Tuesday, October 17th 2017

Health Care Reform? Let’s Re-form Consciousness

obamasmallThe solution to today’s most popular problem: Improved spiritual care will improve health care

BY DAVID RICKEY — The long ranging and raging debate over Health Care Reform reveals a more fundamental problem: human beings, even in the more educated and “enlightened” countries, may not be ready for the next major shift in spiritual evolution.

The questions asked on all sides — “How much will it cost me? Will I lose my freedom to choose? Will I get the care I need when I need it?” — demonstrate how we remain caught up in ego-centric concerns.

Only a few seem to be asking, “How can all people share in the benefits of medical care?”

And when the “anti-Obama plan” ads depict an individual case where the Canadian health care system seems to have failed, did anybody ask, “Is it right that I get the care I need when millions of others can’t even get basic care?”

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

As the prophet Jeremiah said thousands of years ago: “Seek the welfare of the city/community and you will find your own.” Unfortunately, most Americans still miss this fundamental spiritual teaching of interconnectedness.

As a recent Soul’s Code article on Spiral Dynamics points out, it’s a matter of the stages of growth in consciousness. To draw from the Spiral Dynamics article, it seems our society is a mixture of three different “memes”:

“Blue: Started about 5,000 years ago. Laws and regulations used to build moral standards.”  Hence we want government to regulate.

“Orange: Starting about 300 years ago. Use earth’s resources to create the abundant life.”  Hence we want individual rights and choice, competition and ego-driven motives, and we want health care reform to make it better for us.

“Green: Started about 150 years ago. Explores the inner I and places everybody at the same level. Freeing humanity from greed. Egalitarian and caring.” Hence some are recognizing the importance of caring for everyone.

Society’s Unconsciousness

cosmossmallA critical mass of  citizens  haven’t evolved to a “green Meme” level where we can think globally enough to understand that individual welfare is dependent on the welfare of the entire ecosystem, bio-system, or indeed Cosmos. Even when elected leaders have the vision, they still depend on the people they represent and, therefore, are relatively powerless to effect change.

The solution, it seems to me, is to shift the “battle ground.” If Spiral Dynamics is true, then there is little point in arguing with people who have achieved a certain level of awareness with a view towards getting them to expand their awareness to the next level.

Instead, efforts need to be directed towards fostering the evolution of consciousness. Once consciousness is expanded, the solutions to social problems including health care reform will become self-evident, or at least the wisdom will be available to work out the details.

The area of focus then needs to shift away from arguing to teaching: instead of trying to convince people of something they are incapable of grasping, we should put our effort, time and money towards expanding humanity’s consciousness. I am not suggesting that we halt seeking solutions to health care, poverty, war, and starvation. I am, however, suggesting that those of us in the business of spiritual teaching need to focus on contributing to the expansion of consciousness.

Practice What you Preach

preachsmAs I know that most of our Soul’s Code community does exactly as I am suggesting, I am aiming this critique at mainline churches and other religious communities. For example, it disturbs me that my own Episcopal denomination has a “mandate” called the “Millennium Development Goals” but places so little emphasis on developing personal spiritual practice.

Proclaiming the intention to end poverty, disease, and abuse of humans and the planet, even throwing money at various projects, while virtually ignoring the consciousness-changing teachings of Jesus and so many others seems to me not only a waste of time, but a denial of the greatest gifts we have to offer. Other organizations are much more gifted in finding and proposing solutions to these fundamental problems. We should be tilling the soil of humanity’s mind to be receptive to these proposals.

Getting back to health care, it seems to me that the reason the two previous presidents and our current one have had such a difficult time getting health care reform legislation through congress and into real acts is because congress represents constituents and respond to lobbyists who are still stuck at an ego-centric level of conscious development. If they fail this time, it may become the loudest wakeup call yet to those of us who claim to have the tools for expanding consciousness. As Einstein said, “You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it.”

David Rickey is an Episcopal priest, Soul’s Code co-founder and counselor in San Francisco who does a weekly ministry at a residence for the elderly in northern California. Follow David on Twitter.

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14 Comments on “Health Care Reform? Let’s Re-form Consciousness”

  1. Thank You David, for your article, I found it really spiritually impassioned and emotive. As a Pagan, I have very mixed feelings about so called "organized" religions, partly beause like commercial television, the message gets watered down and compromised. Still having said that, some of my dearest friends have been priests, so I believe as I think you do, that true sprituality is in the individual, not the uniform they wear or the team they play for.

    I was told back in Ireland that "desperation was the Mother of Invention" and as the worship of money and the material things seems to be crumbling in the so called civilised world my pagan prayer is that we will look to being "village" communities once more and honoring "The Mother" in us all by taking better care of each other, even if it's only because as good Mothers often tell us, "pretty soon we'll have no other choice".
    Blessed be Danny Boy

  2. This article bring up many interesting points. In the past I have always taken health care for granted, because when I lived with my parents their insurance company was covering these costs. Now that I am on my own...I'm realizing how expensive it is to simply live and take care of yourself! As Americans, we should rethink our interconnectedness.

  3. I totally agree and I wish some of our teachers would be on a committee that influenced policy. How about going on Larry King or Oprah ?

    Love, Shirah

  4. Yes indeed...as soon as the people let go of fear and learn to think and feel for themselves, there will be a major shift in the ushering of major accomplishments.

  5. I've always observed...the "collective" consciousness of any project makes a difference, so it's logical to think that the "collective" consciousness of the globe/country/issue like health care makes a difference. I'd watch the TV show you mention above with David Rickey.

  6. Thank you all, but I don't see Oprah or Larry calling me anytime soon. As Caroline Myss points out "the group" always takes longer to evolve than individuals in the group. However, as Ken Wilbur points out, each of us can have an effect on the "consciousness center of gravity" and raise it a little. Let's all do our part! Sign petitions, speak the truth, with compassion point out errors and misrepresentations. It doesn't take "that many" to influence the collective.


  7. Thank you for this powerful statement about organizations and brands, and how they subsume the individual rather than support each one of us.

    On the issue of healthcare, I am from Canada --- and before that, Finland. In terms of story and narrative, the United States is an unimaginably rewarding society, and an unforgiving one --- and nowhere is the latter more pronounced than in dealing with doctors and hospitals. It's a scandalously privatized and unaccountable system.

    Here, going to a hospital or seeing a doctor is a private contract.

    In Canada and Europe, those visitation rights are a public good. I am confident that more than 50 hospitalizations by my parents in Canada (both now deceased) would have bankrupted our family, if for not "universal healthcare."

    The same sentiment is acknowledged by one of the richest politicians in America, in this new documentary: "TEDDY, In his own words"


  8. It seems to me that in this age of expansiveness (ubiquity of global communication) we have asked people to become too big too soon. People who used to be able to rely on their neighbors for the simplest of support are now panicking as they try to find their place in the larger whole. The sense that we are here to help each other has disappeared as we've devolved into the "every man for himself" mindset. Our churches have become political pulpits addressing everything but what they should be: the comfort and care of those who need it most.

    I just hope that the labor pains of this spiritual rebirth in our country don't kill us!

  9. As a wife of a hospital CEO we see health care reform from a different vantage point. We strongly believe that they are missing the point on health care reform. 35% of our current cost is tort. Congress, which is comprised mostly of attorneys, refuses to address it. Many doctors run numerous expensive tests because they are afraid of being sued. Also, people often go to the emergency room and rack up huge bills when it could have been handled by a physicians assistant at an urgent care center for a small percentage of what a hospital costs. If PAs and nurse practitioners were given more authority for simple needs our costs would go down considerably…These are the kind of change that we need not more government.

    Everyone who can not afford it already gets free health care in this country. Hospitals can not turn away anyone who is not medically stable and even those who are here illegally get free care if needed. I know many people who are uninsured because of their choices. The new car, the new house and even high vet bills take priority over the responsibility for themselves. Currently you have a 15% better chance of survival from cnacer in the USA than any country with government sponsored care. We have some of the best doctors and R and D in the world, and that will change with the current proposed plan… If you think that health care is expensive now wait until the government takes over. They are the problem, not the solution...

    We believe that it is our responsibility to help each other, with the government only as a safety net. There are non-profits, churches and many organizations that provide care for humanity. We need to support them and nurture personal responsibility.

    Investment in that which makes us wellthy is more important than that which makes us wealthy.

  10. Having just attended a Health Care rally I am hot on and about this topic right now. In 2002, after being uninsured for many years, I managed to get myself some health insurance with Blue Shield of CA. I signed up for a high deductible plan ($2400) and also set up a Health Savings Account to put money aside income tax free to pay for what my insurance wouldn't cover.

    Naively (and in hindsight likely stupidly) I shared with Blue Shield that a 2.9 cm fibroid was found in my uterus in 2000. (Do you know how small that is?) I have had NO problems whatsoever and this is quite common/normal for many woman. Anyway, Blue Shield refused to insure me at their Tier 1 rate and put me at Tier 3, 56.25% above the Tier 1 rates. In 2002 this didn't seem so bad it was $69 a month.

    Well, I have yet to meet my deductible in any year since I have had the insurance. That means I have paid for EVERYTHING out of my own pocket.

    Blue Shield has continued to jack up their rates on me once or twice a year now to where I am now paying $411 a month for exactly the same insurance. That is a TRULY UNBELIEVABLE increase of about 600% from what I was paying in 2002. My income has not increased 600%!!! I don't believe health insurance costs have increased 600% in that time either.

    I am now spending $411 a month on insurance and putting $250 month into a Health Savings Account to pay for what my insurance doesn't cover. That's over $660 a month to insure an extremely healthy 42 year old. It is now at the point this outlay is seriously hurting me and I have to find some other option for myself. (Moving to Canada is looking appealing!)

    It is unconscionable to me that we have an ENTIRE industry that has to make a buck on the care provided to a patient by a practitioner. This should not be a profit making venture!!! We do not need a distributor/middle man for this transaction.

    I have two clients who just turned 65 and who are quite excited they now have health insurance. Well, what is someone at my age supposed to do for the next 15 years?

    I have another friend who just got sick with cancer and had catastrophic medical insurance. The insurance company told him cancer wasn't a catastrophe and they wouldn't cover his treatment. He had just missed the deadline for filing for Medicare.

    We need to fix our horribly broken system.
    Please visit http://healthcare.barackobama.com.
    To address misunderstandings go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/
    Or email ofainfo@dnc.org Or phone 1-866-495-2004

  11. I believe there is a growing awareness that living well enhances our spiritual energy and physical wellbeing. How we breathe and how we view the world affects all aspects of our life.

    One of the paradoxes of our high-tech age is a return to valuing the 'simple', 'slower' and more 'basic' things in life, things we can engage in that bring us into the present moment and expand our sense of having quality time and greater satisfaction in life.

  12. Couldn't resist sharing this as a way to inject a little humor around this issue.

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