Spiritual peace.

It occurred to me as I was walking around the campus of the George Washington University on our recent trip to DC, that as a species, humans spend a lot of time and energy studying ourselves.

Relating to health, body and mind, there are four and five year courses on physical fitness, medicine, nursing, physiotherapy, dentistry, occupational health, anatomy, biology, immunology, pharmacology, sociology, women’s studies and more.

When you look at all of the courses available at the post-secondary level, a striking number are related to the study of ourselves. Why is it then that suicide rates are just as high now as they were in the 1950s? One scary aspect of that is that men are three times more likely to commit suicide than women.

When it comes to depression, more drugs are being prescribed than ever to treat this epidemic and larger volumes of younger people are on anti-depressant medication.

And no-one is surprised that obesity is a huge factor in the health of people in the 21st century. You only have to look at the people walking towards you on the street to see that poor diet and insufficient exercise plague far too great a proportion of the population.

In Canada the obesity rate for children under 18 has tripled (3% to 9%) in the last 30 years and more than doubled for the 25-34 age group and over 75 age group. While Canada’s obesity rate is at 24%, it’s at 30% in the United States.Officially obesity is calculated as having a BMI (Body Mass Index) over 30. What that means in real terms – An adult male who is 5’10” and weighs 210lbs or an adult woman 5’4″ weighing 175lbs are considered obese. The only exception relates to body-builders, who have larger than average muscles.

So with all this study of ourselves, why do we have so many health problems?

Shouldn’t we be getting healthier?

Why are they predicting that Generation X’ers will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents?

We study ourselves, but do we even know who we are?

We learn and learn but what do we know?

Theoretically we know so much about how we operate as human beings, but we don’t know how to do it. It’s one thing to understand intellectually, it’s completely another to know and feel something spiritually.

You can read books about golf, but you’ll never become a good golfer without swinging a club. Life is about experiencing first hand and learning “on the job”. Life is a work in progress.

It seems with all our attention we have lost the focus.

The goal should be pure happiness, spiritual peace, calmness. But it seems our goals are status, achievement, material wealth, knowledge, power and the rest of what Gordon Gekko espouses in the movie ‘Wall Street’. Greed is not good if it makes you sad.

Our education system does not encourage learning for the sake of happiness. It encourages learning to “make it in life”, to gain employment and to become successful. Unfortunately success is rarely defined as happiness, as serenity.

I never once had a meditation class at school. No one ever told me that I could be happy without everything that money can buys, and in fact that the only things that make you happy are what money can’t buy.

Indeed many of the health issues faced by people today are not solely because McDonald’s seems to be on every street corner. Free will continues to exist. Obesity, depression, suicide, and other social issues derive themselves from deeper issues related to lack of self-worth and insecurity.

As a race we need to spend less time studying ourselves and more time understanding ourselves, not on an intellectual level, but on a spiritual and holistic level.

We should feel what our body needs. Ask it. Trust that the answer is correct. Know that if we are true to ourselves and trust what our body tells us we need we won’t go wrong.

It’s only when we choose to believe what someone else thinks about us as the truth, that we run into problems.

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