Before reading this chapter please start with:
WOB is optimal
Norm and normal
Medicine bases its definition of the normal on population studies. A normal heart rate is defined as an average heart rate in a healthy population, which is 80/min. Since heart rates vary, the normal is defined over a range of values which extend up to three standard deviations from the mean. However the heart rate of some healthy individuals like athletes or Buddhists is much lower. Their normal differs from the population normal. We ought therefore to distinguish between two kinds of normal, a population normal which will be called here a norm, and individual normal. In most people both are congruent while in a minority they differ. How may this discrepancy be avoided?
In the case of the heart rate this difficulty is easily resolved. The population is divided into different groups, one includes inactive individuals, the other athletes, and so on. In each group the norm will equal the normal. However this method fails when defining the norm of biochemical variables. Normal blood glucose, or normoglycemia is estimated in a healthy population, and a departure greater than three standard deviations from the mean is abnormal. Considering the heart rate example one may expect that some healthy individuals will have an elevated blood glucose and their normal will differ from the norm. Since this inconsistency cannot be resolved by grouping they are regarded as abnormal (hyperglycemic).
The Normal and the Pathological
Medicine regards the normal as health and the abnormal as disease, and the healthy hyperglycemic is regarded as sick or pre-diabetic. Medicine imposes the collective norm on the individual normal, which endangers many healthy people whom medicine labels as abnormal and sick. This conceptual dilemma was analyzed from the philosophical perspective by the French philosopher Georges Canguilhem in his treatise: ‘Le normal et le pathologique.’ Here it is postulated that only the individual normal which is determined by WOB is correct. The norm is only an approximation of the normal.
This double meaning of the normal has far reaching implications on the interpretation of disease which was examined in a separate chapter . In diabetes mellitus, the average blood sugar of a healthy population is taken as a normal reference, and diabetes mellitus is regarded as a progressive hyperglycemia. However this view ignores the possibility that some diabetic individuals may require an elevated blood sugar. In other words, since only WOB knows what the optimal blood sugar ought to be, it elevates the blood sugar to levels required by the organism at each stage of the disease, and diabetes mellitus ought to be regarded as an evolving normoglycemia.
The two kinds of the normal and have far reaching implications on therapy. Should the blood glucose be reduced to the collective norm of the healthy collective? Or should medicine be concerned also with the individual normal which is set by WOB?
The central motto of this site is that only WOB determines
what should be regarded as normal. There is no use in distinguishing
between the normal and abnormal since all WOB manifestations are essentially
normal. Actually both, the normal and abnormal are meaningless and
should avoided. In mathematics this state of affairs is obvious. Consider
the integers which extend from minus infinity to plus infinity. Would anybody
suggest that some are normal and other not? The same logic applies to the
spectrum of WOB manifestations. Disease is not an abnormal state. It is
defined as follows:
1. Subjective definition:
1.1 A WOB signal informing the mind that it needs assistance, like thirst when it lacks water, or dis-ease, when it fails to handle some processes by itself. This signal initiates a WOB disease state.
1.2 A signal initiated by the mind, like suffering, or a sense of misery, while WOB remains silent. This signal initiates a mind disease state.
2. Objective definition: Any agent which reduces tolerance.
Is a measure of WOB reserves (resources) and its capacity to sustain life. It is an objective description of the patient’s state. WOB has no way of assessing its tolerances and from its perspective tolerance is meaningless. It has a wisdom to maintain life at any tolerance level, or better, it optimizes tolerance (resources) utilization. When tolerance is exhausted the organism dies. In order to get resources (tolerance) WOB depends on the assistance of the mind. By itself WOB cannot get resources. Like in the newborn baby, which is a pure WOB. When it lacks resources it cries and so signals its mother to supply its needs.
Vitality is an epidemiological definition of tolerance. The probability of an individual to die is called hazard rate, or the force of mortality. Vitality is defined as (1. – hazard rate). In the adult, vitality continually declines and vanishes at death. While tolerance is an attribute of the individual, vitality is an attribute of the population, or its norm.
Additional reading: Vitality and Health
WOB and mind signals
Any agent which reduces tolerance may initiate a disease
state. As long as WOB is silent tolerance reduction is not regarded as disease
but as a health deterioration. For instance healthy aging is manifested
by a continual tolerance deterioration and is not regarded as a disease.
In order to be regarded as WOB disease, a declining tolerance has to be
accompanied by a WOB signal. We may thus distinguish between two kinds of
WOB disease signals:
1. WOB signals which the mind can resolve by itself, like thirst or hunger.
2. WOB signals which are handled medically, like dis-ease.
There are two kinds of mind signals:
1. Mind signals that can be handled by the individual, e.g.,
in order to handle his misery he decides to change his life style.
2. Mind signals which call for medical assistance.
The state of an individual is represented by two components (signal, tolerance). Actually we speak of a signal set which may originate in WOB or mind, defined respectively as signal[WOB], and signal[mind].
WOB disease = (signal[WOB] = on; signal[mind] = off).
Mind disease = (signal[WOB] = off; signal[mind] = on).
Most diseases are mixed, and disease = (signal[WOB] = on; signal[mind] = on). Although tolerance is required to describe the state of an individual, it is not required for the definition of disease. Take for instance a cripple who is regarded by medicine as abnormal since differing from the collective norm of healthy individuals. From the present perspective, if he feels good, which means that WOB and mind are silent, he is healthy and remains so despite his low tolerance.
Disease is driven by a tolerance reducing agent
Any tolerance reducing agent, called here a driver, may initiate a disease, which proceeds through two phases:
1. Pre-clinical phase, a symptom-less tolerance decline, when WOB and mind are silent.
2. Clinical phase, when tolerance decline is accompanied by WOB and mind signals.
Some diseases are driven by well defined agents, like infections, or vitamin deficiencies. In most chronic diseases, like cancer or diabetes mellitus, the driver is unknown.
Will as a disease driver
Some diseases are initiated by a conflict between WOB and
mind. One morning you watch your poor physique and enroll in a fitness club.
WOB dislikes weight lifting and signals the mind, fatigue, and muscle ache.
You suffer from a mind induced disease. Despite rising tolerance WOB
objects and you suffer, which illustrates again that tolerance gain or loss
does not indicate a disease state. Generally our will is transmitted to WOB
as an image which signals WOB to execute
our will. When deciding to exercise WOB is required to reshuffle processes
and adapt them to our new demand to which it objects. It would prefer to
put us in bed. Whenever you decide to perform a new task the mind has to
endure WOB objections for some time. The will induced disease state
ends when WOB regains control over the new situation and stops complaining.
Further reading Astronaut disease
Mind disease which is driven by culture
Mind is an interface between WOB and the outer world (non-self). It provides WOB with resources and transmits to it cultural norms which may be in conflict with WOB demands. WOB is generally regarded as the beastly and some of its demands are forbidden. This conflict between mind and WOB initiates a mind disease. Like in the case of a male WOB which signals the mind that it is in love with another male, a situation which is described elsewhere. If culture objects to homosexuality, mind will refuse to look for a male partner and the conflict initiates a mind disease. If unresolved it may drive the individual into a psychiatric ward. However many homosexuals channeled their WOB urges into creative tasks like arts, resolving the conflict and eliminating their mind disease.
Mind disease initiators
Culture nurtures beliefs and norms which may initiate mind
diseases, like religion whose contribution to mind disease is described
elsewhere in this site. Medical sciences trigger many mind diseases
since their philosophies are unhealthy, as the following examples illustrate:
1. Genetic pre-determinism whose motto is: “It’s all in your genes”. Sophisticated tests detect bad genes in otherwise healthy individuals. A young healthy female discovers that she carries her own self destruction known as BRCA gene. This dreadful revelation initiates a mind disease, or mind cancer. In order to avoid her terrible fate she even volunteers to remove her breasts aggravating her mind disease even more.
2. The tyranny of the collective normal is discussed above. Medicine, imposes the collective norm on the individual. During one of your periodic checkups, your doctor studies the computer printout of 150 lab tests and reveals to you that your calcium is abnormal since it deviates from the population norm. True, nothing can be done about it, yet you leave the doctor’s office with an incipient mind-calcium disease.
3. Molecular fatalism You might be lucky and all your genes are intact, and then one day a gene mutates and a normal cell becomes a tumor. It is a random event which may affect anyone. From now on your fate rests in the hand of doctors since according to their view your organism is helpless to cure your cancer. Randomness dominates medical reasoning and its consequences are all sorts of mind diseases.
The common denominator of these examples is that medicine attempts to impose the population norm on your individual normal and the conflict may end in a mind disease.
Cancer starts as a mind cancer
Officially cancer starts as a random mutation in a normal cell which becomes malignant. Yet this story is utterly irrelevant when cancer is diagnosed because all the knowledge on cancer progression during its pre-clinical phase lacks therapeutic implications. Suppose that you know the etiology of a particular cancer since the patient consumed a carcinogenic poison. When cancer is diagnosed this information is meaningless since the mutation cannot be undone. Generally in all chronic diseases etiology does not contribute to therapy.
From the therapeutic perspective cancer starts when the patient realizes that she carries an evil and fatal disease. Diagnosis initiates in her a mind cancer. At this stage the tumor is generally painless, which means that WOB is silent and healthy. Her ordeal is nurtured by the obvious questions: Why did you smoke? Or what kept you so long? Whereupon mind cancer becomes wrapped in guilt.
Their cancer is different from mine
She will be rescued from her misery when realizing that: “Their cancer is different from mine” which is her first effort to free herself from the tyranny of the collective norm. From now on her mission is to become a Cancer-Yogi who cherishes her individual normal.