Thursday, January 3, 2013

Real Life Tao - Sniffle, Sniffle

Trey Smith

There is an upper respiratory virus -- a head cold -- making its way around the South Bend area and, as luck would have it, I have caught it. This is the second cold I've had in the past 14 months and both of them came on the heels of a serious bout of prolonged constipation. Not surprisingly, the latter condition makes me more susceptible to the former!

I share this information simply to underscore the interconnectedness of life. On the surface, it might seem counterintuitive to suggest that a digestive situation would somehow intersect with a respiratory one. Eating and breathing aren't the same thing! It is more the idea that, when one portion of the biological organism is out of whack, the defense mechanisms for the overall organism can be compromised. In the present case, I believe my general weakened state allowed the cold virus to take hold. As a result, I'm now suffering a tad from congestion, sneezing, watery eyes and a headache.

If things work this way in our own bodies -- as Laozi suggests in the Tao Te Ching -- then we have a window on how the world at large works. It should provide us with clues as to why global warming has become such a serious problem or why war and poverty continue to plague society.

Now, you'll have to excuse me as I go off to sneeze my head off some more!

This post is part of a series. For an introduction, go here.

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