The Views of Sri Aurobindo (in His own words) on Disease & Medical Science.
Disease is needlessly prolonged and ends in death oftener than is inevitable, because the mind of the patient supports and dwells upon the disease of his body.
Medical science has been more a curse to man kind than a blessing. It has broken the force of epidemics and unveiled a marvelous surgery, but, also it has weakened the natural health of man and multiplied individual diseases; it has implanted fear and dependence in the mind and body; it has taught our health to repose not on natural soundness but a rickety and distasteful crutch compact from the mineral and vegetable kingdoms.
The doctor aims a drug at a disease; some times it hits, sometimes misses. The misses are left out of account, the hits treasured up, reckoned and systematized into a science.
We laugh at the savage for his faith in the medicine-man; but how are the civilized less superstitious who have faith in the doctor? The savage finds that when a certain incantation is repeated, he often recovers from a certain disease; he believes. The civilized patient finds that when he doses himself according to a certain prescription, he often recovers from a certain disease; he believes. Where is the difference?
The north-country Indian herdsman, attacked by fever, sits in the chill stream of a river for an hour or more and rises up free and healthy. If the educated man did the same, he would perish, not because the same remedy in its nature kills one and cures another, but because our bodies have been fatally indoctrinated by the mind in to false habits.
It is not the medicine that cures so much as the patient’s faith in the doctor and the medicine. Both are a clumsy substitute for the natural faith in one’s own self - power which they have themselves destroyed.
The healthiest ages of mankind were those in which there were the fewest material remedies.
The most robust and healthy race left on earth were the African savages; but how long can they so remain after their physical consciousness, has been contaminated by the mental aberrations of the civilized ?
We ought to use the divine health in us to cure and prevent diseases; but Galen and Hippocrates and their tribe have given us instead an armoury of drugs and a barbarous Latin hocus-pocus as our physical gospel.
Medical Science is well-meaning and its practioners often benevolent and not seldom self sacrificing; but when did the well-meaning of the ignorant save them from harm doing?
If all remedies were really and themselves efficacious and all medical theories sound, how would that console us for our lost natural health and vitality? The upas-tree is sound in all its parts, but it is still a upas-tree.
The spirit within us is the only all-efficient doctors and the submission of the body to it the one true panacea.
God within is infinite and self-fulfilling Will. Un-effected by the fear of death canst thou leave to Him, not as an experiment, but with a calm and entire faith thy ailment? Thou shalt find that in the end He exceeds the skill of a million doctors.
Health protected by twenty-thousand precautions is the gospel of the doctors; but it is not God’s evangel for the body, not nature’s.
Man was once naturally healthy and could revert to their primal condition if he were suffered; but Medical Science pursues our body with an innumerable pack of drugs and assails the imagination with ravening hordes of microbes.
I would rather die and have done with it than spend life in defending myself against a phantasmal siege of microbes. If that is to be barbarous, unenlightened, I embrace gladly my Cimmerian darkness.
Surgeons save and cure by cutting and maiming. Why not rather seek to discover Nature’s direct all-powerful remedies?
It should take long for self - cure to replace medicine, because of the fear, self distrust and unnatural physical reliance on drugs which Medical Science has taught to our minds and bodies and made our second nature.
Medicine is necessary to our bodies in disease only because our bodies have learned the art of not getting well without medicines. Even so, one sees often that the moment nature chooses for recovery is that in which the life is abandoned as hopeless by the doctors.
Distrust of the creative power within us was our physical fall from paradise. Medical Science and a bad heredity are the two angels of God who stand at the gates to forbid our return and re-entry.
Medical Science to the human body is like a great power which enfeebles a smaller state by its protection or like a benevolent robber who knocks his victim flat and riddles him with wounds in order that he may devote his life to healing and serving the shattered body.
Drugs cured the body when they do not merely trouble or poison it, but only if their physical attack on the disease is supported by the force of the spirit; if that force can be made to work freely, drugs are at once superfluous.
Thoughts and Aphorisms