Martial arts as a route to enlightenment is a subject I have written about some in the past, and I'm working a bunch of new material into my book. But this is a pretty great summary of some of the issues, awesome really, Ling Gesar. The links are easy to follow from there too.
And the Placebo effect is always on my radar. This is a link to a study by the star of placebo research most people know as the author ofThe Web That Has No Weaver , Ted Kaptchuk.
Basically the new spin on placebo is that it works, so we should use it. The why and how it works is, at this point, still only explainable via religion (A former stepfather of allopathic medicine I suppose). This is true of the mind in general. The arrogance of science, or scientism if you prefer, or rational modernity, whatever, simply does not have a metaphor that adequately explains either the mind or consciousness. We are not really robots or computers or computer-like monkeys. We are what we are, or, as Popeye was fond of quoting Torah: I yam what I yam.
I also heard a metaphor people might like to consider. You know how we talk about twenty year olds who can call in 3 laser guided smart bombs in like 10 minutes in Afghanistan at like a million dollars a pop? Well that's what it is like for Doctors in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). They are calling in smart bomb medicine every time they push a button, like a million dollars a pop. If you've been to the ICU, whether you are a pauper or a prince, you are now probably worth more than the Six Million Dollar Man! And all the savings we can pile up in every other type of medicine will be used up in two days in the ICU. And it is getting more expensive everyday because they are inventing new machines all the time. And yes, most of that money gets spent on people at the very end of their lives. I don't know, it seems like this ought to lead to some moral discussion here. Like perhaps we could pay people to wear Do not resuscitate wrist bands? Or at least give them a tax break?
I've been working through some vocabulary problems, "popular" religion vs. "village" religion, verses the clerical lineages, verses text based traditions, verses movement based traditions...anyway, I like the term "temple religion" and when I Googled it I got "temple culture" and a video from my friend Fabian who does wonderful work:
My father recently linked to this article about Aging Baby Boomers in the Housing Market. Over the next 3-5 years we are going through a massive inversion! Retired people will suddenly out-number working people by a large ratio. The ratio just started flipping out! Consensus housing, consensus religion, consensus rock, consensus exercise, consensus marriage, education, medicine, crime, and consensus marital arts--it's all flipping out! It's going to change big and change fast. What do you think?