Is the Western World Balanced?
We seem to have forgotten that a society operating from strict science, logic, and reason is, no matter how economically successful, imbalanced. In the Western world, we're imbalanced because we acknowledge just one part of the whole.
Western scientists have performed countless studies on Eastern practices, and while yoga and meditation hold up (because of the measurable physical benefits), other practices like reiki, energy healing, crystals, etc. have been "debunked" by research.
So they're "fake" right? For some reason, we fail to see that the proponents of these Eastern practices simply don't fit into the scientific method. They are a separate force operating outside of logic. Thus they can't be tested through this Western world framework. Eastern practices are typically not:
- Repeatable (every human is physically/emotionally unique)
- Observable (can you watch someone's pain leave their body?)
- Uniform (how can you control for every outside factor when someone says a crystal brought them good/bad luck?)
- Measurable (how do you measure joy?)
And while it's hard to wrap your head around if you live in the Western world, the scientific method is not the end-all be-all of truth. Yes, it's a very reliable and functioning system that helps us tremendously - but it is man-made and finite in what it can explain. This assessment style will never be suitable for "alternative" practices like reiki, energy healing, etc. (Again, pay attention to terminology here - These practices are only considered "alternative" in the Western world, by the standards of the medical industry, which cannot profit from you using these modalities).
Why does mainstream Western thought tend to uphold logic and dismiss more intuitive phenomena? It's not the simple fact that we can measure one more easily. It actually goes wayyyy deeper than this and relates to capitalism, profit, and a culture built on the resistance of femininity. (I have a strong feeling I'm gonna get lynched for this article :D) The non-linear, emotional, vague, creative, indirect, "yin" or feminine energy equates to nonsense in the Western world. It is qualitative, not quantitative. Now, consider how in the Western world, we use the term "soft sciences" to subtly dismiss liberal arts studies. People in these fields notoriously make less money than those in logic-oriented fields because they are more valued in a capitalist society. In other words, these fields generate less profit.
And so we've learned to favor quantitative information and "call bullshit" on feelings and personal experience, regarding them as too "soft." Only in the past few decades have we stopped fully believing that women are inferior and untrustworthy because of their emotions.
Now, since the Western world is heavily skewed toward logic and linear thinking and uncomfortable with emotional understanding, the only thing researchers have to do is say, "Debunked! Whew." The very placebo effect researchers discovered can tamper with their own study results when they look at "alternative" health practices (E.g. if the researchers and participants don't believe in something, it doesn't work for them). If you are closed off to the idea of something, the results will find a way to skew negative. And so the imbalance has continued. We are surrounded by the masculine "yang" energy, which can be healthy (assertive, productive, direct, linear) or unhealthy (angry, aggressive, violent, dismissive). We only rely on this part of the whole and have conditioned ourselves out of having more intuitive, emotional experiences.
So we need to stop analyzing emotional practices from logical frameworks to determine their value - AND vice versa (e.g climate change deniers often use emotional arguments against logical findings). We have to get to know OURSELVES and what works for us individually rather than browsing science headlines to decide what is real.
Let's stop using logic as dogma.
Let's find the truth for ourselves.