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Mumbo Jumbo

Some people say that Chinese Medicine is mumbo jumbo – all this talk of Yin and Yang, Qi and so on. I think these people should be careful; it is not that these ideas were dreamt up by a couple of new age types who didn’t like their GP, they originated in a highly sophisticated culture where they were integral to disciplines as (apparently) diverse as martial arts, medicine, poetry, cooking and philosophy. Dismissing this whole culture, with its perceptive and subtle way of understanding the natural world, because it does not speak the language of Western science, might be a little presumptuous – especially perhaps when the pharmaceuticals Western medicine relies on so heavily start becoming too expensive as the world’s oil reserves run dry.


Two hundred years ago, people in the West believed Christianity was the one true faith, and that it was our responsibility to propagate it to the ignorant world – which was, of course, ridden with ‘mumbo jumbo’. Could it be that our faith in Western science and Western medicine, and the intolerance and even arrogance of those who dismiss any other form of understanding the natural world, is a harping back to this kind of evangelical intolerance?


Written by Vimalaprabha

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