I intend to follow on here immediately from the above (so it might be as well to read its last sentence again).
In Greek history (within which both legend and myth are inextricably intertwined) Asclepius• was the god of healing. According to Homer of the eighth century BC (and to Roman mythology of a later period) Asclepius was the son of the god Apollo, but with a human mother, Coronis. Hippocrates••, the Greek physician and surgeon, was said to have been a descendant of Asclepius and to have trained in medicine in the god’s temple on the Greek island of Kos, on which he, i.e. Hippocrates was born.
Our present day system of medicine is one which dates back to Hippocrates. And of special interesting was his insistence that human beings should work with and through, rather than in some way interfere. with nature. Indeed, he proclaimed that “Our natures are physician’s of our diseases” and possess a natural tendency in illness to run their cycle and cure themselves. Accordingly, much of the Hippocratic treatment formulae were focused upon behavioural and attitudinal approaches, e.g. to do with diet, regular bathing and counsel. This tendency and need to harness the body’s on-board resources was and is, he insisted, vital for there is much we can learn about our bodies and ourselves, whether in good health or bad.
All of this of course leads us to and entails the means of internal communications and of all learning; namely the brain. Thus modern medicine now has ready access to the best of both worlds, i.e. the early and later historical and philosophical. with its record of unsophisticated but necessary beginnings to a science which, in modern times, can truly be said to have attained ‘state of the art’ status and significance. As therefore in future blogs we move forward through “brain”, to consider the miracle and make-up of mind and behold the wonders and mysteries of spirit, we shall – albeit falteringly and tenuously to begin with but thereafter with increasing coherence and confidence – take a firmer grasp on what it is to be a complete human being, body, mind and spirit. But for what purpose or end – or perhaps more appropriately – what new beginning? ©SB.
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