Healthcare: Synthesis of Love and Medicine
National Doctor’s Day
Human body is a very complex machine, it is not wrong if we say doctors are the engineers of human body. And today is the National Doctors Day. It is celebrated to raise awareness about the importance of doctors and their vital role in our day-to-day lives. In some nations the day is marked as a holiday. Although supposed to be celebrated by patients and benefactors of the healthcare industry, it is usually celebrated by health care organizations.
Being a doctor is a big responsibility and requires huge knowledge but a very important part for the being of doctor is his behavior, which really has the ability to give much positive support to the ill person.
Osho suggested something amazing and says A sane society will arrange things in such a way that the profession — any profession — does not go against the society. The judge should be paid because there has been no criminal case. The police should be paid and rewarded because there is nothing for them to do. The doctors should be respected and paid because nobody is sick. Right now we are doing something which is very suicidal. Truth should be respected — rewarded, not punished — and there is no need for any oath.
IN RECENT YEARS, SCIENCE HAS BEEN DISCOVERING MORE AND MORE THE ELEMENT OF SUBJECTIVITY IN EXPERIMENTS IN PHYSICS. ALSO, IN MEDICINE TODAY, WE TALK ABOUT THE SUBJECTIVITY OF THERAPY; THE SAME MEDICINE HAS DIFFERENT RESULTS WITH DIFFERENT DOCTORS.
PLEASE CAN YOU COMMENT ABOUT THE SUBJECTIVITY OF A SCIENCE THAT CLAIMS TO BE AN OBJECTIVE ONE?
Anything that has to do with human beings can never be totally objective; it will have to allow a certain space for subjectivity. It is not only true that the same medicine from different doctors has different effects; it is also true that the same medicine has different effects on different patients from the same doctor. Man is not an object.
First you have to understand the word `subject’. A piece of stone is just an object. There is no interiority, there is no innerness to it. You can cut it in two; then there are two objects. You can cut it in four, and there are four objects. But you will not find any interiority.
Subjectivity means that from the outside a man is just as objective as any other object — a statue, a dead body, a living body, what is the difference? The statue is simply an object, it has no subjectivity. The dead body has once been a house for a subjective phenomenon, but now it is empty. Now it is an empty house; the person who used to live in it has left it.
The living man has all the objectivity of the statue, the dead body, and something more — an interior dimension — which can change many things because it is the most powerful thing in existence. For example, it has been noted that three persons can be suffering the same disease, but the same medicine will not work. On one person it is working; on another it is just fifty-fifty, working and not working; but on the third it is not working at all. The disease is the same, but the interiorities are different. And if you take the interiority into consideration, then perhaps the doctor will make a different impact on different people for different reasons.
One of my friends was a great surgeon in Nagpur — a great surgeon but not a good man. He never failed in his surgery, and he charged five times more than any other surgeon would charge.
I was staying with him and I told him, “This is too much. When other surgeons are charging a certain amount for the same disease, you charge five times as much.”
He said to me, “My success in many other things also has this basis: when a person gives me five times more, he is determined to survive. It is not only because of money that I am greedy. If he is willing to give me five times more — when he could get the operation at cheaper rates — he is determined to survive whatsoever the cost. And his determination is almost fifty percent of my success.”
There are people who don’t want to survive; they are not willing to cooperate with the doctor. They are taking the medicine, but there is no will to survive; on the contrary, they are hoping that the medicine does not work so they will not be blamed for suicide, yet they can get rid of life. Now, from the inside that person has withdrawn already. Medicine cannot help his interiority, and without his interior support, the doctor is almost helpless — the medicine is not enough.
I came to know from this surgeon…. He said, “You don’t know. Sometimes I do things which are absolutely immoral, but to help the patient I have to do them.”
I said, “What do you mean?”
He said, “I am condemned by my profession….”
And all the doctors of Nagpur condemned him — “We have never seen such a cheat.”
He would put the patient on the table in the operating theater — doctors are ready, nurses are ready, students are watching from the gallery above. And he would whisper in the patient’s ear, “We had agreed on a fee of ten thousand — that will not do. Your problem is more serious. If you are ready to give me twenty thousand, I am going to take the instruments in my hands; otherwise, you get up and get out. You can find cheaper people.”
Now, in such a situation…. And the person has money; otherwise, how can he say yes? And he accepts it: “I will give twenty thousand, but save me.”
And he told me, “Any surgeon could have saved him, but not with such certainty. Now that he is paying twenty thousand, he is absolutely with me; his whole interior being is supportive. People condemn me because they don’t understand me. Certainly it is immoral to agree on ten thousand and then put the person in the operating theater and whisper in his ear, `Twenty thousand, thirty thousand… Otherwise get up and get out — because I had not realized that the disease had gone so deep. I am taking a risk, and I am putting my whole reputation on the line. For ten thousand I will not do that. And I have never failed in my life; success is my rule. I operate only when I am absolutely certain to succeed. So you decide. And I don’t have much time, because there are other patients waiting. You just decide within two minutes: either agree, or get up and get lost.’
“Naturally the person will say, `I will give you anything you want, but please do the operation.’ It is illegal, it is immoral, but I cannot say that it is unpsychological.”
Anything to do with man cannot be purely objective. I used to have another friend, a doctor who is now in jail because he was not qualified at all. He had never been to any medical college; all the degrees that he had written on his sign were bogus. But still I am of the opinion that an injustice has been done to the man — because it does not matter whether he had degrees or not. He helped thousands of people, and particularly those who were becoming hopeless, going from one doctor to another — who all had degrees — and getting tired. And this man was able to save them. He had a certain charisma — no degree. And he made his hospital almost a magic land. The moment a patient would enter his office, immediately he would be surprised. He had been everywhere… because people used to go to him only as a last resort. Everybody knew that the man was bogus, it was not something hidden. It was an open secret. But if you are going to die, what is the harm in trying?
And as you entered his garden — he had a beautiful garden — and then his office… He had beautiful women as his receptionists, and it was all part of his medical treatment — because even if a person is dying, looking at a beautiful woman his will to live takes a jump; he wants to live After the reception, the person would pass through his lab. It was absolutely unnecessary to take him through the lab, but he wanted the person to see that he was not an ordinary doctor. And the lab was a miracle — absolutely useless, there was nothing significant, but so many tubes, flasks, colored water moving from one tube into another tube, as if great experiments were going on. Then you would reach the doctor. And he never used the ordinary methods of checking your pulse, no. You would have to lie down on an electric bed with a remote control. The bed would move far up into the air, and you are lying there looking up and hanging over you there are big tubes. And wires would be attached to your pulse and the pulse would make the water in the tubes jump. The heart would be checked in the same way — not by ordinary stethoscope. He had made all his arrangements visual for the patient — so that he could see he had come to some genius, an expert.
And the man had no degrees, nothing at all. His pharmacist had all the degrees, and he used to prescribe the medicines because the man had no idea about medicine. In fact, he never did any criminal thing. He never prescribed medicines, he never signed for them. This was done by a man who had degrees, who was absolutely qualified to do it. But because he arranged all this, and because he had written strange degrees on his sign… and since those degrees don’t exist I don’t think they can be illegal. He was not claiming any legal degrees, he was not claiming that they were from any university that exists. It was all fiction — but the fiction was helpful. I have seen patients half cured just in the examination. Coming out, they said, “We feel almost cured, and we have not taken the medicine yet. The prescription is here — now we will go and purchase the medicine.” But because he had done all this…. This is when I saw that the law is blind. He had not done anything illegal, he had not harmed anybody — but he is in jail because he was “cheating people.” He has not cheated anybody. To help somebody to live longer, if that is cheating, then what is medical help?
Because of human beings, medicine can never become an absolutely solid, hundred-percent objective science. That’s why there are so many medical schools — ayurveda, homeopathy, naturopathy, acupuncture, and many more — and they all help.
Now homeopathy is simply sugar pills, but it helps. The question is whether the person believes. There are people who are fanatic naturopaths — nothing else can help them, only naturopathy can help them. And it has no connection with the disease…There are homeopaths, fanatics who believe that homeopathy is the only right medicine and all other medicines are dangerous — particularly allopathy is poison. If you go to a homeopath, the first thing he will do is inquire about your whole history from your birth up to now. And you are suffering from a headache.
One of the homeopathic doctors used to live near me. Whenever my father came to see me, I would take him to the homeopath. The homeopath told me, “I pray you don’t bring your father because he starts back three generations, that his grandfather had a disease….”
I said, “He is also a homeopath. He goes deeper into the roots.”
He said, “But he wastes so much time, and I have to listen — and he just has a headache! About his grandfather and all his diseases, then his father and all his diseases… then himself. By the time he comes, almost the whole day is finished. My other patients are gone, and I am listening to him telling what kind of diseases he has suffered from his childhood, and finally it comes out that he has a headache. I say, `My God, why didn’t you tell me before?’ and he says, `Just as you are a homeopath, I am also a homeopath. And I want to give you a complete picture.'”
The first thing they will ask is about all your diseases because they believe that all diseases are connected, your whole life is one single whole. It does not matter whether you had something in your leg or your head — they are part of one body, and for the doctor to understand, he has to know everything. The homeopath will ask you what kind of allopathic medicines you have been taking — because that is the root cause of all your diseases; all allopathic medicines are poison. That is the attitude of naturopathy too, that allopathy is poison. So first you have to do fasting, enemas… just to clean you of all allopathy. Once you are clean of allopathy….
Man is a subjective being. If the patient loves the doctor, then water can function as medicine. And if the patient hates the doctor, then no medicine can help. If the patient feels the doctor is indifferent — which is ordinarily the case with doctors, because they are also human beings, the whole day long seeing patients, the whole day long somebody is dying… they slowly slowly become hard, they create a barrier to their emotions, sentiments, humanity. But this prevents their medicine from being effective. It is given almost in a robot-like way, as if a machine is giving you medicine. With love, the patient is not only getting medicine; around the medicine something invisible is also coming to him. Medicine will have to understand man’s subjectivity, his love, and will have to create some kind of synthesis in which love and medicine together are used to help people. But one thing is absolutely certain: that medicine can never become entirely objective. That has been the effort of medical science up to now, to make it absolutely objective.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: Sermons in Stones
Chapter title: You are the world
6 November 1986 pm in
Osho has spoken on ‘medicines, doctors, ayurveda, love’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- Beyond Enlightenment
- From Darkness to Light
- The Last Testament, Vol 1, 2, 3
- Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries
- Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 1, 2
- Tao: The Pathless Path, Vol 1, 2
- Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1, 2
- Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 9, 10
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 5, 6, 7, 8
- The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here
- Om Shantih Shantih Shantih
- The Rebel
- Zen: The Special Transmission