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Wellness and Illness

Wellness and Illness

Because humanity and our world are living beings, just as you and I are, they are capable of experiencing varying degrees of wellness and illness. Indeed, you may have already noticed that part of what is actually happening is that our species and our world are experiencing widespread illness. So, one of the most important ways for us to know what is actually happening is to know what wellness and illness actually are.

Wellness is an increased ability to function.

This means that wellness applies to everything that functions, everything that does something in some way. Wellness is the opposite of illness, which is a decreased ability to function. While wellness makes you more able, illness makes you less able; while wellness enables, illness disables. This means that a species or a world that is well is a species or a world that is more able to function, in every respect.

Since you are part of our world, your wellness facilitates our world’s wellness, just as our world’s wellness facilitates your wellness. Similarly, your illness facilitates our world’s illness, just as our world’s illness facilitates your illness.

You are not separate because we are not separate.

What affects you affects the whole and what affects the whole affects you. In reality, independence is a fiction that many of us have chosen to believe so as to avoid accepting responsibility for our choices. If you doubt that, try being independent of oxygen for awhile and see how quickly you change your mind. Instead, why not be grateful that the oxygen you breathe was placed in the atmosphere by plants, cyanobacteria, and other living beings that we evolved to depend on?

You depend on life not only for the air that you breathe. You also depend on living beings for the food that you eat, nearly all of which was alive at some point. You depend on the Sun for shining its light, water for flowing, reforming, and dissolving, and soil for providing you with a foundation for growing and building. These are among the many blessings that fill our world with life as a result of interdependence.

The interdependence that allows life to thrive throughout our world requires us to cooperate. This means that we need to operate together to increase the wellness of our world. When we instead choose to be in conflict, we create illness in place of wellness. This is why part of what is actually happening is that we are beginning to recognize the need to create a culture of wellness to heal the harm that we have caused through our cultures of conflict.

In the same way that illness is communicable, so is wellness. The more well you are, the more your wellness spreads to your relationships, communities, societies, species, and world. The more ill you are, the more your illness spreads in the same way.

Because of the pervasiveness of the false doctrines of individualism and physicalism, it is common for people to think of wellness and illness as being limited to their individual physical health. Yet, that’s not what is actually happening. Personal wellness and illness apply not only to physical health but also to emotional, mental, and spiritual health. This is why what is actually happening is that our species is experiencing widespread emotional, mental, and spiritual illness in addition to and exacerbated by widespread physical illness.

The good news is that an ever-increasing percentage of humanity is willing to do what it takes to truly become well. The bad news is that most of these individuals currently have little to no idea how to do so. This is why part of what is actually happening is that we are learning of the importance of wellness and how to consciously create wellness in place of illness.

In retrospect, it may seem obvious that the most precious thing we have is our health. Yet, that’s certainly not how a large portion of humanity has behaved. Rather, many of us have been fixated on accruing wealth and power at the expense of the health of ourselves and others. This fixation is a side effect of how we evolved in small groups, similar to apes and monkeys.

Within our historic clans, tribes, and nations, if you had wealth and power it meant that your descendants would be more likely to survive periods of famine and violence. As a result, in times of scarcity and conflict, people who valued wealth and power over health were more likely to pass on those values to subsequent generations. Of course, attempting to accrue wealth and power at the expense of the health of yourself and others is itself an effective way to create scarcity and conflict. Indeed, that is how human greed is able to create vicious cycles of personal, relational, communal, and societal illness spanning multiple generations.

At this point in time, humanity is coming to acknowledge that wealth and power are best used to enable wellness — and that wellness is inherently more valuable than wealth and power can ever be on their own. The raising of this awareness, this elevation of consciousness, is an essential part of what is actually happening.

Continue to Part 4

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