In recent years I have noticed a marked increase in GIRD (gastro–intestinal reflux disorder). As I reflected on it I came up with two social factors operating here, (you may discover others):

  1. Collectively, we have been less and less able to find our voices to state our objections and ⁄ or our truth. In the last decade, in particular, our political voices have been pushed down and back.
  2. Not being able to swallow, digest, or assimilate what has been heaped on us by unrestrained technology that has expanded beyond measure and has demanded immediate responses that have stretched our physical capabilities beyond its limits.

The suppression of our political voice

During the Bush years, the press was effectively muzzled by intimidation and threats. Likewise, Congress meekly stood by allowing the administration to engage in two wars predicated on lies. The passage of the Patriot Act violated the major constitutional precepts of rights to trial, no prolonged detention without proper adjudication, and so forth. Simply put there was no civil disobedience, no public consideration, discussion or referendum on matters of public interest. Throughout, the administration droned the false alibi that our basic freedoms must be sacrificed to ensure our freedom from an enemy attack. Meanwhile, the government restricted the freedom of others around the world and within the U.S. including the right to vote for president under a non partisan and fair system were denied. The election frauds of Florida and Ohio are not forgotten. Incidentally, both Gore and Kerry succumbed to political pressures and failed to denounce the frauds in the most vociferous of terms.

Inability to swallow all that is thrown at us

The hyper–expansion of technology over the past 55 years highlighted, of course, by the current development of internet, computers, complex phones, has amounted to an "insane" speeding up of time where everything has to be done in nanoseconds. The human organism is not built physiologically for adapting to the demands that time – through the agency of business primarily, but not only – places on us. I’m sure that many of you (as I have) have had the experience of turning on the computer and it not responding immediately. We find ourselves waiting seconds to minutes all the while becoming anxious, exasperated, frustrated – experience agita over having to wait what seems to be "an eternity" for the "doggone" thing to work. We are becoming literally enslaved by time! We are trying to maintain a pace that really takes its toll on us.

In addition, the Internet’s overwhelming amount of data pouring in on us has produced a virtual "obesity of information" (my phrase) that can not be digested by us in a natural manner. No wonder we have a scourge of obesity reflected in our diminished nutrition and lack of physical activity as well as a rise in regurgitation (or, regirditation) and esophageal ulcers.

How can our social and political relationships seem to evoke physical illness? In the spiritual healthcare model of the West, we look at the correlations and relationships between the physical, emotional, mental, social and moral aspects of our lived human experience. Most of us are unaware that moment to moment we function in, as, and through these five dimensions. These five functions reflect each other – not cause each other. This means they share points of similarity and dissimilarity. Once we are able to recognize these reflections (easy to do), we have engaged the wholeness of our being and we see the whole picture! As this happens healing is taking place – to heal and to become whole come from the same root in our language. An impulse toward unity has taken place as we are able to grasp how to repair each of these domains. With this, the immediate action to repair and recover starts to take place.

Is there some remedy possible? Spiritual life provides some answers. First, use the disturbance as the reminder to act to reverse the situation now that you understand more. If you need a voice, express yourself. Practice speaking up without concern for the result or outcome. If the concern is there, speech is stifled. That’s how those people seeking power control us by quelling our expression. We’ve got to speak up: change the reflux to respond.

Secondly, slow your pace and take charge of the intoxication created by your attachment to the computer. Take your time in responding to e–mail, texting and the like. As you become aware of the frenetic quality induced in you by the pull of time, you give yourself a moment to quiet and come back into your natural rhythm and pace – emotionally, mentally and socially. The physiological correlate is the rhythm and pace of the heart. A disorder of rhythm here is called arrhythmia and much heart disorder can result in having to wear a pacemaker.

Reminder: 1– Patience is a virtue; 2– we can take charge of ourselves through using our will and reason to restore balance.