This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

The Middle Way

Much of your struggle will be to maintain the middle way between the monsters on either side of you–between Scylla and Charybdis–and while the middle way is a spiritual teaching it applies at various levels and not only in the lofty sense in which it is usually treated. You find yourself in a position where physicians who deal in human health often do not know the first thing about the human condition. They understand its physiological function and they understand how to chemically manipulate that function and, to a degree, how to repair physical damage to the body and its parts, but that is a limited kind of knowledge since it treats the lowest parts of the human person and only a fraction of the whole. When the issues at hand are rooted in non-material causes, they are helpless, and this is often the case. This puts you in a difficult situation because you are left with the task of trying to discern within what limits you can trust doctors, which would not be so difficult if the doctors themselves understood these limits, and if society understood them and accepted them, but neither do and so whenever you do reach a point where you legitimately deny the competence of the physician you will almost certainly be considered a conspiracy theorist or a radical or a hippie, rejecting the valid knowledge of “science” for your own unfounded notions. Sometimes this will be the case. Sometimes you may go too far and doubt the opinions of scientists when you should trust, because these opinions are unpleasant to you or offensive. But that should not keep you from doubting, because it would be far worse to surrender yourself entirely to them. To exercise your judgement and possibly make a mistake is more honorable than to surrender yourself to the mistakes of other individuals or groups. Whenever possible, make your own mistakes. Do not let others make them for you. That is the key, and that will bring you closer to perfection as you try to travel the Middle Way through life.

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