Sunday, March 05, 2006

Truth and Confustion

I went to the WAOMA meeting this weekend. WAOMA is the Washington Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Association. We got to hear a talk by Five Element Acupunturist Thea Elija.

Her theme was seeing the world through different paradigms. So often we have one paradigm that we view the world through. In the case of medicine, it is often through the traditional western medical model. Pain in the joints, then is arthritis and there is a certain progression and a certain way of treating. In Oriental Medicine, in one paradigm, there is pain in the joints and we don't care what the west says, we make our diagnosis that might be called bi syndrome and we treat how we treat.

Each paradigm has it's strengths and weaknesses. Ms. Elija points out that sometimes these paradigms can seem to be contradictory. In many cases, this causes us to decide that one paradigm is correct and the other wrong. In other cases, we sort of go with one paradigm and make that the stronger paradigm and then sort of fit the secondary paradigm into the cracks to give it a slight voice.

There could be a third path, says Ms. Elija. Perhaps, she suggests we don't go with either paradigm but let ourselves be with our confusion and with the contradiction and listen to the self inside and decide which is right in each instance. Perhaps, she says, we can't always know everything and perhaps we shouldn't even want to.

Embracing this mystery could be a way to peace. We are not surprised, for we know that each moment could bring surprise, or not. We understand the mystery of the world and know that we can never know (or control) our own role or part in it. How much more open we can become if we can sit with the confusion and just let it be.


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