Is there an immune system?
(Image taken from internet)
Is there an immune system? If yes, what is it really? Despite many books being written on the subject our understanding is very poor. Thus far our understanding is limited to; the body is separate from nature and it needs to protect itself from outside influences. Travelling this path we find exceptions at every turn.
Is this assumption right? Are we apart from nature and the universe? How can that be? We are a part of the grand order of things. We are a product of natural forces. This leads us to the ecosystem concept. The body is an integral part of the biological and energy network surrounding us. We are constantly interacting with the outside world. That interaction is both material and at subtle levels. The interaction is constant. We cannot survive without that interaction.
Thus the holistic systems lay stress on a congenial environment that facilitates a healthy mind and body. The interactions are recognized at several levels. We are not matter but energy fields. We emerge from a consciousness that is the sub stratum.
Ayurveda says Akasha or space is the base. A subtle throbbing in that space causes air. From air emerges fire. The air and fire combine to form water. They all mix to form earth. Physically we are made up of space, air, fire, water and earth. These reside in us as the digestive fire, bile, phlegm, vayu, and space between the elements. Fluids like blood and semen perform the vital functions. Bone and collagen form the structure.
Mentally we remain connected to the Akasha or the omnipresent all knowing blissful consciousness that alone exists; the consciousness we worship as God.
When the soul or the energizing element leaves the body, it disintegrates and goes back to the elements. It comes from nature and goes back to nature. The mind disintegrates and merges back into the source consciousness.
Where does healing come from? It comes from Akasha or the consciousness. It rides on the prana shakti or the vital force. It is the vitality of the body that backed by the inherent intelligent blueprint dominates and supervises all other functions. We do not have separate systems like immune system, digestive system, circulatory system and so on. The body performs all functions as a whole and by dynamically interacting with the environment ensures life. At its peak it delivers health and happiness.
The healthy body and mind functions on its own. The healthy owner does not feel they are present as separate entities. He rides it as the charioteer rides the chariot. The description of mind body and consciousness in the Bhagavad Gita and the concept of kshetra and the kshetrajna (the field and the knower of the field) is the philosophy behind health and the purpose of life. Ayurveda is based on the Samkhya Philosophy.
With health destroyed we fall from grace and forget why we are here. The physical life ensnares us with its charms and leads us into the quagmire of disease.
On a materialistic plain, the acute expression of disease is about the body attempting to get rid of accumulated waste and toxins. Therefore action in this sphere depends upon the vitality and energy levels of the body, the working of the lymphatic (drainage) system, and the health of elimination organs. Consequently the concept of immunity should be about setting right the environment, determining healthy food choices, the nutrition needs of the body, the health of the lymphatic system, and educating people about lifestyle and preservation of vitality. The practice of Brahmacharya, now forgotten, needs to be reconsidered.
The sooner we get rid of the present pathogen induced immunity concept, the better we understand the priorities, and the quicker we return to health.