Here's David:

I came across your blog from your posting on craigslist about the stroller ban. I was curious about more of your views when I read this post about sun exposure.

As a 46 year old who first had skin cancers removed from my face/torso/neck by 30 due to natural sun exposure (the beach/park/etc), I can't disagree with your statement more. I find it also dangerous.

I don't know your ethnic heritage, but your skin type must be of a kind that produces enough melanin to protect against damage. My background is Scottish, so I have fair/ruddy skin. I have to wear sunscreen everyday, or else I would have more basil and squamos cell skin cancers all over my face and arms. If unchecked, these can grow, get into the blood stream, and become melanoma. Which can be deadly.

Since you counsel people for a living, I'm surprised that you would make large, blanket assertions that seem to say that all doctors are bad, all western medicine is bad, the sun is great for skin and reports of its dangers misleading.

If I was a potential client/patient of yours and found that you dont think there is anything at all to be gained from the science of western medicine, it would be like saying you firmly believe the world is flat, and I would run for the hills. Your thinking (on this topic) seems to be so reductive, yet you seem to profess to expand people's thinking.

Thanks for letting me share my views.

Here's PL:

Thanks for writing in, David. Always glad to have to have a new voice heard here.

I would like to "tweak" a bit of what you're claiming I said.

Yes, I do at times speak generally in over-arching ways about certain professional groups, especially on this blog. That is certainly so. I also use specific cases and my own personal experiences as examples, at other times. For instance, I said: "One thing I have always known is that the sun is good for me." (Italics for emphasis.)

A very important aspect of Full Permission Living, that people sometimes overlook because they are so invested in a belief in the need for harsh inner control over their thoughts and feelings, is what I repeated in my piece about the sun that you refer to: "When you have done the self-work necessary to clear out a good portion of your self-destructive, character structure driven defenses, you can then follow this simple rule: 'If it feels good, it is good!" I also said: "I have never shied away from getting as much sun - without burning - as possible.

Clearly, what is implied there is that if you haven't done the self-work necessary, you might want to be careful about what you think is pleasurable, because it's probably skewed in some potentially damaging ways. I have known many people with similar ethnic backgrounds to yours, and they don't enjoy the sun anywhere near as much as I do. And that is my point. If you are clear enough to follow the Pleasure Principle built into you by nature, you don't need a doctor to scare you into not getting too much sun, your body reaction will tell you.

Also, I am not impugning the integrity of every single individual within a professional group when I am criticizing that group, David, anymore than I am impugning my own integrity when I expose the insipid, passive-aggressive behavior amoung psychotherapists. And I am not implying in what I've written that there isn't "anything at all to be gained from the science of western medicine." Personally, I think conventional doctors are good mechanics, and I would go to one to stitch up a gash or reset a bone, but to diagnose my overall health or heal a disease? Never. They are not trained for that. Doctors are trained primarily to treat symptoms in such a way as to maximize profits for themselves and the pharmaceutical and insurance industries that they are in league with. Sorry, but that's just so.

And... as I've written many times on this blog, the "one bad apple" excuse doesn't let industries off the hook where the corruption is systemic - i.e. the Catholic priesthood, law enforcement, traditional education, etc. And the mainstream medical profession is systemically very corrupt. The fact alone that all doctors understand the placebo effect, and heard about it in medical school, yet still don't focus on dealing with people's inner beliefs when treating them, is malpractice, don't you think? If I knew that I could work with my thoughts and feelings instead of taking drugs, being cut apart or doused with radiation, wouldn't I prefer that? Shouldn't doctors advise me as such?

As a clinical social worker who has dealt with a lot of other people's health issues, and as a human being concerned with my own health, I have not only had a lot of professional dealings with the medical profession over the years, but I have learned to empower myself and others that I counsel to take responsibility for their own health. That is what I do. My patients don't blindly follow any dictates from me, David, because I work to facilitate their own self-empowerment by advising them to seek the truth themselves in every situation, and by helping them clear out the blocks that interfere with discovering that truth.

It's not me saying the "earth is flat," David, but it is the dogma built around erroneous beliefs in order to sustain a system of fear and greed that is "reductive."

Thanks again, David.


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