I have been out of hospital nearly two weeks, after having been in there for two. I am actually much worse than I was before I went in, with no end in sight. while I was there, however, two thoughts - or clusters of them - assailed me (I had much, much time for reflection and reverie, O my Fuzzy Headed Friends). they might make some difference - at least that vain hope persists.
it does not matter much whether or not you 'believe' or trust the Western Medical Establishment and their concomitant system(s) - you are likely, at some point in your life (I address the people reading this as in the majority, citizens of "Western" countries) to have a situation in which the only mechanisms available to you are those under their purvey. for the last 25-30 years my opinion - based on much experience in a wide variety of fields - has been shrinking in terms of its positive aspect with regard to Western Medicine and its underlying assumptions and foundations. that is as may be. if I break a leg, I am not likely to reach for the telephone number of the local homoeopath, reiki practitioner or essential oils remedy peddler. for the purely mechanical, I would say that the systems in place can do a job not to be sneered at. the implications come later, but in emergencies, they have you pretty much covered.
while I loathe, believe it or not, to give advice, this will come close. I have not been insured anywhere for a very, very long time. the way I have existed in various countries has separated me from the systems which most people in those countries are automatically (for the most part) members of. the reasons and circumstances are far too complex and convoluted, not to say uninteresting, to relate here. if you are not insured, and something which requires the attention of such systems occurs, you will be very severely punished for it, as I have been before, and now to a mammoth degree a few weeks ago. this is not hyperbole or exaggeration; you would do well to equip yourself beforehand because the consequences of not doing so are severe. very.
while I was incarcerated in the hospital, the circumstances were dire, but left much time for considering how such an establishment runs. it seems to me very clear indeed that there are many similarities to the Western Education system, as well as a very valid comparison to many religious systems which might be applied.
a hierarchical system, it features a Priestly class, a worker class, and (the almost) untouchables. there are holy books, tenets, prescriptions of all sorts; there are procedures carried out blindly by the bottom level of the pyramid, orders issued from the top which are never explained, never questioned, and never examined, no matter how ludicrous, inappropriate or ineffective they might be. the lower the level in the structure, the more genuine, honest and willing the people are to do what is "right." they are exploited in a way which could be called 'gross' but this is tempered by the fact at that at a certain point, the realisation dawns that all of this is automatic, and at no level is there even the dimmest conscious thought involved.
this was and is a horrific uncovering and sparked in me waves of compassion, sadness, and anger at the waste of potential, resources and lives. at some point, everyone involved, I believe, joined this system to "do good" and to help other people. and yet all they were doing was feeding the machine. what can be clearly seen is a system (if we look at it through the eyes of Stafford Beer or even Norbert Weiner) like all systems ultimately, dedicated to the preservation of itself; 99% of effort, energy and resources being expended on maintaining homeostasis. originally begun in tandem with religion, oddly enough, medicine and then hospitals were designed to help and cure the sick. people were approached as unique, and examination meant just that; not, as it is today, a streamlined set of procedures where all anomalies and points that do not fit in with the expected are cast aside or cut off so that the square pegs will fit - come what may - into the round holes.
when I first went on aeroplanes, one was treated as a valued customer, whose needs were one of the primary concern of the airline; I have seen that, in my lifetime, turn into a situation where 'customers' are merely logistics, and problems to be 'solved' - woe betide the passenger who has a problem which falls out of the bounds of the guidelines.
so for all these monolithic systems, be they transport systems, health care, politics, education and so on almost ad infinitum, there is a perversion of the human capacity for kindness, caring and empathy, largely (but not entirely) created by a blind impulse arising from a construction which ends up serving its own purpose, and almost against the purpose for which it was constructed.
in recognition of this, I propose to incorporate the idea of "medicine" (in a very particular and somewhat unconventional sense) within the purvey of Complemation, seeing as how, it is almost too obvious to say, learning involves the idea of taking care of the precious human body which allows us to carry on the absurd things we are busy with, but also gives the possibility of hearing something which might lead us elsewhere.
lastly, I offer this: 20 minutes after I received an email from Cold Spring Records that the re-release on 12" vinyl of the Barry Adamson / Pan Sonic / Hafler Trio release "The Hymn of the 7th Illusion" had arrived, I got a new roommate in the hospital. I leave it to others to work out what is going on.