Medicine

What do you as an animist think about mental illness? I understand that you feel that we should work with our “naturally human” sense of intelligence to ward off viral and fungal infections, but what about mental illness?

On one hand, the purpose of medicine is to make one’s life easier and thus to prolong it. On the other hand, you suggest that “if there’s a cancer growing inside of you, the gods aren’t on your side against it, but that doesn’t mean you have to throw up your hands and allow it to destroy your life; defend yourself against it with every resource you can bring to bear” (Providence, page 162).

From one animist to another, I want to know how mental illness is considered: as another illness of the body, like diabetes or infection, or as a beast of another kind.

One career option I was considering was to work in virology, helping to find cures for diseases. Reading your book, though, I realized that this would be just another way humans are trying to control the planet and eliminate competition.

Everywhere we go we find new viruses that we try to kill, but viruses may just be the way nature is trying to restore balance on the planet.

What about the medical field? The animal kingdom generally does not have any type of medicine man or witch doctor etc. to take care of the sick and injured. This seems to help ensure that only the strong survive. The sick and diseased don’t go on to infect others. Should we not care for the sick and diseased? They are a drain on our system and us. One might imagine us battling the Ebola virus while it kills out the Alawa, whereas a lion would merely be left to die.

Yes, but how are the strategies proposed in Beyond Civilization supposed to eliminate pollution, overpopulation, crime, teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, poverty, police brutality, political corruption, racism, child abuse, violence against women, homophobia, pornography, violence in film and music, exploitation of the elderly, date rape, judicial malfeasance, insider trading, road rage, and media bias?