Column: It's My Health!
The Day the World Became Flat
Gerald's Eye Journey and Its Lessons
by Gerald Lopez, LLB; Dip.Ayurvedic Medicine
As I write this I have an ache all around my left eye and behind my eyebrow. I feel the sharp sting of stitches if I shift my gaze too quickly.
I am like this because I had an eye operation a few days ago. I still can't see much beyond my fingers.
My condition taught me something...
I realised that subscribing to only one point of view, excluding other points of view, also causes a flat world.
In my teens I discovered the alternate realities of the shaman Don Juan, in Carlos Castaneda's books. I started exploring these other realities with whatever means were available. An adult patronisingly told me, "Gerald, you should stick to reality." How could he presume his daily world was "reality"?
In the country of my birth, Malaysia, there is a cultural resistance to criticism and differing points of view. Many create a world that is comfortably flat, with no depth or distance; a world which does not allow other perspectives. The resulting claustrophobia I felt finally drove me out of my mother land. *
I find the most interesting and deep people are those who have travelled – physically and in their consciousness. They have understanding and compassion because they have left their society-given world, realising that people can validly live in other worlds. Some people are afraid of this – afraid of losing themselves. Religious people are afraid of "losing their faith". To these people I can only say they have nothing to lose but the chains of narrow thinking.
*Editor's note: We concur with much of what Gerald has said. However, recent developments, especially since our March 8 elections, have kicked off strong debates from many differing viewpoints. We welcome this new development in Malaysia.
“It is the territory that matters most”
I know the cause of my eye inflammation was unmanaged stress - though my surgeon doesn't agree about it (he reckons it was an autoimmune reaction, where the body turns on itself – caused by a possible viral infection).
Yes, I did have a viral flu some time before the eye inflammation. But I believe the ground was prepared for the viral infection by the damage the stress was causing.
Feel free to ask me questions by clicking the "Ask Gerald!" button.
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