2.31 How are Scientists Able to Cure Psychological Illnesses by Drugs?

First of all, let us get rid of the exaggerations on both sides. It is too much to claim that drugs cure all cases of depression. It is mainly in depression due to nervous fatigue where they are helpful. In other forms of depression, they may relieve us only of the symptoms, for very often they come back once the dosage is reduced or stopped. So, it is not only drugs but a whole lot of other factors that help, such as faith, counseling, attitudinal change, and of course, time. In some instances, a medicine may cure without the theory being right! A mechanic may correct a defect without knowing anything at all about the principles of engineering. Now if the mechanic were to build his theory based on ‘what worked’, he may end up with a fantastic postulate. And if this postulate was meant to justify ‘what worked’, he will find it true every time his technique works, and this will keep on reinforcing his postulate.

Medicine is in an even worse situation. It has built theories of human nature and psychology based on the effect of certain therapies whose overall efficacy is on average less than 50%. Even if physiological or neuro-chemical changes were observed, how are we to know whether these changes were the primary cause of the psychological states or else were secondary to it, or were consequential to a third occult cause? The presence of this deeper cause does not negate the surface and immediate causes. And for obvious reasons, it is often so much easier and faster, at least for us human beings, as is the usual way, to act upon the illness from outside than from within. While doing so may be easier and ‘natural’ for us, we should not be led to believe that it is the only or the complete way. What most of our ‘treatment’ in modern medicine does very often is to put a check upon the symptoms. By a chemical manipulation, which is many times only the last step in the huge and complex machinery of Nature that operates at several levels, we can maintain the check and prevent the illness from entering into the physical domain. Nevertheless, the illness continues to linger in the deeper levels, its roots remain hidden and unaffected by our chemical manipulations. That is why—barring those illnesses which arise due to external invasion (no doubt supported by something within)—the relief of symptoms is not a guarantee of cure. One has to keep taking the medication to prevent any manifestation in the physical. That the roots and seeds of illness are very much present is proved by the fact that the moment you stop the medicine the whole thing returns and often worsens as if in vengeance.

Now Yoga takes its stand on the belief backed by experience that it is possible for the human consciousness to enter into contact with or even identify with the Creatrix Consciousness. It builds its vision from there, a top to down or an inner to outer view of things. Perhaps that is why it has the potential to effect the change much more radically if once we get the hang of it and have the central keys with us for help. It is a science in its own right but one that is not yet fully developed and man is still in the process of slow exploration. But it is a science that has existed as long as man has existed and has had efficacy even when there was no other science to lean upon. Spirituality is, in other words, man’s second nature. It will become and must become man’s first nature for its truths to become self-evident to all. And indeed evolution is tending in that direction if one goes by the signs that are appearing on the wall of life and events that surround us.

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