I’ve been working on the question of why do we think sickness is wrong for several months now. In fact, I am devoting this blog to helping me share the answer. Sickness may be nasty, icky, and painful, but ultimately wrongness comes from a value judgment we make about the sickness. Increasingly it seems that our world is finding ways to hide sickness in the same way it hides death. I think that culturally this is happening because we are more and more disconnected from the natural world. In nature, things die. Predators kill prey. Sometimes the prey is only injured and may get away–only to die slowly. Trees fall due to storms. Plants die in fires started by lightening.
In the natural world everything has a use and a purpose. Rotting corpses offer nutrients to the earth which offers back nutrients to other animals when the plants grow. These herbivores often serve as nutrients for carnivores and scavengers. There is a cycle and the cycle isn’t pretty. It’s messy and nasty. We don’t like to look at it, so we don’t. Increasingly we have allowed our squeamishness to disconnect us from the natural world.
The idea that this comes from our disconnect from nature is not my own. It’s reflected in every blogger who blogs about sustainable farming and real food. You can find many of them at the Food Renegade, especially on Fight Back Friday or at Real Food Media Networks. I have found the same information coming from the people at Slow Money, though they talk about this from a financial perspective. I have found it again when I was reading the Great Turning by David Korten.
I find it amazing how people from so many different fields are standing up and pointing out that we are disconnected from the natural world. As we experience this, we experience it as a disconnect from our roots and our personal core. Only by finding our way to a relationship with the natural world do we begin to experience what is real and make the choices the we need to make for a quality life–not just a life filled with quantities.