why this happens, is unknowable — vitally important, but way beyond our capacity to know. It’s not a question of paying more for quicker healing, nor for ‘buying’ a better, more scientific understanding of why living cells work together in this quasi-miraculous way — skin tissue either cooperates or it falls apart. We know what helps, and what hinders — but what powers the basic process is lost deep within the mystery of living organisms themselves. Suffice it to say, that being alive means ‘organising’, it’s what ‘organisms’ do, it’s what they’re for — in scientific terms, life combats ‘entropy’, it ‘undoes’ disorganisation — if life didn’t contradict the Second Law of Thermodynamics, we wouldn’t be.

In an earlier article in this series, I labelled this unfathomable process, ‘antropy’, a contraction of ‘anti-entropy’, to characterise this fundamental facility of every living organism that ever there was, or ever will be, including of course, our glorious selves. So not only do we all need to eat to live, we also share with the rest of the biosphere, the inherent ability to ‘organise’, to weave patterns from the multiple threads of ‘events’ which come our way, to respond to alterations in our circumstances which allow us to survive longer in them, or not. This is not my opinion, this is not my edict — it’s a fact of life — you are alive today because you have met and answered the innumerable challenges which our inanimate and essentially chaotic and unfriendly universe throws at every living organism, whether small, big, or human-sized.

To put this succinctly, ‘antropy’ is the process by which cut skin heals. It is absent when the skin is dead, so no healing occurs. It’s simply being alive, which makes this ‘health-care’ difference. Now, I don’t know how this works any more than anyone else does, nor ever will, but I’ve learnt how to help rather than hinder it. And, after 60 years prodding, I’m now confident that precisely the same applies to mental healthcare. This may be too big a jump for some, but I’ve seen too many skin cuts ‘cured’, and latterly too many mind-wounds evaporate, not to be convinced that the same fundamentals apply to both. I cannot tell you what these basic processes are, I have not the least idea where they come from — but I do know that there is a parallel between living organisms adapting in evolutionary terms, and human minds adjusting to whatever is new — it’s what our mind is for.

So what does this mean for money and peace-of-mind? Well, two things. Firstly, we need a new gauge, a new touch-stone for money, a new ‘gold-standard’ — how much does a given economic activity increase ‘organisation’, how much does it promote antropy, or decrease it? In practical healthcare reality, what you do, how you act has a bearing on how healthy you are — you can increase or decrease your prospects, as can any human behaviour anywhere else. It would be more realistic (and therefore healthier) if economic values were tied to the degree antropy was assisted by a specified process — with those that promote healthier patterns receiving higher monetary valuations. The biosphere is hopelessly unrepresented in our current economics, whence the knots we are currently tied up in. We all know where the money is, and where it isn’t. The remedy is to correlate all economic valuations as tightly as possible, to how much each of them realistically enhances antropy. This new measure then needs applying to those who’ve acquired billions by other means — their wealth must have a far more direct relationship to its contribution to our global battle against entropy — else it sabotages our chances, and indeed our ‘health’.

And secondly, peace-of-mind cannot exist in the absence of antropy, or its equivalent. Mental insecurity, not knowing what’s going to happen next, succumbing to the incessant onslaught of entropy, chaos, and Uncertainty — this is directly equivalent to cut skin. It can also be healed by the same token. You and I can ‘intend’ things, we can be there for each other, we can press ideas, initiate actions, ‘heal’ the gaps that constantly and consistently present themselves to every unit in our unfathomable biosphere, including, of course, to ourselves.

But to do this, we need to be able to rely on our fellows — if they say or promote something, the value of this to us depends hugely on how accurate and reliable it is, how truthful they are being. Tragically, our current economics promotes precisely the opposite, and richly rewards those enacting the axiom — “there’s a sucker born every minute”. The ‘suckers’ in such cases are those who devalue peace-of-mind in favour of gold.

Money, in this context, is blatantly counter-productive — peace-of-mind is not available either for purchase, or for sale. Anything which even hints that “you are only doing this for monetary gain”, poisons human relationships. Counter-intuitively, peace-of-mind has to be earned. You have to prove yourself reliable, steady, believable, else those around you will not benefit from the stability you could offer, not only to them, but, reciprocally, to you. This is where the ‘earning’ bit comes in. It may not seem to pay you, indeed it could well cost you considerably in coinage — but your own peace-of-mind depends on you supporting and your being supported by, others. Whatever you have been taught, the medical evidence shows that you too need to be able to rely on those who have proved themselves to be as reliable for you, or not — without this reciprocity, peace-of-mind is fragile to say the least. Your mind is too big, too ungainly to support itself unaided; our biosphere is too vast and too awkward for us to cope with on our own — we all need support networks, staffed by those who reliably ‘intend’ us ‘good’, rather than not. Money regularly corrupts such networks — so let’s promote ‘antropy’, by valuing human beings way ahead of cash — it feels so much healthier, so much better, so good. How about it?

  • — * — * — * — * — *

Dr Bob Johnson Monday, 17 July 2017-

Dr Bob Johnson

Changing ‘social defeat’ to ‘social delight’ — for all.

Consultant Psychiatrist, (retired) P O Box 49, Ventnor, Isle of Wight, PO38 9AA UK VIDEO at &
GMC speciality register for psychiatry reg. num. 0400150
Author Emotional Health ISBN 0–9551985–0-X & Unsafe at any dose ISBN 0–9551985–1–8

a Happy Psychiatrist ’cos 100% cures available. Sceptic? Take TRAUMA CHALLENGE

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