Miracle of Health: Utopias, Progress, and Biological Change

Miracle of Health: Utopias, Progress, and Biological Change

Miracle of Health: Utopias, Progress, and Biological Change

Miracle of Health: Utopias, Progress, and Biological Change

Excerpt

Belief in a golden age has provided mankind with solace in times of despair and with élan during the expansive periods of history. Dreamers imagine the golden age in the remote past, in a paradise lost, free from toil and from grief. Optimists put their faith in the future and believe that mankind, Prometheus-like, will master the arts of life through power and knowledge. Thus, the golden age means different things to different men, but the very belief in its existence implies the conviction that perfect health and happiness are birthrights of men. Yet, in reality, complete freedom from disease and from struggle is almost incompatible with the process of living.

Life is an adventure in a world where nothing is static; where unpredictable and ill-understood events constitute dangers that must be overcome, often blindly and at great cost; where man himself, like the sorcerer's apprentice, has set in motion forces that are potentially destructive and may someday escape his control. Every manifestation of existence is a response to stimuli and challenges, each of which constitutes a threat if not adequately dealt with. The very process of living is a continual interplay between the individual and his environment, often taking the form of a struggle resulting in injury or disease. The more creative the individual the less he can hope to avoid danger, for the stuff of creation is made up of responses to the forces that impinge on his body and soul. Complete and lasting freedom . . .

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