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Medicine for the brain is incredibly complex. Yet, the joke goes around medical circles that Neurologists are admirers of disease, not treater’s of it. This is far less true now than forty years ago, and is rapidly becoming less and less true everyday, but that small kernel of truth does say something about we who are drawn to the field. I really do find the disease processes that affect brain function seriously fascinating.
We learn almost everything we know about the brain from what happens when things go wrong. Genetic diseases become our laboratory, nature the experimenter, allowing us to learn things we would be monsters for trying to recreate in the lab with people. In fact, Nazi physicians are generally hailed as monsters for doing precisely this, reducing the person to lab rat.
As mind/brain and spirit/body dualism have slowly broken down over the past century, puzzling consequences have been left in its wake. Nowhere are these consequences more evident than in psychology and neurology. We take seriously the charge to heal the mind and the brain. We research it, learn about it, ponder over it, all in the hope that someday we will be able to cure illnesses that are currently untouchable.
Dementia, Schizophrenia, Stroke, Traumatic Brain injury, to name just a few all have permanent and dire consequences for the individuals involved. The individual’s very mind, consciousness, personhood, spirit, whatever you choose to call it–their very essence or being is changed, irreversibly at present, by the disease. To have a sick brain is to become less human in a very real sense. Read the rest of this entry »
24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.
These are the words uttered by Jesus Christ at the start of his ministry, which he had just announced in front of the very people he grew up with in Nazareth, in rather bold fashion in fulfillment of Scripture. These are the words sung by Joan Osborne, trying to picture what our reaction would be if God were among us as man–
What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home…
Back up to heaven all alone
Nobody calling on the phone
‘cept for the Pope maybe in Rome
I can imagine few things would be more crushing than expectations for anyone claiming to be a prophet. What exactly does a prophet look like? What do they do for fun? Can they joke, smile, laugh, play? Are they all curmudgeons? What is to be the key prophetic characteristic? Brash, bold, solemn, quiet dignity, old, wizened, unkempt, loving, serene, crazed, severe, scolding, bearded, mystical, wise, charismatic, learned, with plenty of experience or a complete lack thereof? I am not entirely sure. I am quite sure that in any case being human is very likely to get in the way of anyone believing any claim for them to be what they are.