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Friday, April 23, 2010

Show your soul while staying in a hospital

The Heal Your Life site offers an excerpt about a patient's role based on Aristotle's tenet, "The soul is what makes you uniquely who you are," from Thomas Moore's new book, Care of the Soul in Medicine: "Healing Health Care". In this section, Moore writes:
"If you express your soul, you will be eccentric. There is no other way. You will rub people the wrong way. They will criticize you. They may be uncomfortable with your individuality. Most people prefer conformity and homogeneity. Heterogeneity is threatening. An institution usually prefers that everyone fade into the background of acquiescence. The organization runs better when people stifle their spirits and camouflage their souls.

There is something inherently aggressive about expressing your individuality. You stick out. You poke the status quo. You refuse to adapt. You upset whatever equilibrium has been achieved.

But from your point of view, this assertive individuality is life and vitality, which are important in reestablishing health. Remember that Asklepios, the Greek God of healing, was a snake. He was not a domesticated animal, though he liked the company of his dog. A snake is threatening, and yet it is the very symbol of healing and medicine."

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