By Steven Hodes, M.D.
Physician to Meta-Physician
Which was the greatest generation? We of post WWII vintage have been told it was our parent’s. Didn’t they survive the Great Depression and fight the last ‘just’ war? Perhaps, but then again, I will maintain that fighting an unjust war [Viet Nam] is even more difficult. Our generation lived through assasinations, the threat of thermonuclear annihilation, race riots and the sexual revolution. But I have tremendous respect for every generation–each has unique traumas for which they can claim ownership. It then becomes their personal and collective challenge to overcome.
Many of my fellow Boomers find ourselves sandwiched between two generations each embroiled in their own chaotic turmoil. Our adult children are seeking to define themselves within a surreal context of extended adolescence. While those of us fortunate enough to have our parents alive are unfortunate enough to witness their progressive deterioration and decline. The remainder of our generation must face the existential truth that we are ‘next in line’ for oblivion. Our role is continuously evolving, constantly on the edge of chaos, bringing alternately understanding and confusion.
Like the Roman god Janus who possessed two faces staring in opposite directions, we, too, find ourselves staring quizzically at each of these generations in need of healing. By this term I mean the ‘whole package’–mind/body/spirit. Does the term ‘spirit’ dismay or annoy the reader? Perhaps you are a hard-core skeptic who rejects any discussion of the spiritual as yesterday’s New Age drivel. Or are you on the opposite side of the spectrum, a born-again believer who trembles with righteous indignation at any thoughts which deviate from your prescribed script?
Perhaps, like me, you came of edge in the 60’s and 70’s admist the termoil of Viet Nam, race riots, assassinations, drugs and the sexual revolution. There was little room for old time religion. Popular news magazines trumpted the ‘death of God’ as the inevitable outcome of rational thought. Even the beginning of the Age of Aquarius, the Hari Krishna movement the their ilk seemed silly and irrelevant to me. After all, science supplied all the answers. Didn’t it?
My schooling and career propelled me along the path of science. I became a physician which confirmed the correctness of all my prior thinking. Still, I carried a fragment of discontinuity within–that religious study degree. Some individuals thought it strange that an atheist would be interested in religion. But I found no such inconsistencey at all. Religion was a universal phenomeon, after all. Even if its premise was misguided.
My subsequent path has led me to re-evaluate everything. I find the universe far more complex yet interconnected than I could have every predicted. Science, rather than disproving spirit, is open to its metaphysical implications of a higher intelligence.
Healing becomes more than merely one’s particular occupation. It can be seen as both a spiritual and practical path for living, perhaps the purpose for existence itself. Correct the imperfections within ourselves, strive to help others along their own path. It becomes the manifestation of the Golden Rule of ‘do unto others’. When we believe we can heal, we live our lives with that consciousness. We become God-like but from a position of humility, not from ego. We are co-creating reality and it is filled with caring and compassion. We find our roles between the generations as a spiritual gift and not a burden at all, for it offers us the opportunity to heal not only our children and parents but ourselves as well.
© Steven E. Hodes, MD., 2006
Steven E. Hodes, M.D. is a board certified gastroenterologist with over 25 years private practice based in Edison and Old Bridge New Jersey. He also has a degree in Religious Studies and teaches Contemporary Metaphysics at Brookdale College as well as lecturing and writing on Kabbalah and Healing, the Jewish View of Afterlife and on Near-Death Experience. Visit him at his daily Blog, Physician to Meta-Physician at www.meta-md.com